Bob Henry, Robert Hoyk, James Harold Nelson


Bob Henry

Television Pioneer Dies


Bob Henry, a producer and director noted for his groundbreaking role in helping African American performers reach a broader audience, died March 18 at his home in Laguna Beach. Henry was 92.

Henry was present at the birth of the television variety show, moving from radio to television in 1950.

Over 50-plus years in television, Henry produced and or directed more than 25 different variety series and specials, among them “The Andy Williams Show,” “Norman Rockwell’s America,”  “The Carpenters,”  Emmy and Grammy Awards shows and a Bob Hope special.

Additionally, Henry produced and directed “The American Black Achievement Awards” numerous times and was a pioneer in helping African American artists reach mainstream audiences. His 1957 production of “The Nat King Cole Show,” the first network television show to star a black male performer, was so controversial that it ran without national commercials and several NBC affiliates refused to air the show.

In 1970, Henry also directed NBC’s “The Flip Wilson Show,” the first top-rated show starring an African American performer.

A native of Boston, Henry graduated from Tufts University in 1940.  He performed as a comedian in the Catskills, entertained troops in the Pacific Theatre and hosted programs on radio in Boston and New York.

A 30-year Laguna resident, Henry served on the Festival of Arts board for six years, including as board president in 2004. Henry was president of the Laguna Beach Garden Club and supporter of the Susi Q Senior Center.

Henry is survived by Annette, his wife of 30 years; his daughter, Ruth Massaro of Mill Valley, Calif.; son, Keith Henry of Studio City; two grandchildren and four great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Shirley, in 1972.

Funeral services are Monday, March 26, at 10 am at St. Catherine’s of Siena in Laguna Beach.  A rosary will precede the mass at 9:30 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and/or the Roaring Fork Education Foundation, in memory of Bob Henry.


Robert Hoyk, Phd.


Robert Magnuson Hoyk, 59, died at home in Laguna Beach on March 12 after a seven-year struggle with ALS.

Dr. Hoyk was a clinical psychologist who received his doctorate at the California School of Professional Psychology in San Diego.  In private clinical practice in Dana Point, Hoyk also conducted research for several institutions; taught communication skills to executives, physicians, and couples; and was a leader in the field of the psychology of ethics. In 2008, his book “The Ethical Executive: Becoming Aware of the Root Causes of Unethical Behavior: 45 Psychological Traps that Every One of Us Falls Prey To” was published by Stanford University Press.

Always a trailblazer, Hoyk traveled for 13 years throughout the world, living and working for periods of time in Tunisia, Spain, France, Greece and India. He undertook his journeying by camel with the Bedouin in the Sahara, taking a donkey cart and school-age charges through the Spanish hills, creating a self-sustaining community on an island off the coast of Turkey, apprenticing to a furniture-maker in a Mexican village where no tourist had ever ventured.

Formerly of Claremont and Ojai, Hoyk lived in Laguna with his wife, author Julie Brickman. He fought a valiant battle first against primary lateral sclerosis and later Lou Gehrig’s disease. His courage, his grace and his sense of humor remain an inspiration to all who knew and loved him.

His wife and brother David Heuck of Sheridan, Wyo., survive him.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Healthspan International Foundation, 26571 Lucinda, Mission Viejo, CA 92691 or or to the ALS Association of Orange County, 1232 Village Way, Suite A, Santa Ana, CA 92705 or



James Harold Nelson

James Harold Nelson, a native of Buena Park and a 43-year resident of Laguna Beach, died Feb. 28. He was 84.

Nelson was born May 14, 1927, to Richard and Ellen Nelson. Nelson’s grandfather, Arni Nelson, a native of Iceland, came to America at the turn of the century and changed his name from Thordarsson. When he died, Nelson’s parents became owner of Buena Park Lumber Company.

He and his brother Richard, who is also deceased, attended Fullerton schools. Nelson graduated from Claremont’s Pomona College in 1950, a pre-med major. When his father became ill, Nelson took over management of the lumber company.

Nelson and Mary Gardner, a graduate of Claremont’s Scripps College, married in 1952. Over the next 16 years, they became parents to James Gardner, John Arni, Jeanne Anne and Wendy Norah. The family lived in Anaheim, Fullerton, Laguna Beach and Palm Springs.

Instead of pursuing medicine, Nelson grew Buena Park Lumber, winning accolades for a business model adopted by national chains, and making good friends along the way. The couple’s boys both worked in the family business.

Nelson is survived by his wife, Mary; children James, John and Wendy; many grandchildren and a great granddaughter. He loved them all. Nelson died of heart failure and cancer, as did his daughter, Jeanne.

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