Obituary: Cleve Van Dyke Traughber

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1937 – 2017

Cleve Traughber

Cleve Van Dyke Traughber, 80, of La Cañada Flintridge, passed away on Oct. 14 after a short battle with cancer.
Born July 29, 1937, in Hollywood to parents Frank and Mildred Traughber, Cleve began life with a bang as Hollywood’s highest paid actor for his 30-second role opposite Greta Garbo and Charles Boyer in the Academy Award Nominated “Conquest.” Moving from the glitz and glam of Hollywood, the 3-year-old and his family settled in nearby Flintridge (today La Cañada Flintridge), where he was later joined by his younger brother John. Cleve attended La Cañada Elementary School, John Marshall Junior High and La Cañada Middle School, where he met several life-long friends.
Cleve was a Boy Scout and enjoyed the outdoors, ultimately earning his Eagle Scout badge and participating in the 1950 Jamboree in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. He attended John Muir High School in Pasadena where he was selected to attend Boy’s State, played safety on the football team, ran track and was senior class president.
A passionate Mustang, he organized many class reunions, including a joint Muir-Pasadena High School 50th reunion that took place over three days in 2005 and was attended by more than 900 graduates and spouses.
Cleve attended Stanford University and graduated with a degree in history. Forever an Indian (the name change to Cardinal wasn’t until 1982), he enjoyed rooting for his team, both in person and on television, throughout his life.
Cleve served in the U.S. Army Reserve with active duty at Fort Ord. After university and the service, he returned to Los Angeles to join his father’s insurance agency. Ultimately buying his father’s interest, he spent his entire career as an insurance man. He served on many agency councils and was president of the local association. Cleve always had a strong sense of community and gave back through the local rotary, where he served in many roles, including president.
In 1967, he married Janet Frame of Piedmont and settled in La Cañada Flintridge. Cleve and Janet travelled extensively throughout the world including, Australia, Europe, China and the South Pacific. They were both private pilots, and in 1969 were true trailblazers when they set off on a memorable five-week trip flying their own small aircraft around Europe; no small feat even today. Forever the sportsman, Cleve coached many of his sons’ sports teams and volunteered in support of their many activities. Also a sailor, he loved Cherry Cove on Catalina Island and crossed the channel many times with family and friends aboard his sailboat, The Sea Tease. Cleve remarried in 1982, spending 30 years with Julie Blanchard.
Cleve enjoyed people, telling stories and cheering on his beloved Indians and Dodgers. He was an avid gin rummy player and was once named club champion at the old Verdugo Club of Glendale. He was generous with his time and always happy to help others in need. His wide smile, quick wit and friendly disposition made him a joy to be around.
Cleve is survived by his brother John Traughber and sister-in-law Jackie Traughber of Port Hueneme; son Paul Traughber of Manhattan Beach; and son David Traughber, daughter-in-law Amy Traughber and granddaughters Molly and Carly Traughber of Manhattan Beach. A service to celebrate his life is being held at Cabot & Sons Funeral Home, 27 Chestnut Street in Pasadena, at 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 27.

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