Lee J. Huber Approaches 70 Year Reunion –
Four Family Generations “Carry On” the Mesa High Tradition!
Lee Josef Huber comes from a family that has long been associated with Mesa High. His father, Lee Jacob Huber, graduated from “Old Main” Mesa Union High School around 1916; Lee and his three brothers Melvin, Talmage and Clare followed in the next generation. Lee’s six children each graduated as the third generation and twenty-three of his grandchildren in the fourth, the youngest being Daniel Andrew, who will graduate this year with the Class of 2020. That’s over 100 years of family at Mesa High! Lee’s oldest child Elise was in the last class to graduate from the original Mesa Union High (1972). Although the “Old Main“ building was destroyed by fire in 1967, there were other structures at that vicinity where the students continued to attend classes. The younger siblings all attended school at the new and current campus location.
“There was only one high school in Mesa at the time I attended from 1947 through 1951,” Huber recalls. “When the 1,000th student enrolled – somewhere around 1950 – I remember we had a big celebration. I was just a humble farm boy with chores to do morning and night, but early on I adopted the motto ‘Carry On’ in the best way I could, even if it required doing ‘hard things.’ And I learned that giving service to others was a great source of happiness.”
During his junior year, Huber was given the responsibility to be student manager of the school farm located on the site of the then-future Mesa Junior High School at Broadway and Horne. Students in the Agriculture classes were allotted small garden plots to plant and care for. Some students brought dairy, beef and swine to the farm for added experience. “This is a chapter of Mesa High history that you don’t hear much about,” Huber recounts. “Things went pretty well most of the time. While athletic teams were out having victories in the sports arena, many agriculture students were planting and hoeing gardens, feeding and caring for livestock, irrigating and baling alfalfa hay and sometimes retrieving animals that wanted to take a tour of the neighborhood in the area. When that happened, we had a chance to learn public relations techniques!” According to Huber, the farm project was discontinued when the construction of the new junior high school started in 1951.
While a student at Mesa High, Huber served as State Vice President for Future Farmers of America (FFA). He and other members participated in maintaining and judging livestock, dairy and produce, and he was on the Mesa High dairy judging team that took national honors at the National Livestock Show in Kansas City, MO. The Santa Fe Railroad Co. awarded them their transportation to participate in the country-wide event. Huber also played the cello in the Mesa High orchestra and remembers providing the musical score for the school’s performance of “South Pacific” plus participated as a member of the cast in the school play “Dear Flora.”
As a senior, Huber was President of the Mesa High Seminary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In addition to sponsoring social and spiritual events, the students made and sold refreshments at dances and dinners and, with the funds they earned, chartered a bus and took about 60 graduating seniors on a week-long tour to Salt Lake City, Utah.
After graduating in 1951, Huber attended ASU, where he studied Animal Husbandry his freshman year, then transferred to Brigham Young University to continue his studies in Agriculture. It was there that he met and married True Robison from Fillmore, UT. The couple returned to Mesa to help on the family farm and complete his Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Husbandry at ASU. The following two years were spent in the U.S. Army where Huber was assigned to the White House Army Signal Agency in Washington, DC during the Eisenhower Administration. He worked in the Air Raid Shelter beneath the White House and traveled in the communications car on the Presidential train whenever President Eisenhower toured.
After military service, the Hubers again returned to Mesa where they tried dairy farming for a while, but Lee eventually took a position as a Science and Health teacher at the junior high level, where he remained for 34 years as a teacher and a librarian. During those years, he earned two more degrees from ASU – a Master of Natural Science and a Master of Secondary Education – all while assisting in the raising of their two sons and four daughters, as well as another young extended family member. In addition to being active as a Boy Scout leader of two separate troops, he organized and conducted an annual summer science camp that culminated with an excursion to the Grand Canyon for junior high students and their parents. It was at this time that Huber also worked at the General Motors Desert Proving Grounds, which he especially enjoyed, as it involved testing all the latest automobile models.
Huber served in many church leadership positions over the years while working and raising his family in Mesa. He was a bishop in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for three years and President of the Kimball Stake for ten years, plus served with his wife in the Mesa Temple for nearly two decades. For thirteen years he and his wife also cared for his aging parents while running the 25-acre family farm. After retiring, they served an 18-month church mission in Vladivostock, Russia, doing humanitarian work and teaching anatomy at a Medical University.
Huber continues to express gratitude for the special experiences that he had as a Mesa High “JACKRABBIT” and member of the graduating class of 1951. To quote Huber, “Now at the age of 86 my pace may not be quite as swift as a ‘Jackrabbit,’ but I do still try to ‘Carry On’ in all good things!”
Congratulations on nearly 70 years as an exemplary MHS graduate, Lee!
Way to “Carry On!”
Lee, front & center (with cello) with the Mesa High Orchestra (1951)
Lee Huber, Specialist – Fourth Class; Powerman, U.S. Army Signal Corp
Lee & True Huber – 50th Wedding Anniversary (2003)
Children (left to right):
Elise (Jones), Dale, Elaine (Guthrie), Mariann (Winfield), Joleen (Andrew), Wayne