Nearly a century ago, after losing her husband in the silver mines of Butte Montana, my great great Grandmother decided to bring the remaining family to a budding town she had heard about in Southern California. Ole Hanson was developing a new piece of land he dubbed San Clemente, (after the island), and looked for friendly home-comers to help establish his Spanish style vision. Roy Divel Sr. had recently completed school of undertaking and opened up the only mortuary for miles. Ole was insistent the new building not be erected near the heart of town so Roy bought land and built his headquarters on the outskirts.. (Trafalgar street which now lies 6 blocks from Del Mar st.) The family had the only ambulance from Oceanside to Santa Ana, which kept Roy and his family busy most of the time. Roy Jr., (my grandfather), was a local surfer down at San Clemente pier and would catch swells with only a few other surfers in the area at the famous Killer Dana pointbreak. Grandpa was heavily involved in town as a presidential member of the Elks Lodge, a Free Mason, as well as a part of many other organizations around town. He spent his twenties in the Navy as a pilot in WW2, and settled down back in the area to raise his growing family. My father Roy Divel III, (aka Rick), surfed Salt Creek Beach and was an employee for the state park system down at Doheny beach, well before the first rock of our harbor jetty was planted. He also had a large network of friends and supporters in our area and went on to play professional golf on the PGA tour.
I have recently partnered up with my father ‘Rick’ in the insurance business, utilizing his 35+ years of knowledge and experience navigating these ever-changing and tricky waters.
The Divel family name is well established and recognized by most of the “Local” families that understand the true history of our area.
I invite you to visit the San Clemente Historical Society where many of the photographic evidence of the then developing area comes from the Divel family collection, and my great Aunt Lois serves as the town Matriarch.