COSTA MESA — Floyd Harryman, the first principal at Estancia High School, died of natural causes Friday at his Eastside Costa Mesa home. He was 92.
Since 1945, Harryman was an educator, first working at Newport Harbor High School, where he created several programs, including the high school's physiology department and the beginnings of what would later become a full-fledged academic counseling staff.
Born in the small farming community of Keyes, Okla., on Sept. 13, 1917, Harryman fled the Dust Bowl at age 19 for better opportunities in Southern California, said his daughter Carla Harryman, 58, who teaches creative writing at Eastern Michigan University.
"He came with his family but they were actually unsuccessful in getting here on their first two tries," Carla Harryman said Monday in a telephone interview. "Their cars kept breaking down along the mountain passes."
But once the family made it to California, everybody managed to find jobs in the Los Angeles area, and Floyd Harryman eventually went on to earn two degrees from UCLA: a bachelor's in biological science and a master's in zoology.
When the family arrived in 1936, Harryman's older brother, Harold, had already been working in California, where he had gotten a job in the shipyards in 1934. Floyd's father, Elwood, mother, Ruth, and his sister, Leonda Wanetta, the youngest of the family, followed, knowing that there were jobs in their path once they made the difficult journey.
During Floyd's career, he also served as vice principal of Corona del Mar High School and was president of the board of the Orange County Teachers Federal Credit Union, recently renamed Schools First, according to Carla Harryman.
Memorial services will be at the Estancia commons at 11 a.m. Friday, Floyd Harryman's daughter said. His ashes will be spread in the ocean.