Celebrating 100 Years of Oakland Technical High School
Gabriel Ticoulat ’17
A student at Tech when it moved to its current location in 1915, Gabriel Ticoulat, affectionately called “Tic” by his classmates, was active in student leadership, sports, and music (both the band and the orchestra). He took a number of business classes. After graduating in June of 1917, he served as a corporal in the US Army until the war’s end in November, 1918. After the war, he went to work for the San Francisco-based paper company Crown Zellerbach, first as a laborer and over time as a clerk, salesman, sales manager, vice president and eventually, as Senior Vice President. In 1951, Gabriel was the Director of the National Production Authority (NPA)’s wood and paper division mitigating, for example, a shortage of newsprint that an undersupply of the sulphur used in processing paper had caused. In 1952, he served as the Deputy Administrator for International Materials Activities for the Defense Production Administration (DPA). In the years that Gabriel was with Crown Zellerbach, it grew to become one of the largest paper companies in the world, producing pulp, paper, logs, lumber, plywood, and containers. He died at Rossmoor in 1982.
Gabriel Vizzard, the grandson of Gabriel Ticoulat, supplied the following information:
Gabriel was one of the “dollar a year” men who served the country during the war years [World War II]. The government would not allow them to be volunteers; they had to work for at least one dollar to be employees. Gabriel had been involved with rationing paper production for the government during the war and, more interestingly, he was an envoy to the Soviet Union. He made several trips to Russia to discuss trade and was briefed by intelligence services on his return.
After the war, he was sent by his company, Crown Zellerbach, to develop joint ventures in developing the paper industry in France, where he had deep family roots, in the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany. He hired Jean-Philippe Galichon as his lawyer and adviser. Jean Galichon’s brother had been Charles de Gaulle’s chief of staff during his years as President of France during the 1950s. Just after the war, Jean Philippe Galichon had been the principal administrator for the Marshall Plan in France.
When Gabriel arrived in France for the first time, he thought he was conversant in French since he was the child of French immigrants. He could not understand why people did not understand him. He discovered that the French of his family was, in fact, Gasconnais, a regional dialect of French that is a mix of French, Spanish and some remnants of Latin. He went to language school and in the end, he was quite adept at speaking proper French. He was a life long Republican and a member of the well known Bohemian Club.