Gary Edmond Williams '57 died June 12, 2013, at age 78. Born in Iowa, he attended high school in Seattle and became an Eagle Scout at age 17. A talented artist who studied architecture, he designed his parents’ house while still a teenager. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Pacific University, he earned a master’s in business administration from Seattle University. He served briefly in the U.S. Army in the late 1950s and then began working for Kenworth Trucks. He married Eleanor Sue Turman in 1959. Williams worked as a business executive for Paccar, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of medium- and heavy-duty trucks in the world, retiring at age 45. He continued as a business consultant and later worked as an antique dealer. He also volunteered for United Way and the Seattle Chamber of Commerce. He is survived by his wife, Eleanor, his daughter Cynthia Lorraine and a granddaughter.
Pacific University Trustee Lisa Hargis '76 died July 12, 2013. Hargis received her undergraduate degree in business administration from Pacific, then worked for Oregon Mutual Insurance Company for 34 years, beginning in 1979 as an underwriter and retiring as a vice president of underwriting. She joined the Board of Trustees in 2011 and worked to guide a risk management task force. She also served as president of the Oregon Fair Plan Association, a nonprofit association supported by insurance companies licensed to write property insurance. She enjoyed boating, cooking, traveling and caring for her husband and her cocker spaniel, Murphy Brown. She is survived by her husband of 27 years, Gary M. Hargis; her parents, John and Sally Carey; and two brothers, Jay and Colin Carey. She was preceded in death by her brother, Kevin Carey.
Paul Kohl '80, faculty emeritus, died Feb. 27, 2013, following a long battle with cancer. A native New Yorker, he earned a bachelor’s degree from State University New York, Binghamton in 1973 and his doctorate in optometry from Pacific University in 1980. He then became the first teaching fellow in the College of Optometry. He went on to become a tenured faculty member, earning the Pacific University Trustee Award to Young Faculty, and then the Pacific University Distinguished Professional Faculty Award. A dedicated teacher, he served on several boards and committees at the university throughout his more than 30 years of service to Pacific. Among other achievements, he established pediatric optometric services and developed the pediatrics curriculum at the College of Optometry. He published many articles on pediatric and behavioral vision. He also provided presentations and chaired continuing education conferences for practicing optometrists. Kohl retired in 2011 and was awarded faculty emeritus status. He is survived by his wife, Cathy; daughter, Maja ’14; and son, Jesse.
Former U.S. ambassador Shirley L. Abbott '52, OD '53 died April 23, 2013, of congestive heart failure. He was 88.
An optometrist by trade, Abbott also was a rancher, a politician and served as ambassador to the Kingdom of Lesotho under President Ronald Reagan’s administration. He also was a devoted alumnus of Pacific University, where, in 2003, his support established the Abbott Alumni Center. In 2007, he received the Pacific University Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award.
Abbott spent his early years on a tenant dairy farm in Minnesota before moving with his family to El Paso, Texas, where he graduated from high school. He attended what is now the University of Texas at El Paso but left to join the Army during World War II. Following the war, he earned his bachelor and doctorate degrees at Pacific University.
He returned to El Paso, where he was one of the first in the region to fit corneal contact lenses. His optometric practice became one of the largest in the city. In the late 1960s, he started an optical company that later became Sunland Optical, then the largest military optical contractor in the country. He also developed apartment housing and operated farms in New Mexico, Texas and California, as well as one in South Africa with his grandson, Jason. He also was director of several local banks.
In the mid-1970s, he was appointed regional director of the Bi-Centennial Administration. He co-founded the Granaderos de Galvez, which honored the Spanish influence on the development of America. He also traveled to Spain several times as a guest of the Spanish government, was named Honorary Consul General of Spain for Texas and was granted The Order of Isabella La Catolica, the highest honor awarded to a non-Spanish citizen.
Abbott served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1977 to 1978. In 1983, President Reagan appointed him ambassador to the Kingdom of Lesotho, an independent monarchy in southern Africa.
In his later years, Abbott and his wife, Arline, divided their time between Texas and California. He was preceded in death by his wife. Abbott is survived by his son, Alan, a former member of the Pacific University Board of Trustees; his grandson, Jason; his granddaughter, Allison Kaelin ‘06; two great-grandchildren; and a brother, Bill.
Christy Aleckson ’95 has been named one of the Portland Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40,” as well as a “Five Star Wealth Manager” by Portland Monthly. Aleckson is a financial advisor at Single Point Financial Advisors. She is on the board of directors of Women in Insurance and Financial Services, Portland Metro Chapter and she serves on the board of directors of Women in Insurance and Financial Services. A proud season-ticket holder to Pacific’s football games, Aleckson serves on the Boxer Club Board of Directors.
Brent A. Bullock OD died March 4, 2014, of complications associated with an illness at age 42. He graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree, then earned his optometry degree from Pacific University. He practiced optometry in Tucson, Ariz. He is survived by his wife, Melanie, and daughters, Emily, Jane and Olivia.
Tony Turin ’07, OD ’10 opened Mt. Hood Eyecare in Sandy, Ore., this spring. His recently returned from military service as an Army captain and won $15,000 in a business competition sponsored by CitiBank investors to help start his clinic.
Pamela Booth is attending the University of Rhode Island to earn a master of science degree in environmental and natural resource economics in May 2015.
Alexander Nguyen and Marissa Bricker welcomed son Kaymien Mekhai Nguyen on March 18, 2014.
Scott Pitts OD died Jan. 31, 2014. He was an associate of EyeCare Focus in Eugene. He is survived by his wife, Brianne, and three children.