In Memoriam, Spring 2011

Remembering David Lowe '63 and Sandy Rowe '78, M.A.T. '82; Alicia Denae Elfring '12; Dr. John Howarth; Lt. Col. Clinton Gruber '47, Leon Meade '70; followed by more Class Notes Obituaries.

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Alicia Denae Elfring '12

Alicia Danae Elfring 2012 (Obituary)

A memorial service was held in Eugene, Ore. March 21 for Alicia Denae Elfring ’12,  a Eugene campus College of Education student who passed away from injuries sustained in an automobile accident.

Alicia was born May 13, 1986, in Eugene to Johnny and Tammy Elfring Phillips. She graduated from Summit High School in Bend, Ore. and received an associate degree from Lane Community College. She was working on a bachelor’s degree with Initial Teaching License and an early childhood education and elementary authorization at Pacific. Alicia had worked in early education and retail.

Survivors include her parents, now of Bend; a brother, Johnny Phillips of Bend; a sister, Sheena Quick of Springfield; and grandparents Carole Elfring of Eugene, Lanny and Melvina Elfring of Eugene and Bobbie Phillips of Lebanon.

Remembrances may be made to the Pacific Early Education Program or the First Church of the Nazarene’s education fund or quilting ministry.

Mary Jo Simone, assistant professor at the Eugene campus, put together this remembrance of Alicia:

"Alicia’s recent and sudden death has impacted her cohort, her professors and all of us on the Eugene campus in a most profound way. When we gathered together to remember her and celebrate her life, the stories recounted were of a generous, bright and energetic young woman who experienced life fully and gave unselfishly.

"She was a champion of the underdog, always making sure that others were included and would never feel left out. One student who worked with her at River Road Elementary in a dual-immersion program told of her great dedication to her young students and to enhancing their self-esteem. She loved learning and being a part of a vibrant learning community. She loved her cohort members and they loved her. She brought a curious mind, a warm heart and a challenge to everyone to be the best they could be.

"They recalled an expression she used often to motivate her fellow students: "Let’s get this thing done!" Her kindness, generosity and zest for life will be a constant inspiration to all of us as we continue our work in the field of education which meant so much to her."



Bill Preston 1958  (Obituary)

Bill Preston 1958 (Obituary)

College of Optometry Professor Emeritus and alumnus Dr. Bill Preston ’57, O.D. ’58, passed away on Jan. 17 at the age of 82.

Beloved by both his colleagues and students, Dr. Preston served on Pacific’s optometry faculty from 1976-96. He was one of the University’s few second generation faculty emeriti, following his father Daniel, who served as the University’s School of Music Dean in the 1950s and became Associate Professor Emeritus of Music in 1963.

Bill Preston enrolled at Pacific as a sophomore in 1949, and joined the Marines to serve in the Korean War, advancing to the rank of sergeant. He returned to complete his undergraduate studies at Pacific following the war, and earned his doctorate of optometry in 1958. Upon graduation, Preston practiced general optometry for eight years in North Dakota, with a general emphasis on vision problems in children. During his practice, he became an expert on contact lenses.

He returned to the Pacific Northwest in 1966 and practiced in Portland for three years. He subsequently established a private practice in the Cedar Mill area near Beaverton before becoming a part-time clinical advisor at Pacific. He joined the College of Optometry’s clinic faculty on a full-time basis in 1976.

During his tenure at Pacific, he actively served on the College’s Admissions Committee, traveling extensively to the Midwest to recruit prospective students. He became the College’s Forest Grove Clinic Director in 1980. In addition to overseeing clinic administrative operations, he advised and lectured on various optometric topics until his retirement in the late 1990s. In addition to providing students and patients knowledge and expert care, Dr. Preston regularly bestowed financial gifts to the College of Optometry and other University offerings.

He once said, “I can’t help with the big bucks like some companies can, but I can help with the ‘real’ dollars that students need to buy food, pay rent and keep their cars running.” Dr. Preston had a fondness and talent for singing, gardening and landscaping. Countless audiences enjoyed his tremendous voice at local churches and in many performances at the Theatre in the Grove.

A memorial service was held on Jan. 22 at the United Church of Christ in Forest Grove. In lieu of flowers, the Preston family requests donations be made to the shelter at the United Church of Christ, or gifts to the music department at Pacific.                                   

After the war, Gruber became one of Portland's radio pioneers. Shown here at KOIN.

Clinton Gruber 1947 (Obituary)

Lt. Colonel USAF (Ret) Clinton A. Gruber ’47 passed away on March 12, 2011 at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center at the age of 91.

Clint was raised in Silver Lake, a tiny town in the Oregon high desert. Entering Pacific on a scholarship in 1938, he concurrently enrolled in the university’s Civilian Pilot Training course at Hillsboro Airport. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor plunged America into the Second World War, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet, graduating as a Second Lieutenant in the class of 43-C.

Assigned to a B-24 “Liberator” heavy bomber crew as a copilot, he went to England to join the 93rd Bomb Group, 8th Air Force, based at Norwich. Temporarily posted to North Africa, he and his crew flew combat missions out of desert bases near Benghazi and Tunis, striking enemy targets in Italy and Austria.

Back in England he flew more missions, to strategic target in Germany. On November 1, 1943, on approach to a target near Solingen, Nazi fighters attacked, knocking out two of the four engines on his plane and killing the tail gunner. Clint and surviving crew members bailed out at 18,000 feet. He landed in a snowy field, injuring his leg. Nevertheless he evaded capture for two days. He was interrogated and sent to Stalag I prison Camp on the Baltic Sea, where he remained a prisoner of war until liberation by Russian troops shortly before the German surrender in May, 1945.

Clint resumed his studies at Pacific, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 1947, then landed a job as an announcer for what would become Oregon Public Broadcasting. He later worked for KOIN radio for many years, serving as its program director, then became Executive Director of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and served as Deputy Director of the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs.

He continued service in the Air Force Reserve and the Oregon National Guard until his retirement as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1972. In his memoirs he recalled: “I am forever grateful to have been of an age to actively experience the war years, and to have been allowed to serve my country in World War II as a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Force. I am proud of that service, and thankful that I was spared to see the fruits of our victory.”

Lt. Colonel Gruber is survived by his wife Doris, of Beaverton and son Dwight, of Portland. His story, “Missing in Action Over Germany” appears in the on-line versionof Pacific magazine at:
-- Sig Unander '87


David Lowe '63 and Sandy Lowe '78, M.A.T. '82

David and Sandy Lowe 1963 (Obituary)

A tragic auto accident Feb. 16 in South Carolina took the lives of University Trustee David Lowe, ’63, and his wife, Sandra Spurling Lowe, ’78, M.A.T. ’82.

David Lowe, age 69, earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at Pacific in 1963 and began his career in banking in California. He returned to Pacific in 1969 and served in several positions in university relations, community relations, alumni relations and fundraising until 1986. He then moved to Boca Raton, Fla. and worked as a development officer at Florida Atlantic University, retiring as associate vice president for development in 2004.

His wife, Sandy, age 66, earned a degree in English and sociology at Pacific in 1978, and a master’s in education in 1982. She taught high school English in Oregon and was an adjunct professor of business and professional writing at Florida Atlantic University.

David served on many community boards and councils, but was known to be most proud and honored to be on the University Board of Trustees, a position he had held since 2005. An avid sports fan and a former standout tennis player and coach, he also enjoyed a fine cigar, a good blend of Scotch and time with his wife, family and friends.

Contributions in the Lowes’ memories may be made to the Lowe-Spurling Endowed Scholarship for Business at Pacific University. Sun Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Feb. 26, 2011

John Howarth & Faith Gabelnick outside of Marsh Hall in 2002.

John Howarth (Obituary)

Dr. John Howarth, husband of the late University President Faith Gablenick, passed away Feb. 21.

Born near Bolton England in 1924, he was the first person in his village to attend a university; his sister Jean was the second. He studied physics at Cambridge University, earning a master’s degree, then completed a Ph.D. in 1963 at the University of London.

He was then invited to New Mexico to work as a radiological physicist at the Lovelace Clinic in Albuquerque. In 1964, he joined the physics department at the University of New Mexico and was appointed director of the university’s general honors program in 1971. He moved to the University of Maryland in 1978, continuing as a physics professor and honors program director.

Dr. Howarth spoke of New Mexico as his  “spiritual home,” but the career of his wife, Dr. Gablenick, led the couple to many adventures. They lived in Kalamazoo, Mich., Oakland, Calif. and finally Forest Grove. He contributed to academic and local communities wherever he lived, including serving as a volunteer mediator at the Washington County, Ore., courthouse and supporting causes such as local public radio stations, the Oregon Cultural Trust and the I Have a Dream Foundation.

He spent the last years of his life in Forest Grove, pursuing his passions for photography, painting and social justice. His 2008 book of photographs, I and I: Ironies and Idiosyncrasies in Everyday Life, portrayed his fascination with the accidental visual and textual humor people see all around them, but rarely appreciate.

John L. Middlebrook 1968 (Obituary)

Dr. John L. Middlebrook, who was given Pacific University’s Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 1978, passed away July 18, 2010 in Salt Lake City. He was 63 years old.

Dr. Middlebrook was born Dec. 16, 1946 in Astoria, Ore. He graduated from Pacific with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, then earned a doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology at Duke University in 1972. He completed a postdoctoral degree in pharmacology at Stanford University Medical School in 1975.

An avid outdoorsman as well as an avid gourmet cook and skilled woodworker, Dr. Middlebrook was deeply involved in scientific research in toxicology and an early pioneer in the field of recombinant DNA.  He worked as a research chemist testing nuclear, chemical and biological warfare items in several positions with U.S. Army, the Department of Defense and other private or governmental organizations in need of biological testing services. He was also interested in compounds that crossed the blood-brain barriers and the use for such drugs in fighting diseases of the nervous system as well as in treatment of trauma to the brain and spinal cord.

In 1999, Dr. Middlebrook was severely  injured in a car accident in his hometown at that time, Frederick, Md. He spent several months in intensive care, and then underwent rehabilitation for several years. When a return to his work proved impossible, he moved back to Salt Lake City, where he had worked years before as scientific director at the U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Ground.

The Chinook Observer, Long Beach, Wash., Jan. 12, 2011.

Leon Meade '70. Meade, a standout baseball player throughout his youth, was a 2007 inductee to the Pacific University Athletic Hall of Fame. (Pacific Library Archives)

Leon "Squeak" Meade 1970 (Obituary)

An 2007 inductee of the Pacific University Athletic Hall of Fame, Leon Stacey “Squeak” Meade, age 63, died Feb. 6. He was born Nov. 11, 1947 in a Forest Grove hospital that later became the Gamma Sigma Fraternity house at Pacific University.

As part of a military family, Meade lived in many locations throughout his life including overseas bases in Italy and Germany.  He was a pitcher for the U.S. Little League All-Star team as well as the Babe Ruth European Championship team when his family was stationed in Munich. When they came back to the states, he attended David Douglas High School in Portland, Ore. where he played basketball, football and baseball.

At Pacific, Mead was a key member of Coach Chuck Bafaro's highly competitive baseball teams in the late 1960s. A four-year starter at second base, Meade earned First Team All-NWC honors in 1967 and 1968 and earned NAIA District II honors in 1967 while batting .340. His .320 average in 1968 helped lead the Boxers to the NWC championship. Meade played the 1969 and 1970 seasons despite suffering severe hamstring injuries. In the 1990s, the baseball team's most inspirational player award was named in Meade's honor.

A scholarship for student athletes has been set up in Meade’s memory at Pacific. Donations can be sent to the Leon Meade Baseball Scholarship, in care of Ken Schumann, Pacific University, 2043 College Way, Forest Grove, OR 97116.

The Oregonian, Portland, Ore. Feb. 15, 2011

General Comments

James Hudson '51

James Hudson died July 25, 2012, at age 87. He held several baseball records at Pacific University from 1947 to 1950. He was a very successful coach at McLoughlin Union High School in Milton-Freewater, Ore., from 1951 to 1971. He also led championship golf teams from 1971 to 1988 at Clackamas Community College.

Edward Rooney '51

Edward Rooney died Aug. 21, 2013, at age 86. He played football and basketball at Pacific University, where he also met his future wife, Delores Moon ’52. They were married in 1949. He taught school and coached at Jacksonville and Beaverton, Ore., then coached at St. Helens (Ore.) High School and Grant High School in Portland. His basketball teams were involved in several state tournaments, winning state chapionships in 1956 and 1969. He also was the head women’s basketball coach at University of Portland for two years. He was elected to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletic District II Hall of Fame in 1966 and inducted into the Pacific University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997. He is survived by daughters, Alice Brown, Anne Frey and Megan Rooney; sons, Steve, Mike, Pat, Tom, Ted and James; 23 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and sister, Alice O’Donnell.

George Tall Chief MEd

George Tall Chief MEd died Aug. 11, 2013, at age 96. He was the oldest known member of the Osage Nation, as well as former chief of the Pawhuska, Okla.-based tribe. He was born Nov. 21, 1916, in Arkansas City, Kan., and, at age 9, he survived the murder of his father during Sage County’s “Reign of Terror,” in which numerous tribal members were slain for access to their land and mineral rights. As a result, he and his four younger brothers were placed in boarding and military schools. An accomplished athlete, he earned a football scholarship to Northeastern A&M College in Miami, Okla., and was a Golden Glove boxing champion for two years in college. He later transferred to the University of Central Oklahoma, where he received his bachelor’s degree. He served as Pacific’s first wrestling coach, leading the program from 1954 to 1963, during which time he also earned his master of education degree. He also coached baseball, was an assistant football coach, and taught nutrition and physical education. He served as a scout for the Baltimore Colts and was a liaison representative between Pacific University and the Dallas Cowboys when the Cowboys held a training camp at Pacific in 1960. He spent half a century in education, as a teacher, coach, principal and superintendent in Oregon, Idaho and Oklahoma. After serving eight years as chief, he became president of the first Osage National Council. He was also inducted into the National Native American Hall of Fame and received the Peace Chief Award. 

Virginia Bushong '63

Virginia Bushong died June 27, 2013, at age 94. She was raised on a homestead in the Sacramento Valley. She attended college for a year and half at Linfield College, then married Jack Bushong in 1938. He started Bushong Logging Company in 1940, and they spent 12 years in Tillamook, Ore., before moving to Idaho. They returned to Forest Grove in 1961, and she finished her bachelor’s degree at Pacific University. She taught elementary physical education in Portland elementary school, then taught junior high school in Sheridan, Ore. She earned a master’s degree in physical education at the University of Oregon, then substitute taught in Prineville and John Day, Ore. She later became the office manager for the U.S. Forest Service in John Day. After retirement, the couple spent the winters in Yuma, Ariz. She was preceded in death by a son, Gary. She is survived by daughter, Jacqueline Shumway; sons, Fred and Charles; 12 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; and six great-great- grandchildren.

Maurice Dale Kimbell '63

Maurice Dale Kimbell died May 10, 2013, at age 71. He attended both Pacific University and Seattle University, then taught high school in Riddle, Gold Beach and John Day, Ore. He also operated a charter fishing boat during the summers in Winchester Bay and Gold Beach, Ore. He married Sharon Vaughn in 1980, and the couple moved to the family ranch in John Day, where he taught at Grant Union High School. After retiring, he moved to Florence, Ore. He is survived by his wife; daughters, Rachel Beer and Colette Kimball; and one granddaughter. 

Larry Allen Williams ’64, OD ‘66

Larry Allen Williams ’64, OD ’66 died July 3, 2013, at age 81. Born in Rochester, Minn., he spent his youth in Iowa. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1951 and married Dorothy Newton in 1952. They later divorced. He married Marilyn Graf in 1968. He established his optometric practice in Sioux Falls, S.D., serving the community for nearly 40 years. He was a member of the South Dakota Air National Guard, retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was preceded in death by his wife, Marilyn, and infant son, Bryan Daniel. He is survived by children, Winston Williams and Laura Kadlee; five grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. 

Dayton F. Arruda '67

Dayton F. Arruda died Nov. 3, 2013, at age 71. He was born in Hilo, Hawai’i, the 10th of 16 children. He was active in sports and, after high school, toured Japan for a year as a sumo wrestler with four of his brothers and his father as their coach. While attending Pacific University, he was a “sleeper” with the Hillsboro Fire Department. After graduation, he played professional football with the Victoria Steelers, then returned to Hillsboro Fire Department. He married Susan Beall in 1972, and they divorced in 1998. He served as the chief of the Hillsboro Fire Department from 1972 until his retirement in 1997. He also played the ukulele and sang with the Tualatin Valley Harmony Masters. He is survived by his children, Carrie Aleshire, Jonathan Arruda and Kimo Arruda; 10 grandchildren; and his former wife.