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

Paul Berman OD

Paul Berman OD died Nov. 10, 2013. He was honored in 2012 by the White House as a “Champion of Change” for his work as founder and global clinical adviser of the Special Olympics Opening Eyes and Healthy Athletes program, which he developed in 1991 as president of the American Optometric Association’s Sports Vision Section. Berman was the owner and founder of Focus Eye Health and Vision Care in Hackensack, N.J., a member of Lion’s Club International and received many awards for his humanitarian work. He was named the New Jersey Society of Optometric Physicians’ OD of the Year in 1998, and also received the society’s most prestigious award, the 2010 E.C. Nurock Award. He also received the society’s Public Service Award in 2010 for his service with EyeCare4Haiti Program. He was an international lecturer and former faculty member of the State University of New York College of Optometry, a consultant for Head Start, preschool facilities, and professional and Olympic athletic teams. He also was the team optometrist for the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League. He served on numerous state, national and international boards related to eye care. He is survived by his wife, Diane Berman; his children, Brent, Seth and Rebecca Berman, Jamie and AJ Bianco, Matt Lilien, Brian and Chelsea Lilien and two grandchildren. 

John T. Farrell '75

John T. Farrell died Aug. 29, 2013, at age 60. After he graduated from Pacific University, he worked for Hanks grocery for 30 years, beginning in retail sales, then later becoming a partner in the organization. He is survived by his wife, Nancy, and two sisters. 

Lyle Arthur Galdeira '77

Lyle Arthur Galdeira died Nov. 25, 2013, at age 59. While at Pacific, he interned with KUIK Radio in Washington County. He later became the news anchor there, then went to KYXI, an all-news radio station in Portland. He joined KGW in Portland, where his on-air name was Lyle Arthur. He and his wife Kathy returned to Hawai’i in 1987. He was chief political reporter for three Hawai’i television news departments. He also anchored morning and evening newscasts and hosted a program called Cheap Eats, which focused on restaurant reviews, as well as segments Does It Work. He left news after a 30-year career and worked for Prudential Locations as a realtor beginning in 2006. He is survived by his wife; daughter, Emma; and his mother, Ann Duncan.

Karl Cloyd ’83, OD ‘85

Karl Cloyd ’83, OD ’85 died Oct. 16, 2013, at age 59. He practiced optometry in the Portland area then moved to Medford, Ore., in 1990. Together with his wife, Frances Cloyd ’76, OD ’88, he formed Riverside Vision Care in Medford. He was an active member of the Greater Medford Rotary Club. He was preceded in death by a son, Kevin. He is survived by his wife and his children, Kelley, KC, Ilana and Kathryn. 

Shannon (Blacklidge) Brahmer MAT '09

Shannon (Blacklidge) Brahmer MAT died Aug. 13, 2013, at age 27. She graduated in 2008 from Oregon State University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. She taught at elementary schools in Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties. She enjoyed traveling and outdoor activities. She is survived by her husband, Erik Brahmer; parents, Gary and Marie Blacklidge; sisters, Brienne and Raeme Blacklidge; and brothers, David and Jeremy Blacklidge. 

Omar Matthew Horani '14

Omar Matthew Horani died Aug. 17, 2013, at age 21. He was born in Portland and graduated from Tigard (Ore.) High School in 2010. He played football at Pacific University as a freshman. He later transferred to St. Andrews University in Laurinburg, N.C., then to Adams Sate University in Alamosa, Colo., where he played lacrosse. He was a pre-med student. He is survived by his parents, Samer and Laura Horani, and his sister, Sohayla Horani.