In Memoriam, Spring 2013

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Dan French 1956  (Obituary)

Dan French 1956 (Obituary)

Dan French ’56, MS ’64 died Nov. 14, 2012, at his home in Indian Wells, Calif. He was 78. A standout three-sport athlete at Pacific in the 1950s and longtime men’s basketball coach and athletic director, French was a member of the Pacific University Athletic Hall of Fame.

During his undergraduate years at Pacific University, French was a four-year letter winner in football, basketball, and track and field, but he especially stood out on the hardwood. He held the Pacific career record for rebounds until 2010 and ranks fifth on Pacific’s all-time scoring list. He was inducted into the NAIA District II Hall of Fame in 1968.

He served two years in the U.S. Marine Corps before starting a teaching and coaching career at Hillsboro High School. In 1960, he became Pacific’s head men’s basketball coach, a position he held for 12 seasons. He led the Badgers to a second-place finish in the Northwest Conference in 1962‑1963, and his 117 wins were the most in school history until 2001‑2002.

He served as Pacific’s director of athletics and chair of the physical education department from 1965 to 1972 and came back to the court in 1982‑1983 as interim coach for 14 games.

He and his wife, Varina, moved to Borrego Springs, Calif., in the late 1980s, where French coached football and worked at Ram’s Hill High School.

He is survived by his wife, Varina Heinrich French, who also served as a Pacific coach and physical education faculty member and holds her own place in the Pacific University Athletic Hall of Fame, as well as by son Daniel V. French and his wife, Hayley; daughter, Laurie Lund and her husband, Kurt; six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Ellen Peirce Bump 1940 (Obituary)

Ellen Peirce Bump ’40 died Jan. 21, 2013, at Tuality Community Hospital in Hillsboro. She was 98. She attended Pacific University and earned a degree in social work in 1940. She worked in the law offices of D.D. Bump in Forest Grove, and he encouraged her to study law at Northwestern School of Law, now Lewis & Clark Law School. She passed the bar in 1937 and worked as the only juvenile court worker in Washington County for two years. In 1942, she married Kenneth Allen Bump ‘41 in San Luis Obispo and they returned to Forest Grove where she became a parter in the law firm of Bump, Young and Walker and served as a lawyer for 43 years. She was active in many civic and community groups. She also was a member of the Forest Grove United Methodist Church. She also was a long-time friend and supporter of Pacific University. She is survived by her husband; their son, Daniel and his wife, Kathryn; two grandchildren; two great-grandchildren, and a large extended family. Her family suggested remembrances in her honor be made to Pacific University.

Jay Thomas   (Obituary)

Jay Thomas (Obituary)

Jay Thomas, professor emeritus in the Pacific University School of Professional Psychology, died Sept. 24, 2012. He spent more than 13 years as assistant dean of the School of Professional Psychology and director of the school’s counseling program. He was a dedicated teacher and mentor and helped found Pacific’s master’s degree in counseling. In 2010, he was named Distingiushed University Professor. He received professor emeritus status in Spring 2012, following his retirement.

Leonard W. Gilman 1941 (Obituary)

 
Leonard W. Gilman ’41 died June 27, 2012, at the age of 94. Gilman is the only football player in history to be selected to the Northwest All Star team four years in a row, and he was honored three times as a “Little All American.” He also was a Golden Gloves boxer, a baseball pitcher, and set track records that still stand today. He entered the U.S. Border Patrol in 1941 as a horse patrol officer, but interrupted his career for World War II, serving as a naval air gunner. After returning to the Border Patrol, he stopped the first hijacking of a commercial jet in the U.S., earning accolades as a national hero and receiving special commendations from President John F. Kennedy. He retired in 1970. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Maxine Gilman ’42. He is survived by his wife, Mary Gayle, sons Lance and Brent, stepson James, four grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Pat (Akin) Koenig 1965 (Obituary)

Pat (Akin) Koenig ’65 died Sept. 6, 2012, after struggling with illness for quite some time. At Pacific University, she was a member of the Theta Nu Alpha sorority. She earned a full scholarship at Pacific in the Speech Department for the Debate Team and graduated with a bachelor of arts in speech/speech pathology. She went on to start her own speech therapy business in Seattle. She married Jerry Koenig in 1967 and enjoyed traveling before starting a family. Pat went into residential real estate when their daughter was young and had a successful career for 30 years. She is survived by husband Jerry; daughter Tiffany; and two grandsons.

Rhoda Irene Mills 1939 (Obituary)

Rhoda Irene Mills ’39 died July 25, 2012, at the age of 94. She graduated from Forest Grove High School in 1935 and from Pacific University in 1939. She taught English, French, bookkeeping, girls’ physical education and music at Corbett (Ore.) High School from 1940 to 1942. She took a break from teaching to join the Navy in 1942 in the midst of World War II. She earned the rank of ensign and was assigned to a unit responsible for commissioning warships launching in the Portland and Astoria areas. She was honorably discharged in 1946, but was called back to duty during the Korean War in the 1950s. She remained with the reserves until 1977, when she retired as a lieutenant commander. In the meantime, she earned a master’s degree in education in 1955. She taught business, coached tennis and advised the rally squad for more than 20 years, traveling the world during her summer breaks. When she retired from teaching in 1977, she volunteered for 13 years at the Naval Marine Corps Training Center at Swan Island. She is survived by her nephew and niece, Fred Haney and Kathy Gentemann and their families. The family suggests remembrances be made to Pacific University.

Sara Virginia Lasky 2003  (Obituary)

Sara Virginia Lasky 2003 (Obituary)

Sara Virginia Lasky MAT ’03 died Oct. 11, 2012, at the age of 35, due to a brain tumor. While attending Pacific University, Lasky earned her master’s of arts in teaching. She taught at Brookwood Elementary School and R.A. Brown Middle School in the Hillsboro (Ore.) School District. She also was an accomplished musician who belonged to the Greater Portland Flute Society and the Brooklyn Music Society. She is survived by her parents, grandparents and extended family.

General Comments

Billy Gene McComb

Billy Gene McComb, a former Pacific University employee, died Aug. 6, 2013, at age 80. He was born in Talala, Okla., and entered the U.S. Army in 1953. He married Mary Simmons in 1962, and they later divorced. He retired from the military in 1973, as a staff sergeant. He married Frances Ann Martin in 1974, while both worked at Pacific University. He later worked at George Fox College. He was a member of the Cherokee Nation. He is survived by his wife and stepdaughters, Laurie Skoog and Kathy Hays. 

Louis B. Perry Hon ‘64

Louis B. Perry Hon ’64, a former Pacific University honorary trustee, died Sept. 28, 2013, at age 95. He received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Pacific University. He was the former chairman and president of The Standard Insurance Company and the eighth president of Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash., from 1959 to 1967. He served on several boards and also worked for the Oregon State Board of Higher Education. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Dawson Perry; son, Robert B. Perry; daughters, Barbara Perry Rutzer and Donna Perry Jones; eight grandchildren; and 18 great-grandchildren.

Trixie (Johnson) Wortham '28

Trixie (Johnson) Wortham died Feb. 13, 2013, at age 105. She was born in Tillamook, Ore., and attended Pacific University, before earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Oregon. She taught in several Oregon schools, then moved to California, where she met her husband, Jim Wortham, and continued teaching. She is survived by a niece, a nephew and many great- and great-great-nieces and -nephews.

Howard F. Horner '40

Howard F. Horner, recipient of the 2008 Pacific University Alumni Achievement Award, died Aug. 12, 2013, at age 94. He earned honors in high school as the state champion tuba player. At Pacific, he played football and was an all-league fullback. After graduation, he taught at The Dalles (Ore.) High School before being drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served for five years before retiring as a first lieutenant. He went on to become principal at Estacada (Ore.) High School, then at David Douglas High School in Portland. In 1968, he became superintendent of the David Douglas School District, where the auditorium is named in his honor. He retired in 1981. He is survived by his sons, James, Robert and Gregory; seven grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and his brother, George Walter Horner ’44. His wife, Grace (Boyles) Horner '41, died Dec. 20, 2013.

Grace (Boyles) Horner '41

Grace (Boyles) Horner died Dec. 20, 2013, at the age of 95. She had a great love of music, was an excellent pianist and an outstanding soprano. She sang in many choirs and earned a letter at Pacific University as song queen. She earned her degree in education and worked as a substitute teacher. She was an avid gardener, member of many garden clubs and successfully competed in many flower shows. She served on the board of Cherry Park Methodist Church and, in 1961, was named “Mother of the Year” by the David Douglas High School Girls League. She and her husband, Howard Horner ’40, wrote and edited The History and Folklore of the David Douglas Community. She was preceded in death by her husband. She is survived by her sister, Ruth Maxine (Boyles) Petrasso; sons, James, Robert and Gregory; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

David R. Walt OD '49

David R. Walt OD died July 1, 2013, at age 87. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Sue; three children, Wendy Thingvold, Cindy Kirchem and Scott Walt; 11 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.

Harold Whitbeck '49

Harold Whitbeck died Sept. 7, 2013, at age 93. He enlisted in the Army Air Forces during World War II, serving in Africa and Europe. He served more than 50 missions, was shot down twice, imprisoned once and earned a Purple Heart. He attended Pacific University after the war. He taught science and coached at Springfield (Ore.) High School for 27 years. He was preceded in death by his wife, Leona. He is survived by four daughters, Glenna Johnson, Barbara Whitbeck, Sally Donovan and Kathy Cotton; son, Rob; 16 grandchildren; and 10 great grandchildren.