Remembering Tom Holce '59, '93; Don Iverson '59; Dr. Roy Clunes and other Pacific graduates.
Don “Ivy” Iverson passed away Feb. 14 after battling a brain tumor. He was 74. Iverson was a teacher, basketball coach and later a vice principal for Vancouver, Wa. schools. After starring in basketball and football at Vancouver High, he was offered scholarships from three colleges, but chose Pacific in 1954. He played football for the then-Badgers, earning all conference honors, and was scouted by the Baltimore Colts. He loved golf, his fully-restored blue 1967 Ford Mustang and sailing. He was also quite the storyteller. A favorite was how football teammate Tommy Thompson rushed in so fast on one play that he intercepted the other team’s hiked football and ran it in for a touchdown. Another story involved an eerie happening at Knight Hall where his fraternity was housed. Late one night he was awakened by the opening of a squeaky door and footsteps proceeding up the stairs. The footsteps continued up into the room, but with no visible owner. Don had just encountered Vera the ghost!
Dr. Roy Clunes, One of the key contributors to the founding of the College of Optometry, Dr. Clunes died May 27 at age 93.
Born June 5, 1916 in Scotland, Clunes immigrated to the United States in 1937 and graduated from North Pacific College of Optometry in 1939. Clunes and two other optometrists purchased the college in 1941.In 1945, the college merged with Pacific University.
Clunes joined the U.S. Navy and became a U.S. citizen during World War II. In 1941 he married Helen, who passed away three months prior to his death. He served on Pacific’s Board of Trustees from 1956 to 1974, then was an honorary trustee. He also served ten years as a clinical contact lens instructor. Clunes practiced optometry for almost 50 years, first in Albany, Ore., then in Corvallis, Ore. He traveled many times for eye care projects with the Christian Medical Society and was a contributor and member of many professional optometric associations.
1959, Honorary Degree 1993
Thomas Jefferson Holce
Tom Holce, one of Oregon’s leading technology entrepreneurs, died July 14 at his Jantzen Beach home after a long battle with cancer. He was 81.
Holce, who grew up in a logging family in Mist, Ore., was a key figure in the growth of Pacific. He served on the Board of Trustees from 1983 to 1992 and was the group’s chairperson from 1991 to 1992. He served on all the Board’s subcommittees and led the University’s first comprehensive capital campaign, which ended in 1993 after raising $24 million.
Over the years, he gave well over $1.5 million to the University. Holce came to Pacific after a stint in the Air Force at the recommendation of his first wife Joyce, who preceded him in death in 1992. Although a self-described poor student in high school, at Pacific he quickly blossomed into a top student in math and physics. While still at Pacific, he began work on an electron microscope in his Forest Grove garage that was the genesis of his first company, Pacific Instruments. He later sold the instrument to Doug Strain and Electro Scientific Industries, and went on to found several more technology firms and record over 20 patents.
Holce is survived by his spouse, Gretchen Holce; sister, Irene Jones; half-brother, Robert Mathews; son, Kent Holce; daughter, Tonya Holce-Owens; stepsons, Mark and Ryan Griffin; stepdaughter, Heidi Griffin; and seven grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Joyce; and brother, Wilfred.
Thomas “Tom” Howard Robb Sr. died Oct. 9, 2012. He was 88. Robb graduated from North Bend (Ore.) High School in 1942 and joined the Seabees. He served in the Pacific during WWII. After his military service, he attended Pacific University, where he was a member of the basketball team and Gamma Sigma and served as president of his freshman class. While at Pacific, he met and married Patricia Ann Vernon Robb ’45, with whom he spent 67 years. He later received a degree in education at Lewis & Clark and master’s degrees in history and public administration. He was active in Boy Scouts with his sons, in the Boise Education Association and in the State Retired Educators Association. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Carolyn. He is survived by his wife, Patricia; children, Thomas Robb Jr., Suzanne Robb ’70, Stan Robb and Kristine Powell and their families; two grandsons; four nieces and six nephews, including Heidi Tennyson Psy.D. ’10.
Geraldine “Gerry” A. (Bennet Pace) Sherson died April 16, 2012, at the age of 89. Sherson majored in music at Pacific University. She was married to Terry M. Pace for 35 years until he died in 1983. She was then married to fellow student Jerry Sherson ’44 for 25 years until his death in 2010. She is survived by brother Layton Bennet; children Bonnie Delight, Loren Pace and Layton Pace; and three grandchildren.
Katharine Merle Drew died May 12, 2012, in Shoreline, Wash. She was 85. She grew up in Great Falls, Mont., where she loved to hunt and fish with her father. She met her husband, Lelan Drew ’49, during their freshman year at Pacific University. They married in 1950. Her joys were her children, camping, crafting, singing, baking and playing cards. She is survived by her husband; children Steve and his wife, Alison, Mike and his wife Molly, David and his wife Geri and Penny and her husband Jeff; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
William “Allan” Pollock ’49, O.D. '50 died June 24, 2012, at the age of 92. He joined the Army in 1942 and was honorably discharged as first lieutenant. He then attended Pacific University and graduated with a doctorate in optometry. He practiced as an optometrist for 38 years. His wife, Maxine, died in December 2012. They are survived by two children and four grandchildren.
Mou-ta Chen MAEd died Dec. 4, 2012. He was 90. Born in Sichuan, China, he also graduated from Chongquing, the University of Wyoming and New York University. He held various government positions in China before coming to the United States, where he was a professor of mathematics at the State University of New York at Brockport. He enjoyed Chinese poetry, classical music, history and current events. He was active in the Capital Senior Center at Maxcy Gregg Park.
George Whitfield Johnston Jr. died July 22, 2012, at the age of 85. After graduating from Pacific, he served the Army for one and a half years until receiving honorable discharge in 1946. He then married Margaret E. “Marge” Thornburg and moved to Hillsboro in 1964. Johnston worked as the office manager for the Portland Office of Willamette Industries for the computer department for 33 years until retiring in 1987. Johnston is survived by his wife, two daughters, brothers and sisters.
Alan J. Johnson ’56, O.D. ’57 died Sept 20, 2012. He received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army in 1945 and went on to obtain his doctor of optometry degree from Pacific University. Johnson practiced optometry in his hometown of Yakima, Wash., for 30 years. He is survived by his sister and two nieces.