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.
Joyce (Bedortha) Haller died Jan. 29, 2013, at age 85. She married Dean Haller ’51 in 1950. They settled in Forest Grove, then, in the 1970s, moved to Lincoln City, where she owned and operated a gift shop, Pacific Originals. She was a breast cancer survivor. Haller was preceded in death by her husband. She is survived by her sister, Kaye Sith; sons, Larry and Jon; daughters, Marie, Kathy and Lisa; 14 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Gilbert Weisman OD died May 17, 2013, at age 88. He was a World War II Army veteran. He played basketball at Pacific from 1947 to 1948, majored in biology and got his optometry degree. He practiced optometry for 44 years in Lindenhurst, NY. He is survived by his wife, Trina; sons, Steven and Adam; and three grandchildren.
Louis “Lou” Eiffert died Sept. 14, 2012, in Palm Springs, Calif., age 83. He served in the U.S. Army from 1952 to 1954 and graduated from Northwestern University in Chicago. He worked for Illinois Bell and National Bank of Commerce (Rainer Bank), then became co-owner of an office supply company in Puyallup, Wash., before retiring to Palm Springs. He is survived by his partner, Dick Hammer, and brother, Art Eiffert ’49.
Paul Roger Rice ’51, OD ’52 died April 22, 2013, at age 89. In 1943, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He flew 63 missions in a B-17 over Europe with the 99th bomb group while stationed in Italy. He practiced optometry for 46 years in Mill Valley, Calif. He also was a craftsman and inventor. He was preceded in death by his wife, Loretta. Survivors include his son, Paul; daughters, Mary Poulhazan and Laura Stock; and six grandchildren.
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.
Earl Frederick Why died April 21, 2013, at age 86. He attended the University of Oregon for a year before serving in the U.S. Army. He was in the Gamma Sigma Fraternity. He worked
for Southern Pacific Railroad in Coos Bay, Ore., for more than 30 years and also worked in the family store, Bert’s Cash Grocery. He is survived by his sister, Doris Lum, and brother, Dr. Bert Why ’60.
Everett J. Dickerman OD died March 27, 2013. He attended the University of Oregon for two years, then joined the Navy. He later joined the Marine Corps and was deployed to the South Pacific during World War II. At Pacific, he met Clara Vanderzanden ’51, whom he married in 1951, in Forest Grove. He was recalled to active duty during the Korean War, but then returned to Pacific and earned an optometry degree in 1955. He was in the Marine reserves for 26 years. He was the owner of Binyon Optometrists in Everett, Wash., until he retired at age 70. He is survived by his wife; son, David; daughters, Dale Johnson and Shirley Jo Dickerman; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.