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.
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, 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 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, 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 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 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 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.