in memoriam
the campus chapel, officiated
by then-President R. Franklin
Thompson. The two had been
introduced by their friend Allen
T. Miller ’41. The family used to
tease A.T. about the great job
he did—the couple’s daughters
remember their parents as the
happiest married people they
have ever known. Pegge was
active on campus and had fond
memories of her years at CPS.
She served as vice president
and treasurer of Kappa Sigma
Theta and class secretary. She
was a member of the Central
Board, Spurs, the War Coordi-
nating Committee, Otlah Chap-
ter of Mortar Board, and Who’s
Who, and she maintained her
GPA to retain her scholarship.
Later in life Pegge was involved
in Girl Scouts, AAUW, the
Episcopal church, quilt groups,
and bridge groups, and she
enjoyed art. In her 67 years of
marriage, she lived in 12 states
and traveled to Hawai‘i, Alaska,
Australia, New Zealand, and
Europe. Two daughters, five
grandchildren, and three great-
grandchildren survive Pegge.
Her sister, Betty Simpson Ling-
ley ’37, M.A.’38, preceded her
in death on April 9 (see notice
above). Pegge and Betty’s par-
ents were Ralph ’34 and Myra
Ford Simpson. Pegge and
Betty’s aunt, Lyle Ford Drushel
was one of the first deans
of women at the College of
Puget Sound.
John Batt ’44
passed away on
Sept. 27, 2012, three months
before his 90th birthday. His
family moved from Laurel,
Mont., to Tacoma when John
was still an infant. He attended
Stadium High School and
played clarinet in the school’s
band. John also was the catcher
on Stadium’s city champion-
ship baseball team in 1939. He
enlisted in the Navy and served
in the Pacific Theater during
World War II. When he returned
from the war John was a truck
driver before starting a career
in banking. He worked for Na-
tional Bank of Washington and
its successors for more than
years. John was a pioneer
in student-loan financing. He
served as a faculty member of
the American Bankers Associa-
tion National Installment Credit
School and was appointed by
Gov. Dan Evans to the Wash-
ington state Higher Education
Student Assistance Authority.
John also served as chair of the
board of the Northwest Educa-
tion Loan Association. He was
a member of the Fircrest Golf
Club and Nile Shrine Golf Cen-
ter, and was a member of the
city of Fircrest Planning Com-
mission, among other commu-
nity service and youth sports
activities. His wife preceded
him in death. Three children,
four grandchildren, one great-
grandchild, and his longtime
partner and friend, Katherine
Lonsbery, survive John.
Gail Drake Vanzant ’45
on March 21 at the age of 90.
She was a Stadium High School
graduate and one of the first
civilian women to participate
in post-World War II recon-
struction in Japan. Gail later
worked as an area director for
the American Cancer Society.
She was a member of a gar-
den club, P.E.O. International,
and Christ Episcopal Church.
Gail’s husband preceded her
in death. Survivors include a
daughter, two grandchildren,
and her sister.
Gertrude James Gish ’46
passed away on April 2, 2012,
days past her 90th birthday.
Trudie spent most of her life
in the Battle Ground, Wash.,
area. She was dedicated to
her family and to continuing
education, and was a devoted
member of the United Method-
ist Church. Trudie willed her
body to the University of
Washington in support of Al-
zheimer’s research. Survivors
are her husband, four sons,
seven grandchildren, and six
Barbara Jean Hodges
McKernan ’49
passed away
at the age of 85 on March 23,
at her home in Tillamook, Ore.
Barb graduated from Tacoma’s
Lincoln High School. In 1957
she married James Timothy
Tim” McKernan. The two
were married for 45 years
before his passing in 2002.
Tim’s Navy career took them
to Bremerton, Wash., later to
Long Beach, Calif., and then
to Philadelphia. After Tim re-
tired the two traveled across
the country visiting family
and friends. They settled in
Grants Pass, Ore., and bought
acres, where they built a
house. The two returned to
Tacoma for a period of time
before moving to Spain for
a year. They also traveled to
France, the Netherlands, Eng-
land, and Ireland. They were
very active in the Methodist
Church and after moving to
Tillamook, Barb volunteered
at the senior center and at the
Grub Club making sandwiches
for underserved youth, and she
helped with church rummage
sales and bazaars. Survivors are
her stepdaughter and her part-
Doris Mitchell Seelye ’49
was born in Tacoma on Oct.
28, 1926,
and died on March
25, 2013.
She was a Stadium
High School graduate and met
her husband-to-be, Wesley
Seelye ’49, at CPS. The two
married in 1954 and moved to
Mercer Island, Wash., where
they raised their family and
lived until 1990. When Wes
retired they moved to Hood
Canal and enjoyed fishing,
boating, and shrimping with
family and friends. Wes passed
away in 1992. Doris moved
back to Tacoma in 2000 to be
closer to family. She enjoyed
playing bridge, reading, and
travel. Doris is remembered for
her fun-loving and adventurous
spirit. In addition to Wes, a son
preceded Doris in death. Two
children, three grandchildren,
and two great-grandchildren
survive her.
Merle Stevens Wehmhoff
died on April 12 at
the age of 85. She was born
in Olympia, Wash., and raised
in Rainier, Wash., graduating
as valedictorian of her high
school. During World War II,
Merle worked manufacturing
airplanes and enjoyed USO
dances—she was a jitterbug
enthusiast. Merle attended the
University of Washington, ma-
joring in engineering. She later
earned a bachelor’s in educa-
tion and a bachelor’s in busi-
ness administration at Puget
Sound. During her time at CPS,
Merle was a member of Lamb-
da Sigma Chi, now-Alpha Phi
sorority. She also met her fu-
ture husband, George Wehm-
hoff ’49, on a blind date at a
sorority dance. Merle taught
business and language arts
at Clover Park High School in
Tacoma before she and George
moved to Bellevue, Wash., and
then to Anchorage, Alaska, in
She worked for major
distributors there until 1985,
and then went to work for the
Anchorage Opera. Merle was
involved with her children’s
activities as a Cub Scout den
mother and as her daughters’
Brownie leader. She also was
president of Girl Scouts Susitna
Council and a national Girl
Scout volunteer. Merle received
the Alaska governor’s volun-
teer award. George and Merle
were avid bridge players. Her
husband of 54 years preceded
Merle in death. Three children
including Steven Wehmhoff
four grandchildren, a step-
grandchild, five great-grand-
children, one sister, and several
cousins, nieces, and nephews
survive Merle.
Lee Bowden ’50
died on Feb.
in Spokane, Wash. He was
Lee was born in Belling-
ham, Wash. He retired as an
insurance underwriter and en-
joyed summers at Priest Lake,
Idaho, and winters in Queen
Valley, Ariz. Lee was active in
the Greater Spokane Elks Lodge
No. 228. His wife of 64 years,
Roberta; three children; five
grandchildren; and four great-
grandchildren survive him.
Jacqueline Smith Davila
passed away on Dec. 20,
She was 88. Jackie was
born in Paris, France. Her father
was from the U.K., and her
mother was born in Algeria.
She married Waldo Davila ’50
in 1948. Their first daughter
was born in 1949. The fam-
ily moved to Paris and then
to La Paz, Bolivia, where their
second daughter was born in
They returned to the
U.S. in 1955 and settled in
New Orleans; their son was
born there in 1959. Jackie
taught French and Spanish at
the Isidore Newman School,
Ursuline Academy, and Mercy
him in death. Survivors include
his second wife, June Doyle
Elizabeth “Betty” Simpson
on April 9. Betty was born
June 20, 1915, in Tacoma. She
graduated from CPS with
degrees in English and drama.
Her aunt and mentor, Lyle
Ford Drushel ’12, was one of
the first deans of women at
the College of Puget Sound.
Some of Betty’s fond early
memories included walking
the high cables atop the
first Tacoma Narrows Bridge
and a weeklong all-woman
rowing trip throughout the
South Sound. She was one of
the first women to receive a
master’s degree in marketing
from New York University. In
she went to work for
Frederick & Nelson, became
a very successful senior
buyer, and retired after 20
years. She was a strong de-
fender of women’s rights and
was an outspoken Republican
and passionate about support-
ing our military. Betty traveled
on her own to Indonesia,
Australia, Alaska, Hawai‘i, and
through most of the United
States. She was an expert at
bridge. In 1940 she married
William Lingley and had three
children, Hattie Dixon, Lyle
Libet” Gardner, and William
Lingley Jr., who survive her.
She also is survived by five
grandsons. Betty’s sister Mar-
jorie Simpson Martin ’43 died
on July 11.
Betty June Leaman Won-
ders ’39
died on May 3 at the
age of 95. B.J. enjoyed daily
visits to the YMCA, time with
her family, and trips to the
Oregon coast. She also found
joy in her church fellowship.
B.J. was a member of Pi Beta
Phi sorority during her time
at Puget Sound. Her husband
of 48 years, Roy Wonders ’38,
preceded B.J. in death. Five
children, five grandchildren,
and four great-grandchildren
survive her.
Marjorie “Pegge” Simpson
Martin ’43
died on July 11
at the age of 91. She married
Lt. John H. Martin in July of
The ceremony was in