Puget Sound Professor Emerita of English Rosemary Van Arsdel was an internationally recognized pioneer and authority on British Victorian periodical literature. She was one of the earliest scholars to recognize the importance of magazines and newspapers to Victorian history and played a role in identifying the authors of thousands of articles published anonymously in more than 40 19th-century British periodicals. Those articles eventually became the five-volume Wellesley Index to Periodical Literature 1824–1900, which was first published in 1966, the year she came to Puget Sound. Born and raised in Seattle, she earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in British literature from the University of Washington and earned a Ph.D. from Columbia University. Upon coming to Puget Sound as an English professor, she served as chair of the department and, later, as founder and director of the English program for Puget Sound’s law school. Her 24-year career at the university saw her create the Writing Institute, which became a national model for demonstrating the usefulness of an English degree in the business world; receive the Kappa Kappa Gamma Doris Bronson Morrill Award for Outstanding Service to Education; and inspire her students to follow her into the world of academia. She authored nine books, as well as countless book chapters, encyclopedia articles, and scholarly reviews. She retired from Puget Sound in 1987. In 1990, she was formally recognized for her contributions to Victorian periodical research when the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals created the Van Arsdel Prize, an annual award given to the best graduate student paper investigating the history of British Victorian periodicals. The Rosemary T. Van Arsdel Endowed Library Fund also was created by the University of Washington Libraries to allow the university to gather Victorian and Edwardian period collections. Rosemary died on May 3 at the age of 92.
From teaching the Prelude portion of Orientation to serving as a mentor for students working on Tamanawas and developing curricula for the English department, Mary Turnbull’s contributions to the Puget Sound campus are many and far-reaching. The daughter of Puget Sound’s 10th president, R. Franklin Thompson, and his wife, Lucille, Mary earned her bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate in French from the University of Washington and a master’s degree in comparative literature from Puget Sound. She completed her Ph.D. in comparative literature at The University of Chicago and returned to Washington to teach French, German, and English at Curtis High School. In 1979, she joined the Puget Sound faculty to teach English and French, eventually becoming an instructor in English, the position from which she retired in June 2011. Throughout her time at Puget Sound, Mary was recognized for her “gracious flexibility and versatility,” according to a statement from Puget Sound’s Office of the President, and her wish to let her students learn with a “low-key guidance rather than a pressure.” She taught first-year composition and seminars, literature surveys, autobiography, literature by women, creative writing, and the senior writing institute courses. Additionally, she was involved with Orientation, the student yearbook, and the student poetry club. She also served as a school director and elected school board member in the University Place School District. Mary died on July 16. Per her family’s request, gifts in her honor may be designated to the R. Franklin and Lucille M. Thompson Scholarship Fund.
Victor Grabar ’48, P’75, P’78, a Tacoma native and U.S. Air Force veteran, died on June 29. He was 97. Victor graduated from Stadium High School and served in the U.S. Army Air Corps (now the U.S. Air Force) as a navigator. After completing his service, he earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Puget Sound, where he was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. He worked in the paper industry for more than 40 years and retired as an export sales consultant for Mitsui & Company in 1992. He loved to travel, especially to Asia, where he frequently visited for business.
Betty Robinson Granlund ’49 passed away on June 30 at the age of 92. Born in Oregon, she moved to Tacoma with her family when she was in high school and graduated from Stadium High School. She attended Puget Sound, where she met David Granlund, the man who would become her husband. The two married and, in 1960, built a home in University Place, where they raised their family.
Harry Roegner ’50 died in Gig Harbor, Wash., on Feb. 3. He was 93. Born in Seattle, he graduated from Stadium High School in Tacoma and served in the U.S. Army in Europe during World War II. After returning from the war, he attended Puget Sound but graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. He worked at several local industrial labs and retired as a chemist from the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.
Victor Scarpelli ’53 passed away on May 29. He was 89. Born and raised in Auburn, Wash., he graduated from Auburn High School, where he lettered in football and track. He attended Puget Sound before joining the U.S. Air Force and being stationed in Germany during the Korean War. He returned to the U.S. in 1955 and married Margie Grecco before earning a degree in industrial arts from Central Washington University. He became a teacher and taught woodshop, metal shop, plastics, assembly mechanics, and driver’s education classes for more than 30 years. He was preceded in death by Margie.
Albert Ott ’54, a former U.S. Navy pilot and chemical engineer, died on April 2 in Ponchatoula, La. He was 86. A native of Tacoma, he attended Puget Sound and graduated from the University of Washington before joining the U.S. Navy Reserve. He retired as a captain and continued to work at Shell Oil as a chemical engineer.
M. Jeanne Stewart Shively ’55, P’86 died on May 14 at the age of 86. Born and raised in Seattle, she earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Puget Sound, where she was a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority.
Nadine Andresen Benson ’56, a native of Tacoma and longtime resident of Bainbridge Island, Wash., passed away on June 26. She was 85. Nadine studied journalism at Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran University before marrying and having two children. She divorced, remarried, and moved to Bainbridge Island, where she and husband Ben Benson built a home halfway down a cliff. She worked in advertising at Cole & Weber in Seattle for 36 years and retired as senior vice president.
Thomas Davidson ’57 passed away on April 30 at the age of 87. Born and raised in Tacoma, he graduated from Lincoln High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in education. Thomas served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and U.S. Air Force and worked as a teacher and coach in Tacoma Public Schools for more than 30 years.
Marjorie Fish Castelli ’57 died in Framingham, Mass., on June 21. She was 83. Raised in Washington, she earned a bachelor’s degree in home economics from Puget Sound, where she was a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority. After graduating, she moved east and earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology from Yale University and a medical degree from the Belgium’s Catholic University of Louvain. She worked as a registered dietician in many of Boston’s finest hospitals. She met and married William Castelli and became a dedicated volunteer who gave her time to children’s welfare groups, pet shelters, and community groups in Marlborough, Mass.
Merle Cheesman M.Ed.’58 died on June 12 at the age of 90. Born in Kansas and raised in Colorado, he moved with his family to Sumner, Wash., when he was in eighth grade. After graduating from Sumner High School, he attended Pacific Lutheran University and Washington State University, earning a bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate. Seven years later, he earned a master’s degree in education from Puget Sound. After serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he began his career as a middle school teacher, becoming a finance and operations administrator for the University Place School District in 1962. He retired 20 years later.
Richard Hammermaster ’58 passed away in Puyallup, Wash., on June 21. He was 83. Born in Tacoma, he spent most of his life in Puyallup and attended the University of Washington before transferring to Puget Sound in 1954. He was an All-American football player, participated in the university’s U.S. Air Force ROTC branch, was a member of the Pi Beta Phi fraternity, and earned a bachelor’s degree in education. At Puget Sound, Richard met Gayle Switzer ’58, the woman who would become his wife. The couple married in 1958 and settled in Puyallup, where Richard taught math at Puyallup High School and later became a head basketball coach. The 1971 team that he coached went for a 74-4 record, won the AAA State Championship, and earned 36-year-old Richard the State Coach of the Year title. He was inducted into the TacomaPierce County Sports Hall of Fame and the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Association Hall of Fame. He was named to the 2019 Puyallup High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
Harold Perry ’58, a longtime Methodist minister and Washington resident, passed away on June 16, less than a month after his 85th birthday. Born in Spokane, Wash., he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Puget Sound, where he was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. Two years after graduating, he married an elementary school teacher named Janice. He became a Methodist minister who developed numerous specialty programs for troubled teenagers, former state hospital patients, and members of the LGBTQIA community.
Joan Hebert Hammrich ’59 died on June 9 at the age of 86. Born and raised in Tacoma, she graduated from St. Leo’s High School (now Bellarmine Preparatory School) and earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Puget Sound. While at a USO dance as a Puget Sound student, Joan met Leo Hammrich, the man who would become her husband. They married on Oct. 31, 1959, and moved to Tacoma, where they raised six children.
Elinor Ulrich Skeate ’59 died on April 23. She was 82. Elinor graduated from Walla Walla High School in Walla Walla, Wash., and attended Puget Sound and Washington State University before marrying Dennis Skeate in 1957. The couple had three children, who occupied most of Elinor’s time, but she pursued genealogy research and eventually wrote a book about her great-grandmother’s family. The project led her to explore the history of Groton, Mass., and publish a newsletter for the town’s families. She wrote more than 30 books and ran a finger- puppet business from her home.
Marilyn Jeter Larson ’60 passed away on June 2, eight days after her 81st birthday. Born and raised in Tacoma, she graduated from Stadium High School and attended Puget Sound, where she met Gary Larson. The two married and had four sons. Marilyn worked at AT&T until she retired in 1995 and moved to Arizona with Gary. The two moved back to Washington in 2007.
Sally Kalhagen Lynn ’60, a Tacoma native and Clover Park High School graduate passed away on June 29. She had turned 81 three weeks prior. Born in Tacoma, Sally attended Puget Sound after graduating high school but ultimately graduated from Washington State University. She returned to Tacoma and worked in real estate before marrying and beginning a job as a funeral director at Lynn Funeral Home, which she co-owned with her husband, John. They retired in 2004 and moved to Ocean Shores, Wash.
Donald Van Vleet ’61 died on May 31 at the age of 88. Born on his family’s farm in South Dakota, he grew up during the Great Depression and served in the South Dakota National Guard after graduating high school. As a teenager, he decided to jump on his motorcycle and head west, eventually stopping in Tacoma. He attended Puget Sound and married in 1955. His wife of 26 years, he and Audrey raised four children and explored the Northwest and Midwest before divorcing in 1981. Donald worked in the printing industry in Tacoma and Seattle.
Gloria Vernon Stancich ’61, a native of Ohio and longtime Washington resident, died on April 16. She was 83. Gloria graduated from Garfield High School in Seattle and earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Puget Sound. She was a social worker for nearly 30 years.
Phyllis Walker Pyle ’61 was involved in an accident and passed away in Utah on April 17. She was 80. Born in Portland, Ore., she attended Lewis & Clark College and earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Puget Sound. While at Puget Sound, she also met Chuck Pyle ’61, the man who would become her husband. They married in 1961. Phyllis went on to work in accounting and moved throughout the country as a military wife. She and Chuck eventually settled in Washington and built a home. Phyllis played an integral role in establishing the DeafBlind Service Center in Seattle.
Michael Bucholz ’62, a native of Tacoma and lifelong Washington resident, passed away on May 7 in Spokane, Wash. He was 83. Michael graduated from Lincoln High School and served in the U.S. Air Force. While attending Puget Sound, he served in the Air Force Reserve. Michael graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and went on to work for State Distributing, Allstate Distribution, West Coast Grocery, and Keebler.
John Huber ’64 died on May 10 at the age of 76. Born in Boston, he grew up in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho and graduated from Japan’s Kubasaki High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Puget Sound. He was a founding member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity’s Delta Epsilon chapter and joined the U.S. Army Reserve Medical Corps. He served for more than 30 years and retired as a lieutenant colonel. Following his military service, he worked as a retirement community manager. He became a special-needs school bus driver for the Bellevue School District for 20 years after retiring from that job.
Gary Mesick ’64, a Navy veteran, businessman, educator, and entrepreneur, died on July 21. He was 81 and had battled lymphoma for one year. He was born and raised in South Dakota until his high school years when he moved to Washington and attended Bethel High School before leaving at the age of 17 to join the Navy. He married his high school sweetheart, Pamela Fix, two years later. After his military service, he and Pamela moved to Federal Way, Wash. Gary attended Puget Sound on the GI Bill and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He worked at General Motors and Boeing before becoming a teacher and high school principal in the Bethel School District. He retired and started a printing business, which he later sold.
For lifelong Tacoma resident Karen Ristvet Vialle ’64, just living in the City of Destiny wasn’t enough. She wanted to contribute to its growth. After graduating from Wilson High School, she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Puget Sound. She was involved in band and ASUPS and a master’s degree in the same subject from Washington State University. Karen then launched her career in the public sector, where she “had the sharp elbows it took to break barriers,” a July article in The News Tribune indicated. According to her Tacoma Public Schools board biography, she worked in state government for five years, including serving as assistant director of the Office of Financial Management under then-Gov. Dan Evans and served in various Tacoma nonprofit organizations, including the PTAs where her own children attended school. In the 1990s, she served on the Tacoma City Council for two years before becoming Tacoma’s first female mayor in 1990. She taught at the University of Washington and Puget Sound before teaching in Tacoma Public Schools for a decade. She joined the Tacoma Public Schools Board of Directors in 2011 and was two years into her second term when she died on July 21. A friend of Karen’s told The News Tribune that she had been battling lung cancer for the past year. “This is a significant loss. We will all miss her dearly,” Tacoma Public Schools Superintendent Carla Santorno told The News Tribune. “We have all been praying for her to rally and come back. We can’t imagine life on the board without her.” She is survived by her three children and eight grandchildren. A public memorial was held for Karen on Aug. 3.
George Sickel ’65 passed away in Minnesota on July 2, less than one month before his 76th birthday. He attended Puget Sound, where he was a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity and Logger swim team. He earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Washington.
Howard Stidham ’65, ’66 passed away in Puyallup, Wash., on July 4. He was 78. Born in Seattle, he graduated from St. Michaels University School in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and business administration from Puget Sound. He later earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Washington. He worked in engineering and safety at Weyerhaeuser, Boeing, and Battelle.
Jim Granquist ’68, a native of Seattle and longtime school social worker, died on April 29. He was 73. The third of six children grew up in West Seattle and was an athletic child who loved to swim and play tennis. At the age of 16, he suffered a devastating brain hemorrhage that paralyzed his left side, but he graduated on time from West Seattle High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Puget Sound and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Washington. He worked as a psychiatric social worker at Rainier School in Buckley, Wash., for 35 years.
Brewster Gray ’68 died on June 20 in Tacoma. He was 72. Brewster graduated from California’s San Mateo High School and held a bachelor’s degree in art from Puget Sound.
Dorothy Shoff Burkhart ’68, P’72, passed away on April 30, one day before her 95th birthday. Born in
Kent, Wash., she earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Puget Sound and, that same year, in the wake of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, helped to organize a series of successful interracial dialogues in homes around Tacoma. According to her obituary, she was “a strong voice for peace, justice, and racial equality.” She is survived by her four children, including Puget Sound alumnus James Burkhart ’72, and 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Virginia Ann Birkby ’69 died on June 5 at the age of 72. Born in Tacoma, she graduated from high school in Oregon and earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Puget Sound. She earned a master’s degree in educational administration from Pacific Lutheran University. She worked in the Clover Park School District as a teacher, director of special education, and administrator for 30 years. After retiring, Virginia found she couldn’t keep herself out of the classroom and worked for another 17 years at Oregon’s Nehalem Elementary School. She was a passionate gardener and skier.
Gary Cowden ’69 passed away in Gig Harbor, Wash., on June 2. He held a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Puget Sound and served in the U.S. Air Force.
Steven Swanson ’69 passed away on May 1 at the age of 71. Born in Tacoma and raised in nearby Fircrest, Wash., he graduated from Curtis High School and attended Puget Sound, where he was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity and played football. He went on to work as a car salesman for more than 35 years.
Gary Johnson ’70 passed away on Washington’s Raft Island on June 8. He was 72. Born and raised in Tacoma, he graduated from Wilson High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Puget Sound. He taught at Thomas Jefferson High School in Auburn, Wash.
William Sperry ’71 died on June 4 in Colorado Springs, Colo., while attending a reunion for his Army Officer Candidate School class. He was 77. Born and raised in Eastern Washington, he joined the U.S. Army after graduating high school and, with the GI Bill, earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Puget Sound. He went on to serve in the U.S. Army for 20 years. He spent time training for the Special Forces in Germany, completing two tours of duty in Vietnam, conducting surveillance of the demilitarized zone in Korea, and serving as a military judge at Fort Lewis (now Joint Base Lewis-McChord). He ended his military career by overseeing training for the Oregon and Washington National Guard. Following his service, he started multiple businesses, including an antique mall, office furniture store, storage company, and business center.
Emma Stuteley ’71, an Arkansas native and longtime Tacoma Public Schools teacher, died on May 20. She was 80. Emma was born and raised in Arkansas but left to attend Puget Sound, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She taught third grade for 30 years.
Ada Ehli ’73, P’72, passed away on July 7 at the age of 94. Born in North Dakota in 1925, she graduated from high school and earned her teaching certificate from the Valley City State Teachers College (now Valley City State University). Ada returned to her hometown of Lidgerwood and began her teaching career in a one-room schoolhouse, teaching first through eighth grades. She married Al Ehli in 1946 after he finished his service with the U.S. Army Air Corps (now U.S. Air Force) during World War II. Nearly a decade later, Ada and Al moved to Tacoma, Wash. She taught at Tacoma’s Visitation Catholic School (now Visitation STEM Academy) for nearly 20 years and, during that time, earned her bachelor’s degree in education from Puget Sound.
Michael Nelson ’73, M.B.A.’82 passed away on Camano Island, Wash., on July 10. He was 72. Born and raised in Illinois, he completed Army Officer Candidate School and joined the U.S. Army at the age of 20. He commanded the 4th Infantry Division in Vietnam and returned to Fort Lewis (now Joint Base Lewis-McChord). He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from Puget Sound and had a 40-year career in banking. He retired as a senior commercial loan officer.
Ross Pomerenk ’73, described in his obituary as a “legendary teacher, carpenter, sailor, musician, Frisbee enthusiast, Volvo junky, a spirited political debater, and a lover of cats,” died on June 9 in Seattle. He was 67. Born in Wenatchee, Wash., he earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Puget Sound and taught in the Peninsula School District and on Lopez Island. He was an early supporter, long-term board member, and the heart and soul of the Wintergrass Music Festival.
Randall Rappe ’73 died on May 1 in Olympia, Wash. He was 68. A Washington native, he was born in Omak and raised in Okanagan. He graduated from Okanagan High School before earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Puget Sound. One year later, he married Jann Ullrich. Randall worked as an auditor and information tech for various state agencies.
Gary Shores ’74, P’09 passed away on April 14 in Oregon. He was 66. Gary earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity. He went on to work in insurance.
Dorothy Tullberg Degarmo ’75 died on May 24 at the age of 93. She held a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Puget Sound and worked at Western State Hospital.
Trevor Richards ’79 passed away in Tacoma on May 1. He was 75. Born and raised in Australia, he moved to Tacoma with his wife, Karen Elford, in the late 1970s. He earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Puget Sound and taught elementary school in Federal Way, Wash., for 23 years.
Craig Stump ’84 passed away on May 4 after a brief illness. He was 58. Born and raised in Tacoma, he earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Puget Sound. He married and moved to Tucson, Ariz., where he earned a master’s degree, doctorate, and M.D. from the University of Arizona. He was an associate professor and program director of the endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism fellowship at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Tucson and a member of the clinical staff at the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System.
Adam Pelatt ’00, a native of Montana and father of two, died on July 19. He was 41. Born in Billings, Mont., he earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Puget Sound, where he was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity and multiple music groups, including the Adelphian Concert Choir.
Kari Meyer ’05 died on Aug. 24, 2018, two weeks after her 37th birthday. Born in Medford, Ore., she graduated from Oregon’s Phoenix High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in Japanese from Puget Sound. She worked in her family’s orchard before moving to Hawai`i and taking a job with a shipping company. Kari then moved to Singapore, where she taught English to Japanese businessmen and their families. She returned home and, most recently, worked for software companies in Portland, Oregon.