George Obiozor '69

George Obiozor ’69


A native Nigerian, George Obiozor ’69 rocketed from a Puget Sound undergraduate and three-time graduate of Columbia University to eventually become Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States from 2004–08. He also served as High Commissioner to Cyprus and Ambassador to Israel. Obiozor had been a student at Albert Schweitzer

College in Switzerland when a chance encounter with then-Puget Sound Dean John Regester led to Obiozor enrolling at Puget Sound. He majored in political science, which he saw as the intersection of history and philosophy, peace and justice. “The main lesson of my education, both in Switzerland and at Puget Sound, was to seriously learn the ways and manner in which human beings behave,” Obiozor told Arches magazine in 2019.

In the 1970s he taught at Pratt Institute, at CUNY-Medgar Evers College, and in CUNY’s Graduate Center, where he was a Ralph Bunche Fellow. As a member of Nigeria’s Igbo people, he served as president of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, a sociocultural organization for the Igbo, who are largely based in southeastern Nigeria. In that role, he strongly advocated for the 2023 election of a first Igbo president since 1966.

“Professor George Obiozor has been a high flyer all his life,” said Chief Goddy Uwazurike, a lawyer for Ohanaeze Ndigbo, in Prime Business Africa. “In academia, he was a star. In political life, he exceled in the appointments he held. As president of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, he stood like a rock of Gibraltar.”

A husband and father, Obiozor died Dec. 26, 2022, at age 80 after a brief illness. —Renée Olson

Florence Phillippi


Florence Phillippe, administrative assistant to the Department of History, began at Puget Sound in 1973. First hired on a temporary basis to assist the committee that chose Philip Phi's as the university's 11th president, Phillippi caught the eye of committee member and history professor Walter Lowrie, who convinced her to join the department full-time. For nearly half a century, she was the ultimate nonstop juggler. 

"With amazing efficiency and seriousness of purpose, Florence typed and proofread reports and academic articles, booked rooms and flights, and maneuvered the university bureaucracy for faculty," says history professor John Lear. "She was the first person to arrive at the department every morning. Because faculty depended on her so much, we were more likely to talk with Florence every day than each other."

Phillippi, who died on Dec. 11, 2022, impressed Professor of History Nancy Bristow, who credited Phillippi in the acknowledgements for her 2012 book American Pandemic: The Lost Worlds of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic. "I would never have made it through my first week, let alone 21 years, at the university without [her] support and expertise," Bristow wrote.

A wife and mother to two athletically inclined sons, Phillippi, who had no use for retirement until 2022, had a mellowing effect.

"With kind reassurances, a dry wit, and subtle rolls of her eyes, she put the stressful and self-dramatizing elements of academic life in perspective," said Lear. "She helped keep the department on an even keel." —Renée Olson


Known to friends and family as “Jolly,” Jolafern Torgerson Crawley ’45 died Sept. 26, 2022, two weeks shy of her 99th birthday. She grew up in Tacoma and earned a sociology degree from Puget Sound, where she was president of Tri Delta sorority. She later earned a master’s degree and was a social worker in the Seattle and Federal Way areas from 1950 to 1985. In retirement, she traveled to more than 80 countries. Among her many survivors is brother Jon Torgerson ’54.

Emma Nelson Doan ’49 served in the Navy during World War II, then earned a degree in business administration from Puget Sound. She and her husband, Raymond Doan ’49, were married for 67 years until his death in 2015. She was known for her love of tennis and travel. She died Dec. 22, 2022, in Houston at age 97.

Donald Bremner ’50 majored in philosophy at Puget Sound; he also met his future wife, Delores (Dee) Breu ’51, at the university. He later earned a master’s degree in journalism and Far Eastern studies and spent decades working in newspapers, much of it as an editor and foreign correspondent at the Los Angeles Times. In retirement, he volunteered as a hike leader for the Sierra Club and was active in politics. He died Aug. 22, 2022, in Pasadena, Calif.; Dee preceded him in death. Among his survivors is a nephew, James Douglas Bremner ’83.

Lois Poindexter Haley ’50 died Oct. 12, 2022, in Mt. Vernon, Wash. She was 95. She was active in her church, singing in the choir, playing piano and organ, and teaching Sunday School; she also helped develop a handbell choir. She and her husband helped build homes for Habitat for Humanity and served local food banks. In their free time they enjoyed hiking, sailing the San Juan Islands, and riding motorcycles.

David Charles Lundberg ’50 died May 16, 2022, in Tacoma at age 94. He grew up in Puyallup, Wash., attended Puget Sound, and earned a dentistry degree from the University of Oregon. He was an elder and trustee of First Presbyterian Church in Tacoma; was a trustee of Highline Community College in Des Moines, Wash.; and served on the Federal Way School Board. His wife preceded him in death.

Derrill Fransen ’51 started college in 1942, working as a machinist apprentice in Tacoma to pay for school, but World War II interrupted his studies. He joined the Army and spent two years serving in the Philippines, Okinawa, and Korea, then returned to finish his education, graduating from Puget Sound with a degree in sociology. He owned several businesses, and he and his wife raised a family in a house they built on Browns Point. In retirement, they traveled the world and enjoyed time on their 40-foot cruiser. Fransen died Nov. 7, 2022, at age 97.

Martin “Marty” Lougee ’51 died Nov. 4, 2022, in Sun City West, Ariz., at age 96. He served in the Army in World War II, receiving a Purple Heart, and again in the Korean War. He worked as an accountant at Weyerhaeuser, a branch manager for Great Western Savings & Loan, and a business consultant at City Sign Company in Tacoma. An outstanding golfer, he was former president of Fircrest Golf Club in Tacoma and recorded nine hole-in-ones over the years. He also was an avid card player and a family man who thoroughly enjoyed his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

We received word in August 2022 of the death of Robert Bruce Smith ’51 of Spokane, Wash. After high school, he worked at the Tacoma shipyard, then as a welder and sawmill hand, among other jobs, before joining the Navy. Later he attended Puget Sound and earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of Washington. He taught English at Eastern Washington University for 28 years. An avid golfer, he played at courses all over Washington and British Columbia.

Mercedes Cox Tate ’53 and her husband, Terry Tate ’52, met at Puget Sound and were married for 59 years, spending most of that time in Spokane, Wash. Like Terry, Mercedes was active in her church and community. She was a church youth group leader, sang in the choir, and taught Sunday School; she also was a volunteer at Spokane’s Museum of Arts and Culture, ultimately serving as president of the museum’s board of trustees. Mercedes died Aug. 7, 2022, at the age of 93; Terry preceded her in death in 2012.

When Donald Acheson ’55 earned his degree in biology from Puget Sound, he became the first college graduate in his family’s history. He went on to earn a master’s in ornithology and teach at both the high school and college levels, including a stint teaching at Puget Sound. In retirement, he volunteered for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Habitat for Humanity, and was a master gardener. He died Dec. 12, 2022, in Shelton, Wash., at the age of 94.

Ann Marr Ott ’56 majored in education at Puget Sound before finishing her degree at the University of Washington. She taught school in New York state and later was a substitute teacher in Massachusetts. She was a ruling elder in her church and took great pleasure in her large family. She died July 23, 2022, in Westford, Mass.

Marilyn Gale ’58 of Santa Rosa, Calif., died July 2, 2022, at the age of 85. She earned a degree in education from Puget Sound.

Rev. Donald Larson ’59 died Nov. 12, 2022, in Othello, Wash. A psychology major at Puget Sound, he earned a master’s degree at Claremont School of Theology in California and was ordained as a United Methodist Church minister. He also was passionate about his family and golf; he learned the latter in high school and continued playing and watching until his passing at age 87.

Elizabeth “Liz” Schenken Roach ’60 was born in Seattle and spent most of her life in the Magnolia neighborhood. She had a 23-year career as a reference librarian for Seattle and King County; she also sang in the choir at Magnolia United Church of Christ and was a founding member of the Magnolia Chorale Choir. While a student at Puget Sound, she met Thomas Roach ’63; the two were married until his death in 2004. Liz died Nov. 11, 2022, at age 84.

Lynne Hartshorn Rummel ’61, of Longmont, Colo., died Dec. 20, 2022. She was 83. A medical technology major at Puget Sound, she met her future husband, Jack Rummel ’61, in a chemistry lab. They eventually settled in Colorado, where she taught skiing in Winter Park’s Blind Skier Program, was active in the Boulder Unitarian Church, volunteered for the Red Cross, and made Rotary-sponsored medical visits to Guatemala, Venezuela, and Nepal.

Richard “Rick” Wagner ’61 was born in Fairbanks, Alaska, and lived almost his entire life in Alaska. He was a certified insurance broker for Frank B. Hall and Company, then started his own company, Alaska 100 Insurance Inc. He also was involved in establishing Denali State Bank, and in the 1970s he purchased Ski Boot Hill. He died in Fairbanks in October of 2022.

Deanna Tunks Wasson ’62 attended Puget Sound on a music scholarship. She became a first-grade teacher in Adna, Wash., and was also known for her talents as a pianist, artist, seamstress, and gardener. Married for more than 60 years, she and her husband raised two children and enjoyed traveling, visiting all 50 states and 46 countries. She died Sept. 13, 2022, in Lacey, Wash., at the age of 82.

Gloria Jackson ’66 earned a German degree from Puget Sound and intended to pursue a career in law, but an acquaintance persuaded her to get her real- tor’s license. She ended up working in commercial real estate in Salem, Ore., for 20 years. She was vice president of Coldwell Banker Commercial Real Estate and the company’s top commercial realtor for seven straight years. She also gave served on the board of the Boys and Girls Club and as president of the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce. She died Nov. 4, 2022, in Salem.

Susan Black Schalock MEd’68 spent 33 years at Hastings College in Nebraska, where she was professor of physical education and head women’s tennis coach. She was NAIA Tennis Coach of the Year six times. She gave workshops on adapted physical education and modern dance nationally and internationally, and she served three years as president of the Nebraska Association of Health, Physical Education, and Dance. She and her husband retired from Hastings in 2000 and moved to Chewelah, Wash.; she died in Chewelah on Dec. 17, 2022.

Gregory Olson ’69 earned an economics degree from Puget Sound, where he was active in Sigma Chi. He later earned an M.B.A. from Western Michigan University and became a marine insurance underwriter, starting a Seattle office that eventually became Navigators Insurance. He and his wife enjoyed cooking, hiking, fishing, and traveling; he also loved to take his daughters and grandchildren skiing in Sun Valley, Idaho, which he had first visited while on the ski team at Puget Sound. Olson died April 30, 2021, in Seattle.

Margaret Gish Campbell ’71 of Anacortes, Wash., died of cancer Nov. 7, 2022. She earned a degree in education at Puget Sound, where she met Donald Campbell ’71, to whom she would be married for 51 years. She taught in the Coeur d’Alene school district in Idaho for 21 years; her career also included stints as a banker, licensed practical nurse, and realtor. She was a church deacon, Bible study leader, and Sunday School teacher, and started several ministries, including one called Cancer Companions. She and Don traveled extensively; she also enjoyed skiing, swimming, scuba diving, and whale watching.

John Anderson ’73 died Sept. 3, 2022, in Sumner, Wash. He was 88. He spent 35 years working for the Sumner School District, including 16 years as head football coach and 16 as athletic director. His teams posted an overall record of 144-52-6 and won two state championships; Anderson was named State Coach of the Year and State Athletic Director of the Year, and was inducted into the state’s Coaches Hall of Fame and Athletic Director Hall of Fame. Active in the local Rotary, he received a Rotary Lifetime Achievement Award. He also was a talented craftsman who made beautiful wood furnishings for his family.

Jimmie Hager ’73 died Oct. 29, 2021. He earned a degree in accounting from Puget Sound and lived in Mission Hills, Calif.

Col. Dennis Meyer MBA’75 spent 28 years in the U.S. Army, serving in Central America, Vietnam (where he was a medic), Guam, and Germany, as well as stateside in Washington, D.C., and Madigan Army Hospital at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. His awards included the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service, Legion of Merit, and Humanitarian Services medals, among others. He also was a passionate skier, soccer player, and golfer, and a soccer and golf coach to his children and community. He died Nov. 16, 2022, in Lakewood, Wash.

Norman Bailey ’76 died Sept. 1, 2022, in Poulsbo, Wash., at the age of 74. Born in Petersburg, Alaska, he grew up in Alaska’s Mitkof Island region, attended Montana State University, and was drafted into the Army. Following service in Vietnam, he went back to school, earning a degree in public administration from Puget Sound. He worked at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard from 1987 to 2003, retiring as a general foreman. In retirement, he and his wife enjoyed taking their boat to visit family and friends in the region and flying all over the world to see their children and grandchildren.

Carrie Asleson Holo ’77, of Bellevue, Neb., spent much of her life raising a family and serving others. A mother of two and grandmother of two, she also was active in her church, teaching Sunday school and offering care and comfort to people who had experienced trauma and adversity. She helped care for older adults and people with disabilities, and volunteered her time to help Sudanese refugees navigate their new life in the United States. She died Oct. 10, 2022, at the age of 66.

Elizabeth Andrews Williams '79 of Spokane, Wash., died Nov. 30, 2022, after a yearlong battle with brain cancer. She was 65. A psychology major at Puget Sound, she also competed in track, cross country, and cross-country skiing. She worked in recreational therapy at Providence St. Joseph Care Center in Spokane, was social action coordinator for the Pacific Northwest United Women in Faith, and was active in the United Methodist Climate Justice Movement and the environmental group 350 Spokane.

Jim Coury '80 of Seattle died Oct. 1, 2022, at the age of 67, after suffering two strokes. At Puget Sound he majored in economics and played four years on the golf team; he also married Lynn Majors '80 in Kilworth Chapel. He worked in the maritime shipping industry, retiring in 2013. He enjoyed traveling with the family and especially loved fishing trips to Alaska with his two sons.

Kristen Hartwigsen '97 of Peralta, N.M., earned a degree in mathematics from Puget Sound, where joint Kappa Alpha Theta and served as a campus visit coordinator in admission. She later earned a master's in organizational leadership from Gonzaga University, then worked for Starbucks for eight years and Nike for 11; more recently, she was head of people solutions at the IT services company Concentric. She was passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion, and had recently begun work on a certificate in intercultural/multicultural and diversity studies at Gonzaga. She died Dec. 21, 2022, after battling ongoing health problems. She was 47.

Daniel Springer '98 graduated from high school in Port Angeles, Wash., earned a community-college degree in architectural drafting, and worked at SeaTac as a cargo operations supervisor for Alaska Airlines. He also was an accomplished cook, happiest when in the kitchen or barbecuing. He died Oct. 26, 2022, in Renton, Wash., at the age of 55.

Patrick Sullivan' 02 of San Diego ran Menifee Fuels, the family business of convenience stores, gas stations, and car washes. After being diagnosed with colorectal cancer at age 37 and enduring several surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation, he was declared cancer-free. He helped raise thousands of dollars for the American Cancer Society and for a genetic disorder called epidermolysis bullosa (EB). He also was a family man, an outstanding chef, and a music fan who attended more than 50 Pearl Jam shows. A Lego enthusiast, he used his Lego skills to build a mosaic to raise money for EB research. He died Oct. 27, 2022, at age 42.

Jamie Hosmer '10, of Tucson, died November 28, 2022, after a brief illness with cancer. He was 35. He earned a bachelor's degree in English from Puget Sound, followed by a degree in game design from Full Sail University. A talented athlete, he played tennis and baseball as a youth, and while at Puget Sound he directed a summer tennis program for Seattle youth. At the time of his death, he was teaching computer coding to young children through the online academy Coding with Kids. Among his survivors are brothers Robert Hosmer '15 and John Hosmer '15. 

Matthew Firn '17, a native of Moscow, Idaho, earned an associate degree from Wenatchee Community College in Wenatchee, Wash., before attending Puget Sound, from which he graduated with a bachelor's degree in philosophy. As a student he co-hosted a two-hour radio show during KUPS's Loud Rock section. He died in Eugene, Oregon, on July 28, 2022.