In Memoriam


William D. McCormick
William D. McCormick

William D. McCormick’s ties to University of Puget Sound go back more than a century. His grandfather, Robert Laird McCormick, served on the board of trustees from 1908 to 1911, and his father, William L. McCormick, was a trustee from 1911 to 1953. The McCormick Room in Collins Memorial Library and the McCormick Entry Plaza in Harned Hall are both gifts from the family. Bill would ultimately continue the family tradition of service and philanthropy. Born in Tacoma in 1931, he grew up in Washington state and British Columbia. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Caltech and a doctorate in physics at Duke University, then did postdoctoral work at University of Padua in Italy. He returned to the U.S. and joined the faculty at University of Washington, then in 1968 moved to The University of Texas, where he spent the majority of his career; he retired as professor emeritus of physics in 1996. He maintained a strong interest in Puget Sound, serving multiple terms on the board of trustees from 1978 to 2011 and, with his wife, Flora, endowing two faculty chairs: the William L. McCormick Professor of Natural Sciences and the William D. and Flora McCormick Endowed Chair in Biophysics. Bill and Flora’s son, Brian ’97, extends the Logger tradition to a fourth generation. Bill died Nov. 7, 2019, in Austin, Texas, at age 88. In a statement, President Isiaah Crawford said, “I am grateful that I had the opportunity to meet and to spend time with Bill. Generations of our campus community worked closely with him and his family over many years, and we will mark his passing with profound respect and deep appreciation for his extraordinary life.”

Susan L. Wilson '87
Susan L. Wilson '87

Susan L. Wilson ’87, a longtime investment analyst and manager who served on the Puget Sound board of trustees, died Dec. 15, 2019. Susie, as she was known, was a private person, so only her family and closest friends knew she had been battling breast cancer for more than two years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and business administration from Puget Sound, then spent 12 years as a senior research analyst at Seattle-based Russell Investments before joining the investment management firm PIMCO. She worked at the company’s Newport Beach, Calif., headquarters, and retired as managing director in 2017. She was known for her “fierce passion for what we do and her unwavering dedication to serving our clients,” according to CEO Manny Roman and CIO Dan Ivascyn. In an email to company employees, they wrote, “Susie also had a warm and witty side that was very endearing to those fortunate enough to work closely with her, and her genuine interest in helping younger employees chart their careers is a gift that will benefit PIMCO for many years to come.” Susie was equally committed to her alma mater: She was a member of the Los Angeles alumni chapter, served on the National Alumni Board, and was elected to the board of trustees in 2016. “I had the honor of working closely with Susie, who as an active alumna and trustee was a great friend to Puget Sound over many years,” President Isiaah Crawford said in a statement. “She was a loyal supporter committed to the university’s ongoing excellence. We are deeply saddened by Susie’s passing, and our hearts are with all who knew and loved her.”

Virginia A. Newman Campbell ’41 passed away Sept. 12, at the age of 101. A graduate of Enumclaw High School, Virginia attended the College of Puget Sound before graduating from Central Washington College of Education with a teaching certificate.

Samuel Batt ’43 died Sept. 29. He was 98. After graduating from Puget Sound, he earned a Master of Divinity degree from Evangelical Theological Seminary in Naperville, Ill., and married Minerva Meyer Kiekvoss in 1946. He ministered throughout Illinois for 40 years, before retiring to Columbus, Wis., where he was a pastor, senior center volunteer, and member of the bell and community choirs. Survivors include Minerva, their two daughters, and extended family.

Justine DeWolfe Richards ’43 died July 5. She moved to Juneau, Alaska, after graduation and served as secretary to Alaska’s War Labor Board director. After World War II, Justine returned to the Pacific Northwest and began teaching, spending more than 40 years as a typing teacher and debate coach. After her retirement and the death of her husband, John “Dick” Richards Jr., Justine moved to Des Moines, Wash., where she met her second husband, Gene Newman. Justine is survived by many loving friends and thousands of students.

Almira E. Feaster ’45, ’51 passed away at the age of 96. Born in South Tacoma, she graduated from Lincoln High School and earned degrees in physical education and education from Puget Sound. While teaching at Auburn High School, she met and married William (Bill) Feaster, and the couple raised three daughters. In the early ’70s, Mira earned a degree in early childhood education from Bellevue Community College and served as the owner-director of Eastshore Preschool.

Byron G. Behrens ’47 died Sept. 20, at the age of 93. Byron attended Puget Sound for a year, then joined the U.S. Army Air Corps, training as a gunner on board B-24s and B-29s. After World War II, he enrolled at University of Washington, graduating with a degree in business.

Allan G. Gord ’50 passed away on Sept. 8. He attended Puget Sound, earning a bachelor’s degree in music.

Perry H. Crothers ’51 passed away Aug. 26, at the age of 93. Serving in the Army and Navy, Perry attended Puget Sound on the GI Bill. He eventually settled in California, where he completed his bachelor’s degree at UCLA before earning an M.B.A. from University of Southern California. An avid reader and a lover of history, he enjoyed technology of all kinds, hiking and snow skiing, and playing bridge and poker with family and friends.

Florence Myers Ehricke ’51 graduated from Puget Sound with a degree in elementary education. For 27 years, she taught kindergarten and first grade, retiring in 1990 from Mont Downing Elementary School. An active member of St. Luke’s Memorial Episcopal Church, Florence was awarded the St. Luke’s Woman of the Year Silver Cross in 2013. She enjoyed gardening and loved spending time with her family—especially her grandchildren. She died Sept. 13, at the age of 90.

John E. Friars ’51 died July 1. He graduated from Puget Sound with a bachelor’s degree in education. 
Bert Fisher ’52 passed away Sept. 15, at the age of 90. He attended Stadium High School and University of Puget Sound.

Joyce Y. Bjelland Gago ’52 died Aug. 28. She attended Puget Sound.

Air Force veteran Sigurd J. Wingard Jr. ’52 received pilot training to enter World War II and served in the Korean War, earning the Bronze Star. An active learner, his hobbies included traveling, woodcarving, chess, camping, and photography. He attended Puget Sound and took classes at the local community college. Sigurd passed away July 27.

Roger B. Anderson ’53 died Aug. 11, at the age of 88. Born and raised in Tacoma, he graduated from Stadium High School and earned his bachelor’s degree in business from Puget Sound. He married his high school sweetheart, Marlene, soon after, and they built a home on the shores of Wollochet Bay, where they raised three children. Roger was director of transportation for both the Federal Way and Peninsula school districts— the latter of which he served for more than 20 years.

Merle R. Clapper ’53 quit high school to enlist in the Navy and served in the South Pacific during World War II. Upon returning stateside, he started work at Packard, but left to complete his education at 22, ultimately graduating from Lincoln High School and College of Puget Sound, where he was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity. He joined Cascade Linen (now Alsco) as a driver-salesman, and retired after more than 50 years with the company. He enjoyed golfing and bowling, and even won the National Resident Pro-Am Tournament at New Frontier Lanes in 1974.

A lifelong resident of Tacoma, George C. Karpach ’53 attended Puget Sound, ultimately graduating from Seattle University. He died Sept. 20, at the age of 88.

Alice Ponko Peeples ’53 died Jan. 1, 2019. She attended Puget Sound before completing her bachelor’s degree at University of Washington and earning a master’s degree at University of Southern California.

Warren W. Moyles ’54, M.A.’63 passed away Nov. 1, at the age of 86. After earning a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Puget Sound, Warren served in the Air Force before returning to campus to earn his master’s degree in education.

Frances J. Ellertson Trowbridge ’54 majored in art and music at Puget Sound before eventually enrolling in a master’s program at University of Washington. Her career in wholesale furniture sales took her to Alaska, where she ultimately became an independent contractor coordinating commercial installations and moves, such as Microsoft’s move from Bellevue to Redmond, Wash. After retiring, Fran volunteered at The First Place School, teaching children of homeless families, and at the Seattle Art Museum. She died Aug. 11.

Bruce K. Goff ’56 died Sept. 19. An outdoorsman, cribbage player, and bowler, he attended Puget Sound before becoming an installer for USWest, where he worked for 39 years.

John J. Van Buskirk ’57 graduated from Stadium High School and Puget Sound, where he was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity, before attending law school at University of Washington. He and Joy Hoff, his wife of 55 years, had two children. Past president of Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association’s Pro Bono Committee and a founder of the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, John practiced law in Tacoma for 37 years. He died Aug. 13, at the age of 84.

Peter J. Schmitt ’57 died Aug. 20. He attended Puget Sound.

Longtime Methodist minister Harold O. Perry ’58 passed away on June 16. He was 85. Harold earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Puget Sound, where he was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. Shortly after graduation, he married Janice, an elementary school teacher. As a minister, he developed numerous programs for teenagers, former state hospital patients, and members of the LGBTQIA community.

William W. Merriman ’59 passed away Sept. 8. He was a graduate of Lincoln High School and attended Puget Sound.

Donnie R. Saar ’59 died July 16. He attended Puget Sound.

Tom E. Havel ’60, M.Ed.’66 graduated from Stadium High School before earning both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Puget Sound. His undergraduate studies included a focus on ROTC, and, while completing navigation and radar intercept training at James Connally Air Force Base, he met his wife Carolyn. Tom died Sept. 18.

Nancy J. De Voir Meyer ’61 died Aug. 1. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Puget Sound.

James N. Pedersen ’62 graduated from Puget Sound with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He died Sept. 6.

After a long battle with cancer, David R. Dailey ’64 died Nov. 20, at the age of 79. He graduated from Puget Sound and went to work with The Boeing Company. In 1967, David and his family moved to Oregon, where he began a career in the wood industry that spanned almost 40 years. David enjoyed jazz and fishing, and is survived by Virginia, his wife of 55 years, and their children and grandchildren.

James E. Bell ’65 grew up in Fircrest, Wash., and graduated from Stadium High School and Puget Sound, where he earned a degree in education. He served in the Army Reserve and attained the rank of sergeant E-7. James worked as a special education teacher in Clover Park School District and, after retiring, taught real estate education at Pierce College. He enjoyed sharing his experiences with fellow vets and members of the many coffee groups he joined each week.

Architect and designer of the Olympia Farmers Market Morton S. James ’66 died Nov. 4. Born in Seattle, he attended Puget Sound before graduating from University of Washington with a degree in architecture. 
Raised on McKinley Hill in Tacoma, Rochelle Newman Monner ’68, M.Ed.’71 earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Puget Sound. She married Kenneth in 1968 and raised two children. Rochelle found joy in her family and friends, art, dancing, and photography. She died Aug. 15, after an extended battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

F. Diana Tijerina Moore ’70 died Sept. 26. She graduated from Puget Sound with a bachelor’s degree in education.

Neil E. Murphy ’70 died Aug. 28. He was 72. Neil graduated with a degree in business and marketing, and spent the 1980s managing several restaurants throughout Seattle. He was regional coordinator for the NACEL Open Door Student Exchange Program, where he met Jennifer Murphy, his wife of 19 years. Involved with numerous nonprofits, Neil managed youth programs that served low-income families and helped individuals who were incarcerated return to the workforce. He is described as a man who had a great sense of humor and a contagious laugh.

Michael L. Parker ’71 was elected to the State House of Representatives at the age of 26 and took office as the youngest legislator in Washington state history. In 1978, he became Tacoma’s youngest mayor. He attended Puget Sound in the early 1970s, and is survived by his wife, Maria, and their children and extended family.

William H. Critch ’72, a native of Sydney, Australia, died July 24. He was 85. Bill served in the Air Force as an aircraft commander and flew commercially, but was grounded at age 35 because of severe coronary artery disease. After receiving his degree at Puget Sound, he worked at Boeing as a flight crew instructor. He was married to Marlene Prosser for 59 years, and they had two daughters. Bill had a “never give up” attitude, despite many medical challenges.

John A. Zampardo ’72 died Aug. 1. He graduated from Puget Sound with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Robert K. Hawkinson ’73 transferred to Puget Sound, putting himself through school as a commercial fisherman and tender captain, ultimately earning a bachelor’s degree in natural science. On campus, he was a member of the Theta Chi fraternity. In 1982, shortly after he completed law school, Bob and his wife, Vicki, moved to Poulsbo, where he practiced law. A longtime member and past president of the Poulsbo-North Kitsap Rotary Club and Olympic College Foundation, he was active in the scholarship programs of both organizations. Bob died Sept. 4. He was 69.

Harold E. Hansen ’74 passed away Aug. 29. He graduated from Puget Sound with a bachelor’s degree in public administration.

Robert G. Railton ’74 died July 11. He graduated from Puget Sound with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Patrick W. Farley ’75 died July 25. He attended Puget Sound, studying art and design.

While teaching home economics at South Kitsap High School, Meri E. Bond M.Ed.’76completed her master’s degree in school counseling at Puget Sound, and worked in that capacity until she retired in 1995. “Mrs. Bond” or “MEB,” as she was called by her students, was known for making each student feel heard and understood. She married Dennis “Denny” Bond, in 1964, and the couple settled in Manchester, Wash., where they raised two children. She died Nov. 27, at the age of 76.

Mary Jett ’76 died Aug. 27. She graduated from Puget Sound with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Dean T. Sugimoto ’77 died in September. He graduated from Puget Sound with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Mike G. Caldwell ’78 died Sept. 6, at the age of 84. After earning a degree in public administration from Puget Sound, Mike served two years in the Army at the end of the Korean War. He went on to spend 25 years at Boeing and more than a decade in public service as city administrator of Bonney Lake and a member of the City of Lynnwood Council, Community Transit Board, Edmonds Community College Foundation, and more. He is survived by Carol, his wife of 59 years, three children, and extended family and friends.

Daniel T. Dennehy ’80 passed away Nov. 10. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Puget Sound and moved to Minneapolis, where he met Nancy, his wife of 28 years. The couple had two sons and, in 1989, moved to Seattle, where Daniel enjoyed many years in the finance industry. An avid ski racer for Crystal Mountain Alpine Club in his youth, he loved the outdoors and remained active throughout his life.

Judith Ann Schmidt ’81, J.D.’88 died Aug. 14, at the age of 72. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, she married Jon Rodney Schmidt in 1966, and the couple moved to Tacoma in 1971. Judith earned her bachelor’s degree in English and her J.D. at Puget Sound, and worked for many years at Sagem Morpho Co.

David B. Lantz M.Ed.’86 passed away Sept. 18. He spent his career in education as an administrator in the Tacoma, University Place, and Yakima school districts, retiring as a lead school improvement facilitator and international writing consultant.

While earning her degree in art at Puget Sound, Avalyn R. Peet ’88 was a member of the Alpha Phi sorority, for which she served as president, and editor of The Trail. Following graduation, she worked for an art gallery in Wenatchee, Wash., before becoming a recruiter for the Seattle Art Institute, where she remained for a decade. In 1999, a brain tumor was found, and Avalyn underwent surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment. She eventually moved home to St. Maries, Idaho, where she died Aug. 31, at the age of 53, surrounded by friends and family.

Naomi I. Brock ’97 died Aug. 20. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from Puget Sound.

Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Vladimir Yelkhimov ’15 attended grade school in Texas, and graduated from The Awty International School Houston before earning his bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Puget Sound and, eventually, pursuing graduate studies at Texas A&M University. He died July 29, at the age of 26.