In Memoriam, Fall 2012

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Dan Hess 1954 (Obituary)

Merle Daniel "Dan" Hess '54 died Dec. 12, 2011. He was born in Umapine, Ore. While at Pacific University, Hess earned a degree in physical education and played football, receiving all-conference honors during his last three years. He was also the president of the Alpha Zeta fraternity. He spent his career as a teacher and coach until retiring in 1984. Despite his college major, he never taught physical education but instead concentrated on social studies. He coached wrestling and football and, at times, assisted in baseball and track. He initiated the Kid Wrestling program that is still in place in Scappoose. He later added athletic director responsibilities to his career. He was president of the Hillsboro Education Association for two years and a lifetime member of Optimist International in Hillsboro. He is survived by his wife, Marvelyn Davison Hess, two children, two grandchildren, four step-grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Eva Krebs   (Obituary)

Eva Krebs (Obituary)

Eva Krebs died Thursday, July 12, 2012, following a long battle with breast cancer. Krebs was the vice president of Student Affairs and dean of students at Pacific University, where she worked since 1995. She was a passionate advocate for students, who personally helped countless students overcome personal and educational challenges. During her tenure, she assisted with the development of new orientation and ambassador programs for students, took the lead in the design and construction of two new residence halls, assisted in the development of the Health Professions Campus, led the effort to create health and counseling services for graduate students, and helped reinstate the “sign, shake and ring” tradition. Prior to her work at Pacific, she worked for Rider College and, before that, as a lawyer. She is survived by her husband, Rick; children, Heidi and Alec; and grandchildren, Ryan and Annabelle. Memorial donations may be made to the Eva C. Krebs Boxer Spirit Award for an Extraordinary Student at

Miles Shishido (Obituary)

Miles Shishido died March 21, 2012, at the age of 91. Shishido was born in Paia, Maui, where he worked as a plantation clerk to help support his nine siblings. He married his wife, Florence, in Honolulu and graduated from the University of Hawai’i in 1947. He earned a master’s degree at Chicago Theological Seminary in 1948. He served as a minister in Hawai’i, then in Illinois, while earning a second master’s degree and doctorate degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago. Shishido began teaching philosophy and religion at Pacific University in 1963, and he eventually became a University Distinguished Professor. He also served as the chair of the philosophy and religion department. During his time at Pacific, Shishido went to Japan as a visiting professor and was the adviser of the Hawai’i Club. In his later years, he enjoyed traveling, skiing, chess and spending time with family and friends. He is survived by his wife, two sons and five grandchildren. The Oregonian

Samuel Wilson 1949  (Obituary)

Samuel Wilson 1949 (Obituary)

Samuel Wilson '49, O.D. '50 died Feb. 12, 2012, at the age of 86. Wilson was born in Shelton, Wash., where he attended high school before enlisting in the Navy. He was accepted into the Naval V-12 Program at Whitman College, where he joined the Sigma Chi fraternity. He completed officer training school at Columbia University and served as a chief engineering officer in the South Pacific. After graduation, he chose a career in optometry and came to Pacific for schooling. He and his wife, Helen, moved to Lakewood, Wash., where he practiced optometry for more than 40 years. He was one of the founders of Western Vision Services, which was instrumental in getting optometric care covered by insurance. He also was active in the Kiwanis, the Tacoma Country & Golf Club and as a board member for the Camp Fire Girls. He is survived by his wife, two children, and two beloved granddaughters who affectionately called him “Pops.” The News Tribune, Tacoma, Wash.

Sheldon Olsen 2011  (Obituary)

Sheldon Olsen 2011 (Obituary)

Sheldon Walter Olsen O.D. died March 17, 2012, at age 31, in an accident at Lake Limerick in Washington. Olsen’s son, Jace, also passed away in the same accident. Olsen was born in Salt Lake City and earned his bachelor’s from the University of Utah. He and his wife, Julie, were married in 2002. After graduating from Pacific’s College of Optometry, Olsen worked at the Shelton Walmart Vision Center for six months, and he was excited to serve in his chosen profession. He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served as a counselor in a Bishopric. He also served as a Youth Men’s President, Ward Mission leader and Boy Scout leader. In his spare time, he enjoyed exercising, playing basketball, snowboarding, barbecuing and riding his motorcycle. He is survived by his wife, parents, brothers and sisters. Shelton-Mason County (Wash.) Journal

General Comments

Harry E. Therkelsen Sr. '50, MAEd '56

Harry E. Therkelsen Sr. ’50, MAEd ’56 died July 7, 2014, at age 92. Following Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the Navy, where he served as a naval aviation navigator in the Pacific theater. Following the war, he moved to Forest Grove to attend Pacific University. He began his 34-year career at Bandon High School, where he taught and coached football. He later taught and coached at Lakeview High School. He and his wife, Helen, moved to California in 1955, and he taught and served as an administrator in the San Mateo Union High School District. He put special focus on students who felt disenfranchised by the traditional curriculum. He retired in 1985 and became more involved with local organizations, including the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Knights of Columbus, and Salvation Army. He was a craftsman, wood carver, carpenter, gardener and sports fan. He is survived by his wife; children Harry Jr., Marlene and Laura; and five grandchildren.

William Ray VanderZanden '50

William Ray VanderZanden '50 died Feb. 6, 2015, at age 86. He grew up on a family farm in Banks and attended high school in Forest Grove before earning degrees from Pacific University and the University of Portland. In 1950, he married Eileen Ann Meeuwsen. She preceded him in death in 1990. He spent his career as a chemist at GAF and retired from Bonneville Power Administration as a quality assurance engineer. He enjoyed fishing, spending time with family and friends, working in the garden, and rebuilding antique radios. He is survived by his wife of 22 years, Sharon Katherine (Caputo) VanderZanden; children Susan (and Hoyt) Aden, Ken (and Vicki) VanderZanden, Kevin (and Jessica) VanderZanden, Jan (and Al) Ford, and Mark VanderZanden (and Kirsten Solberg); sister Clara Dickerman; brother Eugene (and Liz) VanderZanden; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Phyllis (Skarsten) Dixon '51, MS '58

Phyllis (Skarsten) Dixon ’51, MS ’58 died Feb. 18, 2015, at age 85. Her father Dr. Marvin O. Skarsten, taught at Pacific for more than two decades, also serving as registrar, director of admissions, and director of the graduate school. Following her own graduation from Pacific, Phyllis moved to Rapid City, where she was Christian education director at First Presbyterian Church. She earned a doctorate in education at Northern Colorado University and returned to South Dakota, where she was a teacher and administrator for 32 years. She also served as an adjunct professor at South Dakota State University and was a committed community volunteer with CASA, Club for Boys, Head Start, YFS and Casey Family Children. She held positions on several local organization boards and received countless honors and awards, including “10 Most Powerful Women in Rapid City” in 1980. She also was an avid amateur actor and a fine musician. She is survived by her son Dr. David (and Peggy) Dixon; grandchildren Danielle (and Andrew) Wolf and Jonathan Dixon; sister Margaret (Peggy) Ann Alexander ’63 (and Bill Alexander ’64); nieces Malinda Alexander ’95 (and Kim Alexander) and their son Liam, and Melissa ’98 (and Blake ’98) Timm and their daughters Sydney and Hannah, as well as a large extended family.

Ray Kangas '51

Ray Kangas '51 died July 18, 2014, at age 87. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II, then earned his degree in chemistry from Pacific University. He moved to Longview, Wash., in 1951 and worked for Reynolds Metals for 37 years, retiring as chief chemist in 1988. He was a member of the Longview Church of the Nazarene and enjoyed golfing, gardening and spending time with family and friends. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Arve and Everett, and sisters Sylvia and Helen. He is survived by his wife, Shirley; sons Jim (and Diane) Kangas and Greg (and Sandra) Kangas; daughter Julie Kangas; and five grandchildren.

Harriet Lehua (Yost) Wehrli '56

Harriet Lehua (Yost) Wehrli '56 died April 9, 2013, at age 78. After Pacific, she earned a master’s degree from the University of Oregon. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Richard H. Wehrli ’56, OD ’57. She is survived by her children Traci Kane, Darci Fersch and Cameron Wehrli; five grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Myldred J. (Chester) Peldyak '57

Myldred J. (Chester) Peldyak '57 died Nov. 30, 2014, at age 79. She received her bachelor’s in elementary education from Pacific and went on to work as a kindergarten teacher at Visitation School in Verboort and later a fifth-grade teacher in Forest Grove until her retirement in 1991. She married Leon E. Peldyak ’59 on May 12, 1956, and they had three children. Early in their marriage, she worked as a fire watcher for the Forest Grove Fire Department. Following her retirement, she volunteered for the St. Vincent de Paul at St. Anthony’s Parish, where she was a member since 1955. She enjoyed reading, knitting, crocheting, making baskets, and attending craft classes, as well as golfing and traveling. She was preceded in death by her husband. She is survived by her children Leah Peldyak ’85 (and Mark Schmidt), Greg (and Kathy) Peldyak, and Mark Peldyak (and Brandy Roberts); her brother Raymond Chester; and six grandchildren, including Brett Peldyak ’16.

Richard "Dick" Lynn Smith '58

Richard “Dick” Lynn Smith '58 died Nov. 5, 2014, at age 77. He earned a bachelor’s in education from Pacific and went on to teach at Knappa, Forest Grove, and Yamhill-Carlton Union High School. While in Yamhill-Carlton, he taught psychology, career education, history, and social sciences, and he retired as student counselor. He also coached basketball and was athletic director. He met his future wife, Judy Wahlborn, while teaching at Knappa, where she was the high school secretary. They were married in 1960. They returned to Forest Grove when he retired in 1992. Dick loved owning, breeding and showing Appaloosa horses. He enjoyed crossword puzzles, landscape design, gardening, woodworking, golfing, bowling and traveling. He was his granddaughters’ No. 1 fan as they competed in softball, volleyball and basketball. He was preceded in death by his son, Kevin, and a sister. He is survived by his wife; daughter and Vicky (and Bill) Vandomelen; three siblings, Ron (and Susie) Smith, Bob (and Karen) Smith, and Virginia (and Joe) Swanno; brother-in-law Dave Henderson; two granddaughters; and many nieces and nephews.