In Memoriam, Fall 2013

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Gary Edmond Williams 1957  (Obituary)

Gary Edmond Williams 1957 (Obituary)

Gary Edmond Williams '57 died June 12, 2013, at age 78. Born in Iowa, he attended high school in Seattle and became an Eagle Scout at age 17. A talented artist who studied architecture, he designed his parents’ house while still a teenager. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Pacific University, he earned a master’s in business administration from Seattle University. He served briefly in the U.S. Army in the late 1950s and then began working for Kenworth Trucks. He married Eleanor Sue Turman in 1959. Williams worked as a business executive for Paccar, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of medium- and heavy-duty trucks in the world, retiring at age 45. He continued as a business consultant and later worked as an antique dealer. He also volunteered for United Way and the Seattle Chamber of Commerce. He is survived by his wife, Eleanor, his daughter Cynthia Lorraine and a granddaughter. 

Mary Lisa (Carey) Hargis 1976  (Obituary)

Mary Lisa (Carey) Hargis 1976 (Obituary)

Pacific University Trustee Lisa Hargis '76 died July 12, 2013. Hargis received her undergraduate degree in business administration from Pacific, then worked for Oregon Mutual Insurance Company for 34 years, beginning in 1979 as an underwriter and retiring as a vice president of underwriting. She joined the Board of Trustees in 2011 and worked to guide a risk management task force. She also served as president of the Oregon Fair Plan Association, a nonprofit association supported by insurance companies licensed to write property insurance. She enjoyed boating, cooking, traveling and caring for her husband and her cocker spaniel, Murphy Brown. She is survived by her husband of 27 years, Gary M. Hargis; her parents, John and Sally Carey; and two brothers, Jay and Colin Carey. She was preceded in death by her brother, Kevin Carey.

Paul Kohl 1980  (Obituary)

Paul Kohl 1980 (Obituary)

Paul Kohl '80, faculty emeritus, died Feb. 27, 2013, following a long battle with cancer. A native New Yorker, he earned a bachelor’s degree from State University New York, Binghamton in 1973 and his doctorate in optometry from Pacific University in 1980. He then became the first teaching fellow in the College of Optometry. He went on to become a tenured faculty member, earning the Pacific University Trustee Award to Young Faculty, and then the Pacific University Distinguished Professional Faculty Award. A dedicated teacher, he served on several boards and committees at the university throughout his more than 30 years of service to Pacific.  Among other achievements, he established pediatric optometric services and developed the pediatrics curriculum at the College of Optometry. He published many articles on pediatric and behavioral vision. He also provided presentations and chaired continuing education conferences for practicing optometrists. Kohl retired in 2011 and was awarded faculty emeritus status. He is survived by his wife, Cathy; daughter, Maja ’14; and son, Jesse.

Shirley L. Abbott 1952  (Obituary)

Shirley L. Abbott 1952 (Obituary)

Former U.S. ambassador Shirley L. Abbott '52, OD '53 died April 23, 2013, of congestive heart failure. He was 88.

An optometrist by trade, Abbott also was a rancher, a politician and served as ambassador to the Kingdom of Lesotho under President Ronald Reagan’s administration. He also was a devoted alumnus of Pacific University, where, in 2003, his support established the Abbott Alumni Center. In 2007, he received the Pacific University Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award.

Abbott spent his early years on a tenant dairy farm in Minnesota before moving with his family to El Paso, Texas, where he graduated from high school. He attended what is now the University of Texas at El Paso but left to join the Army during World War II. Following the war, he earned his bachelor and doctorate degrees at Pacific University.

He returned to El Paso, where he was one of the first in the region to fit corneal contact lenses. His optometric practice became one of the largest in the city. In the late 1960s, he started an optical company that later became Sunland Optical, then the largest military optical contractor in the country. He also developed apartment housing and operated farms in New Mexico, Texas and California, as well as one in South Africa with his grandson, Jason. He also was director of several local banks.

In the mid-1970s, he was appointed regional director of the Bi-Centennial Administration. He co-founded the Granaderos de Galvez, which honored the Spanish influence on the development of America. He also traveled to Spain several times as a guest of the Spanish government, was named Honorary Consul General of Spain for Texas and was granted The Order of Isabella La Catolica, the highest honor awarded to a non-Spanish citizen.

Abbott served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1977 to 1978. In 1983, President Reagan appointed him ambassador to the Kingdom of Lesotho, an independent monarchy in southern Africa.

In his later years, Abbott and his wife, Arline, divided their time between Texas and California. He was preceded in death by his wife. Abbott is survived by his son, Alan, a former member of the Pacific University Board of Trustees; his grandson, Jason; his granddaughter, Allison Kaelin ‘06; two great-grandchildren; and a brother, Bill.

General Comments

Jean Shirley '39

Jean (Allin) Shirley died Sept. 11, 2014, at age 96. She earned a teaching degree from Pacific and went on to attend Emanuel School of Nursing, where she graduated in 1943. During World War II, she was a visiting home nurse and later she was a nurse at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center and in private practice. She also worked in various schools as a teacher and assistant librarian, retiring from Lincoln High School in Portland in 1983. She was an active member of Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church and often accompanied singers at church or recreationally on the piano or organ. She was preceded in death by her husband, Arlie Shirley. She is survived by her daughters, Lynn Kramer, Ann Manning and Shelley Nuss, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Anthony “Wayne” Myers '44

Anthony “Wayne” Myers died Dec. 18, 2013, at age 91. After Pacific University, he attended the University of Chicago and Manchester College in the United Kingdom. In 1948, he was ordained by the Grandview Congregational Church in Denver, then served as associate minister of the Country Club Congregational Church of Kansas City for eight years, followed by posts in Peoria and Naperville, Ill. For 28 years, he gave sermons at the Congregational Church of Campbell. He then received his doctorate of ministry from the Theological Seminary in San Anselma, Calif. Apart from his work in the ministry, he enjoyed writing short stories, painting landscapes and gardening. He is survived by his wife, Brix, daughter Katherine (and Art) McBride, son  Peter (and Kathy) Myers, and granddaughter Kellye Marin Byal.

George Edward Cobern Jr. OD '50

George Edward Cobern Jr. OD died Sept. 25, 2014, at age 91. After serving in the U.S. Navy at the end of World War II, he pursued a career in optometry. He met his wife, Jacqueline “Jackie” (Barney) Cobern ’50, at Pacific University. He practiced optometry in Kennewick, Wash., and retired to Hillsboro, Ore. He and Jackie were members of the Hillsboro Nazarene Church, and he also was a member of the McDonald’s “old guys coffee club,” where he enjoyed his daily cup of coffee, cookies and conversation. He is survived by his wife; children Carolyn Cobern, Kathy Schneider, Jim Cobern, Bob Cobern and Don Cobern; 10 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

Dorothy “Dottie” (Boley) Enbysk '51

Dorothy “Dottie” (Boley) Enbysk died Aug. 18, 2014, at age 85. She attended Pacific University for one term. She married Ronald Enbysk on Sept. 3, 1949, in Pendleton, Ore., and spent 10 years as an office manager at Ford’s Tire Center there. She later was administrative assistant to the deans at South Eugene High School from 1967 to 1976, then an administrative assistant for International Paper in Portland from 1977 to 1991. She was preceded in death by her husband and a sister. She is survived by sons Kevin (and Donna) Enbysk and Kirk (and Kimberly) Enbysk; sister Mary Wallan; six grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Robert “Bob” Edwin Burkhalter '51

Robert “Bob” Edwin Burkhalter died Sept. 17, 2014, at age 86. He served in the Navy through World War II before attending Pacific. He went on to earn a master’s degree form the University of New Mexico in 1953 and a doctorate in speech and hearing from Stanford University in 1956. He spent his career as a clinical audiologist in Palo Alto, Calif. He was an avid hunter, fisherman and bowler. He is survived by his wife, Evelyn; sons Dan (and Diana) Burkhalter and David (and Vicki) Burkhalter; stepdaughters Patricia (and Kagel) Smith and Sherry (and Alan) Phillips; 10 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Ella May (Rock) Roberts '52

Ella May (Rock) Roberts died Sept. 1, 2014, at age 91. She married Robert Kelim after World War II, and they had two children: Robert and Kathy. Robert Sr. died when Kathy was a baby, and Ella May returned to Pacific University to complete her teaching degree. She taught at Wheeler High School, where she met her future husband, Leslie Roberts, who was also a teacher. They were married in 1956 and had daughters Melissa and Leslie. She and Les taught at Neah-Kah-Nie High School until his death in 1979, when she retired and substitute taught for 10 years. She taught several subjects and served as librarian but especially enjoyed arts and crafts. She was preceded in death by her brother Bill and sister Barbara. She is survived by son Robert (and Jayne Bailey Kelim;) daughters Kathy Kelim, Melissa Roberts and Leslie (and Andy) Pihl; six grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and dear friend Norma Wise.

William B. Durbon ’53, OD ’54

William B. Durbon ’53, OD ’54 died Aug. 18, 2014, at age 89. A pilot since age 16, he flew mail routes. He also served in the U.S. Army from 1946 to 1948, stationed at Beaumont General Hospital in El Paso, Texas, as an optician and security guard. He was lead trumpeter in a 14-piece dance band, The Bill Durbon Orchestra and his 12 Men of Melody, in Yakima, Wash., where he met his wife, Annalouise Wallace. They married in 1948. After graduating from Pacific, he built and practiced at the Moscow (Idaho) Vision Clinic for 43 years with his wife serving as office manager for the last 23 years. A man of many talents and hobbies, Durbon was a member of the Latin American Dance Club for 25 years, often joining with the band and helping design sets. He also played trumpet in the University of Idaho Vandal booster band. He was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting and fishing and served as Idaho State Fish and Game Commissioner in the mid-1960s. He amassed 247 trophies for indoor small bore rifle shooting. He and his wife retired to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in 2000, and moved to Seattle in 2008. He was preceded in death by his wife, Annalouise. He is survived by daughters Carol Ann and Dayle.