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

Jay C. Stovall '52, OD '53

Jay C. Stovall ’52, OD ’53 died Nov. 29, 2013, at age 90. He was a member of Gamma Sigma and was on Pacific’s golf team. A native of Great Falls, Mont., he served in World War II with the infantry and was awarded two Purple Hearts. He established his optometric practice in 1954 in Marin County, Calif., serving patients for more than 40 years. He was active in Boy Scouts, Little League, Lions International and the Masons. He was a founding member of the Oregon-California Trails Association. He is survived by his wife, Leona (Blackmun) Stovall ’51, and his brother, Dean Stovall ’52, OD ’53.


Elinor M. (Fritz) Darland MA

Elinor M. (Fritz) Darland MA died April 23, 2014, at age 95. An alumna of the University of Wyoming, she earned her master’s degree at Pacific University, where her husband D. David Darland was later dean of students. She taught English at the high school and collegiate levels and later served for 25 years in a communications and editorial capacity with the Alliance for Health, Physical Education and Recreation in Washington, D.C. The family, which included twin sons David and Dallas, also lived in Laramie, Wyo., New York City, Chicago, Forest Grove and Portland over the years. Elinor and David retired to Eugene, where they were involved in the establishment of the Wayne Morse Foundation and served on its board. She loved literature, books and art and was politically active. Friends regarded her as the “Queen of the Nosh,” always serving 5 p.m. cocktails and good food. She was preceded in death by her husband and by son David. She is survived by brother Marvin Fritz of Sheridan, Wyo.; son Dallas of Amherst, Mass.; daughter-in-law Ursula; grandsons Christopher Darland and his partner, Sara DeNobrega, of New York City, and Joshua Darland and his wife, Carmen, of Dallas, Ore.; four great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.


Joan (Deane) Miller '53

Joan (Deane) Miller died March 11, 2014, at age 81. She grew up in The Dalles, Ore., and graduated from Pacific University with a degree in education. She taught many of her 30 years in education at Ickes Junior High School in Milwaukie, Ore. For the last 17 years, she lived in Baker City, Ore., with her companion Doug.


Patience Skill '58

Patience Skill died Feb. 8, 2014, of lung cancer at age 77. She grew up in Central Oregon, graduated from Madras High School, and earned a degree in literature and education from Pacific University. She taught in Forest Grove, Fullerton, Calif., and in Salem, Ore. She is survived by her husband, Neil; sons Wayne Anthony and Neil; and two grandsons.


Willard "Twit" Westfall '64

Willard “Twit” Westfall died June 19, 2009. He was a music teacher in public schools for many years, serving in John Day and Grants Pass, Ore., as well as Chinook and Helena, Mont. He quit teaching in 1969, when his father died, to help his mother. He worked for the Beaverton School District in a maintenance capacity until he retired. He is survived by his wife, Virginia (Caldwell) Westfall ’58, six children, 11 grandchildren (including Kevin Westfall Shawver ’07), eight great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandson.


Allan V. Tarpenning MSEd '68

Allan V. Tarpenning MSEd died June 20, 2014, at age 81. He completed his undergraduate studies at Linfield College, where he was a three-sport athlete and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999. Professionally, he was a teacher and coach, who led the Lane Community College cross-country team to the National Championship in 1972. He was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Dorothy Tarpenning ’68, and his son, Kyle. He is survived by his sons Kevin of Albany, Ore., Kurt and his wife, Donna, of Eugene, and Kory and his wife, Sue, of Monte Carlo, Monaco; daughters Karin and her husband, Mike Szadyr, of Troy, Mich., and Kelly and her husband, Tom Feuer, of Stevenson Ranch, Calif.; 16 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren. He also is survived by brothers Duane of Temecula, Calif., and Floyd of Sacramento, Calif., and sister Marguerite Wadkins of Sandy, Ore.


Reed C.K. Olaso '83

Reed C.K. Olaso died April 13, 2014, at age 54. He was a graduate of Punahou School and Pacific University,  where he was an all-star athlete playing football, basketball and baseball. In 1988, he married Suzanne Marie Crane, and they lived in Kailua. He worked at the Le Jardin Academy as a coach and athletic director. He is survived by his wife Suzanne; their children Nikki and her husband Ikaika Sugimoto, and Kea-Marie; and granddaughter Ono, as well as by his other children Eric Kiha and his wife Shannon, and Alexa; and eight grandchildren.