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

Sorena Ann Hill

Sorena Ann Hill died Jan. 9, 2014, at age 74. She received an associate degree in nursing and was a medical-surgical nursing supervisor at Tuality Forest Grove Hospital. She retired in 1995. She is survived by her husband, Dean Hill ’61, MSEd ’75; daughter, Deanna Hill; son, Matt Hill; two grandsons; and a great-granddaughter.


Mary Johnson

Mary Johnson died June 20, 2014, following a battle with cancer. She spent three years at Pacific University, helping launch the School of Dental Health Science and the bachelor of science in dental hygiene degree. Prior to that, she taught dental hygiene for 20 years at Clark College in Vancouver. She also was a part-time dental hygiene instructor at Mount Hood Community College. She was an avid golfer and member of the Tualatin Country Club (where she shot two of her three holes-in-one). She is survived by her husband Ross; stepchildren Christine Tumlinson and her husband, Duke, and Greg Johnson and his wife Genevieve; and four grandchildren.


Lois (Tuttle) Campbell

Lois (Tuttle) Campbell died May 6, 2014, after suffering a stroke at age 106. She was born in California. She attended Pacific University for one year, then enrolled at the University of Oregon. She married Donald J. Campbell in 1931. He died in 1980. She also was preceded in death by her sister, Cecile Tuttle ’35. She is survived by her children, Douglas, Kirke, and Heather Hanson ’60; five grandchildren; and brother, Dean Tuttle ’36, age 104.


George Potter '49

George Potter died April 27, 2014, at age 89. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. After graduating from Pacific, he coached football for a total of 43 years, 21 in Oregon and 22 in Washington. He is survived by his wife, Bunny ’49; children Nancy Faulk, Ken Potter and Gene Potter; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.


Marie (Leavens) Houston '50

Marie (Leavens) Houston died March 17, 2014. She was 85. She majored in drama and elementary education at Pacific University, where she also met her husband, Tom Houston ’51, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force. With the Air Force, the couple was stationed in Alaska, Asia and Europe. She was a substitute teacher and worked with the Texas Legislature to strengthen special needs programs. She is survived by her husband, three sons, one daughter, five grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter.


Richard "Dick" Knight '50

Richard “Dick” Knight died March 23, 2014. After graduating from Pacific, he taught English at Heppner (Ore.) High School and then at Monmouth-Independence (Ore.) High School. He later became a financial planner and was one of the first in the nation to be certified. He worked as a certified financial planner in Seattle. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Robin Higgins. He is survived by his wife Phyllis (Whipple) ’50, daughter Lori DiMartino, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.


Robert Barrow '51, MSEd '66

Robert Barrow ’51, MSEd ’66 died March 18, 2014, at age 87. He was born in Marshfield (now Coos Bay), Ore. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1944 and served in the Pacific Theater on Guam. After his discharge in 1946, he attended Pacific University, where he earned both a bachelor and master’s degree in education. He married Marjorie Ruth Cox
i  1951. The couple divorced in 1964. He taught general science at Hamlin Middle School in Springfield, Ore., for nearly 30 years. At the time of his death, he was the oldest member of Eugene Aeronautics, a radio control club for flying RC model airplanes. He is survived by son Curtis Barrow, daughter Laura Cox, two grandchildren, and two great-grandsons.