In Memoriam

We remember friends and alumni who have passed.

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Lorelle Browning, professor of English, died April 26, 2015, at age 64. She earned her bachelor’s, master’s and PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and joined the faculty at Pacific University in 1990. She had previously taught at Vietnamese colleges and universities in Hue, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and co-produced several collaborative productions featuring Vietnamese and American actors performing together in Vietnam and the United States. The award-winning documentary film, A Dream in Hanoi, chronicles her theatre collaborations and has aired numerous times on PBS and LINK television. She also worked with Portland’s Artists Repertory Theatre on bilingual Vietnamese-American productions of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Tennessee Williams’ Glass Menagerie. In 2011, she co-directed a Vietnamese production of Arthur Millers’ All My Sons, sponsored by the U.S. Embassy. She was the founder of Vietnam-America Theatre Exchange and recognized as the most renowned non-native expert on Vietnamese theatre. She and her partner, Marvin Simmons, were dedicated to service to the people of Vietnam and to veterans of the conflict in Vietnam. They had adopted two foster families in Vietnam. She also enjoyed aerobics, cooking for students and friends, and gardening at her home, as well as traveling and playing with her dogs. Memorial donations may be made to the Pacific University English Department.


Mary Elizabeth Smith Tomme ’41, MA ’63 died Jan. 20, 2015, at age 92. She met her husband, Wade Kennon Tomme, in Japan, when she was music director of the Armed Forces radio station and he was an Army Chaplain. The family moved around the world from Morocco to Tripoli to Alaska and spent many years in the San Antonio area. She taught in public schools from Oregon to Texas, had private violin and piano students around the world, and sang in and conducted choirs at various schools and base chapels. She was a charter member of the Portland Symphonic Choir, played violin in the University of Texas at San Antonio orchestra and the San Antonio Community String Orchestra, and sang in the choir of Alamo Heights United Methodist Church. In 1997, she was inducted into the Pacific University Music Hall of Fame. She is survived by her daughters, Elizabeth Anne (and Nick) Graves and Mary K. (and Bob) Clark; grandchildren; Ashlie (and Steve) Skidmore, Stratton Clark and Allison Clark; and two great-grandchildren.


Forrest E. Bump died April 27, 2015, at age 94. He met Rosemary Joubert ’60 at Pacific, and they married in 1944 in Kentucky, where he studied at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. He served as an Army Medical Captain during his internship at Fitzsimmons Hospital in Denver, and the couple later moved to Newberg, then Forest Grove, where he began a medical practice in 1950. He helped found Tuality Community Hospital and St. Bede’s Episcopal Church. He co-founded the Tualatin Valley Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society and enjoyed plant collection trips to Sikkim, Tibet and China. He served on the Forest Grove School Board for two years and was a member of the local Holbrook Masons. He also helped start a chess group and photography club, and he enjoyed sailing and gardening.  He was preceded in death by his brother Kenneth Bump ’41 and sister-in-law Ellen (Arnold) Bump ’40. His wife Rosemary died May 9. A full obituary will appear in the next issue of Pacific. He is survived by his daughters Mary Spies and Rosemary Bradford; son Stefan (and Christine) Bump; grandchildren Cameron Spies (and Lizy Ellison) and Lillian Bradford; two great- grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.


Anna Mary (Hartrampf) Banner died March 29, 2015, at age 92. After attending Pacific, she opened a floral shop with a cousin and later became assistant to the vice president of the First Commercial Bank of Oregon, Hillsboro branch. In 1953, she married William R. Bond Jr., and they founded Permapost Products Company, which continues to manufacture fabricated and treated forest products. Following a divorce in 1969, she earned her real estate license and also volunteered for the Washington County Elections Board and OMSI, where she later was membership secretary. In 1976, she married Francis Leon Banner, and they moved to Los Angeles until his retirement in 1982, when they returned to Hillsboro. They enjoyed managing investment properties, gardening, golf, travel, dog shows, family and friends. Anna Mary was an active member of Eastern Star, PEO chapter BH, Hillsboro Investment Club, Hillsboro Garden Club, Portland Rose Society and Western Washington Weimaraner Club. She is survived by her son, David W. (and Lori) Bond; daughter Jayne C. Bond (and Hector Villalobos); stepdaughter Julia Banner Spence; stepson John W. (and Rozalia) Banner; four grandchildren; four step-grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Gwendolyn “Gwen” M. (Howell) Sagar died April 18, 2015, at age 94. She majored in business administration at Pacific and later graduated from Hastings Business School in Portland. She worked for the First National Bank in Forest Grove. In 1943, she married Robert “Bob” G. Sagar ’44, and they made their home in Forest Grove. She worked part time at Pacific University and was the assistant bookstore manager for 28 years until her retirement in 1984. When her children were young, she was active in the Camp Fire Girls, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. She was a Sunday school teacher and superintendent at what is now the Forest Grove United Church of Christ. She also was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and Forest Grove Elkettes. She enjoyed golf, dancing and traveling. She was preceded in death by her parents and a sister, as well as son Gary. She is survived by her husband; daughter Karla Baxter; sisters Joanne Stanley and LeNell Jones; two grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.


Merle Glen Bryan died March 27, 2015, at age 94. He attended Yankton College for three years before enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He flew the first B-24 bomber to Karachi, India, and flew 50 missions in the China-Burma-India Theater. He returned to the U.S., where he married his college sweetheart, Merle Lois Bryan. He left the service as a major in 1946 and attended Pacific University, earning a degree in business. Under is leadership Forest Grove National Bank changed its name to Valley National Bank and expanded to include branches in Cornelius, Hillsboro, Banks and Beaverton before being sold to U.S. Bank of Oregon. he was president of the Oregon Bankers Association and the Independent Bankers Association, a member of the Federal Reserve Board of San Francisco, and elected to the Oregon Bankers Hall of Fame in 1988. He also was president of the Forest Grove Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club and was a member of the Forest Grove Union High School District. He enjoyed visiting South Dakota, hosting family gatherings at the coast, fishing and playing golf. He is survived by his wife; son Jim (and Ellen) Bryan; daughter Mary Lee Planer ’72; grandchildren Michael Bryan, Erik (and Ashley) Planer, and Bryan Planer; and twin great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Pacific University.


Robert A. Ley ’48, OD ’49 died April 11, 2015, at age 101. He grew up in Yakima and attended Whitman College Conservatory of Music, where he received a bachelor’s, master’s, conservatory diploma and piano soloist degree. He taught only a year and half, though, before joining the service during World War II. He served on a patrol frigate as a first class radioman. After the war, he attended Pacific. He settled in Coquille, Ore., where he practiced optometry for 40 years. He met his first wife, Jeanne Wenger, at Whitman. She died in 1966. He later married Dorothy (Boskill) Sanford, with whom who helped start the Sawdust Theater in Coquille and traveled around the world. He later enjoyed a sports car with companion Grace (Ellingson) Greenough. Joan Wren was his close companion for nearly four years after moving to the Eugene Hotel Retirement Center. He enjoyed motorcycling, flying, golf, and driving a sports car. He was a life member of the Elks, Lions, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and Oregon Optometric Association.


Robert “Bob” Holcomb OD ’49 died Feb. 24, 2015, at age 90. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a bombardier officer in the most decorated bomb group in World War II. After his 17th mission, he was among 30 bombers shot down in a raid over Austria. He spent the remainder of the war missing in action behind Russian lines in Hungary. After the war, he returned to the United States and attended Pacific University. He established a private optometry practice in Corvallis, where he worked for 41 years. In 1963, he was awarded the Oregon Optometric Association’s President’s Award, and he was president of the association in 1980-1981. He also was a leader in the Corvallis Rotary Club. In 1997, he laid the foundation for a 14-day eye clinic in Ecuador. In 2001, he led his own club to raise more than $100,000 for the team to make its third trip. He also was exalted ruler of the Elks Lodge and designated Elk of the Decade, as well as a member of the Corvallis Masonic Lodge and Al Kader Shrine Temple. He was vice president of the Oregon Chapter of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation and retired director on the board of Pacific Continental Bank. In 1998, he received the Pacific University Alumni Distinguished Service Award for his service to humanity. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Billie; children Larry (and Karen) Holcomb and Linda (and Patrick) Holcomb-Bryant; two grandsons; one great-grandson, and brother, Fred “Jack” Holcomb.


Mary Jane (Kryshak) Sikes ’50, OD ’51 died April 12, 2015, at age 86. Known for her adventurous spirit, she was the second woman to earn a doctor of optometry from Pacific University. She and her husband, Rex Sikes ’53, practiced in the Wausau, Calif., area for 40 years. They traveled the world from Antarctica to Africa, and she took many trips of her own, bringing her stories back to public talks at the library and Metro Club. Her husband had served as a pilot in the Navy, so she got her pilot’s license to share his passion for their small plane. She was preceded in death by her husband. She is survived by her daughter Gini; son Rex Steven; grandchildren Sydney and Jordon; brother and sister-in-law Guy Bruce and Elain Kryshak; and sister Christine McKinley.

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 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 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 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 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 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 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.


Bruce Willson Galloway died Oct. 3, 2013, at age 80. He was an Army veteran and enjoyed a 30-year career as a YMCA director, retiring from Lynden, Wash., YMCA in 1982. He also was active in Kiwanis and a member of Sunrise Baptist Church. He enjoyed woodworking and camping. He was preceded in death by his brother, Doug Galloway. He is survived by his wife Carolyn; children David W. (and Cypressa) Galloway, Suzanne L. Galloway, Michael R. (and Teri-Lin) Galloway, and Deborah L. (and Martin) Kaiser; and sister Carol Lee Nancy Russell.


Warren B. Schouten OD ’64 died Dec. 7, 2014, at age 79. He was the first of three brothers to attend Pacific’s optometry program. He practiced for more than 40 years. He and his wife, Louise, enjoyed traveling around the world, though Warren’s favorite place to visit was the High Uintah Mountains in Utah. He had eagerly looked forward to his 50th reunion at Pacific in 2014, but was too ill to travel, battling Parkinson’s Disease in the last years of his life. He was preceded in death by his brother John G. Schouten OD ’66. He is survived by his wife; children James Warren Schouten MD and Patricia Schouten Murphy; brother Robert D. Schouten OD ’64; and eight grandchildren.


Cheron Joy (Messmer) Mayhall ’64 died Feb. 3, 2015. After graduating from Pacific she volunteered for the Peace Corps in Honduras. Later, she attended Ohio University, earning a master’s degree in human relations in 1968. She married Bill Mayhall in 1967. They moved to Galveston, Texas, where she worked as a medical social worker, and later moved to Albuquerque, N.M., where she was a counselor, instructor and co-director of a career counseling program. In 1975, they moved to Salem, and she enrolled at Oregon State, earning a PhD in 1983. The couple had four children. Following the death of son Scotty, Cheron formed a chapter of Compassionate Friends and dedicated her doctoral research efforts to assisting families surviving the deaths of their young children. She wrote a successful grant for federal funding to establish the Coalition in Oregon for Parental Education. She was executive director of the Oregon COPE project for 14 years. After retiring, she was founder of Habitat for Humanity in Port Townsend, Wash., and president of the American Society for Deaf Children. She also participated in her church’s mission project to build homes in Santa Elena, El Salvador. In 2004, she published her first memoir, The Bridge Is Love: A Journey Through Grief to Joy After the Death of a Child. Her second memoir, Marshaling Support to Survive Breast Cancer: Self-talk, Girl-talk, Doctor-talk, was published in 2008. In 2009, Cheron became involved with her Tucson, Ariz., church, and volunteered as a grief support group facilitator. She was named a “Remarkable Mom” by Tu Nidito in 2010 and also received Pacific’s 1986 Outstanding Alumni Service Award. She also was honored by the National Parent Network and by the Oregon State University Department of Education. Following her October 2011 diagnosis of Stage 4 breast cancer, she walked the Las Vegas Rock and Roll half marathon, hiked in and out of the Grand Canyon, completed the Komen Foundation 60-mile charity walk in Seattle, and completed a 90-mile pilgrimage across Spain’s Camino de Santiago. She is survived by her husband of 47 years, Bill; children Phillip ’93, Laura and Katrina; grandsons Jeremy, Christopher Jr., Cedric and Gabryel; and granddaughter Gratia. Letters Cheron wrote home in 1964 inspired a play by student Kailea Saplan. Memorial donations may be made to Pacific University.


Douglas L. Hessen died Jan. 13, 2015, at age 64. A long-time Forest Grove resident, he earned a bachelor’s degree in business and economics from Pacific and worked as a tax audit supervisor for the Oregon Employment Department for 30 years. He married Karen Brown on Oct. 26, 1996, and they purchased a home in Seaside. Following his retirement, they traveled to watch the New York Yankees play around the country. He was a member of the First Christian Church of Forest Grove. He was preceded in death by a son, Daniel Hessen. He is survived by his wife; children Robert Hessen, Bettina Reorowicz and Kurtis Pulley; seven grandchildren; and twin sister Patricia (Hessen) Pies ’72.


Anthony “Tony” Earl Warren died Feb. 28, 2015, at age 63. He was a beloved father, son, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend.


Leon “Lenny” Aggalot died Feb. 27, 2015, at age 59. He was born in Honolulu. He is survived by wife, Jerilyn; sons Ivan, Isaac and Lawrence; brothers Gary and John Joseph; sisters Jackie Sweney, Ilona Lopes and Phyllis Ahuna; and three grandchildren.


Alice Izabel Brown OD died May 4, 2014, at age 60. After graduating from Linfield College, she attended Pacific for her doctor of optometry. She worked as an optometrist in Depoe Bay, Ore., and served as a city council-woman there for several years. She was recognized by the Lions Clubs in Sheridan and Depot Bay. In 2003, she was celebrated as the Depoe Bay Woman of the Year. She was known for making quilted items for the city’s annual fundraiser. She also was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and served as a librarian and genealogist. She suffered a rare genetic disorder and, after her health began to fail in 2004, she closed her business and moved to Newport, Ore.


James “Jim” Thurman Nunley PT died Oct. 27, 2014, at age 62. He worked his way through college at Oregon State University doing custom hay work with his brother and spending several summers as a commercial fisherman in Alaska. He earned his physical therapy degree at Pacific University, and later worked as a physical therapist in Astoria. In 1985, he moved to the East Bay Area in California, where he continued as a physical therapist until shortly before his death. He was a talented mechanic, an assistant scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts, and an active member of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Livermore, Calif. He was preceded in death by brother Brett Nunley. He is survived by his brother David Nunley; sisters Elizabeth Nunley, Krista Codington, Ellen Demarest, Kathryn Carlson and Sharman Johnson; son Logan Slater; and 25 nieces and nephews.


Michelle Stewart PA died March 28, 2015, at age 61. She worked as a respiratory therapist for more than a decade before attending Pacific after her sons graduated from high school. She joined Maple Street Clinic in Forest Grove after graduation, where she provided medical care and mentored and acted as preceptor for Pacific students in the School of Physician Assistant Studies.

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