In Memoriam

Tributes to departed classmates, professors, and friends. In the spirit of the honor principle, we invite readers to add their memories, reflections, or stories in the comments section. Disrespectful or inappropriate comments may be deleted at the editor's discretion.
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Most Recent Obituaries

Alice Carey Alsup ’13

Alice Carey Alsup ’13, June 1, 2014, in Houston, Texas. Alice attended Reed for a little more than two years, then transferred to the University of Houston majoring in media production with a minor in creative writing. She wrote poetry and feature articles—most recently at Houstonia Magazine—and performed her own compositions on the stage. She competed in poetry slams and was cofounder of Write About Now, a Houston poetry group. A number of her poems were posted on YouTube. She is remembered for having a quirky sense of humor, emotional openness, and a spirit of freewheeling independence. She was treasured by her family, friends, and colleagues. Survivors include her parents and sister.

Finnian Farrar Burn ’00

Finnian Farrar Burn ’00, April 9, 2014, in Washington. Finnian spent three semester at Reed, mainly focused on chemistry. He went on to study computer science and engineering at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, and finance and business economics at Western Washington University. He worked as a software programmer, an IT director, a tutor, and a volunteer at an animal shelter. He was a musician, a poet, and a conversant on many topics. Finnian is remembered as delightfully curious and intensely interested in the world around him, and sensitive and empathetic to the people he met and knew. He was challenged by Crohn’s disease, a leg injury sustained in the hospital, and an addiction to prescription medicine. “Brilliant Finn always soared and sometimes flew too close to the flame.” Survivors include his mother and her partner, his father and stepmother, and two brothers and a sister.

Susan Singer Burnett ’66

A picture of Susan Singer Burnett

Susan Singer Burnett ’66 died in 2012. This memorial was composed by Lucinda Parker McCarthy ’66 and Sue’s sister Linny Stovall.

Sue was born in Torrington, Connecticut, to Harold and Laverne Singer, the middle of three daughters. Her father was a dentist, and her mother was a nurse. Coming west to Reed as a freshman in 1960 was the beginning of a joyful exploration of the world, geographically and artistically. Her roommates at the college that first year were Lynn Bowers ’65, Lucinda, and Leslie Mueller Stewart ’64. Three went on to study in Reed’s five-year combined program with the Museum Art School (PNCA). “Our parents were not quite thrilled, but we were. Two years of serious academics, and then three years of hands-on, six-hour days of studio work knit together our left and right brains. Reed at that time cost $1900 per semester and the museum school was $200 a semester. What a deal.” Sue did her senior thesis project in sculpture with Prof. Manuel Izquierdo [art 1953–56]. With her friend, who had been wounded in the Vietnam War, she homesteaded on an isolated island in British Columbia in 1971. Everything had to be built from scratch, so they learned carpentry, house raising, furniture making, water diversion, and gardening. All the while Sue was painting and working on a children’s book, based on the skills of living in deep nature. After several years, the friends returned to Portland: he went to medical school, and Sue went to dental school. Subsequently Sue practiced dentistry in northern California, in Kenya, and back in Portland. “Teeth are teeth worldwide.” Later she sailed to Hawaii on a ferro-cement sailboat; lived in Ireland, helping friends with a new baby; traveled to Sicily; and for over a decade spent winters in Baja, where she and husband Jim Hall, a retired fire captain, built a straw bale house. (Sue was married twice: first to John Burnett, a doctor in Hawaii, and for 20 years to Jim.) Sue and Jim made their main residence in Portland in an old house surrounded by woods and beautiful gardens. Sue excelled in every creative project she pursued, and was especially attracted to bold color in watercolor, painting, tiles, sewing, and gardening. “A restless, curious, coordinated, highly energetic soul, she changed the world for the better everywhere she went. We miss her very much.” Sue is survived by two sisters, Linny of Portland and Jean Singer of Whidbey Island, plus two dear nieces, Zoe and Shawn.

Carol Margaret Burns ’62

A picture of Carol Burns

Carol Margaret Burns ’62, April 22, 2014, in Olympia, Washington. A resident of Olympia who longed for an academic challenge equivalent to her abilities, Carol entered Reed in 1956 and was well rewarded for her college choice. During the winter break of her junior year, however, she was severely injured in an auto accident. Recovery slowed her progress at Reed in time only; she remained involved in the campus community and in Portland, and completed a degree in history, writing the thesis “The Polish Conflict and the Origins of the Second World War,” with Prof. Frank Fussner [history 1950–75]. Two faculty members stood out in her experience, she said in an interview with Joan Soderland ’70 in 2009: Vera Krivoshein [Russian 1949–72] and Dorothy Johansen ’33 [history 1934–84]. Carol was editor of the Quest and a resident adviser in Westport. “My most interesting activities were in association with [the student group] FOCUS,” she wrote. “We sponsored speakers from different socialist parties and progressive movements. We showed films. We presented performers, including Pete Seeger, Miriam Makeba, Brownie McGhee, and Paul Robeson. We joined the Portland organizations in demonstrating support of civil rights activities in the South and ‘Ban the Bomb’ against nuclear testing in the atmosphere.” She and others went to jail for demonstrating on behalf of striking newspaper guild workers at the Oregonian. 

“Most important of all,” she noted, “is the Reed education. I remember that our first reading assignment for humanities was from two sources describing how the transition occurred from tribal culture to what we call ‘civilization.’ It was not until the instructor began the discussion that I realized these were two different theories about the origin of civilization. There was not just one right answer. I can’t tell you how exciting this was to me!”

Carol did psychedelic light shows in Seattle, San Francisco, and New York in 1966–68 as part of the group the Union Light Company, earned an MA in communications from Stanford in 1970, and became a filmmaker. Her work includes the acclaimed documentary As Long as the Rivers Run, as well as Crimes of Imagination, PeaceTrees Vietnam, and Know Our People. She was a founding member of the organization that successfully advocated for public-access television in Olympia. In 1986–94, she worked for Thurston Community Television, and then returned to production work and to collaborate on a number of other projects. “I feel I have a fair amount to be proud of. I have in fact, in small ways, locally, fulfilled my original dream of enlarging people’s understanding,” Carol said. “The study of history is still a great background for any kind of journalism. It has to do with the experience of looking at conflicting sources of information and sorting out what makes sense, what doesn’t make sense, how you evaluate information, and how you then put it all together in a way that seems coherent.” Carol was passionate about the Russian language and its people, her flower garden, Green Cove Creek, and reading. Survivors include her daughter Lucia and son-in-law, David Bouffard; two grandsons, Cole and Adrian; and her brother, Roger.

Choong Yun Cho ’50

A picture of Choong Yun Cho

Choong Yun Cho ’50, March 16, 2014, in Hillsboro, Oregon. Choong Yun was born in Seoul, Korea, and came to the U.S. in 1948 to study at Reed with the help of Dr. Owen G. Miller, who was a captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps stationed in Seoul at the end of World War II. Choong Yun and Owen met and became friends when Choong Yun interpreted for his village people. Their friendship grew, especially thanks to Choong Yun’s mother’s superb cooking when Owen visited the Chos. Choong Yun earned a BS degree in chemistry at Seoul National University in 1948 and a BA in chemistry at Reed in 1950. He went on to earn master’s degrees in physics and mathematics and a PhD in mathematics in 1970 at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He worked at the U.S. Army Mathematical Research Center, Argonne National Laboratory, Maggs Research Center, the U.S. Army Advanced Materiel Concepts Agency, and the USDA. Survivors include his wife, Nancy, who wrote this memorial; son Eugene; daughter-in-law Marta; and grandson Matthew.

Diskin William Clay ’60

A picture of Diskin Clay

Diskin William Thomas Clay ’60, June 9, 2014, at home in Durham, North Carolina. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Reed with a BA in literature, Diskin went on to the University of Montpellier in France on a Fulbright grant, and then to the American School of Classical Studies in Greece. He earned a PhD in classics from the University of Washington in 1967 and taught classics and humanities at Reed in 1966–69. His career included positions at Haverford, Johns Hopkins, Vassar, and CUNY, and in France, Greece, and Italy. In 1990, he joined the faculty at Duke, and became R.J.R. Nabisco Distinguished Professor of Classical Studies.

“Diskin was one of the most prolific and wide-ranging scholars of his generation,” wrote Prof. Walter Englert [classics 1981–]. “His primary research and publication interests were in ancient philosophy (Socrates, Plato, Epicurus, and Lucretius) and poetry (Greek lyric poetry and Greek tragedy), but his scholarly interests extended far beyond those topics. He had significant archaeological and epigraphical experience in Athens, Cyprus, Paros, Thasos, and Turkey, and was a distinguished translator of works by Sophocles, Euripides, Plato, Lucian, and others. His intellectual interests were not confined to the ancient world. He also published on Dante, the reception of Plato in Renaissance Italy, Francis Bacon, John Locke, C.P. Cavafy, and George Seferis. Diskin’s greatest strength as a scholar was his ability to combine superb close readings of texts with a deep knowledge of the cultural contexts in which those texts were written.”

Diskin is survived by his wife, Andrea Purvis; daughters Andreia, Hilary, and Christine; five grandchildren; a sister and brother; and former spouses Jenny Strauss Clay ’62 and Sarah Clark Clay. A memorial symposium is planned at Duke in November 2014.

James Neville Compton ’64

A picture of Jim Compton

James Neville Compton ’64, March 17, 2014, in Seattle, from a heart attack. Respected journalist, documentarian, politician, historian, and teacher, Jim’s career spanned many fields. He came to Reed from Klamath Falls. (His father, Art M. Compton, studied at Reed in 1937).  After earning his BA in history, Jim worked for King Broadcasting in Seattle, became an NBC News Fellow in journalism at Columbia University, won a Fulbright to study in Romania, and completed an MS in journalism with honors in 1969. Jim went to Italy, working for several years as assistant managing editor for the Rome Daily American. He also worked as a stringer for NBC Radio, Westinghouse, and Voice of America. In 1974, he returned to Portland to work for KGW, then opened KING’s first bureau in Washington, D.C. From there, he joined NBC as the Mideast and European correspondent, based in Cairo and London. He covered Africa, the Middle East, and the Soviet Union, and wars in Lebanon and the Persian Gulf. He interviewed political figures and celebrities alike, including Moammar Gadhafi, Orson Welles, and Jimmy Carter.

“Hard to forget being arrested and held in Tehran, interviewing Anwar Sadat (six of those), and doing a live commentary from Leonid Brezhnev’s funeral,” he later told Reed. “As a reporter, the high points were probably being inside West Beirut during the Israeli siege of the city and doing the NBC flash from Cairo (26 minutes ahead of the next news organization) saying, ‘The Shah of Iran is dead.’”

In 1984, he joined KING-TV and produced a dozen award-winning prime-time documentaries, garnering the duPont-Columbia Silver Baton and the National Janus Award. In 1987, he hosted The Compton Report, originating from KING-TV with regional broadcasts—the program ran 10 years. He also was a correspondent for the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.


Seymour Gassner, Postbaccalaureate ’52–’53

Seymour Gassner, special postbaccalaureate student in 1952–53, March 26, 2014, following a prolonged illness. Seymour came to Reed in preparation for medical school, which he attended at Washington University in St. Louis. Completing an MD in 1957, he served for two years in the air force as a general medical officer. He obtained the rank of captain, and then completed an orthopedic residency at UCLA in 1964. Seymour practiced orthopedic surgery in the San Fernando Valley for more than 40 years, and was founding partner of the San Fernando Valley Orthopedic Medical Group. He enjoyed golf, skiing, travel, and playing bridge. “Seymour leaves a legacy of loving friends and family members who will always remember his kind and gentle spirit, his talent and compassion as a surgeon, his expertise at being a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and as a friend to the many who knew him.” Survivors include his wife, Charmalee, to whom he was married for 59 years; a daughter and two sons, including Gordon ’77; and six grandchildren.

Michelle Gaudreau ’85

A picture of Michelle Gaudreau

Michelle Gaudreau ’85, April 13, 2014, in Portland. This memorial was composed by her brother, Andy Gaudreau ’86, and her family. Michelle addressed everything that she came to head-on, with creative, determined energy. It was no different for the cancer that she escorted out of the world with her, after living with it frankly (and coaching others to do the same) for a year and a half. For everyone who encountered her, Michelle was a generous, energetic, wide-open-minded extrovert with high ambitions to live a creative life to the fullest. By every account, she succeeded in doing just that in more ways than a few. She grew up the child of an air force sergeant father and a mother raised in Mexico, and by the time she was 11 had lived in Mississippi, Japan, Florida, Greece, and upstate New York. She went to high school in Alaska, where she bloomed as an art, English, theatre, and classical guitar student under a few devoted teachers. After Reed (and a thesis on Wallace Stevens, her bright muse of light and artistic artifice), she moved for a few years to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting and writing. Mixed success brought her back to Portland, which led to a life first of exotic dancing, wine selling, more travel—to Europe (where she taught English for a time in Germany), the Middle East, and Africa—and finally, to a copyediting gig, for which she would daily leave her little southeast Portland apartment on Belmont Street, for 11 hours at a time, to work on her laptop in the nearby Common Grounds coffee shop. She became a local fixture, and got to know every denizen of this Hawthorne-neighborhood world: from the business people, academics, and scientists, whose textbooks she wrangled into shape, to the bartenders, artists, and street folk who lived and worked nearby. In this setting, she met her close companion and spouse of the last six years, composer and voice teacher Nevada Jones, who survives her. She is survived also by her father, Robert Gaudreau; sister Christine Kesler; brothers Andy and Robert Gaudreau Jr.; and her beloved nieces and nephew, Meret, Jane, Kate, and Rene. “Refer to anyone’s inevitably bursting, saturated memories of her for more stories of her full, full life.”

Stephen Goltra Gilbert ’52

A picture of Stephen Gilbert

Stephen Gilbert ’52 in 1994

Stephen Goltra Gilbert ’52, February 21, 2014, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Steve was an art major at Reed, completing his degree in the combined program with the Museum Art School (PNCA) and writing a thesis on woodcarving. His parents, Malcolm Gilbert ’17 and Inez J. Goltra, recognized and supported Steve’s innate love of the natural world and his artistic instincts, we read in the obituary prepared by Dave Mazierski for the University of Toronto, where Steve later taught. During his precollege years, Steve made a happy acquaintance with musical theatre and opera, and many years past that time performed on stage with the Tycho Brahe Players in Albany, Oregon. Following his graduation from Reed, Steve served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps and studied medical illustration at Massachusetts General Hospital. He was employed as an illustrator for the University of Washington, but grew frustrated with institutional illustration, we learned, which led to his returning to his family’s farm in Oregon. During the 12 years that followed, he did research, dissection, and illustration for his highly acclaimed laboratory manuals on mammalian anatomy. In 1973, he joined the faculty at the University of Toronto to teach in the Department of Art as Applied to Medicine, remaining at the university for 23 years, and retiring as a full professor. In the early ’70s, Steve studied Japanese tebori, a method of tattooing by hand, and in retirement, he worked as a tattoo artist at Abstract Arts Tattoo in Toronto. His history with the art stretched back to his early years in Portland and a view into a waterfront tattoo parlor. “Tattooing is a kick-ass business,” he reported. “It’s exciting—it gets your adrenaline going, like performing onstage.” His work had a “subtle and dynamic aesthetic vision,” wrote Penny Hummel ’83 in a 2002 feature for Reed, which reviewed his book Tattoo History: A Source Book. Mazierski wrote, “His beautiful tone and pen & ink illustrations, his gentle and caring nature, and his great passion for art, science, and truth will always inspire us to be better illustrators, teachers, and human beings. There will never be another man like him.” Steve is survived by his wife, Cheralea; their children Emily, Genevieve, and Scott; and his children, Ann, David, and Tom.

Millard W. Hastay ’41

A picture of Helen Wheeler Hastay and Millard Hastay

Helen Wheeler Hastay ’39 and Millard Hastay ’41 in Oregon in 2006 Nancy Stewart Green ’51

Millard W. Hastay ’41, March 28, 2014, in Forest Grove, Oregon. Millard was born in Montana, and, following the untimely death of his mother, he lived in Portland with his father and paternal grandparents. Summers, he worked on wheat ranches run by his Montana family. Money was tight, but Millard was offered a scholarship at Reed in return for working as a janitor in the library. Though he was interested in physics, and adept in mathematics, he was unable to pay for lab fees, and turned instead to the social sciences. (Having conversed often with his grandfather about the politics and economics of the time, he had confidence in pursuing a degree in this field.) After the fall semester of his junior year, Millard withdrew from Reed and got a job as a bridge carpenter on the Southern Pacific Railroad. That fall, he married Helen F. Wheeler ’39, whom he had met in the contemporary society class taught by Prof. George Noble [political science 1922–48]. Assisted by Prof. Blair Stewart [economics 1925–49] and his good friend Don Sutherland ’37, he then found work as a research assistant in the Oregon State Highway Department. He shared an apartment in Salem with Don while Helen lived off campus and continued her studies at Reed. They spent time together on weekends. After Helen got her degree in general literature at Reed, she began teaching English and PE in Halfway, Oregon, while Millard worked with Noble to earn his BA in political science.

Millard’s poor eyesight kept him from military service. Prof. Robert Terrill [economics 1937–44] and Prof. Victor Chittick [English 1921–48] supported his application for a Stanford fellowship in economics in 1941. Before long, he was teaching statistics to econ majors there. In 1944, he was invited to join the Statistical Research Group at Columbia University—a contract agency engaged in classified research related to the war effort. For 12 years, he worked as a research associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research in New York, and with Helen’s encouragement, he studied for a PhD in economics at Columbia. During this time he taught at the Baruch School of the City College of New York. In 1958, he joined the School of Economics and Business at Washington State College (University), where he taught until he retired as professor emeritus in 1981. He also was a fellow of the American Statistical Association. In retirement, the couple lived for a time on Case Inlet of Puget Sound, near Helen’s family—three of whom had attended Reed (Margaret ’26, George ’29, and Donald ’35). Dancing had been a major social activity for them from the time they were at Reed, and they continued to do square and round dancing into their 70s. They also traveled with family, including sons Laird and Drew. Helen died in 2009. Survivors include their sons and four granddaughters. “No college can train a student for his lifetime career,” Millard wrote. “All it can do is give him a foundation in knowledge and thought processes that will permit him to grow and adjust. Reed does that job very well.”

Herman Andrew Johansen ’48

A picture of Margaret Kilbuck Johansen and Andrew Johansen

Margaret Kilbuck Johansen ’44 and H. Andrew Johansen ’48

Herman Andrew Johansen ’48, September 30, 2013, at home in McMinnville, Oregon. Andrew grew up in Astoria, Oregon, and came to Reed, where he met Margaret H. Kilbuck ’44, who became a lithograph and textile artist and a weaver of distinction; they married in 1939. Andrew left Reed to serve with the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division in Italy during World War II, and returned after the war to complete a BA in chemistry and physics. He then worked at the U.S. Bureau of Mines in Albany, Oregon, and earned an MA in chemistry and a PhD in electrochemistry from the University of Oregon. For more than 20 years, he was a research scientist in metallurgy at the Westinghouse Research facilities in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, doing groundbreaking work on the isolation of titanium. He retired in 1975 to do farming in McMinnville. Andrew and Marg raised organic blueberries and reforested sections of their farm, which was enrolled in the federal wetlands program for the South Yamhill River. Andrew was politically active until middle age, and maintained interests in mountaineering, nature conservancy, biking, woodworking, and gardening. He also sang and performed in local choirs and theatres. He reported that his education at Reed had been of great importance to his life and career. “The technical competence obtained in the field of chemistry enabled me to follow a lifelong interest in the nature of materials, particularly inorganic chemistry and rare metal metallurgy, and to follow my natural bent for inquiry into all matters of intellectual curiosity.” Survivors include three sons and two daughters, including Marta J. Johansen ’78; seven grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. Marg died in 2004. In accordance with Andrew’s lifelong regard for libraries, donations may be offered in his name to the Friends of the McMinnville Public Library.

Donald Riley Kalkwarf ’47

A picture of Donald Kalkwarf

Donald Riley Kalkwarf ’47, March 22, 2014, in Richland, Washington. Donald interrupted his studies at Reed to serve as a combat infantryman in the U.S. Army’s 44th Division in Europe. He returned to the college and earned a BA in chemistry. He also met Carol L. Rider ’46, whom he married in 1949. They went to Illinois, where Donald earned a PhD in physical chemistry from Northwestern University, and then moved to Richland, Washington, where Donald was a staff scientist for General Electric’s Hanford operation and for Battelle’s Pacific Northwest Laboratory. His keen enjoyment for the outdoors and mountain climbing cinched the decision to move west. Donald enjoyed photography and played the accordion. He was chairman of the board of trustees for Central United Protestant Church, and president of the Tri-Cities chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union and Sigma Xi Research Society. He also was chairman of the fluorescence section of the American Standards and Materials Society. Carol died in 1994. Donald later married her sister Elizabeth, who survives him. He is also survived by his three daughters, one son, and two grandchildren.

Richard H. Muller ’56

Rich Muller ’56 and Mertie Hansen Muller ’56

Richard H. Muller ’56, April 20, 2014, in Portland. Rich came to Reed from Marin County, California, although his family emigrated from Germany. He chose Reed because it offered excellence in education, he told Rory Bowman ’90 in an interview in 2008. “About that time, Reed made the magazines as being the best small liberal arts college in the country, and that did have an impact.” On a freshman orientation trip, he met Mertie Mae Hansen ’56; they were married four months later. Rich had a longstanding interest in judo and started a judo program at Reed. “We were a powerhouse on the West Coast in competitive judo in the early ’50s.” Teammates included Jack Sadler ’56, Paul Burgess ’56, and Leroy Larson ’55. Rich taught judo three times a week, ran the summer swim program during summers he was not in military training, and he was appointed a student athletic director, along with Glen Wilcox ’56, in the absence of a college athletic director. Rich earned a BA from Reed in political science, writing on the property tax exemption in Multnomah County. “My thesis professor was a guy named Charles McKinley [political science 1918–60], who was the holy terror of the poli sci department, and it taught me a great deal of humility.” Rich served in the U.S. Marine Corps and earned a JD from the University of Washington. He clerked for Gus Solomon ’26—“that was real education”—and practiced in small firms until he established his own private practice, specializing in civil rights law. Throughout his career, he maintained a judo practice, and became a sixth degree black belt and counsel for the U.S. Judo Federation. Rich and Mertie had three daughters, including Karla Muller Verbeck ’78, and a son. Karla’s husband, Richard Verbeck ’81, and son, Alex Verbeck ’05, were also Reed graduates. “Whether or not Reed was worth the time and the money spent for the rest of your life? The answer is, absolutely. Absolutely,” Rich said. “I know more about what’s going on in the world around me than contemporaries who have gone to other schools. I don’t think I’m any smarter than they are. I just got a better education. And I think I’m a better human being because of that. To this day, I still want to learn. I still question. I still like to jab people with ideas to see what happens. And, I don’t know if that makes you socially a nice person, but it’s darned interesting.” Survivors include Mertie, their children, and eight grandchildren.

Michael Gordon Owen ’62

A picture of Gordon Owen

Michael Gordon Owen ’62, January 29, 2014. Shortly after completing a BA in anthropology from Reed and graduating Phi Beta Kappa, Gordon (or Mike, as he was known) and five Reed friends were involved in an automobile accident, which caused permanent damage to Gordon’s spine. Classmates, including organizers Dave Ragozin, Paul Siegel, and Don Treiman, established the Gordon Owen Fund to assist with his overwhelming medical expenses. The fund grew with contributions from classmates, faculty, and staff, revenue from the sale of coffee and fruit, and proceeds from a bazaar, a hootenanny, a rummage sale, and a dance. Gordon later converted the funds into the Michael Gordon Owen Book Fund, which today is supports the purchase of anthropology periodicals for the Hauser Library. Gordon earned a PhD in anthropology from Yale, and did fieldwork in Mexico in Quintana Roo and in Yucatan, where he married Constance Fries, a graduate student at the University of Chicago. In 1966, he was named Honorary Sterling Fellow at Yale. He taught at the University of Washington until 1978, when he resolved the politics of academia by leaving the university and becoming a partner with Connie in a successful Copy Mart quick print business in Seattle. He retired from the business in 1994 and planned to devote time to the study of the history of Indo-European languages. Gordon served as director of the Washington Wheelchair Athletic Association. The couple lived in a home overlooking Puget Sound and also had a home at Cannon Beach. Gordon’s brother, William S. Owen ’68, died in 1965.

Timothy Alan Patterson ’68

A picture of Timothy Patterson

Timothy Alan Patterson ’68, May 18, 2014, in Berkeley, California, from brain cancer.

“I started thinking of myself as a writer in the 9th grade,” Tim wrote, “when my buddy Bill Sprague and I talked Mr. Russel, our English teacher, into letting us drop out of class, sit in the back, and work on a novel. No trace of that early work remains . . .”

Tim came to Reed from Los Angeles, and earned a BA from Reed and an MA from Stanford in history. He did graduate work on the history of country music at SUNY-Stony Brook, and returned to the Bay Area in 1984. He wrote professionally about music, television, and political campaigns, as well as computer programming and software, for more than three decades. Tim and Nancy Freeman, who married in 1987, were business partners for Culinary Communications & Consulting, doing writing for clients in the food and wine industry. Tim wrote about wine, publishing his work in Wines & Vines, Wine Enthusiast, Diablo, Central Coast Adventures, and the Vine. As a writer, he was witty and “irrepressibly curious,” noted editor Jim Gordon of Wines & Vines. He combined “liberal arts erudition,” expertise in wine production, and wry humor, creating pieces that were “light, while firmly educational.” In 1994, Tim ventured into winemaking, and created in his garage and cellar the business Subterranean Cellars. He went on to earn gold medals in state and regional competitions for the wines he produced. “At first, it was just so amazing that I could make something drinkable in my garage,” he said in an interview. But he also was intrigued with the technical requirements of the hobby and the way in which it drew on his senses and stamina. He continued to write, publishing Home Winemaking for Dummies in 2010. “Though I am not the first Reedie to publish a Dummies book, it’s still far from the standard university-press literary trajectory commonly found among alums,” he told Reed. “For that matter, although there are a handful of Reedies in the wine business, that’s not a core Reed career track, either. Perhaps it was my year of classical Greek with Prof. Fred Peachy [classics, 1956–82] that got me interested in Dionysus and his fellow revelers; perhaps it was my stint as student body president that got me used to embarrassing myself in public; or perhaps it was the knowledge that a world-famous wine region sprang up in the Willamette Valley starting the year I left Portland, making me forever play catch-up.”


Seth Douglass Roberts ’74

A picture of Seth Roberts

Seth Douglass Roberts ’74, April 26, 2014, in Berkeley, California, from heart failure. Seth earned a BA from Reed in psychology and a PhD in experimental psychology from Brown. He was a tenured professor of psychology at UC Berkeley, served on the editorial advisory board of the scientific journal Nutrition, and published dozens of articles on topics such as health, nutrition, and weight control. Articles about his work appeared in the New York Times, Harper’s, and major scientific journals, including Science and Behavioral and Brain Sciences. He was well known for his book The Shangri-La Diet: The No Hunger Eat Anything Weight-Loss Plan (2006), but better known for his work in self-experimentation and as a pioneer in the Quantified Self movement, which he shared at Seth’s Blog: Personal Science, Self-Experimentation, Scientific Method ( He also published an additional book, The Science of One. In 2008, he retired from Berkeley as an emeritus professor and joined the faculty in psychology at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. Seth collapsed while hiking near his home in Berkeley. Informing the college of Seth’s death, Prof. Allen Neuringer [psychology 1970–2008] stated, “Seth and I coauthored a chapter on self-experimentation. He’s had a major impact on the developing fields of self-experimentation and quantified self. He was brilliant and deeply committed to helping people better their lives. He’ll be missed by many throughout the world.” Survivors include his mother, Justine Roberts, and sister Amy Rogers.

Vern Rutsala ’56

A picture of Vern Rutsala

Vern Rutsala at his last public reading Photo by Maxine Scates

Vern Rutsala, a major, if underrecognized, American poet, died in Portland on April 2, at the age of 80. His books were widely praised, and his penultimate collection The Moment’s Equation was a finalist for the National Book Award, but his many honors were ultimately unequal to his accomplishments. 

Having lived all his life in the Pacific Northwest—far from the publishing centers and reputation mills of the East Coast—Vern made a virtue of obscurity. Working at a constant rate, and opening veins of rich, dark ore, his subjects were the daily weather of our lives, the small victories and defeats of mislabeled “common folk.”

Born in Idaho in 1934, he moved with his family to Oregon when his father lost his farm to the Great Depression. After a brief time in California, they lived in Vanport, among other places, before settling in Milwaukie, where Vern was quarterback and captain of the football team . . . an experience, he held, more instructive for a poet learning his craft than literary theory. Upon graduating, he spent a year at Portland State University before transferring to Reed, where he met Joan Colby ’55, his future wife from whom he was inseparable for half a century. They raised three children: Matthew ’83; David, a writer and cinematographer; and Kirsten, a professor of Russian literature. 


Bruce Saunders ’63

A picture of Bruce Saunders

Bruce Saunders ’63, February 26, 2014, after a yearlong battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), in Seattle, Washington. Bruce was a philosophy major at Reed, and went on to earn a master’s degree in journalism from UCLA and a PhD in sociology and education from UC Berkeley in 1975. He spent several years on the faculty at Pennsylvania State and the University of Washington before working as an independent scholar to advance educational reform in religious schools in rural areas of developing countries as an offsetting influence to urbanization. In addition to scholarly publications, he completed two books of fiction. His novel The Mexican Cowboy, the Coyote and the Thing in the Sky combines New Mexico folk tales, science fiction, theology, and philosophy. The book had its origin in tales told to Kaiti, daughter of Bruce and Laura Stanley Saunders ’63, when she was four. The stories focus on the value of connection between humans and among humans and animals, as well as the protection of wild animals, bioengineering, the conflict among animals’ gods, and war and peace. Set in the Rio Grande valley and Manzano Mountains south of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Bruce’s second book, Bruce’s Fables, which he wrote following the ALS diagnosis, is a collection of short pieces that examine our need to take care of one another. Bruce is survived by Laura, Kaiti, and son-in-law Rob Colenso.

Jeanne Isabel Casstevens Savery ’60

A picture of Jeanne Savery Casstevens

Jeanne Isabel Savery Casstevens ’60, February 21, 2014, in hospice care in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, from cancer.

Jeanne was a remarkably successful and prolific author who wrote more than 40 novels and novellas, populated by a dizzying array of pretty widows, brooding marquesses, witty rakes, scheming schoolboys, mischievous noblewomen, blind lords, cross-dressing twins, and the occasional vampire—all published after she turned 50.

Jeanne came to Reed from Iowa, and met her future husband, Thomas W. Casstevens ’59, her freshman year. (Tom confesses to wanting to meet Jeanne after seeing her picture among the incoming freshman photos at the college switchboard. That they both hailed from Iowa clinched the deal.) They married after Jeanne’s sophomore year and she left the college with Tom a year later to go to Michigan State University, where she completed a BA in psychology and he earned a doctorate in political science. Tom’s subsequent career was largely at Oakland University in Michigan.


Robert Bailey Scharf ’40

A picture of Robert Scharf

Robert Bailey Scharf ’40, June 25, 2013, at the Arkansas Regional Medical Center in Colorado. Dusty came to Reed from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. He was a member of the Outdoor Club and was elected president of the student body. Among his memories of Reed was rooming with Emilio Pucci MA ’37, we learned from his granddaughter. “He loved to tell the story that, one night, Emilio came back to their room, looked out the window at a full moon, and proclaimed, ‘On nights like tonight, Italians make love.’” (Emilio promptly left the room.) Dusty earned his BA in political science, joined the U.S. Army Flying Cadet Program in 1941, and served with the 232nd Squadron as a fighter pilot in the South Pacific. After the war, he went to Las Animas, Colorado, and opened the Walters and Scharf Motor Company, which later became Scharf’s Auto Body Shop. He was also an air force reservist. Dusty owed his chance meeting of Alma Backum to serving with her brother during the war. Dusty and Alma were married in 1947. Dusty taught mathematics and was a school principal before becoming superintendent of the Las Animas School District. He completed an MA in education administration from Adams State College in Colorado. He also was a member of the First Presbyterian Church and was active in many community organizations. Survivors include his daughter Susie, son Donald, and a granddaughter and grandson. Alma died one month after Dusty’s death.

Richard E. Sharvy ’64

Richard E. Sharvy '64, July 1, 1988, in Eugene, Oregon, from cancer. Richard earned a BA in philosophy from Reed and a PhD in philosophy in 1969 from Wayne State University. He taught at a number of institutions, including Swarthmore College; Wayne State; University of Auckland in New Zealand; the University of California, Irvine; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; North Carolina State; and the University of Miami. He published at least 30 articles on various topics in metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of logic, and history of philosophy. The obituary appearing in the APA Proceedings, Vol. 61, noted that: "In addition to being a philosopher, Sharvy was also a linguist, logician, musician, politician, journalist, novelist, and debater. He had working knowledge of Greek. Latin, French, Italian, German, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, and Creole. Above all, Sharvy was an American-style rugged individualist. Almost everything he did was carefully measured for its intelligence, skill, efficiency, humor, and grace." Survivors include his son, Benjamin ’89; mother, Ruth; and sister, Rayna.

Lydge Amer Vann ’49

Lydge Amer Vann ’49, June 9, 2014, in Portland, following a short illness. Lydge studied at Reed for two years, and earned a degree in business from Lewis & Clark College. He worked for PacifiCorp for 35 years. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, gardening, and other outdoor activities, and was an adult leader in the Boy Scouts for 20 years. Lydge was born at home in Eastmoreland, and, following his marriage to Jean, he returned to the neighborhood to build a home on the same block; this was his home until his death. Survivors include Jean; their daughters Irene and Carol Sue Vann Harris ’85, who provided this memorial; a son, David; 11 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. His son Brian predeceased him.

L. Arthur Warmoth ’59

A picture of Arthur Warmoth

Arthur Warmoth ’59 Eric Harbeson

L. Arthur Warmoth ’59, April 4, 2014, at home in Rohnert Park, California, from a heart attack. Art earned a BA from Reed in theatre and literature, and then went to Brandeis University for graduate work to study with psychologist Abraham Maslow. “This was the period just following the publication of Maslow’s groundbreaking Motivation and Personality,” Art stated. “At that time the use of the terms ‘humanistic’ and ‘existential’ were still being debated, and the idea of the ‘Third Force,’ which Maslow introduced in his 1962 book, Toward a Psychology of Being, was still being formed.” Art also studied with humanistic psychologists James Klee and Ulric Neisser and was named a NIMH predoctoral fellow. He completed a PhD in 1967, writing the dissertation “An Existential-Humanistic Study of Psychological Theories of Myth,” and then joined the psychology department at Sonoma State College, maintaining a focus on humanities and humanistic psychology and serving three times as department chair. He was staff psychologist at Mendocino State Hospital, president and board member of the Association for Humanistic Psychology, and cofounder of the Humanistic Psychology Institute (Saybrook University). He also was a visiting professor at Universidad Autonoma de la Laguna.

In the memorial for Art in the Press Democrat, we read that he was devoted to his family, a champion for social justice, and was always willing to help others. A colleague at Sonoma State, David Van Nuys, reported that Art possessed an ability to see people and issues within a larger context. “He championed, supported, mentored people that others wouldn’t, trusting a potential in them that may not have yet been evident to others.” An advocate for the rights of immigrants, Art served on the boards of the Family Connection (a transition services agency for volunteers mentoring homeless families), the Latino Commission on Alcohol & Drug Abuse Services of Sonoma County, and the Latino Democratic Club. From 2009 until the time of his death, he served as commissioner on the Sonoma County Commission on Human Rights. Art and his wife, Georgina A. Emery Gonzalez Warmoth, whom he married in 1970, raised three children, and journeyed by train throughout the United States. Art also collected and built model trains. He enjoyed theatre and musical performances, including broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera. Survivors include Georgina, daughters Monica and Tonantzin, and son Art; grandchildren Liam, Isabel, and Alma; and a sister, Ann, and brother, Edward.

Richard P. Wollenberg, trustee

A picture of trustee Richard Wollenberg

Emeritus trustee Richard P. “Dick” Wollenberg died at his home in Longview, Washington on July 2. He was 98.

“The Reed College community lost a great friend and benefactor,” said President John Kroger. “Through his generosity and leadership, he helped build the college into what it is today.”

Wollenberg served four decades on the Reed College board of trustees (1962–2005), including nine years as board chairman (1982–91). 


Harold Alfred Wyatt ’38

A picture of Harold Wyatt

Harold Alfred Wyatt ’38, March 31, 2014, in Forest Grove, Oregon. He was 101.

Founder and principal owner of Flavorland Foods and a fourth-generation Oregonian, Harold came to Reed from the east Oregon town of Halfway, where his parents ran the Gray Gables Hotel. Always industrious and self-reliant, Harold worked at a co-op, at a sawmill, and in a mine to pay his way through Reed. He earned a BA in political science, writing a thesis on the city manager form of government in Hillsboro, Oregon. After graduation, he worked for the Bureau of Municipal Research & Service at the University of Oregon and the League of Oregon Cities, and was acting head for both organizations. He supervised the codification of Portland’s ordinances and was hailed by a city council resolution for “a very beneficial service of lasting benefit to the city of Portland.”

In 1940, Harold married Julia E. Blake, who was a cataloger for the Hauser Library in 1938–40. Two years later, he was drafted into the army and went to Europe, working in the displaced person unit in Germany. He served as a military government commander for several city and county units in Germany, eventually becoming chief of the civil affairs branch for the Office of Military Government, Wüerttemberg-Baden, in Stuttgart. 


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