A Magazine from California State University, ChicoFall 2012 Issue

In Memoriam

In Memoriam

Wildcats on the Move Coordinator
Public Affairs and Publications
California State University, Chico
Chico, CA 95929-0040
E-mail wotm@csuchico.edu
Phone (530) 898-4143
Note: Only cities outside California will have the state name included.

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(attended ’38–’39) died Aug. 28, 2011. He was 98. He got two degrees in forestry from Oregon State University and worked in Trinity County in forestry, city government, and as a business owner. He was predeceased by son William and is survived by wife Dorothy; son C.E. “Gene”; daughters Sophia, Jan, and Gail; 11 grandchildren; and 7 great-grandchildren.

Eugene Reid


(Junior College Certificate, ’33) died May 10, 2012, at age 98. A third-generation Chico native, he studied science and math at Chico State Teachers College. He was on the track and field team and even competed against famed Olympian Jesse Owens in a college meet. Reid went on to UC Berkeley for a bachelor’s in chemistry and University of Michigan for a PhD in chemistry.

During World War II, Reid was an instructor in the Army Chemical Warfare School. He then resumed his lifelong career at Chevron Research Company in Richmond, settling in Orinda with wife Blanche and children Gwen (BS, Business Administration, ’70) and Dennis.

Reid created an endowment at CSU, Chico—the Eugene Reid Summer Research Award—to support students participating in the Chemistry Summer Research Institute.

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(BA, Education, ’41) died Jan. 21, 2012. She was 91. She lived in Oregon’s Rogue Valley. She was committed to community service and was a member of The United Methodist Church and Medford Crater Lions Club.

Wassum’s family had a long Chico State connection, says her nephew, BILL EDMISTON (BA, Industrial Arts, ’76). The Special Collections room in Meriam Library is named after her grandfather, C.E. Deering, the father of first-generation Chico Normal School graduates and a Chico pioneer who worked for John Bidwell. Her father, C.B. Whitmoyer, was chemistry chair 1923–1939; her aunt was registrar; and her uncle Elsworth Read “Red” Deering captured and named the “real” Willie the Wildcat in the 1920s. The cat was a mascot at Chico State sporting events. Many other family members are Chico State graduates.

Wassum was predeceased by husband Willie and is survived by daughters Sylvia, Wilma, and Melissa; five granddaughters; and three great-grandchildren.                                                                                                                                                                           


(BA, Education, ’43) died Feb. 12, 2012, at the age of 90, in Kellogg, Idaho. She was active in many clubs while at Chico State and taught in Chico schools until moving to Idaho. She received an MA in education from the University of Montana in 1964. After retiring from Mullan schools in 1984, Smith wrote extensively about the town’s history. She was involved in many local organizations, including the Captain John Mullan Museum and public library.

Smith was predeceased by husband Ralph and is survived by children Kaye and Blaine, stepchildren Cynthia and Keith, three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

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(BA, Mass Communications, ’73) died Dec. 23, 2011, at the age of 60 in his hometown of Lodi. He was a member of Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity while at Chico State and was elected Sheriff of Pioneer Week in 1972. He had pursued several varied occupations since graduation and had moved back to Lodi shortly before his death. He is survived by his father, two brothers, and a sister.


(BA, Psychology, ’76) died Dec. 8, 2011, at the age of 57. She was a woman of uncommon warmth and generosity, says brother-in-law KEN CONNER (BA, English, ’75; MA, English, ’77). She was married to
Dr. Daniel Pardini and managed his Chico practice. Pardini was involved with the National Charity League, the Butte Glenn Medical Society Alliance, and Notre Dame School. She is survived by husband Daniel, daughter Madeleine, stepsons Aaron and Dustin, and stepdaughter Sara.



(BA, Art, ’73) died Jan. 28, 2012, at the age of 60. Headley was a lifelong entrepreneur, beginning her career in Southern California at age 12, when she began selling her handmade papier-mâché earrings.

In 1975, Headley started Woof & Poof Pillows, specializing in sewn gift items. Former First Lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis ordered 200 of her soft sheep-shaped hot water bottle covers. By the late 1990s, Headley built a Woof & Poof warehouse on Orange Street, shipping products to businesses including Neiman Marcus, Eddie Bauer, and L.L. Bean.

Headley was committed to the Chico community and the town’s architectural treasures. She bought the historic Nottelmann Building on West 3rd Street at age 29 after protesting the building’s proposed demolition. In 1985, Headley started the downtown store Made in Chico, now located in the Nottelmann Building.

Headley was the 2005 College of Humanities and Fine Arts Distinguished Alumna. She was involved in many local organizations, including the Janet Turner Print Museum, the City of Chico’s Architectural Review and Historic Preservation Board, and the Chico Heritage Association Board. She often spoke in Chico State business classes and at the This Way to Sustainability Conference.

Headley is survived by husband Graham Hutton, sons Christopher and Oliver, and parents Jack and Jean.

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(BS, Health Education, ’08) died Aug. 25, 2011, at age 28. She worked with disadvantaged youth at John F. Kennedy School in Redwood City. At Chico State, Abramson participated in REAL Girls at Four Winds Indian Education Center, Buena Salud at the migrant labor camp, and Boys and Girls Club. Abramson is survived by mother Ellen, father David, and brother Will.


(undergraduate, English) died March 21, 2012, at the age of 29. Canafax loved theatre, music, and writing. She was predeceased by mother Sandra and is survived by her father Ron; sister Jennifer; and brothers J.R., Jason,
and Jedediah.


(graduate student, Geography and Planning) died Feb. 29, 2012, at the age of 48. She was working on a project on mammals in the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve. She was a Graduate Equity Fellow and helped establish the Geography Club. Degmetich is survived by parents Mike and Norma, sister Leia, and brother Arthur.


(undergraduate, Mechanical Engineering) was swept over Feather Falls in Plumas National Forest April 22, 2012. He was 28. Padula was a member of Chico Breakfast Lions Club, a referee for Special Olympics, and an official for local high school softball and basketball games. Padula was predeceased by mother Cindee and is survived by father William and brother Michael.

By Anna Harris, Public Affairs and Publications
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Alum Notes

Jim Enos

Jim Enos

(BA, Recreation Administration, ’82), a former firefighter/EMT, is an insurance agent with New York Life in San Diego.

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Cherri Spriggs-Hernandez

Cherri Spriggs-Hernandez

(BA, Journalism, ’01) is a partner at FSB Core Strategies, a public relations firm in Sacramento.

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Jaison Wardrop

Jaison Wardrop

(MA, Kinesiology, ’06) is the head athletic trainer at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo.

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