Wildcats on the Move Coordinator
Public Affairs and Publications
California State University, Chico
Chico, CA 95929-0040
Phone (530) 898-4143
Note: Only cities outside California will have the state name included.
GENEVA (HAWTHORNE) BOONE
(Certificate in Education, ’37; BA, Education, ’37) died Dec. 7, 2010. She was a graduate of Chico Normal School and taught in the Oroville school system for many years. She was a lifelong member of the Native Daughters of the Golden West and Eastern Star, and was a “white ragger” in the YWCA. She was predeceased by her son Tim. She is survived by son Joel and two granddaughters.
ALLEENE LUTHER WITHERS
(BA, Education, ’44) died Feb. 10, 2014. She took her first teaching job on the Monterey Peninsula where, 40 years later, she retired. After retiring, she worked as a consultant for the California Department of Education for five years. She held master’s degrees in educational technology and administration from San Jose State University and the University of San Francisco. She is survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
SHARON GAIL BEST VOLPATO
(BA, Art, ’57; Credential, ’68) died Sept. 15, 2013. She was a teacher at Davis Jr. High, Ukiah High School, and Redwood Valley School. She was married to Larry Coonrod for 38 years until he passed away. In 2000, she married her high school and college mate Angelo Volpato Jr., whom she had reacquainted with after 45 years apart. They spent their retirement years traveling, dining out, and playing dominos. She is survived by husband Angelo, four stepchildren, and five grandchildren.
(Credential, ’66; BA, Education, ’66) died Sept. 11, 2013, at the age of 74. He grew up in Oregon and attended Shasta College. After graduating from Chico State, he enlisted in the Army and spent two years on active duty. He then worked as a teacher, principal, and superintendent at Lake Elementary School in Orland for 32 years. He enjoyed the outdoors, fishing, and being with family and friends. He is survived by wife Naoma, mother Ruth, son Kevin, daughter Radell, six grandchildren, and three great-granddaughters.
WARREN “CRAIG” STRODE
(BA, History, ’67) died Oct. 7, 2013, at the age of 70. Originally from Red Bluff, he was a longtime Chico-area musician and performed with many bands including the Emarks, Craig Strode 3, Jim Burgett, Cottonwood, and King Cotton Jazz Band. He is survived by wife of 50 years Glenda, children Kimberly and Chris, and two grandsons.
(BA, Microbiology, ’68) died Oct. 18, 2013, at the age of 72. He was a licensed medical technologist and worked in hospital laboratories for almost 30 years. He then designed laboratory computer software for 10 years before retiring in 2007. He loved trains and travel and collected stamps. He is survived by wife Jo Ann, whom he met at Chico State.
(BA, Political Science, ’73) died Aug. 18, 2013. He practiced law for 35 years in Sacramento with a specialty in criminal defense. While at Chico State, he was a member of the track team and also met his wife Susan (BA, Home Economics, ’72; Credential ’73), by whom he is survived.
PATRICIA LOUISE DARROW
(BA, Art, ’73) died Nov. 3, 2013, at the age of 78. She married Gareth Rawlins in 1955 and had three children before returning to college. After earning a secondary teaching credential, she taught art fundamentals to handicapped students as a substitute teacher in the North Valley. She married second husband Robert Darrow in 1983, and they settled in Los Molinos, where she opened Big Tree Antique Store. They later returned to Chico. She is survived by children Kristi, Gary, and Michael; husband Robert; and one granddaughter.
SUSAN MARIE KAISER
(MS, Special Major, ’78) died Sept. 13, 2013, at the age of 82. She earned her BS in home economics journalism from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In 1965, she moved to Chico, where she taught classes at Butte College and worked as a project coordinator for family health services in the Butte County Public Health Department. She was the first director of the Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) program. She is survived by husband John; daughters Kay, MaryJane, Amy, and Carol; and six grandchildren.
(BA, Psychology, ’84) died Feb. 2, 2014, at the age of 75. She retired from Butte County Public Health in 2007 after 20 years. She was a lifelong active member of First United Methodist Church of Oroville. She was married to John Alton Brown for 58 years. She is survived by children Nancy, Mike, Rachel, Gail, and Alex; 13 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
(BS, Home Economics, ’89; Credential, ’91) died Nov. 25, 2013. Her family moved to Chico from the East Coast while she was in junior high. While at Chico State, she played cello in the Chico State Symphony and was one of the first candy stripers at Enloe Medical Center. She spent her last 24 years as a teacher at Murdock Elementary School in Willows. She is survived by husband Charles, daughters Jennifer and Amanda, and two grandchildren.
COLLEEN THERESE ROACH NELSON
(BA, Speech Pathology and Audiology, ’95; MA, Recreation Administration, ’00) died Nov. 26, 2013, at the age of 41. She worked at the Arc of Butte County for seven years and was a past board member at Paradise STRIVE Center. Her most recent position was mobile activities specialist for the social skills training program at the Work Training Center. She is survived by husband Carl and parents James and Cecelia.
(BA, Journalism, ’01) died Jan. 17, 2014, at the age of 66. The Missouri native had been a reporter for the Oroville Mercury-Register and the Chico Enterprise-Record since March 2002. Between 1980 and 1997, she owned and operated Mary's Beauty Salon in Biggs. Besides covering government and community activities, Weston served as the vice chair of the Gridley City Planning Commission and was vice president of the Biggs Little League. During her time at the University, she worked for the student newspaper, The Orion.
(BA, Instructional Technology, ’04) died Feb. 14, 2014, at the age of 66. He was enrolled in the Master of Science in instructional technology program. Among his many interests were football, playing drums and guitar, and deep sea diving. Before his educational pursuits at Chico State, he had worked in construction and real estate investment.
JAMES ALAN LOWDER
(undergraduate, pre-Business Administration) died Nov. 15, 2013, at the age of 19. He was raised in Folsom and graduated from Folsom High School in 2012. He entered Chico State in fall 2012. He is survived by his parents, Mark and Judy Lowder, and three sisters, Sarah, Janna, and Jocelyn.
(undergraduate, Nursing) died Sept. 24, 2013, at the age of 21. She graduated from Chabot College in Hayward before transferring to Chico State in fall 2012. School of Nursing professor Peggy Rowberg says she was a dedicated student and class leader well respected by her peers.
(undergraduate, Music Industry and Technology) died Jan. 26, 2014, at the age of 20. He was born Dec. 7, 1993, and came to Chico State for the fall 2012 semester from Simi Valley. He had completed 33 units entering this semester.
(undergraduate, Microbiology) died Jan. 28, 2014, at the age of 19. He was born Sept. 5, 1994, and came to Chico State for the fall 2013 semester after graduating from San Diego High School.
(undergraduate, Civil Engineering) died Nov. 2, 2013, at the age of 22. He transferred from Yuba College to Chico State in fall 2013. Civil engineering chair Curt Haselton says Madison had ambitious goals for his university and postgraduate careers. He is survived by parents Theresa and Kevin and a sister.
(undergraduate, Computer Science and Business Administration) died Feb. 8, 2014, at the age of 30. He came to Chico State in fall 2009. A decorated veteran of the U.S. Army, he served from 2004 to 2008. Prior to his service, he attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and De Anza College in Cupertino. After being honorably discharged, he returned briefly to De Anza before transferring. He was an active member of the Chico State Student Veteran Organization.
Kacey Gardner, Public Affairs and Publications