In Memoriam - Faculty and Staff

In Memoriam - Faculty and Staff



LOREN JAMES BROWN, International Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, died Dec. 22, 2014, at the age of 94. He began teaching at Chico State College in 1964 and retired from the international languages department in 1991. He worked for many years on a complete grammar of French, explaining all of the idiosyncrasies of the language to an English speaker. Department chair Patricia Black remembers Brown as gentle and unassuming, and someone who always shouldered his share of department tasks. 

ALBERT CULVER, Economics, died Jan. 1, 2015, at the age of 76. He taught at Oregon State University and Central Michigan University before joining the economics faculty at CSU, Chico, where he taught for 25 years. He is remembered by his many friends for his good humor, quick wit, appreciation of good wine, and bad dancing. 

WALTER DAHLIN, Music, died Dec. 12, 2014, at the age of 93. He came to CSU, Chico in 1966 and directed the Chico Symphony Orchestra and served as music department chair for nearly two decades. He also ran a summer music school for talented youth and took CSU, Chico chorus students on tours of Europe. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Patricia, and son Marc. He is survived by wife Sharon, daughters Michel and Per, sister MaryLin, stepdaughter Kristy, stepson Mark, and six grand- and step-grandchildren.

LORRAINE DEGRAFF, Nursing, died Jan. 18, 2015, at the age of 84. She came to the University in 1967 and taught pediatric nursing with a specialty in children with disabilities, gaining a regional reputation for her expertise in that area. After retiring in 1992, she stayed in contact with the School of Nursing and the North State Symphony, both of which she supported. DeGraff is survived by son Jim DeGraff, daughter Stephanie DeGraff-Hunt, and three grandsons.

WILLIS GEER, Political Science, died March 2, 2015, at the age of 66. A faculty member since 2007, he taught criminal justice classes on subjects including law, ethics, administration, and corrections. He practiced law for more than 25 years in Gillette, Wyoming, and later in Buffalo, New York. He also taught classes during the 1970s at the University of Wyoming, Casper College, and Sheridan College, also in Wyoming. He is survived by his wife, LaDona Knigge, associate professor in the Department of Geography and Planning.

PHILIP LYDON, Geology, died March 6, 2015, at the age of 83. He joined the faculty of CSU, Chico in 1968 and became a respected expert on the geology of Northern California. He and his wife, Gerda, were active in the Sierra Club and led many regional outings. He is survived by Gerda, son and daughter-in-law Robert and Jana Lydon, daughter Sharon Lydon, and son and daughter-in-law Michael and Robin Lydon. He also leaves behind seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. 

RICK REES, Student Activities, died March 6, 2015, at the age of 63. His 37-year career at CSU, Chico included working for Student Development Programs, an office that later became Student Activities; serving as one of the first co-directors of the campus summer orientation program; and serving 1977–’79 as director of Community Action Volunteers in Education. He also directed Student Life and Leadership and the Cross-Cultural Leadership Center before his retirement in 2012. Rees leaves behind wife Marilyn, daughter Alexandra, son Robert, stepdaughter Andrea, and two granddaughters. 

GARY SHIELDS, Facilities Management and Services, died March 22, 2015, at the age of 66. He joined CSU, Chico in 1980 as a groundskeeper and was eventually promoted to gardening specialist and lead groundskeeper. He took a personal interest in and responsibility for the care and maintenance of the University’s prized George F. Petersen Rose Garden; his favorite rose varieties were Double Delight and Abracadabra. He retired in 2014. He is survived by a daughter and two granddaughters.  

ELIZABETH WOLFE, Nursing, died Jan. 14, 2015, at the age of 98. She joined CSU, Chico’s School of Nursing in 1960, where she taught psychiatric nursing and fundamentals and served for many years on the faculty senate. After her retirement in 1979, she continued to take courses in foreign languages, music, art, and psychology.