Alums In Memoriam
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MARJORIE ENGLEFIELD McNAIR (Credential, ’30) died April 11, 2008, at the age of 99. She taught school in Hamilton City and Chico and was a member of the Enloe Medical Center Guild for 20 years. She was predeceased by husband Palmer and is survived by daughters Sharon and Marsha, six grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.
MARY CORLISS DUNNING (AB, Education and Credential, ’36) died May 17, 2008, at the age of 92. She taught school in the Sacramento area for 32 years before retiring in 1977 and moving to El Dorado Hills. Dunning is survived by children Drew, Marsha, Maradee, and Deanna; 10 grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren.
WILMA ANNA “MENKE” WELDEN (AB, Education and Credential, ’36) died Feb. 18, 2008, at the age of 92. She taught in California schools for 34 years. Welden is survived by daughters Diane and Suzanne, four grandsons, and three great-grandchildren.
LEOLA KRESGE DUNKIN (AB, Elementary Education and Credential, ’46) died Feb. 10, 2008, at the age of 86. She spent 30 years as a corps sergeant major for the Salvation Army with husband Millard. Dunkin was predeceased by Millard and is survived by sons was predeceased by Millard and is survived by sons Robert, Larry, and Dean; three granddaughters; and two great-granddaughters.
LOYD ALFORD WEST (AB, Education and Credential, ’46; MA, Elementary School Administration, ’61) died April 20, 2008, at the age of 92. He was a Navy lieutenant commander and teacher and retired as principal of Hooker Oak Elementary School in Chico. He was predeceased by wife Marian and is survived by children Dale and Patricia, three grandchildren, two stepgrandchildren, and friend Pat Endicott.
VICTOR JAMES BROWNELL (AB, Education and Credential, ’49) died April 7, 2008, at the age of 80. He began his 35-year career in education with two years in Chico schools. After receiving a master’s degree at Sacramento State, he was employed as a principal of elementary schools in the Sacramento City Unified School District for the remainder of his career. Brownell is survived by wife MARGERY (AB, Education and Credential, ’51), sons Todd and Scott, and five grandchildren.
DONALD E. ISAAC (AB, Biological Sciences, ’49) died June 13, 2008, at the age of 81. He began teaching biology at Sonoma State in 1963, three years after the university began operating, and worked there for nearly 30 years. He is survived by wife René; daughters Aurora, Melanie, Kathleen, and Arwen; stepson Richard; stepdaughter Denise; and one grandchild.
PATRICIA MORGAN (AB, English, ’54; Credential, ’57) died May 21, 2008, at the age of 75. She retired as a drama and English teacher from Lindhurst High School in Olivehurst. Morgan is survived by daughter Denise and one grandson.
BETHEL JOYCE FORD (AB, Education and Credential, ’57) died May 22, 2008, at the age of 72. She was a retired high school physical education teacher and counselor. She was preceded in death by husband Richard.
WARREN SORENSON (BA, Education and Credential, ’57; MA, Education, ’64) died April 8, 2008, at the age of 77. He served as a paratrooper in the Korean War and was the founding president of Mission College and president-superintendent of Lassen Community College in Susanville. Sorenson is survived by wife Phyllis, daughters Rebecca and DaLee, son Kurt, six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
DANIEL E. HISKIN (attended fall ’52–fall ’59) died Feb. 3, 2008, at the age of 75. He was known for his love of fishing, diving, canoeing, and kayaking. Hiskin is survived by son Tim, daughter Pamela, and three grandchildren.
MARJORY GERALDINE McKILLIP (AB, Education and Credential, ’62) died March 24, 2008, at the age of 97. She got her degree after her husband Edward died suddenly at the age of 52. McKillip was a grade school teacher in the Oregon City School District. She is survived by children Jim and Carolann and two grandchildren.
FELICIANA DEPARINI (BS, Nursing, ’64) died May 1, 2008, at the age of 71. She worked in nursing for 30 years. Deparini was predeceased by husband Bert and survived by son Joe, daughter Carol, two grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
RICHARD ARTHUR JOHNSON (BA, Recreation and Parks Administration, ’65; MA, Recreation and Parks Administration, ’73) died May 24, 2008, at the age of 65. He worked for the Paradise Recreation and Park District for 14 years and at North Valley Fence Company for five years before working at the CMA Church in Paradise. Johnson is survived by wife Carolyn, daughter Brenna, son Scott, and two grandchildren.
ERVIN L. OLEN (BS, Civil Engineering, ’66) died May 9, 2008, at the age of 64. He retired as an engineer for Compass in Boise, Idaho, in 2003 and was a founder and lifelong member of the Idaho chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers. Olen also served in the Army during the Vietnam War. He is survived by wife Shirley, daughters Christine and Laurie, and five grandchildren.
NANCY DAMON (BA, Home Economics, ’69) died April 21, 2008, at the age of 62. She taught school for 35 years, 28 of them at Ophir Elementary School in Oroville. Damon is survived by husband Robert, son Matt, daughter Angela, and five grandchildren.
DAVID JOHN BACKMAN (Credential, ’72; BA, Industrial Arts, ’91) died May 20, 2008. He was retired after 32 years of teaching at McKinleyville High School in Eureka. Backman is survived by wife Marilyn and children Brandon and Tawna.
GERALD ROSS CRUM (BS, Industrial Technology, ’76) died June 1, 2008, at the age of 59. He served in the Navy and worked as an electronics technician for Bently Nevada in Minden, Nevada. He also lobbied the Nevada Legislature and U.S. Congress for research funding for chronic fatigue syndrome and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma during his long battle with these diseases. Crum is survived by wife Colleen “Coco.”
WILLIAM THOMAS JOHNSON (attended fall ’79–fall ’85) died May 18, 2008, at the age of 47. He worked as a construction superintendent for construction companies in the Bay Area and in Placer County. Johnson is survived by daughters Kaitlyn and Kimberly, fiancée Lora, and ex-wife Diane.
MARK HACKETT (BS, Agriculture, ’80) died Feb. 29, 2008, at the age of 51. He owned Hackett Appraisal in Live Oak. Hackett is survived by wife Crystal; sons Scott, Joseph, and Markus; daughter Shawna; and three grandchildren.
MARY ANN McCLINTOCK (BA, English, ’80) died Jan. 1, 2007. She worked as the children’s librarian for the Coalinga District Library from 1992 to 2007 and was an active member of the Coalinga branch of the American Association of University Women.
DAVID STANLEY JONES (Credential, ’89; Credential, ’95) died May 15, 2008, on his 57th birthday. He taught school for 24 years, mainly agricultural science. He is survived by wife Susan; son Lucas; daughter Lenore; stepchildren Adrien, Antonio, and Eireann; and four grandchildren.
MARK EDWARD PALMER (BS, Business Administration, ’92) died June 10, 2008, at the age of 43. He worked for 19 years at Tri-Counties Bank. Palmer is survived by sons Brian and Kevin.
ELIZABETH “BETTY LOU” DALTON BYRNE SHIRLEY (BA, Northern California Lands and People, ’93) died March 17, 2008, at the age of 82. She was a founding member of the Modoc County Historical Society and involved in California Cattle Women. Shirley is predeceased by husband Robert Byrne and survived by husband Robert Shirley; children Libby, Bob, Michael, Patricia, and Dan; and seven grandchildren.
ANNE MARIE (VENTURI) JEWELL (attended fall ’01–spring ’04) died March 26, 2008. She was a San Francisco native who graduated from Mercy High School in San Francisco in 1961 and moved to Corning in 1980. She is survived by children John, Jamie, and Barbara, and five grandchildren.
JOHN-PAUL VLADO SBRAGIA-ZORICIC (attended fall ’06 and fall ’08) died Sept. 28, 2008, after he was struck by a train on the Union Pacific Railroad tracks in Chico. He was 20. Sbragia-Zoricic worked for Whitney Dining and impressed people with his personality and initiative. He is survived by parents Drago and Paula, a brother, and his extended family. His family has established the JPSZ Memorial Foundation in his memory, www.jpsz-memorialfoundation.org.
CHRISTINA NICOLE FOSTER (attended fall ’02–fall ’05) died Sept. 12, 2008, at the age of 24 after a three-year battle with cancer. Foster was enrolled in the nursing program until her medical treatments forced her to quit; she would have graduated in May 2007. Her family, husband, religion, and school were her greatest passions. She is survived by husband Kerry, parents Nels and Candy, a brother, and extended family.
ROBERT SHEEHAN JR. (attended fall ’05–fall ’08) died Sept. 27, 2008, at the age of 21. He was a fourth-year manufacturing technology major who loved snowboarding, wakeboarding, skateboarding, and biking. Sheehan is survived by parents Robert and Patricia, a sister, and extended family.
—Anna Harris and Kristil Thornhill, Public Affairs and Publications
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Living with a Passion
RONALD DENNIS ROHDE II (BA, Information and Communication Studies, ’94; MA, Information and Communication Studies, ’99) died May 12, 2008, at the age of 37. He was an adventurer, philanthropist, beloved friend, and California loyalist.
During his undergraduate years at Chico State, Rohde was a dedicated volunteer with CAVE (Community Action Volunteers in Education). He directed public relations and promotions and was a youth mentor for Project Pals, a CAVE program that allowed students to mentor children in kindergarten through eighth grades.
Inspired by these experiences, Rohde decided to support other Chico State students in their volunteer work by establishing the Ron Rohde Scholarship in 2006, in memory of his father, Ron Rohde Sr. The scholarship awards $600 twice each year to a full-time undergraduate student who has volunteered at least five hours per week with CAVE.
Rohde also taught part time in the Department of Communication Design after graduation and served on the advisory board for Communication Studies.
Rohde’s zest for adventure took him not only into the great outdoors—where he spent his free time skiing, skimboarding, surfing, and hiking—but also around the world. His career in the technology sector at Pandesic, a subsidiary of Intel-SAP, took him to Israel, China, Germany, Italy, England, and Brazil. From 2000 to 2008, he worked in Intel’s Digital Enterprise Group.
While noted by many for his intelligence, sense of humor, athleticism, and business acumen, Rohde is perhaps best remembered for his intense loyalty to whatever he set his sights on, be it his favorite baseball team, the LA Dodgers; his most loved beer, Sierra Nevada; his personal chariot of choice, the Mercedes-Benz; or his many friends and family members.
Longtime friend Matt Johnson said of Rhode, “Ronnie was a complex mix of compassion, modesty, intelligence, opinion, confidence, risk, and safety with a huge amount of heart; but most of all he was an amazing friend who could be counted on no matter what.”
Rohde is survived by his mother, Barbara Dickinson, and sister, Ann Rohde. The Rohde family is carrying on his support for community service and has asked that any memorials in his name be made to the Ron Rohde Scholarship fund (call Daria Booth, advancement scholarship coordinator, at 530-898-4796).
—Jeanne Platt, Public Affairs and Publications
An Accomplished Athlete and Advocate
DAVID L. HARDY (BA, Information and Communication Studies, ’80; MBA, ’86) died June 25, 2008, at the age of 52, as the result of complications from leukemia treatments. He was a pioneer of large-scale recycling in California, as well as a soccer phenom in his youth and college years.
Hardy’s passion for the sport was sparked at age 12, when he was recruited for a soccer club in his hometown of Claremont. He went on to play soccer for Chico State, captaining the team his junior and senior years. Former teammates note that he was a versatile leader who could play any position. In 1976, his squad finished third in the nation, and in 1977, the team advanced to the NCAA Division I finals. Following graduation, he played semi-pro soccer in the Bay Area and last year was inducted into the Chico State Athletics Hall of Fame.
“Like a lot of high school soccer stars, I couldn’t believe how lucky Chico State was to get me,” he wrote in an acceptance speech delivered by daughter Jenna, to the chuckles of the audience. “Of course, I was completely wrong. It was the other way around.”
Hardy used his degree in his work with Honeywell and Wang Laboratories. In 1990, he became a successful entrepreneur, founding, with brother Michael, California Bio-Mass—a company focused on expanding organic materials recycling to reduce pressure on California landfills.
In his Athletics Hall of Fame nomination letter, Mike O’Malley, former Chico State men’s soccer coach, illuminated Hardy’s gift for leadership and warmhearted nature: “Dave Hardy is one of those special people that everybody wants to know. His presence lights up a room, and his wit and sense of humor fills it with laughter. His attitude and outlook on life is one of the most positive I have ever been around.”
Hardy is survived by his wife of 22 years, Vicki; daughter Jenna, who is a junior at Chico State; and son Garrett.
—Jeanne Platt, Public Affairs and Publications