Alums In Memoriam
1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 2000s
MARCELLE AVERY (AB, Education, ’33) died April 5, 2009, at age 97. Her first teaching job was in the one-room schoolhouse at Altaville Grammar School, now a historical monument in Angels Camp. She retired in 1974 after teaching for 40 years.
ELIZABETH PAYTON (AB, Commerce, ’49) died March 21, 2009, at age 85 in Carmichael. As a young World War II widow, she was one of the few women to work at Shasta Dam during its construction. She raised six daughters while her second husband, an Air Force pilot, served in the Korean War and Vietnam. She then became an analyst for the California Community College System, retiring after 20 years in 1991. She was predeceased by husbands Esko and William and daughter Shelley. She is survived by five daughters and her grandchildren.
SYLVIA ADERS (AB, Education and Credentials, ’59) died March 28, 2009 at age 71. She lived in Dunsmuir and was a member of St. Barnabas Church, the Sierra Club, and the Audubon Society.
WILLIAM HART EDGAR (BA, Math, ’59; Credentials, ’61) died April 26, 2009, at age 75. He was a high school and college math teacher for nearly 50 years. Edgar was also a certified USA Track & Field official. He lived in Carmichael. Edgar is survived by wife Phyllis, sons John and Steven, daughter Suzanne, stepdaughters Stephanie and Robin, stepson Eric, five grandchildren, and one step-grandchild.
GEORGE POSEY JR. (AB, Education and Credentials, ’62) died May 24, 2009, at age 86. He was a Mustang pilot flying reconnaissance over Germany during World War II. His plane was shot down, and he was taken as a POW to a German hospital that later surrendered to him. He was a jet flight instructor, broadcasted on a Chico radio station, and owned a women’s clothing store with first wife Jeanne. Posey was predeceased by Jeanne and is survived by wife Valene, sons Dyrk and Damon, daughter Danette, five grandchildren, and two great-grandsons.
RYIA McNAMARA (AB, Education and Credential, ’64) died April 17, 2009, at age 90. She taught third grade at Parkview Elementary School in Chico until her retirement, after which she traveled around the world. McNamara is predeceased by husband John and survived by son Dennis.
FAY KING (BA, Recreation Administration, ’69; MA, Recreation Administration, ’72) died May 31, 2009, at age 61. She was a Realtor in Fairfield for 32 years and was a member of the Democratic National Committee.
MARCIA CARLISLE GALVIN (BA, English, ’73) died April 3, 2009, at age 59. She was a professional photographer, self-published poet, and mental health counselor. Galvin moved to the Monterey Peninsula in 1979.
DANIEL LYONS (BS, Business Administration, ’77) was killed May 4, 2009, at age 55, along with his longtime partner Barbara Scharton. He was a lawyer who worked in Fresno and Santa Barbara, and became partner at McCormick, Barstow, Shepherd, Wayte, & Carruth in 1980.
MICHAEL LANGEN (BA, Geography, ’78) died June 4, 2009, in Chico at age 54. He was the comptroller for Chambers Oil Company. Langen is survived by his wife of 25 years, Brenda.
LUCILLE JUANARENA (BA, Interior Design, ’79) died April 24, 2009, at home in Chico at age 82. She and husband Cecil, an Air Force fighter pilot, lived in nine states and two countries. She was predeceased by Cecil and is survived by children Doug, Susan, and Tom, and five grandchildren.
DARLENE KAY BISHOP (BS, Home Economics, ’83) died May 3, 2009, at age 49. She had been the second-grade teacher at Murdock Elementary School in Willows for 18 years. Bishop is survived by son Andy and Robert Stornetta.
DANIEL HOLMER (BA, Psychology, ’84; MA, Psychology, ’94) died May 31, 2009, at age 51. He worked for 15 years as a counselor for Butte County Behavioral Health. He is survived by wife Debbie.
SUSAN WHITMORE (BA, Art, ’87) died April 13, 2009, with her 7-year-old son Sam in a swimming accident at Lake Shasta. She was 47. Whitmore was the Palo Cedro Community Church liaison to CareNet Pregnancy center, Shasta Women’s Refuge, and other community organizations. She is survived by husband Jim and son Jack.
PATRICK GARMAN (attended spring ’08–spring ’09) died July 25, 2009. After working for many years as a computer programmer for the travel industry, he decided to pursue a second bachelor’s degree in health services administration. Garman is survived by husband Mike Mazur, a professor in the theatre department at CSU, Chico.
KENNETH HOWELL (attended fall ’06–spring ’09) died May 25, 2009, at age 20. He moved to Chico from Morgan Hill in 2006 and was a junior construction management major at the time of his death.
ABIGAIL SCHIFFERLE (attended spring ’09) died May 4, 2009, at age 20. She fell to her death while hiking on the island of Maui, Hawaii. Schifferle attended Temple University in Philadelphia for two years and fenced on the university’s NCAA Division 1 foil team. She helped form and coach the Chico State Fencing Club.
—Anna Harris, Public Affairs and Publications
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A Life of Grace
MARIE (HASSEL) FISH (AB, Education and Credentials, ’34)) died Feb. 1, 2009. She taught at Palermo Elementary School from 1934–1936 and was a substitute teacher after 1936, when she married VERNON FISH (attended fall ’28 and spring ’29). They were married 54 years. Fish actively supported many civic, community, and educational organizations. She served 33 years as one of the directors of the Silver Dollar Fair and assumed an active role in the family project of developing the North Valley Plaza shopping center. Fish was also a lifetime member of the First Christian Church in Chico.
Daughter Geraldine says, “No matter who you spoke with, if they ever met my mother, they would say: She was a truly great Lady (with a capital L). She lived life with such grace.”
Fish was predeceased by Vernon in 1990 and is survived by daughters GERALDINE (AB, Home and Family Living, ’65) and MARGARET (attended summer ’63 and summer ’64), two grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Singer James Taylor (left) with John Hicks
A Casual Hero
JOHN R. HICKS JR. (attended fall ’75–spring ’80) died Dec. 15, 2008, at age 60 of pancreatic cancer. He worked for a glass blowing studio, opened a restaurant, and served as a Santa Cruz city commissioner before accepting a video engineer position for Michael Jackson’s Dangerous World Tour in 1993. He traveled with artists including Elton John, Billy Joel, The Eagles, Madonna, BB King, Sting, and Willie Nelson. His last tour was as video director for James Taylor’s 2008 Summer Tour. Taylor wrote to Hicks “To my pal John, a casual hero who looks into the abyss and rises to the challenge.” Hicks is survived by mother Barbara and sister JoAnne.