Alums In Memoriam
1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s
LORRAINE C. JOHNSON (AB, Education, ’32) died Dec. 31, 2007, at the age of 97. Married to the late Senator Ray E. Johnson, she enjoyed meeting his constituents throughout Northern California. She was predeceased by husband Ray and is survived by children Mary Lou and Ray Jr. and two grandchildren.
RAY L. “RED” ROBERTS (AB, Education and Credential, ’36) died Dec. 20, 2007, at the age of 94. He worked in education for 67 years as coach, teacher, principal, and attendance officer. He was inducted into the Chico State Hall of Fame in 1986. He was predeceased by son Daniel and is survived by wife Beth, daughter Kay, three grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.
VIVIAN ELIZABETH BROWNING (BA, Education and Credential, ’39; MA, Education and General Secondary Credential, ’56) died Dec. 7, 2007, at the age of 90. Browning taught for 27 years, primarily at Chico Junior High School. She was predeceased by husband Leonard and is survived by children Ron and Barbara, four grandchildren, and two great-granddaughters.
ROY W. ADAMS (AB, Education and Credential, ’40; MA, Industrial Arts, ’58) died on Dec. 5, 2007. Adams taught industrial arts for 30 years at Chico junior high schools. Adams is survived by wife Hazel; children Kathy, Pat, and Tom; six grandchildren; and numerous great-grandchildren.
CHARLOTTE SUTFIN WOLF (AB, Education and Credential, ’41) died on Dec. 23, 2007, at the age of 88. She spearheaded the Girl’s Athletic Association at Corning Union High School, coached girl’s team sports, and was inducted into the Chico State Athletic Hall of Fame. Wolf was predeceased by husband Sam and is survived by children Dan and Virginia, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
ROBERT “BOB” GIVEN (AB, Biology, ’53) died Feb. 24, 2008, at the age of 75 after a long battle with cancer. Given, who had a master’s and PhD in biological sciences from the University of Southern California, was a marine biologist, educator, photographer, writer, and philanthropist. He worked on the formation of the Catalina Island Conservancy in the 1960s and of the Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island and was active in the preservation of the island’s terrestrial and marine biology. The conservancy honored Given in 2007 with the $300,000 Robert Given Fund for Ocean Conservation to fund educational outreach and research. A new species of sea anemone was named in his honor. Given is survived by wife Janet; daughters Kim, Kathleen, and Pamela; and four grandchildren.
ALLEN EUGENE BRYANT (AB, Education and Credential, ’54; Credential, ’58) died on Jan. 10, 2008, at the age of 90. He served in the Army during World War II and taught school for more than 30 years. Bryant was predeceased by wife Nadine and great-grandson Ethan and is survived by children Ronald, Ruth, and Daryl; 12 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.
DONNA KAY LENHOFF (AB, Language Arts, ’57; Credential, ’58) died on Jan. 11, 2008, at the age of 73. She was retired from Butte College as faculty emeritus. Lenhoff is survived by husband Jim, daughters Kay and Jennifer, and four grandchildren.
EARL WESLEY LING JR. (AB, Speech Arts, ’60) died Feb. 29, 2008, at the age of 70. He worked in TV broadcasting in Reno, Nevada, and was inducted into the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in 1997. Ling is survived by wife Sylvia; children Mary, Michael, Bob, Lisa, Brian, Robert, and Christine; and nine grandchildren.
HAROLD G. MAYFIELD (BS, Civil Engineering, ’60) died Jan. 28, 2008, at the age of 77. He worked as a registered civil engineer for more than 40 years. He was predeceased by wife Mary Ellen and is survived by children Glennda, Valerie, and Harold; eight grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
ROBERT J. HOOKER (BS, Agriculture, ’65) died April 1, 2008, in Tucson, Arizona, at the age of 65 as a result of a vehicle accident. He was a civil and criminal defense attorney for 30 years and became head of the Pima County Public Defenders’ office in 2005. In May, he was honored posthumously with awards from the Tucson Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Hooker (see photo at right) is survived by wife Sharon, son Lance, and siblings Marsha, Annella, and Dan.
BETTE SCHMIDT (BA, Social Science, ’73) died Jan. 5, 2008, at the age of 88. She was a teacher, Realtor, Orland City Council member, and mayor of Orland. She was predeceased by husband Howard and is survived by daughters Claudia and Martha and four grandsons.
RICHARD D. HARRIS (BS, Civil Engineering, ’74) died Jan. 7, 2008, at the age of 62. He worked for the U.S. Forest Service for 33 years before working for the California Department of Transportation. He is survived by wife Linda, two children, and four grandchildren.
JAMES H. PETERSON JR. (BS, Business Administration, ’81) died Feb. 17, 2008, at the age of 51. He received numerous awards in advertising and sales, and was involved in local charities in Reno, Nevada. Peterson is survived by wife Lynne and two daughters.
MATTHEW CHAMPION HOGAN (BA, Humanities, ’84) died Jan. 13, 2008, at the age of 54. Hogan was a musician who played with a number of bands, including the Incredible Diamonds. Hogan is survived by brothers Michael and Timothy and sister Mary.
REBECCA RUSSELL (BA, Sociology, ’96) died Feb. 17, 2008, at the age of 40. She was a business owner and music teacher in Lancaster. Russell is survived by husband Jeff and children Jeffrey, Athena, and Joshua.
—Anna Harris and Kristil Thornhill, Public Affairs and Publications
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JACK C. DELBAR (AB, Physical Education, ’61) died Jan. 22, 2008, at the age of 69. He taught at Winters High School for 36 years, retiring in 2001. During his tenure, he served as head football, baseball, basketball, track, and softball coach, as well as athletic director.
Delbar is best known as the football coach of the Winters High Warriors for 23 seasons—racking up 169 wins, 11 league championships, 4 sectional championships, and two No. 1 state rankings for small schools (in 1978 and 1994). He was named Coach of the Year and Athletic Director of the Year during his years of teaching in the small town, where the high school football dynasty had an enthusiastic local following. While Delbar played the stern and demanding coach to perfection, he once joked in a Sacramento Bee article, “Aw, I’m the nicest guy there is.”
Delbar also taught driver’s education and training from 1963 until the time of his death. “He might be the longest survivor of behind-the-wheel driver training in the state, as many quit after a few years,” says Delbar’s former wife, Sarah Case.
While at CSU, Chico, Delbar was a left-handed quarterback for the Wildcats as well as a left-handed pitcher for the baseball team. He was instrumental in starting a group of athletes playing intramurals on campus—they were called “Roy’s Raiders” after Coach Roy Bohler. The 1961 team (pictured in photo, with Delbar holding the trophy) was the “A Mural” champions.
Delbar is survived by wife Linda and children Michael and Michelle, both CSU, Chico graduates.
—Anna Harris, Public Affairs and Publications