In Memoriam - Faculty and Staff

In Memoriam - Faculty and Staff

Bruce Emerson Bechtol

Bruce Emerson BechtolGeography and Planning, died March 18, 2016, at the age of 77. Bechtol earned a BA in social science from Chico State College in 1960 and served as an officer and captain in the US Marine Corps. In 1968, Bechtol joined Chico State as an assistant professor in the newly formed Department of Geography. During his tenure, he helped start the Latin American Studies program, serving as coordinator at times, and taught numerous geography and interdisciplinary classes. He was among the original founders of the California Geographic Alliance, which was hosted by the department from 1988 to 2000. He received the University’s Outstanding Advisor Award in 2000, the year he retired. Bechtol was preceded in death by his wife, Claudia, who worked as an administrative support coordinator for the Department of Geography in the 1970s. She passed away February 21 at age 70.

Carol Bradshaw

Meriam Library, died January 12, 2016, at the age of 77. She accepted a position at Chico State’s Meriam Library in 1969. Her specialty was cataloging, and she entered the profession just as the field of bibliographic records was transitioning from original cataloging to machine-readable cataloging, and card catalogs were eventually replaced with online catalogs. She retired in 1996 and served for many years as a volunteer in the Chico Public Library. She was preceded in death by her mother, Helen Bradshaw, and her father, Tom Dee Bradshaw, half-sisters Louise and Evelyn and half-brother Harry.

Lennis Dunlap

Lennis DunlapEnglish, died December 22, 2015, at the age of 93. He taught at the University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt University, and Tennessee Polytechnic Institute before being appointed to the Department of English at Chico State College in 1958. At the University, Dunlap published two works with novelist and then-English department lecturer John Champlin Gardner: The Forms of Fiction in 1962, and three issues of MSS, a literary journal that included works by such future Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winners as W.S. Merwin, William Stafford, Howard Nemerov, and Joyce Carol Oates. Dunlap served as chair of the department from 1971 to 1979. Dunlap is survived by his wife, Ledora Dunlap; son Peter Dunlap; daughter-in-law Eileen Morris; and grandchildren Robert, Catherine, and William Dunlap.

Joyce Friedman

Campus Finance, died November 7, 2015, at the age of 71. After earning a degree in business administration from Chico State College in 1969, she became a certified public accountant and returned to Chico State in 1975 as the University’s internal auditor. In 1977, she moved to a financial position with the Associated Students (AS), where she retired in December 2010 as the organization’s financial director. While working in the AS, Friedman helped develop and implement accounting computer software used at Chico State and other universities across the country. She is survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Barbara and Ken Lemos; nephews Kerry Lemos and Shane Murphey of Live Oak and Keven Lemos of Durham; and nieces Krista Gobel of East Asia and Tina Murphey and family of Yuba City. 

Susan Hardwick

Susan HardwickGeography, died November 11, 2015, at the age of 70. Hardwick began her teaching career in a one-room schoolhouse at Honcut Middle School in Oroville in 1968. In 1974, she received a master’s degree in geography from Chico State. She went on to teach at Cosumnes River College and obtained a PhD from UC Davis before returning in 1986 to Chico State, where she held posts as assistant professor, associate professor, and professor, as well as the University’s cocoordinator of the Literacy and Learning Program. In 1995, she was selected out of more than 23,000 California faculty for the statewide Outstanding Professor Award, and in 1999 she was selected as the California State Nominee for the Carnegie Foundation’s Outstanding Professor of the United States award. Shortly before her death, the Association of American Geographers Council decided to name a national award in her honor: the Susan Hardwick Excellence in Mentoring Award. She is survived by her husband and fellow geographer and emeritus professor, Donald Holtgrieve; their sons, James, David, and Randall; and grandchildren Paige, Austin, and Annabelle.

Harold (Pete) Petersen

Electrical and Computer Engineering, died October 21, 2014, at the age of 88. After obtaining his PhD from Stanford and decades working for IBM and Rand Corporation, he joined the engineering faculty at Chico State in 1984. He was known for spending hours in the lab with his students and serving as an advisor to the Society of Women Engineers and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers student chapter. In 1992, he was the first professor selected to the professorship established in memory of John F. O’Connell, a Chico State College graduate and former chair of the California State University Board of Trustees. Petersen taught until his retirement in 1998. He was preceded in death by his wife, Joan, and is survived by his children, niece, grandchildren, grandniece, and great-grandchildren. 

Elaine Puritz

Elaine PuritzMeriam Library, died November 11, 2015, at the age of 63. After earning a BA in mathematics from Chico State, graduating magna cum laude in 1975, she joined the Meriam Library staff in 1976 in the serials department. She was responsible for the library bindery operation until her retirement in 2011, and took great pride in overseeing the bindery of hundreds of periodicals in print—the legacy of which is still visible on the second floor. Puritz is survived by her sisters, Joanne Puritz and Kay (David) Brandt; brother Tracy (Reissa) Puritz; nieces Alisha (Bill) Thompson, Debbie (Clint) Hand and Julee (Lynton) Bennett; nephews Jacob Thompson and Tyler Schlichting; grandnieces Jordan and Jade Bennett; and many family members and friends. 

Charles E. Harvey

History, died January 27, 2016, at the age of 84. He served as a minister in congregational churches in New York and Perris, California, before joining the faculty at Chico State College in 1966. He specialized in modern American history and the role of concentrated economic power and its responsibility to society. He was active in student learning activities and organizations during the Vietnam War and in local and national politics. After retiring from teaching in 1994, he moved with his wife, Jean, to Humboldt County. Harvey is survived by his children, John, Anne, Jane, and Brett; and eight grandchildren.

Helga Marie Ruge

Helga Marie RugeGerman, died January 25, 2016, at the age of 93. She married Neil Ruge, who became an American foreign service officer, in Italy, in 1949. In 1969, the family moved to Chico, where Neil Ruge taught political science at Chico State College and Helga Ruge completed her degree in German, graduating magna cum laude, and began teaching in 1973. After her husband passed away in 2000, Ruge wrote and self-published three books. She was a major supporter of the North State Symphony and member of the University Chorus. She is survived by her sister, Ilse Kley; son Carl Ruge and daughter-in-law Deborah (Annie); daughter Madeleine and son-in-law Tom; grandchildren Micah, Leah, Morgan, and Peter; and great-granddaughters Peyton Ruge and Layla Ruge. 

Connor Trebra

Connor TrebraMulticultural and Gender Studies, died March 25, 2015, at the age of 66. After a career as a medical transcriptionist and years of LGBTQ activism, he returned to higher education and received his BA in multicultural and gender studies at Chico State in 2006 and an MA in English literature in 2009. After his hiring in 2007, he worked as a teaching associate and graduate assistant for two years and, in 2013, he became a part-time lecturer. He taught courses in literature, composition, and LGBTQ studies. Connor loved reading, birding, films, cats, and his Jack Russell terrier, Cyrus. 

Katherine Whitlock

Katherine Music and Theatre, died December 7, 2015, at the age of 45. She joined Chico State in 2006, after teaching at the University of Memphis, the University of Arizona, and The Ohio State University. At Chico State, Whitlock taught a broad spectrum of theatre classes, including design, theatre history, world theatre, and theatre general education classes. She was a talented director and sound and light designer. A passionate teacher, she is remembered for working around the clock for her students and for being involved with their lives. Her research revolved around intersections between performance and technology, with a particular interest in the nature of video games as the latest in a long line of interactive art forms. Whitlock is survived by her mother, Adele.