Mel L. Garcia
Aug. 28, 2013—Reno, Nev.
Mel passed away at home after a brief hospital stay in the arms of his family and loved ones. Mel was born in Reno at St Mary’s Hospital on June 21, 1949. Mel was the youngest son of Emma and Roberto (Bob) Garcia, who predeceased him. Mel attended Mount Rose Elementary, B D Billinghurst Middle School and graduated from Earl Wooster High School. He was the proprietor of NEV-COM GROUP, INC. a telephone equipment and systems business serving Reno and Sparks. His wife, Syd, was his secretary, treasurer, bookkeeper and sounding board as they worked diligently together to keep their business successful.
Mel was an avid Wolf Pack fan and supporter of both football and basketball. He seldom missed a home game and traveled to many. He was also the family historian, finding and restoring old family photos, researching them and making sure that his family had their copies and histories. He loved to participate in family events, made all the more complete by his stories and appreciation of the past. He was also greatly interested in Reno history. One of his greatest joys was his son, Ruben, an accomplished musician, caring social worker, newlywed and father-to-be.
Recently, Mel endured several health difficulties but was a warrior throughout, never complaining and maintaining a positive outlook.
Mel, as the youngest son, left us too early, to join his father and mother, Bob and Emma Garcia; his grandparents and numerous aunts and uncles. He is survived by his wife, Syd Conser-Garcia; his son Ruben (Whitney) Garcia; his sister Florence (Lou) Hirshman; his brothers Buddy (Kathy) Garcia; Bob Garcia and Jim (Connie) Garcia as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Harry P. Holman
Sep. 22, 2013—Reno, Nev.
Harry Parl Holman passed away peacefully at St. Mary’s Hospital Sept. 22, 2013 from multiple health issues. Harry is survived by his wife, Mary, his sons Grant (Gina) Holman and Bret (Jorie) and his four grandchildren, Kaylee, Janessa, Sugar and Tyler, his sister, Shanna Pozzi of Carson City, and many nieces and nephews.
Parl, as he was known growing up, was proud of being a native Nevadan. Born in Ely, Nev., of Harry and Della Holman, he attended the White Pine Schools excelling in athletics and music. He was a skilled basketball and baseball player, enjoyed making the saxophone sing, and was proud to be the drum major of his high school band.
Parl attended the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, graduating in 1957 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. His honors at USC included serving as president of the Delta Chi Fraternity, chosen as a senior knight, member of the Skull and Dagger Society and the ’57 Club of his graduating class.
Harry Parl and his beloved wife Mary of 56 years were married in their senior year at USC. Upon graduation, they returned to Ely where Parl managed his father’s O.P. Skaggs grocery store Ruth, Nev. In 1961, they moved to Reno where Harry Parl became part owner and manager of Reno Rents. In 1966, he began his 37-year career as a stockbroker with several different brokerage firms in Reno. Harry Parl loved helping people fulfill their dreams and enjoyed the challenge of his work. He was a very successful broker over the years, always a top producer for his firm.
Harry Parl pursued his passion for sports by coaching his sons throughout their Little League and Babe Ruth years in baseball, as well as sharing his coaching expertise with the older Casey Stengel League. He treasured encouraging children of all ages, evidenced by his ongoing commitment to Pop Warner Football. Harry will forever be remembered as a great teacher and mentor to the many young men he inspired over the years.
Harry and his wife Mary were active in Nevada politics. He was a coordinator and chairman in the campaigns of Tom Kean, Paul Laxalt, Ed Fike and several others. Perhaps his greatest passion was following the athletic endeavors of his beloved USC Trojans, in particular the football teams through the years. In the 1970s, Parl and Mary founded the Northern Nevada USC Alumni Club dedicated to promoting USC with our local high school students and supporting their attendance with scholarship assistance. Harry also supported the local University of Nevada, Reno Wolf Pack athletic programs as a Silver and Blue Booster member.
After Harry's retirement in 2003, he explored his interest in meditation and spiritual enlightenment through leading meditation groups and studying metaphysics. Harry had a large circle of friends and followers in these studies. He joyfully gave his time and love to everyone in his midst. Through his vast knowledge and teachings he helped and inspired many people. Just to be in his presence was a profound gift.
Parl has crossed over peacefully to be with his friends and family members, including daughter Marla and his dear parents, Harry and Della Holman, who have gone before him.
James K. Dobey
March 17, 2013—Carmel Valley, Calif.
James K. Dobey passed away peacefully in his home March 17, 2013 at age 93.
Mr. Dobey was a retired chairman of Wells Fargo and Company. He joined Wells Fargo in 1946 as a credit analyst, rising through many assignments to board chairman in 1976. His career included executive responsibilities in Berkeley, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Francisco, in addition to many international assignments. A veteran loan officer, he supervised Wells Fargo’s loan portfolio for more than 15 years.
Other directorships include Texas Utilities Company, National Gypsum Company and Ampex Corporation.
He formerly served as a trustee of the University of California, Berkeley Foundation and in 1980 was recognized by the university as a builder of Berkeley.
He retired in 1979 and moved to Aptos, Calif. He was instrumental in the development of Wells Fargo’s Northern California branch system during the 1960s and in Southern California in the 1970s.
A native of Vallejo, Calif., and a 1940 graduate of U.C. Berkeley, he saw service in Europe in World War II as a glider trooper Captain with the 17th, 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions.
Mr. Dobey maintained an active interest in athletics and was a generous benefactor to U.C. Berkeley. He also held leadership positions in a number of civic and charitable organizations.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Jean, in 2007 and a daughter, Margaret Jean, who died in infancy. Survivors are sons James A. Dobey and family of Las Vegas Nev., Peter M. Dobey and family of Aptos, Calif., six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren
Aug. 25, 2013—Sparks, Nev.
Jennie Gaspari, a longtime native Nevadan, passed away Aug. 25 at age 89. She was born on her family's ranch in a three-room home which is now the Kiley Ranch property in Spanish Springs. She lived most of her life in Spanish Springs, married the only man she ever had eyes for and loved, Joseph D. Gaspari. She lived and worked alongside her husband and brother-in-laws on the Gaspari Bros. ranch for 43 years. Many of the young men that were hired each summer to work in the hay fields said that the lunches she made were the best thing about working for the ranch.
In her youth, she was active in 4-H and won a trip to Chicago and a $200 scholarship for her abilities in farm accounting and sewing, which became her lifelong passion. She graduated from Sparks High in 1942 and was a graduate of Reno Business College in 1943.
She served as the Orr Ditch secretary for 20 years. Due to her long involvement with the people who farmed in the Truckee Meadows, she became one of the most knowledgeable persons on water rights in the area and testified in many court cases. She also was a 4-H leader and a member of the Truckee Meadows homemakers club and the farm bureau.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Joe, and brother, Hugh. She is survived by her only child, Marie Crawford, son-in-law Cody, sisters Linda Folchi, Mary D’Andrea, Rena D’Andrea, many nieces and nephews, grandson-in-law John and Toni Adame and great-grandchildren Max and Linnea.
Luetta D. Bergevin
Aug. 24, 2013—Gardnerville, Nev.
Luetta (Lue) Dressler Bergevin passed away peacefully on the morning of Aug. 24, 2013, surrounded by her family. She was 91. Her husband, Louis, Carson Valley rancher and long-time state assemblyman, preceded her in death.
Luetta D. Bergevin, a fourth generation Nevadan, was born Sept. 6, 1921 on the Dressler Home Ranch to Fred H. and Anna (Neddenriep) Dressler. Luetta was the last baby delivered by her great-great aunt Dr. Eliza Cook, Nevada’s first woman physician.
She developed an early appreciation for the beauty of the outdoors, having spent the first years of her life on the family cattle ranch that encompassed parts of Carson Valley and Alpine and Mono counties in California.
At the age of 7, she boarded in Centerville at the home of John and Mildred Drendel in order to attend the Centerville School. Due to consolidation, she continued her education the following year at the Minden Grammar School where she graduated from the eighth grade in 1936 as Valedictorian of her class.
She graduated from Douglas County High School in Gardnerville, where she was an active member of the class of 1940. Luetta served as secretary of the student body, editor of the Garminada and was a member DCHS Girls Basketball Team.
She continued her education at the University of Utah where she received her B.S. degree in nursing education and her degree as a registered nurse from St. Marks’ Hospital School of Nursing in Salt Lake City. She was a member of Delta, Delta, Delta Sorority and was active in campus life.
During World War II, she worked as a U.S. Naval Cadet Nurse at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Seattle, Wash. Following V.J. Day she returned to St. Mark’s in Salt Lake City, where she passed her state boards with honors and was employed as the head nurse on the orthopedic Floor.
In June of 1946, she returned to Gardnerville, and in August, married her high school sweetheart, Louis Bergevin. They were married in the old Lutheran Church near Gardnerville by Pastor Paul H. Felten. Following their marriage they lived near Mesa, Ariz., where her husband was a captain in the U.S. Airforce at Williams Field, Ariz. After his discharge as a major, they moved to Reno.
While in Reno, she worked as a head nurse on a surgical floor and then as O.B. supervisor at the Washoe Medical Center (now Renown). In time they moved to the Dressler Ranch and Carson Valley where they would raise their family.
After the move, Luetta did private duty nursing at the first Carson-Tahoe Hospital for Ontie Hovendon, M.D. and E. G. Hand, M.D. She volunteered at health fairs and assisted in giving the first polio injections in Carson Valley. She served on the board of the first Carson Valley Emergency Medical Center. Later she served as a nurse at the Lake Tahoe 4-H Camp.
Following her retirement from nursing, she revived her interest in art. She was a member of the Carson Valley Art Association and the East Fork Gallery, serving as president in each. She was also a charter member of the Brewery Arts Center in Carson City.
She loved to paint and worked in oil and watercolor with watercolor being her favorite. She was a self-taught artist until her first painting lessons from Geraldine Lawrence. In 1981, she traveled to China with a group of artists who took every opportunity to sit down and paint or sketch while on the trip. They met with Chinese artists and exchanged ideas and techniques. It was an experience she never forgot. Over the years she painted numerous landscapes, florals and other varied subjects. She sold several of her works and her family members each have a favorite.
Aside from her paintings, Luetta was an avid gardener, an incredible cook and a beautiful seamstress. She enjoyed hiking, especially in the mountains of Alpine County and outlying areas of Nevada. On these hikes she would collect numerous photos that would later be inspirations for many of her paintings.
She was never inactive and her involvement in community life included membership in the Carson Valley Literary Club (past president), the Nevada State Cattlewomen (formerly Cowbelles) (past president), Douglas County Republican Women, Parent Teachers Association, 4-H leader, 4-H chaperone on educational trips, and she was a lifetime member of the St. Mark’s nurses association. She also served on the Nevada Historical Commission, Nevada 4-H Foundation, Douglas County Historical Society Board and was chairman for the National “Beef for Father’s Day” campaign.
She enjoyed working with people and put in many hours assisting her husband in his many campaigns for the Nevada State Assembly. She was a lifetime member of Trinity Lutheran Church and was a substitute organist for Ruth Felten at the old church and often taught Vacation Bible School.
In April of 2010 she moved to Merrill Gardens Gardnerville where she enjoyed much love, friendship and attention. The family would like to thank all of the wonderful staff at Merrill Gardens along with Linda from Gentiva and Brian from Vista Care Hospice for all of their kindness, efforts and care in making Luetta comfortable.
She is survived by her son Lee (Sharon) Bergevin and his family: Debbie Curry Flaherty (Amber and Chris Weller, Jordan Flaherty), Greg (Jennifer) Curry (Kaitlyn, Joshua and Julianna Curry), Lynda Curry, Shannon Bergevin (Al) Garner (Abigail and Genevieve Garner), Andrew Bergevin and Erin Bergevin; her daughter Jeanne (Todd) Russell and her family: Matthew (Carolyn) Russell (Nathan and Charles Russell), Timothy (Cassidy) Russell (Brynn and Larkin Russell); her brother Frederick Dressler; as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
In addition to her husband, Louis, Luetta was preceded in death by her parents.
Georgia D. Berry
Sept. 23, 2013—Reno, Nev.
Georgia Deane Berry was born Feb. 10, 1958 at Trinity Hospital in Arcata, Calif. After a long and hard battle, Georgia closed her eyes for the last time Sept. 23, 2013. She no longer suffers from the pain and ever growing restrictions and indignities handed to her by Multiple Sclerosis, the disease she fought ferociously for 33 years.
In death she is reunited with both sets of grandparents, her beloved Uncle Pat, her two good friends Sharon and Patty and her sister-in-law Stacey Berry.
Her best friend and husband Greg, her daughter, Braidi, her son-in-law Chris and her grandson and her shining light, Caden Christopher Fredrickson, will all miss her dearly.
Her parents Naomi Prest and Robert Crouse, her sisters and their families and the Berry Family also mourn her. She will be remembered as Auntie Georgia by her numerous nieces and nephews who she adored.
If you close your eyes and picture Georgia you will see her beautiful smile and the aura of courage and strength that surrounds her. Georgia had amazing inner strength and an iron will. She was the ultimate pro shopper and always loved an adventure whether it was big or small, but her favorite place on earth was, of course, Disneyland.
While we will miss Georgia every day, we can find comfort in the belief that she is in a place where she can move freely, dance crazily and laugh with the loved ones waiting with open arms to welcome her.
Dorothy “Gale” Baldecchi
Oct. 15, 2013—Carson City, Nev.
Dorothy Gale Baldecchi, known to her friends as Gale, passed away Oct. 15, 2013, at age 93 at The Lodge in Carson City, where she had lived since 2011.
Gale is survived by her children, Bruce Baldecchi (Sally), Theresa Horgan (Tom), and Joseph Baldecchi IV (Mary), her three grandchildren, Tim Horgan (Katrina), Tom Horgan (Andrea), and Eileen Carter (Rob), three great grandchildren, Jackson, Amelia, and Stella Horgan, as well as several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, and all of her siblings.
Gale was raised in Pasadena, Calif., and attended UCLA where she was a member of Chi Omega sorority. She was proud of the fact that she had won the American Legion Award when she was a senior in high school. She worked as a nurse's assistant in the California Hospital in Los Angeles during World War II.
Gale was very proud of the accomplishments of her children and grandchildren.
In her youth, Gale memorized many poems and frequently recited them to her family and friends.
In December 1944, Gale married Joseph W. Baldecchi in Los Angeles. They celebrated nearly 51 years of marriage before his death in 1996. They moved to Reno in 1951 and later lived in Incline Village.
Gale loved desserts of all kinds especially chocolate. She also loved to exercise, take long walks, climb stairs and lift light weights. She exercised for several years at the Incline Village Recreation Center where she made many friends. In her later years, she attended college classes, learned to play the guitar and learned to speak Spanish.
Gale loved to read tabloids like National Enquirer and Star. She also enjoyed murder mystery novels, reading more than 20 paperbacks a month.
Gale never liked the strong fragrance of flowers because they reminded her of her mother’s funeral when she was only 9 years old. Because of her feelings, the family requests that in lieu of flowers, those who wish may donate in her memory to their favorite charity or to the Joseph W. and Gale Baldecchi Scholarship Endowment at University of Nevada, Reno.
Lauren J. Clark
Oct. 11, 2013—Reno, Nev.
Lauren J. Clark passed away in the early hours of Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, following a recent cancer diagnosis. He faced his illness with bravery and resolve and through his struggle he was always concerned about the needs of those caring for him.
Lauren was born in San Francisco, Calif., Jan. 31, 1932, the son of Lauren J. Clark and Margaret Clark. He grew up in Antioch, Calif., and graduated from Antioch High School in 1949.
He enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the start of the Korean Conflict in 1950, receiving an honorable discharge in 1954. He moved to Reno in 1967 from Oroville, Calif., and was employed by the City of Sparks from 1974 to 1980. He was then employed by the City of Reno from 1980 to 1997 where he retired as an environmental control officer. Lauren is survived by the greatest love of his life, Kathleen (Pat), his children, John of Reno, Margaret Bostrom (Bob) of Reno, Frank (Vicky) of Reno, grandson Scott Lauren Clark, Amy Chamberlain, sister Sharon Jamieson (Doug) of Estacata, Ore., and Pat’s children and her grandchildren.
Lauren was a helpful and compassionate man. He will be dearly missed by his family and many friends. He was also a humble man with modest needs. One of his greatest pleasures was cheering on the Wolf Pack.
Lauren spent countless hours attending Nevada football, basketball, baseball and volleyball games. In keeping with his wishes to be remembered in a simple manner, a donation will be made in his name to the University of Nevada Athletic Department. Please remember Lauren as you support the Pack, and cheer on his behalf.
Lauren's family would like to thank Janet, Gabi and Heidi with Circle of Life Hospice, “saints in scrubs,” whose dignified care and genuine concern for Lauren and his family was inspiring and astounding.
Paul Macura, emeriti employee
July 8, 2013—Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Paul Macura, 88, professor of foreign languages and literature, died July 8 in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Born Sept. 18, 1924 in Poland, Macura was taken by the Nazis to a labor camp at 14 and later sent to Berlin and enslaved in an underground parts factory, where he lost his right arm during an allied bombing raid.
After the war, he earned a high school diploma and worked for the International Refugee Organization as a court translator for the Americans. In 1950, his supervisor sponsored him to immigrate to the United States, where he was accepted to the University of Washington-Seattle and earned his degree in foreign languages and literature.
He was professor of Russian at the University of Arizona from 1960-63. From 1963-95 he taught Russian and German at the University of Nevada, Reno.
During his career, Macura compiled and published six dictionaries: Russian-English Dictionary of Electrotechnology and Allied Sciences by Wiley, Elsevier’s Dictionary of Chemistry in Russian and English, Russian-English Botanical Dictionary by Slavica, Elsevier’s Dictionary of Botany in Russian and English, Elsevier’s two-vol. Dictionary of Botany in five languages and Elsevier’s four-vol. Russian-English Dictionary, and a revised second edition of that publication.
“Many of us in the academic world stand in awe of Paul’s accomplishments in the field of lexicography,” said Macura's long-time friend, University Professor James Hulse. “His assorted dictionaries were not only useful tools in translating Russian terms, but also guides to the origins of the ideas they expressed. That many of his works were distributed by the renowned international publisher Elsevier is a testimonial to the respect that his work received.”
Macura is survived by Irene, his wife of 54 years, daughter Rene and son-in-law Danny Feld.
Gordon B. Severance, emeriti employee
July 18, 2013—Houston, Texas
Gordon B. Severance, emeritus professor of business law, died July 18, 2013 in Houston, Texas, at age 92. He is survived by his wife, Diana, and five children: Laurence J. Severance, Lynne Marie Severance, Dale Anne Severance, Gloria Jean Severance, Gordon Bruce Severance and eight grandchildren. Prof. Severance graduated summa cum laude from Stanford University in 1943, and then earned a master’s in economics from Stanford University. Blind in his left eye, during World War II he served as an economist for the War Labor Board. He received his law degree from University of Southern California in 1945 and was licensed as attorney by the California State Bar in 1945. He practiced savings and loan law for 50 years. In 1949, he received his Ph.D. in economics from USC.
From 1945-49 Severance was assistant professor (economics and business law) at Occidental College. In 1950 he was appointed by President Harry Truman as director of price stabilization for Southern California during the Korean War.
In 1957, Severance was appointed assistant professor of business at California State University, San Diego, and in 1958 he joined the faculty at California State University at Los Angeles, where he became full professor of business. In 1980 he became a lead co-author of Contemporary Business Law, (McGaw-Hill)a college text that circulated nationally in five revisions for the next 20 years.
In 1958, Severance was elected to the Monterey Park City Council, and in 1962 became mayor. In 1980, he became a professor of business at the University of Nevada, Reno. From 1985-86, Seveance was acting dean of the College of Business and Economics, during which time he revitalized the advisory committee from the business community and organized the first College Alumni Association, establishing student scholarships and an employment information center for graduates. Severance left the University in 1990 to serve as Fulbright professor of constitutional law for the school of law at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. During the year he raised the funds and built a medical clinic in Luwero where Idi Amin's armies had killed several hundred thousand residents.
Severance served on the boards of numerous Christian organizations, including KNIS and Village Schools International and was a founder of Vets with a Mission and Media4Kids. Experienced in motion picture law, Severance was executive producer of two full-length Christian films: Candle in the Dark (life of missionary William Carey to India (1798-1835) which won three gold awards, and a full-length animated film on the Bible's story of Joseph, to be released in 2014. He also co-authored Against the Gates of Hell, the life and times of Henry T. Perry, a Christian missionary in a Muslim world (University Press of America, 2003, reprinted by Wipf and Stock).
Elisabeth “Betty” C. Small, M.D, professor emerita
July 30, 2013—Reno, Nev.
Elisabeth Small, M.D. died in Reno July 30, 2013.of the consequences of Mesothelioma, a lung malignancy caused by asbestos. She was born July 11, 1934 in the German Legation in Beijing, China to Professor Stanley H. Chan, then on the political science faculty at Beijing National University and Lily Luella (Lum) Chan, a third generation Californian. As a consequence, Betty, as she is known by many, had three nationalities: German, Chinese and American. She ultimately chose the American nationality when she turned 18. At the outset of the Sino-Chinese War in 1937, the family which now included a younger sister, Adora Kay, returned to the maternal home in California, where Betty was raised and attended public and parochial schools. Ultimately, she graduated from UCLA with a BA in political science in 1955, and received her medical degree from the UCLA School of Medicine in 1960.
She and her classmate/husband, Donald M. Small, M.D. moved directly to Boston for post-graduate training. She completed a rotating internship at Newton Wellesley Hospital (where Donald had been born) and subsequently served as assistant director for venereal diseases in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health from 1961-63.
Because of her husband’s appointment to the Pasteur Institute, she, her husband and son, Geoffrey, lived in Paris for two years where another son, Philip, was born.
Upon return to the U.S., she entered residency in psychiatry in 1965 and spent a year at the Boston State Hospital (which no longer exists) and completed residency in the Tufts University program in 1969. She continued on the faculty at Tufts and developed the first consultation/liaison psychiatry program in which a psychiatrist (herself) was a full time staff/faculty member of a department outside of psychiatry, which was in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She had formerly also served as a consultant to the Renal Dialysis and the Gastroenterology Departments at the Tufts New England Medical Center. Her work in integrating the psychological effects of medical/surgical illness resulted in her development of a fellowship training program in consultation/liaison psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at Tufts. In 1982, she joined the faculty at the School of Medicine at the University of Nevada, Reno where she retired as professor emerita in 1995.
Her varied clinical experiences included private practice and the position of chief of psychiatry at the Reno VA Medical Center (1989-94) which focused on PTSD, drug and alcohol disorders and development of a wellness program for veterans. She also worked in the Nevada Rural Mental Health Clinics and as a locum tenens physician in Maine and Arizona. She developed a wellness program at the Sparks Family Hospital (now Northern Nevada Medical Center) and at St. Mary's Hospital in the 1980s.
She had written numerous professional journal articles and chapters in textbooks and served on editorial boards for medical textbooks. She had served as a reviewer for the New England Journal of Medicine, American Journal of Psychiatry, Psychosomatic Medicine and Hospital and Community Psychiatry. She was a member of the external peer review program for the National Institute of Mental Health, was a consultant to the Boston Redevelopment Authority. She was a receiver of a scholarship to the Immaculate Heart College of Los Angeles; was a Myra Hershey Scholar at UCLA and a fellow of the Radcliffe Institute. She was an emeritus fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists, and has served on numerous committees of the College, the American Psychiatric Association, the Association for Academic Psychiatry and the Nevada Psychiatric Association.
She had two marriages: to Dr. Donald M. Small at Oxford, England (1957-80); to Sydney H. Robinson at Virginia City, Ne. (1991-2000). She had lived in England, France, and Italy and travelld extensively in Europe over a lifetime. Her passion outside of medicine was directed at her family of two sons, Geoffrey Brooks Small and Philip Willard Stanley Small and grandchildren, Hugo, Lily, Riley and Elmo. Other interests include Western European history, with emphasis on the Napoleonic Era, European literature, music and jazz history, art and sports (skiing, in particular) and culinary arts. At the end of her life, she enjoyed activity with the Sparks Rotary Club and service on the Advisory Board of the Reno Salvation Army. The important features of her interest were in the areas of improving health, the environment and education.
She was always grateful for the opportunity for varied experiences and for the kindness and caring of many true friends. She was grateful for a loving and close relationship with her children and the Small family members.
She happily left the current world for another adventure. Please support the elements of good health, clean environment and high standards of education in her memory.
Kenneth T. Maehara, pathology professor
Aug. 26, 2013—Reno, Nev.
Ken Maehara, longtime pathology professor at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, passed away Aug. 26, 2013 with his family by his side, following a three-and-a-half-year battle with cancer.
Ken was a loving husband, a devoted father and grandfather, an enthusiastic teacher and a loyal friend, who loved baseball, mystery novels and working outdoors at his cabin in the woods. He played league softball for many years and, during the course of his illness, told his doctors that he would endure their treatments, so long as they didn't interfere with his softball schedule. He enjoyed cooking, and was renowned at the School of Medicine for his sushi. He enjoyed eating as well, and had an uncanny ability to show up wherever celebrations involving food were in progress.
He was the first Japanese-American child born at the Relocation Center in Portland, Ore., where his parents were sent after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. They were transferred shortly after his birth to the Minidoka internment camp in Idaho, where they remained until Ken was three years old. He researched and presented on the internment camps in adult life, determined to make sure that unfortunate chapter in American history would not be forgotten.
Ken earned his bachelor’s and master’s in microbiology at San Jose State College, and his Ph.D. in Immunology at Washington State University. After teaching at universities in North Carolina, California, and New Mexico, he moved to Reno where he served the University of Nevada, Reno for 36 years, beginning in 1977, with the last 22 of those years at the School of Medicine as the course coordinator for Pathology in Year II.
He received the Outstanding Basic Science Teacher award for 17 of the 22 years he taught at the School of Medicine, a record number of honors by students who described him as one their most demanding professors. Though his reputation as a tough taskmaster, which he cultivated with care, brought most students to their first pathology class in fear, they soon came to know ”Dr. M” as a wise, funny and caring man, who took the time to know them as individuals, and whose concern was for their best interest, and that of their future patients. He was a two-time honoree for outstanding teacher for the School of Medicine, received the Outstanding Teaching Award for the Division of Health Science and was a recipient or finalist for the F. Donald Tibbetts Distinguished Professor Award in four separate years.
Preceded in death by his father, Yoshio Maehara, Ken is survived by his wife, Debra Chase; mother, Kazuko Uchida Maehara; sister, Janice Milton; brother, Jerry Maehara; son, Rusty Maehara; daughter, Tanya Maehara; grandchildren, Cobi, Alyssa and Evyn Maehara; stepsons, Matthew and Christopher (Amanda) Chase; and step-grandchildren, Lauren and Sarah Chase.
The family requests that memorial donations be made to the Ken Maehara Memorial Fund at the University of Nevada School of Medicine at the University of Nevada, Reno, MS 0530, Reno, NV 89557.
Charles P. Bartl, emeriti employee
Aug. 22, 2013—Sun City, Ariz.
Charles Bartl died in Sun City, Ariz., on Aug. 22, 2013 with his devoted wife Mary Kay by his side. He was 84.
Dad was born to Peter and Wilhelmina "Minnie" Bartl in Sacramento, Calif. During his youth, his family split time between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, which became his favorite place on earth.
Dad served his country as a Marine Intelligence Officer during the Korean War. Upon returning from Korea, Dad met and married his first wife, Brigitte Kniesel. They had four children.
Dad started his undergraduate degree at University of Nevada. While at Nevada, he was on the boxing team, winning the middleweight boxing title in 1949. He also coached boxing while at Nevada. After graduation he did post graduate studies in psychology at Stanford University. He received his master’s from Sacramento State and his Ph.D. in psychology and communications from the University of Denver. In 1958 he began his career as a professor of psychology, speech, and debate at Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa. He subsequently taught at Portland State University and Arizona State University. In addition, he was a professional motivational speaker. Although he was particularly happy teaching at ASU, Dad longed to return to his beloved Lake Tahoe. In 1966 he accepted a position at the University of Nevada in the Department of Educational Foundations teaching statistics, research and critical thinking. He retired from Nevada in 1984.
Dad met Mary Kay (Burgess) in 1992; they married in 2000. They spent 21 years together. Dad and Mary Kay retired to Sun City in 2001.
Dad is survived by his wife Mary Kay, former wife Brigitte Zuger, children Renee (Bill Griffin), Cameron, Connan, Cliff (Heidi), and grandchildren Kendra, Gabrielle, and Chase.
Earl W. Kersten, Jr., emeriti employee
Sept. 5, 2013—Sparks, Nev.
Earl William “Bill” Kersten Jr. died in Sparks, Nevada on September 5, 2013. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri on Feb. 13, 1923.
Bill was preceded in death by his wife, Betty; parents, Earl and Ione; brother, Robert; sister, Patricia Campbell and daughter, Laura Kersten King.
He was greatly loved by his son, William (Phyllis Beverly), daughter, Ann Ebner (Greg), granddaughters, Rosemary and Charlotte Ebner, all of Sparks; his son-in-law, Guy King of Chico, Calif., and his granddaughter, Mary King of Seattle, Wash. He had several nieces and nephews who were especially fond of him, including Carl Campbell, Meg Owen and Patty Kersten.
Bill grew up in St. Louis. As a kid he loved baseball and was a card-carrying member of the St. Louis Cardinals Knothole Gang, youngsters who peered through holes in fences to watch their favorite team play. He also enjoyed reading, nature studies, and called St. Louis’ Forest Park his first playground.
Bill joined the U.S. Navy in 1943. He served on a Landing Craft Infantry ship and participated in the invasions of the Philippines and Okinawa. He later said that his service in the Pacific Islands first sparked his interest in geography.
Georgianna “George” Trexler, assistant to VP of administration and finance
Sept. 27, 2013—Reno, Nev.
Georgianna was born to the late Wilbert and Arliss Malchow in Lynwood, Calif. George graduated from Lynwood High School in 1963. She married the late Dennis Trexler in 1966 and they lived together in Reno.
George was employed by the University of Nevada, Reno for the past 41 years. She served as assistant to the vice president of administration and finance.
George is survived by her brother, Dennis Malchow of Naperville, Ill., sisters Arlene Hobart of Mooresville, N.C., and Debby Yount of Yermo, Calif. She also had many nieces and nephews, as well as many great nieces and nephews. She also leaves a legacy of giving and helping many people in the Reno community.
Thomas J. Gribbin, instructor
Oct. 2, 2013—Reno, Nev.
Thomas J. Gribbin, born May 22, 1935 in Mason City, Iowa, passed away at St. Mary’s Oct. 2, 2013 from complications due to surgery. He was 78. Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Stanley Frances Gribbin and Mary Margaret Gribbin, as well as his brother Michael Dennis Gribbin. He is survived by his loving wife, Helen, and his son Dennis (Carol), stepdaughters Lesley Means (Troy), Terry Long and Andrea Call (Warren); granddaughters Caitlin, Hannah and Quinn. Tom attended the University of Santa Clara and began his career in the engineering department of the City of San Jose. He relocated to Reno and was co-founder of Pyramid Engineers and Land Surveyors, soon after becoming president and CEO. He held registrations as a professional land surveyor in the states of Nevada, California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona and Idaho. He grew the staff from one to 44 before his retirement in 1998. During his career, he enjoyed teaching land surveying and taught at the University of Santa Clara, San Jose City College, WNCC, TMCC and for 15 years at the University of Nevada, Reno in the College of Engineering. Additionally, he was very active in the professional societies, serving as the state and local chapter president of the Nevada Land Surveyors Association, state and local chapter of the Consulting Engineers Council of Nevada, board of governors of the National Society of Professional Surveyors and served on the board of the AGC and the Builders Association of Northern Nevada. Tom was also active in local civic and community organizations, serving as president of the Executive Association of Reno, president of the Reno South Rotary Club, served on the board of directors of EDAWN, the Citizens Advisory Committee to the Reno Redevelopment Authority and served as chairman of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority twice in his 12 years on the board. As a private pilot, Tom’s love of flying brought him to the Reno Air Race Organization.
Since 1981, he has been RARA’s steward of the race courses for the Air Races, adjusting the pylon locations numerous times as the speeds of aircrafts and cultural encroachment required their movement. He served as chairman of the board of RARA in 2006-07, was selected as Man of the Year in 2010 and served on the board of directors for 24 years. He also served on the contest and records board of the National Aeronautics Association for 13 years and was involved as the official observer in a number of successful World Record and USA flying record attempts, holding one USA National Record himself. During his flying years he donated his aircraft and time to fly rescue missions for the Civil Air Patrol and patient transportation for Angel Planes and Angel Flights. Tom was an amazing man; giving and strong, proud and true. His family and friends will miss him greatly.
John W. Erwin, professor emeritus
Oct. 3, 2013—Reno, Nev.
John Winton Erwin, professor emeritus of geophysics at the University of Nevada, Reno, died in Reno Oct. 3, 2013, of Alzheimer’s disease.
A native of Chicago, Ill., John was born March 7, 1924 of John Clarey Erwin and Jeanie Winton Erwin. In 1935, the family moved from Chicago to a farm near Keeler, Mich. Erwin attended Keeler schools and graduated from Hartford High School as salutatorian of the class of 1942. He enlisted and served with the U.S. Marine Corps 1943-46. On April 15, 1946 he married his high school sweetheart, Patricia Young of Hartford. They were wed 61 years until Patty’s death in October 2007. John earned a bachelor’s in engineering physics from Michigan Technological University in 1949. He earned his master’s in geophysics from the Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colo., in 1954.
Following graduation from the Colorado School of Mines, John worked for Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Mich. Later, he and Patty loaded up the kids and headed west to Salt Lake City, Utah, where John was employed by American Smelting & Refining Company, working on mineral exploration programs in Arizona, Missouri, Nevada, Utah and other western states. In 1961, he was employed by Hercules Aerospace Company in Salt Lake City as part of the design team for the Sprint anti-ballistic missile.
In 1964, John joined the faculty of the Mackay School of Mines of the University of Nevada, Reno, as a professor of geophysics and a researcher with the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology. On his retirement in June 1985, he was named professor emeritus. Professor Erwin published numerous works in the geophysical field. After his retirement from the University, he continued to teach mathematics at Truckee Meadows Community College and Western Nevada Community College.
John was the first in his family to graduate from college. He valued and encouraged education as evidenced by the twenty-four (and counting) college, graduate and doctoral degrees earned by his children and grandchildren, eight of the degrees being awarded by the University of Nevada.
John was a registered engineer in the State of Nevada, a member of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration, the Arizona Geological Society, the Geological Society of Nevada (serving as Chairman in 1969), and the Marina Bay Yacht Club, Richmond, California. Proud of his service as a United States Marine, he belonged to the Navy League and was a life member of the American Legion. For many years he was a member of the Masonic Golden Lodge F & AM/50, St. John's Presbyterian Church and the First Congregational Church, Reno, NV.
He enjoyed his retirement sailing and traveling with Patty and sharing geography field trips with his grandchildren with stops for the culinary delights of the Owl Cafe in Battle Mountain and The Griddle in Winnemucca. He also enjoyed lunches at the Gold 'N Silver Inn with fellow engineers geologists Jim Bright, Bob Horton, Bill Johnston, Ed Rugg and other professionals in the mining industry.
John was predeceased by his wife Patricia in 2007. He is survived by son James W. Erwin and grandson Jeffrey Erwin, grandson Patrick (Nikki) Erwin (great grandchildren Hunter and Taylor), granddaughter Camille (Kory) Wilson (expecting a boy in January), and granddaughter Nicole (Brian) Johansen (great grandchildren Makayla, Trenton, Tate and Maxwell); son Thomas P. (Molly) Erwin and grandson Philip Erwin, step grandson Paul (Jessie) Kerschen (great granddaughter Rosalind), and step granddaughter Ann (Jason) Wild; son John A. (Sherri) Erwin and granddaughter Rebecca (Jesse) Adams (great grandchildren Aidan and Geneva), granddaughter Marie (Shawn) Lear (great grandchildren Jordan and Maxwell), grandson Scott (Bridget) Erwin, and granddaughter Kathryn (Jonathan) Dethmers; daughter Susan M. (Brian) Buckley and granddaughter Anne Buckley, granddaughter Katherine Buckley, and grandson John Buckley; and daughter Debra A. (Pete) Padgett and granddaughter Melissa Padgett and grandson David (Megan) Padgett (great grandson Nolan), and former daughters-in-law Cheryl L. Ehrke and Michelle F. Hall.
His family appreciates the fine care provided to John by Dr. Ronald L. Smith and the caregivers at Emeritus. We also thank the many kind folks at the Gold ‘N Silver Inn who welcomed our Dad thousands of times during the past five decades.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that memorials may be made in John's name to the Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Mail Stop 162, University of Nevada, Reno 89557.
Kyle D. Johnny, buildings & grounds
Oct. 9, 2013—Reno, Nev.
Kyle was born Dec. 28, 1968 to Dean and Shirley Johnny at St. Mary’s Hospital in Reno. He went to the Happy Hunting Grounds to join his dad on Oct. 9, 2013.
Kyle “The Shoshone” Johnny was an amazing baseball player and a great car salesman. There was never a dull moment with Kyle. He enjoyed life and lived it his way. He had an infectious smile, laugh and a humorous personality. Kyle enjoyed being a father; his children were his pride and joy. We’re going to miss the ‘ol boy. We love you Kyle!
At the time of death, Kyle was surrounded by his children, Tyler and Kaeleigh Johnny; his mom, Shirley, and Vicente Zuza, along with many loved ones, including Clarice Charlie and companion Annette Martinez.
He is survived by his children Tyler and Kaeleigh Johnny; his mother, Shirley, and Vicente Zuza; several aunts (his favorite aunt Linda), one uncle and numerous cousins (his bro Harv and sis Rae-Rae) all from the Elko area. He was preceded in death by his beloved dad, Dean Johnny.
Jason Walenta, general psychiatry residency
Sept. 7, 2013—Sparks, Nev.
Jason Howard Walenta, M.D., Ph.D., 41, of Sparks, Nev., died Sept. 7, 2013 at home after a courageous battle against cancer. He was born Nov. 27, 1971 in Spokane, Wash., to his loving parents Richard and Toni. After eight years, he was joined by his younger sister, Bethany.
Jason graduated with honors from Churchill High School in San Antonio, Texas, in 1990. Upon graduation, Jason entered West Point. After two years, he decided to follow his passion for becoming a physician and transferred to the University of Texas, Austin. There he met his wife-to-be, Elizabeth. Jason completed his bachelor’s in biochemistry and was offered a position in the medical scientist training program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. The prestigious MSTP Fellowship is offered to a handful of trainees each year by the National Institute for Health. As an MSTP Fellow, Dr. Walenta completed medical school at the UT Southwestern Medical School while completing a Ph.D. in genetics and development at the UT Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. On March 2, 1996, after four years of dating, Jason and Elizabeth were married in Yorktown, Texas.
Dr. Walenta completed his general psychiatry residency at the University Of Nevada School of Medicine in Reno. Moving to Nevada allowed Jason to not only receive training in his desired field of specialty, but also afforded him the opportunity to expand his passion for the outdoors, competitive triathlons and skiing. During his residency, he recognized the great need within the Northern Nevada community for experts in the field of child and adolescent psychiatry. He worked with colleagues at the University to develop a Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Fellowship program. This program now produces four physicians per year to better serve some of the most vulnerable youth in Northern Nevada. Since this program was not available to Jason for his fellowship training, he pursued this subspecialty fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at the University Of Utah School Of Medicine in Salt Lake City. In 2007, during the last rotations of his fellowship, his daughter, Indigo, was born.
Returning to the Tahoe basin following fellowship, Dr. Walenta served as the clinical director of Willow Springs Outpatient Services, then medical director of Willow Springs Center and Outpatient Services. He has also been an attending physician for inpatient care at both Willow Springs and West Hills, Nevada County Clinic and had a private practice in Tahoe Donner. On Halloween of 2009, Jason’s son, Kepler was born.
Dr. Walenta was considered by his colleagues to be one of the foremost child and adolescent psychiatrists in this region. He was a mentor and an advocate for residents, fellows and colleagues alike. He brought to bear sophisticated, state-of-the-art psychiatric care, drawing on exceptional experience and the most current evidence-based treatments. Dr. Walenta met his patients in some of the most vulnerable moments of their lives and sought to relieve suffering, restore lost function, remedy developmental problems, and improve performance for the patients he served.
Throughout his life Jason pursued the highest of levels of achievement. He never shied away from a challenge. His physical life was no exception. He successfully completed two Ironmans, repeatedly competed in Escape from Alcatraz, dozens of half Ironmans and sprint triathlons. In 1995, Jason took third place in the San Antonio Marathon, qualifying and later that year completing the Boston Marathon. During medical school, he competed in motorcycle racing and more recently developed a passion for competitive Nordic ski racing.
His wife, Elizabeth, and their children were Jason’s greatest passion in life. They made their home in Sparks, Nev., but spent much of their free time at the cabin in Tahoe Donner. Jason was a devoted father who loved helping his children explore the wonders of nature and develop great aptitudes for skiing, swimming and hiking. His greatest desire for his children was to know how he had lived and the passion he had for the things he loved.
Jason is survived by his beloved wife of 17 years, Elizabeth; daughter Indigo Sky (6), son Kepler Coby (3); father and stepmother Richard and Marsha Walenta of San Antonio, Texas; mother and stepfather Toni and Terence McGuire of Poulsbo, Wash.; grandmother Joy Alexander of Poulsbo, Wash.; sister and brother-in-law, Bethany and Stan Sexton, and nephew and niece Konrad and Merit Sexton of Gig Harbor, Wash.
Ruby A. (Nay) Etchemendy, attended fall 1937 to spring 1939
Aug. 23, 2013—Menlo Park, Calif.
Born Oct. 20, 1918, in San Mateo, Calif., to Orvis and May Alice (Satchell) Nay, Ruby Adaline (Nay) Etchemendy died Aug. 23, 2013, just two months before her 95th birthday. She spent her early years in Mono Lake, Calif., with her parents and older siblings, Mary and William. From Mono, the family moved to Reno, where they lived for many years, making it not just their geographic home, but also the home of their hearts.
Ruby graduated from Reno High School and attended the University of Nevada, Reno for two years before transferring to Stanford University School of Nursing, supported by a Bausch and Lomb scholarship. In 1942, Stanford awarded her a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Later she earned a master’s degree in public health nursing at the University of Oregon in Eugene.
While she was a student at the University of Nevada, Reno, Ruby met a dashing and handsome cheerleader, Leon Etchemendy, at a party at the ATO fraternity house, where he introduced himself by sliding down the bannister of the staircase to the foyer where she stood, and kissing her in front of her date. While initially affronted by his lack of propriety (and probably sobriety), she eventually fell for him, and they married in March 1942. Thus began the adventure of their lives together.
His career in the U.S. Army took them to numerous far-flung locales, domestic and international. Upon Leon’s retirement from the Army, the family moved back to Reno, because “home means Nevada.” Ruby enjoyed almost a decade serving as school nurse to the students of Echo Loder, Roger Corbett and Veterans Memorial Elementary Schools.
Together Ruby and Leon raised four sons and one daughter, providing each with endless love and support. The love and respect we, their children, share with each other and the love we hold in our hearts for our mother and our father is evidence of their success as parents.
We will miss Ruby, the family medical and cooking expert, our formidable Scrabble and Jeopardy! opponent, and the “adopted” mother of countless felines, canines, equines and “orphan” friends of her children, especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Ruby was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Leon; cherished son, Peter; her parents, her sister Mary and her brother-in-law Ernest Perry; her brother William and sister-in-law Lucile Nay; her brothers-in-law John M. and William Etchemendy and John’s wife Anita, and her sister-in-law Josephine Uhalde.
She is survived by her sisters-in-law Teje Etchemendy and Marie Uhalde; her sons and her daughters-in-law Stephen (Carole), John (Nancy), and Michael (Kristine Vey) Etchemendy, and her daughter Jonrie and son-in-law Angel Davila, her grandchildren Max (Esther Tsai), John D., and Paris Etchemendy, Crystal (John) Batcabe, Nikki and Tina Ladd, Jennifer (Rob) Durham, and Michael, Nicole and Christina Davila, and five great-grandchildren. She is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, their spouses, and their children and grandchildren.
The family wishes to thank the proprietors of East West Care Services in Redwood City, Calif., Edita Pagaduan and Paul Gorman, and Ruby's caregivers there, Ernesto, Elpi, Marjorie and Connie, for their loving care and enduring patience in caring for Ruby over the past three-and-a-half years. You are all sent from heaven.
Robert J. Compston, attended fall 1939 to spring 1940
Sept. 17, 2013—Smith Valley, Nev.
Robert James Compston passed away at his home in Smith Valley, Nev. on Sept. 17, 2013. He was 92. Robert (Bob) was a lifelong rancher in Smith Valley. He is the son of James Compston and Ida Compston (Ball).
He graduated from Smith Valley High School and attended the University of Nevada, Reno. Robert and Lois Carol Brown were married on March 10, 1946.
He was a member of the Nevada Cattleman’s Association, Smith Valley Rotary (Paul Harris Fellow), Smith Valley Soil Conservation District (Farmer of the Year), Smith Valley PTA, Smith Valley Fire Department, American Hereford Association, and was a Smith Valley 4-H livestock leader for 15 years. Robert was also a participant and contributor to many other community projects and organizations. Robert was a United States Navy veteran and served with the Pacific Fleet during WWII.
Robert was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters Elsie Cahill and Gladys Soderstrom, brother James Compston Jr., and grandson Christopher Compston.
He is survived by his wife, Lois, son Michael Compston (Jacquie) and daughter Suzanne DePaoli (Gordon); granddaughters Yvette Berry (Matt), Toni Compston-Wells (Stuart), Kristy Kirsh (Michael) and grandson Nico DePaoli; great granddaughters Rose Berry, Dominique Wells and Milena Kirsh; great grandsons Michael Berry, Joseph Berry, Madden Kirsh, and Anthony Wells. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
Robert E. Games, attended spring 1939 to fall 1941
Sept. 20, 2013—Reno, Nev.
Robert E. Games, 92, passed away peacefully on Sept. 20, 2013. Robert was born on Jan. 18, 1921 in Reno, Nev., to John R. Games and Bessie Mae Games. He was a graduate of Reno High School and attended the University of Nevada, Reno, where he met and married his wife of 66 years, Thelma Crosby Games.
Robert—Bob, Bobby, Bub, Mr. Games—however he was addressed, it was done with admiration and respect. He was an incredible man. He was admired by his colleagues and peers—but mostly by his family. Words can’t describe his pure kindness and love for others.
Bob learned to fly airplanes at a young age and took that knowledge with him to the South Pacific to fly as a lieutenant for the United States Navy in World War II. He loved to golf, and his swing and technique were second to none earning him the title of Nevada Amateur Champion in 1940. An avid horseman, he loved to play polo even though it was a fledgling sport in northern Nevada. He was a member of the White Hats, Reno Rotary, the Horseless Carriage Club, the Northern California Arabian Horse Association, Sigma Nu Fraternity, and the Prospector’s Club. He owned and operated the Washoe Markets in Reno and Carson City, and later owned and operated The Gallery.
Along with his wife and daughters, he showed and raised Arabian Horses, one of which was named Pacific Coast Champion. His love of animals was evident—whether it be horses, cows, sheep, dogs or cats—he loved them. He had a special connection with them that has passed along to his children and grandchildren.
He loved to travel, no matter the distance. Hawaii and Paris were at the top of his list, but he was just as happy to travel to Auburn, Calif., for a Tasty Burger at Ikeda’s.
Robert is survived by his daughters Kris A. Coppa (Don) and Jan E. Vail, his grandchildren Andrew S. Morghen, Christiane E. George (Damon) and Tina M. Vail and great grandchildren Taylor L. George and Anthony R. Vail. Preceding him in death are his wife, Thelma Crosby Games, his parents, John R. Games and Bess Games, and his grandson Matthew R. Larsen.
Bobby enjoyed the very simple things in life, like a great steak and a good glass of wine surrounded by family. So, please raise a glass this evening to share in our celebration of life. Bobby … You were a loved man and thank you for all of the years you gave us, supporting us, teaching us and loving us like no other. You will be missed.
The family would like to give special thanks to everyone at Vista Care and The Little Angel Care Home, especially Pearly who cared for him so dearly.
Howard Doyle, Jr., attended 1941-43
Aug. 15, 2013—Reno, Nev.
Howard Doyle, Jr. passed into eternal life Aug. 15, 2013 from a brain tumor and multiple health issues. He will be deeply missed by his family who dearly loved him. Howard was born in Reno Oct. 27, 1926 in the house at 333 Arlington Avenue which is still there. Howard met his wife, Norma, in 1940 when her family moved across the street from his family on Humboldt Street. Norma and Howard were married Nov. 1, 1947 and would have celebrated their 64th anniversary in 2011, the year she passed away.
After living downtown, Howard’s family moved to the Doyle Ranch on South Virginia, which extended from Crummer Lane to Kietzke Lane and ended north at Hash Lane (S. McCarran). He went to school at Anderson Elementary when it was a one-room school, then to Billinghurst and Reno High School when it was on West Street. He also attended two years of college at the University of Nevada, Reno.
From 1941-43, Howard worked on his father's ranch in Tuscarora, Nev., the Quarter Circle S Ranch. He and Kenny York worked on the ranch during the summers and had fond memories of their times fixing fences, mowing hay and herding cattle. His father later sold his ranch to Bing Crosby and purchased Bing’s Humboldt Ranch.
A few years after serving as a Merchant Marine in World War II, Howard worked at KOLO Radio selling advertising, where he met and worked with Gene McKenna. In 1955, Gene and Howard started Doyle and McKenna Advertising Agency, which became one of the largest in the Reno area. Their clients included the Sparks Nugget, Model Dairy, 7-Up Bottling Company, Ray Heating and First National Bank. Howard retired from advertising in the 1980s and started Holiday Signs, which he was still running at the time of his death.
Howard is preceded in death by his wife, Norma; parents, Willa and Howard Doyle, Sr.; sisters Ruth “Ooee” Leggett, Dariel Doyle and Shirley Doyle; brother Burnell Doyle and his son, Mike Doyle. Howard is survived by his son, Greg Doyle (Lisa) of Danville, Calif., daughter Gail Doyle of Reno; grandchildren Jeff DeGiovanni, Felicia Lopez, Jesse Lopez and Sydney Doyle; nieces Linda Leggett Galloway, Rev. Liesa Leggett Garcia and Aileen Conradt Rustad; nephews Jan Leggett and Robert Conradt, and many loving cousins.
The family wants to thank the staff at Life Care Center and St. Mary’s Home Health, family, neighbors and friends for their kindness and support.
John M. Polish ’42 (agriculture) ’64M.Ed. (school administration)
June 3, 2013—Dayton, Nev.
John M. Polish was born Sept. 1, 1917, in Jerome, Ariz., to John and Rosa Seguski Polish.
He married Jerry Black Polish on July 19, 1941 in Ely, Nev. They were proud parents of Michael (Patty) Polish of Dayton, Nev; Betty Milobar of Green River, Wyo.; Jeffery (Mary Ann) Polish of Elko, Nev., and Lisa Maes of Green River, Wyo.
He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings; wife, Jerry; two grandchildren and one great grandchild.
Survivors include his four children, 18 grandchildren, 34 great grandchildren and 6 great-great grandchildren.
He lived in many mining camps in Nevada. His family settled in Yerington, Nev., where John completed grade and high school. He went on to the University of Nevada, Reno and lettered in track and football. John was known as “Ironman” at Yerington High School. A knee injury in his sophomore year at Nevada prevented a career in professional sports but he continued to play football and track through his senior year with no ACL.
He was a school teacher, coach and administrator for 32 years, teaching for two years in Yerington and the remainder in White Pine County. He actually never had a bad thing to say to or about anyone. He took great pride in coaching children and made sure all children got a chance to play and participate in all sports. He was a tough parent and had solid morals. He resided in Nevada for 89 years.
He was an accomplished athlete. He was inducted into the University of Nevada, Reno Hall of Fame in 1974. He was inducted in March 1994 at the Nevada State Basketball Championships into the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA) Hall of Fame as an outstanding participant in football, basketball and track 1933-37. He was also inducted and selected as a Distinguished Yerington High School Graduate in May of 1994 and inducted into their Hall of Fame in 1994. There is an annual John Polish Day in honor of him. Yerington High School also gives out the annual “John Polish Award” to outstanding athletes each year in football, basketball and track and field. He retired after 32 years of service in the education field.
John didn’t stop with athletics as he aged; he participated in the Senior Olympics in golf, shotput and discus starting in 2002 at age 87. He made it to the national competition in Pennsylvania, Kentucky and California, where he medaled in shotput and discus.
He was a principal at East Ely, Nev., Ruth, Nev., and McGill, Nev. He also taught school at Ely Grade School and Yerington High School. He was elected as assemblyman of White Pine and Lincoln County for four terms. He loved being a spokesman for all people.
He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
His main interests were his family and golf. He, at 95, golfed as often as he could and loved every minute of it.
Richard “Dick” N. Fulstone ’50 (agriculture & resource economics)
Aug. 7, 2013—Smith Valley, Nev.
Richard Nelson Fulstone passed away at his Smith Valley home surrounded by his family on Aug. 7, 2013, after an eight-year-battle with Parkinson’s disease.
He was born in San Francisco, Calif., to Dr. Mary Hill and Fred Moline Fulstone on Oct. 3, 1927 and raised on the family ranch in Smith Valley, Nev. He married Georgia Ames of Piedmont, Calif. in 1952. They have four children, Cynthia, Elise, Annette and Steven; and seven grandchildren, Patricia Nugent Lingamfelter, Hayden and Emily Fulstone, Emmett and Charlie Tabor and Will and Caroline Marriott.
Richard graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in economics and was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. He served in the U.S. Army, spending most of that time in Japan. Upon returning to the family ranch, he started the first commercial cattle feed yard in the area, also making and sending alfalfa pellets to Japan.
At that time he went into the trucking business to deliver the alfalfa pellets from Smith Valley to the Port of Oakland. He served for 16 years on the Lyon County School Board, served on the N-3 Grazing Board, was a charter member of the National Cattlemen’s Association, a charter and life member of the Lyon County Museum, was named Outstanding Conservation Farmer in Mason Valley in 1981 and Outstanding Conservation Farmer in Smith Valley in 1993, and was a member of Gamma Sigma Delta, an honorary agricultural society at the University. He was until his death chairman of the U.S. Board of Water Commissioners for the Walker River.
Richard for many years was a director of Sierra Pacific Resources, retiring at age 72, and was an early investor in the Heavenly Valley Ski Area, along with other members of his family. Richard was a member of the Pacific Union Club and the Bohemian Club in San Francisco. He was a director of the Western States Meat Packers Association when he owned and ran Peoples Packing Company in Yerington, Nevada.
He purchased his brother and sisters’ interests in the family ranch in 1985, added acreage to it, improved the cattle herd and expanded its BLM/USFS ranges. He was recognized and honored by the U.S. Forest Service as a good steward of the range. Richard brought the ranching corporation into the 21st century with laser-leveling of the fields and concrete-lined ditches from the river to the fields where the water was dispersed by sprinklers, thus saving water, which he knew was precious in Nevada.
Richard and Georgia were married for more than 61 years, traveled extensively, had a vacation home in Glenbrook, Nev., on Lake Tahoe; and rented a small apartment on Nob Hill in San Francisco; and enjoyed a vast number of friends and family around the world. His children and grandchildren now own the ranch and Steven carries on in his father’s footsteps, making further improvements as needed.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the Dr. Mary Fulstone Endowment Fund at the University of Nevada Medical School.
The family wishes to thank the Merrill Gardens Assisted Living Garden House caregivers, Hospice, Great Basin Home Health Care, Kate Scott and Dana Schaffer, all of whom watched over Richard and took good care of him during the last six months of his life.
Jac Nikola Francovich ’50 (unknown major)
Aug. 18, 2013—Sparks, Nev.
Jac Nikola Francovich, 88, passed away peacefully at his home in Sparks, NV.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Nick and Nann Francovich and brother Eugene Francovich.
The Francovich family owned the Wine House on Commercial Row in Reno, where Jac worked until he joined the US Air Force during WWII. He was also a member of the Air National Guard of Nevada. He earned an associate’s degree from the City College of San Francisco and was an accomplished artist, well known for his paintings and wood carvings. Jac moved his family to Tahoe City in 1962, where he opened Jac’s Left Bank restaurant and then returned to Reno in 1969 where he opened the City Slicker Bar.
He is survived by the love of his life, his wife, Maxine Rearick Francovich who he married on April 10, 1953. They just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. He is also survived by his children, Nick Francovich, Chris Francovich and Rena Francovich Sullivan and his grandchildren, Chelsea Sullivan Robinson, Marco Sullivan, Leo and Eli Francovich, and Melissa Francovich.
Wallace Laverne Kurtz (Wally) ’50 (English), ’56M.Ed. (education administration/higher education)
July 1, 2013—Sykeston, N.D.
Wallace Laverne Kurtz (Wally) was born Aug. 27, 1926 in Sykeston, North Dakota and passed away July 1, 2013 at the age of 86. At 15, his parents moved to Sparks where he remained the rest of his life. After high school he joined the Navy and served in the Pacific theater until the close of World War II. He attended the University of Nevada, Reno here he was listed in the Who’s Who in American Universities.
He earned a master’s degree in administration and supervision, followed by post-graduate work at the University of Washington. His career was in public education as a teacher, principal and central office administrator for 32 years. After retirement from the Washoe County School District, he taught part time at the Truckee Meadows Community College for five years.
He was active in professional organizations, serving as state president for the Nevada Parent and Teachers Association, the Retired Public Employees of Nevada and AARP. He served on the Governor's Commission on Aging, the Commission on Education for the National Congress of Parents and Teachers and held lifetime membership in the PTA at state and national levels. As a National Registered Parliamentarian, he assisted many groups in that capacity including the Retired Public Employees of Nevada, the State PTA and Nevada State Retired Teachers Association. In addition to his professional life, he was a fond parent, loved reading, playing cards, exploring Nevada by four wheel drive and camping. In recent years, he and Janee explored in their motor home visiting many scenic spots in the western states.
Survived by his second wife, Janee; brother Charles; children Cindy Mortensen of Fernley, Nev.; Keryl Kurtz, of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif; Rickey Kurtz of Phoenix, Ariz.;; and Chris Kurtz, of Reno grandchildren Jessen Mortensen, Cole Mortensen, Misty Conely; great grandson, Paden Mortensen and great granddaughters, Riley and Simone Mortensen, and Rosemarie Conely.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife Lois, brother Earl and sister Elvera. At his request, he wishes to give thanks to his caring family for their concern and help in his declining years. Janee with Daisy—their loving basset hound—will dearly miss his smile.
Cornelius W. “Corky” Lingenfelter ’52 (animal science)
Aug. 28, 2013—Lexington, Ky.
Corky passed away Aug. 28, 2013, in Lexington Ky., where he and his wife, Denise, were actively involved in a thoroughbred horse breeding and racing business.
Corky was raised on a ranch in Gerlach, Nev., where his parents relocated after his birth in Fonda, New York. He graduated from Gerlach High School and the University of Nevada Reno, with a bachelor’s in economics. After serving in the Air Force during the Korean War, Corky made his home in Reno, where he was a real estate broker and served as a Nevada State Assemblyman, representing Washoe County. While living in Reno, he was actively involved in the Reno Rodeo Association, Nevada Jaycees, Nevada Farm Bureau, Reno Board of Realtors, and Toastmaster International.
Corky was preceded in death by his parents, Cornelius and Eleanor Lingenfelter, and his brother, James Lingenfelter. He is survived by his wife, Denise, his children Brad Lingenfelter, Patty Julian, Julie Lingenfelter, Jay Lingenfelter, and Rochelle Larson, and his eight grandchildren.
Billy Lee McClain ’59 (business administration)
Sept. 29, 2013—Reno, Nev.
Col. Billy Lee McClain, husband, father and 30-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps died Sept. 29, 2013.
Billy lived a full life, traveling the world, spending time with those he loved and living on his own terms. He distinguished himself in the Marines, winning the Bronze Star during the battle of Hue City in January 1968 and working as the project manager of the light armored vehicle project in the 1980s. After the Marines he taught at Brown Elementary in Reno, bringing compassion, wisdom and his own view of the world to many lucky children.
He is survived by Maxine, his wife of 51 years, as well as his daughter Maureen, son-in-law Ralph, son John, daughter-in-law Dawn and grandson Declan. He was an exemplary man, living his life as a warrior but with great compassion for others. He was gentle and kind but fierce in resolve and action. He is greatly missed.
Edward W. Montesa ’63 (accounting)
July 29, 2013—Atascadero, Calif.
Edward William Montesa, 86, passed away peacefully at home in Atascadero, Calif., on July, 29, 2013 after a prolonged battle with Parkinson’s disease.
He was born June 29, 1927 in San Diego, Calif., to Antonio J. and Henrietta [nee Raygoza] Montesa. The youngest of three sons, Ed was raised both in San Diego and Manila, Philippines.
During World War II he, his mother and two older brothers surrendered to the Japanese Imperial Army at the Santo Tomas Internment Camp in Manila after a year of hiding out from the dreaded Kempeitai, Japan’s equivalent of the Nazi Gestapo.
Liberated on Feb. 23, 1945 in a daring behind-the-lines parachute drop by elements of the 511th Airborne Division, he and his family returned to California, whereupon he enlisted in the U.S. Navy before reaching the age of 18. His naval service included submarine school and a tour of duty in the Arabian Gulf setting up navigation aids for the oil tankers transiting the Gulf from the port city of Basra, Iraq. He obtained the rating of chief petty officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve.
After his naval service, Ed completed a course of studies at Reno Business College and graduated from the University of Nevada Reno with a degree in business administration. While employed as an accountant with the firm of Armstrong and Kafoury in Reno, he obtained his CPA certificate in Nevada and California. Upon leaving employment as the auditor for a large agricultural corporation in Bakersfield, he enjoyed a successful private practice in Reno and in Paso Robles, Calif. The onset of Parkinson's disease necessitated his retirement.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 46 years, Nadia [nee Terry] of Bournemouth, England, and his eldest brother Anthony.
He leaves behind his son, Eddie T. Montesa (Lisa Brandt) of Santee, Calif., his brother John (Joan) of El Cerrito, Calif., grandson Anthony Montesa, nephews Michael (Emi) Montesa of El Cerrito, Calif., Matthew (Mary) Montesa of Oceanside, Calif., and Steven Montesa of Del Valle, Texas.
Tom P. Friend ’67 (geology)
Aug. 19, 2013—Carson City, Nev.
Tom moved to Carson City in 1961, from Gold Beach, Ore. His career was with Carson City Fire Department from 1969 to 1998. He enjoyed camping with his family and friends.
Tom is survived by wife, Becky, son Michael, daughter-in-law Melissa, grandchildren Dylan, Chayace, Chloe, Cassi and Aydan, son Will and daughter-in-law Morgan, daughter Michelle, and grandson Wyatt.
Roberta Jeanne (Yasuda) Robey ’68 (office administration)
Sept. 18, 2013—Reno, Nev.
Roberta Jeanne Robey passed away unexpectedly on Sept. 18, 2013 at the age of 68.
Roberta was born in Reno Aug. 18, 1945 to Tuffy and Bernice Yasuda. She graduated from Reno High School and the University of Nevada, Reno and worked at the Internal Revenue Service for more than 25 years. Roberta was a member of the Japanese American Citizens League and the Nevada State Genealogical Society. She enjoyed traveling, reading, music, art and spending time with loved ones—family, friends and animal companions—for whom her caring was limitless. Roberta is survived by her daughter, Traci Penrod; son-in-law, Ben Card; “granddog” Sadie; and the family cats. She will be greatly missed and always loved.
Linda R. Begbie ’70 (elementary education), ’74M.Ed. (special education)
Aug. 24, 2013—Nevada City, Calif.
Linda Ruth Begbie passed away Aug. 24, 2013 in Nevada City, Calif. She was 65.
Linda was born on June 8, 1948, in Reno, Nev., to David Begbie and Madelene (Houldin) Begbie. She graduated from Reno High School in 1966, and the University of Nevada, Reno with a bachelor’s in elementary/special education in 1970.
Linda is preceded in death by her parents, David and Madelene Begbie, and older brothers David Begbie and Robert “Bob” Begbie. Linda is survived by brothers James “Jim” Begbie (Linda L. Begbie) Howard Begbie (Kathy Begbie), both of Reno, Nev.; nephew Rob Begbie, nieces Teresa Ruvolo (John Ruvolo), Gina Heddy (Ricky Heddy), Julie Begbie and five great-nieces and one great nephew.
Sammy A. Hoy ’71 (geology)
Sept. 3, 2013—Chilcoot, Calif.
Sammy Andrew Hoy, a Navy veteran, was born in Lewiston, Mont. on Aug. 3, 1936 and passed away Sept. 3, 2013. Sammy was predeceased by his father, George Vannoy, mother Patricia Hoy and brother Walter Hoy.
Sammy was survived by his wife Della, son Jeff Hoy (Nancy), brother Mark Hoy, sister Sharon Brown (Dennis) and numerous nieces and nephews. Della passed on to join Sammy just 16 days later.
Michael E. Burns ’74 (managerial sciences)
Aug. 18, 2013—Minden, Nev.
It is with heavy hearts that we report the passing of Michael Eugene Burns, “Buffy,” on Aug. 18, 2013 in Minden, Nev., with his wife and daughter by his side.
Although his time with us was short, Mike lived life to the fullest. He was born Jan. 5, 1951 in Yerington, Nev., to the late Frances and Jack Burns.
Mike was a graduate of Yerington High School in 1969, an ATO and a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno with a bachelor’s in business and marketing. Following in his father’s footsteps, Mike was employed in the grocery business and a long-term employee for more than 25 years at Core-Mark.
Mike will be remembered for his good nature, zest for life and his sense for adventure and the outdoors, especially the Twin Lakes cabin. Mike made it a habit to enjoy whatever he was doing and whomever he encountered. He never met a stranger and had a smile that would reach ear to ear. He was one of the most loyal, honest and uplifting people to have lived. Most importantly, Mike will be remembered as a genuinely good person, a devoted husband, father, grandfather and brother, and a true friend whose bonds never wavered. Mike’s most treasured blessing was his wife of 35 years, Frances.
They were married in 1978 in Elko, Nev., and immediately following they took a three-month road trip around the U.S. Together they gave us their remarkable daughter Meghan Rose, who was the light of Mike’s life and defined his being from the moment of her first breath and before. The role in life that gave Mike true joy was that of being the papa of Jacob Michael and Leah Rose. He never missed a sporting event that involved his family and would be the loudest one cheering them on.
Mike is survived by his wife Frances (Hamby), daughter Meghan, son-in-law Jason Holmes, grandchildren Jacob and Leah, his siblings Bob (Janie), Kathy, Tom (Judy), Pat, Mary, and Joe (Mary), and countless nieces, nephews, friends and relations. He was preceded in death by his parents, Jack and Frances and his brother John and niece Julie.
Also a special thank you to all of his brothers from the ATO house and friends and family for the kind letters and memories. They brightened his dark days and he looked forward to reading them during this fast devastating illness.
Paul T. Sturtevant ’74 (electrical engineering) ’04M.A. (counseling & educational psychology)
Sept. 28, 2013—Reno, Nev.
“The time has come,” the Walrus said; “To talk of many things: Of laughs, and smiles, and memories; of mysteries and kings. And how he managed to amazed us all with bounds of quirky things.”
“But wait a bit,” our family cries, “before you leave our chat; for all of us are saddened now and most are taken back!”
“No worries!” cried our Carpenter. We thank him much for that.
May 31, 1952 marked the start of Paul’s journey. Raised as a Renoite since the age of 2, he developed the humor of a crazy quack that continued to lift us all. Paul made many beloved friendships filled with endless joy and laughter that built long-lasting relationships fortified with trust and lined with love.
Paul leaves behind his wife and best friend, Susan Sulser Sturtevant, who feels blessed to have shared many of Paul’s dreams. Paul also leaves behind his cherished children; son, Yeadon Sturtevant, daughter Stacia Lynn Harty, stepdaughter Carrie Lynn Smith, daughter-in-law Jenn Sturtevant and son-in-law Jeremy Harty, and his beloved grandchildren Kailey, Kaydence, Kayden, Kaelin, Jeremiah and Asa. He also left behind many friends that he regarded with great fondness: Bob, Allen, Rick, Duncan, Carmen, Hal, Rahn, Susan and his best four-legged pal, Clouseau.
Paul had a variety of careers and community interests, all of which he departs with honors. He devoted his engineering passions to Bally Tech for 21 years and shared his unique talents as a therapist at the Children’s Cabinet for five. Paul’s enthusiastic drollery and dignity will be missed by all.
Paul embodied the “Renaissance Man” with a magnificent laugh and a beaming grin. His answer to it all was “just use the appropriate hammer!” Unabashed and spontaneous, he would pull a harmonica out of his pocket and play you a tune. His song and dance was such a unique sight of wonderment, it would revive you in mind and soul. A great love of life was his signature and will be greatly missed.
David P. Chin, ’77 (computer information systems)
Aug. 14, 2013— Clermont, Fla.
Sgt. David Chin, a lifetime resident of Reno-Sparks, passed away from lung cancer Aug. 14, 2013 in Clermont, Fla., with his wife and daughter by his side.
David was born at Washoe Medical Center on Aug. 10, 1950 to Albert and Francis Chin. He graduated from Wooster High School and the University of Nevada, Reno. He joined the Nevada Air National Guard and served for 38 years finishing his career as a computer specialist. Chief Chin loved his work and had a special talent for electronics and computers. He was honored to serve his country and the state of Nevada.
David married Elizabeth Silver in Reno in March 1989. They adopted a beautiful baby girl, Christina, in 1993. Christina was and will always be David’s princess. David was a kind, gentle and caring man who was always willing to do for others and never expected anything in return. While he had various hobbies, his true passion was spending time with his wife, daughter and their pets. Taking care of “his girls” was his joy in life.
David is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, and his daughter, Christina; his mother, Francis Chin-Conradt, his two sisters, Carol Jaquish and Liz Warner, and numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.
Suzanne E. White-Collins ’77 (psychology)
Sept. 2, 2013—Kenmore, Wash.
David K. Bertroch ’79 (history)
Aug. 14, 2013—Fernley, Nev.
David Kenneth Bertroch, longtime Fernley resident, passed away Aug. 14, 2013 due to injuries he sustained in a bicycle accident. David was born July 16, 1956 in Indiana to Donald and Dianna Bertroch. He had been an ESL teacher for many years, teaching at Reno High, Sparks Middle School and also the schools in Fernley. Preceded in death by his grandparents, David is survived by his mother, Dianna Beard of Fernley; father Donald of Arizona; brother Danial (Connie) Beard of Texas; special loved ones Matt and Deb Clark and children Steven, Paul, Rebecca, David and Joey Sheperd, and numerous other special friends, too numerous to mention.
Eric M. Hatzenbiler, attended 1981-1988
Aug. 31, 2013—Sacramento, Calif.
It is with deep sorrow and fond memories that family and friends report Carmichael resident Eric Hatzenbiler passed away in his sleep Aug. 31, 2013 at the age of 50.
He is survived by the true loves of his life: wife Suzanne, sons Gunnar and Hogan, and stepdaughters Hannah and Allie Mering.
Born in Reno on July 13, 1963, Eric graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1986 and moved to the Sacramento region in the early 1990s. Through hard work, integrity and affability, Eric built a highly successful financial consulting practice over the years, working for some of the most prestigious local and national firms.
He adored his wife and children, with whom he enjoyed many activities, including boating, traveling the West in the family’s RV, taking his boys motocross racing and rooting for the Nevada Wolf Pack. An avid golfer, Eric was an active member of Del Paso Country Club, where he enjoyed the company of his many friends. He recently completed a term as the club's president. During his presidency, Eric was instrumental in bringing the 2015 United States Senior Open to Del Paso. Eric was also past president of 20-30 Club #1; his distinguished service earned him Past Active Life membership, one of only 17 members in the club's history to receive the honor. While Eric possessed many attributes, he is best remembered for his kindness, humor, loyalty and zest for life. Eric will be greatly missed by anyone who ever had the good fortune to know him.
Bonita “Joyce” Whitehead ’83M.Ed. (home economics)
Oct. 1, 2013—Bella Vista, Ark.
Bonita “Joyce” Whitehead passed away Oct. 1 in Bella Vista, Arkansas, after valiantly enduring Parkinson's for 23 years. Joyce was born to Ted and Norma Story on Jan. 3, 1937 in MO. She graduated from KU, and then married Jerry Whitehead in 1959. The family moved to Reno in 1961.
She volunteered in PTA and Lawyer's Wives. Later, Joyce earned her M.Ed. from the University of Nevada, Reno, and then taught at Katherine Dunn Elementary for 17 years. She moved to Las Vegas with her son, Jeff, and his family, and then moved to Ohio and then Arkansas with her daughter, Jocelyn, and family. Her magnificent smile and contagious laugh were her hallmarks.
Her priorities were her faith, family, and friends.
She is survived by five children and their spouses: Jeff & Maureen Whitehead, Jennifer & Brad Felix, Jon & Joanna Whitehead, Jocelyn & Wynn Peterson, and Joel & Carolyn Whitehead, 18 adored grandchildren, and one cherished great-grandson.
Michele M. Collins ’84M.Ed. (educational administration/higher education)
Aug. 28, 2013—Phoenix, Ariz.
Michele Collins passed away peacefully, surrounded by family and friends in Phoenix, Ariz. on Aug. 28, 2013, after courageously battling an extended illness. She was born in Detroit, Mich., in 1953 to Edward and Rita MacKool. In 1973, she married Dana Collins, and they shared their lives together until his passing in June of 2003.
Michele attended Wayne State University, and earned a bachelor’s degree in education. She continued her education after moving to Reno 1978. She attended the University of Nevada, Reno, and earned a master’s and doctorate in education in 1994.
Michele started teaching in the Washoe County School District at Traner Middle School in 1979 and taught home economics, English, math and reading. She moved into her role of educational leadership as dean of students at Traner Middle School and continued to move forward as principal at Traner, O'Brien and Swope middle schools.
In 2007 she received the National Distinguished Principal Award and had the honor to receive her award at the White House. In 2007, she was selected to be the senior director of middle schools until she retired in 2009.
Dr. Collins had a brilliant and productive career and retired with the reputation as one of the most effective and beloved leaders in the history of Washoe County School District. She had the ability to step into a new school and analyze the strengths already present, and use her skills to take the school to the next level. Michele was a galvanizing force wherever she went she was passionate about developing her craft as well as that of her teachers in order to best serve all students in her charge. She had the ability to create a dynamic and challenging culture of learning where she modeled an impeccable work ethic while building enduring relationships with staff, students, parents and the community.
She was the soul and spirit of every school she led, and everyone who worked for her felt like a member of her family. She was an extraordinary mentor, and her sphere of influence produced a generation of leaders. Her friends and members of her school community will remember her curly black hair, infectious smile, sharp wit, classy dress, engaging personality, and that she was always the life of the party. Her charisma and positive energy were contagious and compelling, and motivated those around her to reach their highest potential. She was truly an inspiration, and improved the lives of thousands of students.
Michele's family and friends will remember that she always put others first. She was unparalleled in her generosity, kindness, friendship and the personal sacrifices she made for her family, friends, colleagues and school community. She lived each day the way she taught, maximizing every opportunity to enjoy life to the fullest. She fully embraced her life and her career with love, enthusiasm, laughter and joy and most of all, learning. We are all in debt to Michele, because her bright spirit and high expectations of all of us have made us better people.
Michele was preceded in death by her father, Edward S. MacKool, and is survived by her dear mother Rita MacKool, loving sisters Marianne Thomas (Tony), Maggie Scott (Michael), Marlene Morfoot (Chuck), Marcia Bruno (John) and brothers Ed MacKool (Cheryl), Jim MacKool (Andrea) numerous nephews and nieces and great nephews.
Mary L. (Grey) Garcia, ’84 (elementary education) ’87M.Ed. (special education)
Oct. 1, 2013—Reno, Nev.
Mary Louise Garcia (nee Grey), 82, of Reno died Oct. 1, 2013, at home. Mrs. Garcia was born November 21, 1930, in Gary, Ind., to Lewis and Mary Grey. She attended high school in Gary and later attended the University of Nevada, Reno, obtaining a master’s in education. She is survived by her sons, Phillip Garcia, Steven and his wife Gitte Garcia and Vincent Garcia.
Frank D. Rothwell ’86 (managerial sciences)
Sept. 9, 2013—Sparks, Nev.
Frank David Rothwell, born Dec. 30, 1936, passed away peacefully Sept. 9, 2013. He leaves behind his wife of 45 years, Mary Ann; his children; Mike Madalinski, Vickie Madalinski, Lauren McBride and Christine Mackie; and grandchildren Michael Madalinski, Erin Madalinski and Bridger Smith.
Mohammed “Mike” N. Akbar ’87 (engineering design tech)
Sept. 12, 2013—Reno, Nev.
“Make yourself familiar with the angels, and behold them frequently in spirit; for without being seen, they are present with you.” —St. Francis de Sales
Encircled by angels, beloved husband and father Mike Akbar transcended to eternal life into God’s loving arms on Sept. 12, 2013 in Reno. He was 51.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Mike grew up in Reno. It was at Hug High School where Mike connected with his soulmate, Bonnie Sue Garrett. After their 1981 graduation, Mike and Bonnie were united in marriage on May 25, 1985.
Together, Mike and Bonnie shared the joyful births, nurturing and love of their son, Aaron, and daughter, Lauren. Mike’s love of designing and building led to studies at the University of Utah, the University of Nevada, Reno, and the University of Idaho in Moscow, where he received his bachelor’s in architecture. He was an architectural project manager and ace CADD draftsman for Lundahl & Associates, Architects; and Collaborative Design Studio.
Mike loved NASCAR, Star Trek, cheesy sci-fi films, comedies, camping, the blues, disc golf, Reno Aces, Oakland Raiders, holding court in the man cave, restoring his ’65 Triumph Spitfire, and road trips with his wife. Mike was a member of Hillside Foursquare Church and Granite Hills Baptist Church’s Celebrate Recovery.
In his final moment, Mike's heart was full of love for his wife and children ... his everything. He is survived by Bonnie, his devoted wife of 28 years; son, Aaron; daughter, Lauren; his large extended family, and loyal friends who will forever miss Mike's voice, his laughter, giving heart, gentle strength and loving presence.
Jim “Duck” Sullivan ’90 (marketing)
Sept. 5, 2013—Parker, Colo.
James Patrick “Duck” Sullivan passed away unexpectedly Sept. 5, 2013 while elk hunting in the mountains of Southwest Colorado.
Born Sept.17, 1964 in Las Vegas, Nev., to George and Betty Anne Sullivan, he was the youngest of four children. The “Duck” as he was known, graduated from George Whittell High School and the University of Nevada, Reno. He was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. Duck worked many years in the tax sheltered annuity business with Western World Annuity & the insurance company ING. He was an avid outdoors man and loved to spend time with his kids.
He is survived by his children: Rachel, Lindsay, and Luke Sullivan all of Parker, Colo.; His mother Betty Anne Sullivan, sister Beth Anne Roblek, nephew Kevin Roblek and neice Krista Roblek all of Las Vegas, Nev.; brother Blair Sullivan of Sparks, Nev.
Azita Gordaninejad, attended 1996-1999 and 2003-2008
July 29, 2013—Paris, France
Azita Madani Gordaninejad lost a long, tough and courageous battle with cancer and passed away while surrounded by family members on July 29, 2013 in Paris at the age of 58. Her husband was holding her hands when she passed. One of the best medical teams in France and family members did everything humanly possible to save her. Nothing was left undone.
Azita is survived by her husband, Faramarz Gordaninejad, son Arash Mokhber, mother Nayer Adib, father Hossein Madani, and brother Reza Madani (Haleh).
Azita was born in Tehran, Iran on Aug. 3, 1955. She studied in Miss Mary Primary School, and Jeanne d'Arc High School in Tehran. Azita continued her undergraduate education at Melli (National) University in political science in Tehran. After she moved to Paris in 1982, at the master level, she attended Sorbonne University to study international business. In 1994, she married and moved to Reno, Nev. Azita learned interior design and Spanish at the University of Nevada, Reno in the 1990s. She spoke four languages fluently; Farsi (Persian), French, English and Spanish. She worked as a librarian at the American University of Paris for 10 years.
For 14 years in Reno, Azita held the position of chief operating office, at Advanced Materials and Devices, Inc., a company that was established by her and her husband in 1999.
Azita was a great and loving woman. Those who have known her through the years know that she was a beautiful person inside and out, with an extremely likable personality. She was full of life, graceful, soulful, generous, very talented and had a great smile. She loved to read, travel, listen to classical music and soft rock, dance salsa and watch movies. Her husband has had the opportunity and honor of spending 20 dream years with her and will never forget any moment of it.
The world has lost a true angel and her husband lost the love of his life. But, certainly she will live forever in many minds and hearts.
Kent D. Redwine ’93 (chemistry professional) ’00Ph.D. (chemistry)
Oct. 12, 2013—Carson City, Nev.
Dr. Kent Douglas Redwine passed away Oct. 12, 2013. He was born in Glendale, Calif., to Malcolm and Clarabelle Redwine. He relocated to Carson City, Nev., in 1974. Kent received a heart transplant in Oct. 1986 from the Arizona Heart Institute which enabled him to obtain his bachelor’s and doctorate from the University of Nevada, Reno, enjoy numerous motorcycle rides and to travel to many countries around the world. His greatest accomplishments in life were his children, Nicholas and Rhianna and his four grand-children.
He is preceded in death by his daughter, Rhianna, his parents, Malcolm and Clarabelle and his brother, Scott. He is survived by his wife, Laura-lee, son, Nicholas (Naomi), brothers, Chris, Eric (Chrissy) and Blain (Anna), step-mother, Gretchen Redwine and step-brothers, Scott Shelly (Martha), Camron Shelly (Victoria), grandchildren, Abrian, Alex, Paulie and Rhianna and several nieces and nephews.
Allison “A.J.” Jill Maupin ’96 (hydrogeology)
Nov. 1, 2013—Reno, Nev.
Allison Jill “A.J.” Maupin, 41, died in an auto accident Nov. 1, 2013, in Pleasant Valley, near Reno. She was born in Las Vegas on April 27, 1972, where she attended elementary, junior high, and Clark High School. She moved to Reno in 1988 where she was a cheerleader and distinguished graduate of Reno High School in 1990. She was an accomplished gymnast and swimmer and loved the outdoors. She was a lifeguard at Bowers Mansion for three years.
A.J. attended the University of Arizona, but in 1992 she transferred to the University of Nevada, Reno. A.J. was a proud member of Pi Beta Phi Sorority and was only the second graduate in the sub-engineering field of Hydrogeology, with a minor in mathematics. She graduated with honors in 1995. Due to a long and debilitating illness she was never able to pursue her dreams.
She is survived by her brother, Michael Maupin and mother, Carole Wagner Maupin of Reno, her father, retired Nevada Supreme Court Justice A. William Maupin of Reno and Las Vegas, her cousins Richard Maupin Placak, Sandy Placak, and Aaron Placak, her longtime boyfriend Andrew J. Hughes and his son Tristan. She was predeceased by her grandparents, Hugo and Viola Wagner, and Dr. Clinton S. and Claire Maupin and by her uncle, Leroy Wagner.
Michael Terence Landsberry ’00 (elementary education)
Oct. 21, 2013—Reno, Nev.
Sparks Middle School math teacher and decorated airman Michael Terence Landsberry ’00 (elementary education) passed away Oct. 21, 2013 while trying to stop a gunman during a school shooting at the Sparks, Nev., school. The 45-year-old Landsberry was a member of the Nevada Air National Guard and the Marine Corps who served in Afghanistan and Kuwait. Landsberry, fondly known as “Batman” to his students, was hailed a hero for trying to disarm the shooter. In his honor, this year’s top teaching honor for the state will be renamed the 2014 Michael Landsberry Teacher of the Year award.
Aaron D. Woods ’07 (general studies)
Oct. 3, 2013—Tiffin, Ohio
Aaron D. Woods, 37, formerly of Fostoria, resident of Tiffin, Ohio, died Oct. 3, 2013 in Attica. He was born on June 22, 1976 in Fostoria, Ohio to W. David & Marsha (Seel) Woods. He married Kristine Smith in August 1994 in Fostoria and they divorced.
Aaron was a 1994 graduate of Fostoria High School. He attended Terra State Community College and the University of Nevada. He was employed at M-Tek in Upper Sandusky.
Aaron was preceded in death by his father and a nephew, Brandon Woods.
Surviving are his mother, Marsha (Keith) Rexroth of Tiffin; brother, Gregory (Samantha) Woods of Fostoria; aunts, Bev (Wayne) Stowers of Valparaiso, Ind., Barbara (Tom) Wagner of Fostoria, and Kathy Seel of Arcadia; and nieces, Crystal, Tabitha and Dakota Woods.