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Remembering Friends

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Earl D. Casazza
June 23, 2012—Reno, Nev.

Earl Casazza was born in Reno Sept.10, 1925, to David and Mena Capurro-Casazza. They were a third-generation Reno family who settled and ranched in the Huffaker area in the early 1800s. Earl attended the one-room Huffaker School, then located on South Virginia Street, and went to the Billinghurst Jr. High on Plumas Street. He graduated from Reno High School, which was then at Fifth and Arlington.

Casazza served in the U.S. Army in the European theater for three years during World War II. After Earl returned home, the family sold the ranch and moved to town around 1945. Earl and his late brother, Albert, opened Casazza Market on East Second Street. Later, after selling the market, the brothers began a log-hauling business. During this time, he cleared Heavenly Valley Ski Area and excavated the Edgewood Golf Course for Wallace Park at Stateline. He also did the first major widening and clearing of the Mount Rose Highway with Morrison and Knudsen Construction.

Several years later, Earl started Casazza Trucking Company on Glendale Avenue in Sparks, where it remained for forty-five years. By 1996, Casazza's trucking business had become the largest transporter of heavy equipment in Nevada, with offices in Las Vegas, Chico and San Leandro, Calif., and was a contracted transporter and distributor for 76 Union Oil Co. for 40 years. The company was also the major transporter for the U. S. government in taking supplies to the atomic testing range in Las Vegas during the early years of atomic energy testing program, and was the contractor responsible for delivering all the machines used to establish Rocketdyne Corporation Laboratories near Pyramid Lake.

Earl Casazza was a member and served as president of the Italian Benevolent Society. His grandfather was a founding member of the society and served as its first president in the early 1800s. Earl was a major benefactor in the establishment of St. Albert the Great Catholic Church and preschool in Reno. During his lifetime, Casazza served as president of the Nevada Transportation Association, member of the honorary trustee board of the Desert Research Foundation and was a member of the Elks Club. He established the first gallery (E.D. Casazza) in the original Nevada Museum of Art and was a museum benefactor of for many years.
Casazza and his wife, Wanda, donated the land on Mill Street where the Casa de Vida home for pregnant single mothers was built. Casazza had three daughters: Sunnye (Sam) Stoehr of Lodi, Calif., and Letty Casazza and Valli (Kevin) Hill of Reno. He is preceded in death by his sister, Gloria Casazza Andreini, and his brother, Albert preceded him in death.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Casa de Vida 1290 Mill Street Reno, NV 89509.

Chester R. Cassinelli
June 23, 2012—Sparks, Nev.

Chester R. Cassinelli, 89, passed away at home with his wife and children by his side on June 23, 2012.

Chester, a third generation Nevadan, was born along with his twin brother, Lester, on June 3, 1923, to Pete and Edith Balsi Cassinelli on the Cassinelli family ranch, which was later named the 3 bar C, located on what is now Glendale Avenue and Rock Boulevard in Sparks. He graduated from Sparks High School in 1941, and along with his father, Pete, continued full-time on the ranch raising potatoes, onions and hogs for the war effort. In his early 20s, Chester purchased half of the 3 bar C Ranch from his grandmother, Teresa Cassinelli.

On February 17, 1946, Chester married Laura Noel Giacomelli in the Saint Thomas Aquinas Cathedral in Reno. After honeymooning in San Francisco, the couple returned to the ranch and began raising their four children, David, Jeannie, Tom and Laurie.

Chester and his brothers continued in the agriculture business for years, leasing and farming many properties along the Truckee River and in Spanish Springs. During those years Chester especially enjoyed his relationship with Eggo Foods, providing them with quality potatoes, as well as producing fine cattle. In 1970 he purchased the T5 Cattle Ranch in Paradise Valley, Nev., located 40 miles northeast of Winnemucca.

During those years as a rancher, Chester served as a 4-H leader and instilled in his children the love of the outdoors, including hunting and fishing. For many years one of his yearly highlights would include the cattle drive with sons David and Tom and the ranch crew, moving the cattle down from the Santa Rosa Range back to the ranch for winter feeding. On this annual drive, Chester would ride along as the camp cook, serving up three meals a day and trying not to break the eggs during the moves. Chester's passion for the outdoors was passed on to his grandchildren; on any given Sunday he could be found up some far-flung creek with some of the grandkids in tow, in search of that elusive "fishing hole."

Chester was also involved in the construction business in the mid 1960s. He began to develop and build warehouses on his property on Glendale Avenue. In 1969, he formed a partnership with his cousin, Bill Balsi, and two other partners, and started Reno-Sparks Ready Mix with a grand total of three used cement trucks. Along the way, the group acquired Pioneer Trucking and Fernley Ready Mix, creating a one-stop shop for concrete, from manufacture to pour. When the business was sold in 2000 to one of the largest ready mix companies in the world, it numbered 48 cement trucks and 20 tractor trailers, employing 100 people on the Ready Mix side and 20 in Pioneer Trucking. At the time, Reno Sparks Ready Mix was one of the largest ready mix companies in northern Nevada.

Although his ranching days had come to an end, he continued to provide advice and assistance to his sons on the T5 Ranch, and he remained active in overseeing the warehouses. He then took up golf, which he enjoyed with numerous friends and relatives, but especially with his wife, Laura. Together they played many local and out-of-state courses as they traveled extensively throughout the United States.

Chester was preceded in death by his twin brother Lester, his parents Pete and Edith, and his two brothers Bobby and Raymond. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Laura; his children David (Debbie), Jeannie (Larry), and Tom (Sharon) Cassinelli, and Laurie Cassinelli Bus (Steve); and numerous children and great-grandchildren.

The family wishes to thank Connie, Chester's caregiver, and Denise, Bruce and Nancy from Vista Care Hospice.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in Chester's name be made to the Nevada Agriculture Foundation, P.O. Box 8089, Reno, NV 89507, an umbrella organization that encompasses 4-H, agriculture student scholarships and other related pursuits.

Ralph L. Denton
July 6, 2012—Boulder City, Nev.

Ralph Lloyd Denton, 86, born Sept. 8, 1925, in Caliente, Nev., died July 6, 2012. Ralph was an attorney for more than 60 years and a former Clark County commissioner and Boulder City city attorney.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Hazel (Baker) and Floyd Denton; his sisters, Henrietta and Betty; his brother, Lewis; and his son, Jeffrey. He is survived by his wife, of nearly 63 years, Sara; his sons, Mark of Las Vegas and Scott of Henderson; his daughter, Sally of Santa Fe, N.M.; and ten grandchildren. A veteran the U.S. Army, Ralph served during World War II. He graduated from the American University School of Law. His honors included Distinguished Nevadan, with Sara, and the University of Nevada, Reno President's Medal for his service to the University of Nevada School of Medicine, and selection as one of the Las Vegas Review-Journal's "First 100."

Roy Powers
June 5, 2012—Reno, Nev.

Roy Powers was born Nov. 19, 1922 in Seattle, Wash., and was the last of Roy and Mayme Powers’ four children. When a recruiter judged Roy as underweight by Navy standards, he enlisted in the United States Coast Guard to serve his country in response to Pearl Harbor. After the war, Roy arrived in Reno in 1946 to assist in his ill father's insurance business. Originally not intending to stay, Roy ultimately decided to make Reno his new home.

Roy is remembered as a visionary pioneer in Reno's cultural and commercial history, and through his artwork, one of its primary historians. He had a long career as an advertising and public relations professional, and was a longtime civic volunteer. 

In 1959, he met Jackie Manoukian at the Riverside Corner Bar. They married seven weeks later. They celebrated their fifty-second wedding anniversary on January 2, 2012. Their family includes two of Roy's children from an earlier marriage, Robyn and Reed, two of their own children, Alan and Corinne, grandchildren, Taylor, Ross and Jeff, and a many nieces and nephews.

Roy passed away at the age of 89 on June 5, 2012.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Roy Powers Scholarship, Reno Air Racing Foundation, 14501 Mt. Anderson St., Reno, NV, 89506.

Betty Jo Stumpf
July 1, 2012—Reno, Nev.

Betty Jo Stumpf passed away July 1, 2012. She was born June 15, 1926, in Deadwood, S.D., and later moved with her mother to Berkeley, Calif. She attended Berkeley's elementary schools and Berkeley High School, where she met her first husband, Weston Volberg. She attended the University of California at Berkeley during World War II and graduated in 1947. Shortly after graduating, she married Weston Volberg and they moved to Montreal, Canada, where he attended McGill Medical School. During their four years in Canada, she worked as a social worker. After his training was completed, they moved back to the United States and had a daughter, Jennifer. Weston passed away from cancer shortly after starting his medical career.

She then attended Mills College in Oakland, Calif and obtained her teaching degree. She taught within the Oakland and Berkeley school systems for many years as a first and second grade teacher. During this time, she met Felix Stumpf, and they married Aug. 5, 1959 in Carson City, Nev. She was kept busy raising Jennifer and her new son Paul, who was born in 1961 in Berkeley, California and helped to raise her four stepsons from Felix's first marriage. They lived in Berkeley until June of 1973, when they moved to Reno for Felix's job with the National Judicial College as academic director. During this time Betty Jo worked as a student teacher supervisor at the University of Nevada, Reno, and later for many years as a first grade teacher at Katherine Dunne Elementary School in Sparks while taking care of her husband and their son Paul. After retiring from teaching, she became involved with the Assistance League and traveled with Felix on many wonderful trips here in the United States and Europe.

She was preceded in death by her daughter Jennifer, who died in 1978, and is survived by her husband Felix, his sons Eric, Ken, Kirk, Mark, and by their son Paul and his family.


Max J. Awisus, groundskeeper
April 2, 2012—Reno, Nev.

Max Awisus, 80, passed away at home on April 2, 2012. He was born in Los Angeles, Calif., in 1931 to Max and Margaret Awisus. They moved to the Bay Area in 1944. Max graduated from Freemont High. After graduation, he worked for 3 years for Westinghouse and later became a San Francisco Chronicle distributor for more than 15 years. He retired from the University of Nevada, Reno after 18 years as a groundskeeper.

His greatest treasure was his family. Max married his high school sweetheart, Joanne Verrinder, in 1951. Max retired from the University to take care of Joanne until her passing in 2005. After her death, Max filled his days volunteering at St Mary's Regional Medical Center.

Max enjoyed watching his grandchildren compete in many sporting events, including baseball, swimming, soccer and gymnastics. He was a kid at heart —he never missed an opportunity to go to Disneyland with his family. In 2007, Max planned a family reunion in Disney World in remembrance of his wife Joanne, where 42 of his family members were in attendance.

Max is survived by two sisters, Elaine (George) Enscoe and Marlene (Tom) Dietzel; brother, Melvin (Patricia) Awisus; five children, Kathy (Tim) Busch, Ed Awisus, Cindi (Scott) Hill, Julie Awisus and Mark (Kim) Awisus; 13 children and 12 great-grandchildren.

Megan L. Crowley, faculty, current student.
August 8, 2012—Reno, Nev.

Megan Lynn Crowley, 33, of Sparks, died Aug. 8, 2012.

David M. Lupan, senior associate dean of basic science and research, University of Nevada School of Medicine
June 24, 2012—Reno, Nev.

David Martin Lupan, 66, passed away at home on June 23, 2012, following a 15-week battle with non-Hodgkin's B-cell lymphoma. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on Oct. 23, 1945, and at the age of 1, moved with his parents to Arizona.

He met his wife, Joyce, on a blind date at the University of Arizona on April 10, 1964, and they were married four years later on June 8, 1968 in Claypool, Ariz., at the first ecumenical ceremony in the state. They immediately moved to Iowa City, Iowa where David attended graduate school at the following a course of study that led to a Ph.D. in microbiology in 1973.

David and Joyce moved to Reno following his graduation from Iowa to accept a position as an assistant professor of microbiology at the newly established University of Nevada School of Medicine. He stayed for nearly 40 years, rising to the position of senior associate dean for basic science and research, a position he held for the last 15 years.

His scientific expertise was in bacteriology and mycology and mechanisms of resistance to antimicrobials. During his early career, he was responsible for several major courses and sequences in microbiology for medical students, during which he was nominated for the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award in 1985, and received the award in 1988 and 1997. During the early and more active phase of his scientific career, he published and presented numerous posters, peer-reviewed manuscripts and abstracts, and was the recipient or co-recipient of 10 externally funded grant awards.

He served on 12 major University committees, 21 major School of Medicine committees, and was a member of, or chaired, 18 additional committees or task forces in his role as senior associate dean. This service contributed to faculty and chair searches, student admissions, equipment and lab design, building design and construction, student health, biosafety, information technology, personnel and budget issues, indirect cost distribution, the Office of Sponsored Program Administration, faculty by-laws, student research awards, space allocation and research network administration.

A strong supporter of expanded research opportunities for students, he loved lecturing and teaching at the School of Medicine and was a mentor to many during his 39 years on faculty. In his early years of teaching, some of his students would call him "Sarge" because of his exacting expectations in the classroom, including not allowing hats in the classroom.

David loved the outdoors, and enjoyed fishing and hunting and World War II airplanes. He enjoyed riding ATVs. He adored his grandchildren, and often could be found playing "rocket ship" in his truck with his grandson. He and Joyce purchased property near Graeagle, Calif., where he would cut down trees for firewood to use during the winter. He also took pleasure in wood working, as well as playing games with family and friends. He had a sweet tooth, and found it difficult to pass by his secretary's candy dish. He also had a knack for finding a Dairy Queen no matter where he was.

David had a corny sense of humor, which was often laced with sarcasm and dry undertones, yet he was also social and outgoing and almost always found someone he knew wherever he went.
He and Joyce had just bought a home in Arizona where they planned to spend several months in the winter after his retirement, which was to begin in July 2012.

David was preceded in death by his parents, Nicholas and Grace (Neuzil) Lupan. He is survived by Joyce, his wife of 44 years; son Michael David Lupan (Dawn), daughter Nicole Elaine (Lupan) Naylor (Dave); four grandchildren and two step-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sisters, Elizabeth Ann Cole (Ben) and Loraine Ark (Roger), both of Arizona; brother-in-law Ed Bricker (Mary Janet), of Oklahoma, and many extended family members.

Memorial fund donations may be sent to the University of Nevada, Reno Foundation, David Lupan School of Medicine Fund, Mail Stop 0530, University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno, NV 89557-0530.

Kalo E. Neidert, emeritus faculty of accounting
June 12, 2012—Reno, Nev.

Kalo Neidert, 93, a retired professor of accounting at the University of Nevada, Reno, died at home June 12, 2012. Neidert was born Sept. 1, 1918, on the family farm near High Gate, Mo.  
Following World War II, he received his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., and then attended graduate school at the University of Minnesota before spending the remainder of his professional career in higher education.

Kalo taught at the University of Mississippi from 1953 to 1957, the University of Texas from 1957 to 1961, Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota from 1961 to 1962, and the University of Nevada, Reno from 1962 until his retirement in 1990. A certified public accountant, Kalo was active in the Nevada State Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Accounting Association. For his professional accomplishments, he was listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in Finance and Industry and Who's Who in the West.

On June 22, 1952, he married Stella Vest of St. Louis. They would have celebrated their 60th anniversary this year. The couple had four sons, Edward (Marcelle) of Carson City, Karl of San Diego, Calif., David (Laura) and Wayne, both of Reno, and a daughter, Meg, stationed at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.

An active member for almost 50 years at St. John's Presbyterian Church in Reno, Kalo served on its session multiple times and provided his financial expertise to the church for many decades.
Long involved in scouting, Kalo received the Silver Beaver award for his many years of service to the Boy Scout movement at the pack, troop and district levels.

In addition to his wife and children, Kalo is survived by five grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.


Rubel D. (Hansen) David ’25 (first grade diploma)
April 19, 2012—Oakland, Calif.

Rubel Dorothy Hansen David, 105, passed away April 19, 2012, at her home in Oakland Calif. Ms. David was born in Centerville (Gardnerville), Nev., to Mathias and Edith Hansen, a well-known ranching family in Carson Valley. She graduated from Douglas High School, where she was a student athlete, lettering in basketball. She and her sisters would drive together to school in the family horse and buggy, tightly wrapped in warm blankets in the winter, her brothers often on horseback. She set her sights on being a teacher when she was very young and never wavered. She went on to attend the University of Nevada, Reno, paying her way by waiting tables in the Dining Commons, graduating in May 1925.

After graduation, Rubel assumed a teaching position with the Truckee Meadows School District, which later merged with the Washoe County School District. She took a teaching position at McKinley Park School in the early 1930s, eventually becoming principal, and assumed the position of principal at the new Anderson Elementary School in the early 1950s with an annual salary of $6,592. Throughout these years, as was expected of a respectable single woman and teacher, she rented rooms from notable families in the area rather than living alone or with other single women in an apartment; and she was not allowed to enter a gambling establishment or partake of alcohol (at least in public). She often walked several miles to her teaching jobs daily, as well as walking back home for lunch. Because of this, she loved to walk her entire life.

She married Loyd Alvin David in 1952. They lived in Reno until he died in 1963.
Rubel retired from Anderson in June of 1972 after 46 years as a teacher and principal in the school system. She served on the board of the Teacher's Credit Union for several years and as a volunteer at the thrift shop after retirement. She moved from Reno in 1999 to live with her daughter in Oakland.

Her life was fueled by her love of teaching and travel, with one of her first adventures being on the 72nd voyage of the SS Lurline in June 1936 to Hawaii. Her desire to experience the world took her on multiple trips to Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Canada, Central America and Mexico, as well as extensive travel throughout the United States. After retirement, she returned to Hawaii, spending the winter months at her second home in Maui for several years, until she was no longer able to travel. One of her most thrilling travels took her to the family home in Denmark to see where her mother was born, raised and baptized; and making the long-lasting connection with family still living on the farm and throughout Denmark.

Rubel won her first car when she was 12 years old in a subscription competition sponsored by the Nevada State Journal. She sold the most subscriptions to the paper and won the car, which she and her father drove home from Reno. She loved to drive her entire life. She was a life-long Democrat, devoted gardener, accomplished pastry chef and cook, read voraciously well into her 90s, did crossword puzzles daily, and engaged in complex knitting projects and artistic needlepoint throughout her life until arthritis prevented her from pursuing her chosen crafts. She took up golf after retirement and became an avid golfer, getting a hole-in-one, and winning prizes in tournaments, her last being "closest to the hole" when she was 95.

She is survived by her daughter, Frances David and Fran's partner Nancy Van Huffel of Oakland, Calif., and eight nieces and nephews and their families: Roger Rundburg, Kay Rundburg, and Ott Hansen of Reno; Arla Mae Hill of Manteca; Inger Hansen of Winemucca; Barbara Enochson of Yerington; and Mary Ann Blair of Arizona. She is preceded in death by her husband, Loyd David, and her six brothers and sisters: Ott Hansen, Inger Hansen, Earl Hansen, Edith Munson, Ann Rundburg and Hoover "Hank" Hansen.

Donations in her honor may be made to the Hayward Education Foundation, P.O. Box 56444, Hayward CA, 94545.

Frances C. (Millar) Burns, attended 1927-1931
June 4, 2012—Yerington, Nev.

Frances Burns passed away at her home in Yerington, Nev., June 4, 2012. She was 102.

Wilma G. (Foote) Porteous ’40 (home economics)
July 12, 2012—Napa, Calif.

Wilma Foote Porteous, wife, mother and grandmother, passed away July 12, 2012. She was born April 27, 1919, the only child of Ruth and Bill Foote. She grew up in Sparks, graduated from the University of Nevada in home economics, and married Lewis Porteous, a young engineer and fellow student. The couple then moved to California, eventually settling in the San Francisco Bay Area where they raised their family of five children. In later years, Wilma taught school in the East Bay. She is survived by her husband of 72 years, Lewis, her five children: Lynette, Sharon, Gregson, Lawrence and Leland, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Betty (Nash) Carlson ’43 (psychology)
June 24, 2012—Portland, Ore.

Born in Reno, Betty was the middle child of five born to Percival and Mary Cole Nash. She grew up in Reno and Las Vegas, Nev., and graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno, where she met and later married Perry George Carlson. 

Their two children, Susanne Carlson and Peter L. Carlson, were born in Oakland, Calif., before the family relocated to Lake Oswego. Betty taught second grade at Lake Grove Elementary School, and had her greatest laughs while volunteering for the Columbia River Girl Scout Council. She and Perry traveled the world in pursuit of their love of history, making acquaintances along the way who would become life-long friends. Betty was deeply devoted to her family, finding a second passion in researching her family’s genealogy and helping compile and author a multi-volume family history.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Perry, and her three brothers, Louis, Eldridge and Oliver. Betty is survived by her children, Susanne (Bruce) Odekirk and Peter (Laurie) Carlson, sister Jean Clemens (husband Tom), five grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to the University of Nevada, Reno fund in Betty and Perry’s name toward a scholarship for students in the College of Education. A contribution can be made in their names to: UNR Foundation/College of Education, Mail Stop 162, Reno, NV 89557 or at

Frances J. (Baumann) Waterman ’44 (home economics)
July 14, 2012—Carson City, Nev.

Frances Waterman, 92, of Carson City, died July 14, 2012.

Bonnie A. (Yater) Jenkins ’46 (history)
May 30, 2012—Reno, Nev.

Bonnie A. (Yater) Jenkins, 88, passed away May 30, 2012, following a long illness and a series of strokes. She was born Sept. 12, 1923 in Carson City to Gavin and Francis Yater. At the University of Nevada, Reno, she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority, the Soroptimist International Association and the Mackay Day Committee.

Bonnie loved the Nevada desert and its beauty. After graduating from the University, Bonnie began her career as an English teacher in California. She then moved to Reno to teach at Vaughn Middle School, where she met her husband, Lawrence.

Bonnie was talented in many things, from playing piano to acquiring a pilot's license. She had a green thumb in the garden and loved to grow roses and other flowers. Bonnie loved to write in diaries about her daily activities. She was fond of reading and had a large collection of books. During the changing of the seasons, Bonnie loved traveling back and forth with Larry from their homes in Fernley and Westport, Calif.

Bonnie was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Lawrence. She is survived by her daughter, Tamsin, grandson Damien and son-in-law Daniel.

In lieu of flowers a donation may be made to the SPCA of Nevada in Bonnie's name.

Sister M. J. Benjamin Boyle ’49 (education)
May 30, 2012—San Rafael, Calif.

Sister Benjamin Boyle, a Dominican Sister of San Rafael, died peacefully at Our Lady of Lourdes Convent on May 30, 2012.

Mary Jane Boyle was born and raised in Rhode Island, the youngest of five children. Her uncle was a monsignor in the diocese of Vermont, and she enjoyed many childhood summers visiting with him at Lake Champlain. Mary Jane transferred to the University of Nevada from the Rhode Island School of Education. She worked weekends and summers as a pharmacist's assistant at Saint Mary's Hospital in Reno, where she first met the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael. After graduating from UNR and teaching for a year in Reno, Mary Jane entered the convent.

Sister Benjamin taught in Catholic elementary schools in Lodi, Benicia, Vallejo, Napa and Reno for twenty years before beginning a new career in healthcare. After earning a master's degree in social work at St. Louis University, she returned to Saint Mary's Hospital in Reno, started the Social Services Department, worked in case management, facilitated the Christmas Employee Assistance Program and served on many hospital committees. Sister Benjamin retired in 1995 and continued to contribute her many skills in education and social work in Reno as a volunteer. She moved to Our Lady of Lourdes Convent in San Rafael in 2008.

Sister Benjamin is survived by her nephew Tom McKee and his wife Judaline, her niece Sandra Ditore, and numerous grand and great-grand nieces and nephews, particularly Theresa Giovingo and her Dominican Sisters. She is predeceased by her parents, John and Agnes Marion Boyle, her siblings Monsignor Edmund Boyle, Marion Betts, Jacquelyn Boyle and Clair Boyle.

Gifts in memory of Sister Benjamin may be made to Dominican Sisters of San Rafael, Development Office, 1520 Grand Ave., San Rafael, CA 94901.

Gwen J. (Byrd) Baxter ’50 (physical education)
June 5, 2012—Reno, Nev.

Gwen Baxter, wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother, passed away June 5, 2012. Gwen was born in Colorado Springs, Colo., to Clarence Byrd and Lucille Riddoch. In the 1940s the Byrd family moved to Goldfield, Nev., then Tonopah and finally Reno. Both of her parents were educators and Gwen followed in their footsteps by graduating with a teaching degree from the University of Nevada in 1949. After graduation, she taught at Sparks Middle School, then Reno High School. While at the University, she fell in love with George Mert Baxter and they married in 1952.

Mert had a military career, and together they served together in many national and international assignments including Germany and Pakistan. Thirty-six years, four children and hundreds of thousands of miles later, Gwen and Mert retired in Reno.

Gwen's two great passions were her family and giving to the community she loved. From 1991 until her death, she volunteered at the Assistance League of Reno-Sparks. She served as president from 1996-98 and headed up several of their projects during her tenure.

Gwen was preceded in death by her parents, her sister, Marilyn Dietz, and her son, Gary Baxter. She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Mert Baxter, and children Brenda Baxter, Greg Baxter and his wife Barbara, and Amy Fruhwirth and her husband, Tim.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Assistance League of Reno-Sparks, P.O. Box 7376, Reno 89510-7376, or to Gentiva Hospice Foundation, 7801 Mesquite Bend Blvd., Suite 105, Irving, TX 75063.

Joseph B. Berry ’51 (economics)
Jan. 6, 2012—Newport, Wash.

Joseph Barnes Kratoville Berry, 88, passed away Jan. 6, 2012, in Newport, Wash. He was a champion skier and marathon runner. In 2004, he was inducted into the U.S. International Shooting Hall of Fame. He was the Olympic Games world championships team leader in 1974, 1978 and 1986. Joe served his country in the 10th Mountain Division in both World War II and the Korean War.

He is survived by his wife, Eileen, children Holly, William, Peter and Steven, and four grandchildren.

Thomas W. Ballow ’55 (agricultural education)
June 12, 2012—Reno, Nev.

Longtime Reno resident Thomas Warren Ballow, born Jan. 22, 1935, in Levan, Utah, passed away June 12, 2012. Tom grew up in Elgin, Nev., before moving to Reno, where he was the executive director for the Nevada Deptartment of Agriculture until his retirement.

Tom is survived by Gerry Freitas of West Sacramento, Calif., Allen Anderson of Minden, Nev., Judy Sanford of Reno, Tammy Sage (Toronto, Ont., )Michelle Ballow of Reno, and many grandchildren.

Reginald H. DePaoli ’55 (arts and science)
June 26, 2012—Reno, Nev.

Reginald DePaoli passed away June 26, 2012.  Reginald was born to Prospect, Nev., natives Judith Borgna and Tony DePaoli on Nov. 20, 1932, joining brother Gerald DePaoli and sister Iris DePaoli Anxo. He attended Eureka, Nev., schools from first through 12th grade, graduating high school in 1950.

Athletics were very important to Reginald, who participated in basketball, lettering four years; and football and track, lettering three years each. During his high school years, Reg helped Eureka win the 1949 State Basketball Championship, the 1950 Eastern Division Championship and State Basketball runner up in that year. He was selected to several all-tourney teams to include First Team All-State Basketball in both 1949 and 1950.

In 1950, he received a scholarship in athletics to the University of Nevada, Reno, where he participated in basketball, football and track. His main focus and love of the game was basketball, and he earned and maintained the starting center position for the next three years. Reg lettered in basketball three years, track for two years and football for one year.

He was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity and the ROTC program. After graduating from Nevada in 1955, he entered the service training at Fort Benning, Ga. After completing the rigorous Army Ranger training, he served two years in the Korean Conflict.

Upon discharge, he returned home to Eureka, Nev., and married, Gene Thompson Herrera in 1961. In 1962, Reg relocated to Battle Mountain, Nev., where he was employed by Duvall Corporation and later Battle Mountain Gold. It was Battle Mountain where Reg and Gene raised five boys: Tom Herrera, Ted Herrera, Tony DePaoli, Marty DePaoli and Geno DePaoli.

In 1992, after 27 years, Dad retired as operations manager of the Battle Mountain Gold Corporation's Battle Mountain Complex. The couple relocated to Reno in 2001.

He is survived by his wife, Gene De Paoli; his five children, Tom Herrera (Kady), Ted Herrera, Tony De Paoli (Lenni), Marty De Paoli (Kelly), and Geno De Paoli (Shere); his brother Gerald De Paoli and sister Iris Anxo, and several grandchildren.

Albert J. King ’58 (electrical engineering), ’62M.A. (mathematics)
June 8, 2012—Reno, Nev.

Albert James King passed away on June 8, 2012, at his home in Reno. Al was born July 13, 1935, in San Francisco, Calif. His parents moved to Reno when Al was a toddler, his father returning to his home state of Nevada. Al graduated high school in Reno and went on to complete a bachelor of science degree in engineering from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1957. He also participated in the ROTC program as an undergraduate and accepted a commission as an Army second lieutenant in 1958. He was released from active duty as a first lieutenant in 1960 and promptly enrolled in the engineering and math program at the University, receiving his master’s degree in math in 1962. Al began his professional career soon after completing graduate school and joined the team at Hercules in Salt Lake City in 1962. He stayed with Hercules for his entire career, working as a computer programmer/engineer and completed 30 years of service in 1992. After leaving the professional arena, Al returned to the family home in Reno. His post-retirement years were spent enjoying casual debate and discussion with friends, overseas travel and spending time with family. In addition to his family home in Reno, Al and his sister Anne enjoyed a vacation home on Samish Island, WA., where he spent several weeks each year.

Al is survived by first cousin Mary L Hopley (Mabbott) of Samish Island, Wash., and several generations of cousins residing within the Puget Sound area of Washington State. He was preceded in death by his father Chauncey (Jim) L. King, mother Clarice M. King (Mabbott) and sister E. Anne King, all of Reno.

N. Walter Ryals ’58 (journalism)
April 27, 2012—Marshfield, Mo.

Noah Walter Ryals, a former Las Vegas Review-Journal business manager and circulation director, died April 27, 2012, at his home in Marshfield, Mo. He was 85.

Ryals began his lifelong career in newspapers in 1960, when he joined the Review-Journal after graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno.

In 1967 he left Las Vegas to become general manager of the Nevada Appeal. Two years later he became state and business editor of the Nevada State Journal, which eventually merged with another paper to become the Reno Gazette-Journal. His career carried him to newspapers in California, New Mexico and Texas. "He spent his life dedicated to the newspaper business," said Criston Menz, one of his five daughters. "He thrived on it. He loved it."

Ryals was born Sept. 4, 1927, in Wilson, Ark. At 17, he joined the Navy for two years and served in the Pacific during World War II. He then joined the Air Force, which brought him to Stead Air Force Base in Reno.

He turned down a football scholarship at the University of Arkansas to pursue a journalism degree at Nevada. He was a star center for the university's football team.

He retired in Missouri with his wife, Pat, whom he met while publisher of the Santa Fe New Mexican.

Gail J. (Wooster) Warren ’58 (elementary education)
July 5, 2012—Sun Valley, Nev.

Gail passed away following a brief illness July 5, 2012. She was born to Adele and Earl Wooster and was a proud native Nevadan.

She met her husband James "Ted" Warren after meeting at a dance in Anchorage, Ala. They married May 28, 1961.

Gail was a member of Tri Delta Sororoty, PEO, Delta Kappa Gamma, a member of the International Order of Saint Luke Healing Ministry and was a member of St. Stephen's and St. Paul's Episcopal Church. She was a graduate of Reno High School and the University of Nevada, Reno in 1958 with a bachelor’s in education. Her lifelong passions included photography, nature, friends and family.

She is preceeded in death by her parents and her son Steve Warren. Gail is survived by her husband, Ted, daughter Karen Marsh (Jamie), grandchildren Lindsay and Leah, brother Clinton Wooster (Beverly), nieces Vicki Wooster Troast (Kirk), Valerie Kikes (John), nephew David Wooster (Sandy) and 5 grandnieces and a grandnephew.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed  to Camp Galilee’s annual fund or campership fund at P.O. Box 236, Glenbrook, NV 89413 in Gail's name.

Raymond L. Ceccarelli ’60 (education), ’74M.Ed. (education)
July 4, 2012—Reno, Nev.

Raymond Leo Ceccarelli passed away July 4, 2012, at the age of 86. He was born Nov. 11, 1925 in Sparks, Nevada to Nello and Isola Ceccarelli. He married Martha George Robertson on Nov.  2, 1958, and had two children, Joan and Brian. Ray taught Spanish at Dilworth Junior High and was he was also fluent in Italian and French. He had a love for animals, history and French poetry.

Ceccarelli is survived by his son, Brian Ceccarelli, and daughter-in law, Tammy of Raleigh, N.C. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Joan, in 1979, and his wife, Georgie, in 2002.

John M. Echave, attended 1960-64
June 30, 2012—Jordan Valley, Ore.

On June 30, 2012, John "Jock" Martin Echave passed away at his home in Jordan Valley, Ore. He was 70 years old.

Jock was born Jan. 30, 1942, in Winnemucca, Nev., the eldest son of John and Marge. He and his younger brother grew up at Oregon Canyon Ranch and enjoyed the pleasures of ranch life. Jock was a gifted athlete and eventually played football at University of Nevada, Reno, sporting the number 33. In 1964, he married Karen Goodrich and they enjoyed the next 46 years together. They had three children: Kristen, Michon and Jon.

Jock is preceded in death by his wife, Karen, and parents Marge and John. He is survived by his daughter, Michon (Jason) Schmidt, and son, Jon (Tara) Echave, his brother Frank (Sharon) Echave, mother-in-law Yolan Goodrich and sister-in-law Kristen (Bob) Tallman, and several neices and nephews and grandchildren.

Caroline S. Walters ’65 (elementary education)
July 9, 2012—Reno, Nev.

Caroline Walters passed away July 9, 2012 at age 92. Caroline was born in New York City  to Rufus and Margaret Stillman. She was the second of four daughters. Caroline moved to Reno in the late 40s. She and her husband, Stewart Walters, started a Nevada magazine (Fundial) which helped Stewart become a well-known commercial artist for many of the Reno casinos. They bought their first home in Steamboat Valley where Caroline lived for over 60 years. Caroline had many interests and was involved in many groups over the years. She was best known for being a swim teacher at Reno Hot Springs and eventually built a pool at her house so she could continue to teach until her early 60s. She also was a school teacher for 20 years, an avid bridge player, an antique collector and an owner of a bed and breakfast where she enjoyed entertaining many guests. Stewart passed away in 1985 and Caroline spent her senior years with Robert McNeill.

Caroline is preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Stewart, their 18-month old baby, Mark, her two sisters, Muriel Herrick, Margaret Filer and one niece. She is survived by her daughter Lani (Lee) Wilkes, as well as several grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

William L. Dunning ’66 (renewable natural resources)
May 27, 2012—Carson City, Nev.

William Lee Dunning, 86, passed away at his home in Carson City, Nev., on May 27, 2012. He was born April 15, 1926, in Pitcher, Okla. He came to Nevada in the third grade and attended schools in Reno, Washoe Valley and Carson City, graduating from Carson High School in 1944. He was quarterback of the football team, played in the band and participated in theater. After graduation he joined the Navy and served from 1944-46 in World War II on the U.S.S. Noble.

Bill married Mary Schulz on June 10, 1945, while on leave. They honeymooned at Lake Tahoe and San Francisco. After being discharged from the Navy in 1946, he decided to go to college, working at various jobs to support his family and graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in agriculture-range management. In 1987, he retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service with 25 years of service.

Bill was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Dunning, and his grandson, Brandon Marino. Among his survivors are his daughters, Connie (Tom) Altergott, Betty Jo (Ken) Hewlett and Gail Dunning-Anderson, and his son, William E. (Beth) Dunning and several grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church in Carson City Nevada.

Richard B. Jones ’70 (renewable natural resources), ’72M.S. (geology)
July 15, 2012—Carson City, Nev.

Richard Jones, 71, passed away July 15th, 2012, at the Life Care Center in Reno after an eight-year battle with prostate cancer.

With him in his final moments was his longtime friend, Dave, who shared a final taste of Makers Mark and soda, one of Dick's longtime favorites to complete his life journey.

Richard was the oldest of four boys, born to Howard and Jean Jones Sept. 17, 1940 in Riverside, Calif. He is survived by brothers Ron and Steve, their wives and several nieces and nephews. Richard spent his early years growing up around the orange groves of southern California before moving to Pittsburg, Calif., during his high school years. Dick was a talented left-handed pitcher, playing baseball in his early days before concentrating on track and field in high school. He held the school record for the 100 yard dash for several years at Pacifica High School in West Pittsburg.

He received his bachelor’s in geology from Fresno State and worked for New Idria mercury mine in the coast range of California, where he was involved in mine safety and rescue. Richard moved to Reno in the 1960s to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Nevada, Reno. He earned his degree and always considered Reno his home.

Dick was happiest in the outdoors and worked as a mining geologist in southeast Alaska for several years leading field camps for ARCO. Returning to Reno, he worked in the private mining industry sector conducting field work that covered the greater part of Nevada. He finished his professional career at the University of Nevada, Reno as a liaison between the state and the mining industry, retiring after 16 years.

Dick developed a passion early in life for the outdoors and hunting, influenced by his dad, Howard and his Uncle Jess Ray, who included Dick in several hunting and fishing trips. These early experiences were the basis for his second career as a hunter, guide, and firearms expert for Mark, Fore and Strike, a renowned sporting goods store in Reno. One particular job he was always proud of was selling Electrolux vacuum cleaners with his good friend Dave Churchey.

Dick collected fine firearms during his life and was an avid history buff with an extensive library to support his passions. He purchased his home in Carson City in 2009 to spread out and enjoy his books, maps and reloading hobbies. He quickly became involved in the neighborhood and enjoyed the camaraderie of the local block parties.

Tom B. Farrer ’71 (marketing), ’82M.P.A. (public administration)
May 29, 2012—Carson City, Nev.

Tom Burke Farrer passed away at his home in Carson City on May 29, 2012, with his wife, Lynn, by his side.

Tom was born and raised in Reno, graduating from Reno High School. He went on to serve in the U.S Navy as a radioman. While enlisted in the Navy, he married Marietta Cardon Rogers and they had four children together. Upon release from the service, he earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Nevada, Reno.

He had a long career with the State of Nevada, at the State Industrial Insurance System, Rural Clinics, the Highway Patrol Fiscal Division and the Department of Business and Industry.

He married Lynn Farrer in 1983 and raised a daughter. Tom is survived by five children, Amanda Farrar (Richard Hire), Belinda Zola (Steve), Burke Farrar, Anthony Morris Farrar (Maria) and Katie Day (Mike Pitlock), and many grandchildren and nieces and nephews.

Paul E. Ripley ’71 (school administration)
July 7, 2012—Reno, Nev.

Paul Emmet Ripley was the fifth child born to Emmet Frank and Lilly Hazel Ripley on May 3, 1940 in Uhrichsville, Ohio. Paul passed away while in the company of family and friends on July 7, 2012 at the age of 72.

Paul was an honored school teacher at Lincoln Park, Veterans, and Grace Warner elementary schools, most notably for his 25-plus year commitment to the Western Nevada Regional Science Fair. He retired from the Washoe County School District in June of 1997. Paul was a leader for the Boy Scouts of America and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints where he served in and held many different positions.

Paul is survived by his wife, Nedra, his four sons, James Price, Scott Ripley, Tom Price and Darren Ripley, as well as three sisters and six grandchildren. Paul was preceded in death by his parents, his two brothers Ben Ripley and Forrest "Barney" Ripley, and his son, Larry Price.

Raymond L. Aleck ’72 (civil engineering)
June 1, 2012—Reno, Nev.

Raymond L. Aleck passed away June 1, 2012, in Reno. He was born to Albert and Viola Aleck on Aug. 17, 1943, and raised on a ranch in Nixon, Nev. He graduated from Fernley High School, and went on to study at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.

He worked as a civil engineer for the Nevada Department of Transportation from 1972 to 2005. Raymond made his home in Reno, but still found time to refurbish his mother's old house, and tinkered in upkeep jobs.

Preceding him in death are his parents, Albert and Viola, brothers, Edward, Allen, Ronald, and sister, Doris. Raymond leaves behind his sisters, Delphine, Jeanette, Vivian, and brother, Benson, as well as his nieces, Debbie, Richard, Gail, Cindy, Ellen, Betty, Deanna, Joanna, Jessica, Jolene, and great-nieces, Victoria, Natahnee, Tanaya, Amber and great-nephews Shaun and Moose.

John J. Duff ’72 (sociology)
Dec. 18, 2011—San Francisco, Calif.

John Joseph Duff passed away unexpectedly on Dec. 18 at the age of 69. He was a resident of San Francisco for almost 40 years. He was born in Troy, N.Y., on Dec. 1, 1942 to Maurice A. and Mildred Reeves Duff. His early childhood was disrupted by his mother's early death. For a time he was raised by a loving aunt and uncle and later a foster mother. Eventually, his father married Mary Dunbar Duff and he was brought home to finish growing up in the company of his two older brothers, Thomas and Francis Duff; his younger brothers, James and Robert Duff and younger sister, Patricia Duff Turcotte.

He graduated from La Salle Institute and attended Saint Bernardine of Siena College. From 1966-70, John served as a radar technician in the U.S. Air Force. His wife, Patricia, gave birth to their son, Christopher M. Duff, while John was stationed at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, Nev. After his discharge, John resumed his education, graduating with a bachelor’s in sociology from the University of Nevada, Reno. While in Reno, John worked at several jobs (cook, restaurant manager, craps dealer). In 1974, he was hired by the Veteran's Administration  in San Francisco as a benefits counselor. He enjoyed assisting Vietnam-era veterans and this eventually led him to his long-term career in human resources.

In 1985 he went to work for the Environmental Protection Agency in San Francisco as head of training and development. He believed training was essential for a high performing organization and was committed to improving the work life of employees within Region 9, EPA. He was recognized by the agency at the national level for bringing the work-at-home program to Region 9 after the 1989 earthquake, for development of an Administrative Support Career Management system, and helping to make the on-site childcare facility a reality.

John had many interests throughout his life that included camping, backpacking, sailing and scuba diving. While holding other jobs, he ventured into business briefly owning a bar in Oakland, making Adirondack chairs, and selling books.

His parents, older brothers and younger sister preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife, Patricia, and son, Christopher (Lynne Navarro); his brothers, James (Beth) Duff and Robert (Sue) Duff, and a large extended family.

David C. Heckethorn ’72 (marketing)
July 16, 2012—Las Vegas, Nev.

David Clarence Heckethorn of Las Vegas, Nev., passed away on July 16, 2012 of natural causes. David was born June 29, 1950, in Las Vegas. He was educated in Las Vegas and Carson City. He graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a bachelor’s in business and obtained his Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters certification in 1992.

David worked in the insurance industry for 40 years and retired from Cragin & Pike on Jan 1, 2011. David loved golf, fishing, skiing, his home in Graeagle, Ca., and his boys, Skamp and Bailey.

His parents, Clarence and Marie Heckethorn preceded him in death. He is survived by his partner, Adrienne Curfew, sister Cheryl (Dennis) Caviglia, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Donations to any animal shelter in his honor are requested.

Michael R. Reynolds ’72A.A. (eng design tech), ’73 (education), ’75 (business administration)
July 4, 2012—New Castle, Pa.

Michael R. Reynolds, 64, of New Castle, Pa., died July 4, 2012 in Clarksburg, W.Va.

Born August 13, 1948 in Carson City, Nev., he was a son of Ted and June Marie Coveau
Reynolds. He married the former Dianne M. Maynard on Nov. 23, 1986. He received his master’s degree from the University of Nevada, Reno and was employed by Calcium Chloride Sales in Grove City, Pa., as a truck driver.

Michael was a member of the North Minster Bowling League and the Nevada Alumni Association. He enjoyed golfing, fishing, hunting and bowling. He was a member of Calvary Independent Church.

He was preceded in death by his mother and one brother, Jack Reynolds.

In addition to his wife Dianne and his father, he is survived by one daughter, Tina Arritt of New Castle; three sons, Doug Arritt of Reno, Jack Reynolds of Berkeley, Calif., and Parker Arritt of Muncy, Pa., sister, Wendy Balmer; two step brothers; two step sisters; first wife, Lisa Reynolds of Berkeley, and his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Elmer Brewster, Jr. ’73 (social services corrections)
June 17, 2012—Germantown, Md.

Elmer lost his battle with cancer on June 17, 2012. He was born on the Walker River Paiute Indian Reservation in Schurz, Nev., on October 21, 1949. Elmer obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Nevada, Reno and his master’s in social work from Arizona State and a master’s in public health from the University of California, Berkley. He began his career with the Indian Health Service in 1984 as a project officer in the Phoenix area, and then became the service unit director at the Schurz Service Unit. Elmer worked for 28 years in the Indian Health Service. He transferred to headquarters in the early 1990s as the director of the urban program and later became the director of the business office program.

Elmer was preceded in death by his mother, Evelyn Foster Brewster, and his father, Elmer F. Brewster Sr. Surviving are his wife of 36 years, Minda, son Samuel and Sarah Forrest (Brad). His is also survived by siblings Valerie Sanders, Brent Foshie (Julie), Pam Collins, Harding Brewster (Jona), Celana Wasson (James), Melvin Brewster, Brian Brewster and numerous nieces and nephews.

Michael J. Garcia ’75 (English)
June 21, 2012—Reno, Nev.

Michael J. Garcia died at his home on June 21. Michael was born March 15, 1953 to Joe and Gloria Garcia. He graduated from Reno High School and the University of Nevada, Reno. He taught for 18 years at Bishop Manogue High School.

Michael is survived by his father, Joe Garcia; sister, Mimi Garcia-McKibben (Kip); and nephews, Joseph and Jacob McKibben. His mother, Gloria J. Garcia, preceded him in death.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral at 310 West Second St., Reno, Nevada 89503.

Patricia A. Larsen ’75 (journalism)
July 14, 2012—Reno, Nev.

After a two-year battle with cancer, Pat Larsen passed away on July 14 at the age of 62. Pat was the co-founder of Port of Subs and worked with the company for more than 30 years and was instrumental in the continued success and expansion of the company. She helped break the glass ceiling for many women of her generation and for many generations to come.

Pat graduated with honors from both Reno High School and the University of Nevada,Reno and received degrees in English and journalism. She enjoyed traveling throughout the world, reading, was well-versed in history and the arts and loved spending time with her family.

Pat leaves behind two daughters, Shawna Mefford and Lisa Moore; son-in-law Kevin Moore; two brothers, Keith and Mickey Purser; sister, Kris Day; mother Janet Purser; her grandchildren, nieces and nephews and a large extended family.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations in her name to: Ovarian Cancer Awareness Foundation, 316 California Ave. #79, Reno, NV 89509.

William K. Lott ’75 (economics)
July 29, 2012—Sparks, Nev.

Bill passed away July 29, 2012, on the Emigrant Trail with his family and friends, doing what he loved.

Bill is survived by his wife, Julee, and daughters Corey and Morgan, all of Sparks. He is also survived by his brother, David, of Washington, D.C., sisters Nancy (John) Paulsen of Truesdale, Iowa, and Kitty Reid, of Denver, Colo., and many other close family members and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, parents-in-law, and brother-in-law Donald Shaw.

Bill was born Dec. 7, 1947, in Spencer, Iowa, to Cleo and Mary (Kirchner) Lott. He grew up in Peterson, Iowa, and graduated in 1966 from Sioux Valley Community High School in Linn Grove, Iowa. Following high school, he enlisted in the Army National Guard while attending Buena Vista College in Storm Lake, Iowa. His unit was activated during the Vietnam conflict, but he spent his service based in Colorado and Washington.

In 1971, he moved to Reno to attend the University of Nevada, Reno, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics and business. He married Julee (Jude) Felt on Aug. 23,1975. Together they have owned a small VW and off-road auto parts and accessories store, Fibercraft Inc., since 1981. They enjoyed camping together, building off-road buggies and race cars, and all forms of outdoor recreation.

From the beginning, Bill was fascinated with all things mechanical. He began working on model cars as a boy, and before long, he was building muscle cars and drag-racing them, setting several track records at the Humboldt County Dragway in Iowa. After moving to Nevada, he began racing dirt bikes and eventually got into racing off-road cars in the local Valley Off Road Racing Association (VORRA). He also enjoyed driving sand dune buggies. The Lott family took many trips to sand dune parks in Nevada, California, Oregon, Idaho and Utah. Bill had a special love for classic Volkswagens and fiberglass buggies. He and Jude were members of the Meyers Manx buggy club.

In lieu of flowers the family would appreciate donations to or FAST-aid,, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing financial, educational, and personal assistance to injured racers undergoing recovery and rehabilitation from motor sports racing incidents.

Jesus Eizaguirre ’80 (chemical engineering)
June 12, 2012—Albuquerque, N.M.

Josu (Jesus) Eizaguirre "Joe" was born Feb. 5, 1959. He died June 12, 2012, while vacationing with his family in the Philippines. He graduated with a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Nevada, Reno, and worked for the federal government for more than 27 years, first for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and later for the Department of Education.

He is survived by his wife, Marcia Eizaguirre; daughters, Dhara and Paige Eizaguirre; father, Felipe Eizaguirre; sister, Maria Idoya Eizaguirre; and a large extended family. He was preceded in death by his mother, Maria A Eizaguirre.

David R. Blevins ’86 (special education)
May 28, 2012—Carson City, Nev.

David Russell Blevins, 66, of Carson City, was born Dec. 27, 1945. David grew up in the small farm town of Dos Palos, Calif., in the San Joaquin Valley. He told stories of his Grandpa's farm where he learned the importance of working hard and living an honest life. It was in Dos Palos that he met his wife, Linda, in 1963. Four months after her graduation in 1965 they were married and spent the next 47 years together.

In 1967, David was drafted into the Army and in 1968 was sent to Vietnam. David rarely spoke of his time there, never telling his family what he did that earned him a Bronze Star. David remained in the Army until 1981.
In 1981 David left military service and relocated to Carson City, Nev., where he went back to school and began a second career as a special education teacher. He had a lifelong passion for teaching and learning. While working as a teacher, David continued his education and obtained a master’s degree in educational administration.

In 2004, David was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis and was given five years to live. He and Linda took an early retirement to travel the country in their RV and enjoy the precious years they had left. In 2010, David was placed on the lung transplant list, and on Jan. 6, 2011, David received the gift of a new lung. The generosity of the donor family gave David 15 more months with his family. On May 28, 2012, after fighting hard for almost a month, David succumbed to a virus.

David is preceded in death by his parents, Gaylord and Edlena, and his in-laws, Carl and Kittie Johnson, and grandson Brenden. He is survived by his wife, Linda; his children: Matthew (Tomi), Marla (Steve); his grandchildren: Kristina, Kody, Trent and Alyssa; and great-grandson, Hayden; and two step-grandchildren, Mika and Chance.

Dixie L. Bradshaw ’86M.Ed. (education administration/higher education certification)
June 20, 2012—Reno, Nev.

Dixie Lee Bradshaw passed away on June 20, 2012, following a six-year battle with multiple myeloma. She was born Feb. 21, 1942, to Hans and Dorothy Neumann in Kalamazoo, Mich. Dixie was raised in California, where she attended Gardena High School, and later went on to attend San Jose State University, where she earned a degree in English and met and married her husband, Robert Bradshaw.

After their marriage, Dixie worked in banking and retail stores while the couple raised their three daughters. She subsequently obtained her teaching credential and embarked on a career in education. After moving to Reno in 1981, Dixie began working for the Washoe County School District, where she taught at Lenz Elementary School, the Early Learning Center, and later became a staff trainer for the district. While teaching, she continued her education, obtaining a master’s in education/administration from the University of Nevada, Reno. Dixie was proud that she had an opportunity to be a special education coordinator for the district. Through the years,  she worked as the principal of Brown, Sun Valley, and Caughlin Ranch elementary schools, before finally retiring from the district in 2002. During her tenure as principal at Brown Elementary, the school and staff worked towards and received a Blue Ribbon of Excellence School from the U. S. Department of Education. Dixie was delighted when she was later able to attend Harvard's Principal Academy, and that she was selected to represent Nevada as its National Distinguished Principal. In 1994, the Nevada Women's Fund recognized her for her "outstanding contribution to and achievement in her organization, profession and community and her concern for the advancement of women and children." Following her retirement, Dixie became a trainer for Kagan Cooperative Learning, traveling nationally and internationally to help increase the knowledge and skill of teachers.

While her career meant a great deal to her, Dixie's first love was her family and she spent much of her time supporting her husband, three daughters and five grandchildren in their own endeavors.

Dixie is survived by her husband, Robert; her daughters, Debbie, Kelly and Kim; her sister, Susan Morgan; and her grandchildren, Hannah, Karley, Sydney, Kyle and Robbie.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Dixie Bradshaw Principal's Fund. An account that has been established so children can be helped in her name. For details regarding donations, please email

Scott Benning, attended 1990-94
June 27, 2012—San Jose, Calif.

Scott (Scotty) Benning III, a longtime resident of the Willow Glen Community in San Jose, Calif., passed away June 27, 2012 at the age of 43, after a battle with cancer.

Scotty was born on February 4, 1969, in southern California to Linda Benning and Scott Benning Jr. He played PAL little league and PAL Football in the San Jose area and enjoyed water skiing, skate boarding, surfing and beach volleyball. He graduated from Willow Glen High School in 1987. While at Willow Glen High School, Scott was the starting tight end and defensive end for the 1985 and 1986 Rams football team. Scotty went on to become the starting tight end and a key member of the University of Nevada, Reno Wolf Pack's Big Sky Conference championship football teams in 1990 and 1991. One of Scotty's greatest moments in a Pack uniform was his 8-yard touchdown catch that tied Boise State 52-52 in overtime in the I-AA playoffs in 1990. The Pack won that day, 59-52 in triple overtime, in one of the most dramatic victories in Wolf Pack history.

Scotty took this experience with him and applied it to every aspect of his life, especially in coaching his two boys. He coached CJ to two national titles, and Tyler to one national title in Quarter Midget Racing as members of the Baylands Quarter Midget Racing Association. Coach Scott also coached Tyler's Farm and Minors baseball teams at Lincoln Glen Little League as well as Tyler's Mighty Mite football team at Cambrian Valley Pop Warner. Although he was a skilled contractor in the bay area construction community, Scotty dedicated his life to his wife, De Benning, throughout their 17-year relationship and 13-year marriage. Together they put a priority on family and friends, while focusing on raising well-rounded young men, by encouraging them to always do their personal best. Second only to his family, were his countless friendships.

Scotty was preceded in death by his grandfather, Curtis Scott Benning Sr. and his grandfather, William Carlstrom.

Scotty is survived by his wife, De Benning; sons CJ and Tyler Benning; sister, Belinda Coulter; mother, Linda Kay Benning; father, Curtis Scott Benning Jr.; grandmother, Della Benning; grandmother, Jane Carlstrom; mother and father in-law, Judy and Jack Shipp; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the University of Nevada, Reno Foundation-Scott Benning Memorial Scholarship, Mail Stop 0162, Reno, NV 89577-0162. Checks can be made payable to University of Nevada, Reno Foundation. You can donate online at

Mahmood Azad ’91M.S. (civil engineering)
July 17, 2012—Washoe Valley, Nev.

Mahmood Azad, 59, of Washoe Valley, passed away July 17, 2012

Karin J. Long ’93 (marketing)
May 17, 2012—Elko, Nev.

Karin Julia Long, 43, passed away in Elko, Nev., on May 17, 2012. She was born Dec. 13, 1968, in Bishop, Calif., to Sonny and Shirley Long. She and her family lived in Dyer, Nev., until 1976, when Sonny took a job at Maggie Creek Ranch. She attended Elko schools and graduated from Elko High in 1987. Karin moved to Reno to attend the University of Nevada, Reno, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business, and later earning her master’s degree. She enjoyed softball, kickboxing, shopping, NASCAR, travel and all things Wolf Pack. She is survived by many friends, her mother, Shirley; her aunt, Linda Bruinsma; her uncle, Richard Bruinsma; her brother, Jason Long; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Owen L. Stedham ’07 (mechanical engineering), current student
June 5, 2012—Reno, Nev.

Surrounded by his family, Owen passed away June 5, 2012. Born May 30, 1984, Owen loved the peace and beauty found in nature, was a tireless hiker, backpacker and back country skier. He loved the piano, and one of his greatest pleasures was music. He was working on his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering when his brain cancer returned.

He gave a tremendous gift to all whose lives he touched. To those, his kindness, insight, humor and laughter will never be forgotten. He will be remembered as a loyal friend, a loving son and brother, a wonderful husband, and had he more time, no doubt a perfect father.

Owen is survived by his wife Ingrid (Seibert), his 13-month-old son Collin Michael, his mother Yvonne, his father David, his sister Dominique, and grandparents Austin and Joan Stedham, all of Reno, and Werner Schaller of Lampertheim, Germany.

Natalie A. Ratnavira, attended 2008-11
June 23, 2012—Fallbrook, Calif.

Natalie Ann Ratnavira, born Feb. 14, 1990, passed away from a brain hemorrhage June 23, 2012. She published a book, traveled internationally, raised exotic animals, loved martial arts, soccer and exploring nature. She was a graduate of Fallbrook High, attended the University of Nevada, Reno on a full soccer scholarship, then worked with animals. She is survived by her loving parents, Gamini and Lisa Ratnavira of Fallbrook, Calif.; and Kathy and Doug Hall of Chula Vista; and brothers, Neil Ratnavira, and Beau and Brooks Albright.


Todd D. Daines, current University of Nevada, Reno student
July 23, 2012—King City, Calif.

Todd Darrell Daines, 20, of King City, Calif., passed away on July 23, 2012, as a result of injuries sustained in a single vehicle accident. Todd was continuously surrounded by his family and friends throughout his hospital stay.

Todd was born in Salinas, Calif., on July 29, 1991. After graduating from King City High School in June 2009, Todd started his college career at University of Nevada, Reno, studying information technology systems and susiness. Todd was proud to be a member of Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity.

Todd was active in his community and schools. During high school, he was a member of the KCHS Leadership Class. He also was a member of Salinas Valley Junior Fairboard, serving as president his senior year of high school. He was a member of St. John the Baptist Church in King City.

Todd loved and excelled in sports and outdoor activities of all kinds. As a child he participated in youth soccer, Little League and Pop Warner Football. During his high school years he valued the time he spent participating in football and track. As a senior, Todd was chosen All League in both football and track. Upon arriving at the University, he discovered a new sport to love, rugby. He also enjoyed hunting and skiing with family and friends.

Todd is survived by his family:  parents Mary and David; brother, Matthew; sister, Erin; nephew, Isaiah; his grandmother, Patricia Arena;  numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, George and Anna Daines, James Francis Giudici and Darrell Arena.

Todd chose to give the gift of life and was a registered organ donor. The family wishes to thank the caring staff from Sierra Vista Hospital and the California Transplant Network.

A scholarship fund has been established through King City Joint Union High School. Donations to the Todd Daines Memorial Scholarship can be mailed to 800 Broadway, King City, CA 93930. Donations in Todd's memory are also welcome at the Campaign for the Preservation of Mission San Antonio de Padua

You can honor a faculty member, friend, or University of Nevada, Reno alumnus with a memorial donation at Please designate your gift to the Memorial Fund and indicate the honoree's name in the comments section. You can also call (775) 784-1587 to make a memorial donation.


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