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Remembering Friends

Ruth (Hadley) Donovan, former associate director of University Libraries, died on July 16, 2008. Born in Lincoln, Neb., she grew up in Wisconsin and earned a bachelor’s in library science at the University of Wisconsin where she was Phi Beta Phi. She returned to Lincoln for her first professional position as a Reference Librarian from 1950-1954.
 She arrived at the University of Nevada in 1954. It was here that Ruth Hadley married and became Ruth Donovan in 1956. After eight years as a reference librarian, Ruth assumed the position of assistant director of Libraries. With the exception of four years in the 1960s when she took off to be a full-time wife and mother, she served as assistant and associate director, primarily responsible for public services, for the rest of her 30-year career in the University Libraries. She retired in 1988.
 Ruth was instrumental in shepherding the growth of the libraries from a closed stack collection in the basement of Clark Hall to over 800,000 volumes in Getchell.  Throughout her long career in library leadership, Ruth served with grace, strength, and dedication. Her contributions were immense. She was a trusted friend.

Ahmed Essa, former English professor, died on June 15, 2008. Dr. Essa was a professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, from 1967 to 1991, teaching multicultural literature and creative writing. He was known for his expertise in African and Middle Eastern literature.

Dr. Essa was born in Jodiya, India, the fifth of nine children. His family left India when he was an infant, and he spent his early years in Pietermaritzburg and Durban, South Africa. His experiences growing up in apartheid South Africa gave him much of the inspiration for his creative writing. Although he only received formal schooling up to the third grade, he later earned a high school diploma through night school classes and then, on the encouragement of friends, applied to and was accepted to several American universities. With a full-ride scholarship, he attended Ohio University where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in English in 1956. He was later accepted into the graduate English program at the University of Southern California, from which he earned his master’s and doctoral degrees. In 1967 he began his career as a professor at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Dr. Essa was also the founder of the Northern Nevada Muslim Society, bringing the group from its early days of a few members in the 1960s to an organization that includes several thousand today. In 2003, he received the World Citizen Award from the Northern Nevada International Center. for “linking Nevada and its culturally diverse population with people nationally and internationally.”  Among his many talents, Dr. Essa was also an accomplished photographer. His photographs were often exhibited in Reno and were a record of his passion about the people and places of many cultures.

Dr. Essa is survived by his wife Eva, University professor and chair of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies; daughter Fiona (Christopher); and son Eugene (Kristie).While he was the last of his siblings, he is survived by numerous nieces and nephews and their children, grand-children, and great-grandchildren, most of them in South Africa.
Erwin A. Jaffe, former University of Nevada professor of political science, died Sept. 5, 2008. Born in 1928, he studied at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., where he earned his doctorate. Professor Jaffe joined the history and political science department faculty at the University of Nevada in 1961, during a transitional time.  He, with history Professor Wilbur Shepperson, was a driving force behind a successful effort to split the department into separate political science and history departments.  He added to scholarship on political philosophy through writings and lectures in the United States and abroad. He wrote Healing the Body Politic: Rediscovering Political Power, published in 1993, the culmination of his lifetime of scholarship and lecturing.  While teaching at the Reno campus, he authored, with fellow political scientist Stanley A. Pearl, a dissection of a statewide election,  “The 1962 Election in Nevada,” for the Political Research Quarterly. He subsequently authored numerous other scholarly journal articles. Of his time in Nevada, he was proudest of relationships he maintained with former students in whom he ignited an interest in the political process, its organization and the philosophies that drive politics. Professor Jaffe is survived by his wife of 51 years, Marianne, his sister, Geraldine, and family, as well as his many students and friends whose lives he touched and influenced. Remembrance contributions may be sent to Doctors Without Borders as Erwin Jaffe believed in people without borders.

Chester Frank Pinkerton, professor emeritus of mathematics, died on March 19, 2008 at the age of 91.  He was born in Oshkosh, Wis. and graduated from Oshkosh High School. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1939.  During World War II he was present at the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Battle of Midway, and was on board the battleship Missouri when the Japanese surrendered. After the war Chester met Marilynn Edwards and married her in 1946. Chester retired from the Navy in 1959, earned a graduate degree in mathematics from Purdue University and taught at the University of Nevada, Reno from 1960 to 1979.  Upon retiring from his second career, Chester spent more time playing golf, fishing, print making and pursuing his interests.  He as active in the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association, the Mathematical Society of America, the National Wildlife Association, the Audubon Society and Kiwanis International.

Chester is survived by Marilynn, his wife of 62 years, his daughter, Adele (Thomas), his son Daniel (Jane); grandchildren Adrian, Lauren, Robin, Kelley, Cecily, and Anne; great-grandsons Rohan and Varun.

Thomas J. Scully, M.D., the second dean of the University of Nevada School of Medicine, died on Sept. 16, 2008, at the age of 75. Dr. Scully, a native New Yorker, came to Nevada in 1969 as a founding faculty member for the newly forming “School of Medical Sciences.” With a flair for bringing people together and forming relationships, Dr. Scully was able to solicit support from northern, southern and rural physicians to throw their collective backing behind the idea of establishing a Nevada medical school. He was a driving force behind discussions with physicians across the state as to how the school should function, its relationship with area hospitals, and identifying physicians willing to teach students. Dr. Scully was instrumental in the development of its curriculum, establishing the basic departments, formulating its teaching philosophy and setting up preceptorships with community physicians.
When Dean George Smith went on sabbatical in 1975, Dr. Scully served as acting dean from 1975-1976, leading the task force to convert the school from a two-year to a four-year degree-granting medical school. When Dean Smith retired in 1977, Dr. Scully accepted the offer to succeed him, and held the position for the next two years. Health problems forced Dr. Scully to resign as dean in 1979, but he did not stay away from the school. A pediatrician by trade, he continued teaching and advising in that field.
By his retirement in 1997 after a distinguished career of 28 years with the School of Medicine, he had served as professor of pediatrics, associate dean for academic affairs, student affairs, basic sciences and research and alumni affairs and, finally, as dean.

A recognized expert and consultant in ethics, he served on several hospital ethics committees, served as Chairman of the Governor’s Maternal & Child Health Advisory Board, conducted numerous seminars on child abuse and was appointed by four governors to serve on the State Board of Medical Examiners.

Described in Phyllis Cudek and Anton Paul Sohn ‘s book, Better Medicine: The History of the University of Nevada School of Medicine, as “the teaching dean,” Dr. Scully was twice selected as outstanding teacher of the University of Nevada School of Medicine and was known as a strong and empathic student mentor and advocate.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Celia;  brothers Robert and James; sisters Mary, Rebecca and Evangeline; sons Christopher, Peter, Geary; and daughter, Leslie, as well as numerous in-laws, grandchildren and extended family members.

JohnD Winters ’32 (agriculture) died March 30, 2008 at his home in Dayton, Nev. Born May 18, 1909 to Ira and Mary Winters, he attended Carson City schools and graduated with a degree from the University in 1932. He was active in Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and the varsity boxing team where he earned a Block N.

A rancher by occupation, JohnD was noted statewide for his work on water resources conservation and served on the Nevada-California Interstate Compact Commission. JohnD was a strong believer in education and recreation and gave the Carson City School District land to build a new high school in 1954. He also gave land near Cold Springs to the City of Carson which in turn was developed into the Carson Eagle Valley Golf Course.

Carson City honored him in 2000 when it renamed the Centennial Park, at the golf course, the JohnD Winters Centennial Park. He was also grand marshall of the Nevada Day Parade in 1995. Along with his wife Kathleen, he established the Winters Family Scholarship in the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources. He also donated numerous books and documents to Special Collections at the University of Nevada Library.

JohnD was survived by his wife, Kay, four daughters, one son, 14 grandchildren and 25 great grandchildren.

John K. Carr ’37 (journalism) died Oct. 20, 2008. John was born in May, Idaho on December 6, 1914, to Minnie and John Carr. He was his mother's ninth son.

John moved with his parents to southeast Missouri. In 1927 the family moved to Fallon., Nev. where John graduated from Churchill County High School in 1932. He graduated from the University of Nevada in 1937. While at the University he served as editor of the Sagebrush newspaper. Upon graduation, he entered the Army Air Corps flying school at Randolph Field and Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas. He graduated with his wings in 1938 with the class of 38-B. He remained on active duty until his retirement in 1964 with the rank of colonel. From 1967 until his retirement in 1975, he served as Chief of Revenue for the Nevada Department of Taxation.

In September 1938, John married Elizabeth Juniper of Reno. During their marriage, they raised two children, Carol and Walter. Before and during World War II, John flew many missions in all areas of the world. He was stationed for two years in India, part of that time in the Assam Valley. From there he flew the “Hump” into China in the CBI (China, Burma, and India) operations. His flights across the Atlantic Ocean into North Africa earned his first Air Medal, to which were later added two Oak Leaf clusters. He also received the Distinguished Flying Cross, Presidential Unit Citation, the Star of China, and other decorations.

John's first wife, Elizabeth, died in 1973. In 1974 John married Margery McKnight, a Washoe County school administrator. They spent 34 wonderful years together. During that time John was active in many community organizations, including his Masonic Lodge, Wadsworth Lodge #25 in Sparks, where he served as master in 1980. He also belonged to the Scottish Rite and York Rite bodies in Reno. He was a member of Kerak Shrine and the Royal Order of Jesters. He was also a member of Martha Chapter #5, Order of the Eastern Star, in Sparks, where he served as Worthy Patron four times. He was Grand Paton of the Order of Eastern Star, State of Nevada, in 1977.

John will be greatly missed by his family and his Air Force associates. He leaves his wife, Margery (McKnight) Carr; his daughter, Carol; his son, Walter; three grand- children, Elena, Kristin and Matthew. He also will be missed by two nieces and two nephews.

John “Johnny” Knemeyer ’42 (electrical engineering) died on July 17, 2008 at Sentara Williamsburg Hospital. Johnny was born “on the Fourth of July”, 1920 in Yerington. His early years were spent in Nevada and California. In 1942, he graduated from the University of Nevada where he participated in various collegiate sports and would remain an avid tennis player. He went east to Pittsburgh to work for Westinghouse Electric Corporation. After two years, he moved to the Hampton Roads area where he took a position at NACA (now NASA) as an engineer. His career at NASA-Langley spanned 46 years, retiring in 1990 as the chief of facilities engineering. He was a longtime member of Grace United Methodist Church.
John was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Mae. His memory is left to be cherished by his wife of 59 years, Louise; two daughters, Linda and Karen (Daniel); two sons, Neal and Ken; a grandson, Kevin (Jennifer); a granddaughter, Elizabeth (Brian); four great-grandchildren, Brody, Jake, Emma and Andrew; one brother, Franklin and a host of loving relatives and faithful friends. The family will be forever grateful to the staff of Dominion Village of Williamsburg and Sentara Williamsburg Hospital for their kind and loving care. Condolences can be posted online at

Dwight J. “Duke” Lindeman ’49 (economics) died Aug. 13, 2008. Duke was born to Irving and “Brownie” Lindeman in St. Paul, Minn., and grew up in Rock Island, Ill. He received a football scholarship to the University of Iowa and played there for two years. World War II interrupted his schooling and he joined the U.S. Marine Corps. He was a drill instructor and served on prisoner transport ships. After the war, he followed his old Iowa football coach to the University of Nevada, where he played football from 1946 to 1948 with such teammates as Dan Orlich, “Tiny” Carlson, Marion Motley and Dick Trachok. One of Duke’s finest moments came on Oct. 4, 1947, when he intercepted a pass by future hall of famer Norm Van Broklin and ran it in for a touchdown, sealing a win against the University of Oregon 13-6. It was during his time at Nevada that he met his wife, Joyce Edwards. They were married in 1950.
After various jobs he settled in with the City of Reno, starting with his appointment as recreation superintendent. Over the 32 years with the city, he became the head of the Parks and Recreation Department. He was instrumental in the purchase and development of many of today’s parks and golf courses in Reno. Duke never met a stranger and always took great interest in the people around him.

Duke is preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Riley, his son, Dwight, and his beloved wife of 54 years, Joyce. He is survived by his daughters, Kerry and Beth, and by his grandchildren, Marie and Christopher. Please share thoughts, memories and condolences in the family guestbook at

Richard “Red” Henry Payne ’71 (marketing),’80MBA died July 31, 2008. Red was born July 16, 1939, in Marysville, Calif. to Lewis William Payne and Wauhilla May McClellan Payne. He graduated from Mineral County High School in 1957, received his undergraduate degree in at University of Nevada, Reno in 1970 and later his MBA in 1980. Education was very important to Red as he continued to take college classes until his death.  He was affectionately known as one of the “butcher boys” during graduate school and was a true friend, willing to help whenever needed.  Red was a cowboy at heart; he and his handlebar mustache will be truly missed.

Red is preceded in death by both parents and a brother William.  He is survived by his sister, Victoria (Cliff), niece Tonya, great nephews Tyler and Todd; nephew, Lewis, niece Jennifer (John), great nephews Josh and Gabe, and his godson, Michael.

Deron Thorp ’96 (journalism) died Nov. 4, 2006 unexpectedly from a heart arrhythmia.  He was on the Pack football team from 91-96. He received his MBA from San Jose State in 2002. Deron was a marketing analyst with Cisco Systems. After his passing, he was installed into the Cupertino High School Hall of Fame in May 2008. His selection was based on his athletic achievements and his endeavors with the humanitarian organization ShipAid, which he founded. Through his efforts with ShipAid, Deron personally delivered medical and educational supplies, along with clothing and athletic equipment to the African people of Lesotho.

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