Want to know what is happening in the lives of your classmates? Class Notes can now be viewed online. Starting today, published Class Notes can be viewed by decade.
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The below class notes are those we received after June, 2020. Those published before can be found on Westmont Connect.
Lillian Stone Adney died March 9, 2017. Lillian was born July 1, 1929, in National City, Calif., where she grew up, married Eric Bryan Adney, Jr., and raised their family. She graduated from Sweetwater High School in 1947. She asked God into her life at an early age and served Him until her death. After 21 years, she retired from the National School District in 1989. She was a very busy lady, involved in numerous activities. She served on the Teen Challenge Ladies Auxiliary, was Reservations Coordinator for Christian Women’s Connection and was active in a seniors Bible study and the ladies ministry at her church. She loved people and had the “gift of helps.” She enjoyed scrapbooking, gardening and watching the birds at her feeders; she was also an avid Padres fan. Her favorite way to relax was to sit at the Coronado Ferry Landing sipping mocha, reading and watching the bay’s activities. She loved San Diego but even more, she loved her family. She was a kind, gentle, elegant lady who loved her family and God with all her heart. She was preceded in death by Eric, her loving husband of 59 years. She is survived by three daughters, four granddaughters, seven great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.
Carl A. Jensen died June 8, 2020, in Bellingham, Wash., at the age of 94. He was born to Carl and Amalie Jensen on May 21, 1926, in Madera, Calif. The family moved to Reedley, Calif., in 1932 and then to Selma, Calif., where Carl went to elementary and high school. He graduated from Central California Commercial College in Fresno in 1945. He then entered the Lutheran Bible Institute (LBI) in Los Angeles, graduating in 1950. Carl then enrolled at Westmont. On June 21, 1953, he married Hazel Haugness. The same year, he enrolled at Trinity Seminary in Blair, Neb. In 1954, he transferred to Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., graduating in 1957. He was ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church and began serving two rural congregations in Webster, Minn. The Jensens adopted a son, Steven, and a daughter, Susan, as infants. In the following years Carl served parishes in Watford City, N.D.; Nelson, British Columbia, Canada; Seattle; and Eugene, Ore. From 1976 to 1987 he served as a preaching evangelist for the Lutheran Evangelistic Movement of Minneapolis, Minn. Following retirement from active parish ministry, Carl and his wife Hazel moved to Richland, Wash., in 1990 to take over as managers of the Luther Senior Center apartments. Hazel died suddenly of a heart attack in 1992, and Carl married Ruthann Hutchins on April 26, 1997. She joined him as co-manager of Luther Senior Center until their retirement in 2002. Carl continued to serve as interim pastor in several Tri-City Lutheran churches before he and Ruthann relocated to Bellingham, Wash. Carl is survived by his wife Ruthann; his two children, Steven and Susan Jensen ’82; and two granddaughters.
Sharren Southam Nagy died August 3, 2020 at age 87. She was born to Romaine and Luella Southam on July 1, 1933, on Southam Road in the Colusa County town of Princeton, Calif. Sharren grew up and attended school in Princeton before moving to Santa Barbara to attend Westmont. However, she fell ill while at school and ended up returning to the North State. It was at the age of 19, at her aunt's home in Chico, where she met her future husband Thomas Corwin McHatton. They were wed in 1952. The two settled down on the family farm in Princeton and raised their four boys: Russell, Max, Lee and Jake. Sharren became active in the Methodist Church in Princeton, the very church her grandmother, Cora Southam, helped found. Sharren taught and played piano as well as teaching Sunday School there. She also worked actively on the family farm. She was known for driving the harvester while working the prune harvest. Her sons describe her as the hardest-working person they have ever known, and credit her for instilling her work ethic to them. In 1976, Sharren moved to Chico, where she began working as a secretary at Chico State. This is where she met her final husband, Paul Nagy. The two were married in 1978. She is survived by her four sons, five grandchildren and twin great-grandsons.
Bernice Mae (Zahler) Tescher died August 19, 2020, at age 93 in Hillsboro, Ore. Bernice was born July 8, 1927 in Portland, Oregon to her parents, Abe & Martha (Rohrbach) Zahler. She was preceded by her husband, William Tescher. She is survived by her daughter, Susan.
Walter Paullin ‘53 died on September 26, 2020. He was born in Kalispell, Mont. and moved to California as a young boy. Despite dealing with many years of health challenges, he lived a remarkably productive and vibrant life. Walt had a lifelong love of aviation, learning to fly while he was a student at Westmont College. His passion for flying led him to become a flight instructor, eventually serving as President of Santa Barbara Aviation, a corporate pilot for Lear Jet, and a demo pilot for Cheyenne 400. Flying was Walt’s career and hobby; over his lifetime he owned several planes, including his prized Bonanza B35 V-Tail. Walt intensely loved his family; he showered them with care and displayed his affection by giving generously of his time and spirit. He was rooted in his faith and was a longtime member of Community Covenant Church in Goleta. Walt is survived by his wife Dorine, his three children, his 4 grandchildren, and his four great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his grandson Todd.
Bonnie Leigh Allen Hansen ‘56 died at the age of 85 on January 25, 2020. She was loved and cherished by many people including her parents, Walter Allen and Byrdea Allen; her husband John S. Hansen ‘56; and her children, Donna Wood (Michael) ‘84, David Hansen, and Mark Hansen (Donna). She was also cherished by eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Angie Brunemeier ’48 died on June 4, 2016, in Huntsville, Ala. Angie was born into a Dutch farming community in southeastern South Dakota in 1924. Her family lost almost everything as a result of drought and the Depression, and they relocated to California in 1937. After graduating from high school in Redlands, CA in 1942, she was employed by the US Army Quartermaster Corps and moved to the Los Angeles area. September, 1943, she was enrolled at Westmont College with a major in Christian Education. She also met her future husband Byrd Brunemeir there. Both Byrd and Angie had a strong desire to spread God's Word to the entire world, and in December, 1949, they arrived in the Philippine Islands as missionaries with the goal of using radio to spread the good news of Jesus Christ around the world. Byrd and Angie had 2 children, Musette and Mark, in the early 1950's and served as missionaries in the Philippines until June, 1976. During this time Angie was involved with the education of missionary kids for 20 years. With the assignment of building a new, missionary radio station in the Mariana Is., Byrd and Angie relocated to the island of Saipan in July, 1976. Seven years later, July 1983, Byrd was killed while working on a radio transmitter. Angie relocated to Florida and served with New Tribes Mission from July, 1984 to June, 2003. Angie moved to her daughter Musette's home in Huntsville, Ala., June, 2003 until her health began to deteriorate late in 2015. Angie is survived by her daughter Musette, her son Mark, her sister Nadine, 3 grandchildren, and 9 great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her husband, Byrd.
Paul William Preddy ‘56 passed away on November 18, 2020.
Elizabeth “Bettye” June Loofbourrow ‘49 passed away on Dec. 11, 2014, in Grass Valley, Calif., due to heart and kidney failure. She was 89. Elizabeth was born on June 10, 1925, in Mattoon Ill., to parents Byrl (Jack) and Cora Stifle in California. She is survived by Perry, her husband of 71 years; two sons James (Linda) of Lompoc, Calif., and David of Grass Valley, Calif.; and grandsons Ethan and Evan.
Marilyn Sue Ozzella Ellison ‘52 died on February 13, 2021. Sue was born in Santa Monica, Calif. to Joseph and Marie Ozzella on November 5, 1930. After high school, she attended Westmont College in Santa Barbara and graduated with a degree in Sociology. She loved her four years there where she grew in her Bible knowledge, had many dear friends, and gained a love for working with children. Sue also met her future husband, Ray, while in college. They married on December 15, 1951 during her senior year at Westmont. Sue's highest priority was walking in and living out her faith in Jesus Christ. This enabled her to be a Godly, wise, supportive and present wife and mother. Sue was also humbly generous. She not only gave of her time, but of her resources. She loved clipping newspaper articles about organizations in need and frequently responded anonymously. Sue was preceded in death by her brother, father, mother, great grandson and husband Ray. She is survived by her sons Mark Ellison (Erin), Matt Ellison (Kerry Lynn), daughters Denise Sponseller (Jeff) ‘80, and Debbie Hill (Jeff) ‘82, Sister Sandra Westover ‘58, niece Toni and nephew Erik. She leaves her ten grandchildren, and 16 great grandchildren.
David Leonard Bergman died May 28, 2020, at the age of 81. David lived in Alpharetta, Ga. He was born to Dan Welty Bergman and Gertrude Leonard Bergman on August 6, 1938, in Tulare, Calif. Growing up, David worked on the family farm and Bergman Dairy. At Westmont, he majored in engineering for three years before transferring to UC Berkeley where he earned a BS in physics in 1961. In 1967 he took a year of sabbatical leave and earned a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering at UC Santa Barbara. David began his career with Boeing Airplane Co. in Seattle. Two years later he returned to California to begin a 30-year career as an electrical engineer working on military systems for the Navy and Air Force, including working at the Pentagon. In 1980 David recognized the electrical character of natural phenomena and began active research on elementary particles. In 1990, he published his first paper on electrons and in 1997 he founded Common Sense Science, Inc., a non-profit corporation providing research and education in fundamental physics. He published over 44 research papers and a book, Science and Rationalism. He was a constant reader, and he grew to love tennis. After his college years he taught himself guitar. David maintained a committed relationship with Jesus Christ and wherever he lived he was always an active member in his church. David was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife Gema and their son, his former wife Susan and their two children and his two sisters, including Edie Bergman Burckhardt ’66.
Shirley Gilliatt King died June 13, 2020, at 80 years old in Roseburg, Ore. She was born in Coalinga, Calif., on December 11, 1939, to Dr. Henry William and Lena May Gilliatt. She spent her youth in Coalinga. Shortly after coming to Westmont, her mother died, so Shirley returned home and received her AA degree at Coalinga Community College in 1960. She then moved to Oakland, Calif., to live with her aunt and uncle, where she received her nurse's training at The Alameda County Medical Center from 1962-65. She also worked as a hostess at the Oakland Christian Serviceman's Center where she met her husband of 55 years, Gene King. They married on December 12, 1964. In 1966 they moved to Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan, where she worked as a nurse. In 1967 they adopted their daughter, Aeja, from Korea, after sponsoring her at an Open Doors Orphanage for nine years. Their first son, Allen, was born in 1967, and their second, Paul, was born in 1968. The King family returned to San Diego in 1970, and they settled in Chula Vista, Calif. In 1972 Gene and Shirley adopted their son, Alan ("Al"). In 1973, their son Steven was born. They attended the First Baptist Church (The Refinery) in Chula Vista for over 30 years. Gene and Shirley moved to Roseburg, Ore., in 2003, where Shirley was a vital part of the prayer team at New Life Church. Shirley was involved with Child Evangelism Fellowship for over 50 years. She is survived by her husband; sister, Nancy Gilliatt Young ’58; brother, Jim; four children;10 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Diane Dunlap Craig died February 25, 2020, after a two-week battle against an undiscoverable and untreatable cancer. Born to Clyde and Jean Dunlap in Lakewood, Calif., on March 20, 1947, she spent her young years in Southern California and on buying trips to New York with her parents for the Dunlap's Department Store chain. After moving to Modesto at age 15, she graduated from Downey High School before attending Westmont, where she received a degree in Communication Arts. While at Westmont, she met Wayne Craig ’68, who was to be her husband for 51 years. They moved to Lodi in 1969 and she taught English at Lodi High School for a few semesters before leaving to raise two children, Jorie and Zachary. For the next 50 years Diane contributed her time to her family and her community, supporting Lodi schools, Hutchins Street Square Foundation, Lodi Memorial Hospital Auxiliaries, Omega Nu Sorority, PEO and countless other efforts supporting those in need. She also worked with women at the Salvation Army center for over ten years and helped young people feel supported and find balance. Diane will be remembered for her sense of humor and being a lady that truly cared about you. She was selfless, always trying to improve others and her family. She had a special gift of connecting with people in a way that made you feel like you could tell her anything. Her generosity was founded in compassion and service. Her kindness will be remembered by those she touched. She is survived by her brother, husband, two children and three grandchildren. She was preceded by her parents.
Barbara Gregg Burner died October 11, 2019, at her home in Thousand Oaks, Calif., surrounded by family after a brief struggle with cancer. She was 72. Barbara was born on July 24, 1947, to Marian Winnifred (Anderson) and Jesse Franklin Gregg, Jr. in Panamá City, Panamá. Barbara's faith in Jesus was a central focus of her life since childhood. She grew up in Hollywood, Calif., where her parents owned and operated a Foster's Old Fashioned Freeze store and both she and her sister worked. She attended Westmont before transferring to UCSB to pursue a career as a dietician. After graduating in 1971, Barbara spent a year's internship in dietetics at the New York Hospital followed by working as a dietician at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric (NPI) hospital for 10 years until she began a 46-year career as a top real estate agent in the Conejo Valley with Lamb Realty, Century 21 Rolling Oaks, and Aviara Realty. Barbara was active in the Fountain Avenue Baptist Church while growing up, then attended the Church on the Way in Van Nuys, Calif. for 47 years, where she married Robert (Buzz) Russell Burner on August 8, 1980. Barbara was an avid skier and loved visiting their condo at Mammoth Lakes with Buzz. She loved good coffee, champagne and mimosas, and Sunday brunch at The Cheesecake Factory. She enjoyed scuba diving and watersports. Barbara especially enjoyed traveling. Anyone who knew Barbara knew at least one thing about her: she loved cats! She is survived by her husband, sister Marjorie, step-daughter and two step-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her mother and father.
Coral (Swickard) Corsaut died on December 29, 2020, in San Luis Obispo, Calif., after a year-long battle with reoccurring cancer. She was 80 years old. Coral was born on November 24, 1940, to Sheldon W. and Lois C. (Pierce) Swickard in Tiffin, Ohio. At a young age, Coral's family moved to California. She attended West Los Angeles schools and graduated from University High School where she enjoyed her studies and singing in the school choir. Outside school, she loved her Girl Scout friends and activities. She attended Santa Monica City College and Westmont, where she graduated with a major in education and a minor in math. Later, post graduate classes were taken from UCLA, UCSB and Cal State Northridge. She taught secondary math from 1962-1977 in Santa Barbara, Beverly Hills and Exeter, followed by teaching at Cuesta College and then being director of the Central Coast Math Center in Arroya Grande until 1987. In 1987, Coral was hired as an academic instructor at the California Men's Colony (CMC) in San Luis Obispo. She was a conscientious and dedicated teacher. During her almost 20 years career at CMC she was chosen "Teacher of the Year" for the 1992-93 school year and selected as a finalist for the Correctional Education Association (CEA) Region VII Teacher of the Year. At CMC, she established "Project Change", a program for drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Coral loved music, singing, the outdoors, camping, hiking, and watching home and garden shows on TV. Her greatest joy was connecting with family, friends, and neighbors. She looked for those who needed a smile, a word of encouragement or someone to listen to them. She is survived by her brother, Ernie; sister-in-law, Jan; sister, Arlene; four cousins; and many nephews, nieces, and their children.
Victoria (Viki) Jones died June 8, 2018, in Bothell, Wash., at age 70 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Viki was the youngest of six children born to Judy and William (Bill) Jones on February 27, 1948 in Nicaragua. While Viki enjoyed reading, studying the Bible, and playing cards with her friends at Woodcrest, her true passion was to be with people. From her elementary school teaching days in Illinois and California, to helping to take care of her mother, Judy, to being a nanny to her grandchildren Ben and Sean, to volunteering at many organizations and schools, Viki was one to always put others before herself. She was preceded by her brother Paul and her parents. She is survived by her brothers Bill and David; sisters, Cindy and Vivian; five children, Tim, Kristi, Jennifer, Jamee, and John; and 11 grandchildren.
Thomas William Henry Mills ’64 passed away surrounded by his family on January 12, 2021. Tom was born on December 25, 1941, and grew up in Guadalupe, Calif. He graduated from Santa Maria High School in 1959. Tom attended Allen Hancock and Westmont College where he earned a BA in Social Science. He was drafted in 1966 to the Vietnam War where he proudly served in the US Army. Upon his return, he moved to Santa Barbara where he met and married Linda McCabe. Tom later went on to complete his Ph.D., and was a longtime teacher with Lompoc Unified School District where he taught for over 30 years. Tom also received the very prestigious honor to teach abroad in England for one year through the Fulbright Teacher Exchange program. He loved singing in his church choir, serving with Gideons International, and traveling around the world. Tom had a deep love of learning and always sought out new experiences and novel opportunities for learning that he instilled in his family. Tom's greatest legacy is, and will be, his faith in Jesus Christ. He is preceded in death by his father, Thomas Mills, and his mother, Lois (Gaddis) Mills, and his wife, Linda (McCabe) Mills. He is survived by his two brothers; Bill (Sandi) Mills and Allen Mills; his three children and his seven grandchildren.
Edward Paul Zahora '69 died on May 9, 2020. Edward was born in Berwyn, Ill. on August 19, 1947 to Edward and Lillian (Makovsky) Zahora. He grew up in Cicero, Illinois and graduated from Morton East High School. Ed attended Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California and Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill. He graduated from Westmont College with a Bachelor of arts degree in 1969. He also spent two years in graduate school at Illinois State University and majored in organic chemistry. Ed met Mary Kay Wallin at Wheaton College in 1968. They were married in 1971. They enjoyed sailing on Lake Geneva and vacationing with the extended family at the lake in Minnesota. Ed enjoyed being creative in the chemistry lab and formulated specialty coatings at the companies where he worked including DeSoto, DSM Desotech and C. E. Bradley. His accomplishments included over 20 patents. Ed was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Aurora, Illinois. More recently he enjoyed the fellowship at Rivertown Church in Brattleboro, Vermont while he was employed at C. E. Bradley. Ed is survived by his wife, Mary Kay, two brothers-in-law, several cousins and eight nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents.
Earl Petznick Sr. ‘61 died on July 22, 2020. He was born June 15, 1939, in Chicago, Ill., and relocated to Phoenix when he was 3 years old. Earl attended Phoenix Christian High School and graduated with honors. He attended Westmont College, then transferred to Grand Canyon College during his senior year. It was there he met his future wife of 60 years, Patricia Dryer. In 1980, Earl entered a partnership to purchase Sunland Beef Company, a struggling beef processing plant located in Tolleson, Arizona. The partners turned the company around and reaped the benefits a dozen years later when they sold it to Wisconsin-based Packerland Packing Company. The venture was the crowning achievement of Earl's career. Earl's legacy is rich on all fronts. He fully supported Pat and her sister Beverly's efforts in founding Fresh Start Women's Foundation. He also supported Barrow Neurological Institute, St. Joseph's Hospital, and various other organizations that support the community at large. Earl was appointed to the Arizona State Fair Board of Directors by Governor Jane Dee Hull where he served 10 years, two as board president. He was president of the Arizona Cattle Feeders Association and was inducted into the Arizona Farming & Ranching Hall of Fame in 2009. Earl was an avid student of world history, and an angler, fishing many waters. Earl is survived by Adele Smith, his wife, Patricia, his two sons, his four grandchildren and five great grandchildren, and his sister-in-law Beverly Stewart. He was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur and Ebba Petznick.
Marsha Kay Funk ‘63 died on September 12, 2020 due to heart problems and liver cancer. Marsha was born to Alden and Wynona Derby, Sept. 25, 1941 in Denver, Colo. and her sister Pamela followed. She lived in a Christian home with extended family living close by. The family then moved to Albuquerque, N.M. for her high school years and upon graduation they moved to Livermore, Calif. She attended the College of Pacific (UOP) for one year and finished her undergraduate years at Westmont College in Santa Barbara. Her graduate years were spent at the Univ. of Calif. Berkeley, receiving a Master's Degree in Librarianship and a teaching credential at Calif. State University, San Jose. Marsha was very devoted to her husband and family. She was a teacher at several different levels and locations. She finished her career as a Library Media Teacher at Sierra Jr. High. At the core of her life was an unwavering belief from an early age that she was a child of God. At Westmont College, she found the scriptures to come alive. She served her Lord and Savior in many ways, including being a Sunday School teacher, being involved in women's and mixed Bible studies, mission trips and Mom's in Touch groups praying for their children and grandchildren. She and Bob were actively involved members of Fruitvale/Riverlakes Community Church for over 50 years. For a number of those years, she faithfully served as the church librarian. Marsha is survived by her husband Bob, son Corey Funk ‘96 and daughter in law Jill Dobbie ‘97, son Joel Funk ‘00.
Neal Steinhauer ‘66, the former Oregon track and field star who was an NCAA champion in the shot put, died at age 76 on September 7, 2020. The graduate of North Eugene High School won three consecutive Pac-8 Conference shot put titles and led Oregon to the 1965 NCAA outdoor championship with the individual shot put title as a sophomore. He was the national runner-up on two other occasions. A three-time all-American, Steinhauer held the Oregon school record in the shot put from 1967, a record that stood until 1982. Steinhauer’s mark remains No. 2 on the UO all-time list. He spent his freshman season at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, before transferring to Oregon to join a Ducks team coached by Bill Bowerman. He was the silver medalist at the 1967 Pan American Games and won the U.S. title in 1969. Steinhauer was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1982 and the University of Oregon Athletics Hall of Fame in 1995. Steinhauer was living in Turlock, Calif., at the time of his death.
Dave Glass ‘66 published a book entitled Growing the Golden State 1846-1900 - The Adventures, Experiences, and Contributions of Two Pioneer Families. Dave graduated from Westmont College in 1966 and continued his education at Denver Seminary, earning his Master of Religious Education degree in 1972. He also went on to become a Doctor of Education, graduating from Tennessee Temple University in 1998. His book on California history can be found on Amazon.
Ruth Sharon Hopson DuBois ‘61 died on December 26, 2020. Sharon was born in Marysville, Calif. on February 17, 1940 to James Hopson Sr. and Janice Gladding Hopson. She earned her B.A. in Education along with her teaching credential from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif. She taught in Belmont, CA for two years, in Santa Clara, CA for three years, and for the Santa Ynez Valley Christian Academy for 26 years. Sharon's care for people and warmth was well known. She was always a witness for Christ with her students. She was loved by them, by many families in the Santa Ynez Valley, and especially by her friends and family. She leaves behind three children, five grandchildren, and three siblings: James Jr, Judith Somerville, and E. Daniel ‘74.
Theodore Malcolm Best ‘61 died on February 14, 2020, at the age of 78. Ted was born to Sydney and Dorothy Best in Chungwei, Ninghsia, China, living there until he attended high school in Los Angeles. Ted attended Westmont College in Santa Barbara and graduated in 1961. The summer before he graduated he met his wife Marilyn who precedes him in death by thirteen years. Immediately following his graduation from Westmont he began teaching at La Colina Junior High School. He would remain at La Colina for the next 40 years. Ted’s passion and dedication for teaching was expressed in the student programs offered throughout the years. He began as a Physical Education teacher and coached the basketball team for several years. Later, he began teaching history. He particularly enjoyed taking students to Washington D.C. each spring. Mr. Best, as his students knew him, made a lasting impact on them as well as the faculty he worked with until he retired. It was common to have a former student approach him to say hi and share with him how much they admired and remembered him from their Jr. High days. This happened quite frequently considering his teaching career lasted four decades. Ted will be lovingly remembered by his 4 children, and by his grandson. Ted is also survived by his brothers, Trevor and Richard. His brother, Gordon, preceded him in passing.
Diane Laverne Roth ‘66, wife of retired Covenant minister Randy Roth ‘66, died January 11, 2021. She was 76. She was born June 2, 1944, in Eagle Pass, Texas, to Alfred and Laverne Graf and grew up in Sacramento, California. Diane earned a bachelor of arts degree in English from Westmont College and a Master of Arts in English from the University of California–Los Angeles. She married Randy on July 2, 1966. They served West Hills Covenant Church in Portland, Oregon, and First Covenant Church in Oakland, Calif. Diane was known for her hospitality and commitment to praying for others. She is survived by Randy, four children, and nine grandchildren.
Bruce Herman '61 passed away on Monday, November 23, 2020 at the Iowa Masonic Memory Care Unit, in Bettendorf, Iowa. Bruce was born in Berwyn, Ill. on May 15, 1938 to LeRoy and Borgny (Nilsen) Herman; and spent his entire life along the Mississippi River he loved. On April 9, 1965 he was united in marriage to DeEsta Joan Scharff. Bruce was an interesting, accepting, and unique person to his family, friends, and customers. He spent over 50 years cutting hair at his barbershop in Princeton, Iowa welcoming and enjoying conversation with all. He enjoyed being on the river, riding his motorcycle, working on projects, yoga and meditation, as well as spending time with his family. Bruce was a thinker, builder, inventor, writer, and problem solver. He built a 35’ trimaran sailboat, a house, a car, and a not so finished seaplane. He self published a couple of books about his views on life and growing up on the river and was active in the Unity Church. He is survived by his wife, two sons, two grandchildren, three brothers, and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, an infant sister, and sister-in-law.
Mary Elizabeth Pooleon (‘62), wife of Michael S Pooleon, was born on May 25, 1940 and passed away on December 4, 2020. She had been in decline from Alzheimers for several years. She died at home peacefully.
Esther Carol Bennett ('61), age 81, died at home in her sleep on January 26, 2021. Born August 26, 1939, in Wahkon, Minn., Esther was the youngest of nine children of James and Florence Brinks. She lived in small towns in North Dakota, Nebraska, and Oregon before moving to Portland, where she graduated from high school. After graduating from Westmont College, Esther taught for one year in Orcutt and then returned to Santa Barbara where she taught English at La Cumbre Junior High School for five years. During that time she fell in love with and married her next door neighbor, Don. Together they raised two sons, Jim and Brad. For the last few years Don cared for Esther at home as her Alzheimer’s progressed. Esther was a member of First Presbyterian Church for over 60 years, where she sang in the choir, taught church school, served as a Deacon and Elder, and coordinated meals for Transition House. For nineteen years she worked as Director of Christian Education and then Director of Adult Education, where she loved teaching and mentoring, especially young mothers. She remained passionate about teaching, later earning a certificate to teach ESL in the SBCC Adult Education program. Esther fostered in those she loved an appreciation of faith, music, good food, and remaining connected to extended family. Esther’s family was her biggest priority and source of pride. She always had a welcoming home and beautiful meals that brought the family together for some of our most special memories. Among her other favorite things were reading, singing, and reciting rhymes she learned as a child. Family and friends appreciated her warm smile and welcoming laugh and she took special pride in being silly. Esther is survived by Don, her husband of 56 years, two sons, three grandchildren, and a sister, Florence Larsson, of Seattle.
Douglas “Doug” Arensmeir died Jan 14, 2020. Doug was born in Salem, Ore., on February 8, 1950, to Purl and Wilma Arensmeier. Growing up, Doug was very involved in the children's and youth departments at First Baptist Church. He attended Englewood Elementary School, Parrish Junior High School and graduated from North Salem High School. He attended Westmont and Portland State University. Doug was very musically talented and throughout his life played many musical instruments. He was a choir and orchestra member in high school and later played in several bands. Doug worked for Linn County Fire Patrol, Del Monte Cannery and Fairview Training Center in Salem. In 1988 he launched his own marketing business, Arensmeier & Associates. Since 2001 he was employed by the Oregon Department of Human Services, most recently in the Background Check Unit. He loved motorcycles, piloting aircraft and talking about politics. He had many, many friends and acquaintances in the Salem area. He would meet weekly with groups of people to stay updated on what and why "things" were the way they were. He loved politics and assisted candidates with their campaigns for state, local offices and boards. He enjoyed devoting his life to giving back countless hours by serving on over 25 state and local entities. Doug is survived by his loving wife, Gayle; his sister, Shari, and her husband; three nieces; five great-nieces and three great-nephews. He was preceded in death by his father; mother and brother, David.
Tom Turrentine ‘72 died on June 2, 2020, due to an unforeseen coronary event while on a bike ride. He had been a resident of Santa Cruz County for 31 years. He received a full athletic scholarship to play soccer at Westmont College in Santa Barbara in 1972. He later moved to Santa Cruz, where he got a job with Summit Expedition. Tom went back to school, first to Cabrillo College, then UCSC, where he studied Anthropology. He traveled south to the Andes, and lived in a village outside of Huaraz, Peru during the fall of 1980 and winter of 1981. He was drawn to the hard-working and gentle Andean people, and enjoyed trying to understand their way of life. His thesis "The Politics of Language: The Structure of Linguistic Inequality in Peru" was completed in September 1982. He received his Doctorate in Anthropology in 1994 from UC Davis. In 2007, Tom became the founding Director of the Plug-in Hybrid & Electric Vehicle (PG&EV) Center at UC Davis. Tom was goofy, light-hearted, and he loved to make you laugh. He is survived by his wife, Pat, their daughter Sasha, and two brothers and sister, Ralph ‘69, Jim ‘67, and Betty ‘65.
Dr. Rick Love ‘75 had been battling cancer and died of a heart attack early on December 29. 2020. Rick was an internationally recognized expert in Christian-Muslim relations. He and his wife, Fran ‘75, began their service as missionaries to Indonesia. He was an ordained pastor, and a consultant on reconciliation between Muslims and Christians. After 9/11 he was an adjunct professor at the Zwemer Center for Muslim Studies and Columbia International University for several years. Rick initiated the founding of Vision 5:9 in 2002, to create strong partnerships among those who shared a vision of building the Kingdom of God among Muslims. He established the values of Vision 5:9 as a network, and set a high standard for unity among Christians and love for Muslims around the world. Rick went on to found Peace Catalyst International, an organization with a heart to build bridges and “wage peace,” to unite Muslims and Christians through a common word. He was author of the book Grace and Truth: Toward Christlike Relationships with Muslims.
Lyle Thomas Burchette ‘71 died on April 5, 2016 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s and cancer. Lyle was born in Louisa, Ky. on November 21, 1932. He accepted the Lord at an early age and walked the hills of Kentucky as an itinerant preacher. Lyle then served in the U.S. Navy where he continued to spread the gospel through his service on the USS Cascade earning the nickname “Preacher”. Lyle has built churches in Guam, Hawaii and Hollister, Mo. Lyle was a realtor in California and Missouri. His goal in life was to bring people to the Lord. He wanted everyone to know Jesus. He had a servant’s heart and was willing to help anyone in the community who needed assistance. Lyle founded the Hollister-Branson Chapter of the VFW, of which he was commander for several years. He was a lifetime member of the American Legion and the VFW. Lyle and Phyllis hosted many reunions for the USS Cascade which was commissioned in 1941 until 1974. He is survived by his wife, Phyllis, siblings, and four children. Lyle has 8 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren. Lyle was preceded in death by his parents, Oliver and Violet Burchette.
Steve and Karen Ray ’70 celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on August 22, 2020. They wed in the Formal Gardens of Westmont College.
Scott Gibson died of sudden heart failure on November 12, 2019, in his Santa Barbara home. He was 54 years old. Scott was born February 1, 1965, in Midland, Mich., to Dennis and Ruth Gibson. Growing up in Wheaton, Ill., Scott was an exceptional track athlete and football player competing in state meets and championships. Scott moved to Santa Barbara to attend Westmont. During his college years, he participated in Semester at Sea where he traveled around the world and gained a love for adventure traveling and capturing extraordinary images on film. After graduating, he pursued his love for surfing, adventure and photography as he built his own photography business. He travelled extensively to Bali, Fiji and Baja while maintaining his home for more than 30 years in Santa Barbara. He was married to Nancy Myers. Scott was widely known as a professional photographer, owner of Scott Gibson Photography and Santa Barbara Postcards and a participant in the local surfing community. Friends and family openly regard Scott as the funniest person they have ever known. His extraordinary talent with the camera and charisma to rally adventures and tell stories have been enjoyed by countless people. Above all, Scott truly loved the people in his life. He had heart, incredible humor and passion for life. He is survived by Nancy, his parents, two brothers and other family members.
Carl Magnusson died July 15, 2020, at 62 years old. Carl was born on June 25, 1958, in Palo Alto, Calif. He was the only child of Naomi and Paul Magnusson. Carl attended Westmont, then transferred to UC Berkeley, where he graduated with a degree in physical science in 1981. There, Carl met Mindy Agler, and they married in 1981. They lived in Oakland, Calif. in an intentional community with a group of friends who were, in his words, “subverting the dominant paradigm.” Carl and Mindy had their daughter, Sara, in 1988, and moved to Whidbey Island, Wash., soon thereafter. It was here that Carl began his design and contracting business. Carl’s craftsmanship has touched the lives of so many, his personality speaking though the homes he built. Carl and Kimmer Morris found each other in 2001, and together have left a lasting mark on the Whidbey arts community. From rolling a 12-foot Easter Island head he created down the Maxwelton parade, to speeding (sometimes flaming) down First street in the Soup Box Derby, Carl always found ways to express himself through art. Carl is survived by his partner, Kimmer; daughter; mother; and a community of hundreds on Whidbey Island whom he held so close.
Gaylene Kootstra Colburn died July 11, 2020, after a brief battle with leukemia. Gaylene was born on July 24, 1961, to Helen and Dewey Kootstra. She was the third of five children. The family of Dutch immigrants called North Hollywood home and lived next to the family dairy. She spent her childhood in Sun Valley, Calif., and attended Village Christian School and Bethel Christian Reformed Church where her faith grew. When she was in high school the family dairy business brought them to Bakersfield. She went on to Westmont to study business, where she met the love of her life, Dale Colburn ’82. They met while skiing the slopes of Utah on an interim semester and married on January 21, 1984. They made their home in Santa Barbara, where Gaylene worked as an accountant, and had two daughters, Ciena Colburn ’15 and Adyson. As an accomplished seamstress who often altered wedding dresses and sewed clothes for her girls, she recently made over 200 masks for family and friends. She was incredibly bold and fearless. One look at her face after she flew down the ski slope and it was clear that she absolutely loved her life. She made friends everywhere she went, often accompanied by her dog Roxy, and always had time to talk and listen. Gaylene was beloved by her friends at Trinity Baptist, Calvary Chapel and Santa Barbara Community Church. She is survived by her husband; daughters; brothers Howard Kootstra ’76 and Perrin Kootstra ’79; two sisters; nieces Jenna Kootstra Menard ’10 and Chelsea Kootstra ’16; nephew-in-law Christian Menard ’10 and cousin Marilyn Kootstra Toler ’76 among other family members and friends.
John Riedinger '80 died on Novemeber 13, 2020.
Peggy (Trump) Loofbourrow ‘81 died on September 10, 2020. She is survived by her brother and sister in law John R “J.R.” Loofbourrow ‘82 and Laurie (Maynes) Loofbourrow ‘84, as well as her nephew Ross Loofbourrow ‘09.
Robert Gordon ‘83 died on August 25, 2020. Robert was born October 15, 1961, in Elgin, Ill. to Robert and Edyth (Trethewey) Gordon. Robert received his English degree from Westmont College in Santa Barbara in 1983 and his Civil Engineering degree from University of Arizona in Tucson in 1991. Robert served as a civil engineer in Los Angeles, Walla Walla, and College Place for the past thirty years. While serving as a missionary teacher in Korea in 1987, Robert met his future wife Sharon. Together, they raised four children -- Reid, Shelby, Micah, and Hannah. Robert’s greatest desire was to bring glory to God. He fought hard for those he loved both in service and in prayer. He loved fiercely. He spoke gentle encouragement to those around him. Robert was talented and created art, stories, a business, a program, furniture, toys for his children, and a home. Robert hungered after righteousness. He fondly remembered his time on the mission field and longed for the opportunity to follow God wherever He might lead. Robert is survived by his father and mother, Robert and Edyth, his wife Sharon, his 4 children, as well as his brothers Tom, Scot, and Michael.
Thomas "Tom" Brian Ellis ‘83 passed away unexpectedly, while cave diving, January 20, 2021 in Ginnie Springs, Florida. Tom attended South Pasadena High School and graduated from Westmont College in 1983. He is a cherished husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend. Known for his larger than life spirit and lively personality, Tom was curious, full of wisdom and care, eager to offer his ear to those in need, and committed to continuing his spiritual practice. Tom was an active member of many groups and communities in the Valley and around the country. He was a supporter and confidant to many and will be deeply missed by his many friends, family and wife. He is preceded in death by his beloved parents, Tom and Peggy Ellis. He is survived by his wife, Shireen (Arensmeier) Ellis; three sons, three grandsons, one sister, and two brothers.
Frank Koroshec, an English teacher at San Marcos High School, is the 2020 Santa Barbara County Teacher of the Year. Frank earned a master’s degree in English from Cal State Northridge in 2004 and began teaching full time that same year. He has taught in the Santa Barbara Unified School District since 2012, and he currently serves as the chair of the English Department at San Marcos. In 2015, Frank established a writing center at the high school. Frank has won other teaching awards in the past, including the 2019 Santa Barbara Unified School District Teacher of the Year in 2019.
Dean Wilson has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of The Turner Foundation, a leading provider of housing and programs for youth, families, seniors, those with special needs, and low-income earners. Dean was instrumental in bringing the Foundation to Santa Barbara and launching the low-income housing community and programs now known as The Village. Dean also founded the Good Life Television network. Previously, Dean launched Behind Every Door, which has helped bring about neighborhood transformation in some of the most difficult areas of Dallas. Dean was also the founding CEO of two technology start-ups and a founding partner of a security firm while in Dallas. Dean has served in a development role at Mission India and, recently, as the Executive Director of Christian Legal Aid of Los Angeles. Wilson lives in Santa Barbara with his wife Susan Rhea Wilson ’97 and their five children, including Hannah Wilson ’23.
Dr. Alison Noble ‘97, associate provost and professor of chemistry at Messiah University, has been elected to a four-year term on the National Board of the Lilly Fellows Program. The program, founded in 1991, strengthens the quality and character of church-related institutions of learning. Noble came to Messiah University in the fall of 2010 where she has served as a faculty member, chair of the Ranked Faculty Meeting, director of faculty development, assistant provost—and currently as associate provost. Recognized by Messiah with the Robert and Marilyn Smith Outstanding Teacher award in 2017, Noble has been instrumental in working to support faculty development in teaching, scholarship, and service, and played a key role in institutional initiatives related to term-tenure and promotion policies, governance, faculty salary process and development, and university-wide planning. Her current responsibilities include oversight of the curriculum, faculty development, academic advising, general education and educational technology, and she works with the provost in the areas of educator governance, ranked faculty affairs and academic programming. Noble earned a B.S. in chemistry at Westmont College and a Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Illinois. Prior to coming to Messiah, she worked as a senior process engineer for Intel Corporation in Portland, Ore.
Megan Shrader Alexander ‘02 received a Christopher Award for One More Hug (Aladdin/Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing). The book, for children preschool and up, is illustrated by Hiroe Nakata. It is one of 11 books for adults and young people to be honored as the Awards mark their 71st year. The Christophers is a nonprofit founded in 1945 by Maryknoll Father James Keller. The Christophers' motto, “It’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness,” is particularly apt in 2020, said Tony Rossi, The Christophers’ Director of Communications. The celebrated authors, illustrators, writers, producers, and directors whose works exemplify this Chinese proverb also “affirm the highest values of the human spirit,” he said. In addition to being seen every night on Inside Edition, the #1 syndicated newsmagazine television show, Alexander's extensive career has also included covering Thursday Night Football on CBS, having a recurring role on the ABC drama Nashville, appearing in the films God’s Not Dead: A Light in the Darkness and Space Warriors and executive producing the feature film Heartbeats. The author of Faith in the Spotlight, she also sits on the Board of Trustees for the Hugh O’Brian Youth Foundation.
Mckenna Kleinmaier ‘17 was chosen by the Knowles Teacher Initiative as a member of its 2020 Cohort of Teaching Fellows. This year, 34 promising high school mathematics and science teachers who are just beginning their careers were awarded Knowles Teaching Fellowships. The Knowles Teacher Initiative supports a national network of mathematics and science teachers who are collaborative, innovative leaders improving education for all students in the United States. The Knowles Teaching Fellowship is an intensive and cohesive, five-year program that supports early-career, high school mathematics and science teachers in their efforts to develop teaching expertise and lead from the classroom. Mckenna began teaching at Alexander Hamilton High School in Los Angeles, California, during the 2020–2021 school year. She is committed to teaching biological sciences to high school students in the U.S. Mckenna earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from Westmont College in 2017. Following the completion of her undergraduate degree in 2017, Mckenna worked as a naturalist at Mission Springs Outdoor Education. In this role, she utilized science and hands-on learning activities to foster positive student relationships and good stewardship of the environment. She also earned a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Southern California in 2020.
Grace Hanna has joined Westerlay Orchids as an e-commerce specialist. Hanna’s duties will include managing short- and long-term e-comm strategies to drive brand awareness, grow market share and deliver on sales goals. Hanna will also serve as the brand’s program liaison for their Box of Orchids program, which began as an effort to encourage and uplift those in quarantine isolation or on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the COVID-19 lockdown, the company partnered with both local and national industry organizations to gift thousands of orchids to frontline workers statewide. Hanna previously served as marketing and product development specialist for Heirloom Roses, where she designed and implemented sustainable social media strategies, collaboratively developed email campaign content and sales copy, and grew the company’s Facebook following from 10k to 107k. Hanna’s experience also includes serving as marketing intern for Girls on the Run.
Brendan FJ Furnish, professor emeritus of sociology, died July 2, 2020, in Fort Worth, Texas. He was 85. Brendan was born June 24, 1935, in Dedham, Mass., the third son of George and Janina (Michalski) Furnish. Dyslexia caused learning delays in grammar school. Brendan countered this by becoming a voracious reader. At 16, he and his family moved to San Carlos, Calif., where he graduated from Sequoia High School. After high school, Brendan joined the National Guard. He met and married his wife of over sixty years, Evelyn Jane Boone, in a class on marriage at San Mateo Jr. College. He and Jane had five children. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees in Sociology from San Francisco State University. Brendan came to teach at Westmont in the fall of 1967. Soon after, he earned a PhD in sociology from USC. Brendan taught sociology courses at Westmont for 35 years. He founded Westmont's San Francisco Urban Program, helped modernize the college's computer and online program, and served many years as the Sociology Department head. He co-authored two books. He and Jane built Zephaniah's Camp, a Christian retreat lodge, in the Sierra Nevada mountains. After retiring from Westmont in 2002, Brendan and Jane moved to Fort Worth, where Brendan taught sociology courses part-time at Texas Christian University and Texas Wesleyan University. Brendan was active in the church and had a deep love for his dogs. Brendan was preceded in death by his parents and his brother George. Brendan is survived by his wife; his five children, including Valerie "Val" Furnish Mallett ’82; his brother Alfred; his dog, Oscar; seven grandchildren, including Nydia Furnish Mendez ’96; and three great-grandchildren.