Obituaries - 2007

These obituaries are for people who died during 2007. They are listed in reverse chronological order. All of our obituaries have been collected by ASURA volunteers, primarily from the Arizona Republic. They have been edited for use in ASURA publications.
 

PhotoNameDateObituary
  Hazel Fraunfelder 16 Oct 2007 Hazel Fraunfelder, 81, died October 16, 2007, in Mesa. She was previously employed by KAET public television on the ASU campus as the receptionist.
  Rudy H. Turk 14 Aug 2007 Rudy H. Turk, 80, passed away on August 14, 2007. An avid read, historian and artist, Rudy found a career, joy and expression in the arts. Rudy retired after 25 years as the Director of the Art Museum at ASU. Rudy was also a prolific writer, lecturer and painter. His is survived by his wife, Wanda, four children, and five grandchildren. A scholarship has been established in his name at the ASU Herberger College of the Arts. There is an interview with Rudy in ASURA's Video History library.
  Clyde W. Watson 19 Jul 2007 Clyde W. Watson, 79, of Scottsdale, AZ, died on July 19, 2007.  In 1945 he entered the Army Air Corp, serving with the Occupation Forces in Japan.  After discharge from the Air Corp, he attended Kansas State University and Bethany College, graduating from the latter with a degree in Fine Arts in 1952.  Subsequently he received a Masters Degree from Kansas State University. Clyde taught Art in public schools in Kansas, followed by tenures at the University of Arizona, The Ohio State University and ASU.  He served as Chairman of the ASU Art Department from 1975-77 and retired as Professor Emeritus in 1989. He considered himself a "survivor" after receiving two kidney transplants, the first in September, 1981 and the second in May, 1997.  He is survived by his wife, Lois, three sons, a daughter and two granddaughters.
  Gale Lee Richards 28 Jun 2007 Gale Lee Richards, 88, of Tempe, passed away on June 28, 2007.
  Rita K. Nenaber 27 Jun 2007 Rita K. Nenaber, 86, of Chandler, AZ, died on June 27. Rita was born April 11, 1921 in Cavour, SD. She was raised and educated in the local area and in 1948 married Donald Nenaber. They made their home in South Dakota before moving to the Phoenix area in 1965. She retired from Arizona State University.
  Sophie Helen Claxton Jun 2007 Sophie Helen Claxton, 83, passed away in June, 2007. She is a former employee of Arizona State University's Medical Center and is survived by two sons, two grandsons and two great-grandchildren. Donations can be made to Hospice Family Care Foundation, 1550 S. Alma School Rd, Ste. 102, Mesa, AZ 85210.
  Mark Harris 30 May 2007 Mark Harris, 84, author of the acclaimed baseball novel "Bang the Drum Slowly," which he adapted for the 1973 movie starring Michael Moriarty and Robert DeNiro, died May 30, 2007. Harris also wrote a dozen other novels and five non-fiction books. He earned a bachelor's and a master's degree in English from the University of Denver, and a doctoral degree from the University of Minnesota. He was a professor of English at ASU from 1980 to 2001. Survived by his wife, Josephine, one daughter and two sons.
  William G. Payne 30 May 2007 Dr. William G. Payne, 92, died on May 30, 2007. Educated at Baylor Medical School, Dr. Payne opened a private medical practice in Tempe in 1947. He retired in 1988. Dr. Payne served as president of Arizona Blue Shield from 1958 to 1974. A long-time member of the Arizona Medical Association. In addition to practicing medicine, Dr. Payne was known for his support of public education. He served on the Tempe Elementary School Board, was on the Board of Directors of the Arizona School Boards Association and was president in 1968. He also served as president of the Arizona State Board of Regents. In 2000, Dr. Payne received the Hall of Fame Award from the ASU College of Education. He was a past president of the ASU Alumni Association, and the Tempe Rotary Club. Survived by his wife, Adalynlee Valerie. He leaves two sons and three daughters.
  Douglas Cornell 10 May 2007 Douglas Cornell, 65, former assistant dean for business operations in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, passed away May 10, 2007. Cornell retired from ASU July, 2005. He is survived by his wife, Ann; three sons, his mother, his brother and six grandchildren.
  Robert B. Rutherford, Jr. 4 May 2007 Dr. Robert B. Rutherford, Jr., 64, passed away on May 4, 2007. He was a distinguished professor at Arizona State University. Rob is survived by his wife, Patricia; three sons, 9 grandchildren, two brothers and 7 nephews and nieces.
  Merle Packer 30 Apr 2007 Merle Packer, 85, died April 30, 2007. She served in the Women's Marine Corp, taught school at all levels for 35+ years, earned a Doctor in Education Degree in Colorado, and was a life NEA Member. Packer joined the ASU faculty in 1959. Among her many contributions to ASU, she was the men's and women's badminton coach from 1967 to 1984. She retired as a professor emeritus of physical education and kinesiology.
  Donna Landers 20 Apr 2007 Donna Landers, 56, passed away on April 20, 2007. At ASU for 25 years, she was a senior lecturer. Survived by her husband Daniel; one daughter and one son, her mother, two siblings and other relatives.
  Verla H. Corno 19 Apr 2007 Verla H. Corno, 85, wife of Gene (Edward E.) Corno, professor of art (ret.) of Tempe, AZ, died on April 19, 2007. While working as an office manager at the Publicity Office at ASU, Verla met and later married student photographer, Gene Como. Verla is survived by her husband, three children, three grandchildren and five siblings.
James W. Elmore James W. Elmore 19 Apr 2007 James W. Elmore, 89, passed away on April 19, 2007. He received his B.A. from the University of Nebraska. and a Masters degree in Architecture from Columbia University, after service in WWII and work in New York City, he moved to Phoenix in 1948, where he began to practice architecture and teach at Arizona State College at Tempe. For the next 25 years, Professor Elmore was instrumental in the development of the College of Architecture at ASU, becoming its founding Dean. He also served as a Director on many local boards, including the Heard Museum, the Valley Forward Association, the Central Arizona Historical Society, and the Central Arizona chapter of the American Institute of Architects. A source of great pride for him was seeing the realization of the Rio Salado project, a concept arising from design proposals in the College of Architecture. Town Lake in Tempe is an embodiment of this dream for reclaiming the channel of the Salt River in the Valley. In recent years he sought solutions for transportation and other issues affecting sustainable growth in the Valley. He was a steadfast advocate for solar energy applications. Dean Elmore was predeceased in 2006 by his wife of 59 years, Ann D. Elmore. He is survived by one daughter, one son and two grandchildren. ASURA has recorded a video history of Professor Elmore's career.
  Alex P. Perez 19 Apr 2007 Alex P. Perez died April 19, 2007. Survived by two sons, two brothers, a sister and two nephews. While growing up in Tempe, Alex worked at the ASU kitchen. He retired with 30 years at Cudahay Meat Packing Company. During WWII he served at Pearl Harbor as a medic and was honorably discharged in 1946.
  Nels N. Jensen 18 Apr 2007 Nels N. Jensen, Sr., 92, passed away April 18, 2007. He owned the Varsity Inn, a student hangout adjacent to the ASU campus from 1950-1958. The "VI" was a favorite gathering place for veterans attending ASU. After operating an office supply business in Casa Grande, he returned to Tempe in 1960 to become a purchasing agent at ASU. He remained in that position until he retired in 1980. Nels was preceded in death by his wife, Josephine. Survived by a daughter and a son, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
  Richard Charles Dahl 16 Apr 2007 Richard Charles Dahl, 85, professor emeritus of the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at ASU and its founding librarian, died April 16, 2007. He majored in philosophy at University of California (Berkeley), then attended the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration for one semester before enlisting and serving in France during WWII. After the war, while on a bicycle tour of England, he met his first wife, Grace, and her three-year-old son, Barry. Together, the couple had a son, Kevin. Richard earned his Bachelor of Library Science from UC Berkeley School of Librarianship (1951), and a J.D. from Catholic University (1958). He served as the law librarian for the University of California, the University of Nebraska, the Office of the Judge Advocate General for the Navy, and Washington State. He also was Civil Division Librarian for the Department of Justice and the U.S. Treasury Department's librarian. In 1966, Richard was recruited by Willard Pedrick, dean of the ASU College of Law, and was one of the school's founding faculty. He amassed the 60,000 volumes needed for accreditation and also taught legal research, ethics and government. After retiring, Richard earned a master's degree in history at ASU. Richard's wife, Grace, died in 1976. After a brief second marriage, Richard married Jeannine Dunwell, a psychiatric nursing professor at ASU. Richard is survived by his wife, Jeannine, two sons, two step­daughters, seven grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
  Nancy Fees Thornhill 9 Apr 2007 Nancy Fees Thornhill, 66, passed away on April 9, 2007. She became a teacher after graduating from ASU in 1963 and taught school at both Gilliland and McKemy Junior High Schools in Tempe. She also later taught a college adjustment course at ASU. She married Sam Fees in 1964. He was the father of four children, Samuel, Patricia, David and Brian. They added John to the family in 1967, Nancy's only child from "scratch" as she liked to say. Nancy married Gordon Thornhill in 1980. She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents and two stepsons. She is survived by five children, 17 grandchildren.
  Norris D. Vestre 6 Apr 2007 Dr. Norris D. Vestre, 79, passed away April 6, 2007. After military service, he received his PhD in Psychology in 1959 from the University of Minnesota and became a university professor. Norris taught at Minnesota State University, Indiana State University, Washington State University and ASU. At ASU, he became the Clinical Director of Psychology. Over the span of his career, his research was published in hundreds of journals. Norris is survived by his daughter, his ex-wife, a sister, brother.
  Donald Vance 1 Apr 2007 Donald Vance, 83, died on April 1, 2007. Don received his degree in journalism from UofA in 1951, then worked for several newspapers. He later earned a masters degree from UCLA and a doctorate in mass communications from Syracuse University. He was a faculty member at Syracuse University, the University of Texas at Austin, Arizona State University and the University of Miami. Don retired from UM in 1991 and returned to Arizona where he became an active AARP volunteer serving as Legislative Consultant in AARP's advocacy efforts. Survived by his wife, Sarah Hudelson, a son and two sisters.
  Winifred Emily Thacker Long 26 Mar 2007 Winifred Emily Thacker Long, 86, passed away on March 26, 2007. Winifred was employed in Planning and Development at ASU. Survived by her husband Ernie, two daughters, one son and four grandchildren.
  Rosemarie Card Sandling 23 Mar 2007 Rosemarie Card Sandling passed away March 23, 2007. She graduated from Washington University Barnes Hospital Nursing program in 1949. Mrs. Sandling's nursing career spanned nearly 55 years and included Director of Nurses at Scottsdale Baptist Hospital, Professor of Nursing at Arizona State University, and Director of Emergency Services at St. Luke's Hospital. She was preceded in death by her husband, Edward. She is survived by a sister, two nieces, and two nephews.
  Gordon Geisler 15 Mar 2007 Gordon Geisler M.D., 88, died March 15, 2007. He earned his Pharmacy degree then graduated from the University of Manitoba Medical School in 1948, moving to Arizona in 1955 where he set up his medical practice. In semi-retirement, he was ASU's student health physician for five years. His wife, Bernice, predeceased him in death. He is survived by one daughter, two sons, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
  Richard Lee Ditsworth 8 Mar 2007 Richard Lee Ditsworth, 82, and Professor Emeritus of Engineering at Arizona State University, passed away on March 8, 2007. He is survived by three sons, one daughter and eight grandchildren. He completed a doctorate in Mechanical Engineering at Michigan State University and then began teaching at ASU in 1959, retiring in 1991.
  Peter Vincent Hegarty 5 Mar 2007 Peter Vincent Hegarty, 79, passed away on March 5, 2007. Pete was an insurance agent for 57 years - 34 years in Tempe. Pete is survived by his wife Noretta, a member of ASURA.
  Donald L. Snider 5 Mar 2007 Donald L. Snider, 75, passed away on March 5, 2007. Dr. Snider was a professor of electrical engineering at Arizona State University and Cal State-Fullerton; worked as an engineer for Hughes Aircraft, McDonnell-Douglas, RCA, Bell Labs, and NASA. Survived by a brother, sister, four children, and six grandchildren.
  Dora Burton 4 Mar 2007 Dora Burton, 85, passed away on March 4, 2007. She was born in Leningrad, Russia and earned her MD in Russia and later her PhD at the University of Washington. She taught Slavic language & literature at ASU for 27 years. Survivors include one daughter, two grandchildren and a sister.
  Milton A. Kiesow 23 Feb 2007 Dr. Milton A. Kiesow, 86, died on February 23, 2007. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin with graduate work at the University of Nebraska. He was a professor of Education at ASU from 1957 to 1984. He is survived by his wife, Hilda, a daughter, three grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
  Michael Boulden 18 Feb 2007 Michael Boulden, chief of staff for ASU Foundation for the prior two years, passed away February 18, 2007. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Iowa State University. He was the first student to hold the minority student assistantship position with both the ISU Foundation and ISU Alumni Association. At ASU his dedication to higher education and fundraising was evident in his commitment to ASU and the foundation. Boulden is survived by a daughter, his former wife, his mother, sister and brother.
  Kenneth G. Medearis 15 Feb 2007 Kenneth G. Medearis died February 15, 2007. Survived by wife, Mary; two sons, one daughter and nine grandchildren. Kenneth earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Civil engineering and Structural Engineering at the University of Illinois. Later he earned his Ph.D. in Structural Engineering from Stanford University specializing in Structural dynamics and vibrations. He was employed for a short time at ASU. He later worked on the NASA Space Program at United Technology and provided consulting in the San Francisco Area, and later established his own consulting engineering firm, 'Kenneth Medearis Associates.'
  LaVaun Bernadine Habegger 4 Feb 2007 LaVaun Bernadine Habegger, 84, died on February 4, 2007. She was preceded in death by her husband, Arthur, two brothers and one sister. LaVaun retired after 23 years with ASU, where she worked as a secretary in the Psychology Department. LaVaun is survived by two children, five grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
  Gregory W. Fitch 27 Jan 2007 Gregory W. Fitch died on January 27, 2007. He was a Professor of Philosophy at ASU from 1974 to 2007.
  Fredrick (Rick) E. Johnson 24 Jan 2007 Fredrick (Rick) E. Johnson, 66, passed away on January 24, 2007. He worked in the aerospace industry for over 30 years, first at AirResearch (Garrett/Allied Signal) and then Tierney Turbine. He was later employed at ASU in the Development Office and retired in January 2006. He is survived by his wife; one son, one daughter, and four grandchildren.
  Dorothea Anne "Dottie" Stimbert 17 Jan 2007 Dorothea Anne "Dottie" Stimbert, 71, died January 17, 2007. She worked as a secretary at Arizona State University. Dottie is survived by her husband, Richard; two daughters, two sons, one brother, ten grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
  John H. (Jack) Dieterich 2007 John H. (Jack) Dieterich, b. 1929 - d. 2007. A native of Missouri, Jack was a Project leader for the USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Station, located on the Arizona State University Campus. He was instrumental in getting fire effect research implemented in the Southwest.
  Ignacio C. Soto 2007 Ignacio C. Soto, 96, died in 2007. He worked as a painter at ASU in the late 60's/early 70's. He was preceded in death by his wife, Carmen, two sons and a daughter-in-law. He is survived by a daughter, seven grandchildren, thirteen great-grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren.