These obituaries for people associated with ASU have been collected by ASURA volunteers, primarily from the Arizona Republic. They have been edited for use in ASURA publications.
Recent obituaries - those published since the last issue of Prime Times, the ASU Retirees Association newsletter - are listed on this page in chronological order, with the most recently published or received first.
Obituaries published or listed in Prime Times beginning with about 2008 are available by last name:
Recent obituaries - published since January, 2014
Martin Edward Sullivan, 70, passed away February 25, 2014. Sullivan was the former Director of both the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., and Historic St. Mary's City of Maryland. He was well known in the museum field and was the recipient of a number of professional honors including recognition on the American Association of Museum's Centennial Honor Roll in 2006. He was most recently bestowed the American Alliance of Museum's 2014 Award for Distinguished Service to Museums. Sullivan received a B.A. from Siena College and a Ph.D. in American History from the University of Notre Dame. He served as President of the Rensselaerville Institute from 1981-1983, and later as Director of the New York State Museum from 1983-1990. During his tenure at the New York State Museum, Sullivan lead the historic return of sacred wampum belts from the museum collection to the Onondoga Nation of Indians. From 1990-1999 he served as Director of the Heard Museum in Phoenix, AZ, an institution that showcases the fine arts and heritages of the Native people of the southwest. In 1999 Sullivan relocated to St. Mary's County, Maryland, in order to serve as the Executive Director of Historic St. Mary's City. He was an accomplished scholar with a passion for colonial history and was an Adjunct Professor of History at both St. Mary's College of Maryland and at ASU. Sullivan is survived by his wife, Katherine and two daughters.
Robert James 'Jim' Oppitz, 91, passed away February 20, 2014. Jim received his college degree from McKendree College of Lebanon. He received his master’s degree from Washington University, St. Louis. He served in World War II as a member of the United States Army. Jim obtained his Master of Arts degree from Washington University in St. Louis. He was a professor at several schools including McKendree College, Lebanon, Ill.; Washington University, St. Louis; ASU, Tempe, Ariz.; and Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green. At WKU he taught accounting, finance and business for many years. During his time at WKU, he held a number of positions in administration, including assistant dean of the Gordon Ford College of Business. He retired from WKU in 1992. Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth. a brother, a sister and two nieces. He is survived by two nieces and a number of other extended members of his family. A memorial service was held at the Unitarian Universalist Church. Donations in his memory may be made to either McKendree College in Lebanon, Ill., to the Unitarian Universalist Church in Bowling Green or to the Gordon Ford College of Business, Western Kentucky University.
Lawrence P. Earle, 80, passed away on February 17, 2014. He is survived by his wife Elinor of 58 years, two children, four grandchildren and three great grandchildren. He was predeceased by a son. Larry was retired from ASU after 23 years as a stationary Engineer. A Memorial Service will be held February 28, 2014 at 10 AM at St Patrick's Catholic Community, 10815 N 84th Street, Scottsdale, AZ. In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to Hospice of the Valley.
Paul Edgar Russell, 89, passed away on February 16, 2014. Paul served in the Signal Corps in the Philippines and Japan during World War II; he was honorably discharged as a U.S. Army Staff Sergeant. After the war, he earned his BS in Electrical Engineering (1946) and Mechanical Engineering (1947) from New Mexico State University, and a Masters (1950) and PhD (1951) in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin. Paul retired as a Professor of Electrical Engineering at ASU, having previously served as Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Arizona, Dean of Engineering at Kansas State University, Program Director for Applied Science, Engineering and Technology for the West Campus of ASU (which he helped create), and Director of ASU's School of Construction and Technology. He worked as a design specialist and consultant for General Dynamics and various other companies in the U.S. and worldwide, served as Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Engineering Accreditation Commission for the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, and helped establish engineering programs in various countries. He was also a Fellow with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a member of numerous honorary and fraternal societies, and a recipient of many academic and professional awards. Paul leaves behind his wife of 70 years, Lorna Margaret Russell, three children, eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital or your favorite academic program. (Source: Arizona Republic)
Verde Dickey, 81, a businessman who was among ASU’s biggest supporters, died February 15, 2014. The son of a career teacher and high school football coach, Dickey provided financial help to the Sun Devils for many years in many areas. The football program’s indoor practice facility — the Verde Dickey Dome — is named in his honor, but he provided much more to the university. Dickey did not attend ASU; a Texas native, he graduated from SMU. He came to Arizona decades ago and adopted the Sun Devils. He not only helped the football programs, but also ASU’s golf and basketball programs, the marching band, and other teams and projects that never became public. “Verde Dickey has made a difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people,” ASU President Michael Crow said in a statement. “His investment in ASU has enabled generations of student-athletes to grow to their full academic and athletic potential. His investment in ASU has enabled alumni and fans to enjoy high-caliber, competitive athletic events and the performances of the Sun Devil Marching Band, season after season, year after year. His investment in ASU has left an indelible mark on the present, past and future of this institution.” Dickey loved coaches. He valued them as educators. Among Dickey’s last gifts was helping the ASU football team renovate its weight room, a move coach Todd Graham saw as a necessity in elevating the program. Dickey’s philanthropy spread across all of ASU’s campuses. When he paid for new uniforms for the band, he consulted with the costume designer working on them. When he contributed for athletic facilities, he met regularly with architects and project managers. “He became very involved in every project. He was always hands-on,” said his wife, Cathy. In addition to his wife, Dickey leaves behind three sons and two granddaughters. A memorial service is planned for 10 a.m. March 7 at the Dickey Dome. (Sources: ASU Foundation and Arizona Republic)
Harold Duncan, 96, passed away on February 8, 2014. The day after Pearl Harbor Harold volunteered to serve his country and became a Navy "Seabee". He helped to build landing fields on Islands in the Pacific until he was injured and had to be hospitalized for 11 months. As a child of the Great Depression, he started milking cows and delivering milk at age 12 to support his family. In 1945, Harold got a job on the Arizona State Teachers' College Farm (a.k.a. ASU). His favorite part of the job was showing dairy cattle at the Arizona State Fair. Harold was preceded in death by his parents, four brothers, his wife and a son. He is survived a brother, a daughter, three grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. The funeral will be Monday, February 17 at 10 a.m. at Tempe Mortuary, 405 E. Southern Ave. Tempe, AZ 85282. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Hospice of the Valley. (Source: Arizona Republic)
Eldo Henry Platte, 95, died February 8, 2014. He was a 45 year resident of the Valley. He answered the nation's call during WWII by joining the Army Air Corps and after graduating from Aviation Cadets he served in the Army Air Corps in the Pacific as a B-29 bombardier. He later served with the Air Force in the Korean War also as a B-29 bombardier and many other Air Force assignments ranging from Mather AFB to Homestead AFB, FL to RAF Alconbury, UK until leaving the Air Force in 1968. After moving to the Valley he joined Air West Airlines and served with several other airlines until retiring in 1981. He and his wife supported ASU by hosting many international students introducing them to the Valley. He was preceded in death by his wife, Florence, a son, a brother and his parents. He is survived by a son, two grandchildren and two great grandsons. A memorial service was held at King of Glory Lutheran Church on February 10, 2014. Burial will be at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona Cave Creek. In lieu of flowers remembrances may be made to the King of Glory Lutheran Church, Tempe or Banner Alzheimer Institute, Phoenix, AZ. (Source: Arizona Republic)
Delmar (Del) George Kehl passed away on February 7, 2014. He is survived by his wife, Wanda, two sons and five grandchildren. After completing a bachelor's degree, he received his master's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Ph.D. in American Literature from USC. He taught in the English Department at ASU for 40 years. He also served as the director of freshman composition and was on numerous graduate degree committees. More recently he held the position of Professor Emeritus at ASU. Del was on several boards including Community Ministries International, In Touch Mission International, and associate editor of the academic C.S. Lewis journal, Sehnsucht. He authored numerous publications and articles for scholarly journals. A private burial will be held at Paradise Memorial Gardens and a public celebration of Del's life will be held on Saturday, February 15 at Scottsdale Bible Church Chapel (7901 E. Shea Blvd.) at11:00 a.m. A reception will follow. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Community Ministries International, Box 1245, Tempe, AZ 85280 or at www.cmi-ministries.org
Lane Dennis Briley, 62, passed away on February 5, 2014. Lane graduated from ASU where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree. He then worked for the Department of Chemistry at ASU for 45 years. Lane is survived by his wife Mary Kay Weller-Briley and two daughters. His celebration of life will be held February 28, 2014 at the ASU University Club from 5 PM to 8 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to help the remaining family during this difficult time. Contact any Arizona TruWest Credit Union branch to make a donation.
Ruth Smith, 94, passed away on January 31, 2014. She joined the WACs (Women's Army Corps) to serve her country in WWII as a secretary at Walter Reed Hospital. When Ruth and her family moved to Tempe, AZ in 1961, she began working at the administrative offices at ASU. In 1974 she retired and moved to Prescott, AZ. After her husband passed away in 2003 she moved to Lincolnshire, IL. Ruth was predeceased by her husband, a brother, a sister, and her parents. She is survived by a son, a daughter, four grandchildren and four great grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Myelin Repair Foundation at www.myelinrepair.org (MS research) or the dog rescue organization of your choice. (Source: ASU Foundation)
Nancy La Rue Matte passed away on January 31, 2014. She graduated from ASU with her Ph.D. in English Literature. Her career spanned 40+ years in education at Arizona State University, South Mountain Community College and Phoenix College. She is survived by a son and four grandchildren. A memorial will be held at Phoenix College on February 21, at 2 p.m. in Willo.
(Source: Arizona Republic)
Walter R. Courtenay, Jr., 80, died on January 30, 2014. He completed his B.A. degree at Vanderbilt University in 1956 and his Ph.D. degree from the University of Miami in 1965. He served as a faculty member at Duke University (1963-65), Boston University (1965-67), and Florida Atlantic University at Boca Raton (1967-1999) where he twice chaired the Department of Biological Sciences. At various times he also held research appointments with the U.S. Bureau of Commercial Fisheries, the Museum of Comparative Zoology (Harvard University), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Arizona State University. He served as consultant on introduced fishes for the Fishery Resources and Environment Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Budapest and Rome in 1988, for the Foundation for Research Development, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Pretoria, South Africa in 1988, for South Australia Department of Fisheries, Adelaide, Australia in 1989, and for the Office of Technology Assessment, Congress of the United States, in 1991-92. After retirement he relocated to Gainesville, Florida, where he continued his research alongside colleagues at the University of Florida, several of whom he collaborated with on various projects and publications. In 2000 he was made fellow emeritus of the American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists. In 2007 he received the American Fisheries Society Lifetime Achievement Award. Walter was an ichthyologist and a leading authority on invasive non-indigenous fish, particularly those introduced into the United States. In his final years he held the position of Courtesy Curator for the Florida Museum of Natural History at Gainesville and Research Fishery Biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, at the Florida Integrated Science Center in Gainesville. Walter was predeceased by his wife, Patricia, in 2007. He is survived by a brother, stepmother, son, daughter, granddaughter and his children's mother. In lieu of flowers, a memorial donation may be made to Haven Hospice, 4200 NW 90th Blvd, Gainesville, Florida 32606.
Ingeborg Carlson has recently passed away. She earned her PhD from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. Ingeborg came to ASU in 1964 as head of German and was executive director of the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association from 1978–84. (Source: Aleksandra Gruzinska, Assistant Professor of French and Joe Cutter, Director of the School of International Letters and Cultures)
Bruce W. Kimball, 63, passed away on January 28, 2014. He was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife, Patricia, a sister and a brother. Bruce graduated from ASU with a degree in Architecture in 1974 and became licensed in 1977. He worked for several architectural firms in the valley including George Christensen and Associates, Cornoyer Hedrick Architects, Gage Davis and Associates and Paul Moran Architects. Bruce also taught and held administrative positions in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at ASU for 19 years while continuing to practice architecture. In 2000 he began a consulting company focusing on design delineation, collaborating with architects, planners, landscape and golf course architects on projects both in the US and abroad. A service to celebrate Bruce's life will be held on Monday, February 3, at 3:00 p.m. at Messinger Mortuary, located at 8555 E. Pinnacle Peak Rd., Scottsdale, Arizona 85255. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Hospice of the Valley. (Source: Arizona Republic)
Matt Kevin Rapp, 38, passed away January 27, 2014. Matt is survived by two sons, their mother, his father, a brother, two sisters and other extended family & friends. He graduated with his Bachelors in Sociology in 2006 and Med in Educational Technology in 2010. As a respected member of the ASU staff for 12.5 years, he was always focusing on service to students. A mass will be held at 6:00 p.m.with arrival no earlier than 5:30 p.m., Saturday, February 1, 2014 at ASU Catholic Newman Center, 230 E. University Dr., Tempe, AZ. There will be a celebration of life/Irish wake potluck immediately following the mass on the campus of ASU. The reception hall will be open for parking and receiving of food at 5:00 p.m. Donations in Matt's memory may be made for his two sons through an online fundraising website to help Nicole get through the next few months as things get sorted out. You can access the site and donate here: http://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/39x3/ryder-and-payson-rapp- fund?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=fb (Source: Arizona Republic)
Debra Friedman, 58, passed away on January 26, 2014. She was Chancellor at the University of Washington Tacoma campus. Chancellor Friedman, a Seattle native, received a master’s in sociology in 1978 and her Ph.D. in sociology in 1983 from the University of Washington. She worked at the UW from 1994 to 2005 in various capacities, including as assistant dean and associate dean of undergraduate education, associate provost for academic planning and director of special projects in development and alumni relations. Before returning to Washington in 2011, Chancellor Friedman spent six years (2005-2011) at Arizona State University as Dean of the College of Public Programs at the ASU Downtown campus. She personally participated in the establishment of the Emeritus College Art Collection on display at the College of Public Programs. Debra is survived by a daughter who graduated from the UW in 2006 as a Rhodes Scholar. A memorial service is being planned for Saturday, February 15, 2014, at the University of Washington Tacoma campus. (Sources: Seattle Times & ASU Emeritus College)
Sherwood "Woody" Peres, 80, passed away on January 22, 2014. In high school, he joined the ROTC, and thus began a 32-year career with the US Army, where he retired as a Colonel. He eventually became a West Point Military Academy Liaison Officer. Courtesy of the ROTC, he matriculated at The Ohio State University earning a BA, MA and Ph.D. He was a Senior Executive with General Electric, Esso, Motorola and Chrysler. In retirement, he was an MBA Professor at ASU. Woody is survived by his wife, Marion, and a daughter. He will be commemorated at Messinger Pinnacle Peak Mortuary, 8555 E. Pinnacle Peak Rd., Scottsdale on Thursday, January 30 at 10 a.m., followed by a brief Military Honors interment at the National Memorial Cemetery in Cave Creek at 1p.m. (Source: Arizona Republic)
Gordon Charles Inskeep, 91, passed away January 19, 2014. Gordon earned a chemical engineering degree from The Ohio State University in 1942. During World War II, he contributed to the war effort by managing a penicillin plant in Terre Haute, Indiana. After the war, Gordon served as editor for the American Chemical Society magazine where he met and married a fellow editor, Cora Glasner. The job took them to London where Gordon was based as a correspondent traveling Europe and North Africa and where he developed the passion for photography. A new job with the St. Regis Paper Company took them to Scarsdale, New York. Gordon then returned to school to earn his doctorate in business from Columbia University. In 1968, the family moved to Tempe where he accepted the challenge of founding the Center for Executive Development at ASU, later teaching management in the graduate business school. He retired from ASU in 1982. He served on the ASURA board from 1998-2001 and was the University Club Liaison from 1992-1994. After his wife, Cora, died in 1990, Gordon was blessed to build a new life with longtime family friend Nan Osborne Gear, a registered nurse who served in the Peace Corps. They were married in 1992 and settled in Friendship Village. In addition to his wife Nan, Gordon is survived by a son, a daughter, two grandsons, nieces, two stepdaughters and a stepson. A memorial celebration will be held at Friendship Village on April 12, 2014. In lieu of flowers, the family invites contributions to Hospice of the Valley , 1510 E. Flower St., Phoenix, AZ 85014, 602.530.6992, www.hov.org or the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, 322 Eighth Ave., 7th fl., New York, NY 10001. www.alzfdn.org (Source: Arizona Republic)
Jankie Supersad, 84, passed away on January 16, 2014. He attended Queen's Royal College (high school) in Trinidad, and at age 16 won the prestigious Island Scholarship in Mathematics. He graduated with a B.Sc. Honors, in Civil Engineering from Glasgow University and with an M.S.C.E Degree from Northwestern University. Mathew Betz, an ASU emeritus professor/administrator and a past president of ASURA, notes that in 1965 Jankie earned the first Ph.D. degree from the Civil Engineering Department at ASU specializing in Highway and Traffic Engineering. Jankie joined the faculty at California State University, Fresno, in 1970 and retired as Professor Emeritus in August 1992. He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother and a sister. He is survived by his wife Pearl (nee Dindial), two daughters, four grandchildren, two sisters and several nieces, nephews and cousins. A Memorial Celebration will be on February 8, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. at College Community Congregational Church, Fresno, CA. Remembrances may be made to CCC Church; Poverello House; and California State University, Fresno, Civil Engineering Dept. for a Student Scholarship Neptune Society of Central California, 1154 West Shaw Avenue, Fresno, California (559)222-7764
Thomas John Towle passed away on January 14, 2013. He was a staff member in the Academic Affairs office at ASU West. (Source: ASURA Office)
Carol Jane Little, 72, passed away January 13, 2014. She worked at ASU for over 40 years. She was Assistant to the Director in the School of Social Transformation, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. She was previously President of UCW (University Career Women) and a member of ASU Choral Union. Jane is survived by her husband, Les, a daughter, a son, two grandchildren, a brother, nephew and two nieces. Visitation 1:30 PM, Tues. January 21, 2014, at Green Acres Mortuary, 401 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85257, where services will be held at 2:30 PM. Interment Green Acres Memorial Gardens.
(Source: Arizona Republic)
Kenneth Leslie Mossman, 67, died January, 8, 2014. He had recently moved to Washington, D.C. to accept an appointment by the President of the United States to serve on the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board. Ken joined the ASU faculty in 1990. From 1990-1992, he served as Assistant Vice President for Research, and from 1997-2004 served as Director, University Office of Radiation Safety. He was Professor of Health Physics in the School of Life Sciences. Ken was a former Administrative Judge for the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, former Professor at Georgetown University and former President of the Health Physics Society. Ken attended Kennedy Collegiate, Wayne State University and the University of Tennessee where he was awarded a PhD in Radiation Biology. Ken received numerous awards during his distinguished career and authored many academic publications with a new book scheduled to be published in the spring of 2014. Ken is predeceased by his wife Blaire Susan and his parents. He is survived by two brothers, nephews, nieces, great nieces and nephews. Graveside services will be held on Sunday, January 12, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. at Paradise Memorial Gardens, 9300 E. Shea Blvd. in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Source: Arizona State University Tributes: Notable Deaths & Obituaries)
Kenneth A. Watson, 70, died Thursday, January 2, 2014. He was a Navy Veteran serving on the USS Intrepid. He later became a computer systems engineer for various companies including ASU. He was predeceased by his father and a brother. Ken is survived by his wife, Marcia (Schuyler) Watson, a son, his mother, five siblings, a granddaughter and many nieces and nephews. His memorial service was held on January 6 at Wm. J. Rockefeller Funeral Home, Inc. 165 Columbia Turnpike, Rensselaer. Entombment was in Saratoga National Cemetery, Schuylerville. The family has requested that that those who wish to, make memorial contributions in his name to the Community Hospice of Albany county 445 New Karner Rd., Albany, NY 12205. (Source: Arizona Republic)
Jane D. Minnier, 86, passed away on December 26, 2013. She is survived by a sister, a daughter and a son. Jane was predeceased by her husband of 56 years, Frank Minnier, in 2011. Jane graduated from Keuka College in 1947 and did her graduate work at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. She had a very successful career as a financial aids administrator at SUNY Plattsburgh and at ASU. Memorial contributions in Jane’s name can be made to the National Audubon Society, 225 Varick Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10014, or to the local Rio Salado Audubon Center, 3131 S. Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85040; or The V Foundation, 106 Towerview Court, Cary, NC 27513. (Source: ASU Foundation)
Alvin Eugene Keaton, 82, passed away December 16, 2013. Alvin retired as a professor emeritus of philosophy from New Mexico State University in 1998, after 26 years. He also served as chairman of the Dona Ana County Commission from January 1987 to December 1988. He earned a B.A. in psychology and biology from Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va. In 1960, he was a graduate assistant in psychology at ASU. For the next two years, he taught science at Arizona private schools before entering a graduate program at the University of Oklahoma, where he had previously held a National Science Foundation fellowship. He taught at Kansas State College of Pittsburg, University of Oklahoma, Highlands University and the College of William and Mary before settling at New Mexico State University, where he taught philosophy from 1972 to 1998. Survivors include his wife, Laurie Keaton, three sisters, three nieces, four nephews and many friends. Contributions in his memory may be sent to the Alzheimer's Association at act.alz.org/goto/AlKeaton
Helen Jean Campbell, 90, passed away on October 6, 2013. Jean was predeceased by Bill, her husband of 50 years. She is survived by four children, nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Jean had her first dance studio in Missoula. In 1958 the family moved to Phoenix and Jean opened another dance studio. Over the years she worked with ASU modern dance and did choreography for both the Children's Theater and the Phoenix Musical Theater. She was also a certified Royal Academy Dance Instructor and eventually both taught and danced the flamenco. She provided dance performances for many local events and over the years also taught dance classes at elementary schools. She was President of the Arizona Dance Guild. A graveside service will be held at St. Francis Catholic Cemetery in Phoenix on Saturday, February 22 at 1:30 PM.
Myrna Morgan passed away in October 2013. She began working for the Department of English at ASU in 1989 and retired in 2003. A memorial gathering was held at Morgan’s home in Tempe on November 9, 2013. (Source: David Schwalm, ASURA President 2011-2012)