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Autumn 2006 | Volume 29, Number 4 | Footnotes

In Memoriam

ELTON ARAKI ’96 died July 6, 2006. He was 35 years old. After graduating from SPU, Elton became a dentist and eventually worked for Affordable Dental in Tumwater, Washington. He was also a member of the Pierce County Dental Association, Washington Dental Association, and the American Dental Association. Elton is survived by his parents, four brothers, two sisters, and grandmother.

ORVILLE ANDERSON ’59 died June 24, 2006. He was 73 years old. A standout SPC basketball player, Orville was an Associated Press honorable mention All-American center in 1959. Several of his Falcon scoring and rebounding records still remain unbeaten today. After graduating from SPC, Orville became a high school basketball coach, leading the South Kitsap High School boys basketball team in Port Orchard, Washington, to two state tournaments in 1960 and 1962. He later became vice principal at South Kitsap and then an administrator at Kentridge High School in Kent, Washington, until his retirement. Orville’s first wife, Jean, preceded him in death. He is survived by his second wife, Phyllis; twin sons; and two stepdaughters.

GARY BIRKELAND ’67 died July 18, 2006, after a battle with cancer. He was 61 years old. Born in Seattle, Gary was a student chaplain at SPC for two years and also served as a Centurion. After graduation, he began a 30-year teaching career in the Issaquah (Washington) School District, where for most of those years he taught middle school art. He was an active member of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. Gary is survived by his parents, brothers B.J. BIRKELAND ’68 and J. MARK BIRKELAND ’78, and sister REBECCA BIRKELAND WILL ’69.

DOUGLAS BOND ’56 died June 12, 2006, of leukemia. He was 72 years old. Born and raised in Western Washington, Douglas graduated from SPC and then earned a master’s degree from Pacific Lutheran University and a doctorate from United States International University. He married Mary Jane Baldwin in 1956, before becoming a systems engineer for Western Electric Company. Later, he trained at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in computer science for his work on the SAGE Project, a top-secret, Cold War, early-warning defense system. In 1964, he left engineering to become the administrator of Tacoma Baptist Schools, the first evangelical Christian school in the south Puget Sound region. Douglas is survived by his wife, Mary Jane; one daughter; one son; nine grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.

WILLIAM “BILL ” BLUNT ’58 died on April 14, 2006, his 70th birthday. Born in Oskaloosa, Iowa, Bill lived in Washington’s Tri-Cities region for 30 years. He worked as a civil service investigator for the Office of Personnel Management for 31 years, and he was a member of the Nazarene Church for 35 years. He was also a board member of the Entiat Valley Family Camp in Entiat, Washington, and a member of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees. Bill is survived by his wife of 50 years, RUBY RICHARDS BLUNT ’57; two daughters; one son; nine grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

FRANCIS CLOWERS ’56 died August 6, 2006. He was 71 years old. Francis grew up in Seattle and lived in the area his entire life. While attending SPC, he met BERTIE FINCH ’58, and they married in 1959. After graduating from SPC , Francis taught in the Highline (Washington) School District. He then went on to earn a master of library science degree from the University of Washington. After several years as a librarian at Shoreline Junior High School in Shoreline, Washington, he became one of the first librarians to work at Shoreline Community College, eventually becoming library director until he retired in 1998. He and Bertie enjoyed several years of travel after his retirement. Francis is survived by Bertie, two daughters, two sons, and two granddaughters.

JUDY DUFF ’73 died on May 5, 2006. She was 52 years old. Judy was born in Seattle and lived in the North Highline area for 48 years.

MARY MIKEL EWBANK ’82 died of cancer on May 6, 2006. She was 49 years old. Born in Moline, Illinois, with cerebral palsy, Mary weighed only 2 pounds, 3 ounces at birth and was not expected to live beyond the third grade. But her family didn’t treat her as an invalid, and she thrived. She earned two college degrees, one in communication from SPU and one in rehabilitation from Seattle University. Despite being eligible for disability income, Mary completed an internship with VISTA and worked most of her adult life. She was employed for nine years in the Circulation Department of The Seattle Times and for four years at the Federal Aviation Administration, where she served as a technical librarian. She was a tenacious, socially involved advocate for persons with cerebral palsy Mary is survived by her mother and father, an identical twin sister, and three brothers.

PAMELA AMAN GILMAN ’76 died May 2, 2006, after a 12-year battle with cancer. She was 54 years old. Born in Bismarck, North Dakota, she and her family moved to Oregon in 1967. After graduating from SPU , Pamela worked as a social service volunteer in The Dalles, Oregon. She married Dennis Gilman in 1980. In the years following her 1994 cancer diagnosis, she managed Portland’s Ten Thousand Villages store. Pamela was a member of the Portland Mennonite Church. Dennis died in 2001, and Pamela is survived by her father, two brothers, and two daughters.

JANETE JAMIESON HANSEN ’41 died April 22, 2006, at the age of 87. Born in Riverside, California, Janette was raised in Everett, Washington. As a student at SPC , she was a member of the A Cappella Choir and the Falconettes, and was student body president during her senior year. She taught for one year at Lake Stevens School in Lake Stevens, Washington. She married MARSHALL FIESE ’40, and they had two sons. Marshall, who became a physician, was killed in a train accident in 1960. In 1965, she married Wayne Hansen, the pastor of Christian education at University Place Presbyterian Church in Tacoma, Washington. Actively involved at the church, Janette served in the Women’s Association and taught Sunday school and adult Bible studies. Wayne died in 1995, and Janette is survived by two sons; two stepsons; six grandchildren; one great-grandson; one sister, MILDRED JAMIESON GALLAGHER ’44; and one brother.

E. WALTER HELSEL ’39 died June 6, 2006. He was 90 years old. Born in Kansas, Walter grew up working on the family farm. After graduating from high school, he attended Central College in Kansas and transferred to SPC. He funded his college education by singing in male quartets. He married ESTHER HAMMER ’39 in 1942. Walter earned advanced degrees from the Biblical Seminary in New York and Princeton Theological Seminary. He then returned to SPU and, from 1942 to 1948 and 1949 to 1980, he served as a professor of religion, dean of the School of Religion, and university registrar. After retirement, he taught in mission schools in the Philippines and Hong Kong. He is survived by Esther, his wife of 64 years; three sons; and five grandchildren.

ROYAL JOHNSON ’49 died July 27, 2006. He was 81 years old. Born in Port Orchard, Washington, Royal fought in Patton’s Third Army in Europe, serving with the 35th Division as a member of Company C, 137th Infantry in the Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, and Rhineland campaigns. He fought in the famous Battle of the Bulge. He was awarded two Purple Hearts, four bronze battle stars, an Oak Leaf Cluster with numerous ribbons, a Good Conduct Medal, and a World War II Victory Medal. After returning home, Royal attended SPC and earned a degree in education. After graduation, he married ALBERTA WHITE ’50 in Hollywood, California, on the television show “Wedding Bells.” As a teacher, Royal first taught in Republic, Washington, where he coached football, basketball, baseball, and track. He then taught at Kelso High School in Kelso, Washington, from 1953 to 1970. After retirement, Royal continued researching the World War II battles in which he had fought. Eventually, he began a correspondence with a former German officer he had taken prisoner in a tiny Belgian village at the Battle of Villers-la- Bonne-Eau. In 1995, the former enemies met again at the village. Royal is survived by his wife of 56 years, two sons, one daughter, and five grandchildren.

NORMAN JOSEPHSON ’66 died June 15, 2006, at the age of 63. Born in Coupeville, Washington, Norman was raised on his parents’ dairy farm in Freeland, Washington. After graduating from SPC , he went on to earn a master’s degree in school administration from Seattle University in 1973. He then began a 32-year career in education in the Shoreline (Washington) School District. In 1971, he taught sixth grade at Pioneer Elementary School in Olympia, Washington. He served as principal at other schools before retiring in 1998. He began working in the Washington State Senate in January 2000 as a bill reader during legislative sessions. He also worked at Ralph’s Thriftway, was an avid gardener, and enjoyed his blueberry farm. Norman is survived by his wife, Janet; three daughters; and five grandchildren.

SHARON MCCHESNEY ’94 died June 4, 2004. She was 62 years old. Although Sharon began attending SPC in the mid-1960s, it wasn’t until 30 years later that she returned to complete her degree. She is survived by two daughters, including Lisa Siedenburg ’91; four granddaughters; and one grandson. Lorraine Olson Nelson ’47 died June 8, 2006. She was 81 years old. Born and raised in Issaquah, Washington, Lorraine graduated from Swedish Nursing School as a registered nurse after graduating from SPC. She married ROGER NELSON ’52 in July 1950. Lorraine enjoyed camping, traveling, and spending time with her family. Preceded in death by a daughter, she is survived by her husband, two daughters, and two grandchildren.

JOHN PIKE CC ’67 died April 16, 2006. He was 85 years old. John was an ordained minister in the Evangelical United Brethren Church. He was also a missionary to Honduras for 26 years. He is survived by his wife, Emma; two sons; one daughter; and five grandchildren.

ESTHER THORSON REBACK ’89 died March 24, 2006. She was 88 years old. Born in North Dakota, Esther moved to Seattle as a child. She studied voice and piano and often sang in church with her sisters. She married Herbert Hopp, a pastor, in 1940, and they raised four children. After her children were grown, she was a secretary in the San Juan School District in Sacramento, California. Following the death of her husband, she married Warren Reback. Esther retired in 1981, and in 1982 returned to Seattle, where she studied music while serving as an organist in several churches. Predeceased by her second husband, Esther is survived by two daughters, one son, and five grandchildren.

RONALD SIDES ’68 died May 3, 2006. He was 58 years old. After leaving SPC , Ronald began a career working in the newspaper business and was named Carrier of the Year for the Capitol Journal, a newspaper in Salem, Oregon. He then worked at The Seattle Post Intelligencer, where he managed the South Seattle Circulation Department for 32 years. He married his high school sweetheart, Judy Farries, and the couple had four children. Ronald also founded R.T. Sides Landscaping Company in the Seattle area. One of his largest projects was helping to launch the design of a 95-acre shopping center in Keizer, Oregon. Ronald attended Grace Community Church in Auburn, Washington. He is survived by his mother, four children, and four grandchildren.

Matriarch of Legendary Burger Chain Is Remembered Along the West Coast

Philanthropist and co-founder of the famous In-N-Out Burger chain of restaurants, ESTHER JOHNSON SNY DER ’47, died August 4, 2006. She was 86 years old. Raised in Illinois as one of eight children, Esther served as a surgical nurse in Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service during World War II . While attending Seattle Pacific College, she met Harry Snyder, a fellow employee in a Seattle restaurant. The couple married in 1948 and moved to Baldwin Park, California.

The Snyders soon opened the inaugural In-N-Out Burger, creating the first hamburger stand in California to offer a drive-through window. Esther did everything from cleaning and cooking to slicing tomatoes and onions, peeling potatoes, and making meat patties. As the business grew, she also handled paperwork.

When Harry died in 1976, the couple’s sons, Guy and Rich, became company president and vice president. Esther became a philanthropist throughout Baldwin Park and the San Gabriel Valley. In 1984, she and Rich founded the Child Abuse Foundation, which eventually became the In-N-Out Burger Foundation. Over the years, Esther supported schools, Boys & Girls Clubs, medical organizations, police and fire departments, and missions and homeless shelters. “[Esther Snyder] represents the pioneering beginning and the determination and drive to be a success, and more importantly, give back to her community,” City Councilman David Olivas told the Whittier Daily News.

After her sons died unexpectedly, Rich in 1993 and Guy in 1999, Esther became company president. Today, more than 200 In-N-Out Burger restaurants thrive in California, Nevada, and Arizona. Esther is survived by a granddaughter and many extended family members.


RICHARD TAYLOR CC ’38 died June 21, 2006, at the age of 94. An active minister and author in the Church of the Nazarene, Richard received degrees from Cascade College, Pasadena Nazarene College, George Fox College, and Boston University. He founded the Nazarene Theological College in Sydney, Australia, in 1953, serving as its president until 1960. He taught at the Nazarene Theological Seminary (NTS ) in Kansas City, Missouri, from 1961 to 1977. After retiring from NTS , Richard was editor of the Nazarene Preacher’s Magazine for eight years. He authored books and articles on holiness living and preaching. His final book was released by Schmul Publishing only two weeks before his death. In addition to his extensive service in Australia, he pastored Nazarene churches in states across the nation, including Washington, Oregon, and Massachusetts. Richard was preceded in death by three wives. He is survived by his wife, Maureen Box-Taylor; two sons; seven grandchildren; and 12 great grandchildren.

GERALDINE CUSTER WALKEMEYER CC ’45 died April 25, 2006, at the age of 85. After earning a bachelor’s degree from Cascade College, Geraldine traveled in 1947 to Belgium to take the required courses to serve as a missionary nurse in the Belgian Congo. She then traveled to Burundi (Urundi at the time), Africa, and, for the next 36 years, worked in a primitive dispensary and, later, a hospital. Over the course of her career, she also served as a nurse in other places such as Kansas and Oregon. In 1995, she married Roy Walkemeyer, who preceded her in death in 2003. She is survived by a stepson, two stepdaughters, 10 grandchildren, and 15 greatgrandchildren.

RUSSELL WARD ’42 died May 13, 2006. He was 91 years old. After graduating from SPC , Russell pastored churches in Omak and Mount Vernon, Washington. While in Mount Vernon, he worked for the Washington Department of Social and Health Services, eventually becoming an expert at uncovering hospital fraud. Russell is survived by his wife, LEONA WARD ’42; three daughters, including ALLEYNE WARD BRUCH ’67; one son; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

CLYDE WHITNEY ’61 died July 16, 2006. He was 75 years old. Born in Anacortes, Washington, Clyde served in the United States Air Force before graduating from SPC. He became a high school teacher, teaching for several years until he became disabled. Clyde was preceded in death by his wife, JoAnne, and their son, Mark. He is survived by one daughter, three sons, and four grandchildren.

INGA LARSSON YOUNGREN ’64 died June 27, 2006. She was 67 years old. Born in Sweden, Inga came to Seattle in 1950. She graduated from Seattle Bible College, SPC , and the University of Washington School of Nursing. She and her husband, RAY YOUNGREN ’64, served as missionaries to Liberia, Africa, before returning to the Pacific Northwest. Inga is survived by Ray, one son, one daughter, and three granddaughters.

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