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Footnotes: News

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1950s & 1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010s


DARLENE LARSEN VANDERVORST CC says that since her 50th reunion, she has been in touch with more former classmates — “What a delight!” She’s still singing, working, and last year, spent two weeks with her daughter and family in California. The trip was a Mother’s Day gift from both of her children. Darlene lives in Mandan, North Dakota.


CHARLES “CHUCK” FELTON CC and his wife, NANINE LIBBY FELTON CC ’67, are active
in Laurel Community Church, he as missions deacon, she as Christian education deaconess.
Chuck also teaches part time at Faith Bible High School. They live in Hillsboro, Oregon.

ROSETTA MAGERS LEACH reports that her son, National Guard Chaplain Major Raymond Leach, has authored a book on his 22-month tour in Iraq, Iron Cross Under Crescent Moon
(PublishAmerica, 2010). Rosetta, a retired R.N. and traveling nurse, lives in Tensed, Idaho.


JOHN BRIDGES is the longest-serving Chelan County (Washington) superior court judge.In his more than two decades on the bench, the veteran judge decided the landmark case that resolved the 2004 gubernatorial election in favor of Christine Gregoire. A law graduate of Gonzaga University, John was named Family Law Judge of the Year in 1995 by the Washington State Bar Association, and Judge of the Year in 2007 by the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association. He lives in Malaga, Washington, and plans to retire after finishing his last term in 2012.


DALE SPERLING, for 13 years the president and CEO of Unico Properties, is CEO of OneBuild, builder of prefabricated, modular, wood-frame units that can be assembled into a variety of dwellings from apartments and student housing to motels and military housing. With a master’s degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Dale has been involved in a signi!cant number of commercial developments in downtown Seattle. His current business plan includes building modules for apartment and resort projects in Washington, Oregon, and Colorado.Dale lives in Bainbridge Island, Washington.


DONALD “DON” GUSTAFSON received the 2010 National Federation of State High School Coaches Association State Coaches Award in the sport of girls golf. His team has won four state championships in a row, and Don has now coached the boys and the girls golf teams at Life Christian High School in Tacoma, Washington, to four state championships each. He has also coached high school basketball and currently coaches girls basketball. Don resides in University Place, Washington.


MARK WHITE has taught six years of U.S. history honors class at Bishop Moore Catholic High School in Orlando, Florida, where he lives. Each day, he says, he thinks of SPU Professor Roy Swanstrom (deceased) and his love of history. Mark loves his job, too. He and his wife, Cindy, have four children and five grandchildren. “Cindy and I are busy and having more fun than we should!”


STEVE SOOTER, an accomplished runner who was named SPU’s Athlete of the Year for 1974, has been inducted into the Burlington-Edison (Washington) High School Sports Hall of Fame. While running track and cross-country for SPU, he was a national champion and two-time All-American in the NCAA Division II 3,000 steeplechase, and he held SPU’s 3,000-meter steeplechase record for 25 years. He graduated from Seattle Pacific cum laude. Steve went on to graduate from the University of Puget Sound School of Law and is president of LegalPlus Software Group Inc. His daughter, ABBY SOOTER ’05, is also an SPU graduate. He lives in Newcastle, Washington.


CAROLYN “PIXIE” PARIS ROWE reports from Lee Abbey, where she works with husband David and three of their four children, leading a Christian community who together run a conference, retreat, and holiday center in North Devon, England. She “loves reading Response,” and “fondly remembers” being an extra in a production of Our Town at SPU and sitting with Professor George Scranton in the choir and the graveyard.



CHUCK JACOBSON has been a minister in the Church of the Nazarene since 2000. He is also the Michigan area representative for Hockey Ministries International and the chaplain with the Saginaw Spirit Hockey Club of the Ontario Hockey League. He and his wife, Phyllis, make their home in Midland, Michigan.

DENISE JOHNSON M.ED. ’85 is an ordained Foursquare church plant missionary pastor in Nowy Targ, Poland, where she also resides. She pastors a Foursquare church and assists the leadership of a number Church of God churches within that nation.



WILLIAM “BILL” WILSON has been a school administrator for the past 13 years and a superintendent for eight years. This year he went from a school district of about 200 students (Greeley County) to one of about 900 students (Scott City). He and his wife, LISA BROWN WILSON ’89, and their children make their home in Scott City, Kansas.


Caring for Cooks


Kevin Finch ’89 first noticed a ministry need in the restaurant industry when he was reviewing restaurants in Spokane, Washington. Workers he encountered opened up to him about their relationship stresses and financial struggles. Through research he also found that the industry has some of the highest rates of drug and alcohol abuse in the country.

“It was the toughest industry I’ve ever come across as a pastor, and I couldn’t walk away from it,” he says.

So Kevin left his position as a pastor and started Big Table, a program that every eight weeks, invites about 40 people from the restaurant industry to sit around — what else — a big table and enjoy an amazing meal, prepared by local chefs and served by volunteers. Big Table hopes to show those who have had negative experiences in the church that God loves them. “A shared meal is a great beginning for that; it’s a safe place,” Kevin says.

Past meal themes have included “Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner,” “Chinese New Year,” and “Celebrate Spring.” Besides the generous menu of courses, Kevin and volunteers find creative ways to care for those guests who are in need. With the “Care Pot,” a Dutch oven filled with donated cash, guests at each dinner get to decide how the money is used, whether someone needs an oil change, groceries, or medical bills paid.

Then, adds Kevin, “we wait and see what God does in their lives.” This October, Kevin will bring Big Table to Seattle, a perfect treat for the city’s foodie population. ALLIE FRALEY


DAVID STROHMAIER plans to seek the Democratic nomination for Montana’s congressional seat. A two-term Missoula, Montana, councilman, Dave worked 15 years as a wildland firefighter with the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. He holds a master’s degree in environmental studies and is married to GRETCHEN SAUL STROHMAIER ’91. The couple lives in Missoula with their 7-year-old son, Ezra, and their 4-year-old daughter, Liezel.



ANNE HAGERMAN WILCOX M.A.T. ’02, has accepted the position of Teacher in Residence at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington. She will be teaching English language learner methodology to teacher candidates at the University. She will also direct an English language learner online endorsement program for currently practicing teachers and master’s degree candidates in Whitworth’s School of Education. Anne will also direct intercultural field placements for Whitworth education students during their January term. Anne has continued freelance writing by editing and writing for Full Bloom: Cultivating Success. The collection of essays by 28 accomplished women helps readers achieve their goals. The proceeds from the book go to fund university scholarships for high school young women who participate in Distinguished Young Women competitions. Anne resides in Spokane, Washington.


CHAD C. PECKNOLD, a professor of historical and systematic theology at The Catholic University of America, School of Theology and Religious Studies, in Washington, D.C., has published Christianity and Politics: A Brief Guide to the History (Cascade Books, 2010). The book examines how Christianity reshaped the Western political imagination. Chad earned his master’s degree from Fuller Seminary. He and his wife, SARA MICHAEL PECKNOLD ’97, live in Alexandria, Virginia.


NICHOLAS HARDMAN regrets that he missed his 15-year SPU reunion — and his classmates — this year due to his deployment in Northern Afghanistan as part of coalition forces engaged in counter-insurgency operations. “The education and relationships from my SPU years continue to bless me,” he says.


JANNA FINLEY is a mother of three, works as a clinical nurse, and helps her husband, Daryl, with the nonprofit organization he founded known as the Well Done Organization. Well Done addresses poverty issues such as clean water in Liberia and other African nations. Daryl, a Seattle firefighter, and SPU alumni JOHN KEATLEY ’03, BRYAN PAPE ’07, and REBECCA VANCE PAPE ’07 were all in Liberia in March 2011 to witness the installation of fresh water wells paid for by Well Done donors. “SPU helped ingrain humanitarian care and concern in me,” says Janna. The Finleys live in Everett, Washington.


ALLISON BIEBEL FREEMAN owns Brilliant Blooms, a custom "oral design studio in Denver, Colorado. Her studio was named among “Colorado’s Best Wedding Florists” for 2010 by The Knot magazine. Allison, husband Darin, and their son, Samuel, live in Denver.

HEATHER TAUSCHEK is a member of the women’s imaging team at Alaska Radiology Associates and Imaging Associates of Providence. She earned her medical degree at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, interned at the University of Hawaii Internal Medicine Residency, and completed her residency and fellowship training in diagnostic radiology at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology in St. Louis. Heather lives in Anchorage.


ELLEN WALKER LIND PH.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist and author, under the name Ellen Walker, of Complete Without Kids: An Insider’s Guide to Childfree Living by Choice or by Chance (Greenleaf Book Group, 2011). Lind Psychological Services is her private practice in Bellingham, Washington, where she lives and as a professional specializes in life changes and decision-making.


AMBER SCOTT LARSON teaches middle school in SeaTac, Washington. This Americorps alumna earned a master’s degree in teaching from the University of Washington. She and her husband, Ryan, live in Tukwila, Washington, with their daughter and son.

LUKE SANKEY received his doctorate in electrical engineering last year from University of Colorado at Boulder. He is a radio frequency engineer for a Boulder company and lives in Longmont, Colorado, with his wife, REBECCA STRONG SANKEY ’02, and their son, Levi.


ADAR PALIS M.S. is executive vice president and chief administration officer for Harrison Medical Center, a busy regional health care network in Bremerton, Washington. Named to that post in 2005, he became the organization’s youngest executive at age 27. Among his achievements was establishing a state-of-the-art data center and this year, an electronic medical records system that provides bedside medication bar-coding and computerized physician order entry. Earlier this year, he was named to the Becker’s Hospital Review list of “Rising Stars: 25 Healthcare Leaders Under Age 40.” He resides in Silverdale, Washington.


JAN VALLONE ROBERTS M.A.T. holds a law degree from New York University School of Law and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Goddard College; has taught English at a yeshiva high school; is an adjunct professor of writing, literature, and education at SPU; and is author of Pieces of Someday (Gemelli Press, 2010), which won two 2011 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards. Sales of the memoir go to charity, including several that support literacy and writing. Jan’s stories have appeared in The Seattle Times, Guideposts Magazine, English Journal, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Writing It Real, and Curriculum in Context. Her other interests include Italian language study and travel. She lives in Seattle.

NATHANAEL VLACHOS is working toward an anthropology doctorate from Rice University. His research interests are aesthetics and social transformation in contemporary South Africa. Prior to entering Rice, he was an instructor of philosophy at Lone Star Community College in Houston. Nathanael’s wife, RACHEL SCHNEIDER VLACHOS ’06, is studying for a religious studies doctorate at Rice. The couple live in Houston.



KELLY KOSIR teaches kindergarten at Talbot Hill Elementary School in the Renton (Washington) School District and was selected as a Teacher of the Month by the Rotary Club of Renton. She has written a book for parents about preparing for kindergarten, ABCs for Kindergarten Readiness, published through In March, she completed a master’s degree program in curriculum and instruction at Lesley University. Before becoming a teacher, Kelly worked with the Bellevue (Washington) Boys and Girls Club teaching art to children. She lives in Renton.


HEATHER BECKLUND LIDDELL is a registered dietitian at Arizona Women, Infants, and Children. She and her husband, BRIAN LIDDELL ’07, a medical student at Midwestern University (Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine) and a second lieutenant with the U.S. Air Force, live in Glendale, Arizona.


KATE DOUGHERTY works for KPB Architects of Anchorage, Alaska, and is the state’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional in the Interior Design and Construction category. She is part of the interior design team on the $46 million Alakanuk K–12 Replacement School on the lower Yukon River. Her firm specializes in cold climate design for rural schools, medical facilities, and federal projects. Kate lives in Eagle River, Alaska.