KINLEY ADAMS ’75 died June 30, 2013, at the age of 59. Born in Salem, Oregon, Kinley took his undergraduate degree from Seattle Pacific University to Oregon Health and Science University, where he earned a degree in dentistry and became the third generation of Adams family dentists in Salem. He married not only from within SPU, but within the orchestra. LORRAINE JAEGER ADAMS ’76 served as business manager in her husband’s dental practice and is the mother of their two sons. An avid adventurer and passionate mountaineer, Kinley summited Mount McKinley and Mount Rainier, and climbed Yosemite’s fabled Half Dome and El Capitan. In training for an attempt on Nepal’s Ama Dablam, a 22,349 foot peak near Mount Everest, Kinley was on a solo climb of Oregon’s Mount Hood last June when he fell and died from a traumatic head injury. It was a mountain he had climbed several times. A runner and daily bicycle commuter, he was known for humility and focus, a steady lunch diet of peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches, and for playing violin in the Salem Pops Orchestra. Two of his orchestra mates were Lorraine on cello, and his mother, Geri, on violin. Devoted members of Salem’s First Baptist Church, Kinley and Lorraine traveled to Mozambique two years ago to provide free dental care for children and families, something that Kinley provided once a month at the Salem Boys and Girls Club. This past summer, son and doctor BROCK ADAMS ’03, and his wife, Audrey, took a short-term missions trip to Kenya to provide free orthopedic treatment. Kinley is survived by his wife; two sons; parents; a sister; and a brother.
LEORA MCCONNELL ARNOLD ’42 died June 5, 2013, at the age of 92. Born in Nyssa, Oregon, Leora lost her parents early and was raised first by her maternal grandparents, then by her mother’s sister and her husband. A graduate of Ballard High School, Leora was awarded a four-year scholarship to Seattle Pacific College. She met her husband-to-be, EDISON “PETE” ARNOLD ’40, in psychology class. They were married when he returned home a second lieutenant from service in World War II (during which she taught math and English in Seattle schools). She was an active military wife, serving on various committees, including in family services and as a Scout master and nurses aide. She started a swim club for disabled children of military personnel and Pete considered her as much a servant of the nation as anyone in the military. In honor of her patriotism, she had an American flag-draped casket with her funeral service held on Flag Day. A member of the Seattle Pacific Society of Fellows, Leora spread generosity to students who came after her and in honor of her patriotism. She later served in Women of Rotary, was named a Paul Harris Fellow, and received her pilot’s license at age 54. She liked to joke, “I’d rather fly around the world than drive around the block with your father.” Leora is survived by a son; a daughter; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
Cynthia Fitch-Steenson, associate professor of biology at Seattle Pacific University, died June 13, 2013, at the age of 50.
Known for her leadership of SPU’s Pre-Professional Health Sciences program, Cindy was a dedicated advisor of students
who sought careers as doctors, dentists, physical therapists, optometrists, and other careers in health care fields.
“There are countless decisions I have made that I can trace back to Cindy’s guidance, and I know I am not alone in this,” says Cara Wall-Scheffler ’00, associate professor of biology. “Her good opinion was worth having, and her high standards worth fighting for. She was a mentor, a friend, a colleague, and a fellow lifelong-learner.”
Cindy was born in Amarillo, Texas. She attended McMurry University and earned a doctorate in genetics from Iowa State University. She then moved to Seattle to do post-doctoral work at the Howard Hughes Medical Research Institute at the University of Washington. Cindy served as a member of the SPU faculty from 1994 to 2012. Because of her careful advising, SPU premed premed students achieved exceptionally high acceptance rates to medical school and other professional health programs.
Cindy was advisor to the SPU student group Ivy Honorary and president of the Western Association of Advisors for the Health Professions. In her area of study, genetics, she encouraged students to think deeply about biomedical ethics from a Christian perspective. She was honored with the President’s Award for Excellence in 2004 and named a top pre-med advisor by the Northwest Osteopathic Medical Foundation in 2009.
“Our love for her and deep appreciation for her many contributions to our community continue on,” says SPU Provost Jeff Van Duzer.
Cindy is survived by her husband, Andy Steenson, and three sons.
An endowment in Cindy’s name to benefit pre-professional health science students has been
established at SPU. Any questions about the endowment can be directed to Bryan Jones, SPU development officer, at 206-281-2250 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Post your remembrances of Cindy here.
MILDRED JAMIESON GALLAGHER ’44 died May 21, 2013, at the age of 90. Born in Everett, Washington, Mildred was one of three children whose father was pastor of the Everett United Presbyterian Church. She was high school valedictorian, majored in music at Seattle Pacific College, and received her teaching credentials before entering the elementary classroom in Seattle and Fresno, California. While at SPC, Mildred sang in a quartet with her sister and another set of sisters, calling themselves “The Jamerings.” They sang in churches and for radio, and in one year gave 50 performances. She married Paul Gallagher, a Presbyterian pastor, and she served in several positions, including superintendent of the Sunday school, children’s choir director, and accompanist. After Paul died in 1972, Mildred taught kindergarten until her retirement in 1987. She is survived by three sons, including DAVID GALLAGHER ’79 and STEVEN GALLAGHER ’79; and eight grandchildren.
JAYNE CONWAY GRIFFITH ’85 died September 1, 2013, at the age of 50. Born in Olympia, Washington, she earned a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition from Seattle Pacific. While her husband completed his teaching credentials at SPU, Jayne worked at Ken’s Market. In 1989, he took his first teaching assignment in Bremerton, Washington, and over the next 15 years they welcomed four children into their family and built a home. Eventually, they moved to Yakima. Eighteen months later, Jayne was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. Known for a warm and compassionate spirit, her encouraging words and hope in Christ, Jayne is survived by her husband, Rick; two daughters; two sons; one sister; and three brothers.
B. GERALD “GERRY” HARTMAN ’48 died April 27, 2013, at the age of 87. Born in Osborne, Kansas, he was the oldest of five children and grew up on a farm in the Dust Bowl era. At a youth revival at age 9, he trusted in Jesus as Savior. Later the family moved to California’s Central Valley, where he completed high school. After graduation from Seattle Pacific College, he attended Asbury Theological Seminary and earned a master of divinity degree, then Western Michigan University for a doctoral degree in counseling. He served as a pastor for Free Methodist congregations in Maryland and Michigan, and spent 17 years working in drug and alcohol counseling at the VA Hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan. In 1989–91, he and his wife, Ruth, managed a guest house in Zaire. Back in the States, they moved to Boise, Idaho, where he took an associate pastorate and continued a life of church leadership that included church building programs, counseling, and support of missions. Gerry enjoyed family gatherings and gardening. He and Ruth were married 60 years. Gerry is survived by his wife; three sons, including DANIEL HARTMAN ’79; a daughter, DONNA HARTMAN JACOBSSON ’85; nine great-grandchildren; two sisters; a brother; and two sisters.
Esther Hammer Helsel ’39, wife of the late Seattle Pacific Professor of Biblical Studies and Church History E. Walter Helsel ’39, died June 30, 2013. She was 97.
Born in Alberta, Canada, Esther and her family moved to southern Oregon when she was a young child. She occasionally accompanied her father up the Rogue River by boat to sell Fuller Brush products.
By her teen years, the family lived in Turlock, California. Esther’s athletic talents blossomed and she loved to “beat the boys” at tennis. She earned her teaching credentials at Seattle Pacific College and served the elementary classroom in the Shoreline School District for more than 30 years. One of her joys was physical education class with her students.
“Esther’s passionate response to the launch of SPU women’s soccer in 2001 was heartwarming,” says Tom Box, president of the Seattle Pacific Foundation. “She was very
proud SPU finally had women’s soccer and was determined to fund the Helsel Women’s Soccer Endowment.” She liked to visit the press box at Interbay Stadium to watch the women
In 1990, the Walter and Esther Helsel Free Methodist Ministry Scholarship Endowment was
also established to benefit SPU students.
Esther enjoyed travel overseas, and she and Walter led a number of trips to the Holy Land. In 1969, Esther took a sabbatical from teaching and spent nine months traveling around the world on her own.
In retirement, the Helsels taught in mission schools in the Philippines and Hong Kong before moving to Warm Beach Senior Community in Stanwood, Washington.
Esther is survived by three sons, including Donald Helsel ’69, Edward Helsel ’66, and Kermit Helsel; a daughter, Marilynn Helsel Arnold ’72; five grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
JOHSEL NAMKUNG ’47 died July 22, 2013, at the age of 94. Born in rural Korea, Johsel was the son of a Princeton-educated theologian who translated the Bible into Korean. Johsel was interested in music, specifically the genre of songs known as Lieder, German poems celebrating the beauty and discipline of nature. At 16, he performed his own translation of one of those poems and won a national competition. The monetary prize allowed him to study in Japan, where he won another competition and fell in love. Because the romantic match was not approved by either set of parents, the couple eloped to Shanghai. They survived World War II and came to Seattle Pacific College for Johsel’s undergraduate degree. He went on to earn a master’s degree from the University of Washington School of Music, performed regularly in opera, and fluent in several Asian languages, worked for Northwest Orient Airlines. Within a few years, he developed his other great interest — nature photography. He hauled a large format camera around Washington state and into the wilds of Alaska, supporting his passion from the proceeds of his wife’s art gallery and by working as a medical photographer for the UW School of Medicine. His nature photography favored the details of creation over sweeping vistas. He waited hours for the perfect light. Creative execution, he would say, was like performing music on stage. The artist observes the essence of things and finds beauty in the most mundane. Johsel exhibited at the Seattle Asian Art Museum and published several collections of his photographs, including Ode to the Earth (Cosgrove Editions, 2006). He is survived by his second wife; two daughters; a granddaughter; four grandchildren; and numerous great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.
HAROLD PATTERSON ’65 died May 18, 2013, at the age of 92. Born in Portland, Oregon, Harold grew up to be an agent with the U.S. Border Patrol and a World War II B17 gunner in the Army Air Corps. While those jobs resonated little as viable long-term career choices, Harold did marry Shirley, his civilian gunnery instructor. Once out of the Corps, they attended the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, graduated in 1955, and worked in Native American missions in Alaska and among the Quinault Indians of Washington. They obtained temporary teaching credentials and Harold, or “Mr. Pat” as he was known, taught fifth and sixth grades. Promoted to principal, then superintendent among the Quinaults, he earned an undergraduate degree from SPU and a master’s degree in Indian education from the University of Washington. By 1972, he was associate supervisor of Indian education for the state and adopted by the Quinault people. His tribal name, KEmkEn is the Quinault word for salmon. Retired in 1982, Harold worked for the state on special projects for the Quinault Tribe, including the revival of the Quinault language by committing it to writing, creation of a Quinault dictionary, and organizing classes to teach the written language in school and in the community. His life among the Quinault people spanned nearly 60 years. He officiated at many an Indian funeral, deftly rendering the old chants and prayers with fidelity. Harold is survived by two sons; two grandchildren; and three foster children.
MAYNOR REED ’51 died June 27, 2013, at the age of 83. Born in Everett, Washington, Maynor earned a graduate degree from Multnomah School of the Bible to go with an undergraduate degree from Seattle Pacific College. He parlayed both into ordination and became pastor of Bethel Baptist Church of Everett. He married a fellow Multnomah graduate and together they served churches in California, Oregon, and Washington. Maynor pastored Grace Baptist Church of Napa, California, for 21 years. In his last 13 years of ministry, he was executive minister for the Northern California Baptist Conference. After retirement, Maynor and his wife became active members of the West Valley Community Church of Hillsboro, Oregon. He is survived by his wife of 57 years; a son; two daughters, including RENE REED MASON ’83; and nine grandchildren.
ELIZABETH “BETTY” GUSTAFSON ROTTA ’58 died May 7, 2013, at the age of 75. Born in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, China, Betty was the only child of TEAM missionaries Reuben and Esther Gustafson, and she was also the granddaughter of pioneer missionaries to China in 1890. Years of war, famine, and political revolution made Betty’s childhood a difficult one. The family ministered in other parts of Asia. In Taiwan, she taught English over the radio and as a teen worked among a former head hunting tribe. She attended boarding schools in China and India, and an American military school in Japan. She was fluent in both Chinese and English, and could speak Swedish and Japanese. It was at Seattle Pacific College that Betty met BOB ROTTA ’65 and they were married. She raised three children, volunteered with charitable organizations, and spoke to many Christian and civic groups. She and Bob enjoyed travel, their family, and faith in the Lord. Betty and Bob were married nearly 55 years and died when the SUV in which they were passengers was hit broadside by a transit bus. They are survived by two sons; a daughter; and 13 grandchildren.
ROBERT “BOB” ROTTA ’65 died May 6, 2013, at the age of 76. Born in Seattle, Bob enjoyed the outdoors and was a dedicated Boy Scout who earned the top rank of Eagle Scout as a teenager. He received a degree in microbiology from Seattle Pacific College and joined the Naval Air Reserves for an eight-year stint. Following the service, the hardworking Bob took the position of health inspector for the entire Olympic Peninsula region. Moving with his wife, BETTY (see above), and their three children back to Seattle, he took a job with the family business, Rotta Sheet Metal Inc., for 20 years, followed by work as an estimator for Boeing for another 20 years. Bob liked to hike, garden, and volunteer for numerous church ministries, including singing in church choirs. In addition to the couple’s survivors mentioned above, Bob is survived by a brother.
JOSEPH WALLA ’44 died September 5, 2013, at the age of 99. Born in a farmhouse near Arnegard, North Dakota, Joseph was the third of seven children. As a young man, he sang first tenor in a quartet that traveled the country in the summers from 1935 to 1941. They sang at church concerts and on radio’s “The Lutheran Hour” to help pay for college, and one fall presented concerts in Denmark, England, and Norway. Joseph attended Augsburg College and Seattle Pacific College, graduating with an undergraduate degree from Lutheran Brethren Seminary. Ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, he and his wife, Alice, became missionaries in Colombia. Back in the U.S., he served as pastor of churches in Montana, North Dakota, and Washington. He is survived by many nieces and nephews.
RONALD WILKOWSKI ’56 died March 20, 2013, at the age of 79. Ronald earned an undergraduate degree in sociology from Seattle Pacific College and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Southern California. He returned to Seattle Pacific to establish a program in social work and taught classes in the subject from 1964 to 1972. He retired from a career as a marriage and family counselor in 1991. In retirement, he continued volunteer activities until his sudden death from pneumonia. He is survived by his wife, PATRICIA YOUNG WILKOWSKI ’58; three sons; six grandchildren; and a sister.
WILLARD ALAN “AL” WILLETT CC ’60 died May 3, 2013, at the age of 78. Born in The Dalles, Oregon, Al was the youngest of six brothers. He was brought up in a rural area where summer fun was hitchhiking 20 miles to the fair, sleeping in a barn, and hitchhiking back. Gifted with a beautiful baritone singing voice, he developed a love for the opera that made more tolerable long days astride a bumpy tractor seat working an employer’s crops. Al served as a naval aviator in the Korean War and at the time of his honorable discharge had obtained the rank of lieutenant commander. He taught a little music, earned a master’s degree in counseling, and was working on a doctorate when he heard that Pan American Airways was hiring pilots. Al applied and spent more than 20 years with the commercial airline. The income allowed him to purchase acreage outside Newburg, Oregon, where he raised Morgan horses. A leader of 4-H, he liked to take road trips to visit other ranchers, was deeply involved with the Pacific Northwest Morgan Horse Association, and rode several years with the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse. Al is survived by a son; two daughters; three grandsons; and two great-grandchildren.