Footnotes: In Memoriam
VIDA SMITH BELARDI ’50 died February 27, 2013, at the age of 87. Born in Dodge Center, Minnesota, she came to Seattle Pacific with a liberal arts degree from Roberts Wesleyan Junior College. At SPC, she earned a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in history, graduating magna cum laude. She went on to the University of Minnesota and earned an undergraduate degree in education and a secondary reading certification. Vida taught high school English and history for 26 years. She directed class plays, coached declamation, and implemented a developmental reading program. In retirement, she taught two years at Taiwan Adventist College and one year at an Adventist school in the town of her birth. A devout Christian, Vida loved to memorize Scripture and was a gifted letter writer. In the Seventh Day Adventist Church, she taught adult classes, directed plays, and spoke at women’s prayer luncheons. She is survived by three children, six grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.
JULIE BOBLET BLASWICH ’06 died March 7, 2013, at the age of 70. Though born in Spokane, Washington, she lived west of the Cascade Mountains most of her life. Julie obtained nursing degrees from Columbia Basin College and SPU. She worked for several years as a nurse and certified medical case manager, including RN case manager at a Navy hospital. Julie is survived by four sons, four grandchildren, and two sisters.
ROBERT “BOB” DIXON ’49 died January 28, 2013, at the age of 85. Born in Ontario, California, he served as a U.S. Navy photographer and earned a master’s degree in science from the University of Wisconsin. Married, with two daughters, he taught high school mathematics, photography, and astronomy, and served as math coordinator for the city schools in Riverside, California. In 1964, he was hired to teach math astronomy, physics, and data processing at Riverside City College. Bob designed and taught the astronomy course in what is now called the Robert T. Dixon Planetarium. He wrote nine textbooks on astronomy, physical science, and physics, and gave hundreds of public and children’s lectures, including “The Christmas Star” and “How Big Is Big?” He and his wife, Marian, led 17 European tours for high school students and adults. Nearing retirement, Bob became an adjunct instructor at SPU and in local community colleges for 12 more years, totaling 50 years in the classroom. Active in the Baptist Church, he served as an elder and on various committees, and was always quick to state the importance of Jesus Christ in his life. Bob is survived by three daughters, including ELEANOR DIXON HARVEY ’74 and KRISTEN DIXON ROGNALDSON ’86; a son, BRIAN DIXON ’82; and nine grandchildren.
RONALD MESSEMER ’59 died February 8, 2013, at the age of 79. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, he came to SPU for a degree in history before earning his Indiana State Teacher’s License in secondary education from Butler University. He taught history for two years at a technical high school, then became an assistant professor in the Department of Supervision, School of Technology, Purdue University, Indianapolis. While at Purdue, Ronald was given the key to the City of Louisville for his management consulting work throughout the greater Louisville, Kentucky area. From 1978 until his retirement in 1995, he owned and managed RJM Associates, providers of management training and development programs to more than 80 companies and organizations throughout the US. Ronald, a devoted member of the Baptist Church, is survived by Artie, his wife of 58 years; a son; a granddaughter; and a brother.
A Charming Advocate
Businessman Championed Student Scholarships
For a man with the leadership qualities and civic prominence of George Guy, his legacy is much broader: humble husband, devoted family man, and persistent recruiter of 2,000 advocates for student scholarships into the donor recognition society known
as the Seattle Pacific University Society of Fellows (now the President’s Circle). George, third generation principal owner of
G.O. Guy drugstores in the Puget Sound region, died on January
22, 2013, at the age of 89.
A graduate of Seattle’s Queen Anne High School, he earned a pharmacology degree from the University of Washington. George served as an ensign in
the U.S. Navy and skipper of a landing craft that saw action in the Pacific theater during World War II. He devoted 40 years to the family pharmacy, and then for 18 years beginning in 1980, he served as director of the SPU Fellows, urging business leaders, alumni, and other constituents to come aboard in support of scholarships.
George promoted the University with great optimism and energy, so much so that during
his tenure, the Fellows were inspired to give $40 million.
He and Marjorie Guy, his wife of 64 years, traveled to more than 60 countries, but when they were home, many, including his SPU Development Office co-workers, enjoyed their cheerful hospitality. Charming, humorous, and a longtime Rotarian, George was a Christian gentleman and a member of the Queen Anne United Methodist Church.
He is survived by his wife; four sons, including Douglas Guy ’74; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. CLINT KELLY
LOWELL “MIKE” MIKKELSON ’52 died May 16, 2012, at the age of 82. Born on a farm in Freeman, South Dakota, he moved with his family to Salem, Oregon, when he was 7. Two years after she graduated, Mike married classmate RHOMA COLLETT ’51. For 10 years he taught and coached in high schools and a junior college in Oregon and Washington. After moving back to Salem in 1962, he became a partner with his brother in Mike’s Septic Service. Committed to the congregation at Salem First Church of the Nazarene, Mike served in leadership including 31 years teaching teens and young adults. He liked to play basketball and snow ski, which he did until his 80th birthday. A positive man of considerable warmth, Mike is survived by his wife, four daughters, 13 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren; and a brother.
RILEY LIVINGSTON ’90 died December 19, 2012, at the age of 44. Born in Great Falls, Montana, he majored in exercise physiology and corporate fitness at Seattle Pacific. He founded and ran several businesses, including Biogenesis, Zip-Fizz Corporation, and Innova Nutrition Corporation. A member of the Presbyterian Church, Riley enjoyed weightlifting, marital arts, and swimming. A man of energy and generosity, he built his companies in response to his commitment to health and fitness for all, and was a supporter of student scholarships at SPU. Riley is survived by his former wife, Gina; fiancée Chanelle; four children; his parents; and a brother.
KATHLEEN “KATHY” FILAN VAN VALIN ’54 died January 7, 2013, at the age of 80. Born in Santa Rosa, California, she lived on a wheat farm in Eastern Washington as a girl. While she was at Seattle Pacific, she met HAROLD VAN VALIN (deceased) and in 1955, they married. Kathy, known for her kindness and Christian spirit, taught elementary school periodically, supervised student teachers at SPU, and raised three children. She is survived by three children, seven grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and a brother.
Barbara Shaw Made Students Feel at Home
A devoted friend to Seattle Pacific University died on January 18, 2013. Though Barbara Shaw, wife of Professor Emeritus of Biology Ross Shaw ’52, lost her battle with cancer, warm memories of her endure.
Many of those memories were forged at Blakely Island Field Station during Ross’ tenure as director. Ross and Barbara labored together in developing the Field Station and its environmental
and physical science programs. Barbara managed the budget, provided food service, and planned group arrangements for use of the island campus. Her reputation as a cook and baker of cookies lingers in the hearts of many grateful students and faculty members.
Mike Hoggarth ’77 and his wife, Karen Cook-Hoggarth ’78, liken it to being “with mom while we were away from home on our Christmas break.” The Hoggarths established an endowment to honor the Shaws. The Ross and Barbara Shaw Endowment supports scholarships for students from any institution who wish to take courses at the Field Station.
As a couple, the Shaws established the Winifred E. Weter Annual Faculty Award Lecture for Meritorious Scholarship to honor the professor emerita of classics whose teaching career
at SPU spanned 40 years. For the past 38 years, the Weter Lecture has provided a public
platform for the claims of the liberal arts in the Christian university.
Barbara leaves a legacy as Ross’ constant partner, faithful friend of students, and generous member of the Honor Roll of Donors. She is survived by her husband; a daughter, Kim Shaw Ward ’80; three sons, including Franklin Shaw ’77; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. CLINT KELLY
ROBERT WHITED ’57 died February 8, 2013, at the age of 89. Born in Lincoln, Nebraska, he grew up in Sunnyside, Washington. Decorated for military service, Robert served in the U.S. Coast Guard and in the Korean War. He left the service, graduated from Seattle Pacific, and earned a master’s degree in divinity from Grace Theological Seminary. He was pastor of several Grace Brethren churches, including the one in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Robert is survived by his wife, four daughters, nine grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and two sisters.
JOHN WOODYARD, former SPU development officer, died March 13, 2013, at the age of 80. Born and raised in California’s San Fernando Valley, he committed his life to Jesus Christ as a teenager and spent much of his adult life sharing the gospel with young people through Young Life and other youth ministries. He was a development officer for Sterling College in Kansas and for Seattle Pacific. He moved on to the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, which, among other things, provides grants for educational enterprises that include SPU. John is survived by Sally, his wife of nearly 20 years; three children; and 14 grandchildren.