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Footnotes: In Memoriam

MARGARET KATHLEEN “KAY” MACDERMID BARTHOLOMEW ’62 died March 30, 2014, at the age of 91. Born in Spokane, Washington, Kay moved with her family to a farm in Ontario, Canada, that had been in the family for generations. At the age of 20, after graduating Ottawa Normal School, she taught in a one-room rural schoolhouse with 18 students and at least one student in every grade. The annual salary was $700 and her duties included cleaning the school, keeping the woodstove alight, and shoveling snow. Following Kay’s marriage to Gerald Bartholomew in 1955, the couple moved with their three children to Shoreline, Washington. Five years later, after completing her studies at Seattle Pacific, she began a new teaching career that spanned the next 22 years. She was named the 1971 Shoreline School District Teacher of the Year, and in 1972, the Washington State Teacher of the Year. As a finalist for National Teacher of the Year, Kay enjoyed a reception on the White House lawn with First Lady Pat Nixon. A charter member of Calvin Presbyterian Church, she devoted herself to teaching Sunday school and positions of deacon, elder, Sunday school superintendent, and commissioner to the Puget Sound Presbytery. Kay’s community-mindedness included service as a precinct chair, helping with numerous political campaigns, and co-founding the Shoreline Historical Museum. She was preceded in death by her husband and is survived by her children, eight grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and three sisters.

RUTH GREENE BEECHICK ’47 died November 27, 2013, at the age of 88. Her deep faith and adventurous spirit created an eventful life. As a young girl, she committed her life to God while singing the hymn, “Living for Jesus.” With a degree in music from Seattle Pacific, she went on to Arizona State University for a master’s degree and a doctorate in education. Her first teaching job was in rugged rural Alaska. She married an Alaskan named Paul Beechick and together they built a first home on their Lazy Mountain homestead outside Palmer, Alaska. Ruth hunted sheep, climbed mountains, canoed the Yukon River, and studied how people learn. Along the way — as a classroom teacher, mother of two, and a curriculum editor and writer — she saw the earliest days of the homeschooling movement and shared teaching insights and practical advice with homeschoolers through her books and convention workshops. She later moved to a mountain home in Golden, Colorado, where she continued writing and publishing. Dozens of her books remain in print and offer phonics foundations, moral growth, and rich vocabulary. Ruth is survived by two sons, including ANDREW BEECHICK ’74; four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and two sisters.

WILFRED BRAITHWAITE ’62 died December 22, 2013, at the age of 73. A physics major with honors at Seattle Pacific, he went on to earn a master’s degree and a doctorate in physics from the University of Washington. Wilfred taught physics at a number of institutions over his career, including Princeton University; the University of Texas, Austin; and in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock. At the time of his death, he was a professor emeritus of physics at UALR. A member of the New York Academy of Science, he was a guest physicist at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York and a visiting staff member at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Wilfred’s research was multifaceted and included science education, microwave refrigeration, and examining models for slowing aging. He is survived by his wife, Wanda.

ZACHARY “ZACH” CARLSON ’08 died April 28, 2014, at the age of 28. Born in Greeley, Colorado, he grew up in Loveland, Colorado. A strong Christian, gifted writer, and avid reader, Zach majored in English at SPU and graduated magna cum laude. After graduation, he returned to Colorado to work at Group Publishing, a publisher of ministry resources for Christian churches. Two years later he returned to Seattle to live and worked at Expedia, the online travel agency. Zach enjoyed running, bicycling, hiking, kayaking, and board games with friends. He attended Mars Hill Church and was especially close to both his grandfathers. Zach is survived by his parents, a brother, and two sisters.


Man of Many Languages

Professor Reveled in Russian

Frank Leddusire '56A great mind and humble scholar, Frank Leddusire ’56 died February 5, 2014. The former Free Methodist pastor and Seattle Pacific University professor emeritus of linguistics, Russian, and religion, contributed to the European Studies program, directed European Quarter, and facilitated many collegiate poetry readings.

“Any SPU student who missed taking a class with him shortchanged themselves mightily,” says one former student. ”He introduced me to the Desert Fathers, Turgenev, and Eastern Orthodoxy,” says another. “But what I am most grateful for is that he showed up for the presentation of my senior European Studies Symposium.”

Frank was a caring and passionate man, a true “old-school gentleman” who spoke, thought, and felt in 10 languages. One student came to him to study Russian because Frank’s program was for a time the only ongoing Russian language program in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Others gravitated to him for his ability to speak German, French, Spanish, and Chinese. The span of his understanding encompassed language, literature, history, theology, philosophy, and astronomy.

At the same time, he never lost sight of his or his students’ humanity. “I still remember the first time I heard him speak when I was a student,” says Don Peter ’74, SPU associate professor of electrical engineering. “To help us remember how to pronounce his name, he encouraged us to think of it as ‘Lettuce-Ear.’ That told me a lot about the man.”

Russian language major Shannon Rise 󈨦 says her professor was a prime example of integrated faith and learning. “To practice speaking the language with us, he used Bible stories and discussed the love of Christ in Russian.”

Frank, who earned a master’s degree in divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary and a doctoral degree from the University of Washington, recently completed a novel titled Mars Alive and is survived by two sons; two daughters, including Cindy Leddusire Kaufman ’86; 11 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.



ROBERT LEE ’68 died April 5, 2014, at the age of 67. In his 38-year career in education, he served the Seattle Public Schools in a variety of roles, including math teacher, baseball coach, and multicultural diversity specialist. He believed in what he called the four D’s: devotion, determination, dedication, and discipline. As a pro scout for the Cincinnati Reds, he encouraged many young men to be good human beings whether or not they were picked for the team. Fondly known as “Bubba Louie” to his ball players, Robert possessed a rich, deep laugh and welcomed all who knew him with open arms. An active community member, he was faithful at Seattle’s Mt. Zion Baptist Church and Miller Community Center. He is survived by his wife, Lilna; four daughters; and many family members, friends, and students who cherish his memory.

LINDSEY BROBECK OZMENT ’79 died March 4, 2014, at the age of 65. A graduate of Seattle’s Lincoln High School, she majored in nursing at Seattle Pacific. Lindsey is survived by her husband, Ron; a son; a daughter; and two granddaughters.


Queen of the Keys

Pianist Inspired a Generation of Students

Marcile MackMarcile Mack built a strong piano program at Seattle Pacific University. And whether playing Chopin’s Mazurka in C sharp minor or Gershwin’s “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess, the instructor of music was always in command of the keyboard and the hearts of her audience. “She was perfection in every sense,” says faculty colleague and friend Annalee Oakes.

On February 21, 2014, Marcile died at the age of 94.

Colleagues campuswide called her friend and admired her wisdom, strong faith, sense of humor, and musical talents. “She was a woman who could make a piano ‘talk,’” says Ruby Englund, professor emerita of nursing. “Her ability to play softly with intensity was but one of her rare talents,” adds Vernon Wicker, professor emeritus of music.

Also the former dean of the School of Fine and Performing Arts and Professor of the Year (1981), Marcile served SPU for 35 years (1955–90). Her husband, Philip Mack, who died in 1993, was Seattle Pacific choir director and a professor of music.

“We appreciate all Marcile’s love and devotion to students, her deep faith walk that inspired them to reach their potentials, and just plain good sense to know when students should put on a little more steam before backing away from a practice session,” says Annalee, whose daughter received Marcile’s unwavering support in pursuing a musical career.

Marcile, who held a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in music from Cleveland Institute of Music, inspired young women of the ’60s and ’70s to fully realize their limitless opportunities. Even after officially retiring, she continued to teach piano at SPU.

A woman who loved her chocolates and to engage in word-play, Marcile was predeceased by her husband and twin daughters, Kathryn and Karen. She is survived by a son, Steve.



CAROLE POLTZ ’58 died March 27, 2014, at the age of 80. Born in Glendale, California, she later joined the U.S. Navy and as a communications technician was stationed on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Because of the top secret nature of the information she transmitted, Carole received a heavy-duty background check and subsequent security clearance. She wasn’t the only one who knew her way around sensitive information. Zane Poltz’s best friend was assistant to the chaplain and able to discover Carole’s name for navy man Zane. At a holiday dance on base, he cut in on Carole’s dance partner and six months later, they married in a World War II Quonset hut that doubled as a chapel. After their discharge from the service, the couple attended Seattle Pacific. ZANE POLTZ graduated in 1958, but Carole had a baby to care for and stopped one quarter shy of graduation. She was a great cook and good with numbers, keeping the books for two family businesses, Crown Furniture and Poltz Rentals in Wenatchee, Washington. Her harmonies blessed her church and for several years, the Sweet Adelines women’s chorus. A member of the Wenatchee Valley Lions Club and club secretary for 15 years, Carole enjoyed camaraderie and community service. She enjoyed reading, crossword puzzles, pinochle, and sailing on Lake Chelan. To the end she attended a weekly women’s Bible study and used Facebook to keep up with family members and friends. Carole is survived by her husband of 61 years, two children, five grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

ROBERT “BOB” RIGGS ’56 died February 27, 2014, at the age of 79. A passionate community booster and dedicated educator, he served as the mayor of Redmond, Oregon, from 1984 to 1993. He was also a councilman, principal of Redmond High School, and for more than 30 years the small business owner of the Oregon Teaching Center. Language was his first love and the Center continues to publish teacher training strategies and other instructional materials. Bob’s success at Seattle Pacific was capped his senior year when he and his debate partner won the National Collegiate Debate Championships over teams from Harvard and Yale. He married SPC sweetheart VIRGINIA HANSEN RIGGS, a cellist who went on to become the longest-running member of the Central Oregon Symphony. She died in 2009. Bob, who directed the choir at Redmond Presbyterian Church, is survived by his second wife, Gloria; a son; and a daughter.


A Woman of Joy

Carol Martin’s Sunny Side Blessed Others

Carol Martin

Whether in the cab of an excavator helping break ground for the SPU Library or shopping for just the right gifts for family and friends, Carol Martin’s joy wreathed her face and proceeded from a grateful and generous heart. She died on March 23, 2014, at the age of 79.

Born on a homestead near Braddock, North Dakota, Carol was for 61 years the beloved wife of former SPU President Curtis Martin ’55, LLD ’94. She loved music and could express it on piano, organ, and accordion. For decades her days began by walking one of her poodles and spreading a sunny disposition all over the neighborhood, earning the honorary title of “Officer Friendly.”

Her family remembers her vibrant Christian faith, and how loving devotion to them was its natural outflow. She was their best agate finder, salmon fisher, puzzle solver, and berry picker. She prayed for her children and grandchildren every day, and wore many hats while serving as pastor’s wife, professor’s wife, Middle East tour leader, and First Lady of the University.

“Carol noticed and appreciated the smallest of details and always had a kind and encouraging word for everyone with whom she came into contact,” says friend Karen Jacobson, SPU’s executive assistant to the president. “She was down-to-earth, upbeat, and generous with her time and resources. She was a loving mother and a wonderful support to Curtis, especially during his years as president.”

After suffering a stroke in 2007, Carol battled a number of complications with the help of nursing staff at Warm Beach Senior Community’s Health Care Center. Her husband walked over several times each day from their home at Warm Beach to visit and assist in her care.

Carol is survived by her husband, Curtis; three children, Sharon Martin Phillips ‘79, Jeffrey Martin ‘82, and Andrew Martin ‘88; six grandchildren, including Curtis Phillips ‘09, Paul Martin ‘12, and SPU junior Jennifer Martin.



C. DWIGHT ROBINSON ’64, ’69 MED, died November 2, 2013, at the age of 70. Born in Tacoma, Washington, he was raised on a farm near Roy, Washington, with two brothers and a sister. Early on, he demonstrated a love of music and played both piano and trombone, and was a veteran of Salvation Army band camps. His high school valedictorian, Dwight married ANNE WESTMORELAND ROBINSON, and both became teachers in Sitka, Alaska. Upon return to Washington, they taught in a number of school districts. After getting his Ph.D. from Walden University, Dwight taught at several community colleges before spending 15 years supervising student teachers from Western Washington University. While a member and Sunday school teacher at Cross and Crown Lutheran Church for many years, he remained active in the Salvation Army and worked for several youth camps. Dwight greatly enjoyed photography and was a gifted writer and author of poems. He published magazine articles on tug boats, canoes in Canada, early radio, feeding the homeless, and Christian devotionals. In September, Dwight and Anne celebrated 50 years of marriage. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, three grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.

RAYMOND “RAY” SHEPARDSON ’67 died April 14, 2014, at the age of 70. Raised on a dairy farm in Monroe, Washington, he first considered theological studies at Seattle Pacific before settling on sociology. While employed with the Cleveland Board of Education and looking for a suitable meeting space, he discovered four historic theatres that were slated for demolition. Ray could not bear to see them destroyed and quit his job to save them. He believed their revival would transform downtown Cleveland. He wrangled grant money and produced shows. He enlisted famous performers such as Tony Bennett, Count Basie, and Shirley MacLaine. It took all his powers of persuasion over the next seven years at 200-300 live performances per year to restore those four theatres to their former glory. The result was PlayhouseSquare Center, the nation’s second largest performing arts center. Ray went on to restore other theatres in major cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, and Atlanta, and to consult on more than 35 major theatre restorations across the country. One of the projects was the $20 million restoration of Seattle’s Paramount Theatre. In the pursuit of his passion, he became the highest paid theatre restoration expert in America. Ray is survived by his wife, Nanette; a son; and a granddaughter.

DON STERN ’63 died March 2, 2014, at the age of 72. Born in Spokane, Washington, he was raised a farm boy and went on to major in music education at Seattle Pacific. He married fellow student and A Cappella Choir member, DONNA KOSANKE STERN ’65. Don taught junior high choral music in Puyallup, Washington, and directed the Puyallup Teachers Chorus to fund student scholarships. At Wilson Junior High School in Yakima, Washington, he was a classroom teacher and coached a variety of school sports. A devoted church leader, Don directed a Baptist church choir, a Presbyterian church orchestra, and was the minister of music at Seattle’s Westside Church for 21 years. He was assistant to the vice president of International Renewal Ministries at Multnomah Bible College in Portland, Oregon. Don is survived by his wife, two daughters, four grandchildren, a brother, and a sister.

GERALD “JERRY” STEWART ’51 died March 13, 2014, at the age of 88. Born in Arcata, California, he and his family weathered the Depression by living with his grandmother on a farm in rural Washington. He worked the Seattle/Tacoma shipyards and later joined the U.S. Navy and became an aviation machinist’s mate. While in the service, he learned that his brother had died in a marine invasion of the Gilbert Islands. Gerald returned home, majored in physics at Seattle Pacific and built a home with his wife AUDREY STEWART ’48, whom he had met at church camp. His second child was born during Jerry’s final calculus exam. After working a variety of jobs, including egg candler and motorcycle delivery boy, he went to work for the National Bureau of Standards in Corona, California, in the guided missile division. He retired in 1980 after advancing to head of the data automation department. Jerry, possessed of great kindness and humor, was active in church, served on the Corona Public Library Board, and was a troop leader and helped train new troop leaders for the Boy Scouts. An insightful writer and prolific poet, he also enjoyed baking bread, making pasta, and pickling sauerkraut. He even knew his way around quilting. Jerry is survived by his wife of 68 years, four children, six grandchildren, a great-granddaughter, and a sister.

ROBERT SUMNER ’89 died August 10, 2013, at the age of 51. Born in Oil City, Pennsylvania, he majored in computer science at SPU and became a systems analyst who enjoyed a good game of golf. He is survived by his wife, two sons, two daughters, two grandchildren, and his mother.

SYLVIA WELWOOD VAN TASSEL ’67 died February 3, 2014, at the age of 72. So compelled to educate others that she began teaching Sunday school at the age of 12, she went on to teach elementary school in Alberta, Canada, and Kentucky, English in China, and the Bible to many kids in many places. Sylvia and her husband, LOREN VAN TASSEL ’60 CC, served with the Free Methodist Mission in Hong Kong for 23 years. She gathered teen girls and young adult women and instructed them in the finer points of using visuals, such as “felt-o-gram” illustrations, for leading children’s Sunday school classes. She organized after-school Bible clubs and directed Vacation Bible Schools in Hong Kong for 350 children and 50 teachers.