In memoriam: Obituaries for alumni
Phyllis French Bollman ’49 died September 10, 2018, at the age of 89. Born in Omaha, Nebraska, she grew up in Iowa and Oregon. The daughter of a minister, Phyllis and her sister sang gospel songs while their father preached on a Saturday radio program. Married to Thayne Bollman in 1951, Phyllis and he moved to Seattle in 1960 with their children. Phyllis was a talented seamstress and enjoyed bowling on local leagues, even competing at the national bowling finals in Reno, Nevada. After the family moved to Troy, Idaho, in 1971, she worked as the head cook for the Troy School District until her retirement in 1978. Over the years, Phyllis sang in church choirs, taught Sunday School, and participated in Bible studies. She was a member of Trinity Baptist Church in Moscow, Idaho. Phyllis is survived by a daughter, four sons, 12 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren.
Wayne Leroy Bouck ’62 died February 26, 2018, at the age of 83. Born and raised in Grand Ledge, Michigan, Wayne served four years of enlisted service in the U.S. Navy during and following the Korean War before he attended Seattle Pacific College. He then received an MDiv from Asbury Theological Seminary and a master’s degree in counseling from Chapman University. Ordained with the Pacific Northwest Conference of the Free Methodist Church, he later moved his credentials to the United Methodist Church. During 23 years in the naval chaplaincy, Wayne served aboard ships and at shore stations throughout the Pacific. An accomplished vocalist and 12-string guitarist, he was known in the Navy as the “singing chaplain.” He retired in 1991 with the rank of commander. Following retirement, Wayne worked as a pastor until his second retirement in 1997, when he and his wife, Bienvenide, moved to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. There, they served with an interdenominational English-speaking community church under Christian Resort Ministries Inc. Wayne is survived by his wife, six children, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Hope Hendrickson Bulgin ’68 died January 1, 2018, at the age of 70. Born and raised in Longview, Washington, Hope met Bud Bulgin ’68 at Seattle Pacific College and married in 1967. After moving to Salem, Hope taught at Chemawa Indian School and later at Faye Wright Elementary and Salem Academy. She also served with Bud in ministry at Salem First Church of the Nazarene and sold real estate. Part of her lasting legacy is the Hearts at Home program for young moms at Salem Alliance Church, which she started in 1988. In everything she did, Hope loved and encouraged others. Hope is survived by her husband, a son and daughter, five grandchildren, and four siblings.
Gordon Christensen ’44 died April 6, 2018, at the age of 92. Born in Seattle, Gordon’s time at Seattle Pacific College was interrupted by polio during his sophomore year. He did not return to SPC, but instead attended North Park University and North Park Theological Seminary. After graduating and being ordained in 1950, he sailed to the Democratic Republic of Congo, then a Belgian colony. He married fellow missionary Geneva Noren in Kinshasa. They served as missionaries for more than 40 years, planting churches and teaching at the Free Church/Covenant Bible Institute. A prolific writer, Gordon produced booklets on the Christian life, and at the request of the Church of the Ubangi-Mongala, he and Geneva wrote Mai na Bomoi (Living Water), a three-volume commentary in Lingala on the New Testament, which has been used in many Bible schools. They retired in 1991. Gordon is survived by his wife, two daughters, a son, and five grandchildren.
Gregory Fish ’71 CC died December 18, 2017, at the age of 68. Born in Salem, Oregon, he attended Cascade College and Portland State University. Greg served in Naval Intelligence during the Vietnam War and worked in the forestry service and the Oregon State Police. He built homes and owned Ryerson Hardwood Floors in Portland for 35 years. After retirement, he drove school buses for Salem-Keizer Schools and was as a medical transport driver for Willamette Valley Transport. Greg was a devoted, hardworking, and loving husband, father, brother, and son. He was an active member of Salem First Church of the Nazarene and had been member/chaplain of the Christian Motorcycle Association. He loved to fly his Taylor Craft airplane, as well as ride his motorcycle on a sunny day. He enjoyed fishing and boating with friends and family, and taking his daughters camping. Gregory is survived by his wife and daughters.
DONALD “DON” C. FISHER ’57 died March 12, 2018 at the age of 82. Born in Colville, Washington, Don was the sixth child of Rev. J. Franklin Fisher and Dorcas Olive Ramsey, and raised in Free Methodist parsonages in Idaho, Washington, and California. On the morning of June 10, 1957, Don graduated from Seattle Pacific College, and that evening married NANETTE “NAN” HUNT ’56. He then attended Harvard Divinity School before earning a master of divinity from New York Theological Seminary. An ordained Methodist minister, he was a pastor in New York, New Jersey, Washington, and California from 1958 through 1967. Always gregarious, Don’s favorite aspect of the ministry was counseling, and in 1971 he earned his doctorate from University of Southern California. He practiced psychology in Manhattan Beach, California, for nearly 20 years before founding Park Place Realty in Wrightwood in 1990. An avid bird-watcher, in retirement he lived across the street from Big Morongo Canyon Preserve, where he excavated elaborate ponds and delighted in the variety of birds he could attract. Don is survived by Nan, his wife of 60 years, a son, two daughters, three grandchildren, and sister MARY LU FISHER VOGT ’56.
Pamela Jo Griffiths ’84 died August 28, 2018, at the age of 65. Born in Wichita, Kansas, she attended the University of Washington, Bellevue College, and Seattle Pacific College, where she received a BS in nursing and master’s in hospital administration. Pamela worked at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, as well as Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee, for more than 30 years as the director of Nursing Services for Surgery, Recovery, and Central Services. There she played a key role in the development of the heart surgery room. Pam’s favorite place was their home and orchard in Cashmere, Washington, where she and her husband, Kelly, raised two sons. Pam also loved sports, swimming, water skiing, and snow skiing. She was a fervent fan of the sports her sons played and attended all their games. She is survived by her husband of 31 years, Kelly; sons, two grandsons, and a sister.
Merrilee Adams Gomoll ’65 died July 13, 2018, at the age of 74. Born and raised in Longview, Washington, she graduated with an AA degree from Lower Columbia College and transferred to Seattle Pacific College, completing a BA in elementary education and political science. At SPC, she met the love of her life, EDWARD “Larry” Gomoll ’66, and they married the same weekend they graduated. Soon, they signed a two-year contract to teach in Guam, where they stayed for 15 years. During that time, Merrilee taught kindergarten and first grade and had two sons. In 1981, the family moved to Saudi Arabia, where Larry taught for a large oil company over the next 19 years. Once there, they traveled and led more than 75 trips, visiting more than 80 countries. In 2000, they returned to the States and settled in Great Falls, Montana. They continued traveling and visited every state except Alaska. Merrilee is survived by Larry, two sons, three grandchildren, a sister, and many nieces and nephews.
Margaret Palmquist Grant ’50 died June 10, 2018, at the age of 91. Born in Chicago, Margaret was well known for her dramatic readings and sermons across Chicago by the time she was 14. She graduated from Chicago Evangelistic Institute, where she met Rev. Willard Edwin Grant ’50, the son of missionaries in China. They married in 1945. After attending Seattle Pacific College and North Park Theological Seminary, they formed Creative Evangelism Inc., a national evangelistic ministry geared to children. They also ministered in Canada and Asia. They were known for illustrating Bible stories through music, storytelling, and art. With their handmade wooden marionettes, they performed in front of groups numbering from a few hundred to 5,000 children at time. After 40 years of a travelling ministry, the couple retired to Covenant Village in Turlock, where they ministered locally. They were also involved in the Turlock Skandi Fest and assisted the Friends of International Students at California State University Stanislaus. After Willard’s passing in 2002, Margaret helped with Covenant Village and Turlock Covenant Church programming and ministries, in addition to other community outreach ministries. She is survived by one daughter, three grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.
Evelyn Mardock Harriman ’47 CC died April 23, 2018, at the age of 93. Born in Gridley, California, Evelyn attended Cascade College and married fellow student Harold Harriman ’46 CC in 1945. They served with World Gospel Mission in Bolivia for 39 years and in Paraguay for three years. She is survived by Harold, her husband of 72 years, five children, 14 grandchildren, and 25 great-grandchildren.
Howard Hornby ’65 died December 22, 2017, at the age of 78. Born in Red Deer, Alberta in Canada, Howard attended Mountain View Bible College in Didsbury, Alberta, before coming to Seattle Pacific College. He also received an MDiv from Western Evangelical Seminary in Portland, Oregon. In the years to follow, he served as a pastor and professor in Alberta, Oregon, and California before retiring to Edmonton, Alberta. Howard is survived by his five children, nine grandchildren, a great-grandchild, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
J. Gilbert “Gil” Koller ’48 died April 8, 2018, at the age of 96. The 10th of 13 children, Gil was born on a wheat farm 20 miles from Pomeroy, Washington. He briefly attended Washington State College (now WSU) in Pullman, but when WWII began, Gil enlisted in the Army Air Corps, where he earned his wings and commissioned a second lieutenant. For three years, he piloted a B-24 in the Pacific Theater, leading a crew of 10. After the war, Gil attended Seattle Pacific College, where he played basketball and baseball, graduating with honors. While at SPC, Gil met Helen Dimmitt Koller ’47 and they married in 1947. He earned a second degree and his teaching certificate at the University of Washington and later earned a master’s degree at Columbia University. Gil taught high school for almost 40 years, first at Lincoln School and then Ingraham High School in Seattle, retiring in 1989. Gil loved classical music and opera; he was an avid golfer, mountain climber, runner, and gardener. He ran five marathons, including the Berlin Marathon at age 70. In retirement, Gil and Helen traveled across the U.S. and Europe. He and Helen were members of First Free Methodist Church in Seattle for over 40 years. Gil was preceded in death by Helen earlier this year, after more than 70 years of marriage. He is survived by a son, daughter, brother, and three grandchildren.
Susan McMullen Josten ’71, MS ’99 died February 19, 2018, at the age of 68. Born in Wenatchee, Washington, Susan’s father, Rev. Winfred McMullen ’48, was the first director of Warm Beach Christian Camp & Conference Center in Stanwood, Washington, where she spent summers as a camper and eventually worked on the staff of Warm Beach Camp. Later, Susan’s human resources career brought her recognition and honors for professional excellence at Aetna Medicare and PacifiCare. Actively involved at First Free Methodist Church in Seattle for many years, she enjoyed singing and traveled with musical groups that performed in churches throughout the area. Susan was also a church leader in activities for young women. She is survived by her husband, two sisters, a brother, two daughters, four grandchildren, and a large extended family.
Esther Maddox ’51 died May 25, 2018, at the age of 88. The youngest of 11 children, Ester was born in Sentinel, Oklahoma. She attended Central Christian College in McPherson, Kansas, and then Seattle Pacific College. She received an MA in speech and theatre from the University of Northern Colorado and did post-graduate work in theatre at Eastern Michigan University and the University of Michigan. For 36 years, she taught oral communication at Spring Arbor University, directing plays, writing and producing readers’ theatre; and teaching courses in public speaking. A member of Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church for 57 years, she served on the Board of Ministry, finance committee, Board of Stewards, and Care Team. She also enjoyed singing in the church choir. Ester is survived by a sister, seven nephews, eight nieces, and numerous grandnephews, and grandnieces.
Kenneth Meier ’48 died March 31, 2018, at the age of 92. Born in Ellendale, North Dakota, Ken attended Kletzing College in Iowa before joining the U.S. Navy Hospital Corps in 1944. After serving in World War II, he married Ruth Barnett, and enrolled at Seattle Pacific College. He later earned two master’s degrees — one in education and one in chemistry from colleges in Arizona and Colorado, respectively. He taught science in Arizona and Washington, and then driver’s education at Yakima-district high schools. After Ken retired from teaching, he started Cascade School of Driving. Ken was an active member of West Valley Church of the Nazarene in its music ministry as well as a Sunday school teacher and board member. He served 52 years on the local and state boards of Child Evangelism Fellowship. Ken is survived by Ruth, his wife of 71 years, four children, six grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
David A. Nelson ’89 died January 27, 2018, at the age of 52. Born in Seattle and raised in Woodinville, Washington, David passed away suddenly at home in Woodinville. He is survived by wife Karen, three daughters, a brother, and three sisters.
Barry Silveira ’84 died September 30, 2017, at the age of 56 following a short battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Barry was born in San Jose, California. Soon after he graduated from Seattle Pacific University, he moved to Grants Pass, Oregon, to take care of his ailing father. During that time, he worked at a local news station as an advertising executive, and he continued work in mass media for the entirety of his career. He returned to Seattle after the passing of his father. Because Barry enjoyed traveling he spent three months in Brazil and visited Australia, Moorea, Canada, Mexico, Spain, and other parts of Europe. He volunteered at the local food bank, = Rainer Farm, and Illinois Valley Farm, and he was a member of St. Luke’s Cathedral Church and Unity Church. He is survived by his mother, a sister, and a niece.
Bruce Wallace ’69 died June 19, 2018, at the age of 71 after a long illness. A 44-year resident of Federal Way, Washington, Bruce was born in Buffalo, New York, and moved to the SeaTac area when he was 12. After he received a BA in business from Seattle Pacific College, he earned his doctorate in optometry from Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee. He spent over 40 years helping people improve their vision first, at Sears Optical and then as the doctor and owner of Vision Express in Federal Way. Bruce is survived by Debbie, his wife of 45 years, two sons, a daughter, two grandchildren, two sisters, and many nieces and nephews.
Lowell Welker ’63 died June 27, 2018, at the age of 78. A retired police chaplain for Tukwila, Washington, Lowell is survived by two sons and a daughter.
David “Dave” Wesche ’58 died November 20, 2017, at the age of 80. Dave and his twin, Daniel, were the youngest in a family of five boys, born to missionary parents in 1936 in Tientsin, China. In 1954, Dave transferred to Seattle Pacific College from Northwest Nazarene College. Dave and Daniel both applied to medical school in 1957; Daniel was admitted and Dave was deferred for a year, as the school wanted to keep twins separated. Dave later said Divine Providence kept him out of medical school another year, as he met Janet Lee Martinson Wesche ’59 his final year at SPC; they married two weeks after her graduation. In his second year of medical school, a stomach ulcer pushed Dave to drop out of school. He attended seminary for a year and then moved to Port Angeles, Washington, where he worked as a chemist for a paper mill. They returned to Beaverton, Oregon, where he worked at the Oregon National Primate Research Center, and a year later he was reinstated at the medical school. Dave joined the U.S. Air Force, and the family, now including three children, moved to San Antonio, Texas, and then Travis Air Force Base, California. From 1967-68, David was sent to Vietnam as a USAF surgeon in Da Nang during the great Tet Offensive, and was also loaned to the Navy for several months at Cam Ranh Bay. He was later awarded the Bronze Star for his service. The family moved to Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, for three years where Dave climbed mountains and hunted in his free time. After four more years of surgical training in Portland, Dave and his family moved to Liberty Lake, Washington. He joined a busy surgical practice near Valley Hospital, where he practiced for 25 years. Dave opened the non-invasive diagnostic Valley Vascular Lab. He and Jan later founded, and were part-owners of, an assisted living facility in Spokane Valley. After Dave retired, he and Jan traveled to Germany, Sweden, Norway, England, Scotland, Denmark, Russia, Kenya, and China to visit his birthplace. Predeceased by Jan in 2014, Dave is survived by two sons, including Daniel Wesche ’85, a daughter, 12 grandchildren, and three sisters.