In Memoriam

SSU Emeritus and Retired Faculty and Staff Association

Dr. Charles Phillips

December 8, 2016

I'm sorry to report that Professor Emeritus of Mathematics Dr Charles Phillips died yesterday (8 December 16) at the age of 92. He is survived by his wife Jeanette and their son. He was born in 1924 in the South Bay. He served in World War II and was wounded in Alsace-Lorraine, for which he received a Purple Heart. He taught high-school mathematics for a time, then went to graduate school and earned a PhD in statistics. He joined the Sonoma State faculty in 1969 and retired in 1994. He was an avid hiker and was proud of having hiked over 2,000 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. He and his wife traveled widely, and especially enjoyed visiting Victoria BC. Chuck also loved reading history, especially of the Civil War. He and Jeanette lived for 40 years in an eclectic house of their own design in the hills above Crane Canyon.
-- Rick Luttmann

Dr. Duane Dove

November 27, 2016

A celebration of Duane's life will be held at 5 PM on Friday, February 10, 2017, at Sonoma State University Green Music Center, Weill Hall Lobby. A full obiturary was published in the Press Democrat December 3 - 8, 2016.

The following letter was sent to the SSU campus community by Dr. Silver:

Dr. Duane Dove, passed away on November 14. Duane had retired in May following a 30-year career with the School of Business and Economics. He joined the School of Business and Economics faculty in 1986 to teach Organizational Behavior, Human Resource Management, and Labor Law and Management. He also served as Chair of the Department of Business Administration and published a number of case studies in management. His career is marked by a series of firsts. He was the first to be trained in online teaching; he created the Human Resource student club and Certificate in Human Resource Management; and he founded the SBE Internship Program, which today serves hundreds of students and businesses each year.

He was also active at the University level, serving for 13 years as Chair of the Institutional Review Board (IRB), working closely with colleagues to elevate their research, and 13 years as Faculty Athletic Representative, where he supported some of our most accomplished students in aligning their academic and athletic careers. Duane also served as union steward for the California Faculty Association for 15 years and was a member of the Green Music Center Advisory Board.

Duane graduated from Manchester College in Indiana with a B.S. in Psychology. He earned an M.A. in Psychology from Western Michigan State University in Kalamazoo, and his Ph.D. in Behavioral Psychology from Florida State University in Tallahassee. He conducted post-doctoral research in Organizational Behavior at the University of Dusseldorf, Germany, and post-doctoral research in Business Administration at the University of Georgia in Athens.

He will be missed for his expertise, for his dedication, and most of all for his friendship. Our thoughts are with Sarah and their children during this difficult time.

Dr. William S. Silver
Dean School of Business and Economics
Sonoma State University

Dr. John Palmer

December 27, 2015

It is with sadness that we report the passing of Professor Emeritus John Palmer. John had a long and distinguished career at Sonoma State in the 1960s and beyond. He co-founded SSU’s graduate program in counseling, was professor of psychology and served under President Peter Diamandopoulos as dean of students.

He also chaired the committee of five authors (photo below) who wrote Sonoma State’s first history book, Memories and Historical Highlights 1961-2011.

For a more complete look at Dr. Palmer’s life, go to

A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. this Friday, Jan. 8, at Presbyterian Church of the Roses in Santa Rosa.

Dr. Shirley Silver

September 16, 2015

Dr. Silver, professor emerita of the Department of Anthropology and a linguist who specialized in Californian and American Indian languages, passed last week from complications during surgery. Dr. Silver was very active in scholarship, teaching, and faculty governance. She began teaching at SSU in 1970 and retired in 1998.

Dr. Carl Jensen

April 23, 2015 (ERFA notified on September 9, 2015)

We were informed today that Emeritus Professor of Communication Studies Carl Jensen passed away last April. He began teaching in SSU’s Department of Sociology in 1973 and given his background in public relations and advertising, created the Department of Communications. Then teaching in that department he founded Project Censored, a media-research project focusing on uncovered or under covered stories of regional and national importance. In addition to teaching and other pursuits, Carl served as advisor to the Sonoma State STAR. He retired from Sonoma State University in 1997.

To read a complete text of his life, go to

Dr. Carolyn Ingrid Saarni

June 8, 2015 (Updated on September 16, 2015)

She specialized in developmental psychology and worked in the Department of Counseling. Professor Saarni's research focused on children¹s emotional development. She was an internationally recognized scholar and has enjoyed speaking engagements both nationally and internationally. She began teaching at SSU in 1972 and retired just last year.

A Celebration of Carolyn Saarni's Life will took place Sunday, July 19th from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM at 941 The Alameda, Berkeley, CA. For further information click here.

Dr. Hee-Won Kang

April 9, 2015

We are sad to report that Dr. Hee-Won Kang, a former faculty member in the School of Education has passed away after a long illness. She will be remembered for her contributions to the University, her School and her department and especially to all the students who she mentored and taught in her 17 years at Sonoma State University. Her keen intellect and passion to serve all students was always balanced gracefully with humility, a sense of humor and a courageous smile.

A memorial for Dr. Kang is scheduled for Friday, April 24, 3 p.m. at the University Art Gallery. We hope you can join us to remember Hee-Won.

Dr. Carlos Ayala
Dean, School of Education

Dr. Peter Diamandoppulos

April 6, 2015

I am sorry to report that Dr. Peter Diamandopoulos, 4th president of Sonoma State University, passed away on April 1. Information from the New York Times is below:

"Dr. Peter Diamandopoulos died on April 1, 2015, in New York City, surrounded by his loving children. He was 86 years old. Born in Heraklion, Crete, in 1928, Diamandopoulos attended Athens College, and immigrated to the United State in 1948 to attend Harvard University where he earned his BA, MA and PhD. A lifelong educator, Diamandopoulos taught at the University of Maryland and at Brandeis University, where he served as dean of faculty from 1965 to 1971, and was chairman of the Philosophy Department from 1972 to 1976. He also served as director of studies at the Adlai Stevenson Institute of International Affairs in Chicago from 1969 to 1974. Diamandopoulos was named president of Sonoma State University in California in 1977, and president of Adelphi University in Long Island in 1985. Following his tenure at Adelphi, he continued to pursue his love of teaching, serving as special assistant to the president and professor of philosophy at Boston University. He retired in 2008 and continued to actively support the efforts of his alma mater, as a trustee of Athens College. A proud son of Greece known for his love of books, music, fine cigars and cognac, Diamandopoulos consistently questioned conventional attitudes and challenged everyone around him to strive for excellence. He is survived by his children Ted Diamandopoulos, Cybele Diamandopoulos, Ariadne Diamandopoulos; step-daughter Mary Blackstock; grandchildren Harry, Teague, Rita, Teddy; step-granddaughter Sofia Bocchino; and brother Dr. George Diamandopoulos. A memorial service will be held at a date to be announced."

Our sympathies are extended to Dr. Diamandopoulos’ family and friends.

Ruben Armiñana

Dr. Ray Castro

Ray Castro, 64, passed away after a long illness. Ray was born in south central Los Angeles. He attended St. Anthony's Franciscan Seminary for high school, graduated from UCLA in 1970 with a BA in Spanish, earned a master's degree in Public Administration in 1972 from UCLA, and received a doctorate of education from Harvard University. Working primarily as an academic in the field of education, Dr. Castro held administrative and faculty positions at the Claremont Graduate School, San José State University, UC Berkeley and Sonoma State University.

He was the vice president of the Tomás Rivera Center from 1988-93. Ray retired from Sonoma State University in 2004 as the Chair of the Chicano and Latino Studies program. He also worked as a grant writer, program evaluator specialist, and facilitator for diversity initiatives for private and public institutions. A memorial service will be held in southern California.

Marylou McAthie, R.N., Ed.D.

Marylou McAthie R.N., Ed.D, was proud of being a nurse. She started her career at the Presbyterian School of Nursing associated with Loyola University in Chicago. During her career she served as an administrator, consultant, and teacher holding positions at Oak Park Hospital, Oak Park, IL; Sacramento State University; San Joaquin General Hospital; USPHS Department of Health and Human Services; and Sonoma State University.

She enjoyed telling stories about her time as a student nurse and also about her time as a consultant to institutions in the American Pacific basin including American Samoa, Guam, Palau, Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands. In her consultant role she helped establish the American Pacific Nursing Leadership Council which is still instrumental in improving nursing care in that region. At Sonoma State she developed the graduate program in nursing administration, was a major force for the creation of a chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, the national nursing honor society, and provided the impetus for an annual research conference highlighting student's research. Dr. McAthie's contributions to quality in nursing service and education have been recognized at the national, regional and local levels.

Marylou died quietly at home after a long period of treatment for end stage renal disease. Although her primary residence was Rohnert Park she also maintained a home in Stockton. She is survived and loved by her sister, Connie Kerbow, brother and sister-in-law, Tom and Vicky McAthie, nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, and long time friends Laurel Murphy and Carol Lindeman.

Professor Marylu Mattson

Marylu Mattson, one of the first professors to teach in the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies at Sonoma State University, passed away on December 30, 2012. Admired by colleagues and students alike for her combination of rigor and creativity in teaching, she was also a dedicated researcher in the humanities and sciences.

Read more about Marylu Mattson.

Professor David Allen Fredrickson

David Allen Fredrickson, an archaeologist noted for his sensitive excavations of California's ancient American Indian sites, died Aug. 28 at a care home in Walnut Creek. He was 85. During his long career as a professor of archaeology at Sonoma State University, Dr. Fredrickson was also widelyknown for his more informal career performing as a guitar-playing singer of cowboy songs. His immense folksong repertoire has been recorded by the Smithsonian Institution's Folkways program.

Read more about David Allen Fredrickson.

Connie Lewsadder

"I am distressed to announce the passing of our good friend Connie Lewsadder. Connie died of breast cancer at her home in Grants Pass last night. I was informed by a few friends of hers. We will be purchasing a card that can be signed at the Dean's Office that we will send to her husband Bruce." With sadness, Elaine Leeder

Read more about Connie Lewsadder.

Professor Steve Norwick

Sonoma State University lost a beloved colleague this week when Professor Steve Norwick succumbed to injuries sustained in a hit-and-run bicycle accident near the campus on Tuesday afternoon after being in a coma for 11 days. A professor at SSU since 1974, Norwick taught in the Environmental Studies and Planning Department and was known for his vast expertise in soil science, water technology and environmental literature. Plans for a public memorial will be announced soon.

Read more about Steve Norwick.

Dr. Laurence Horowitz

It is with a great deal of sadness to inform the community that Dr. Laurence Horowitz passed away on June 27. Larry came to the Psychology Department in 1969 and retired in 1992. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1958 where he studied with Albert Bandura. He developed the Psychology of Family and Gestalt classes for the department and he organized and upgraded the internship model that we still use in the department. A long time community activist, he spent numerous hours of volunteer time counseling and working on community affairs, from the Viet Nam War era well into his retirement . Many of us remember his delightful wife Virginia, an early innovator of dance and movement modalities. We extend out deepest sympathy to his children Neena and Paul, and to his extended family and friends.

Dr. LeVell Holmes

A philanthropist, educator, and international scholar has passed away. LeVell Holmes, a history professor as well as a one-time chair of the history department at Sonoma State University passed away May 20, 2012.

Dr. Holmes began working at Sonoma State University in 1968 after receiving a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley and teaching for many years in the Bay Area. From that point on he left an indelible mark on the university with his amazing teaching and philanthropy for SSU, and for the community through the Rotary Club, in which he was heavily involved.

At SSU, Dr. Holmes taught in the history department, but was also a prominent figure in assembling the ethnic studies program, and taught women's history as well.

He set up the Griffin and Very Lee Holmes Scholarship, and often organized groups of students to take on international trips.

Remembered by many, his past students have left him stunning reviews on the website, Including:

"Dr. Holmes was the best. It is professors like these that make history real and exciting. Hearing his stories and advice, not to mention the lifetime and wealth of knowledge that he gives, Holmes made me switch to History. Great to talk to, and play chess with, it is sad that he is still not teaching, I would take him every semester if I could."

"Great teacher! Learned a lot, and remember him to this day. (I had him in 1988)"