In Memoriam

SSU Emeritus and Retired Faculty and Staff Association


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, RateMyProfessor.com. 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)"