Daniel Bunch, Beloved Custodian
Daniel Bunch, a gifted picture framer, a beloved SSU custodian (with the best decorated wet room on campus), and later an accounting technician here, died May 18 surrounded by his Sonoma County and Chico families. Bunch was a graduate of Chico High School and a Vietnam-era Veteran of the U.S. Navy where he served with distinction on the USS Bennington in the Gulf of Tonkin.
A long time friend, Floyd Ross, said "Daniel maintained his distinctive, sharp and hilarious wit through to the end. A treasure beyond compare, a friend without peer, and a valued member of three loving families, Daniel brought laughter and the ability to "keep it light and fluffy" in spite of health challenges that would have felled a stronger man."
Bunch is survived by his brother, Ronald Bunch and sisters-in-law, CeCe Bunch and Isabelle Bunch of Chico, and many loving nieces and nephews who knew him as Uncle Bean. Daniel's second family in Sonoma County, his home of thirty years, include Floyd, Jef, Mike, David, Alan, Wayne, Dale, Ginny, Joe, Vincent, Melia, his "wife" Loni, and most especially his two incredibly gifted children, Sasha and Simone.
The third family in Daniel's life were his many cohorts in notoriety and hilarity at the Food for Thought-Sonoma County AIDS Food Bank in Forestville where he made lifelong friends and kept everyone in stitches every Tuesday working as a volunteer. Those who would like to do so can make a donation in his memory should direct it to the Humane Society of Sonoma County in Santa Rosa, or to the Food For Thought - Sonoma County AIDS Food Bank in Forestville. Graveside services will be held at the Glen Oaks Memorial Park in Chico.
Donald E. Isaac, One of SSU's First Professors
Donald E. Isaac, Professor of Biology and one of the first professors here, died Friday, June 13 after a short and quick decline in health. He earned his Ph.D. at UC Berkeley and started at SSU in 1963, teaching here for not quite three decades. He kept close ties with the department, even after retirement. Two weeks ago he came to campus to see the new improved Darwin Hall and spoke with a few of his School of Science and Technology cohorts. He was impressed by the new, airy labs and the Vertebrate Museum. An avid outdoorsman, he took his students for field work in Death Valley, the Nevada desert and many other locations. While he was the Mammalogist of the Biology faculty, with work involving the study of mice, he also had an intense interest in birds and was well-known as a bird expert by friends and family. "He was quiet and low-key; his students loved him," said Dr. James Christmann, current Chair of the Biology Department. "He was the first to integrate the use of personal computers into instruction. This was when personal computers were the size of suitcases."
Isaac was also instrumental in establishing and maintaining the Biology Department's Vertebrate Collection, now housed in the Vertebrate Museum. A kind-hearted man, he will be sorely missed by the faculty he worked with and the many students he taught. Along with his wife, Rene Isaac of Sebastopol, he is survived by four daughters, two stepchildren, a brother and sister and one grandchild. A memorial service is planned at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 19, at the Gazebo in Ragle Park in Sebastopol.