Old Oregon

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Reading Tea Leaves

Townshend's Tea

Duck entrepreneur hits it big with beverages.

Like a lot of great businesses, Portland-based Townshend’s Tea Company started with a simple, unmet need. As a UO student, Matt Thomas, BA ’02, didn’t care for coffee, but he liked the shops where it was served. He wondered why most campus hangouts served myriad fresh, delicious coffee drinks, but tea—his drink of choice—was limited to a cup of hot water and some prepackaged tea bags.

For a 400-level business course, the business and Spanish major parlayed his personal tastes into a plan with a simple concept: a coffeehouse-style cafe, but with great tea. Not long after graduating in 2002, Thomas opened his first Portland teahouse.

Today, Townshend’s Tea Company has eight retail locations, including one in downtown Eugene and, most recently, the Erb Memorial Union. It’s also the third-largest producer of kombucha in the country, distributing the fermented tea beverage to 36 states and Canada. Generous supporters of the UO Libraries, Thomas and his wife, Bethany Shetterly Thomas, BS ’02, are both members of the Library Advancement Council.


John Keller, BS ’56, and Jerry Ross, class of 1957, were teammates on the 1954 UO baseball team that went to the College World Series. The pair became teammates again on their competitive softball team in 2015 and 2016, and won back-to-back gold medals in the 80-and-over division at the Huntsman World Senior Games.


J. Michael Richmond, BS ’62, served as a Palm Beach County election deputy last November at a polling location in Jupiter, Florida, where he welcomed nearly 800 voters. He worked from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and appreciated the smooth process and enthusiastic people.

Jim Jones, BA ’64, has retired as chief justice of the Idaho Supreme Court. He served 12 years on the court, the last year and a half as chief. He has just released a book—A Little Dam Problem!—describing his role in a struggle over control of Idaho’s Snake River.

The 1966 class of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority sisters celebrated 50 years of friendship last summer at Black Butte Ranch. In attendance were Nina Corkins Clinton, BA ’66; Sharon Densmore Popp, BS ’66; Barbara Earl, BS ’66; Gail Johnson Jern, BS ’66; Judy Pearson Grahn, BS ’66; Patricia Powers Dicks, BS ’66, and Shelby Risser Hosford, BA ’66.

Ted Taylor, BS ’67, retired recently as editor of the Eugene Weekly after nearly 18 years. Previously, he was editor of Ashland Daily Tidings for 10 years, and edited several other publications during his award-winning 35-year career in print journalism.


Former UO football players Alan Pitcaithley, BS ’70, Tim Stokes, BS ’73, and Dennis Dixon, BS ’07, have all led successful football careers and were inducted into the City of San Leandro Sports Foundation Hall of Fame on October 14.

The University of San Diego School of Law hosted a retirement ceremony for Professor John “Jack” Minan, JD ’72, for his 40 years of teaching, scholarship, and public service. He published 11 books and contributions, and more than 45 law review articles. He also received a letter of commendation from President George W. Bush for his work on wetlands recovery projects.

George A. Dennis, MEd ’74, taught in the English department at Lower Columbia College in Washington. He was hired to develop curriculum and teach students who weren’t prepared for English 101. His career has been challenging and rewarding, and he’s thankful for his UO education.

Alan Baird Carpenter, BS ’76, is working as an airline captain for United Airlines. He was a part of the Chi Psi fraternity. He also owns Alaska Flying Adventures, and provides floatplane ratings and sightseeing tours of the greater Anchorage area.

Mike Osborne, MS ’77, professor of the history of science at Oregon State University, has been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His latest book is The Emergence of Tropical Medicine in France (University of Chicago Press, 2014).

Mike Gaynes, BS ’78, finally became an Oregonian again 38 years after graduation. He sort-of-semiretired from 20 years of an award-winning career and lives in Brookings, where he does remote public relations consulting for medical companies (and has been known to take conference calls on the beach).

Marvin Fjordbeck, BA ’79, JD ’83, has been appointed senior assistant attorney general of Oregon, continuing his career as an attorney in the tax and finance section of the Oregon Department of Justice. Previously, he was the senior assistant metro attorney for the Metro Regional Government in Portland. 


Science writer and former OQ editor Tom Hager, MS ’81, gave keynote addresses at the Advanced Research Projects Agency—Energy (ARPA-E) Energy Summit, the nation’s top meeting for transformational energy solutions. In April he will receive the American Chemical Society’s highest writing honor, the James T. Grady–James H. Stack Award for Interpreting Chemistry for the Public.

Gabriel Boehmer, BA ’83, was named senior vice president by Wells Fargo & Co. A 20-year company veteran, he manages external communications for government and institutional banking, middle-market banking, and treasury management. He was a managing editor at the Oregon Daily Emerald in 1981–82.

John Skrabo, BS ’83, has been selected to serve as the national sales manager for F+W Media’s Outdoors magazine. He previously served as the associate editor for Petersen’s Bowhunting, and as the editor of California Angler magazine.

Sam Gappmayer, MA ’84, the president and CEO of Illinois’ Peoria Riverfront Museum, joined the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, a Wisconsin-based nonprofit organization, as its new director in October 2016. He has had leadership positions at multiple arts organizations for nearly 30 years.

Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean partner Wendy Manley, BS ’85, MS ’87, has joined the Environmental Law Section Executive Committee of the Alameda County Bar Association.

California Life Sciences Association added Bill Fairey, BS ’87, president of Actelion Pharmaceuticals US Inc., to its board of directors. Fairey has launched three FDA-approved products, and had led the company’s marketing, medical, sales, and regulatory activities in the US.

Sonja Bogart, BS ’89, has joined the Umatilla Electric Cooperative as the chief operating officer. She has 20 years of experience working with electric utilities. She has served as the utility’s vice president of customer service, sales, and marketing since 2002.


Stephanie Inman, BArch ’93, works as a public artist in Boise, Idaho, and has several art installations at Valley Regional Transit’s Main Street Station. One is a monochromatic collage of broken “transportation toys,” and another installation includes four floor medallions made of tile cut from her digital designs.

Marion County commissioner Janet Carlson, PhD ’97, was nominated by Governor Kate Brown for a spot on the Oregon State Hospital Advisory Board. Previously, she was a member of the state House of Representatives for two years.

Randy Nelson, BS ’96, MBA ’98, left his job in distribution logistics to launch a new hard cider cart—Ciderlicious—in Eugene. He sells a variety of ciders, beers, and mead, and opened his business last Halloween.

Bereniece Jones-Centeno, MMus ’98, has been named the artistic director of the Liberty Theater in Astoria, where she will organize concerts, film festivals, and other events. She comes from a broad background of arts administration, professional singing, and teaching.

Documentarian Christopher LaMarca, BS ’98, has produced and released his second film, The Pearl, which was screened at the 43rd Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival. He’s written for GQ, Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, and produced a documentary called Boone.

Sara Terheggen, BS ’99, corporate partner at Morrison Foerster, has been named to the Association for Corporate Growth in Silicon Valley’s board of directors. She was named as one of the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 2016 “Women of Influence” and one of its “40 under 40.”


Resonant Inc.’s board appointed Jeff Killian, MBA ’01, as chief financial officer for the company. He started his new position on October 24. Jeff comes with 30 years of experience and previously served as the CFO of Cascade Microtech.

Jamie Hampton, BS ’04, had an epiphany while running the PR account for Honda. She left her job to run an eight-person agency—Mixte Communications—in San Diego. The PR agency helps communities and allows the voices of small businesses to be heard.

Renowned veterinarian and part of the founding management team of Banfield Pet Hospital, Kerri Marshall, MBA ’05, is joining the founding team at Babelbark as chief veterinary officer and member of their board of directors. BabelBark is a software company and mobile app for dog owners.

Rani Sampson, JD ‘05, attended judicial college after being appointed by the Superior Court judges of Chelan County, Washington, to serve as a part-time court commissioner. She will have the authority to handle any judicial matter except jury trials.

Myanna Dellinger, JD ’08, associate professor of law at the University of South Dakota and founder of the podcast Global Energy and Environmental Law, received a Fulbright Scholarship to conduct research and lecture in Germany. She will lecture on American climate change policy.


David Thompson, MBA ’13, was named chief operating officer of Portland Business Alliance. He joined in 2013 and previously served as the alliance’s vice president for membership and small business.

Laurie Trautman, PhD ’14, former associate director of the Border Policy Research Institute (BPRI) at Western Washington University, has been named the institute’s director. The BPRI researches and informs policymakers on matters surrounding the Canada-US border.

Will Gent, JD ’16, was hired by Tonkon Torp as an associate in its litigation department. He graduated Order of the Coif, and previously worked as a judicial extern for Judge Michael J. McShane and as a law clerk in the civil litigation section of the Oregon Department of Justice’s trial division.

William A. Hilliard, died on January 16 at age 89. He was a distinguished journalist and the first Black reporter at the Oregonian. In 1986, the UO presented him with its Distinguished Service Award. He received the presidential award from the National Association of Black Journalists in 1993, and in 1998, he was voted into the Oregon Newspaper Hall of Fame.

Joseph Charles “Joe” Allen, died November 17. He attended the UO until March 1943, when he entered the Army Air Corps as a waist gunner on a B-17 aircraft. He was a member of the 351st Bombardment Squadron, 100th Bombardment Group. Joe frequently took his family on camping and fishing trips. He also enjoyed photography, as well as history and reading.

Mary Elizabeth (Davis) Douglas, BA ’45, MA ’47, died on November 10. As acclaimed UO archaeologist Luther Cressman’s graduate assistant, she went on many “digs” throughout eastern Oregon. She joined the faculty of Portland Community College and taught anthropology for many years until her retirement.

Donald George Smith Sr., BS ’47, MS ’50, died September 24 at the age of 93. He was an officer and navigator during World War II and flew 22 combat missions over Japan. He also served as a cultural exchange officer for US embassies in several countries including Pakistan and Japan. He was an avid outdoorsman and loved spending time with family.

Norma Officer, BS ’48, died on January 4. She held jobs at both the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce and Lewis and Clark College. She was also active in Camp Fire Girls, Lake Grove United Presbyterian Church, and the Art Literacy Program in Lake Oswego.   

Phyllis Feiring Pulfer, class of ’49, died September 29. She was an enthusiastic social justice activist and worked with many different groups. She was the executive director of Blue Mountain Action Council. At BMAC, she instituted programs to help winterize homes, developed training for disadvantaged youth, and started the daycare center at the migrant labor camp. She also served on the board for Planned Parenthood. Her compassion and dedication will be missed.

Richard Earl Gallagher, BS ’50, died January 10 at age 93. He served in the US Navy during World War II, and worked at the US Postal Service in Salem for 30 years. He loved traveling with his 366’ers RV Club during his retirement.  

Jessie Belt, BS ’51, died at age 87 on October 31. She taught fourth grade in Portland for a year, and worked with her husband Richard in his medical office. She was a member of the Philanthropic Educational Organization, Daughters of the American Revolution, Garden Club, Westbrook Country Club, and Mansfield General Hospital Auxiliary.

Constance Jackson “Connie” Fair, BA ’51, died November 11. She met her husband, Kenneth, at the UO when they worked together on the Emerald. She worked as a special librarian and retired from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer as a reference librarian. She was a devoted Duck, loved being around the ocean and lakes, and enjoyed gardening and finding adventure in the great outdoors.

Harriet Lee Walrath Reece, BS ’52, died at age 86 on October 31. She worked at the Clearwater Tribune and retired as a managing editor in 1988. She was an active member of multiple groups including the Idaho State Library Board, State Mental Health Advisory Council, Idaho Hospital Association, and the Orofino Chamber of Commerce.

Beverly Jean Beall, BS ’54, died on November 5. She was a member of Alpha Phi and met her husband, Jerry Beall, BA ’55, while attending the UO. She worked for the David Douglas School District for 20 years. In 2010, Beverly and Jerry made a donation to the University of Oregon establishing the Beall Family Undergraduate Suite at the Charles H. Lundquist College of Business.

Robert Simpson, BS ’54, died on March 19, 2016, at age 83. At the UO, he was a class officer his junior year and a member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity. He served in the US Army for two years in Europe and then became a partner in the law firm Adams, McLoughlin & Simpson in 1965, and later joined Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt as an associate and eventually a partner.

Virginia “Ginnie” Johnson, died on October 2 at age 94. She attended the UO where she belonged to Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. She served in the Merchant Marines as a driver during World War II, and was a volunteer for many charitable organizations during her life.

O. C. Yocom died on November 3 at age 94. He studied business and engineering and was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity at the UO. He served as a lieutenant (junior grade) in the US Navy with the 11 amphibious forces at the Normandy invasion during World War II. He had two children with his wife, June.

Peter G. Tveit died on November 13 at age 97. He served in World War II and following his service attended the University of Oregon where he met and married his wife, Ruth Kinne, BS ’49. He taught at Waldo Middle School and retired in 1983. Peter loved to travel around the world and was able to visit every continent.

David Oral Diercoff, BS ’60, died November 1 at age 78. He served as a captain in the US Air Force as a navigator on a B-52 bomber aircraft. Dave had a successful career in commercial real estate in Texas. He mentored many accomplished realtors in the Dallas-Fort Worth market and taught real estate courses at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

John Michael “Mike” McCauley, BA ’60, died on November 10. He worked as an economist for the State of Oregon, the Office of the Secretary of State, the Department of Employment, the Hyster Corporation, and Bonneville Power Administration. He enjoyed taking walks, listening to music, recording cassette tapes, and writing poetry.

Russell Schuh, BA ’63, died November 8 at age 75. He was a yearly participant in the Los Angeles Marathon, and a respected linguistics professor at the University of California at Los Angeles. He wrote A Grammar of Miya and A Dictionary of Ngizim to help readers understand Chadic languages.

George Thomas Amerson, MS ’66, DEd ’70, died on November 15. He was a World War II veteran of the US Navy. He had a wide range of hobbies including singing with the Riverblenders Barbershop Quartet, serving as an amateur radio operator, and gardening.

Dale A. McWilliam, BS ’67, MS ’70, died at his home in West Linn. He served as a Navy corpsman in the Philippines, and was a member of the Oregon Army National Guard’s 41st Infantry Brigade. He was a loyal Ducks fan.

Jon Erickson, BA ’71, MCRP ’78, died October 16. He was a sitting member of the Highland Park Borough Council, a member of the Kean Federation of Teachers, and a community advocate and activist. He also worked as an associate professor at Kean University in New Jersey, and held multiple teaching and research positions in Oregon, Texas, New Jersey, and New York.

Bernice Ellen Fisher, ’BEd 71, MS ’95, died on November 5 at the age of 77. She enjoyed sewing, knitting, crocheting, and needle art, and owned Bern’s Needle Art in Cottage Grove. She also worked as a teacher at Yoncalla and Drain grade schools, and was a member of the Dorena Grange and the Cottage Grove Genealogical Society.

Robert Burdman, MA ’72, PhD ’74, died May 31, 2016 in Prescott, Arizona, at age 77.

Richard Mitchell, PhD ’72, died on September 21. During his career, he was a teacher, a principal, the director of the Northwest Area for United Cerebral Palsy, and a supervisor of the Portland Tri-County Area School Districts for disabled children.

Pamela Louise Greene, BA ’77, MA ’78, died on October 7. She worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, and later moved to Salt Lake City, where she worked as a speech pathologist for the Davis School District until she retired in 2015. She had many hobbies that brought her joy, including sewing, 4-H, waterskiing, backpacking, and working in the LDS church.

Craig Gibson, MBA ’78, died on November 14. He was an F-4 fighter pilot as well as a UPS 757-767 cargo pilot. Craig was also a graduate from the USAF Fighter Weapons School and Squadron Officer School. He enjoyed skiing, golfing, and spending time with his nieces.

Sally Donovan, MS ’87, died November 19. She was a cultural resource specialist and photographer, and was the recipient of the 2016 Oregon Heritage Excellence Award and the 2016 George McMath Historic Preservation Award. She volunteered at a nonprofit cat rescue and was married to her husband, Bruce, for 22 years.

Gregory “Greg” K. Hebel, MArch ’90, died on November 13. He was a master craftsman at woodworking and worked as an architect for the State of Indiana. He was a car-racing enthusiast and loved to cook. He also enjoyed watching the Pacers and the Colts.

Gary R. Wilson died on November 7 at the age of 61. He attended the UO as a member of Sigma Chi fraternity and the cheer squad. He worked for many years in sales and marketing in Portland, Oregon, and Phoenix, Arizona. He was also an enthusiastic weightlifter and enjoyed many different outdoor activities, including snow- and waterskiing.

Mary Margaret “Penny” Wallis Bennington, MBA ’95, died October 17 at age 70. After working in the medical field for many years, Penny and Gene, her husband of 41 years, started a vacation rental management company in Sunriver, Oregon. Her sense of humor and compassion will be missed by many.

Toshihiko Murata, PhD ’01, died October 12. He served as associate vice president of institutional effectiveness at Blue Mountain Community College and, later, research analyst and adult basic education accountability coordinator for the Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development. In 1983, he published a book documenting his 7,000-kilometer World Peace March journey from Venice Beach, California, to New York. He also had a wide range of hobbies including art, poetry, and horticulture.

What can tunes and the tasty treats tell us about making good experiences better?

Thousands of Velella velella, jellyfish relatives, washed ashore on Oregon beaches in April, and now are littering beaches in New Zealand.

Alumnus Edgardo Simone is a successful composer and orchestrator of Hollywood blockbusters, including the Spider-Man and Men in Black franchises