Alumni News & Notes

Fall 2005-2006

In Memoriam

Bruce W. Moorehead

Sequim, (B.A.); passed away on October 20 at the age of 66. He spent many years teaching music in Shelton, WA.

Carol McCann

Sedro Woolley, (M.A. '90); passed away on August 25, 2006 at the age of fifty-nine. She led a successful life with a 19-year career in teaching. McCann taught English, speech, service learning, as well as various other courses throughout her career. She spent seventeen years teaching at Sedro Woolley High School.

Catherine "Kay" Tondevold

(B.A.E. '65); died in June in Hemet, Calif. She was 95 years old. She taught school for 37 years in Idaho, Alaska, California, British Columbia, Oak Harbor and Blaine.

Daniel Stovner

Mount Vernon, (Cert. '64); died on September 24, 2006 while on vacation in Illinois. He taught at the LaVenture School in Mount Vernon for over thirty years before retiring in 2004.

David Bruce Nyland

(Cert. '78); passed away in May after his battle with cancer. He was 61 years old.

David McConkey

Snoqualmie, (B.A.); passed away at the age of 65 on August 22 of last year. He served as a teacher for the Northshore School District for more than 30 years and will be greatly missed. Some of the highlights of McConkey's career include receiving the PTSA Golden Acorn Award and the Washington State Industrial Arts Association Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award, as well as being named Regional Industrial Arts "Man of the Year."

Donna Mae Chase

Port Townsend, (B.A. '66); passed away on August 21, 2006 at the age of eighty-nine. She taught fifth grade in Port Townsend for 19 years.

Edna May (McLaurin) Zoet

Bellingham, (M.A. '64); passed away on December 1, 2005. She taught in the Business Education Department at WWU for ten years.

Elizabeth Regina Bechtol

(B.A.E. '33); passed away in July at her home in Stanwood, Wash. She was 92 years old. She taught at Columbia Elementary in Bellingham for 26 years, including third grade and one of the first special education classes in the district.

Esther June Snowden

(B.A.E. '46); passed away in May. She taught first grade for eight years until the birth of her first son, Michael. She then became a full-time homemaker and helped found the Gig Harbor Peninsula Historical Society.

Harriett Jean (Christopher) Jean Franko

(B.A.E. '41); died in June while residing at Careage of Whidbey on Whidbey Island. She taught primary grades in the Port Orchard-Bremerton area until retiring in 1981.

Jane McCurdy Bridges

(Cert. '37); passed away in July. She was 91 years old. Bridges taught in Sitka, Alaska, and at various schools in the Seattle area. She was also involved in debate and political organizations with her husband, Wells McCurdy throughout both her teaching career and retirement.

Janet Vance

Bellingham, (B.A. and M.A.); passed away on August 27, 2006, about four years after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. She devoted her career to helping the elderly and those with disabilities live independently and safely.

Jean "Jeannine" Dews

(B.A.E. '71); died in July at her home in Burlington. She was 68 years old. She graduated from Western, taught school at Meridian and worked in the insurance industry.

Jean Carol Spragg

Mount Vernon, (B.A.); passed away peacefully on December 9, 2006. Spragg has most recently worked as a long-term substitute teacher at Conway School and was also an active member of Fir Conway Lutheran Church.

Jeannine (Berger) Moll

passed away in June in Sunnyvale, Calif. She was 77 years old. She taught in the Sedro-Woolley School District and then in Long Beach, Calif. She moved to Los Altos in 1967 and worked for the State Employment Department until her retirement.

Laurie Long

passed away on November 5 of last year after a long battle with cancer. She enjoyed working with children throughout her life and worked with special needs students at Marysville-Pilchuck High School for many years.

Leah Virginia Betts Daffron

Mukilteo, (B.A.E. 1967); passed away in her home on November 16, 2006 after a 3-year battle with cancer. Daffron spent 30 years teaching elementary school.

Margaret M. Oldfield

(Cert. '28); passed away in July. She taught music in Spokane and was involved with scholarships at Tacoma Community College when she and her husband, Bill, moved there in 1936.

Mary Jean Trafton-Johnson

Gig Harbor, (MA Ed); passed away of pneumonia on December 13, 2006. She spent several years as an elementary school teacher in Seattle. Also, while living in Louisiana, she developed and taught a private early primary school.

Mildred (Mickey) Pickering

Duvall (BA '28); passed away peacefully on December 17, 2006. After graduating from WWU with her teaching certificate, she spent nearly five decades as a teacher in the Lower Snoqualmie School District.

Paul E. Smith

Shelton, (B.A.E. 1966); passed away on October 25, 2006. He was 83 years old. Smith taught electronics at Skagit Valley College from 1962 until his retirement in 1980. He also served as administrative assistant to the president.

Polly Heft Winkelman

Issaquah, (B.A. Ed. '41); passed away at the age of 86 on November 20, 2006.

Richard Norman Hall, Sr.

(M. E.D. '58); passed away at his home in July. He was 79 years old. Hall was a professor and administrator at State University of New York in Buffalo until he retired in 1991 as Associate Dean.

Rob Wales

Darrington; died on August 5 of last year after a two-year battle with testicular cancer. He was a much-loved member of his community, remembered for his love of football, but mostly for his love of teaching. Wales coached the football team at Darrington High School and worked as an English instructor for 19 years. The entire football team attended his funeral.

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