January 21, 2012
Fields Leaves Enduring Legacy
Fred W. Fields, a staunch friend and advocate for Lewis & Clark for more than a quarter century, died December 13, 2011, at age 88.
Born in 1923, Fields grew up on a farm near Alexandria, Indiana. He began his college studies at Ball State and Indiana universities before being drafted into the Army Air Force during World War II. For nearly four years, he taught instrument flying and navigation. After the war, he resumed his studies in mechanical engineering at Purdue University.
In 1947, Fields went to work as a junior engineer with Coe Manufacturing Company. That association grew into a lifelong commitment, as he advanced through the management ranks and eventually bought the company from its founding family. His work with Coe brought him to the West Coast. In 1958, he married Portlander Suzanne Schoenfeldt. Together they gave generously of their time and treasure to many charities. Their long and happy life together ended with Sue’s death in February 2010.
Fields joined the Lewis & Clark Board of Trustees in 1985 and served for 21 years. From 2001 to 2004, he served as board chair. As a life trustee, he remained deeply involved in the college, providing counsel to its leadership and support for our students.
In 1990, Fields completed a match for a challenge grant that established the Morgan S. Odell Professor- ship in the Humanities. In 1993, he pledged the lead gift for the Fred W. Fields Center for the Visual Arts. These are just two of his many contributions of financial support, wisdom, time, and leadership for which the Lewis & Clark community will long be grateful.
“Fred cared deeply about Lewis & Clark,” says President Barry Glassner. “Few have been more supportive of our efforts. His philanthropy and leadership set an inspiring example for others.”
Fields requested that his memorial service be held at Lewis & Clark. His service will take place on January 21 at 2 p.m. in Agnes Flanagan Chapel, with a reception following.
Former Faculty Remembered
John Crist, professor emeritus of sociology, died August 10, 2011, at age 93, in Gwynedd, Pennsylvania.
A native of Washington State, Crist began his career as a chiropractor, then returned to school to earn his baccalaureate degree at George Fox in 1944, his master’s at the University of Iowa in 1945, and his doctorate in sociology at the University of Missouri in 1951. From 1952 until 1965, he taught at Dennison University, where he founded the Family Life Department. During his time at Dennison, he spent a sabbatical year at the Menninger Clinic and for years thereafter, maintained a part-time practice in psychotherapy and marriage counseling.
Crist accepted a tenured position in sociology at Lewis & Clark in 1965. In the company of his first wife, Dorothy Varley Bingham, he led numerous off-campus programs. Crist identified himself as a “learning facilitator” and came to be known for his innovative approaches to teaching. He retired from Lewis & Clark in 1985.
Reared as a Roman Catholic, Crist became a Quaker in the 1940s and was active for years with the American Friends Service Committee. He was an avid photographer, hiker, and nature lover. As a gardener, he was also ahead of his time, practicing and advocating organic techniques since the 1950s.
In 1987, Crist married Margery Frank, the youngest of the three children of Lloyd and Edna Frank, who remembers fondly her years growing up on the Fir Acres estate. Together they shared a love of travel.
Crist is survived by his wife, Marge; his children, Patience, Constance, Peter, and Jonathan; and four grandchildren.
Robert Lee Myers B.S. ’48, professor emeritus of law and a former trustee of Lewis & Clark, died March 13, 2011, at age 84.
Myers practiced law in Portland for 22 years and was a partner in the firm of Schuler, Rankin, Myers & Walsh. He taught at Lewis & Clark Law School for another 18 years, during which he received the Leo Levenson Award for Teaching Excellence. He retired from the law school in 1990. A member of the Oregon State Board of Bar Examiners for three years, he was the board’s chair in 1968 and served as secretary and chair of the Oregon State Bar Disciplinary Rules Committee.
Myers served as president of the Lewis & Clark Alumni Association, a member of the Lewis & Clark Board of Trustees, and executive secretary of the Oregon Commission on Judicial Fitness.
He loved the Pacific Northwest and enjoyed camping, fishing, hiking, sailing, golf, and spending time with his family. Survivors include his wife, Annette; sons Doug and Eric; daughter Enid Nielsen; two grandsons; and one great-grandson.
John Keil Richards B.S. ’46, professor emeritus of music, died July 26, 2011, at age 93, in his Portland home after a brief illness. Richards was an accomplished musician, teacher, and mentor, who was revered for his ability to nurture the best qualities in each of his students.
Richards earned his master’s degree in music from the University of Southern California in 1947 and his doctorate at the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music in 1955.
An outstanding scholar and director, he taught in Lewis & Clark’s music department from 1947 to 1962 and then in the education department until his retirement in 1985. He also chaired the music department, directed summer sessions and teacher training for the deaf, and served as associate dean of the faculty.
Richards served as Lewis & Clark’s director of bands for many years, conducted the Portland Symphonic Band for nearly three decades, and was the principal tuba player with the Oregon Symphony Orchestra for 52 years. “Dr. John,” as he was known to the Metropolitan Youth Symphony, also conducted MYS from 1994 to 2009.
Richards organized and conducted A Tuba Christmas, a favorite Portland holiday ritual. He never let a little wet weather dampen the crowd’s spirits, as more than 200 tuba, sousaphone, baritone, and euphonium players would take over Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland. Many called the group’s rendition of Silent Night magical.
Richards devoted countless hours to preserving the musical history of Oregon’s Aurora Colony, a utopian Christian community that thrived from 1856 to 1921. Often the source material was sketchy; however, as Richards once said, “If you have the musical skeleton and are skilled in music theory, you know what the next note may be.”
Richards is survived by his wife, Cheri Ann Egbers Richards B.S. ’56; four children, Carol Richards Ellis B.A. ’73, M.Ed. ’74; Gloria Richards; Jonelle Richards B.A. ’80; and John Keil Richards Jr.; and seven grandchildren. His first wife, Dorothy Farmer Richards B.A. ’65, M.A.T. ’79 died in 2002 after 61 years of marriage. Their daughter, Melody Speros B.S. ’64 died in 1997. Their son, Dr. Jay Richards B.S. ’78, died in 2006.
Alan “Al” G. Robertson, a former associate professor of education and director of the college’s Graduate Studies Program, died July 22, 2011, at age 86, of emphysema.
Robertson was a musician, a teacher, and a realtor, who saw a connection between all three careers: guiding people toward a good experience, whether it be listening to music, learning new things, or finding the perfect home.
After serving in the U.S. Navy in World War II, Robertson pursued a career in music. He was the longtime band director at Beaverton High School, where he developed the music department into a strong and competitive program.
After earning a master’s degree in music at Lewis & Clark and doing graduate work at Standford University, he was selected as an administrator of the new Tongue Point Job Corps program near Astoria. In 1966, he was recruited to teach at Lewis & Clark, where he remained for 11 years.
Robertson was active in the Portland Rose Festival, first as a volunteer then as a director for 35 years. He was chair of the Starlight Parade, the Festival of Bands, and the Stage Band Classic. On two occasions, he received the Rose Festival’s Distinguished Service Award. He later transitioned to a career in real estate with his wife, Barbara Parry Robertson B.S. ’57, M.A.T. ’77, who had previously worked as an art teacher in Portland. Over the course of his career, he served as president of both the Washington County Association of Realtors and the Oregon Association of Realtors.
Survivors include his wife, Barbara; four sons, Richard B.S. ’77, Donald, Steven B.A. ’73, and Gregory; two stepsons, Michael Simon and Mark Simon; 14 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
Noted African American Studies Scholar Dies
Rudolph Byrd B.A. ’75, Goodrich C. White Professor of American Studies at Emory University, died Oct. 21, 2011, at age 58, after a long battle with cancer. Byrd was the founder and director of Emory’s James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference, which fosters new scholarship, teaching, and public dialogue on the history and enduring legacy of the fight for civil and human rights. Most recently, he helped inaugurate a partnership with Emory, the Center for Civil and Human Rights, and CNN, by formulating a community forum program on contemporary civic issues called CNN Dialogues.
Byrd was the founding cochair of the Alice Walker Literary Society, and helped bring the author’s archives to Emory. The author of numerous books, he published a new critical edition of Jean Toomer’s Cane, with Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. in 2011. Byrd frequently commented on the modern civil rights movement, images of blacks in the media, politics, and intergenerational dialogues, as well as race, gender, sexuality, and politics.
“For many of us, Rudolph was not only a symbol of dignity, propriety, determination, elegance, and stamina, he embodied what it meant to live with purposefulness and grace, even to the very end,” said Earl Lewis, executive vice president of academic affairs and provost at Emory. “As others have said more than once … Rudolph remained the consummate teacher: he taught us to live and how to die.”
Community Mourns Student’s Death
Isaac Clark CAS ’12, age 21, died October 17, 2011, from head injuries sustained in a skateboarding accident.
During his short life, Clark made a significant impact on others with his intense passion for life and learning. At Lewis & Clark, he majored in physics and math and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa as a junior. He was also a member of Sigma Pi Sigma, a national physics honor society. Clark looked forward to one day earning a Ph.D. in physics.
Clark was born in Everett, Washington, and moved to Keizer before his first birthday. In 2008, he graduated from McNary High School, where he was a valedictorian.
From an early age, Clark expressed his desire to achieve and to be special. He was known for studying many hours beyond the school day. He grew up playing soccer, football, basketball, and baseball. Introduced to a drum set at age 13, Clark entertained his family daily with his self-taught skills, later playing the drums for services at Salem First Christian Church and for his high school band, Zombie Warrior Enterprise. He took drum and piano lessons at Lewis & Clark and performed in a variety of musical ensembles. Most significantly, says his family, he had a kind and loving heart.
Survivors include his younger sister, Natalie Clark; his mother, Linda Olson; his father, Bud Clark; his stepfather, Bob Olson; his grandparents; three step-siblings; and many loving aunts, uncles, cousins and dear friends.
Donations in Clark’s memory may be made to the Isaac Clark Memorial Fund for Physics and Math at Lewis & Clark College.