James W. Crook BS ’60, August 8, 2016, age 79. After marrying Carolee Rogers, the couple moved to Yakima, Washington, where he worked for the Yakima School District. He was a lover of music, cars, camping, and reading (particularly history or the Bible). Survivors include his wife; two daughters, Denise and Laura; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
From 1960 to 1969
John R. Ellingson BS ’60, June 22, 2016, age 77. After graduating, Ellingson married JoAnn Adair and then earned an MBA from Arizona State University. From there, Ellingson moved to the East Coast, where he worked for Alcoa and Corning Glass Company. But he soon returned to the West and established John R. Ellingson Realtors. By this time, John and JoAnn had two small daughters, and they purchased a beachside cabin where, in the 1970s and ’80s, the family hosted Thai refugees. Survivors include his wife of 56 years, JoAnn; daughters Janna and Jennifer; and four grandchildren.
Henry Smith Kane died January 11, 2017. He was 90 years old.
Born in New York City, Henry served in the Army during World War II before earning a BS from the University of Oregon. He switched to law after working as a reporter for The Dalles Chronicle and the Oregon Journal. Henry then served as an Oregon assistant attorney general before going into private practice.
Henry was married for 47 years to Dorothy Jeanne Kane, who died in 1997. Two of their sons, Mark and James, also preceded Henry in death.
Henry is survived by his son John, three grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Carolyn Matsen Buan BA ’61, February 26, 2016, age 76. Buan lived in Anchorage, Alaska, teaching high school after earning an MA in English at the University of Washington. In 1966, she moved to England, where she taught at Wroxton College. She later returned to the Pacific Northwest, where she wrote and edited for the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, then worked as associate director for the Oregon Council for the Humanities for 10 years. Eventually, she started her own editing and writing service. Survivors include daughter Sigfrid and son Robert.
Jerry Billings passed away peacefully in his home on February 18, 2015, after a long and full life. He was 88.
Born in Falls City, Nebraska, in 1926, Jerry moved with his family to Portland in 1942 and attended that city’s Washington High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Army at 18 to fight in WWII. Sent to the Pacific theater, he took part in the Battle of Okinawa, earning a Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Jerry was the only member of his platoon to survive. On his return to Portland, he met and married Lorelei Brown, with whom he had three daughters.
In 1962, Jerry went into private practice, a business he maintained for nearly 30 years. After acting as Madeleine Murray O’Hair’s counsel in Oregon in the 1970s, he founded the Oregon chapter of American Atheists, later renamed the Center for Rational Thought and eventually U.S. Atheists. He was the voice of “Dial an Atheist” for more than 20 years and host of the public television program Bunk Busters from 1995 until 2011. His other passion was the collection and cataloging of antique tools, especially early American wood planes.
Jerry is survived by his loving partner for 65 years, Lorelei; daughters Dawn, Melanie, and Nancy; grandchildren Matthew Yun, Remington Powell, and Katherine Powell; great-granddaughter Ava Yun; and beloved caretakers Moana Toloke and her daughter, Vee. He was buried in a private ceremony at Willamette National Cemetery.
Passed away on August 27, 2016.
Marvin Nepom died in November 2014 at the age of 88. Born in Portland of immigrant parents, he attended the University of Washington. It was there that he met his wife, whom he married at the age of 21. After a decade in the grocery business, and with the encouragement of Leo Levinson, Marvin began to attend law school in the evening. While a student, he frequently told his three young children bedtime stories that incorporated law school themes.
After passing the bar in 1962, Marvin handled a broad array of cases before concentrating on personal injury litigation as a solo practitioner. He served as president of the Multnomah Bar Association for 1981–82.
Marvin is survived by Leah, his wife of 67 years; three children; four grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
Harold B. Tate BS ’62, MAT ’75, June 2, 2016, age 76.
The Honorable Karl W. Freerksen Jr. passed away on January 13, 2015, after living with Parkinson’s disease for nearly 11 years. He was born January 21, 1936, in Freeport, Illinois, to Karl Walter Sr. and Dorothy Elaine (Haines) Freerksen. When Karl was five years old, the family moved to Cedar Mill, Oregon, where he attended Cedar Mill and Sylvan Grade Schools. He graduated from Beaverton High School in 1953 with plans to become a lawyer. After earning a bachelor’s degree from Willamette University in 1957, Karl served six years of active duty with the National Guard to earn enough money to attend law school.
Early in his career, Karl had a general law practice in Beaverton with eight other attorneys, constituting the largest firm in the county. He was asked in 1973 to serve as judge pro-tem under the pilot program funded by the Legislature. Karl was the last judge to be appointed by Governor Tom McCall, in 1974. He served as the presiding district judge and president of the Oregon District Judges’ Association, and in 1997 he completed the mediation course at the National Judicial College. Karl retired in 1998 after 25 years of service as a circuit judge, though he continued to serve as a judge pro-tem. He said that he found life on the bench more enjoyable than private practice, because it was more predictable. “The cases are different every day, but you generally know what they are going to be about. Also, I never had a paid vacation until I became a judge!”
Karl wed Barbara Sue VanHoutin on September 26, 1970. In 1977, they built a home north of North Plains, where they enjoyed gardening, the deer, the view of the coast range, and hosting picnics and other events. They were particularly fond of ballroom dancing. Karl’s many interests included hunting trips with his brothers, fly fishing, wood working, golfing, travel, and socializing with friends and family members.
A member of Kiwanis and the Jaycees while in Beaverton, Karl joined the Hillsboro Rotary Club in 1980 and served on the board of directors for the Rotary Foundation. He also served on the board of trustees at the Hillsboro United Methodist Church and St. Mary’s School for Boys, and was active in the Washington County and North Plains Historical Societies.
Karl was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Gerald Allan Freerksen. He is survived by his wife, Barbara; brother Gene Freerksen; sister-in-law Linda Freerksen; several nieces and nephews; and many cousins.
Peter G. Mathews ’65, April 8, 2015, age 72. Mathews earned his dental degree in 1969 and opened a private practice that same year in San Francisco. In 1977, he relocated to Tiburon, California, where he worked until retiring in 2000. He was married to Leslie Davis. Survivors include his wife and two sons, Ryan and Jeff.
Roderick “Rod” L. Bunnell passed away on October 1, 2015, in Portland’s Good Samaritan Hospital, the same facility where he was born on August 4, 1930. He was 85.
Rod lived in Hanford, Yakima, and Hood River while growing up. He attended Whitman College and served briefly in the U.S. Army before returning to Portland. Following his 1955 marriage, he joined OPS Blue Shield as a claims analyst, remaining with the firm for his entire career. He retired from Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon as general counsel, corporate secretary, and a major architect of the Regence Group. He often represented Blue Cross Blue Shield in state and national legislative matters.
Rod was active in many civic groups, including the Washington County Public Affairs Forum, Washington County Historical Society, Cedar Mill Community Library, Beaverton School District, and Cedar Hills UCC. An avid outdoorsman, he enjoyed mountain climbing, backpacking, cycling, and cross-country skiing. Like his father, he maintained a lifelong interest in Northwest history, especially that of its native cultures.
He is survived by his wife, Sally McMillan Bunnell; sons John and David; daughter-in-law Jenna; and two grandchildren.
Gary Marlette died on February 16, 2016, at his home. He was 76 years old.
Gary was born on March 26, 1939, in Redfield, South Dakota. He attended Redfield High School, where he was a football and track athlete, a member of the glee and chorus clubs, and active in many other student organizations.
Soon after he graduated high school, Gary’s family moved to Longview, Washington, and he enrolled at St. Martin’s College in Lacey. In 1964, he began law school and married JoAnn Berks. The couple moved to Baker, Oregon, after Gary graduated and he practiced law there until he retired in 2007. He and his family enjoyed many summers on the Snake River while bird hunting, fishing, camping, boating, and skiing.
Gary is survived by his wife, two daughters, a daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren.
J. Charles Morrison BA ’69, September 11, 2016, age 69. After obtaining a master’s degree in university administration from the University of Calgary in 1975, Morrison worked much of his life for the University of Alberta. By 1988, he was the director of administrative services for the university’s department of medicine. Even after semi-retirement, he remained at the school as a career development officer until his passing. When he wasn’t working, Morrison lived in the country and indulged his love for animals, art, and the outdoors. Survivors include his wife, Lil; sons Craig and Corey; and two grandchildren.