Lewis & Clark Mourns College Friends, Faculty, Life Trustees

Maggie Roberts Murdy, namesake of Maggie’s Café on campus and a member of the Heritage Society, Don Ostensoe ‘53, a friend of the College and a nationally prominent beef industry leader, Ralph Jerald “Jerry” Baum, professor emeritus of literature, Robert Flowerree, a life trustee of Lewis & Clark College, Richard Woolworth ‘63, former Donald G. Balmer Citation awardee and a life trustee of Lewis & Clark

Maggie Roberts Murdy, namesake of Maggie’s Café on campus and a member of the Heritage Society (honoring those who have named Lewis & Clark in their wills), died October 11, 2006, at age 82.

In her teens, Murdy visited the Lewis & Clark campus as a prospective student, but chose to attend Oregon State University instead. Later, as a young woman living in Southern California, she suffered a coronary. During her recovery she studied financial publications and began building her investments. She married Don Murdy in 1972 and they settled in Emerald Bay, California. Widowed in 1988, she married Richard Lusk, her next-door neighbor, in 1998. Together, they loved to golf and travel the world.

In September 2002, Murdy returned to Lewis & Clark to help dedicate Roberts Hall, an apartment-style residence named for her parents–and Maggie finally became a member of the Lewis & Clark family. 

Survivors include her husband; stepdaughter, Jean Wyatt; stepson, Bruce Murdy; and sister-in-law, Joyce Roberts.

Don Ostensoe ‘53, a friend of the College and a nationally prominent beef industry leader, died November 14, 2006, of a stroke at age 78.

Ostensoe attended Lewis & Clark on the GI bill, graduating with a BS in political science. He later served on the Lewis & Clark Board of Alumni and was a member of the Heritage Society, an honorary organization for the College’s planned giving donors.

From 1953 until 1960, he was assistant vice president in charge of advertising at First National Bank of Oregon. He was named Oregon’s Ad Man of the Year in 1960. But it was at the helm of the Oregon Beef Council and the Oregon Cattlemen’s association that Ostensoe left an indelible mark.

During his 25 years as head of the Oregon Beef Council, one of the first state beef councils in the nation, he guided the state’s beef industry from its early origins as a production-oriented industry into the modern-day era of marketing and promotion.

Later, as executive vice president of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, he led that group from a membership of 700 to an all-time high of 3,300 by 1980.

Ostensoe was an accomplished musician who played drums and cornet in local bands. In 1958 he staged the Portland Rose Festival’s first jazz festival.

Ralph Jerald “Jerry” Baum, professor emeritus of literature, died July 20, 2006, at age 78.

Baum taught literature at Lewis & Clark for 31 years. An anarchist, he did not believe in giving grades, considering students and teachers to be equals; he also served as an advisor to conscientious objectors. For five decades he was an activist in support of such causes as the civil rights movement, Vietnam War protests, and farmworkers’ rights. He also marched in opposition to the Gulf and Iraq wars.

Baum gave up his car in 1979 in support of public transportation, and he often walked 10 miles a day, carrying dollar bills in his pocket to give to street people.

After retiring from Lewis & Clark, Baum advocated for the elderly in Portland-area nursing homes and for affordable housing and improved transportation.

Survivors include his wife, Katherine; daughters, Sidney, Connie, and Patricia; son, Christopher; brother, William; sister, Patricia Masalonis; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Robert Flowerree, a life trustee of Lewis & Clark College, died of leukemia on May 1, 2006, at age 85. He served three terms as a Lewis & Clark trustee beginning in 1965 and was elected a life trustee in 1974.

Flowerree had a long career with Georgia-Pacific Corporation. He had served as a director of several corporations and on the board of administrators of Tulane University.

After graduating from Tulane in 1942, Flowerree served in the Navy during World War II. He moved to the West Coast in 1946 and started his business career with C.D. Johnson Lumber in Toledo, Oregon, where he was general manager when the Georgia-Pacific Corporation purchased the company in 1951. He held a number of executive positions with George-Pacific before becoming chairman and chief executive officer in November 1976. He retired in January 1984. Active in business-related organizations, he was elected to the Paper Industry International Hall of Fame in 2001.

Survivors include his wife, Elaine; daughter, Ann; two sons, John H. and David R.; sister, Ellen Woods; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Richard Woolworth ‘63, former Donald G. Balmer Citation awardee and a life trustee of Lewis & Clark, died August 3, 2006, after a battle against pancreatic cancer. He was a trustee of the College from 1992 to 2002 before becoming a life trustee.

Woolworth began his career as a certified public accountant for Arthur Young & Company. He retired as chairman and chief executive officer of the Regence Group and from several other active corporate and board positions.

Woolworth was actively involved in community service, for which he received the Northwest Medical Teams Spirit of Life Award and the Portland Business Alliance William S. Naito Service Award. In June 2006, the Regence Group renamed its downtown Portland building the R.L. Woolworth Building in his honor.

Survivors include his wife, Sheila; sons, Gary and Dean; daughter, Shelly; and six grandchildren.