Friends of Lewis & Clark Remembered

Obo Addy, instructor in African music, Edward Stamm, life trustee, and Pano “Pete” Vlahos, a former staff member and an active alumnus of Lewis & Clark.

Obo Addy, instructor in African music, died from liver cancer on September 13, 2012, at age 76. He was a master drummer, an award-winning composer, a brilliant musician, and a skilled teacher. A vigorous supporter of world music, Addy was extremely active in bringing that style of music to Portland.

Addy had been on the music faculty at Lewis & Clark for many years and was the artistic director of the Obo Addy Legacy Project, formerly known as Homowo African Arts and Cultures. The organization put on an annual Homowo Festival in Portland for nearly 15 years with music and dance, food, vendors, and art demonstrations from various countries within the continent of Africa and the African diaspora. Addy also maintained two different ensembles: Okropong and Kukrudu, “eagle” and “earthquake” in the Ga language.

Born in 1936 in Accra, Ghana, Addy was one of 55 children of Jacob Kpani Addy, a medicine man who integrated rhythmic music into healing and other rituals. Addy’s family was part of the Ga ethnic group, and he was raised in those musical traditions. By age 6, he was designated a master drummer.

In 1969, Addy was hired as a Ga master by the Arts Council of Ghana, and he received international exposure at the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics. Addy lived in London and toured internationally until 1978, when he
moved to Portland. There he met and married his wife, Susan, who began managing his musical career.

Addy’s charismatic spirit, rapid-fire hands, and powerful voice led him to receive the National Heritage Fellowship Award from the National Endowment for the Arts. He also received a Governor’s Arts Award, a Regional Arts & Culture Council fellowship in performing arts, and a master’s fellowship from the Oregon Arts Commission.
Addy is survived by his wife, Susan; children Alex Addy, Brenda Addy, Akuyea Anupa Addy, Akuyea Bibio Addy, Akuyea Regina Addy, and Kordai Addy; stepdaughter Debbe Hamada and stepson Dan Amada; and nine grandchildren.

Edward Stamm, life trustee, died peacefully, surrounded by his family, on October 15, 2012, at age 90. Stamm served on the Lewis & Clark Board of Trustees from 1972 to 1981, at which time he became a life trustee.

Stamm spent his formative years in the woods of Washington, where he developed
a love for timber that later defined his professional career.

Stamm’s parents moved to Portland’s Alameda district in 1935 for a “proper” high school education. On his first day at Grant High School, Stamm was seated next to Else Marie Stadelman, which he said in later years was “a big break for me!” They became a couple. At Grant, Stamm was a three-sport athlete and senior class president, with Else as vice president.

His athletic and academic prowess earned him a basketball scholarship to Stanford University in 1939, but football coaches wooed him away from the hardwood. After earning All-American honors in football, he was drafted in the first round by the NFL’s Chicago Bears.

In spring 1943, Stamm returned to Portland with an industrial engineering degree in one hand and Else’s hand in the other. They married and Stamm put his pro football career on hold. He enlisted as a Navy officer in World War II. An explosion caused him serious eye damage, dooming his future in football.

Stamm returned to Stanford to earn his M.BA and was elected president of the business school student body. The Pacific Northwest called the family of three back
to Portland, where Stamm started a 30-year career in the lumber business with Boise Cascade and then as head of international sales at Tumac Lumber. He served on several nonprofit boards.

As a father and later “Great Poppa” to his grandchildren, Stamm embodied his values
of unconditional love, humility, compassion, respect, hard work, and aiming high. Else, the love of Ed’s life, passed before him, as did his son, Walter, and Walter’s wife, Peggy. He is survived by his brother, Don Stamm BA ’51; his daughter, Marilee Tennent; his son, Doug Stamm JD ’79; seven grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Pano “Pete” Vlahos, a former staff member and an active alumnus of Lewis & Clark, died of cancer on December 1, 2012, at age 76.

A native Portlander, Vlahos was married to his wife, Jan, for 48 years. Both attended Lewis & Clark, where Pete earned his BS in business and administration studies in 1957 and Jan earned her BA in English in 1963 and her M.P.A. in 1984.

Vlahos served as director of cultural events and an associate dean of students for 30 years at Lewis & Clark, where he was known and loved by generations of students, faculty, and staff.

Vlahos’ parents emigrated from Greece, and Pete was an active member of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral. He also served on the boards of the Regional Arts & Culture Council, the Alzheimer’s Association, and others.

Vlahos had a full heart and spirit with a passion for bringing people together. He loved life, laughter, community and family; directing choirs; teaching Greek folk dancing; and volunteering for political and social causes, with a special passion for the arts.
Pete is survived by his wife, Jan; his son, Tom Vlahos BS ’88, and his wife, Amy; his daughter, Marnie Vlahos BA ’92, and her husband, Erik; and four grandsons.