Class Notes - 1950s
David Thayer BS is professor emeritus of theatre arts at the University of Iowa. Before his retirement in 1997, he headed the design and technical theatre programs and served at various times as production manager for dance, opera, and theatre, and as interim chair of the theatre arts department.
Thayer’s avocation is the mining history of the western United States, particularly the mining districts and mines of southwest Colorado. For the past 29 years, he and his brother, Douglas Thayer BA ’56, have spent part of each summer hiking the mountains of San Juan County, Colorado. Together they have mapped the remains of 50 of the county’s tramways. “Our archival investigations have developed extensive data concerning construction, ownership, and operation of these trams. As a result of these studies we have developed and presented a number of papers for the Mining History Association.”
Bill Bitar BS is going strong after 55 years in property management and development as president of William Frank Bitar & Associates. He worked briefly in the grocery business after graduation before joining his dad and uncle in a property development firm started in 1922 as Bitar Bros. That business developed a number of properties for McDonald’s, Plaid Pantry, Arby’s, Chuck E. Cheese’s, business centers, and warehouses in the Portland metro area. The Bitars’ Empire Construction Company has built roads, sewers, and water utilities in Ketchikan and Petersburg, Alaska. Bitar is past president of the Parkrose Business Association, his Rotary Club, and the Providence Child Care Center Advisory Board. He and his wife, Margaret, have been married 49 years and reside on Portland’s east side. They have four daughters and six grandchildren.
Ann Kingsley Diestra CAS attended Lewis & Clark and later graduated from the University of Arizona in 1957. She received a teaching certificate from the Portland School District. She has fond memories of working for Danville Services for Development and the Forest Grove School District.
Kay Jansen BS and Jeannine Stanenko BS went on the cruise “Black Sea & Budapest to Bucharest on the Danube River” for several weeks in September 2013.
Craig Singletary BA hung up his microphone at the end of last season after 35 years as the stadium voice of the Linfield College football team. Having his daughter, Diane, as his spotter for more than 180 games—including two NAIA national championship contests—is among his proudest memories. Singletary is a professor emeritus of communications at Linfield. He enjoys travel with his wife, Fae, and making travelogues of their trips throughout the world.
Howard Eyerly BS is retired and lives in Bend, Oregon, with his wife, Barbara. He continues to keep a hand in space exploration management and technology. Before his 1998 retirement, Eyerly was an engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena for 37 years. He had a variety of project management responsibilities and worked on the 1971 Mariner exploration of Mars, the Galileo and Ulysses spacecrafts, and the 1990 space shuttle. He also served jointly on the staffs of the Jet Propulsion Lab and the California Institute of Technology. He holds an MBA from Pepperdine University.
David Sellers BA taught psychology at Lewis & Clark College and the University of Virginia as well as clinical psychology in Pacific University’s doctoral program. He was also chief operations psychologist and Inspector General staff of the CIA and had a private practice until 2003. He enjoys living on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound and traveling internationally with his wife, Dianne Shiner.
Bob Backstrom BS, a retired CPA, lives in Palm Desert, California, with his wife, Verla. His twin brother, Dick Backstrom BS ’60, passed away earlier this year.
Donald Bowerman JD was named in The Best Lawyers in America in the practice areas of commercial litigation, medical malpractice defense, and personal injury litigation.
Warren Braucher JD was honored by the Colorado Bar Association for his 50 years of outstanding service to the legal community.
Dorothy Bryant BM released her first CD, It Had to be You: Songs for a Romantic Evening. The CD features local musicians Katie Turner on keyboard, Earle Minor on saxophone, and Ken Ochsner BS ’66 on string bass. Bryant has sung with the Oregon and Seattle Symphonies, appeared in local musical theatre productions, and worked as a private voice teacher and vocal coach. She was also Miss Dorothy on KPTV’s Romper Room in the early 1960s.