Farewell to Founding Dean Charlie Teske

Charles (Charlie) B. Teske died on June 20, 2019 at age 87. Teske was one of three founding deans of the college and helped initiate Evergreen’s student-centered approach to teaching with full-time, team-taught programs. As dean of humanities and arts, he hired faculty to staff the first few years of the college and supported young faculty by teaching with them, respecting their disciplines, and acting on their ideas.

After rotating out of the deanery into the faculty, Teske team-taught eleven programs until his retirement in 1998. One program very dear to his heart was based on Richard Wagner’s “The Ring Cycle,” taught in collaboration with the Seattle Opera Company.

Charles McCann, the college’s first president, nominated Teske to become the historian of Evergreen. Teske dove into this work with characteristic energy, writing many pieces for the archives and completing an oral history of about 18 hours, also available in transcripts.

Teske graduated from Lafayette College and Yale University and taught at Oberlin College. At Oberlin, he became associate dean in the humanities where he initiated the idea of individual contracts for students.

Teske was a well-regarded trumpeter who played in local jazz bands. He was also a Shakespearean actor at Yale and had been a soloist in the Yale Russian Chorus. On May 25, 2013 the Charles B. Teske Practice Room was dedicated at Oberlin College.

He was married to Lilo Peter for the past 29 years and leaves a family legacy with two sons from a previous marriage, a stepdaughter, three step grandchildren, and four great step grandchildren.

Matt Smith, Faculty Emeritus 1973–2013

Faculty emeritus Matt Smith passed away on May 19. Smith was a member of the faculty from 1973 until his retirement in 2013.

Smith was known for his kindness, dedication to his students, impeccable program design, and infectious curiosity. As an inaugural member of the Faculty Agenda Committee and a major contributor to Evergreen’s accreditation self-studies, he was committed to the vitality of Evergreen’s academic culture.

Faculty member Frederica Bowcutt, who taught with Smith on multiple occasions, said, “He modeled how to skillfully design a synergistic program that supports students in making connections across disciplines.”

Sam Schrager, faculty emeritus and Smith’s long-time teaching colleague, said, “I loved teaching with Matt and being with him. There was no gap between Matt the professor and Matt the person.”

Pete Taylor, Founding Faculty 1971–95

Pete Taylor, member of the faculty from 1971–1995, passed away last December at age 85. In his 24 years at Evergreen, Taylor taught generations of students to be keen observers, shrewd scientists, and powerful advocates for the environment. His teaching partner Jim Stroh said, “Pete had a gift of teaching with gentle rigor, especially in the field.”

Taylor taught oceanography at UW, but readily embraced Evergreen’s interdisciplinary nature. His wife of 60 years, Ginny, said, “Pete was most at home in nature—be it mountains, prairies, forests, or by water.” Over the years he brought his students to all of these habitats, from Death Valley to Hawaii, designing ambitious programs and opening doors for countless scientific careers.

A former student of his wrote, “Pete—in his quiet, unassuming manner—offered knowledge, guidance, and encouragement while promoting our own creative thought.”

George Dimitroff, Faculty Emeritus 1973–99

Faculty emeritus George Dimitroff passed away on January 31. Dimitroff joined Evergreen in 1973 and taught mathematics, computer and actuarial science, and related subjects until his retirement in 1999. He was known for his warmth and openness with students and a dedicated investment in their futures.

Though he was the creator and manager of Evergreen’s Math Lab, he had many interests beyond mathematics. In the 70’s, he was a member of the Evergreen Woodwind Quintet which included students. He enjoyed computer programming. He co-founded and taught a longstanding program called Society and the Computer long before computers were common in households across the country, helping a generation of students understand the technical, social, and ethical implications of new technology. Dimitroff was also deeply involved with Evergreen’s exchange program with Kobe University of Commerce and a mainstay of the Data to Information program.

Al Saari, First Chief of Media Engineering

Retired staff member Al Saari passed away in 2018 at age 88. Saari joined Evergreen in July of 1970 as Chief of Media Engineering in Library Services after leaving a successful career as an aircraft engineer at Boeing. At the time of his retirement, he was the college’s longest-serving staff member. In his 43 years at Evergreen, Saari was deeply involved with the construction of every major building on campus and was known for his good nature and expert guidance.

Saari was vital to the college’s infrastructure and a valued member of the community. Some of his major work included the CCAM television studio, audio recording studios, the KAOS radio broadcast system, electronic security systems, and more. At his retirement party in 2013, fellow staff spoke fondly of Al’s guidance and hard work, speculating that he probably knew the location of every cable buried on campus.

In Memoriam 

Stephanie Ash ’09, May 20, 2019 at age 46. Stephanie lived in Gresham, Oregon.

Douglas Anderson ’89, Jan. 1, 2019. He worked for Solar Energy Designs and Sunshine Propane. He was a carpenter, inventor, and designer.

Sean Atkisson ’96, March 5, 2019 at age 57. Sean was a licensed clinical social worker and worked for Group Health.

Mark Beckler, Jan. 28, 2019 at age 70. An early employee of the college (1973), he worked in Business Services & Student Accounts for over 30 years.

Joseph Campo ’75, March 31, 2019 at age 65. Joseph worked at the Washington State Office’s of Financial Management and Health.

Kameren Ann Cramer ’07, April 11, 2019 at the young age of 46. She loved sailing, fishing, gardening, and spending time with her family, especially her daughter MaKenzie.

Darlene Defoe ’85, April 18, 2019 at age 75. She worked for Cascade Mental Health Care.

Neil Delisanti, October 27, 2018 at age 80. Neil taught management studies as adjunct faculty from 1987–2004, and in 2012. A veteran with 20 years of service, he traveled the world as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force and had a passion for sailing.

Patricia Earl ’82, June 9, 2019 at age 66. Patricia worked for Washington State Department of Social and Health Services.

Mary Ealy ’89, a single mother of ten children, grandmother of 26, and great grandmother of six. She inspired several of her daughters to become Evergreen graduates, and a great grandson is a current student. She often said Evergreen allowed her to spread her wings. Mary was a retired social worker.

Les Eldridge, Aug. 1, 2019 at age 82. Les was a key figure in Evergreen’s early years as head of Financial Aid and as assistant to the President from 1971–82 (see bottom photo of original staff and faculty). He was one of the principal creators of Super Saturdays (first one shown at left) and led Evergreen’s government relations program. He became Thurston County Commissioner in 1982 and continued supporting Evergreen until his death.

Derrek Ellis ’14, October 11, 2018.

Stacy Gourley ’80, Jan. 17, 2019 at the age of 60. Stacy was a performance story teller, world traveler, and researcher of Irish mythology.

David Harkness ’94, MEd ’96, Feb. 4, 2019 at the age 65. David was retired from the Tacoma School District.

Robert Harms ’09, Feb. 18, 2019 at age 51. An avid horseman, he served as a park ranger at Olympic National Park.

Andrew Glenn Harris ’09, Dec. 13, 2018 at age 31. Andrew was a gemologist.

Cherie Hedman ’03, April 13, 2019 at age 74. Cherie lived in Shelton.

Eugene Hegel ’87, Nov. 9, 2018 at age 77. Eugene enjoyed a career in painting and architectural design.

Robert Thomas Herdlein ’85, MPA ’10, June 11, 2018 at age 64. A resident of Manchester, N. H., he worked in website design for The Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Rocky Lynn Howard, July 26, 2019 at age 67. Rocky attended Evergreen from 1971–72.

Lloyd Huff ’86, Feb. 24, 2019 at age 64. Lloyd served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War era, and later served the state of Washington for 34 years.

Adam Hutchison ’07, June 24, 2019 at age 38. Dedicated to his dogs and the betterment of the world, in lieu of flowers, Adam would ask that you vote in the 2020 election.

Susan Johns, Feb. 7, 2019. Susan had worked in the Technical Services area of the Library since 1988. An active member of the library community, she volunteered her time, energy, and artwork for fundraising events and celebrations, especially Halloween.

Barbara Keogh ’91, MiT ’93, July 23, 2018.

Mary Kiley ’84, Dec. 6, 2018 at age 75. “She taught everyone around her how to love.”

Matthew Knoke ’93, March 23, 2019 at age 52. Matthew was a nuclear technician before opening a Thai restaurant.

Kim Koenig ’78, May 30, 2018 at age 62. She devoted her career to protecting the rights of the wronged and the oppressed as an attorney with the King County Office of Public Defense.

Keita Lane ’73, July 10, 2019 at age 66. Keita was grants manager for the Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Jerry Lenzi MPA ’82, Dec. 29, 2018 at age 74. Jerry retired in 2013 after 45 years with the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Michael Louisell MPA ’06, Dec. 31, 2018 at age 68. Michael enjoyed a 42-year career in writing and publications.

Jeanie Miller ’83, May 24, 2019 at age 81. A lifelong volunteer, Jeanie volunteered at St. Peter Hospital and Capital High School.

Wesley Moate ’88, Aug. 16, 2018 at age 62. Wesley worked for the U.S. Postal Service.

Lois Moses ’76, May 17, 2019 at age 77. A family and marriage therapist, she volunteered at the first AIDS Hospice in Tacoma.

William Murray ’87, Jan. 31, 2019 at age 56. He reduced, reused and recycled, and had a lifelong commitment to living simply.

Thomas Naught ’87, Dec. 29, 2018 at age 64. He served in the U.S. Army, owned his own plumbing and construction business, worked in Olympia community theater and with troubled youth. He was building a tiny home in Portland, Ore., at the time of his passing.

Lewis Negri ’75, March 1, 2019 at age 66. Lewis was gifted with creating magic through the lens of a camera.

Lindy Newell ’75, May 12, 2019 at age 66. Despite suffering from MS since age 20, Lindy was a golden light, a smile that wouldn’t quit, and a laugh that was totally embracing.

Yvonne McDonald MPA ’02, August 7, 2018 at age 56.

Marvin “Tom” O’Brien ’77, Feb. 25, 2019 at age 74. Tom served in the U.S. Air Force, was an accountant for Continental Can Company, and retired from Washington state’s DSHS.

Laura E. Parish ‘02, July 29, 2019 at age 39. Laura studied Political Science while at Evergreen and had a career in the bike messaging industry in Seattle. She was an avid world traveler and had a strong, fierce personality. She enjoyed spending the majority of her time with her friends and family. She was loved by all who knew her.

James Picard ’95, March 13, 2019 at age 49. James was a communications consultant with Watson Wyatt Worldwide in Chicago.

Gerald Probst MPA ’85, Nov. 23, 2018 at age 83. Gerald served in the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy Reserves. He was an urban planner for King County and San Diego, and retired from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

Chris Robison ’87, Dec. 1, 2018 at the age 67. Chris was a sonar technician in the U.S. Navy and served in the Peace Corps in Togo, West Africa.

Marshall Robinson, March 5, 2019 at age 73. Marshall worked in Computing and Communications from 1997–2018. In 2009 he received a Recognition of Excellence award for his work with information technology purchasing. He enjoyed auto racing and carpentry.

Tina Saxton ’12, Jan., 26, 2019 at age 69.

Judy Scott ’10, Nov. 8, 2018 at age 61. She was a manager at Radiance Herbs and Massage.

Jo Mylroe Sohneronne ’86, April 13, 2019 at age 73. She was retired from the Washington State Department of Ecology.

Tracy Alan Sorrell, July 29, 2019 at age 50. Tracy worked at Evergreen from 1995–2010 as a member of the Building Services staff.

James Tabbert ’82, May 25, 2019 at age 59. James was an avid volunteer who enjoyed ecology, historic architecture, and politics.

Terri Thompson ’89, MEd, Jan. 11, 2019 at age 65. Terri was a teacher at Pioneer Middle School.

Roberta Tidland ’78, Feb. 23, 2018 at age 92. Roberta was a faith-based counselor, historian and civic leader.

Garnest Turner ’04, MiT ’06, Nov. 1, 2018 at age 68. He was graphic designer with his own company, Turner Type and Design, and taught in the North Thurston School District.

Gordon Watson ’87, March 28, 2019 at age 65. Gordon worked for Van Dorm Realty.

Gerald Weeks ’83, May 12, 2018 at age 74. He was a psychotherapist with Valley View Health Center and retired from Cascade Mental Health in Chehalis.

Jeanette Whitcomb ’74, Jan. 15, 2019 at age 75. She worked in the Mason County Prosecutor’s Office until she opened her own law office.

Lenore Whittaker ’90, Feb. 3, 2019 at age of 75. Lenore worked at the Tumwater Chamber of Commerce.

Teresa Woods, June 14, 2019. Teresa served as an academic advisor from 2002–15, moving to Olympia after 13 years of working in Indonesia. She completed her Doctorate in Philosophy from UW in 2007 and presented “Magic, Morality and Medicine: Madness and Medical Pluralism in Java” at Evergreen. She was well-loved by students—one wrote that Teresa was such a good mentor because she knew how to “read into people.” She enjoyed working with students engaged in Asian Studies or cultural or Islamic studies. She was proud of veterans and for several years, Teresa and her mother made sashes for graduating veterans and wall quilts for Evergreen’s Veterans Center.

Elizabeth Marie Wyruchowski ’81, June 4, 2019.