In Memoriam

Alumni | Faculty


Gwendolyn Toombs Altenburg-Gillott, ’54 Education, age 93, on Feb. 23, in Gilroy. The third generation of her family to live on the Cunha property settled by her grandparents in the late 1800s, Altenburg-Gillott taught music in the Gilroy schools for more than 30 years and served as minister of music and liturgy at St. Mary’s Church. She was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, the Gilroy Grange and the Native Daughters of the Golden West.

Robert S. Barmettler, ’49, age 88, on Dec. 16, 2012, in Montgomery, Ala. A native of Stans, Switzerland, Barmettler came to the U.S. with his family in 1930. A U.S. Army and World II veteran, he reentered the military after graduating from SJSU and trained to be a pilot and navigator in the U.S. Air Force. He received the Bronze and Silver Stars for service during the Vietnam War. After retiring from military service in 1970 as a lieutenant colonel, he earned a doctorate and began a second career as a professor of English and drama at Huntingdon College in Montgomery. For many summers, he was part of The Lost Colony cast on Roanoke Island, N.C., playing the role of Old Tom.

Cynthia Barrett, ’63 Education, age 67, on April 4, in South San Francisco.

Carol Kabat Baumann, ’53 Elementary Education, age 81, on March 3, in Seattle, Wash. A Livermore native, Baumann was a second-grade teacher in Spokane before becoming producer and news anchor at KSPS Public Television. She was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and the Rotary Club.

Jonathan C. Bell, ’72 Humanities and Arts.

Dwight Conner, ’79 Business, on Dec. 5, 2012, in Eureka.

Joseph Figueira, ’53 Recreation.

Frieda Forster, ’75 Spanish/Sociology, on Dec. 14, 2012, in San José. Forster worked as a substitute teacher and also taught ESL in Santa Clara County’s Adult Education Program.

Thomas Gardin, ’86 Aeronautics, on Sept. 12, 2012, in San José. A 25-year IT manager at the law firm Hoge Fenton Jones Appel, Gardin was a long-distance cyclist and runner and played classical guitar.

Donald Geddes, ’61 Art Education, age 82, on Feb. 13, in Sonoma. A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and the Korean War, Geddes taught for 29 years at Sonoma Valley High School and for a year in China in a program offered by Brigham Young University.

Daniel Gonsalves, ’53 Kinesiology, age 80, on Feb. 25, in Modesto. A native of Turlock and a U.S. Army veteran, Gonsalves taught and coached at Modesto High School and served as head wrestling coach at Grace Davis High School for 17 years. Among his honors: 1990 California Athletic Director of the Year; 1995 California Coaches Association Hall of Fame; and 2009 California Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Grace Anvick Greenwood, ’49 Education, on March 24, in Eureka.

Howard Latta, ’43 Music, age 92, on Feb. 6, in Fresno. A San José native, Latta served as employment supervisor and veterans’ employment representative at the Employment Development Department of California for 28 years. After retiring in 1982, he became church organist at several churches in the Fresno area. He was a member of the Phi Mu Alpha music fraternity and the American Guild of Organists.

Frank Azpeitia Lopez, ’74 Physical Education, age 64, in Nov. 24, 2012. A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Lopez served in the Vietnam War, where he was exposed to Agent Orange while protecting South Vietnamese villages from attack. The recipient of a Purple Heart and two Bronze Stars for his military service, he helped found the San José Vietnam War Memorial Foundation and advocated for a granite memorial, currently under construction for a San José park, that will bear the names of 144 San José servicemen who served in Vietnam. Lopez taught and coached in San José high schools until his 2004 retirement.

Edward Tatsuo Masuda, ’69 Industrial Design, age 70, on Jan. 30, in Mountain View. A native of Newcastle, Calif., Masuda began his career at Spectra Physics and helped design the first cash register scanner, currently on display at the Smithsonian Museum.

Ruth Monsen-McAtee, ’55 BA, ’68 MA, Library Science, on March 18.

Glenn Moore, ’51 Humanities and Arts.

William Kenneth Orr, ’65 MA Mathematics, age 56, on May 13, in Rough and Ready. A graduate of Westmont High School in San José, Orr had lived in Rough and Ready for 14 years and worked as a mechanic.

William Pollacek, ’66 Social Work, age 69, on May 3, in Napa. A native of New York and a U.S. Army veteran, Pollacek spent 30 years in the banking industry and served on the Martinez City Council from 1984 to 1988. He also served three terms as Contra Costa County treasurer-tax collector. In 2011, he retired and moved to Napa, where he served on the board of the Napa Valley Opera House. A tournament bridge player, he was a member of the American Contract Bridge League and was ranked a Silver Life Master.

Eleanor Popovich, ’57 Applied Sciences and Arts, on March 24.

Robert Prince, ’62 MA Social Science, age 86, on May 25, in San José. A retired U.S. Air Force officer and fighter pilot, Prince joined the Army Air Corps in 1945 and served for two years in the occupation force in Germany. He completed his graduate degree while teaching ROTC at SJSU and served as commander of the 75th Fighter Interceptor Squadron in Maine and the North Truro AFS on Cape Cod. In retirement, he worked as a volunteer to support Planned Parenthood and the United Nations.

Kenneth G. Rochette, ’65 Business, in March 2012, in San José.

Albert Silvani, ’69 Library Science, in December 2012, in Alabaster, Ala.

Ronnie Ray Smith, ’72 Sociology, age 64, on March 31, in Los Angeles. A gold medalist at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City for the 400-meter relay with teammates Charlie Greene, Mel Pender and Jim Hines, Smith attended SJSU during the famed Speed City era. Coached by Bud Winter, he was part of the Spartan team that won the 1969 NCAA Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Championship. “He was a beautiful runner to watch,” said Ron Davis, Smith’s classmate and the Spartans’ current cross country and women’s track coach.

Marie Upton, ’83 Journalism, age 77, on Nov. 6, 2011. Upton wrote the department newsletter for Stanford’s Operations and Maintenance Department before retiring in 1991 and moving to Modesto. She supported a variety of nature and wildlife organizations, including the Marine Mammal Center and the ASPCA.

Ken Venturi, ’53 Kinesiology, age 82, on May 17, in Rancho Mirage. A native of San Francisco, Venturi developed his golf game at Harding Park Golf Course and won the California State Amateur at Pebble Beach in 1951 and 1956. A member of the World Golf Hall of Fame and the SJSU Sports Hall of Fame, he played for the Spartans from 1951 to 1953. He joined the PGA Tour in 1956 and won 14 tournaments as a professional. In his second career, for 35 years, he served as lead analyst for CBS Sports’ coverage of the PGA Tour.

Margery Vernon, ’87 History, on March 21, in Los Gatos.

Paul F. Ward, ’65 Engineering, age 70, on Feb. 22, in San José. A native of San Francisco, Ward received an MBA from Santa Clara University. During his high-tech career, he worked at Eimac, Memorex and Verbatim, where he patented the double-sided floppy disc.

Kenneth Joseph Watson, Chemistry, age 66, on Sept. 26, 2012, in Bayfield, Colo. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Watson grew up in San José and served in the U.S. Army Special Forces in the late 1960s. A salesman in civilian life, he moved to Colorado in 1991.


Paul Calvin Andriese, age 87, on March 17, in Monte Sereno. A native of California, Andriese was a U.S. Navy and World War II veteran. He received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biology from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., and his doctorate in 1967 from UC Berkeley. He joined SJSU’s Department of Biology in 1968 as an assistant professor and was promoted to full professor in 1977. He retired from teaching in 1988.

James Cabeceiras, age 82, on April 17, in Medford, Ore. A native of Massachusetts, Cabeceiras received his master’s degree in 1964 and his doctorate in 1967 from Syracuse University. His 30-year career at SJSU began in 1968 when he joined the Department of Instructional Technology as an associate professor. He was promoted to full professor in 1972 and retired in 1998.

Felix Garcia, age 82, on Jan. 26, in Albuquerque, N.M. A native of Albuquerque and a U.S. Army veteran, Garcia served as an Army Intelligence Specialist, stationed in England, during the 1950s. He received his bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctorate from the University of New Mexico. He started his career at SJSU in 1970 in the School of Social Work. In 1972, he became an associate professor in the Department of Mexican American Studies and chaired that department from 1975 to 1979. He retired in 1994.

Julius Menendez, age 90, April 14, in Gilroy. A native of Illinois, Menendez was the 1946 national Golden Gloves champion with a record of 14-1-2, including three knockouts. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1950 from SJSU and his master’s degree from Stanford in 1951. He joined SJSU’s coaching staff in 1953 as assistant boxing coach and became head coach in 1954. As head coach for Team USA, he coached Muhammad Ali to a gold medal at the 1960 Olympics. He also coached Team USA in men’s soccer at the 1976 Olympics. During his tenure at SJSU, he won three NCAA titles as the Spartans’ boxing coach and 295 matches in 36 years as the men’s soccer coach. He retired in 1991.

Gabriele Lusser Rico, age 75, on March 15, in Cupertino. Creator of the writing brainstorming process known as “clustering” and author of the classic textbook Writing the Natural Way, Rico was a native of Germany who did not speak English until she was 12. She received her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from SJSU and her doctorate from Stanford in 1978. She joined SJSU’s Department of English as a lecturer in 1964 and was promoted to full professor in 1985. She retired in 2006. Donations to the Rico-Ressman Endowment Fund to support emerging writers may be made online at

Frank Sumares, age 73, on March 28, in Hayward. A native of Hayward, Sumares served in the U.S. Marine Corps prior to receiving his bachelor’s degree from SJSU in 1978 and his master’s degree from CSU Hayward in 1982. A professional jazz musician, he instituted the first Jazz Festival at CSU Hayward, was one of the original teachers at the Stanford Jazz Camp and served as director of the Cazadero Jazz Camp. The author of three books on jazz improvisation, he worked with jazz greats Mel Tormé and Della Reese and received the San José Jazz Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He joined SJSU’s Department of Music and Dance in 2001.

Jody Ulate

Jody Ulate, '05 MA English, is editor of the Washington Square blog and printed alumni magazine.

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