In Memoriam

Alumni | Faculty


Alice Maxwell Bowles, ’57 Psychology, age 84, on Jan. 18, in Lakeport. A native of Napa, Bowles worked in Washington, D.C. and Northern California as an executive assistant before becoming a cattle farmer in Willits.

Joseph Thomas Brown, age 67, on Nov. 2, 2012, in Elk Point, S.D. A Vallejo native and U.S. Air Force veteran, Brown served for four years as a weather equipment repairman, stationed at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico. He worked as a senior computer operator at IBM in San Jose before moving to the Sioux City area and working as a system analyst and business software programmer.

David R. Chaid, ’62 Applied Arts & Sciences, Oct. 31, 2012, in San Jose.

Billie Yoder Creelman, ’81 Business, age 55, on Nov. 21, 2012, in Seattle. A native of Columbus, Ohio, Creelman received the volunteer parent of the year, the Golden Acorn Award, in 2001 and was an active member of the North Seattle Alliance Church. She participated in mission trips to Honduras, Jamaica and Guatemala and was instrumental in founding the Puget Sound Christian Clinic.

Robert John Connelly Jr., ’72 MS Recreation, age 67, on February 4, in Aurora, Ill. A U.S. Navy veteran who served during the Vietnam War, Connelly worked for the city of Gilroy’s Recreation Department for 29 years. He was director of parks and recreation (later changed to director of community services) from 1987 to 2004. When he retired in 2004, he moved to the Chicago area to be closer to family.

Robert Cutler, ’49 Physical Education, age 90, in August 2012, in Broomall, Pa. A native of Philadelphia and retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel, Cutler commanded the 621st Tactical Control Squadron of the Seventh Air Force during the Vietnam War. A teacher and administrator at Delaware County Community College from 1969 to 1987, he served as director of athletics in the 1980s and received the Delaware County Basketball Coaches Association Award in 1991.

John R. Denhart, Accounting, age 93, on Aug. 17, 2012, in San Jose. A Los Altos native, Denhart was a U.S. Army veteran who served in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. As a civilian, he worked as a public accountant for more than 40 years.

Bernadine A. Fawley, ’76, on July 9, 2012, in Saratoga.

George Alex Fitzsimonds, ’72 Engineering, on Dec. 9, 2012, in Napa. A native of Sacramento, Fitzsimonds served in the U.S. Navy from 1960 to 1964. After a 37-year career with United Airlines, he retired in 2002.

Norman Friborg, ’59 Physical Education, on July 22, 2012. A member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, Friborg coached basketball at San Jose’s James Lick High School and Piedmont Hills High School. He retired in 1998.

Robert George, ’60 Radio/TV, on Oct. 23, 2012, in Valley Village. A Bay Area native, George was a longtime television executive who began his career in the mailroom of KPIX-TV San Francisco. After working at KGO-TV San Francisco, KING-TV Seattle and WBZ-TV Boston, he returned to KPIX-TV as station manager. He later served as executive producer of “PM Magazine” and vice president of programming at MTM Productions.

John Giordano, Business, age 86, on Aug. 22, 2012, in Palo Alto. A San Jose native, Giordano served in the U.S. Army during World War II. As a civilian, he worked as a controller at San Jose Municipal Golf Course. He was a board member of San Jose Parks and a member of the San Jose Goals Committee.

Max Gordon, English, age 66, on Oct. 22, 2012, in Campbell. A native of Campbell, Gordon served as editor of SJSU’s Reed magazine and received SJSU’s Phelan Literary Award. An official for the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Northern California, he was named USTA NorCal Referee of the Year in 2002 and Grassroots Official of the Year in 2009.

Greg Hind, ’69 Health Science, age 66, on Oct. 31, 2012, in San Luis Obispo. A businessman, philanthropist and environmentalist, Hind was a three-time All-American water polo player at SJSU and gold medalist at the 1967 Pan American Games. His Hind Foundation provided grants to complete the Cambria library, build an access road to Harmony Headlands State Park, restore the Cambria Historical Museum and support other community and environmental causes. He was named San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year in 2010.

Erle Verdi Johnson, Education, age 89, in January. A U.S. Navy and World War II veteran, Johnson was an administrator in the San Juan Unified School District and the Sacramento City Unified School District. He was a former president of the Association of Health and P.E. Educators and Pacific 12 Conference (PAC-12) football referee.

Annette LeSiege, ’68 BA, ’70 MA, Music, on Aug. 26, 2012, in Marina. An accomplished classical composer with more than 70 published compositions to her credit, LeSiege was born in Oakland and raised in Sunnyvale. During her career, she was a tenured professor at Wake Forest University, chairman of the Department of Music at Santa Catalina School and assistant dean at New Jersey City College. She retired from NJCC in 2009.

Christina Lim, Industrial Technology, age 52, on October 27, 2012, in Oakland. An Oakland native, Lim worked for 14 years as a producer at KTEH, San Jose’s PBS station, and won Emmy Awards for the documentaries “Return to the Valley” and “Dave Tatsuno: Movies and Memories.” In 2010 she joined CreaTV as the summer college internship coordinator for the “Spare the Air, Bay Area!” project.

George Mattos, ’52 Music, age 83, on Oct. 18, 2012, in Oregon. A native of Santa Cruz and two-time Olympic pole vaulter, Mattos served in the U.S. Air Force for four years and lead the Dixie Fat Cats Dixeland Band. A music teacher for more than three decades, he helped to found the Department of Music at the College of the Siskiyous in 1960. He was inducted into SJSU’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2006 and the National Pole Vault Hall of Fame in 2010.

Neal McCrea, Industrial Arts, age 97, on Sept. 17, 2012, in San Jose. A Texas native and U.S. Navy veteran, McCrea served as a flight engineer during World War II. He taught for 24 years in San Jose.

David Gregory Mueller, Criminal Justice, age 45, on Aug. 20, 2012, in Boise, Idaho. A native of Smithtown, N.Y., Mueller began his teaching career at CSU Los Angeles and also taught at the University of Idaho before joining the faculty of Boise State University in 2001.

Herman Osorio, ’54 Social Science, on Oct. 15, 2012, in Lincoln.

David Payne, ’65 Journalism, age 72, on Oct. 15, 2012, in Bluffton, S.C. A native of Stockton, Payne worked as a sportswriter for the San Jose Mercury News for 33 years.

John Moring Percival, Administration of Justice, age 83, in Fort Collins, Colo. A native of San Diego, Percival worked as a motorcycle officer and homicide detective for the San Jose Police Department early in his career and also raced motorcycles from 1948 to 2003. He served as president of the California Parachute Club and was a skydiver from 1958 to 2001. He was also a licensed pilot.

David Albert Politi, ’05 Environmental Studies, age 43, on Sept. 14, 2012, in Saratoga. Politi worked as a manager and dive master for a scuba diving resort in Bali. After returning to the U.S., he worked as a safety officer at Tucker Engineering in Campbell.

Tony Edward Reyes, ’98 Radio/TV/Film, age 38, on Sept. 28, 2012. A native of Mountain View, Reyes competed on the SJSU bowling team from 1992 to 1995 and received First Team All-America honors in 1993 and 1995. He competed on the PBA tour for 14 seasons and bowled a 300 game at the 2006 Motor City Classic in Detroit in the semifinal match before winning the title. An assistant coach for the SJSU bowling team, he was recently inducted into the Northern California Youth Bowling Hall of Fame.

Ray Smelek, ’59 Electrical Engineering, age 77, on Sept. 3, 2012, in Boise, Idaho. Smelek began his 37-year career at Hewlett-Packard as an undergraduate at SJSU in the company’s student engineering pool. He became general manager of the company’s Boise Division in 1973 and vice president/group general manager of the worldwide mass storage group in 1988. He retired in 1994.

Rosalie V. Speciale, ’39 Education, age 92, on Nov. 5, 2012, in San Jose. A member of Mu Phi Epsilon, Speciale taught music for 66 years. She was a life member of the Music Teachers Association of California, Santa Clara County Chapter. From 1958 to 1962, she served as international president of Mu Phi Epsilon.

Paul Yaggy, Engineering, age 89, on Aug. 20, 2012.


Paul Joel Freeman, age 93, on May 29, 2011. A native of Minneapolis, Freeman moved to California in 1937. A U.S. Army and World War II veteran, he received his bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctorate from Stanford. He joined the SJSU faculty in 1951 as a lecturer in the Department of Biology and retired at the rank of full professor in 1974.

Ted Norton, age 90, on Feb. 7. A native of Alameda, Norton received bachelor’s and law degrees from Stanford and both his master’s degree and doctorate in political science from the University of Chicago. He joined SJSU’s Department of Political Science in 1960 and was promoted to full professor in 1969. Later, he served as chair of the department. Norton also helped author the Academic Senate’s constitution. He retired from full-time teaching in 1993. He established two SJSU endowments: the Political Science Faculty Endowment in 1995 and the T.M. Norton Campus Enhancement Fund in 2004.

Howard Turetsky, age 65, on December 4, 2012. A native of New York, Turetsky received his bachelor’s degree from SUNY Binghamton, his master’s degree from Nova Southeastern University and his doctorate from Virginia Commonwealth University. Before joining SJSU’s Department of Accounting and Finance in 2000, he taught at the University of Illinois Springfield and Saint Mary’s College of California. Promoted to full professor at SJSU in 2006, he participated in the SJSU Salzburg Program, advised several student accounting clubs and helped set up the T. Kyle Williams Memorial Scholarship Award in 2011.

James E. Watson, age 81, on July 1, 2012, in Los Gatos. A native of Rochester, Minn., Watson received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota, his master’s degree from SJSU and his doctorate from UC Berkeley. He joined SJSU’s Department of Political Science as a lecturer in 1957 and was promoted to full professor in 1967. He retired in 1994.

Jody Ulate

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

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3 Responses

  1. says:

    Thank you for posting this info James and had I not stumbled here, I wouldn’t know about Ray Smith, Tommie Smith and many others. If you can post here more information about James E. Watson here, I’d really appreciate it.

  2. James A. "Lap" Baker says:

    In August of 1972, I received a Masters Degree in Urban and Regional Planning. I am the first Black/African-American to receive a Masters Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from San Jose State University. I am the President and Founder of Comprehensive Planning Consultants in Jackson, Mississippi. However, my main concern is that San Jose State University has failed to recognize one of its greatest track star, Mr. Ronnie Ray Smith. Ronnie Ray Smith ran track during the 1968 Olympics with John Carlos and Tommie Smith. I was recently informed that Ronnie Ray passed away in Los Angeles. He was a very close friend of mine, as well as all of my Omega Psi Phi Fraternity brothers and other Black students during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. San Jose State University should give Ronnie Ray Smith the same type of recognition that has been given to John Carlos and Tommie Smith. Ronnie Ray just didn’t wear a black glove.
    That’s not taking anything away from Carlos and Smith, it’s just giving equal share to a man who accomplished the same victory.
    James A. “Lap” Baker

    • Jody Ulate says:

      Thank you for your post, James. Glad to hear you’re doing well in Mississippi. Thanks, too, for sharing the information about Ronnie Ray Smith. We are sad to hear about his death, and we will include a note about it in the fall issue. But I’d very much like to learn more about Ronnie’s life — and your friendship with him. Please email me at

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