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In Memoriam: July 2012

Published: July 17, 2012

George Vincent Betar passed away March 24 in Ivins, Utah, at the age of 82. He was born Nov. 16, 1929, in Albany, New York, to George and Jane Betar. He earned his Ph.D. in English in 1962 from the University of Southern California and held teaching positions at Temple University and CSULB from where he retired in 1981.

Betar is survived by his wife, Amy Lyn DeZwart; children Margaret Powell, Bonnie Vandagriff, G. Joseph (Pat) Betar, Heather (Jack) Foster, Nicholas Betar, and Thomas Betar; brother Karl Betar; sisters-in-law, Lee Ann Platschorre and Danielle Veenstra; and faithful friend, William Linehan.

Michael Carney, a Bob Cole Conservatory faculty member, passed away on June 14. A memorial concert will be held on Sunday, Sept. 16 where Carney’s legacy will be celebrated with current and former students playing the music he loved and brought into their lives.

Carney was Director of Percussion Studies at the Bob Cole Conservatory for 31 years. He taught generations of percussionists and directed the World Percussion Group, Steel Drum Orchestra, and the Drums and Drummers Project. He taught classes in World Music required for all music majors and was also open to the entire university. Carney traveled the world performing, teaching and studying.

His performance expertise ranged from classical to jazz and included musical instruments and styles from West Africa, the Caribbean and Brazil. In 2005, Carney completed his first jazz concert tour of Brazil, performing vibraphone and steel pan in concerts. His concert in Rio de Janeiro was honored by the Jazz Society of Rio de Janeiro as the No. 2 International Jazz Concert of the Year (Wayne Shorter was No. 1) and Carney was named as the No. 3 International Jazz Musician of the Year (tied with Wynton Marsalis and Roy Hargrove).

He was founder and director of the World Percussion Project, a program that took American professionals, students and teachers abroad for intensive study of music and culture. The project has taken participants to Rio de Janeiro and Salvador, Bahia, Brazil and Ghana, West Africa. His musical journeys also took him to Spain, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Trinidad, the Philippines and Thailand.

As a classical percussionist, he performed with the North Carolina Symphony, Pacific Symphony and Long Beach Symphony orchestras. Carney was featured as a steel pan soloist with several symphony orchestras including the Virginia Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Tulsa Philharmonic, Modesto Symphony, New Mexico Symphony, Wichita Symphony and Long Beach Symphony orchestras performing his own compositions.

Born in 1952 in Palmyra, N.Y., he earned degrees in percussion performance from East Carolina University, the Eastman School of Music and North Texas State University. He also studied at the International Center for African Music and Dance in Ghana, as well as the Oficina de Investigaçaõ Musical and Rio Gruppo Percussaõ in Brazil. He is survived by his wife, Grace, and their daughter Jasmine, children Nikolaus and Noelle and their mother Jann; his mother Jan, stepmother, Shirley; brother Brian; and sisters Debbie and Tricia.

Walter B. Crawford of Westminster passed away on May 6 at age 93. He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Ann Crawford, son Eric Crawford and his wife Mary and their children Jonathan, Jennifer, Caroline, and Christopher, and son Todd Crawford and his wife, Krista Fogleman.

Crawford was born in Chamberlain, S.D., and, after graduating from Union College in Lincoln, Neb. in 1941, he pursued graduate studies in English at the University of Nebraska. Drafted in 1942, he trained as a medic and was posted to a U.S. Air Force base in Manitoba, Canada, as assistant to the base commander. Discharged in 1945, Walter earned his M.A. degree from Columbia University in 1947 and Ph.D. degree from UCLA in 1961. Crawford had multiple careers, as English instructor at La Sierra College, as executive director of the alumni association at Loma Linda University; as vice president of Meditron, a medical electronics company; and beginning in 1963 as professor of English literature at CSULB. His life changed in 1967 when he and his wife began editing a major annotated bibliography of the works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Crawford also published other books including Research Activity and Writing (1967), A Portfolio of Twenty Drawings Commemorating the Bicentenary of the Birth of Coleridge (1972), and Reading Coleridge: Approaches and Applications (1979), as well as numerous scholarly journal articles. After retirement in 1988, he participated actively in emeritus faculty affairs at CSULB. With his wife, he took up ballroom dancing, again making new friends, and continued his life as an intellectual, bon vivant, and inspirational, well-loved resident of Westminster Village.

Dr. James Orrin Morse, former director of CSULB Student Health Services, died Sept. 3, 2011 at age 81 in Morro Bay, where he moved shortly after retiring. He served the university from 1976 until the early 1990s.

He spent much of his youth on the beach at Mission Beach, Calif., and was a track standout at La Jolla High School. He earned his B.A. from the University of California and his Doctor of Medicine from the Stitch School of Medicine at Loyola University in Chicago. He spent many years as a pediatrician in San Jose.

Morse is survived by Marilyn, his wife of 55 years, and his four children who are CSULB alumni—Thomas F. Morse (1979, B.A., political science); Kathleen (Morse) Schiller (1981, B.A., speech communication); David R. Morse (1989, B.A., political science); and Mary Morse, who attended the university.