Gene Kalbus, professor emeritus of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, died in December 2012. He was 81. Kalbus joined the department in 1957 as a freshly minted 26-year-old Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. For almost half a century, all department graduates took an analytical chemistry course that he either taught or designed. Several of the experiments he developed, often in collaboration with Professor Van T. Lieu, were published in the Journal of Chemical Education and adopted into the chemistry curriculum across the U.S. Outside the classroom, Kalbus ran for many years an energy institute that was sponsored by Southern California Edison for high school teachers. The institute took the participants to sites of energy generation and disposal (nuclear) across California and Nevada. He retired from LBSU in 1999.
Linda Clark Whitney, professor emerita of teacher education, died March 5. Whitney’s career as a professional educator spanned over four decades. She first taught in the Montebello Unified School District in 1971 and, in 1988, became a language arts development specialist. She served as an institute leader and consultant for the California Reading and Literature Project from 1990-97. In addition, she directed the California History-Social Science Project and was the consultant-in-charge for Humanities and Multicultural Education for the Los Angeles County Office of Education. She co-directed the UCLA History-Geography Project and directed the LAUSD K-6 Learning Institute. In 1996, she joined LBSU’s Department of Teacher Education as an assistant professor, rose to full professor in 2005 and retired in December 2012. She coordinated middle school education programs and history-social science methods, a course that she taught until the fall 2012 semester.
Lauretta (Lavonne) Stock, professor emerita of physical education, died in Cerritos on April 1. She was 85. Born on July 11, 1927, to Ralph and Ruth Stock, she graduated from Storm Lake High School in 1945. A member of Phi Beta Kappa and an All-American field hockey player, Stock graduated from the University of Iowa in 1949. In 1950, she taught physical education in Oshkosh, Wis., and, in 1952, earned her master’s degree in education from UCLA. She taught in LBSU’s Department of Physical Education from 1959 until she retired in 1980. Stock enjoyed golfing and travelled extensively to Europe, Asia and Australia. For many years, she spent time annually in Kona, Hawaii, with her partner, Cynthia “Tad” Armsworth. A strong, intelligent, kind-hearted and quick-witted woman, she always said what she thought.
David M. Fine, professor emeritus of English, died in Great Barrington, Mass., April 15. He was 78. After earning his Ph.D. in English at UCLA, Fine joined the LBSU Department of English in 1968. For 35 years, he was a leader in the teaching of American literature and culture, helping to develop the Undergraduate Program in American Studies in 1974. An internationally recognized scholar, Fine authored dozens of articles and reviews as well as two books: “The City, The Immigrant, and American Fiction, 1880-1920” (1977) and “Imagining Los Angeles: A City in Fiction” (2000), for which he received the Donald H. Pfleuger Local History Award of the Historical Society of Southern California. He also edited or co-edited several volumes, including “John Fante: A Critical Gathering” (1999). He served as the California American Studies Association president in 1993-94 and held numerous international visiting faculty appointments, including a year as a Fulbright lecturer in American literature at New Zealand’s Waikato University in 1985-86. Along with his passion for learning and the arts, he was equally committed to political and social justice, on which he acted as a member of LBSU’s Faculty Peace Committee in the 1970s and in support of other organizations and causes. After he retired in 2003, Fine continued producing scholarly articles and offering adult education classes in various literary subjects. He also completed a novel, “Missing Persons” (2012). A musician from a young age, he played trombone in a jazz ensemble and in the Stockbridge Sinfonia in western Massachusetts.
M. Joan Lyon, a long-time instructor at LBSU, died May 10. She was 84. Born in Hollywood, to William A. and Mary Celestine Lyon, she graduated as valedictorian in 1947 from Hollywood High School. She went on to earn her A.B. in 1951 and M.B. in 1952, both from Stanford University. She then received her Ph.D. from USC. Lyon taught for five years at Whittier High School and one year at UCLA before spending 34 years at LBSU teaching kinesiology, exercise physiology and sports biomechanics, along with coaching tennis and swimming as well as co-authoring the book “The Female Athlete.” True to her nature of living life to the fullest, Lyon was an accomplished sailor, skier, motorcyclist and bicyclist. She served as commodore of Marina Yacht Club of Long Beach in 2005 and was a member of the American Legion Yacht Club, Women’s Sailing Association of LB/L.A. and Horizon Yacht Club.
Ida Mae Howard, a custodian at LBSU for 15 years from the late 1970s to the early 1990s, died June 7. She was 83. Born Dec. 3, 1929, at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, La., to Mable and Levi Singleton Sr., she attended Booker T. Washington High School, where she completed 10th grade. She married Elvie Howard Sr. in New Orleans, and in 1962, they moved to Long Beach, where she became a member of Christ Second Baptist Church.
Robert (Bob) Wuesthoff, died July 12. He was 87. Born on May 25, 1926, in Alameda to Charles and Sigrid Wuesthoff, he married Gerry Lehnert on June 18, 1955. Wuesthoff was in athletics and education for 56 years. He began teaching and coaching baseball at Madera High School, and later Menlo Junior College and San Jose State University, before settling at LBSU, where he was the head baseball coach for six seasons. He also served as an associate athletics director for the 49ers and was the interim athletics director during the 1969 football season. Along with former 49er Athletics Director Fred Miller, Wuesthoff co-founded the immensely successful and popular 49er Camp, a youth summer sports camp for which he served as director for more than four decades.
Paul Chi Lung Tang, professor emeritus of philosophy, died July 27. He was 69. A native of Vancouver, Canada, he received his Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis in 1982. He also received a diploma of associateship from the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, with honors in piano, in 1962. While in St. Louis, he was a music critic for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, writing hundreds of reviews. As an LBSU faculty member for 22 years until retiring in 2008, he served as chair of the Philosophy Department from 1988-94 and graduate advisor in 1997-01. He also taught in the Department of Asian and Asian-American Studies, University Honors Program and the Department of Science Education. His introductory course in critical thinking was legendary on campus. He was especially active in the graduate M.A. program, assisting students in organizing major conferences, co-authoring numerous papers published in journals and serving as faculty advisor for the Student Philosophy Association. Tang edited the Philosophy of Science Association newsletter from 1986-90 and was the co-author of the LSAT Preparation Guide in 1990 and a revised 1992 edition. Throughout his life, he loved playing his spinet piano at home and regularly attended concerts on the LBSU campus.
William Herron McGowan, professor emeritus of philosophy, died Aug. 14. McGowan was born William Kerr Henry Herron III on Feb. 8, 1931, and adopted by Stuart Rice McGowan in 1938 in Cleveland, Ohio. He attended Johns Hopkins University, receiving his Ph.D. in philosophy in 1957. Following teaching positions at Washington & Jefferson College in Pennsylvania (1957-60) and Eastman School of Music (1960-66), then serving a year as a visiting professor at the University of Arizona (1966-67), McGowan joined LBSU’s Philosophy Department, where he taught from 1967-96. His main teaching and philosophical interest was in the British Empiricists, especially Bishop George Berkeley. He was a long-term member of the International Berkeley Society and published a variety of articles and reviews in The Berkeley Newsletter and The Journal of Educational Thought, among others. His essay “Berkeley’s Influence on American Philosophy” was published in the Viewer’s Guide to “The Dean of Thin Air,” a 1983 TV-film documentary funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. McGowan was also an accomplished pianist and a deep devotee of classical music and opera, teaching part-time at local colleges and at El Toro Marine Base.
Berend D. (Derk) Bruins, died Sept. 26 in Victorville. He was 72. An outstanding student in the LBSU Political Science Department, Bruins graduated with an M.A. in political science in 1973. He went on to receive a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University in 1981. He subsequently taught international relations and national security policy, first as an assistant and associate professor in the national security studies M.A. program at CSU San Bernardino, and then returned to the LBSU Political Science Department to serve as a part-time lecturer from 1994-04.
Ken Lindgren, Long Beach State men’s water polo head coach for 24 years, died Oct. 11. Lindgren, who starred at Long Beach State as a player in 1959, returned to coach at his alma mater in 1975, leading the 49ers to a 14-12 record in his first season and eventually seven NCAA appearances, including a runner-up finish in 1981. He also coached 34 All-Americans and eight Olympic Team members. After leaving his position in 1998, Lindgren served as the interim head coach of the women’s program in 2006. Additionally, Lindgren was a force in the international game. He was an assistant coach with the 1980 USA men’s team that boycotted the Olympics; an assistant coach for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, where he helped lead the Americans to a silver medal; an Olympic official for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta; and an assistant coach with the women’s national team as the USA claimed silver at the Sydney Olympics. Outside of his coaching duties, Lindgren also spent more than three decades as a highly regarded mathematics instructor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics from 1985-08. A 1991 inductee of the Long Beach State Hall of Fame, he was inducted into the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame in 1993.
Maxine Merlino, a well-known art professor and administrator during LBSU’s early years, died Nov. 2 in Madrid, Spain. She celebrated her 101st birthday this past July. Merlino received her BFA degree in 1950, placing her in the first graduating class of LBSU. She followed that up with an MFA in 1952 and a doctorate in education from USC in 1962. During the course of her tenure at LBSU, Merlino taught both drawing and painting, as well as set design for theater. She also served as dean of the School of Fine Arts and retired in 1976. Personal accomplishments included climbing to the summit of several of the world’s highest mountains. Following her retirement, Merlino was inducted into the Master Swimmers Hall of Fame, with several first-place finishes well into her 90s. In 2003, LBSU named one of its art galleries—the Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery—in her honor. Until her move to Madrid, Merlino remained active in the Emeriti and Retired Faculty Association and spent many hours on campus volunteering in the library.
Thomas Tombetas, professor emeritus of political science, died in Greece on Nov. 3. He was 88. A long-time member of the Political Science Department faculty, he joined LBSU in 1961 and retired in 1989. Tombetas specialized in comparative government, teaching courses in Western European governments and Roman jurisprudence as well as the graduate seminar in comparative government, in addition to the freshman-level American Political Institution course. A native of Greece, he actively worked on the politics of his native country and, later in his career, European Union political and economic problems.