California State University, Long Beach
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In Memoriam: August 2016

Published: August 8, 2016

Byron C. Kluss, 88, died on July 8, in Cedar Falls, Ia., where he moved from Irvine, to enjoy retirement closer to family. He was a professor of biology at CSULB from 1959 until his retirement in 1992.

Kluss was born on a farm near Luzerne and attended Belle Plaine High School, graduating in 1945. He graduated in 1949 from the University of Iowa, with a degree in zoology. A member of ROTC, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the army reserve upon graduation. He went on to serve in the Korean War and was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor and a Purple Heart Medal. Honorably discharged in 1952, he returned to the University of Iowa where he earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, also in zoology.

Kluss enjoyed traveling, gourmet cooking, reading, music, singing in church choir, and spending time with family and friends.

Survivors include two sons, Robert and William Kluss; and five grandchildren—Lauren, Philip, Erin, Addison and Westin, all from Orange County. He was preceded in death by his wife, Beverly; his parents, August and Florence Kluss; and his sister, Arleen Kluss Storm.

Thomas Daniel Morgan, “Coach Morgan” as he was known to the many colleagues, students and players he led throughout his teaching and coaching career, died June 27, in Aspendell, near Bishop, Calif. He was 83 years old.

As head baseball coach at San Francisco State in the early 1960s, Morgan led his teams on a three-year streak of NCAA championships; his overall winning percentage of .778 remains the highest in the school’s history. He was barely older than his players, who included New York Mets star Bud Harrelson. He was named to the school’s baseball Hall of Fame in 2002.

Morgan also coached football at San Francisco State and throughout his career held coaching positions at Pomona College, the University of Arizona and American River Community College.

It was while coaching at CSULB (1967-72) that Morgan began commuting nights to the University of Southern California to earn his doctorate. He received an Ed.D. in education in 1974. As a professor at CSULB, Morgan led the student teaching program in the physical education department.

While athletics led him to teaching, it was in teaching that he found his calling, influencing hundreds of future teachers and coaches. When promoted to full professor in 1976, it was noted that he was considered by students as “an excellent teacher and counselor.” He freely passed on his knowledge of athletics for more than two decades, retiring from the university in 1997.

In addition, he served as the long-time assistant director for 49er Camp under director Bob Wuesthoff.

Morgan dedicated 17 years to the California Collegiate Athletic Association, 10 years serving as its commissioner. He orchestrated the merger of the CCAA with the NCAA, creating the first “super conference” in Division II athletics.

Born Jan. 2, 1933, in San Clemente, Morgan grew up a son of the West. His father, Fred, was a horse trainer and ranch manager who worked for the film director Howard Hawks, raising and training horses. His mother was a homemaker. As a child, Morgan accompanied his father on horse buying trips and recalled chasing wild horses. There were many trips to Virginia City, Nev., to visit relatives, and for the rest of his life Morgan was no happier than when on the backroads of California and Arizona. He imparted this love to his children-a lifelong gift.

Morgan earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Cal State Los Angeles, where he played both baseball and football.

He was a sportsman who loved fishing for wahoo in Baja, Calif., and hunting doves in Arizona and pheasants in Oregon. This passion led him and his wife to buy a cabin west of Bishop, where they could fish the lakes and streams each summer. He died at the cabin, in the mountains he loved.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Betty Lou Farr, and his son Michael. He is survived by his wife, daughter Kitty, brother Hugh, nephew Dan, grand-niece Danielle and grand-nephew Trevor.