In Memoriam

Arthur Axelrad, professor emeritus of English, died Jan. 15. He was 78. For 32 years, Axelrad worked on campus as an educator, adviser and volunteer. He began his career at CSULB in 1964 and served as chair of the Department of English from 1989-91 before retiring in 1996. He then became a professor emeritus, volunteering in academic advising, teaching Shakespeare in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and serving as a docent at the University Art Museum. Axelrad published one book on Jane Austen, finished a second manuscript for a publication, and published works and exhibits on Sherlock Holmes. His work on John Milton’s divorce tracts is still regularly cited by other Milton scholars throughout the country. Outside of the CSULB community, he volunteered at the Seal Beach Animal Shelter and CATPAWS, an organization dedicated to saving cats and finding them homes. Axelrad is survived by his niece, Lynne Mann, and nephew, Scott Goldfine.

Frank L. Christ, staff emeritus and major contributor to the modern learning assistance movement, died Dec. 11. He was 89. In 1972, he founded a Learning Assistance Support System at CSULB, which served as a model for other such programs around the country. He was coordinator of the program until 1990 and was also a founder and past president of the College Reading and Learning Association. In his later years, he did consulting, worked on online course development and was an author of the book, “100 Things Every Online Student Ought to Know.”

Leo Goodman-Malamuth, professor emeritus of speech communication and former AVP of Academic Affairs at CSULB, died Jan. 20. He was 88. A California native and a U.S. Army veteran, Goodman-Malamuth received a B.A. degree in speech, radio-TV; an M.A. in speech pathology; and a Ph.D. in speech pathology and communication from the University of Southern California. Initially hired in 1956 as an assistant professor, he spent two decades at CSULB, progressing through faculty ranks in his field of audiology and speech pathology to gain tenure as a full professor. From 1969-76, he served as AVP of Academic Affairs. He moved on to become the second president at Governors State University (GSU) in University Park, Ill., from 1977-92 and played a major role in revising the university’s curriculum, redesigning its colleges and developing a new student grading system. As part of his reorganization of the university’s administration, he established the first Office of Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs. In addition, he helped establish the GSU Foundation, the university’s fundraising arm, and expanded the institution’s use of communications technology, especially through the use of telecourses, which were transmitted all around the United States.

Frank Pooler, faculty emeritus of music, died Jan. 19. He was 86. A native of Onalaska, Wis., Pooler moved to California in 1959 to teach choral music and direct the University Choir at CSULB. During his tenure, he taught, mentored and nurtured countless students who went on to become musicians and teachers. His most famous students were Richard and Karen Carpenter who, with Pooler serving as its musical director, formed the group, The Carpenters. In working with the chart-topping pop music duo, he helped produce hits including “We’ve Only Just Begun,” “(They Long to Be) Close to You,” “For All We Know,” “Rainy Days and Mondays,” “Sing” and “Merry Christmas, Darling,” to name just a few. Pooler wrote the lyrics for the Christmas song in 1946. Today, more than 500 choral compositions and arrangements bear Pooler’s name, and his efforts to get Norwegian choral works translated into English were honored by Norway’s King Olaf in 1984 with the St. Olaf Medal. Beyond the world of music, Pooler’s talents saw him as a painter, sculptor and an engaging writer. Pooler is survived by his wife, Rhonda Sandberg Pooler; daughters, Jane Blackman and Susan Dewey; three grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and a brother. A special tribute to Pooler is being planned for next fall in the Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center on campus.

Dorothy Louise Fornia, professor emerita of physical education and gerontology, died Sept. 21. She was 94. A longtime resident of Long Beach, Fornia was born Feb. 12, 1918 in Youngstown, Ohio. After graduating high school, she earned her B.A. degree in 1941 and her master’s degree in 1944 at Ohio State University. Majoring in physical education, she taught at the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphans Home along with Bowling Green State University. She moved to California to pursue a Ph.D. in education administration at USC while she worked as a teacher’s assistant. After completing her education, Fornia secured a position with CSULB in 1956, where she remained until retirement in 1992. While at CSULB, she was a professor of physical education, coordinator of graduate studies (1962), director of the gerontology program and a founding member of Senior University, now known as the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). She was also a founding member of Scan and chairman of the Council on Aging. She was a longtime member of Soroptomist International of Long Beach along with Delta Kappa Gamma’s Eta Chapter. After retiring, she remained active at the university. Her hobbies included gardening, photography, theatre, travel and walking. She leaves behind a niece, Marjorie Morley of Seal Beach; her longtime caregiver, Aurara “Baby” Estacio; and extended family members including dear friends and colleagues. Donations may be made to the CSULB Gerontology Scholarship Fund or OLLI in Fornia’s memory.

Herb Tyrnauer, professor emeritus of industrial design, died Oct.2. Born in Pittsburgh, Penn., he served in the U.S. Navy. In 1955, he graduated from Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) with a B.F.A. degree in industrial design. From 1955-57, he worked in New York City at Bertell Display Exhibition, Raymond Spilman Associates and Warner-Swazey Research Corporation. He graduated in 1958 from Cranbrook Academy of Art with a master’s degree in design and became assistant professor of interior design at Texas Women’s University until 1961. He then joined CSULB as discipline director of the Industrial Design Program, a position he held until 1993. In 1962, he formed Tyrnauer Holzman Design Associates and conducted private practice concurrently. From 1977-78, he was industrial design chairman of the Center for Technical Education, Holon, Israel. In 1985-86 and again in 1989-90, as the Industrial Design Program achieved Department of Design status, he acted as its interim chair and, from 1993-95, was department chair. An outstanding educator, he was highly respected as a mentor by many of his talented students and by many in the design community. Tyrnauer joined the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) in 1965, holding a number of offices, including serving as a member of the board of directors. In 1974, he became an IDSA fellow. He was a participant in three U.S. Information Agency tours to the Soviet Union in 1968, 1977 and 1990. In 1993, he won IDSA’s Education Award, one of only seven educators nationwide to receive the honor. He and his wife, Francesca, lived near CSULB in the Surfside colony; in an oceanfront house they designed and built themselves and which served as the site of many student potluck dinners featuring professional guest speakers. Tyrnauer retired from CSULB in 1999. He is survived by his wife, Francesca; daughter, Gillian; son, Gareth; and the students of 37 CSULB Industrial Design graduating classes.

Jose “Joe” Lopez, professor emeritus of Chicano Latino studies, died Nov. 18. He was 72. Born on June 14, 1940, Lopez was raised in East Los Angeles. Growing up in an area plagued with gang violence, he was able to gain insight and knowledge on gangs and their activities. He received his Ph.D. in political philosophy from Claremont Graduate School. In 1969, he taught as an assistant professor at Cal State Fullerton. Lopez began his career at CSULB as an assistant professor in 1970 and was later promoted to associate professor. According to department chair Jose F. Moreno, “He was a beloved teacher, and students still talk about him when they visit. He was always connecting students to the community.” He was also known for his strong opinions, Moreno added. Lopez retired in 2001 from CSULB followed by five years in the Faculty Early Retirement Program. Known as a political scientist, criminologist, and a recognized expert in the field of juvenile gangs and Chicano communities, he also served as an expert witness for trials in Los Angeles, Kern, San Bernardino and Orange counties. In Orange County, he was very active working with youth in anti-gang prevention programs, especially in getting people to understand why youth joined gangs. Lopez is survived by his wife, Guadalupe; sons, Mauricio and Emilio; and daughter, Monica.

Joseph F. Seewerker, professor emeritus of computer engineering and computer science, died July 28. He was 81. Born in Los Angeles, he lived most of his life in Long Beach-Belmont Shores. He began his career at CSULB in 1967 and, during his tenure, helped write the first curriculum for undergraduates on computer science. He found joy in travel, vacationing whenever he could while he taught and even more after his retirement from the university in 1992. In recent years, he had taken up lawn bowling and was active in some of the gay social groups. He is predeceased by his partner of many years, Bob Day.

Mihir K. Das, professor emeritus of mechanical and aerospace engineering, died Dec. 3. He was 73. Born Nov. 2, 1939 in Purulia, West Bengal, India, Das attended the Bihar Institute of Technology for his B.S. in mechanical engineering and the University of Birmingham, England, where he was a Commonwealth Scholar, for his Ph.D. He married his wife, Sipra (Basu), in 1968 in Calcutta, and their only child, Sonia, was born the following year in Bombay. In 1969, the family moved to Birmingham, England, and Das joined the faculty of the university there. He began his teaching career at CSULB in 1981, and in 1987, was appointed associate dean of engineering, a post he held for a record 18+ years. Credited with developing the pioneering Engineering and Industrial Mathematics Ph.D. Program in a joint venture with Claremont University, he also developed and directed an innovative pilot program for five years, called the Online Master of Science in Engineering Management Program, with students in many parts of the world. Along with teaching at all levels, he was instrumental in introducing CAD in the College of Engineering during his tenure as associate dean for instruction. His expertise included advanced manufacturing, CAD, engineering management, strength of materials, quality & continuous process improvement, as well as online/distance education. Das had over 100 research and technical publications to his credit, two books and three international patents. He was an active consultant for both government and private corporations. Professionally, he was widely travelled and delivered invited lectures around the world. He retired from CSULB in 2008. His other passions included internet research, gardening and bridge. Predeceased by his wife in 1997, Das is survived by his daughter. Donations can be made to the Dr. Mihir Das Memorial Fund in the CSULB Department of Mechanical Engineering.