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UC Davis Magazine

Class Notes: Fall 2010

1948Hyman Gurman of San Francisco died in May at 93. Born in Manchuria, he moved with his family to San Francisco in 1927. He was a World War II veteran and a recipient of the Purple Heart. He worked as a chemist for the city and county of San Francisco for 31 years, eventually retiring in 1981 as superintendant of the Southeast Wastewater Treatment Plant. He was preceded in death by his parents, Rabbi Berek and Sarah Gurman; his siblings, Beatrice, Nathan and Tzierel; and his wife of 53 years, Anna. He is survived by his children, Bess and Barry; and grandchildren, Sarah and Emily Miller and Russell and Rosie Gurman.
1951Sidney De Kadt wrote An Aerial View, his autobiography. Originally written in his native language of Dutch, an English version was released in 2004. He was the first international student to be the editor-in-chief of The California Aggie. De Kadt moved back to the Netherlands in the 1950s to take over the family business. In the mid-1960s, he sold the company to work for Schreiner Airways. He and his wife since 1957, Amelia Maria van der Heyden, live in Dennenheuel, Netherlands.   Wilson Eads Pendery died in March in Visalia after many years of battling Parkinson’s disease. He was 86. After earning his degree in agronomy, he spent 1953–70 working as a UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor in Tulare County. He also grew satsuma mandarin oranges from 1957 to 2002. He enjoyed skiing, golf, horse-pack trips, camping, natural history and bird watching. He is survived by his wife of more than 62 years, Carolyn, as well as nieces and nephews.
1957John “Bill” Vaccaro, M.S. ’62, a Korean War veteran, died in Florence, Ore., in June at 78 after battling Alzheimer’s for the past 10 years. He enjoyed science, music and sports. While doing postgraduate work in genetics at UC Davis, Vaccaro was a part of the team that developed the first photographs of chromosomes, and during his career as a plant breeder, he discovered a way to hybridize castor beans to increase productivity. In 1982, he and his sons founded Vaccaro Seed/California, specializing in hybrid sunflower seeds. He retired in 1996. He played the violin, guitar and ukulele, and he learned the saxophone after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He was active in sports and coached skiing, swimming and baseball. He was a life member of Yolo Sportsmen. He is survived by his wife, Linda; brother Gary; children, William, Victor and Lindsay; and eight grandchildren.
1958Michael Chapman received the Cal Aggie Alumni Association’s 2010 Jerry W. Fielder Memorial Award for his service to the alumni association and UC Davis. A professor emeritus and a founding father of trauma surgery, Chapman developed the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery into one of the most well respected in the nation while he was the department chair. He is the chair emeritus of the UC Davis Foundation’s executive committee.
1964Linn Wiley was named the 2010 Distinguished Banker of the Year by the California Bankers Association in January. He spent over 45 years in the banking industry. By the time he retired as CEO and president of CVB Financial Corp and Citizens Business Bank in 1991, he saw an increase of yearly earnings from $6 million to $70 million and $60 billion in assets. He now serves as vice chairman of the board of directors for the company. Wiley lives with his wife of more than 45 years, Nancy. They have two children and four grandchildren.
1966Jackson Hills died in June at his home in Davis at 66. Born in San Francisco, Hills moved to Davis in 1951 where his father, Jack, was a Cooperative Extension Agronomist. He traveled after college, going to Puerto Rico with the Peace Corps and London in 1969, where he was inspired by counter culture cinema. After returning to Davis, he co-wrote two screenplays: The Legend of Putah Slim, an Old Western satire, and Starvation, a musical about the San Francisco punk rock movement. In the late 1970s, Hills enrolled in the Computer Learning Center of San Francisco, and went on to work for the state government, San Francisco State University and then UC Davis until his retirement in 2004. He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Susan Whitehouse, whom he met while she was a UC Davis postdoctoral fellow; his sons, Tristan and Dylan; and his sisters, Velma, Christine, Cynthia and Diane.
1967Mary Catherine Swanson, Cred., received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Cal Aggie Alumni Association for creating AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), a student support program, which has grown to serve 300,000 students in 45 states and 15 countries since its start in San Diego 20 years ago. She was the past executive director and is a member of AVID’s board of directors. She currently serves on the UC Davis School of Education’s board of advisers.
1971Donald Barber, D.V.M., was honored with professor emeritus status at Virginia Tech, where he was head of the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine for 16 years. He is an expert in radiology and nuclear medicine.
1972Cynthia Charters, M.A. ’81, showcased her large-scale paintings in August at Fort Bragg.
1973Bill Bennett, M.S. ’75, was selected in June to be a vice president of GEI Consultants, a group of geotechnical, environmental, water resources and ecological science and engineering firms. Bennett is the planning division manager in the Sacramento office.    Brian Harvick, D.V.M. ’75, died at his home in the town of Shasta Lake in March after battling leukemia for a year. He was 60. He was born in Illinois, and raised in San Mateo. In 1978, he opened the Shasta Lake Veterinary Clinic, which he ran for over 30 years. He enjoyed music, astronomy, the outdoors and animals. He was preceded in death by his father, David, and his brother, William. He is survived by his wife, Jeanette; mother, Ruth; children, Benjamin and Megan; stepchildren, Timothy and Jennifer Slattengren; and his previous wife, Nancy.
1974John Nesbitt, M.A., Ph.D. ’80, won two 2010 Western Writers of American Spur Awards—best original mass market paperback for Stranger in Thunder Basin (Dorchester Publishing) and best short fiction for “At the End of the Orchard,” which appeared in Hardboiled magazine. It was his third year in the row to place in the literary contest; his book Trouble at the Redstone won in 2009 and Raven Springs was a finalist in 2008. His most recent publications include a traditional western novel, Not a Rustler (Leisure Books) and a novella, Dead for the Last Time, published in two parts by online magazine Mysterical-E. His website is www.johndnesbitt.com.    Eric, M.S., Arel, M.S. ’75, Philip ’75 and Karl Wente, M.S. ’01, were honored with a lifetime achievement award by the California State Fair Commercial Wine Program for their family’s Wente Vineyards in Livermore, and its 125-year influence in the California wine-making industry. After five generations, Wente Vineyard is the oldest continuously family operated winery in the country. Its wine is exported to over 50 countries.
1975Ahmad Faruqui assisted the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission over the past year in creating the National Action Plan for Demand Response. The plan, submitted to Congress in June, seeks to foster utility programs that encourage people to lower electric usage during peak hours. Faruqui works for the economics consultancy, The Brattle Group in San Francisco.    Hans Ostrom, M.A. ’78, Ph.D. ’82, had his second book released in March, Honoring Juanita (Congruent Angle Press), about a woman haunted by a woman’s lynching during the Gold Rush. Ostrom is a professor of African American studies and English at the University of Puget Sound.    Jennifer (Flores) Tasto is the 2010 president of the San Mateo County Association of Realtors, which is the largest trade association in San Mateo County with nearly 3,000 members.   Keith Richman, a physician and three-term Republican state assemblyman who fought for public pension reform, died in July of brain cancer at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center at 56. He represented the 38th District, which included his hometown of San Fernando Valley. He was a founder and board member of the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility, which works to highlight public pension costs. At UC Davis, he was an All-Conference pitcher and a member of the 1972 Aggie Baseball Hall of Fame team. He earned his medical degree and master’s degree in public health from UCLA. He was chairman and founder of the medical group Lakeside Community Healthcare in Glendale. He is survived by his wife, Suzan; daughters, Dina and Rachel; siblings, Craig, David and Marla; and parents, Esther and Monroe.
1976Michael Child, a managing director for a private equity firm in the Bay Area, was honored by the Cal Aggie Alumni Association with the 2010 Aggie Service Award for his efforts supporting the association and advocating for the university. He is a member of the Chancellor’s Laureates, in recognition of cumulative giving to UC Davis of more than $1 million, a member of the advisory board for the Graduate School of Management and the head of the foundation board’s finance and investments committee.   Craig McNamara received the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Cal Aggie Alumni Association for his work to promote science-based organic farming methods. More than 2,000 people visit his Sierra Orchards Farms in Winters each year. He is founder and president of the Center for Land-Based Learning, a statewide program that provides high school students with firsthand experience in sustainable agriculture. McNamara is also a member of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Dean’s Advisory Council.