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UC Davis Magazine

Class Notes: Summer 2009

   Philip NeustromOccupation: Executive director of Wiki Spot, a nonprofit, member-supported online effort that helps communities establish wiki projects – collaborative web sites that allow viewers to add and edit content. The Davis Wide Web: In 2004, then-undergraduates Philip Neustrom '06 and Mike Ivanov ’06 started a Web site dedicated to all things Davis. They had moved to town knowing little about the place and wanted to document the fun aspects, big and small, that they discovered. “Whatever was going to come [of the site] we thought we’d at least have a record of things we found interesting at one point in out lives,” said Neustrom. That record became Davis Wiki (), now a popular online information source said to be the first English-language community wiki Web site. By the people, for the people: According to Neustrom, he and Ivanov could not have predicted the success the site has had during the past four years. One in six people in Davis visits the thousands of pages featured on Davis Wiki on a day-to-day basis looking for anything from Thai food restaurants to city Council candidates to local ghost stories to lost pets. He believes it’s success if due to its transparency and its fostering of honest discussions. Procrastination going career: When he was a freshman, Neustrom says he was planning on graduate school, but maintaining the Davis Wiki “took over” his free time and became a constructive way to put off studying. Coding, programming and computers in general had been of great interest to him since childhood. Now, the Davis Wiki has opened a career path for Neustrom. Venture capitalists and others seeking to create their own town’s wiki have approached Neustrom, leading to his creation of Wiki Spot (wikispot.org), an online resource to help other communities establish wikis. This site is about open, community discussion where anyone can write anything. It’s the first of its kind and it’s a daring thing.”
1942CHESTER LOCKE ’42, a decorated Navy officer, farmer and public servant, died at the age of 88 last March after a long illness. During World War II, he was on a ship assigned to help protect the U.S. forces preparing to invade Japan. In April 1945, Locke survived a kamikaze attack that killed 67 men. After he returned home, he took over the family’s farm started in 1850 by his great-grandfather, growing sugar beets, asparagus, grapes and walnuts. In 1955 he was named California’s Young Farmer of the Year, and in 1980 the Lodi Chamber of Commerce named him the Agriculturist of the Year. He was also active in his hometown of Lockeford, where he served 33 years as a trustee of the San Joaquin County Board of Education, as well as six years on the board of the Lockeford School District. For 20 years he was a member of the Lodi Memorial Hospital Board of Directors, and he spent 50 years overseeing levee maintenance as a member of the Lockeford Protection District. He leaves behind his wife of 63 years, Patricia, and their four children, Stephen Locke, Bonnie Patrick, Christopher Locke and Peggy Moore.
1949MICHAEL VINCENT DOHERTY ’49 died in January in Woodland at the age of 80. While at UC Davis, he was a part of the 1947 Far Western Conference Championship football team. After graduating with a degree in agronomy, he joined the U.S. Air Force as a military policeman and was stationed in Alaska and Albuquerque. He eventually moved back to his home county of Colusa where he began a farming career lasting more than 50 years. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Kristen Doherty; their children, Jim Doherty and his wife, Rene, Michael Doherty and his wife, Amy, Sean Doherty and his wife, Melissa, Tim Doherty and his wife, Susie, Michelle Doherty Vinall, Alison Schofield and her husband, Peter, and Julie Doherty; 11 grandchildren; and sisters Mary Ellen Bichard, Margaret Abele and Maureen “Lady Bug” Doherty.    ROBERT K. SOOST, Ph.D. ’49, a plant scientist and professor of botany at UC Riverside, died of a heart attack at Petaluma Valley Hospital in March. He was 88. After earning his doctorate in plant genetics, he moved to Riverside and became a staff member with the then-Citrus Experiment Station as a junior geneticist. When it became UC Riverside in 1961, he took a teaching position. Three years later, he became a professor, and by 1968, he was selected as chair of the botany and plant sciences department, a post he held for seven years. During his 37 years at UC Riverside, he became internationally known as an expert on citrus breeding. He helped develop different citrus varieties, like the Melo Gold and Oroblanco grapefruits and the Pixie and Gold Nugget mandarins. Soost retired in 1986, and he and his wife, Jean, moved to Inverness in Marin County.
1950CLARE ELLEN ROMINGER ’50 died in Davis in March. She was 81. She married James Rominger, and after graduation she became a full-time homemaker. She was a member of the Pioneer Church and a resident of Winters. She is survived by her daughter, Patty Quigley; sons Thomas Rominger and Doug Rominger; three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband in 1999 and by her brother, John Mumma.
1956ADRIAN GEORGE GENTILE, M.S. ’56, Ph.D. ’66, died at a Davis convalescent home in April. He was 83. A native of Italy, he was a greenhouse floriculture entomologist for the University of Massachusetts’ Waltham Suburban Experiment Station in Waltham, Mass., until the late 1970s. Survivors include his brother, Dario, of Italy and a brother-in-law, Robert Sobel, of Bloomfield, Mich.
1960CARL LUHN, M.S. ’60, died at the age of 79 after a brief illness. After receiving his graduate degree at UC Davis, he stayed at the university to work for the USDA in the plant pathology department. He helped develop the use of indicator grape varieties to check for viral disease in grape stocks. Survivors include his wife of more than 50 years, Emily, daughter, Lori Katsch of Davis, sons Roger Luhn of Stoughton, Wis., and Wade Luhn of Staunton, Va., brother Duane Luhn of Loomis, Wash., and nine grandchildren.
1962HARVEY PINE recently wrote two plays, Love Gone Wrong , an anti-war piece, and Hell Froze Over, a romantic comedy dealing with religion. Before retiring in 1994, he worked for the Los Angeles County Fire Department as a hazardous materials specialist. He currently lives in Sandpoint, Idaho, with his wife, Anita.
1965JUDITH SHERER BABER ’65 of Colusa died in April at a Woodland hospital. She was 74. She had been a primary school teacher in Williams and Colusa, and was an active supporter of UC Davis—serving on the UC Davis Foundation Board of Trustees during 1985–91 and earning membership in the Davis Chancellor’s Club through her support of the UC Davis Annual Fund. She was a life member of Omega Nu Sorority and an avid bridge player. She was a California native, descended from settlers who migrated from Kentucky to College City in 1847. Survivors include her husband, Jack Baber ’54, daughter-in-law, Pixie Everson Baber, granddaughters Adelaide Beatrice and Hannah Llewellyn Baber of Colusa, sister-in-law Shirley Joyce Jacoubowsky of Redwood City, and mother-in-law Gladys Ann Baber of San Carlos. She was preceded in death by her son, Jack ‘’Jon’’ William Baber Jr., her brother, Joel Sherer, and her parents, Joseph Llewellyn and Beatrice Anne Sherer.
1966GEORGE DRAKE, M.A. ’67, Ph.D. ’70, mathematics department lecturer ’72-’77, recently won the San Francisco Writers Conference contest for nonfiction writing. After 25 years of teaching mathematics at Lake Tahoe Community College, Drake is now retired and has begun a new career writing on issues related to the environmental crisis. He invites old colleagues and students to contact him at [gwdrake@intheserviceofgaia.com]  PETER GARROD is the dean of the graduate division at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, while KEN TOKUNO ’69, M.S. ’73, is his associate dean. Both resided in Bixby Hall while living on the UC Davis campus, wound up as faculty at Manoa, the university system’s flagship campus, and married women from the islands. On top of that, both men’s fathers went to UC Berkeley in the late 1930s and lived in the same co-op while earning bachelor’s degrees in Agricultural Economics. Sadly, neither could convince his children to attend UC Davis.
1972CYNTHIA CHARTERS, M.A. ’81, was featured in a California Landscape Painters Exhibition last March and April at the John Natsoulas Gallery in Davis. She is currently an art teacher at Consumnes River College in Sacramento and lives with her family in Elk Grove.   DAVID SEABORG founded the World Rainforest Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving rainforests worldwide. He is an evolutionary biologist and a writer. He recently finished writing his first book of poetry, Honor Thy Sowbug, which he started 15 years ago. He lives in Walnut Creek.
1973Women in Technology International inducted PATRICIA COWINGS, M.A., Ph.D., into its 2009 Hall of Fame in June. She is the principal investigator of the Psychophysiological Research Laboratory at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, where she develops nonmedical methods to help astronauts adapt faster to being in space. She began her career at NASA more than 30 years ago as the first female scientist to be trained as an astronaut payload specialist.    DANIEL DOOLEY was appointed the senior vice president for external relations for the University of California system in March. He also serves as the UC vice president for agriculture and natural resources, a position he has held since January 2008. He was previously a partner at Dooley, Herr and Peltzer, a law firm that emphasized agricultural, environmental, business and water rights law.    ROB KENT, M.A. ’76, has been appointed department chair and the James H. Ring Professor of Urban Studies and Planning at California State University, Northridge. Previously, he served as department chair and professor of geography and planning at the University of Akron where he was a faculty member for 25 years. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Marialena. They have two grown children, Robert and Anika.
1975MARY (FOLEY) CLARK retired from federal service in January after 34 years with the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. She began her career as a forest firefighter during her junior year at UC Davis. She has two children and two grandchildren, and lives in Boise, Idaho, with her husband of 22 years, Henry.
1976EDNA ROBERTA LYNCH SCOTT, M.S. ’76, a school teacher and descendent of early San Ramon Valley pioneers William Lynch and Mary Norris Lynch, died in February at her home in Alameda County. She was 79 years old. She taught for the Woodland School District for more than 30 years. Mrs. Scott is survived by her daughter, Dana A. Scott Lee of Discovery Bay, and her son, Eric Martin Scott of Sacramento; sister Marilyn Lynch Morrison of Danville and brother Leo Watson Lynch of Waterford; and eight grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Michele L. Scott, and her husband, Leo Grey Lynch.
1978RICHARD MORENO recently wrote his eighth book, Nevada Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Other Offbeat Stuff. He was the longtime publisher of Nevada Magazine, and in 2007, he received the Fame Silver Pen award from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. Moreno is currently the director of student publications and a journalism teacher at Western Illinois University.
1979MARIAN KEELER wrote the first textbook in the U.S. on ecologically friendly building, Fundamentals of Integrated Design for Sustainable Building (Wiley & Sons). It was written partially as a result of the environmental advocacy group Architecture 2030’s 2010 Imperative, which proposes that all architecture schools embed sustainability into their curricula by the year 2010.