Viola Russ McBride '27 died in October 1996 at the age of 90. Ms. McBride was one of the first women students at UC Davis and went on to break other gender barriers as the first woman president of the Humboldt County Cattlemen's Association. She also wrote and illustrated books and continued her dedication to art by restoring Victorian buildings in her home town of Ferndale and renting them to artists and businesses. She was honored in Ferndale for her community service with a ceremony and a bronze and stone plaque outside her studio. Ms. McBride was preceded in death by her husband, Rex LaMar, and is survived by three sons; William of Ferndale, Jon of Palm Desert and Andrew of Ferndale, 10 grandchildren, and 15 great grandchildren.
William B. Hewitt '33, M.S. '34, Ph.D. '36, professor emeritus of plant pathology, died from heart failure two weeks shy of his 90th birthday in July. Dr. Hewitt's work with grapevine diseases was internationally known and respected. He wrote in many scientific publications, did groundbreaking work with grapevine disease prevention and helped to develop a clean grape stock program and a grapevine certification program. He was chair of the plant pathology department in 1968-69 and director of research at the San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Research and Extension Center in 1969-74. Dr. Hewitt was very active in the Davis community and on campus, serving on the Cal Aggie Alumni Association board, of which he was president in 1958-59. He was one of the original organizers of and donors to the UC Davis Foundation, serving for many years as its secretary. He was also president of the American Phytopathology Society and a co-founder of the International Council for the Study of Viruses and Virus Diseases of Grapevines. For his lifetime of distinguished achievements, he was presented with the CAAA Distinguished Achievement Award in 1991. Dr. Hewitt was preceded in death by his wife, Maybelle, and is survived by his sister, two brothers and several nieces and nephews.
Ben Stetson '34 died in May of cancer at the age of 87. Mr. Stetson had a long career with The Sacramento Bee newspaper, beginning in high school as a paper boy and continuing the job through his time at both junior college and UC Davis. His involvement continued until 1959 when he worked as newspaper distributor for the paper in Roseville. Mr. Stetson was a veteran of World War II, serving chiefly as an administrative officer. He is survived by his two sons, Bob and Ben; his brothers, Frank, Leo and Tom; and 14 grandchildren.
Jane Galandi '78 died in May 1997 from complications of diabetes. Ms. Galandi lived in Germany for several years after graduation. When she returned to the United States, she was an avid volunteer and participated in such activities as tutoring for the Sacramento Literacy Program, delivering Meals on Wheels and teaching German at the UC Davis International House. Ms. Galandi is survived by her son, Dmitry.
Jing Chun Xu, Ph.D. '88, died in May at the age of 48 from complications of cancer. Born in China, Dr. Xu came to the United States in 1981. He earned a master's degree in physics from California State University, Los Angeles, as well as a doctorate in physics from UC Davis. He worked at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, then returned to Davis and a research position in the Department of Radiology at the UC Davis Medical Center. He is survived by his wife, Pingnian He; two daughters, Amy and Maria; two brothers, Tong Chun and Yong Chun; his sister, Ai Chun; and his father, Yong San Xu.
Allison Kimko Sanwo '96 died in April 1997 at the age of 24, killed in a collision with a drunk driver. A substitute teacher, Ms. Sanwo had been looking forward to a full-time teaching position that fall.