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2022 Memorials

January 12, 2022

Dr. William Brown, Jr. (1932-2022), Professor Emeritus of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, he received his degree from The University of Arkansas.  He served in the U.S. Army 1953-1956. In 1957 he went on to receive his Master of Animal Breeding from Oklahoma State University. 1958 – 1970 was County Agent in Animal Husbandry for University of Tennessee. In 1972 he received his PhD from The University of Arkansas in Beef Production and Genetics. From 1972 – 1974 was an Associate Professor of Animal Science for University of Georgia. From 1974 – 1993 he was a Professor with Clemson University specializing in the field of Agricultural Research Science. He loved his family, his morning paper, all of his dogs through the years, fishing, singing in the choir at FBC Columbia and singing in the Palmetto Master Singers of Columbia. He was an avid Clemson Tiger Fan and UT Vols Fan. He also liked grilling his famous BBQ pork with his secret Papa Bill BBQ sauce.

Dr. Lillian Blake Hart (1938-2022), Associate Professor Emeritus of Elementary and Secondary Education, she received her degree from the University of South Carolina. Dr. Hart began her university teaching career in Early Childhood Education at Memphis State University before transferring to Clemson University to become an Associate Professor of Elementary and Secondary Education, a position she held for twenty-six years.

Dr. Robert Horton (1952-2022), Professor Emeritus of Teacher Education, he received his degree from the University of Cincinnati. Bob Horton, Professor Emeritus in Mathematics Education, passed away February 1, 2022. Professor Horton began his career at Clemson University in 1998 and retired in 2014. He leaves behind his wife, Heli, children Eric and Kate, son-in-law Jacob and granddaughter Nola. He will be dearly missed by family, friends, and colleagues.

Dr. James “Larry” Josey (1935-2022), Associate Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering, he received his degree from Mississippi State University. He spent two years with the Army Corp of Engineers, twenty years with various Engineering firms in Mississippi and thirty years teaching Civil Engineering — first at the University of Missouri and then retired after teaching more than two decades at Clemson University. A member of Seneca Presbyterian Church, Larry sang in the choir and taught Sunday School. He had served as an elder and deacon in various Presbyterian Churches during his life.

Dr. George D. Kessler (1942-2022), Professor Emeritus of Forestry and Natural Resources, he received his degree from then University of Georgia. He spent his entire career at Clemson University in Extension Forestry. Dr. Kessler along with his wife operated Hilltop Christmas Tree Farm which they started in 1971. Throughout his adult life he was heavily involved with the Boy Scouts of America where he served as a Scout Master for Troop 134. He was also a longtime member of the Six Mile Lions Club.

Dr. Walton Harrison Owens, Jr.,  Professor Emeritus of Political Science, passed away on Wednesday, March 23, 2022.  He was 88 years old.  His academic focus, both in teaching and research, was the administration of public institutions.  By midpoint in his career he had devised a means to involve his methodology students in gathering data from municipal residents (Anderson and Aiken under contract) and then analyzing the material in CU’s budding computer center (punch cards and all).  Years later he introduced students to the possibilities  of TQM (Total Quality Management devised by the American J. Edwards Deming in post-war Japan).  In addition, he (1) served a sabbatical year on Carroll Campbell’s staff, (2) spent multiple terms on the ETV Commission, and (3) devoted his final year at CU as President of the Faculty Senate, 1994-1995.  Afterward he continued to serve the state through work on the Commission on Higher Education.

Dr. Fredrick R. Sias, Jr.  (1931-2022), Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering,  both a scientist and an artist, Fred received a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in electrical engineering, and a PhD in physiology and biophysics, while continuing to dabble in painting, photography, writing, and other creative ventures. After retiring from Clemson University (1993),  he stayed busy with many hobbies and interests, including jewelry making, book writing, genealogy, the Enneagram, home publishing, traveling, and many more.

Dr. David Tonkyn (1954-2022),  Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences, her attended Princeton University where he earned his undergraduate as well as his master’s and doctoral degrees in biology with a concentration in ecology. While at Princeton, he studied with Lord Robert May, renowned physicist and ecologist; Dr. Henry Horn, and Dr. John Terborgh. These influential scientists helped to shape David’s career and his own students benefitted from this legacy. David pursued post-doctoral studies in field and community ecology at the University of Minnesota. In 1986, David accepted a faculty position at Clemson University in the Biological Sciences Department. He taught undergraduate and graduate courses in ecology, conservation and population biology. He developed and led two travel courses. The first, accompanied by former Clemson Director of International Services, Louis Bregger, and Anjana Gosain of Tiger Trust India and focused on tiger conservation. The second was a Rocky Mountain field ecology course. These travel courses were enormously popular with students and very important learning opportunities. The curricula were taught dozens of times. In recent years, David and his students studied both butterflies and pikas (threatened species in the U.S.), elephants in Myanmar and Sri Lanka, and tigers in India and the Russian Far East. He was the faculty advisor to the Clemson organization Students for Environmental Awareness, advisor and chief instructor to the Clemson Hapkido Club. He held a 3rd degree black belt and studied under Master Gedo Change, of Chang’s Hapkido Academy. He was the founding faculty advisor to both the Clemson University Tigers for Tigers, the national T4T Coalition, with 14 member universities who share a tiger mascot. David was most proud to mentor Tigers for Tigers, an organization created by students, not administrators. It is the oldest student organization in the country devoted to saving tigers. See www.davidtonkyn.com for more information. When David retired as a Professor from Clemson in 2017, after 31 years of devoted service, he entered the university’s Emeritus College. A short time later that year, David accepted the positions of Chairman and Professor of Biology at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He arrived with great enthusiasm, vision and energy and quickly established partnerships with the Little Rock Zoo, Heifer International, The Nature Conservancy, the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences, and anyone else who would offer quality experiences for the students. He is remembered by a former UALR colleague as “a conservationist for higher education and a force for change, even when controversial. He stepped up to emergency leadership, having no tolerance for silly bureaucracy, slack quality, or inefficiency. Dave was not a fierce tiger but he was a fearless one.” David was committed to providing UALR students with opportunities similar to their counterparts at Clemson and Princeton. In his three years at UALR, he was appointed to the Chancellor’s Institutional Effectiveness Committee, the Chancellor’s Budget Advisory Committee and served as faculty advisor for his department’s Biology Club.  In lieu of flowers, the Tonkyn Family asks that you consider contributing to a Memorial Fellowship in David’s honor being established at Clemson University to benefit students studying conservation and endangered species.

Dr. Kenneth Ted Wallenius (1932-2022), Professor Emeritus of Mathematical Sciences, he received his degree in Statistics from Stanford University.  Ted taught at Yale University before settling at Clemson University in 1968, with multiple visiting professorships at the University of Copenhagen, Naval Postgraduate School, Stanford, Office of Naval Research, National Institute of Science and Technology, and University of Athens, Greece. Ted loved teaching by relating subjects he loved to the students he taught, and achieved multiple scholarly distinctions, including the Anna H. Searles Award for highest academic achievement at USC, election to the American Statistical Association National Council and first recipient of the Sigma Xi Award as “Clemson University Outstanding Researcher.” Ted served as a Naval Officer active duty 1955-1960, reserve duty 1960-1992, and retired as Captain in the USNR in 1992. Never idle, Ted pole vaulted, body surfed, scuba & skin dived, sailed, golfed, played tennis, became Handball Champion at Clemson University, gardened year round, played guitar & sang, conducted symphonies from the kitchen table, hiked, and enjoyed wine making, lapidary, wood turning, swimming and jet skiing with his ten grandchildren, putting on fantastic fireworks displays, and leading excursions for the Pendleton District Gem & Mineral Society.

Dr. Dale Edward Linvill (May 14, 1940 – May 13, 2022)   Professor Emeritus of Agriculture and Biological Engineering. He grew up working on Linvill Family Farms, established in 1837 in Whitley County, Ind. He graduated third in his class from Churubusco High School in 1958, and was the first in his family to attend college, graduating from Purdue University with a B.S. in Physics in 1962, a master’s in soil physics from University of Connecticut, and PhD in agricultural metrology at Purdue University.  After starting his career as a professor at Michigan State University, he joined Clemson University’s Department of Agricultural Engineering in 1980.  Dale ran the Clemson University Agricultural Weather office and its weather observation records, which have run continuously since 1896.  After retiring in 2004, Dale continued to check the rain gauge every Saturday at LaMaster Dairy Center and perform quality control on weather data.  His work earned an Honored Institution award for Clemson University from the U.S. Department of Commerce and NOAA in recognition of 125 years of weather observation in cooperation with the National Weather Service. He served as the Clemson’s Faculty Senate President form 2003-2004.

Dr. John Huffman (July 21, 1932 – May 14, 2022) Professor Emeritus of Chemistry.  After earning his B.S. (1954) from Northwestern University, he earned his Ph.D. (1957) with the late Nobel laureate Prof. R.B. Woodward at Harvard. He began his academic career at Georgia Institute of Technology, later joining Clemson University in 1960. He was an NSF Predoctoral Fellow at Harvard and received an NIH Career Development Award in 1965. Late in his career, he received an NIH Senior Scientist Award. His research led to more than 140 publications.  He began his career as a synthetic organic chemist and subsequently focused on collaborating with medical researchers to create solutions for rare or significant illnesses. In the mid-1980s, Huffman and his team of researchers began synthesizing cannabinoid compounds for medical research purposes. Over the course of the next 20 years, he and his team developed over 400 synthetic cannabinoid compounds which were used as pharmacological tools to study endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptor genetics. Ultimately, the cannabinoid research provided a better understanding of the physiological cannabinoid control system in the human body and brain with potential applications including treatment of multiple sclerosis and pain management. Despite his research success, Dr. Huffman frequently stated that his proudest professional accomplishment was seeing the success and achievements of his many students, many of whom became lifelong friends. He supervised doctoral dissertations of 39 PhD candidates and served as the major advisor for approximately 20 Master’s students.

Dr. Alfred Franklin Newton (March 5, 1931-May 11, 2022), Professor Emeritus of Industrial Education.  Dr. Newton was a graduate of Clemson University, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1952, and a masters in 1958.  He earned a doctorate of education from the University of Tennessee in 1961.  He returned to Clemson and served as the Department Head of Industrial Education from 1961-1993.  Dr. Newton was a master woodworker, gemstone faceter, and enjoyed golf, travel abroad and collecting European landscape paintings.  He influenced the lives of many students during his 41 years as an educator.  Dr. Newton served as a 1st Lieutenant in the US Army in Korea and the US Army Reserve.

Dr. Peter J. McNulty, Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy ( August 2, 1941 – June 6, 2022) Dr. McNulty passed away on June 6, 2022.  His funeral service is planned for Tuesday, August 2, at 11am at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Seneca.  He  joined the Clemson University Physics and Astronomy department in 1988, serving as department head for over 13 years, retiring in 2012.  He was a graduate of State University of New York-Buffalo (PhD) and Fordham University (BS). His teaching career spanned over 45 years, beginning at Clarkson University in New York state.  During his long career he has published over 140 papers, graduated 14 Ph.D. students and 23 Masters students, many of whom have gone on to distinguished careers themselves. He has had a number of prominent positions, including Technical Chair and Short Course Chair for conferences of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and service on various panels for government funding agencies. He was elected as a Fellow of the IEEE.  Dr. Joseph R. (Dick) Manson wrote a wonderful article about Dr. McNulty that appeared in Schrödinger’s  Tiger, the Clemson University Physics and Astronomy Newsletter in the Spring of 2012.  “Pete’s parents were immigrants from Ireland who settled in New York City where he was raised. There, he attended St. Michaels High School and credits his high school Physics classes with instilling his initial interests in becoming a scientist. He also was strongly influenced by an older sister who was educated as a scientist. Pete received his B.S. in Physics from Fordham University in New York in 1962 and then did his graduate work at the State University of New York in Buffalo where he was awarded a Ph.D. in 1965. He extended his stay at SUNY-Buffalo as a postdoctoral research associate for another year, and it was during this time that he met his future wife, Patricia. Pete took a position as Assistant Professor of Physics at Clarkson University in 1966. There he rose through the ranks to Professor of Physics and remained until 1988 when he accepted the offer to come to Clemson. He and Pat have two children that they raised at Clarkson, Peter and Patricia.”

Dr. Julia Ann Eggert, Professor Emerita of Nursing (11/16/1950 –7/14/2022) Dr. Eggert retired in 2017, having served as the coordinator of the PhD Program and Professor of Nursing; Geriatric Nurse Practitioner, Fellow in Genetics at NINR/NIH; 20 years of service to Clemson University.  Eggert’s 22 years of clinical experience include managing a local site of an international breast cancer prevention trial that provided data for a major medical breakthrough: the impact of Tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer in women without a diagnosis of this disease. Tamoxifen solidifies the relationship between genetics and breast cancer since research has shown that Tamoxifen can decrease the incidence of breast cancer in women with a BRCA2 mutation.  Her degrees were from included a BSN, University of Kansas, 1972; MN, Wichita State University, 1981; PhD, Microbiology, Clemson University, 1997.  Her research delves into the biological aspects of breast cancer more than the social, political or perceptual dimensions of the disease. Her life’s work included assessing cancer patients at local cancer treatment centers, conducting oncology research and teaching the next generation of nurses while on the faculty at Clemson.  When Julie moved to South Carolina, the state had limited access to cancer screening and genetic health information.  Julie helped implement low-cost cancer screening and developed a healthcare doctoral program at Clemson aimed at leading the change to improve health and health care nationally.  She was most proud of her effort  to develop and receive approval from the South Carolina Commission on  Higher Education for the establishment of a nationally unique Healthcare Genetics Doctoral Program at Clemson University which she subsequently presided over until her retirement.

Benjamin Clay Dysart, III, PH.D.  Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Environmental Engineering (February 12, 1940 – July 9, 2022) Dr. Dysart earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Vanderbilt University, School of Engineering, and his doctoral degree at Georgia Tech. He worked as a civil engineer at Union Carbide and was a distinguished professor of Environmental Engineering at Clemson University until he retired from teaching in 1990.  While serving as President and Chairman of the National Wildlife Federation, he lectured widely and testified before the U.S. Congress on important environmental issues. Ben was predeceased by his parents, Katherine Thompson and BC Dysart, Jr.  Ben was a member of Christ Church Cathedral.  In Ben’s memory please consider a donation to the Benjamin C. Dysart, III Engineering Fellowship Endowment at Clemson University (Clemson.edu), Vanderbilt University, School of Engineering (Vanderbilt.edu), or a charity of your choice.

Tah-teh Yang, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering.  (August 15, 1927 — July 27, 2022) Dr. Yang came to Clemson University in September 1962 where he taught Mechanical Engineering, performed research, and collaborated with others to develop the PhD program in Mechanical Engineering.  Dr. Yang was a life member and Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Tah-Teh Yang was born in Shanghai China in August 1927.  He received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the Shanghai Institute of Technology in 1948. December 1949, he left China for Taiwan  and worked at the Kaohsiung Harbor Bureau before coming to the United States for graduate school in 1955.  He received his MS in Mechanical Engineering from Oklahoma State University in 1957 and his PhD from Cornell University in 1961. Tah -Teh worked at Curtiss-Wright Corporation in Patterson, NJ prior to coming to Clemson University in September 1962 where he taught Mechanical Engineering, performed research, and collaborated with others to develop the PhD program in Mechanical Engineering.  Dr. Yang was a life member and Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and was also a member of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church where he married Jeffery Ann Short in February 1963. Tah-Teh loved working in the woods and fields surrounding his house.  He loved being in nature and working to protect it.  Over the years, he enjoyed the companionship of many dogs as he worked outdoors.  He is survived by his daughter Nanci Salzer (Scott) of Charlotte, NC and grandchildren Charlie Salzer (fiancée Mallory Horning) of Charleston, SC and Genni Marie Salzer (Charlotte).  He is also survived by his son Timothy Yang (Nicole) of Greer, SC and grandchildren Anna, Joseph, Piper and  his beloved pets Paris and Belvedere who were his constant companions and brought him great comfort in recent years.

Thomas, Jr. Everett Lane, Professor Emeritus of Systems Engineering and Acting Dean, (1931-2022). Thomas joined the faculty of Clemson University in 1974 as director of Systems Engineering, a new graduate program. He also served as acting dean of Engineering from 1982 to 1983 and taught undergraduate industrial engineering prior to his retirement as full professor in 1985. He attended Oklahoma Baptist University for two years on a track scholarship. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Oklahoma State University and joined the Air Force to become a fighter pilot. Later he would receive his Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and finally a Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from OSU. Thomas served as a fighter pilot in Vietnam, where he flew combat missions to locate and rescue downed pilots. He was awarded two Silver Stars for valor in combat, a Bronze Star for heroism, a Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement in flight and many other honors. After returning from Vietnam, he went on to become the director of engineering for the B-1 bomber program at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, before retiring after 23 year of service as a full colonel in 1974. After retiring from Clemson In 1984, he embarked into business, founding Integrated Support Systems Inc. in Clemson, which designs database software to manage critical information related to the design and maintenance of complex equipment. ISS continues to thrive today in Seneca. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Jean; daughters, Susan (Jose) Sol, Sarah (Phil) Maiberger, and his son, Reid Thomas.

Ernest G. Baxa, Jr., PhD, Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering (1940-2022)  Ernie was born in Danville, VA on July 17, 1940, and was 82 years old. He studied at the University of Virginia earning a Bachelor s degree in Electrical Engineering and then went on to earn both a master s degree and doctoral degree in Electrical Engineering at Duke University. He served honorably as a Captain in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War before working in industry doing research. He moved his family to Clemson in 1980 and finished his career teaching Electrical Engineering at Clemson University for 25 years. He is survived by Ann, his wife of 60 years, and his three children, nine grandchildren and 3+ great grandchildren. In retirement, Ernie was an avid tennis player and committed Christian. His heart, time and energy were primarily focused on spreading the gospel. He was involved in planting 5 churches, served as an officer in the church directing and leading building and search committees.

C.  Stassen Thompson, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics (1946 – 2022) Stassen was born November 21, 1946, in Lamasco, Kentucky. He was a graduate of Murray State University, where he earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree. He went on to earn a Doctorate in Agricultural Economics at the University of Kentucky. Stassen worked at Clemson University for nearly 38 years; first, as a Professor of Teaching and Research in Agricultural Economics and then as Director of Land Management. He also served as President of the Faculty Senate during his time at Clemson University.  Stassen is survived by his wife of 54 years, Sherry Thompson of Seneca, and his son, Todd Thompson (Hannah) of Scotts Valley, California and daughter, Taryn Kuebelbeck (Jason) of Plymouth, Minnesota. He is also survived by his 7 grandchildren- Seri and Rex Thompson of Scotts Valley, California and Hallie, Cece, Tessa, Millie, and Matilda Kuebelbeck of Plymouth, Minnesota. As well as nephews Shawn Thompson of Eddyville, Kentucky, Jared Thompson (Tanna) of Mayfield, Kentucky, Benjamin Wolff (Katie) of Louisville, Kentucky and one niece, Paige Calloway (Cody) of Junction City, Kansas.

William “Biff” Joseph Kennedy, Jr., PhD (June 21, 1938 – August 24, 2022), Professor Emeritus of Industrial Engineering, died in the Hawaii Care Choices Pohai Malama Facility in Hilo. Son of a National Park Service Ranger, he spent his early years growing up in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona and Effigy Mounds National Historic Site, Iowa. He graduated Phillips Exeter Academy, New Hampshire and earned Degrees from Whitman College, Washington State, United States Naval Post Graduate School, California and Virginia Tech., Virginia. He taught Math at the United States Naval Post Graduate School and Industrial Engineering at University of Utah, Clemson University and United States Army Academy West Point. He was a retired licensed Professional Engineer and member of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE). He was a United States Navy Veteran active duty and Reserves. He served as an electrician for Habitat for Humanity Oconee County, South Carolina and on the County Library Board. He was a Rotarian in South Carolina and in Hilo. He was an active member of The Church of the Holy Cross in Hilo.   He is survived by wife, Anna Kennedy of Hilo; son, Matthew Kennedy of Vail, Colorado; daughter, Sarah (Jonathan) Marusek of Hilo; granddaughters, Harriet Marusek and Olive Marusek of Hilo; sister, Debora Kennedy of Madison, Wisconsin; sisters-in-law, Luella Murphy of Klamath Falls, Oregon and Anne P. Davis of Sacramento, California; numerous nephews and nieces.

Jay W. Lathrop, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering (1927-2022) Dr. Lathrop entered the University of Maine as a 14-year-old and decided he wanted to become a physicist. At 15 he transferred to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he received the BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Physics. Dr. Lathrop was employed for 7 years by the National Bureau of Standards/Diamond Ordnance Fuze Laboratories (NBS/DOFL) Washington, DC; for 10 years by Texas Instruments, Dallas, TX (TI); and for 20 years by Clemson University Clemson, SC where he was professor of electrical engineering.  He was a primary instigator of the technology revolution that occurred with development of “the chip” back in the 50s. It was through his work at NBS/DOFL that photography was first used in the fabrication of transistors, a procedure for which his group coined the word “photolithography” and which is still in use today. For this work he and members of his team were awarded the Army’s highest civilian achievement medal by the Secretary of the Army in a Pentagon ceremony in 1958. At TI he worked with Jack Kilby, Nobel laureate and co-inventor of the integrated circuit (microchip). The other microchip co-inventor was his graduate school friend, Robert Noyce. Lathrop developed methods of fabricating microchips using the technique he had pioneered at NBS/DOFL and became Director of Advanced Technology for the Semiconductor Division at TI. At Clemson he directed the electrical engineering department’s transition from vacuum tubes to solid state technology. He was namesake and first recipient of the IEEE’s “Jay Lathrop Outstanding South Carolina EE Education Award”. He was a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEEE). In 2011 he was inducted into the Thomas Green Clemson Academy of Engineers and Scientists.  He is survived by his daughters, Margaret (Peggy) Stringer, of Helena, MT, and Victoria (Vicky) Bannon, of Alexis, NC; his son, David Lathrop, of Savannah, GA; his stepdaughter, Mary West, PhD, of Clemson, SC; his grandchildren, Matthew Lathrop, of Seneca, SC, Jay Stringer, PhD, of Durham, NC, Jessica Stringer, Esq, of Greensboro, NC, Lindsay Phillips, of Taylors, SC, and 4 great grandchildren.

Mary Elizabeth “Beth” Kunkel Professor Emerita of Food Science and Human Nutrition. September 8, 1953 – November 20, 2022.   It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Mary Elizabeth “Beth” Kunkel of Clemson, South Carolina, who passed away on November 20, 2022, at the age of 69, leaving to mourn family and friends. Beth graduated from the University of Tennessee and the University of Alabama, Birmingham. After receiving her doctorate, she began a long career as a professor in the Food Science and Nutrition Department of Clemson University. Beth was a member of the American Dietetic Association and Slow Food SC. She loved to garden and quilt. Beth was an active member of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, where she assisted in many aspects of the church including missionary work in Haiti. She is survived by her brother, Charles “Charlie” Kunkel and wife Arlene of Newport, AR and sister, Linda Odom and husband Troy of Mountain View, AR. Beth is also survived by many nieces, nephews, extended family members and friends that she loved.



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