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1930s

1930-39 :: Edward R. Murrow and Philip Abelson, “Father of Atomic Submarine,” graduated and worked to make history. In athletics, football Coach Babe Hollingbery and the Cougars remained undefeated at home and played in the Rose Bowl, while boxers Roy Petragallo and Ed McKinnon won the NCAA Championship—the first in WSC history. Due to the Great Depression, faculty and staff took a 25 percent salary cut and students held strikes in protest of social regulations.

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Florence Dorothy Picha Wade celebrates 100 years! |

Categories: 1930s | College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences | Featured | Other event | Reunion

Florence Dorothy Picha Wade (’38 Home Ec) recently celebrated her 100th birthday! Her family helped her celebrate with a large reunion & party on Bainbridge Island (August) and a family dinner in Yakima (October). Her slogan is “Don’t let the rocking chair get you!” She drove her car for the last time, a few days after her 100th birthday. She still enjoys gardening, geneology, and family activites.

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In memoriam: William P. Nicklason |

Categories: 1930s | Death/In Memoriam | Engineering and Architecture | Featured

William P. Nicklason ’38

10/17/1914 – 9/28/2013

Father, Friend, Citizen

William Nicklason '38

William Nicklason ’38

William P. Nicklason was born October 17, 1914 to the union of Peter A. Nicklason and Ida M. Bergstrom in DuPont, Washington. Both Ida and Peter were Swedish immigrants and Dad was very proud of his heritage.

Dad was preceded in death by first wife Loretta, second wife, Marjorie Crane-Bue, and sisters Margaret and Mary. He is survived by children William Jr., Ann, Peter, Christopher, Margaret, and his stepchildren Eric, Grant, Peter and 14 grandchildren. During his nearly 99 years he accomplished many things through his daily work, generosity, and interest in others.

At the age of fourteen he earned the rank of Eagle Scout in troop 62 of DuPont. He remained active as assistant scoutmaster until departing, after graduating from Lincoln High School in Tacoma, to earn a degree in chemical engineering at Washington State College (Washington State University) in 1938. He worked hard all through high school to fulfill his parent’s dream that he go to college. As a student he was president of his fraternity (Phi Sigma Kappa), and president of the Engineering Club (Sigma Tau). Dad was a loyal Cougar to the end. He wore his Sixty Year “Diamond Grad” cap with pride up until his passing.

After college he went to work at the Dupont Company powder works as a startup engineer. In 1943 he was recruited by the War Department to join a hand picked team of engineers to work on the Manhattan Project. After training in the new science of nuclear engineering at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, he was sent to Richland, Washington to work on the construction and setup of reactor 105.

In 1951 he met Loretta Daily, married, and had five children. He joined Christ the King church in 1950, worked on the campaign to raise money to build a Catholic grade school, was president of the PTA for many years and after he retired played the organ for Sunday masses. He helped build the first Little League baseball park in West Richland, fished and hunted a little and found a love for golf as he watched his family grow. Upon retirement he headed the local food bank. Loretta died unexpectedly in 1985. Marge, his college sweetheart came back into his life, and a year later they were married, and Dad moved to Boise, Idaho where he lived until 2011. He and Marge enjoyed many years of travel all over the world.

We would like to thank all the wonderful people at Hillcrest, Guardian Angels, Hospice, Renee Martinez and Father Taneo at Christ the King.

Dad came from hardworking Swedish parents and grandparents. Their example taught him the true American spirit of hard work, respect of our fellow man, value of family and community.

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In memoriam: Harvey O. Magnuson |

Categories: 1930s | Death/In Memoriam | Engineering and Architecture | Featured

Harvey O. Magnuson ’39 (02/28/1915 – 07/26/2013)

Harvey Magnuson '39

Harvey Magnuson ’39

Harvey Oscar Magnuson passed away peacefully July 26, 2013. He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Evelyn (Moore) Magnuson, son and daughter-in-law Roy H. and Marie E. Magnuson, grandchildren; Adrian Amsberry, Lindsay Amsberry and husband John Steffen, and Bretley Magnuson and wife Kristin Magnuson, in addition to numerous nieces, nephews and great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by daughter Janice (Magnuson) Amsberry. Harvey was born in Enumclaw, WA, February 28, 1915, to Oscar E. and Flora Belle Magnuson. He graduated from Enumclaw High School and Washington State University with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1939. He worked at Bonneville Power Administration for 32 years, retiring in 1974. During WWII he was an Ensign in the Naval Reserve, specializing in radar. He spent many happy hours with friends and family fishing, playing bridge, bowling, and repairing old radios. He was an amateur radio operator. A family remembrance will be held at a later time. The family is grateful for the kindness shown by Horizon Hospice and the staff of Fairwood Northridge.

Published in Spokesman-Review from August 4 to August 7, 2013

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In memoriam: Eileen C. Featherstone |

Categories: 1930s | Death/In Memoriam | Featured

Eileen C. Featherstone ’35

(March 30, 1913 – June 26, 2013)

Eileen passed away June 26, 2013 in Spokane. She was born in Los Angeles, California, March 30, 1913, and was raised in Spokane, graduating from Lewis and Clark High School in 1931. She went on to obtain her BS degree in Bacteriology from Washington State University in 1935. She obtained further training as a lab technician and x-ray technician. While working at the Wallace, Idaho Hospital she met William H. Featherstone and they were married in 1939. She was preceded in death by her husband and mother. She is survived by her son Robert Featherstone. The staff of Rockwood South Hill is to be commended for their love and care over the last seven years. At her request a private graveside service will be held at a later date. Memorial gifts can be made to The Shriners or the American Cancer Society.

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In memoriam: Errett Deck |

Categories: 1930s | 1940s | College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences | Death/In Memoriam | Featured

Erret Deck '38, '45 MS

Erret Deck ’38, ’45 MS

Errett Deck ’38, ’45 MS, was born in Cherry Creek, New York where his mother was an elementary school teacher. The family moved slowly westward and settled in Washington State. His father was hired by Walla Walla Canning Company.

Following two years at Whitman College, Errett transferred to and graduated with honors from Washington State College (WSU) in 1938 in agriculture and then received his masters in 1945.

In early 1940, Errett raised produce near Chehalis on farmland known as Hamilton Meadows. During WWII, he operated what was known as “The Victory Gardens” and he married Marlyta Nisbet.

In 1947, the family moved to a farm in the Nisqually Valley and raised potatoes, sweet corn, sugar beets, raspberries, strawberries and beef cattle. In early 1960, the Deck family received the honor of “Cattleman of the Year” and Errett took part in an agricultural “People to People” tour of Russia.

In 1962, while managing a productive farm, Errett began a long career with the Washington State Department of Agriculture; he spent several years at the federal level with the United States Environmental Protection Agency. During the 1960s and 1970s, he served as Fire Commissioner for Lacey Fire District 3.

Erret Deck in the 1938 Chinook yearbook

Erret Deck in the 1938 Chinook yearbook

A talented musician, Errett enjoyed playing the violin in the Olympia Symphony Orchestra for over 30 years and was a long-time performer and supporter of numerous events throughout the community.

In 1980, he married Evelyn English. They both felt blessed to share 33 wonderful years together.

He is survived by his wife, Evelyn; sister, Finetta; daughter, Peggy (Bruce); son, David (Pam); stepson, Dan (Brenna); nine grandchildren; eight great grandchildren; and two great-great grandchildren. He will be greatly missed. Sky and Merlin became a part of his life two years ago and cared for him deeply.

Please leave memories of Errett or condolences for the family at funeralalternatives.org.

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My Story authors from the 1930s

Last name First name Year graduated Major
staff My Story 2012
Alumni Education 2011