Department Spotlight

College Mourns Loss of Longtime Physics Professor

Delbert Ray Friesen, a long-serving physics professor at Whitworth College, died on August 2, 2002 while on vacation in Yellowstone Park. Rangers at the park indicated Friesen died of natural causes.

A memorial service will be held at the Seeley Mudd chapel at Whitworth on Wednesday, August 7, at 4:30 p.m. For information about memorial gifts, please contact the Whitworth Office of Academic Affairs at (509) 777-3702.

"We are all stunned by this news and share in the grief of Delbert’s family, as well as those of his colleagues in the Science Building in particular," said Tammy Reid, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty, in an announcement to the college community. "Please remember and support them with your prayers at this time."

Friesen was born on April 18, 1942, in Canton, OK. He received his B.A. degree from Bethel College in Kansas and his doctorate in physics from the University of Colorado.

He joined the Whitworth faculty in 1985. During his tenure at Whitworth he taught a variety of physics and engineering courses and advised students in both areas. He also participated in the college’s ongoing airglow research program. He was a two-time board member of the Pacific Northwest Association for College Physics and was a member of the American Association of Physics Teachers.

Before coming to Whitworth, where he was chair of the Physic Department at the time of his death, he held academic positions at Marietta College in Ohio, Millikin University in Illinois, Tougaloo College in Mississippi, and at his alma mater, Bethel College.

He was an active member of the Shalom Mennonite Church in Spokane.

He is survived by his mother, Viola Friesen, of Reedley, CA, and his brother and sister-in-law, Richard and Dorothy Friesen, of Bluffton, Ohio.

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