In Memoriam

California Lutheran University English professor emerita and poet Jan Bowman died Feb. 16, 2009, at her home in Thousand Oaks. She was 69. Bowman started teaching English at CLU in 1975 and played a key role in changing the curriculum to incorporate more reading and writing across all areas of study. Having experienced the challenges facing women who return to school later in life, Bowman was instrumental in founding the Women’s Resource Center at CLU and in developing courses in integrated, global and women’s studies.

She left full-time teaching in 1996 but returned as an adjunct faculty member from 1999 to 2002. In 2003, Bowman and her husband, the Rev. Gerald Swanson, the University’s first full-time pastor, received CLU’s Christus Award in recognition of their contributions to strengthen the bridge between the Church and the University. In 2007, they were presented Honorary Alumni Awards.

Lutheran University Press published a collection of Bowman’s poems in 2004. Carved Like Runes features poems in which she celebrated the beauty of life and art and sought to make meaning out of change, loss, aging and death. In addition to her husband, she is survived by a daughter, Mindy Brownell; two sons, Krister ’89 and Karl ’91 Swanson; and seven grandchildren.

James L. Esmay, the first dean of California Lutheran University’s School of Business, died of cancer on Feb. 10, 2009. He was 79. Esmay came to CLU in 1965, serving as an assistant professor and Chair of the Social Science Division and Economics Department before leaving in 1968 to take a position as professor and administrator at California State University, Northridge.

In 1977 and 1978, he taught at the University of Swaziland and the University of Botswana as a Fulbright Professor of Economics. He returned to CLU in 1979 as Chair of the Department of Management and Economics and in 1989 became the first Dean of the School of Business.

Esmay and his late wife, Anna Ronning Esmay, established two endowed scholarships at CLU, one for students studying abroad and the other for business students involved in campus activities.

A warm and personable man, Esmay stayed involved with CLU after he retired in 1991. The Thousand Oaks resident served as a convocator and avidly supported the Community Leaders Association, the CLU Symphony and the Scandinavian Festival. Esmay received an Honorary Alumnus Award in 2001 in recognition of his service to the University.

He is survived by his companion, E. Marta Flanagan; two sons, Jon and Joel ’87 Esmay; and a daughter, Janice Canepa ’86.

Clair Milan Hekhuis, former Assistant to the President under Raymond Olson, passed away on Jan. 23, 2009. Prior to coming to CLC in 1967, Hekhuis had an illustrious journalistic career in Michigan with United Press Bureau and Capitol Bureau, and as Assistant to the President and Secretary to the Board of Control at Northern Michigan University.

He left CLC to accept the editorship of the Mt. Pleasant Daily Times News in his home state of Michigan. Later returning to California, he worked for several California daily newspapers before ending his journalism career as a copy editor at the Los Angeles Daily News in Van Nuys. He was a longtime member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Thousand Oaks.

Hekhuis is survived by his wife, Mary (former Director of Public Information at CLU); two sons, David and John Hekhuis; two daughters, Elin McCall ’78 and Julie Phillips; and seven grandchildren.

William T. (Bill) Mooney Jr., a member of the CLU Convocation for many years, passed away on Feb. 19, 2009, at the age of 82. As Chair of the Convocation from 1990 to 1992, Mooney also served on the Board of Regents. He was a professor emeritus of chemistry at El Camino College in Torrance, Calif., and Principal of William Mooney Associates, a consulting firm concerned with the public understanding of science/technology and college science programs. He is survived by his wife, Margery, and their three sons.

Feedback Form