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Obituaries: Stafford Q. Johnson, Joseph A. Pask, Michael J. Koll

23 July 2003


Joseph A. Pask, left, and Michael J. Koll

Stafford Q. Johnson
Stafford Q. Johnson, academic counselor coordinator for Student Life Advising Services and the Educational Opportunity Program, died on July 4 due from a cerebral hemorrhage. He was 55 years old.

During his 31 years on campus, Johnson worked with students to help them attain academic and personal success. He pioneered Berkeley’s first peer adviser program and gained campuswide recognition as coordinator of the Student Life Achievement Awards, which honor a select number of low-income, first-generation students for their scholastic accomplishments, leadership, and community service. He received numerous accolades for his role as a student advocate.

Johnson also co-founded the campus’s Black Staff and Faculty Organization, and that group’s George Scotlan Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarship money for black undergraduates at Berkeley.

Johnson is survived by his wife, Beverly Johnson, and sons Jamaal and Rashaad. A campus memorial will be held at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 4 in Memorial Glade. Donations can be sent to the Stafford Q. Johnson Memorial Fund (which will support campus student-life programs and the Morrison Distinguished Achievement Award program), c/o University Relations, 2440 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94720-4200.

Joseph A. Pask
Joseph A. Pask, Berkeley professor emeritus and an internationally respected leader in modern ceramic science and engineering, died at age 90 on June 14.

Pask joined the Berkeley faculty in 1948. With another Berkeley professor emeritus, Richard M. Fulrath, who died in 1977, he formed the first graduate and undergraduate programs in ceramic engineering on campus.

In 1958, Pask became chair of the Department of Materials Science and Min-eral Engineering, a position he held until 1961. He served as associate dean for Graduate Affairs in the College of Engineering from 1969 until he retired in 1980.

Pask was born in Chicago on in 1913. He earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering at the University of Illinois in 1934 and his master’s degree in engineering at the University of Washington in 1935. He returned to the University of Illinois to get his Ph.D. in ceramic engineering in 1941. Over the next decade, Pask would take various research and teaching positions at the University of Illinois, the Northwest Experiment Station of the U.S. Bureau of Mines, the University of Washington’s College of Mines, and the Westinghouse Electric Company.

After coming to Berkeley, Pask grew into a leader in the field of ceramic engineering. His colleagues point to Pask’s work in mullite, an alumina-silica compound used in engines, turbines and energy conversion systems.

Pask’s awards include the 1967 John Jeppson Medal for outstanding achievements in ceramic technology and the highest award of the American Ceramic Society, and, in 1980, the Berkeley Citation, one of the campus’s highest honors for extraordinary achievement in one’s field and outstanding service to the university.

Pask is survived by his wife, Margaret; son, Thomas Pask of San Luis Obispo; daughter, Kathryn Pask Hruby of Emeryville; half-sister, Frances Tarvid of Chicago; three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Donations in Pask’s memory may be made to UC Berkeley’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, 210 Hearst Mining Building, Berkeley CA 94720-1760.

Michael J. Koll
Michael J. “Mike” Koll, former executive director of the California Alumni Association, died in Berkeley July 1 after a long illness. Koll, who graduated from Berkeley in 1941, began his alumni association career in 1949 as founding director of the Lair of the Golden Bear summer camp in the Stanislaus National Forest, one of the most successful and imitated of the nation’s family camps.

Koll was born in 1916 on a farm in Amery, Wisc. After high school he traveled to Crescent City, Calif., to play semi-pro baseball; there his skill attracted the notice of several Cal alumni. In the spring of 1938 he came to Berkeley as a freshman, beginning a lifelong association with the University of California.

Koll’s baseball career at Berkeley earned him induction into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame. He is the only Cal pitcher to win a batting title, and he was proud that he never lost a game to Stanford University in four years, beating the cross-bay rival 10 times.

Upon graduation with honors in forestry, Koll served in the Navy during World War II. His tour of duty in the Pacific included combat missions and a stint in Hawaii managing the naval baseball teams that included many of the famous pro players serving in the military at that time.

Returning to Berkeley in 1949, Koll joined the staff of the California Alumni Association to develop a family summer camp. During his 40-year career with the alumni association, Koll worked in nearly every capacity. He served as executive director of the 90,000-member group from 1984 until his retirement in 1988.

In retirement he continued his service to the university, assisting with campus fundraising and remaining a guiding influence at the Lair of the Golden Bear. Koll also served as president of the Berkeley chapter of the Rotary Club.

Koll is survived by Jane Biedenbach Koll, his wife of 52 years; their children Lynne Koll Martin and Loretta Koll; grandchildren Tevis, Cali and Jerrott; and son-in-laws Tevis P. Martin and Jon Van Heuit.

The family prefers memorial contributions to the Michael J. Koll Scholarship or to the Lair of the Golden Bear Fund at the California Alumni Association, Alumni House, Berkeley, CA 94720.

A reception to honor Mike Koll’s life will be held at the Alumni House later this summer.