In Memorian

In Memorian

Lester Hirsch, (Emeritus, Physics), died on February 27 as a result of the massive injuries he sustained in a felonious assault.

Hirsch joined the Cal State L.A. Physics Department in 1960, following his service on the faculty of East L.A. College. He made his career teaching nonscience majors who took beginning physics for general education. His ability to communicate the joys as well as the ideas of basic physics knowledge to students who knew little science, and initially cared less, was unsurpassed. His demonstration apparatus was a mainstay of his teaching, for which he characteristically put showing above telling. Many of his demonstrations are now housed in Physical Sciences 453, which was dedicated as the Lester Hirsch Exploratorium when he retired in 1986. He continued to teach part-time at both CSLA and UCLA until his tragic injuries.

For the University community, Hirsch’s most extensive service was as a member of the University-Student Union Board. That service was recognized after his retirement by the dedication of the second-floor open space as the Lester Hirsch Program Area. It was the site of a campuswide party hosted by the Union in April 1995 to celebrate his 80th birthday.

He is survived by his son, Timothy; his brother, Robert; and two stepsons. His funeral was held on March 3 at Mount Sinai Memorial Park. The Department of Physics and Astronomy has created a memorial scholarship in his memory, for which donations may be made to Friends of Physics-Hirsch Memorial Scholarship and sent to the department.


Richard Arvidson (Emeritus, Geography) passed away at age 57 on September 22, 1995, in Cathedral City after a long illness. Trained as a geomorphologist, he became a faculty member in 1968 and retired in 1989. He served twice as chair and twice as associate chair of the Department of Geography and Urban Studies. He is survived by his sister, Adrienne, of Ontario, Canada.


John Conrad Bushman, (Emeritus, English; American Studies), died December 15, 1995 at the age of 81 following a lingering illness. He joined the faculty in 1953 and retired in 1976. Before coming to Los Angeles, Bushman was part of the group of Chicago writers that included Nelson Algren, James T. Farrell, and Jack Conroy. He is survived by his wife, Betty; two daughters, Dr. Luanna Cabrera and Mrs. Lynn Bommer; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.


E. Kennedy (Ken) Cobb, (Emeritus, Accounting) died in October 1995, of cancer. He began teaching at CSLA in 1958. His 29-year association with the School of Business and Economics included service as associate dean for undergraduate studies and chair of the Department of Accounting. Among his responsibilities as associate dean was the planning of South Tower, now Simpson Tower, with Floyd Simpson. He was in charge of the School’s move from King Hall to Simpson Tower. Cobb was buried in Columbia, South Carolina, his birthplace.


Mona Paulee (Emerita, Music) passed away in September, 1995. A mezzo-soprano with the Met during the 1940s and 1950s, she was often heard in the Metropolitan Opera Saturday live broadcasts. She had performed in Europe and throughout Central and South America. Paulee joineed the faculty in 1972 and retired in 1987. She is survived by her daughter, Lani, and two grandchildren.


James F. Richmond (Emeritus, Geology), founder of Cal State L.A.’s Geology Department, died on August 28, 1995, as a result of complications after injuries he sustained during a fall while on a visit to Idaho. He was 86 years old. He joined the faculty in 1955 and retired in 1970. He is survived by two brothers, George, of Honolulu, and Charles, of Olympia, Washington.


Howard Wilkening (Emeritus, Psychology) died on October 19 in Solvang from complications of a stroke. He was 85. Wilkening joined the faculty in 1948 and later served as chair of the Department of Psychology. When he retired in 1974, Wilkening was the CSLA faculty member with the longest tenure to that point. He is survived by his wife, Laura; two sons, Gregory and Peter; and two daughters, Barbara Ahern and Carol Vilas.