California State University, Long Beach
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In Memoriam: October 2010

Published: October 15, 2010

Jeanne E. Bader, Ph.D., retired Gerontology Program Director at CSULB, died on Monday, Sept. 20. She is survived by her brother and sister-in-law Charles and Joan Bader of Pittsburgh, Pa., and two nieces and one nephew, Cathy Richards of Port St. Lucie, Fla., and Kristie Bader and Cameron Bader of Pittsburgh, Pa..

“Dr. Jeanne Bader was a champion for the aging and disability communities,” said Wendy Reiboldt, professor and department chair for Family and Consumer Sciences “She had an energy that was infectious and a tenacity that got things done. She had a great love of art, music, jewelry and old movies. She will be greatly missed.”

“Jeanne was known by and knew those people throughout the State and across the nation active in both the aging and disability communities,” said Barbara White, an associate professor and current director of the Gerontology Program who succeeded Bader in that position. “She was a mentor to students and professionals in the field.”

In addition to her immediate family, Bader is survived by countless friends and colleagues whom she considered her “family of choice.” Prior to coming to California, she held positions at the Philadelphia Geriatric Center, the University of Minnesota and the University of Oregon. Many organizations benefited from her knowledge and her ability to volunteer.

“I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Dr. Bader,” said Health and Human Services’ administrative assistant Mary Harris-Robinson, to whom each year Bader donated $100 to support the Harris, Hardy, and Eatman Scholarship. “She was a loving and caring woman of great generosity. I’ll miss her dearly, but her love will always live in my heart.”

A celebration of her life will be held on Thursday, Oct. 28, from 2-5 p.m. at the Alpert Jewish Community Center, 3801 E. Willow St. in Long Beach. The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to National Public Radio or to the scholarship funds being established in her honor.

Buddy Collette, a Los Angeles jazz saxophone player and bandleader, died on Sept. 19 at the age of 89.

Collette helped merge the black and white musicians’ unions in L.A. and mentored many African American musicians. He was active in preserving and promoting L.A. jazz history and through the years worked with such legends as Frank Sinatra, Nat “King” Cole, Nelson Riddle, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Charlie Parker and Sarah Vaughan. His resume encompasses a virtual history of jazz and traditional pop music in the second half of the 20th century.

As an educator, Collette held positions on the faculties of Loyola Marymount University, Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State Dominguez Hills and Cal State Long Beach, where he served a term as Director of Jazz Studies.

“Buddy Collette was one of the most influential musicians in Los Angeles,” said Richard Birkemeier, a professor of Music at CSULB, “but he left his mark here as well as the Executive Director of the California Institute for the Preservation of Jazz (CIPJ). As CIPJ Director for most of those years, I was particularly fortunate to get to know him personally. He was a great believer in jazz education and helped assemblyman Willard Murray lobby the state legislature for the bill that created the institute. Later, he agreed to be the CIPJ Executive Director and was quite active in its governance, attending board meetings and conferences here on campus and around the state.”

According to Birkemeier, Collette maintained his own jazz outreach program in the L.A. schools called JazzAmerica and was particularly helpful in the creation of the CIPJ’s “Jazz for Today, Jazz for Tomorrow,” education program that helped return music to the Compton school district in 2000. The program received the Louis Armstrong Fellowship from the International Association for Jazz Education in 2002.

“His influence here extended from students, to faculty, and even reached the highest levels of administration,” added Birkemeier. “Provost Don Para, former Provost Karl Anatol, former Associate Vice President Kip Polakoff, Bob Cole Conservatory Director John Carnahan, and College of the Arts Director of Special Projects Rosalinda O’Brien all worked closely with Buddy during his years here.”

While Collette was CIPJ Executive Director, the Jazz Institute expanded to include chapters on 16 additional CSU campuses.

“Most importantly,” said Birkemeier, “he helped bring many top jazz artists into contact with our students here. In fact, Buddy’s own professional band played the first jazz concert ever at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center just after it opened.”

In 1998, Mayor Richard J. Riordan designated Collette “A Living Los Angeles Cultural Treasure.” Collette’s autobiography, Jazz Generations: A Life in American Music and Society, was published in 2000.

Collette is survived by daughters Cheryl, Veda and Crystal, son Zan, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Alvin Lawson, a former English professor at Cal State Long Beach has died at the age of 80. Lawson died Sept. 8 at Western Medical Center in Anaheim from complications of pneumonia, said his daughter, Leslie Dirgo.

Lawson was born Oct. 11, 1929, in Fort Bragg, Calif. His father, Roscoe, was a school principal who became a district superintendent, and his mother, Katherine, was a teacher. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley in 1952, a master’s in 1958 and a doctorate in 1967, the latter two in English from Stanford University. He served in the Army during the Korean War.

In 1953, Lawson married Barbara Slade. They met as students and fellow musicians at San Francisco State, which Lawson attended as an undergraduate before transferring to Berkeley. Lawson joined the CSULB faculty in 1962 and stayed through the mid-1990s.

Lawson spent decades studying unidentified flying objects and questioning the beliefs of people who said they had been abducted. He even taught a class on the subject at the university and began a telephone hotline about UFOs.

In addition to his wife and daughter, Lawson is survived by a brother, Wilbur; a sister, Beverly; and four grandchildren.