In Memoriam: February 2014Published: February 17, 2014
The CSULB community lost a very familiar face on Jan. 13 with the passing Dan Barber at the age of 69. The cause of death was not immediately known, but he had suffered from complications of diabetes for the past several years.
In the late 1970s, Barber came to CSULB as a professor in the Public Policy Department, creating a grant writing course and ascending to become Director of the Graduate Center for Public Policy and Administration, a field in which he was a nationally recognized author and expert.
And while his day job paid the bills, it is his love of sports that excited him more. “Just a poor boy from West Virginia,” as he would often refer to himself, Barber loved to watch sports on television, particularly college football, but his favorite thing was sitting at a collegiate baseball game.
During the late 1970s and through most of the 80s, while establishing himself professionally, Barber pitched in as much as possible supporting 49er athletics—either with his numerous financial contributions or lending a physical hand when needed. He would help with promotions, keep statistics for various sports, write news articles, assist with post-game press conferences or work as back-up P.A. announcer.
It was in 1989 when Barber’s popular Diamond Dust newsletter went from being published intermittently to becoming a fixture at every Dirtbag baseball game. The clever and witty publication was a must read for 49er fans and opponents alike. He particularly loved to needle rival Cal State Fullerton, though he truly respected their program. His newsletter’s masthead once included the phrase “Not Popular in Fullerton” and its distribution at games played at Amerige Park was once banished by CSUF campus officials, which he took as a compliment.
Maybe best known to 49er fans and fellow sportswriters as “Dr. Dan,” he was a columnist with the Gazette newspapers for nearly a decade, and had moved his writing to the Long Beach Post over the last three years.
A graduate from the University of Miami, Barber was nick-named “Scoops” by legendary Hurricane baseball coach Ron Fraser, and served as sports editor and then editor of the campus paper, The Miami Hurricane.
After retirement from his active university days Barber founded grantwriters.com with books, CDs and mini guides. All those supplemented the many training workshops he conducted around the country, many of which not-so-coincidently coincided with 49er baseball roadtrips.
“Dr. Dan was a loyal 49er who truly loved the Beach,” said Athletic Director Vic Cegles, who noted Barber cherished his relationships with the student-athletes and coaches, both past and present. “I’m was very sorry to hear of his passing.”
A memorial service was held for Barber on Jan. 21 at the Japanese Garden on campus.
Barbara Marie Parks entered her heavenly home on Jan 13. She was born Barbara Keuneke on Feb. 15, 1942, in Fort Wayne, Ind., to Stanley and Marie (Greer) Keuneke.
Parks attended Lutheran schools from third grade through high school and following her 1959 graduation from Concordia Lutheran High School she continued her education at Indiana University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1963. After college she moved to Long Beach to be with an aunt and grandmother.
Her first job was with TV Guide magazine followed by her long career at CSULB where she began in May 1964 and remained until her retirement in the summer of 2003. The years at CSULB were busy ones for Parks, on and off campus, as she was active on a great number and wide variety of committees and organizations. Most of her time was spent as an editor and writer in the Public Affairs and Publications Office and one of her prized possessions was the CSULB rocking chair she was presented upon her retirement.
Parks was married to Frank Parks, Jr., in 1968 and in 1972 their son David was born. She enjoyed traveling and during her lifetime toured 49 states and more than 30 countries.
Parks enrolled her son in Cub Scouts and he eventually achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. Many of her volunteer positions related to Boy Scouts, several of which she continued until her declining health prevented it. One position was as editor of the national Lutheran Scouting newsletter.
At one time Parks held 16 volunteer positions, many of which were at First Lutheran Church in Long Beach including working with inner city children and editing the church’s monthly newsletter. Other volunteer activities included the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden, the Long Beach-Yokkaichi Sister City Association, the CSULB Alumni Association and her sorority Alpha Xi Delta. She was proud of her memberships in the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Society of Mayflower Descendants. Attending Bible studies was also an important part of her life.
Her various honors include the Lamb award from the Lutheran church, the Silver Beaver and International Scouters Award from the Boy Scouts of American and the Outstanding Staff Member and Community Service Award from CSULB.
She was extremely blessed to have so many friends who provided not only prayer support but many other kindnesses during her illness.
David and his wife Kyoko have two sons, Noah and Kai, who brought much pleasure to Barbara and lifted her spirits.
A memorial service was held for Parks on Jan. 26 at the First Lutheran Church in Long Beach.
Frank Winston Wylie, APR, Fellow Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), a longtime distinguished leader in the Society, died in his sleep at his California home on Dec. 16. He was 89.
Wylie devoted 32 years of his career to the Chrysler Corp. where he ended his tenure as the Director of Public Relations. Among his achievements, he led the effort to involve Dodge in NASCAR racing as a means of updating its public image. Under his watch, Dodge won the NASCAR Championship in 1968.
Following his corporate career, Wylie went into higher education, first at California State University, Los Angeles then at CSULB where he taught journalism and public relations, retiring as chair and professor emeritus.
His love of public relations was reflected in his PRSA leadership. He led the Detroit chapter prior to becoming PRSA National President in the late 1978. In 1982 he received the Gold Anvil for distinguished contribution to the profession, and in 1989 was one of the inaugural class of inductees to the College of Fellows.
There will be a celebration of his life on Saturday, Feb. 15 at his home in Bonny Doon. Wylie had a lifelong passion for trees and planted hundreds on his property and orchards. He hoped to encourage others to plant a tree or to contribute to a tree-centric charity such as the Arbor Day Foundation.