The Rev. Dr. Paul Egertson, bishop emeritus of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Southwest California Synod and a longtime member of the California Lutheran University religion faculty, died Jan. 5, 2011, in Thousand Oaks. He was 75. Egertson, who joined the CLU faculty in 1984, was a compassionate man well known in the church as an excellent theologian and great teacher. He garnered widespread national attention as an advocate for full inclusion of gays in the life of the church and the ordination of gay and lesbian candidates for ministry. The policy change he tirelessly advocated finally occurred in 2009. Egertson served as an ELCA pastor for 21 years, leading congregations in Hollydale, Calif., Las Vegas, Nev., Lakewood, Calif., and North Hollywood, Calif. He was elected bishop in 1994. A graduate of Pepperdine University, he received his master’s in divinity from Luther Theological Seminary and his doctorate from the Claremont School of Theology. He is survived by his wife, Shirley, a former teacher at CLU’s Early Childhood Center, six sons, 12 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
N. John Beck, a member of CLU’s Board of Regents for 20 years, died peacefully Jan. 8, 2011, in his Bonita, Calif., home. He was 85. Beck provided support and leadership in countless projects throughout the life of the University. In addition to serving as board chair, he was chair of the Academic Affairs Committee and of the search committee that elected Jerry Miller as president. He played a leading role in several capital campaigns and was one of the staunchest supporters of establishing the University’s NPR station, KCLU. Beck’s commitment to service extended to his community as well. He was a member of the San Diego City Council, past president of the Society of Automotive Engineers, a major supporter of the Boy Scouts and an active member of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Chula Vista. CLU recognized his outstanding stewardship to his community, church and the University by presenting him with the Distinguished Service Award in 1996. Beck, who earned a master’s degree in engineering from the California Institute of Technology and a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin, distinguished himself equally in his professional career. After working for several large companies, he founded BKM Inc., which manufactures diesel fuel-injected engines, and a BKM subsidiary, Servojet Electronic Systems. Passionate about ecology and the global environment, in 1992, he started Clean Air Resources, which develops and installs devices that convert diesels into virtually zero-emission, natural gas-powered engines. In 2004, he and his wife, Janet, endowed a science scholarship, with the goal of its becoming a scholarship in engineering physics. Survivors include his wife of 64 years, two sons, five grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Helmut Haeussler, a founding faculty member of California Lutheran College, died Feb. 2, 2011. He was 88. A resident of Thousand Oaks for 50 years, Helmy, as he was known on campus, was a gifted history professor and academician. Before heading west to join the CLC faculty in 1961, he taught at Luther College and Wittenberg University. After three years at CLC, he moved to California State University Northridge where he remained until his retirement in 2004. His undergraduate education was interrupted by service in the U.S. Army during World War II, but he later completed his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. in history at the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree at University of Maryland. He was preceded in death by his wife, Annie, and is survived by his brother, Erwin, and son, Tom.