September 2014 Luncheon – Gary “Ezmuny” Schell ’70-WSU

WSU Fiji House - George Raimondi and son
WSU Fiji House – George Raimondi and son

It was an eventful moment in the late 1990’s when Ron Rawson (a founding member of the WSU Fiji Chapter) approached the President of Pullman Bank to ask for a loan on the chapter’s fraternity house. One thing led to another, and the banker, Gary Schell ’70 – WSU, became the Purple Legionnaire (chapter advisor).

A good 15 years later Gary Schell continues in his role as chapter advisor and president of the House Corporation. And his story to our luncheon group kept everyone leaning forward and enjoying the presentation.

Delta Phi Gamma2

33 years a banker, 15 years a real estate broker, and survivor of open heart surgery in 2013; Gary is a colorful, seasoned, business guy. His message to the luncheon grads included a behind the scenes look at the long-term funding program he’s advanced for the Pullman chapter.

In the 1960’s the Cougar Fijis were able to purchase two houses located adjacent to their fraternity house. Building on this original portfolio, Gary has led an effort to acquire other properties located within blocks of the fraternity house. At the luncheon Gary reviewed the loan/payback programs that generate a positive cash flow to the benefit of the WSU Chapter. The current portfolio includes 7 properties plus the chapter house for a total valuation of $ 3+ million. The annual revenues exceed $ 200k per year. Every property generates cash flow exceeding the underlying loan expenses.

Real Estate Portfolio -- WSU Chaper Corporation
Real Estate Portfolio — WSU Chaper Corporation

Several elements of note in this plan:

  • To minimize any liability to the fraternity chapter, no fraternity members can be tenants.
  • To keep operations at arms length, a professional management firm is used to manage and maintain the properties.
  • Gary Schell is typically the listing agent for the properties purchased, and the real estate commission is his compensation for all time and work related to the properties.
  • Properties are prime locations within blocks of the fraternity house and adjacent to the WSU campus,

These 8 properties anchor a long term plan to use a couple of the properties to build a new and larger fraternity house in 2028. The house is expected to be built from cash accumulated over the 20 years leading up to 2028.

Thanks to Gary Schell ’70, the WSU chapter has a very strong chapter of young men and a robust real estate portfolio that offers a bright future for Phi Gamma Delta at Washington State University.

It was a terrific luncheon presentation, and we thank Gary. It is food for thought on ways to approach sustainable financing for the Seattle chapter’s long-term success. If you have questions or comments, you can reach this interesting Fiji by email @

Ad Astra – Ed Keenan ’70

Ad Astra Ed “Fast Eddie” Keenan ’70 — The below message dated Aug. 16th from Paul Hull ’59 to John Werner ’59 is passed along to all.

Hi John,

We lost another outstanding Fiji brother, Ed Keenan ’70. He grew up in Shelton, a Sigma Tau Fiji, got a PhD in pharmacology, and was Associate Dean Of Medical Education At Oregon Health Sciences University, He had a reputation as a charismatic teacher, and was a great guy. I knew him through the Foundation for Medical Excellence that he headed. He chaired meetings of a group called the Collegium that I have been associated with for about 10 years. We deal with medical education and ethical issues. He died suddenly two days ago. He had been in excellent health, and was a vigorous, active guy. We had a lot of fun reminiscing about our Sigma Tau years,

Not a good year for us here in Oregon, with the loss of John Wilson ‘62, Larry Schneider ‘59, and now Ed Keenan ‘70.

I am really going to miss Ed. He was a really good friend.
The State of Oregon has lost a major authority and leader in healthcare.

Ad Astra – Warren McClure ’44

Warren McClure ’44

Warren was born in Portland, Oregon, the only child of Frank and Olga McClure. Both parents died and he was raised by aunt and uncle, Bill and Hilda Nash, graduating from Portland’s Lincoln High School in 1940. He attended The University of Washington, became a member of the Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity. He enlisted in the Army in 1942, achieving the rank of First Lieutenant. After the service he completed his aeronautical engineering degree at Oregon State University and was hired by Boeing for a 39 year career.

In 1953 Warren met and married Jean Womack. They made their home in Bellevue, WA where they raised their family.

Warren’s primary focus was his family. He was a quiet, gentle man who put his family first. He was a member of Bellevue First Presbyterian Church, the Seattle Flight Museum, AIAA, and the Society of Aeronautical Weight Engineers. Warren and his son, Scott, enjoyed many air shows together in the region. Warren also enjoyed the Seahawks games and loved traveling during retirement. He and his wife, Jean, enjoyed many wonderful trips, but their favorite was Maui where they made annual visits to Kaanapali for over 25 years.

Those who love him and will miss him deeply include his wife of 61 years, Jean; children Wendy (Norm), Scott, and Carol; grandchildren Kevin and Mikaela Shrumm. Daughter Molly’s life was taken in 1986 and this loss left a vacant spot in his heart.

Memorials may be sent to the Molly McClure Memorial Scholarship Fund at WSU, PO Box 641925, Pullman, WA, 99164-1927 or the Museum of Flight, 9404 E. Marginal Way South, Seattle, WA 98108-4097

Ad Astra – John Rolfe ’50

John Hoge Rolfe ’50

May 13, 1928 ~September 1, 2014

John Rolfe was born in Seattle to Anna Hoge and Hamilton Cawley Rolfe, the fourth of five children.

Distinguished himself as a deft athlete & social chairman at Lakeside and Taft schools. Graduated from the UW a proud Fiji and avid Husky, later serving with distinction in the US Navy (Japan). Married Jean Boncutter in 1958. John was a Civil Servant (Children’s Home Society, United Way, Seattle Rotary, St. Mark’s Cathedral, Secret Harbor School, Athletes for a Better World boards), Businessman (Pacific Mutual, Securities Mortgage, Seafirst Mortgage, Bank of America), Athlete (Seattle All-City Slalom Champ, age 15); Sage Mentor, Loving Father and Trusted Friend.

Survived by brother Doster (Dockie), sisters Mary Will & Anne Kellogg; daughters Susan Peck (Bo), Lee Rolfe (Tony Angell) & Carrie Rolfe; granddaughters Annalee Peck (Jonathon Bowen Peck predeceased), Gavia & Larka Angell; and wife Jean, his longtime sweetheart, collaborator and conscience.

Services will be held at St. Mark’s Cathedral at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, September 7th.

As published in the Seattle Times

RoxyAnn Wine hand-delivered for Pig Dinner

Budget pressures are everywhere, and Jack Day ’59 has been quite good supplying his wines at favorable prices to the Pig Dinner over the past few years.

Jack went above and beyond to stretch our budget in 2014, he helped us avoid the shipping and shipping container expenses by driving the wine up from southern Oregon and hand delivering this year’s Pig Dinner wine to Clay Loges ’68.

Jack Day '59 and founder of RoxyAnn Winery in Medford, OR
Jack Day ’59 and founder of RoxyAnn Winery in Medford, OR

RoxyAnn Winery was found by Jack and his family at the turn of this century. The vineyards are planted on the farm that’s been in the family for more than 100 years.

Jack invites all Fijis to visit his Tasting Room just a short hop east of I-5 when in the Medford area. The Tasting Room is inside the historic Hillcrest “Honor” Barn. The Barn/Tasting Room is surrounded by gardens overlooking the vineyard and orchard on the slopes of RoxyAnn Peak.

If you are traveling with family, not to worry, because there is more than wine at Jack’s Farm. Near the tasting room is the Hillcrest Fruit Stand featuring chocolate treats, gourmet cheeses, and fresh produce.

Call ahead to Jack, and he’ll arrange a free tasting for you. And, if his calendar permits, he’ll personally greet any Fiji making the visit. The winery phone number is: 541.776.2315 .