Pioneering BCC professor Roy Wahle passes away

Written by: Susanna Pehrson
Roy Patrick Wahle, Dean of Instructors and Interim President at BCC during its earliest days, died after a long illness in Ellensburg, Washington, on June 30 with loving family members surrounding him. Roy worked as a Dean of Instruction in the early years of BCC and was Interim President of the college, in 1976 after Merle Landerholm, president of BCC from 1966 — 1976, passed away. Roy worked in the educational field his whole life. It was his passion and he said in a interview in the Daily Record of Ellensburg three months before he passed away that he would do it again if he had a chance. His belief was that education is most important to civilization and society. Roy earned a Ph.D. in education from the University of Northern Colorado after graduating from Central Washington States College of Education. He taught at all levels, from elementary school to college, and was a John Hay fellow at Williams College as well as a Fulbright Visiting Professor twice in India before serving as a superintendent for the Bellevue School District in 1956. In 1957 he was selected to be a trustee at CWSC where he is mentioned as a great board member during a time of change and growth. Roy stayed as a board member until 1969 and “was a great help in developing the campus,” said Jim Brooks, president of Central from 1961 — 1978. He was a Professor Emeritus at Seattle University after working as Associate Professor of Education, teaching in the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership until he retired in 1990. He then worked as a part-time instructor for Central Washington State University. Roy was deeply involved in providing health solutions to the community. He was a consultant for the Department of Health, Education and Welfare from 1973 to 1977 and instrumental in helping to establish the Eastside Community Health Center. He was also a founding member of The Marianwood Foundation, a foundation that ensures that superior, compassionate nursing care and rehabilitative services are available to those most in need, regardless of their ability to pay. Furthermore, Roy worked tirelessly for the libraries in his community, attending the Governor’s Conference on Libraries and The White House Conference on Libraries and Information Services. He served on the Board of Trustees for the Bellevue Public Library as well as chairing the Washington Library Trustees Association. Roy is survived by his wife of 64 years, Betty Lou, and their four children and families. At BCC Roy will be remembered as one of the pioneers and a great man with big visions.