Eric Bjerre Larsen, one of the founding members of Rogue Community College and the science department, died Saturday, January 9.  He was 79.

Larsen worked for RCC from 1972 until his retirement in 2001.

“Eric was well liked by students and staff alike,” said Cheryl Markwell, dean of instruction at RCC.

Larsen was born June 7, 1930 in Chicago, Illinois to Carl and Elizabeth Larsen. At the age of two, he moved to Denmark. When he was 17, he returned to Chicago and attended college receiving a master’s degree in Biology. In 1954 he joined the United States Marine Corps. On January 9, 1955 in Denmark he married Ellen Klitgaard and they moved to Laguna Beach, California. Eric began his teaching career at Tustin High School. In 1969 he moved his family to the Micronesian Islands of Saipan and Kusai where he taught school for two years. In 1971 the family moved to Oregon and began teaching at Rogue Community College in the science department until his retirement. He had a winter home in Captain Cook, Hawaii.

In addition to his wife, Ellen Larsen of Grants Pass, Oregon and Captain Cook, Hawaii; he is survived by four children, Carl Larsen of Cave Junction, Sonja Johnston of Grants Pass, Bjorn Larsen of Dundee, and Solbritt Hill of Grants Pass; four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Memorial services were held Monday, January 18 at Hull & Hull Chapel in Grants Pass.



Bruce William Caldwell died  at his home on the morning of Dec. 31. He was 62.

Caldwell served as a fire service instructor for Rogue Community College. A memorial service was held Saturday, January 9, at the McMinnville Community Center.



Barbara Aileen Twiggs Hutton died at home Wednesday, December 9. She was 82.

Hutton was a nursing instructor on Redwood campus and director of RCC’s nursing program.

Services were held on Sunday, December 20, at the Grants Pass Seventh-day Adventist Church, with Pastor Edward Nelson officiating, arranged by Chapel of the Valley – L.B. Hall Funeral Home in Grants Pass.


Kenneth Michael Rasmussen died on the morning of December 24, in a car accident on Highway 42. He was 48.

A celebration of Ken’s life was held on Tuesday, January 5, at Christ the King Church, in Bakersfield, CA.


Kelly Anne Pettigrew, died Saturday, January 9, at her home. She was 19.

Kelly attended the Riverside campus of RCC.  According to RCC writing instructor Polly Greist, Pettigrew’s  brother, Trevor, graduated from RCC recently and her mother worked at RCC for several years.

Greist expressed her devastation in an email to Kelly’s classmates. “Kelly was an exceptional writer, a good classmate, and a beautiful young woman with the potential and depth to create great things for herself and others; it is beyond unfortunate that her life ended so early.”

A memorial service was held Saturday, January 16, at the First Baptist Church of Medford with arrangements by Rogue Valley Funeral Alternatives.


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