Alumni

Susan Dadres

Photo of Susan DadresSusan Dadres (’84, ’86 M.S.), 61, principal lecturer in economics, died May 19 in Plano. After earning her UNT degrees in economics, she received her doctorate from Southern Methodist University. She began working at UNT in 2004 and was known as a dedicated and encouraging teacher. She developed the Department of Economics’ first online courses — receiving the Outstanding Online Teacher and Course Award — and co-wrote textbooks and student workbooks for macroeconomics and microeconomics. Her teaching career spanned more than 35 years — prior to joining UNT, she taught at SMU, TWU, Trinity and the University of Texas at Dallas. She also enjoyed reading and spending time with her family.

David L. Johnson

David L. Johnson (’65), Oregon, Illinois. He taught jazz studies at Byron High School in Byron, Illinois, for 35 years. He was a trumpet player and music arranger for many big bands and small groups.

Marydell Jones Outlaw

Marydell Jones Outlaw ('39), Boise, Idaho. She taught public school in Robstown and Tyler for over 30 years. She moved to Idaho in 2003 to be near her children, Jerry Outlaw and Marilyn Outlaw Allen (’78 M.F.A.). Marydell, who was 102 years old, was preceded in death by her husband, J.B. Outlaw Jr. (’44, ’59 M.S.).

Killian Strömm

Killian Strömm (’05), Dallas. He was a musician – playing guitar, banjo and mandolin – with the band Die Strömms. Their latest album was Vinum, Et Domina Canticum. A radio, television and film major, he attended UNT under the name Kane Kelly.

Martha Fuller Turner Bauguss

Photo of Martha Fuller Turner Bauguss on cover of North TexanMartha Fuller Turner Bauguss (’62), 81, a businesswoman who served on UNT’s Board of Regents from 1997 to 2000, died April 8 in Houston. She earned her UNT degree in music and elementary education and met her first husband on a blind date while in school. She worked as a teacher for 15 years – then went into real estate. Known for her endless energy, she opened Turner-Owens Real Estate in 1981 and grew the firm, later renamed Martha Turner Properties, into the largest independent brokerage in Houston with more than $2.3 billion in annual sales. She sold it in 2014 and today it’s known as Martha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty. Martha, who appeared on the first cover of the North Texan when it began its magazine format in 1997, was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame in 2009. She also was active in civic and arts organizations and supported health care, education and women’s causes. She received UNT’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2005.

Burle Pettit

Photo of Burle PettiBurle Pettit (’60), 87, a former member and vice chair of the UNT System Board of Regents and editor of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, died May 29 in Lubbock.

He began working for the newspaper in 1960 and climbed the ranks as sports editor, managing editor, executive editor and editor, retiring in 2000. A Boyhood Dream Realized: Half a Century of Texas Culture, One Newspaper Column at a Time is a 2019 collection of his columns, which he continued to write for the paper as editor emeritus. He was known for his gift as a storyteller and his focus on being accurate and objective.

His career in journalism began as editor of the Campus Chat at North Texas, and he stayed loyal to his alma mater. He served on the UNT System Board of Regents from 1995 to 2007, was a lifetime member of the UNT Alumni Association and a member of the UNT Journalism Hall of Fame. He received the Green Glory Award in 1994.

In a 1997 article for the North Texan, Pettit recalled that C.E. “Pop” Shuford, Campus Chat newspaper advisor and founder of the journalism program, would throw his eraser at students who misspelled words or used improper grammar. One time Pettit was the object of Shuford’s irritation, but he inadvertently hit Mike Cochran, future longtime reporter for the Associated Press, instead. “Cochran said to Shuford, ‘I didn’t do anything wrong.’ Shuford said, ‘I would apologize, Mike, but there were many times when I probably should have hit you but I didn’t.’”

Pettit also served in the U.S. Army. He was active in numerous organizations in Lubbock. He is preceded in death by his wife, Clara Frances Pettit (’60).

Visitation is scheduled from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. June 2 at Sanders Funeral Home in Lubbock. The funeral is at 10 a.m. June 3 at First Christian Church in Lubbock, and a special graveside service follows at 2:30 p.m. at Newman Cemetery near the Sylvester community in Fisher County.

Myrtice Larson

Headshot of Myrtice Larson Myrtice Larson (’46, ’49 M.S.), 100, former faculty member and member of the McConnell Society, died April 27 in Arlington. In the late 1940s, she served on the Demonstration School faculty at North Texas and then moved to Arlington with her husband, Curtis. She worked in education for four decades, serving as a teacher as well as an administrative supervisor of instruction for the McKinney school district and curriculum consultant for the Arlington school district. She retired in 1981. The Arlington school district named the Curtis and Myrtice Larson Academy elementary school in their honor. She volunteered with the Texas Retired Teachers Association after her retirement and served as president of the statewide group from 1994 to 1996. She also wrote “Teachers and the Planning Guide” for Houghton Mifflin’s kindergarten program, which is still in use today. She and her husband established The Myrtice Nygaard Larson and Curtis Larson Scholarship for Education at UNT, and she left a planned gift benefiting the College of Education. She also led an active life outside the classroom. She was the first woman in the American Lutheran Church body to serve as president of a church and congregation. She enjoyed collecting items like teapots and handkerchiefs, being a seamstress and exploring the world on 11 cruises.

Jessie 'Mack' Smith

Jessie 'Mack' Smith (’64), Hooks. At North Texas, he was president of Delta Sigma Phi. He joined the Naval Reserve, then attended Naval Officer Candidate School after graduation – beginning a 31-year military career in which he served in the Vietnam War and provided logistics support in the Gulf War. After being stationed around the world, he retired from the Pentagon as a commander. During retirement, he volunteered for local hospitals.

James E. Healer

James E. Healer (’71), Greenville. He served as band director for schools in Forney, Malakoff, Waxahachie, Troup, Anson, Ingram and Roscoe. He also served as minister of music and youth for several churches and, after earning a master’s in religious education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, he was a full-time minister of music and education for churches in Centerville, Ohio, Midland and Kerrville. From 1996 to 2013, he worked as a corporate trainer and quality control analyst for Accenture. He enjoyed being creative, from writing and arranging music to woodworking and painting.

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