Lawrence Kelly

Lawrence Kelly, 88, retired professor of history who taught for more than 30 years, died Feb. 1 in Denton. He earned his bachelor's and master’s degrees, both in American history, from Marquette University, then served as a junior officer in the U.S. Navy for three years. He received his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico and began teaching at UNT in 1968. He specialized in Native American history and U.S. policies concerning Indigenous populations. During retirement, he served as a consultant and expert witness on cases involving tribal identity, reservation lands and water rights.

Lawrence Kelly

Glen L. Taylor

Glen L. Taylor (’50, ’53 M.B.A.), 91, of Denton, Professor Emeritus in business and former associate vice president of academic affairs, died Jan. 19 in Denton. He earned his doctorate from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania before working at North Texas for 45 years, from 1953 to 1998. At North Texas, he was a noted scholar and specialized in preparing students for the insurance industry. He also was instrumental in the planning for the Business Administration Building (now Sage Hall) and helped develop hospitalization and benefits plans for employees. He earned the professional credentials of CPCU (Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter), CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter) and ChFC (Chartered Financial Counselor). The Glen L. Taylor Professorship/Chair in Insurance was established and named in his honor. He also was a member of the UNT Alumni Association.

A private memorial service is planned for 2 p.m. Friday, March 19, and will be livestreamed at: https://www.standrewdenton.com/memorial-service/

Glen L. Taylor

Dr. Bertina Hildreth Combes


Dr. Bertina Hildreth Combes, 62, vice provost for faculty success and professor of special education who had worked at UNT since 1989, died Feb. 19 in Denton. She also had served as coordinator of special education programs and as associate and interim dean of the College of Education.

After earning a bachelor’s degree from Oral Roberts University, she worked as an elementary school teacher specializing in learning and intellectual disabilities and emotional and behavior disorders while earning a master’s degree from Southern University in Baton Rouge. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Texas in Austin and served as an assistant professor at Texas Tech University before joining the UNT faculty.

In UNT’s Department of Educational Psychology, she focused on preparing professional educators to meet the needs of diverse students receiving special education services, including those with learning disabilities. She was the director for Project TELL: Training Effective Leaders for High-Needs Schools Through Local Partnerships, which received a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to help train future leaders of special education programs.

Her honors at UNT included being named a Student Association Honors Professor and a Mortar Board Top Prof, as well as receiving the first Ulys and Vera Knight Faculty Mentor Award and a President’s Council Teaching Award. She also was honored for her leadership in supporting inclusion and diversity at UNT and was known as a guiding light and mentor to her colleagues on campus and beyond. She was active in numerous professional organizations through the years, including the International Council for Learning Disabilities. She also was an active member of Delta Sigma Theta.

Students remember her as an understanding mentor who shaped their interest in the field of special education and encouraged them to turn possibilities into plans. She was a deeply religious person who also believed in the power of education to transform lives. The child of college educators, she created the Drs. Eddie and Gladys Hildreth Scholarship at UNT, named for her parents. This scholarship is now endowed because of her dedication and commitment to it.

Survivors include her two children, Ashley ('17) and Julius ('19), both UNT alumni, and her mother, who also taught at UNT.

To honor Dr. Combes' legacy as an educator, a scholarship has been created in her name. Memorials to the Dr. Bertina H. Combes Scholarship fund may be made through University Advancement, 1155 Union Circle #311250, Denton, TX 76203-5017. For more information about the scholarship, contact Shelly Lane, senior director of development in the College of Education, at shelly.lane@unt.edu or 940-891-6860.

The UNT community will celebrate Dr. Combes' life at 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 9, in a virtual recognition on UNT's YouTube channel.


Dr. Bertina Hildreth Combes

Andrew "Steve" Kester

Andrew “Steve” Kester, 88, Professor Emeritus of microbiology, died Jan. 9 in Denton. He graduated from Pennsylvania State University and went on to serve in the U.S. Army Chemical Corps, where his duties included identifying pathogens. After his service, Steve received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin before working at Miles Laboratories in Indiana. He went on to join UNT’s Department of Biological Sciences in 1967 and taught until his retirement in 1994. Steve donated generously to UNT’s Department of Chemistry and KNTU. He enjoyed golfing and cooking and is remembered as a deep thinker with a broad sense of humor.

 Andrew "Steve" Kester

William "Bill" Kamman

William "Bill" Kamman, 90, Professor Emeritus of history and former associate and interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, died Jan. 14. He worked at UNT from 1962 to 2009, serving in the dean’s office for nine years. He also served as chair of the history department from 1977 to 1989 and again before his retirement. His area of interest was U.S. diplomacy and foreign relations. He served in the U.S. Army during and after the Korean War and earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at Indiana University in Bloomington and another master’s at Yale. He was a life-time member of the American Historical Association and the Association of American Historians and was the executive secretary for the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations from 1985 to 1989.

He also served on many Denton boards and commissions, including the Denton Zoning and Planning Commission, and was active in the Kiwanis Club for 41 years. He and his wife, Nancy, helped with the development of the Emeritus College, which became the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. He was a member of UNT's Chilton Society for his gifts spanning 35 years — most often benefiting The Walter and Mary Prichard Scholarship and The Harry and Ruth Kamman Scholarship. Colleagues remember him as a very kind and positive role model.

William "Bill" Kamman

G. Roland Vela

G. Roland Vela, 93, of Denton, Professor Emeritus of microbiology whose long career included international recognition and the discovery of a bacterium, died Jan. 26.

Vela joined the microbiology faculty in 1965 and went on to serve as associate dean of science and technology in the College of Arts and Sciences and become the first Latino professor to be awarded tenure at UNT. His research on bacterial physiology and nitrogen-fixing bacteria included discovering a bacterium that was named after him -- Paenibacillus velaei. The bacterium is surrounded by a large capsule and its polysaccharide could be used in the food and pharmaceuticals industries.

He also was a Fulbright lecturer, a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, an industry consultant, an expert witness a textbook author and published history books on Bernardo de Galvez and Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana. He wrote 75 scientific papers and lectured around the world. During his 35-year tenure at UNT, he supervised 20 doctoral students and 40 master’s students.

Vela served in the Texas State Guard as a teenager and transferred into the Navy. He earned his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Texas at Austin.

In this 2014 North Texan article, alumni from around the world hosted a reunion in his honor to describe the impact he had on their careers – he even allowed one bedridden pregnant student to defend her dissertation at home. In an article for the Denton Record-Chronicle, doctoral students said they also had to give him a picture of themselves – which he then placed on his home’s walls. He also was the first Hispanic member elected to the Denton City Council. He served on the Texas Municipal Power Agency and the Denton Airport Board.

For all of his service, the G. Roland Vela Athletic Soccer Complex at North Lakes Park in Denton was named in his honor. He also was named one of the Outstanding 100 Texas Latinos of the Twentieth Century by Texas Latino Magazine in 2000.

The funeral mass is being livestreamed at 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 1.

G. Roland Vela

David W. Hartman

Photo of David HartmanDavid W. Hartman, 78, a Professor Emeritus who served as dean for the then-called College of Public Affairs and Community Service, died Dec. 30 in Wichita, Kansas. He worked at UNT from 1992 to 2013, serving as an anthropology professor and associate dean of the School of Community Service -- which under his leadership became the College of Public Affairs and Community Service and is today the College of Health and Public Service. While serving as dean from 1998 to 2006, he instituted new majors, oversaw growth of academic programs, worked to increase research and service collaborations with the community, and established scholarships that expanded diversity. He also helped develop online learning and the first addiction studies minor at a four-year university, and he established international academic programs for sociology and anthropology in Jerusalem, Israel and Mazamitla, Mexico. David received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in anthropology from Wichita State University and his doctorate in urban anthropology from Wayne State University, and taught at Wayne State and Virginia Commonwealth University before coming to North Texas. Memorial gifts may be given to the Libertad Hernandez Landa Scholarship that David established at UNT.

Linda Allmand

Picture of Linda AllmandLinda Allmand (’61), Fort Worth, who was a dedicated librarian for more than 40 years and taught as an adjunct professor at UNT in the 1990s, died Nov. 21. After earning her bachelor’s degree in library science and history from UNT and a master’s degree from the University of Denver, she worked in libraries in California, Dallas and Fort Worth. As director of the Fort Worth Public Library, she worked out a partnership with the Amon G. Carter Foundation and the city of Fort Worth to automate the library’s holdings – earning the title of the city’s female newsmaker of the year in 1984. She was the president of the Texas Library Association in 1987. At UNT, she was a member of the Chilton Society and established two funds for the College of Information, where she was a Hall of Fame Award recipient.

Paul Jackson Cowan

Picture of Paul CowanPaul Jackson Cowan, 93, of Denton, who taught science education at UNT from 1966 to 1987, died Nov. 3.

As a professor and chair of the educational leadership division in the College of Education, Cowan emphasized “learning by doing” instead of textbooks for future science teachers. He received National Science Foundation Funding for his research, which included retraining science teachers and testing new curriculum in area schools. He also directed an annual Energy, Environment and Economics Institute for secondary school teachers.

He previously taught at Hardin-Simmons University, where he had been hired to begin a new program in science education.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Baptist University and a master’s degree from the University of Utah. In 1964, he completed a doctorate in science education at the University of Texas, the first awarded by the university in that field.

Eugene Osadchy

Cellist Eugene Osadchy, 68, a professor of cello at UNT since 1999, died Oct. 3. He was hailed by the New York Times as having "the most refined and balanced string playing" and was called "a paragon of Russian élan" by the Vancouver Sun. He served as a principal cellist with the Plano Symphony, Dallas Chamber Orchestra and Richardson Symphony and regularly performed and gave master classes around the world.

He was born in Kiev to a family of professional musicians and started his own musical education at the age of 5 on the piano and a year later on the cello. After graduating from The Special Music School for Talented and Gifted Children, he continued his education at the Kiev State Conservatory of Music, graduating with honors, and became a Laureate of the Republic of Ukraine Cello Competition.

He also recorded with the award-winning CBC Radio Orchestra, composed film scores, made more than 100 arrangements for various cello ensembles and presented an annual Summer Cello Clinic in Dallas. He and pianist Anastasia Markina won critical acclaim for their CD Russian Romances: Joys and Sorrows in 2010 (Medtner's Insomnia, op. 37, no. 1 from that album) and released a CD of German Lieder, Nacht und Träume, in 2014.

A memorial concert featuring faculty, students, alumni and guest artists is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in the UNT Music Building's Recital Hall.