George William Lotzenhiser passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. He was born in Spokane, Wash. on May 16, 1923 and was a graduate of North Central High School before entering Eastern Washington College of Education. In 1942, he broke off his studies and enlisted in the Navy, serving as a yeoman from 1942 until 1946. During this time, he was in the Pacific Theater of combat, WWII (1942-46) and Korea (1950-52). Lotzenhiser remained in the U.S. Navy Reserve, and joined the ranks of reserve officers. In 1950, he served two years of active duty with the rank of lieutenant commander, with duties in anti-submarine warfare and as an administrative officer. He remained active in the Navy Reserve, retiring at the rank of Rear Admiral.
In 1944, while stationed at Pasco, Wash., Naval Air Station, George met B. Kathryn Tuttle, a WAVE who was stationed there at the same time. The two married, and ‘BK’ joined George after he returned to student status in 1946. They had two sons, William and Jon.
George was active in student life during his years at EWCE. During his senior year he was president of the Associated Students, was a member of Kappa Delta Pi; Key; the Intercollegiate Knights; was historian for the Scarlet Arrow group; and vice president of the Euphonia Club. George was also the student director of the marching band; assistant director of the orchestra, leader of a trombone quartet, and a member of the A Cappella Choir.
George was hired by the University of Arizona in the fall of 1948, and with a leave of absence for the 1955-56 academic year he earned a Doctor of Education degree at the University of Oregon. In 1960, EWCE recruited George from the University of Arizona, where he wrote a new Alma Mater for the school and became dean of the division (college) of fine arts in 1972. In 1981, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award and retired in 1982, with 22 years of service at EWCE. Upon retirement, George was named Dean of the School of Fine Arts, Emeritus, with official observance of his status being part of the June, 1983 commencement.
George is survived by son Jon Call, and granddaughter, Sara Lotzenhiser. He was preceded in death by his oldest son, William Lotzenhiser, in 1991, and his beloved wife of 62 years, B. Kathryn Lotzenhiser, in 2006. His final resting place will be with BK and William at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. He will be missed by many former students, colleagues, and comrades. Fair winds, and following seas, Admiral. Written on 1-27-2019 by EWU Archivist, Charles V. Mutschler (1958-2019). May he also Rest in Peace!
A memorial service for Dr. George Lotzenhiser will be held 10 a.m. Sunday, June 1, 2019 at at Eastern Washington University’s Music Recital Hall, 100 7th St., Cheney, Wash. (located on the corner of 7th and I streets).
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the George W. Lotzenhiser Music Scholarship Fund via the EWU Foundation, 102 Hargreaves Hall, Cheney, WA 99004.