Dr. Orval M. Klose Mathematics ScholarshipDr. Klose

Orval Klose joined the Mathematics Department at (then) Humboldt State College in 1958, after serving as an instructor at Seattle University for several years.  He taught at Humboldt until his unexpected death in 1975, including service as department chair during his tenure.

Professor Klose was actively involved in the Humboldt State chapter of CSEA (California State Employees Association) and served a term as chapter president.  He was honored to be named Grand Marshal of HSU Commencement exercises.

Born in Napa, California, Dr. Klose graduated from the University of California, Berkeley.  He then travelled widely with the US Merchant Marines, which he had joined to provide financial support to his widowed mother. During World War II, Captain Klose served as a navigator with the Army Air Force's Air Transport Command, ferrying C-47 cargo planes to the North African Theater of Operations.

Dr. Klose was teaching mathematics at the Boeing School of Aeronautics in Seattle when he met Rachel Nurmi on a blind date.  He had been planning to tow a houseboat to Alaska to sell books and phonograph records in coastal communities inaccessible by road.  He married instead, and he and Rachel raised three children, none of whom are mathematicians.

Recognized as a dedicated and demanding teacher, Professor Klose gave his best, and expected the same from both his students and his colleagues.  His office door was always open to students who sought help with personal problems as well as equations, and he was a patient listener.  He required his engineering math students to turn in their assignments on green graph paper, he didn’t remove his jacket or loosen his tie when he graded papers, and he wore the same grey rain hat for at least a dozen years.

A bequest from Rachel Klose created the Dr. Orval M Klose Mathematics Scholarship at Humboldt State University in 2002 in memory of her late husband.  The need-based scholarship is awarded to students pursuing an undergraduate degree in Mathematics.