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Obituaries, Spring 2016

Spring 2016

People  |  Apr 28, 2016  |  By UNLV News Center
Abajian, Dodge, Albrecht, Anderson, and Crawford

Clockwise from top left: Abajian, Dodge, Albrecht, Anderson, and Crawford.


Rich Abajian, former UNLV assistant football coach, died Feb. 9 from natural causes. He served as assistant coach from 1977 to 1981. A driving force behind the creation of the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame, he was inducted into the hall in 2008. The general manager and co-owner of Findlay Toyota was a longtime supporter of UNLV sports.

Fred Albrecht, ’71 M.Ed Physical Education, former UNLV administrator, creator of the university’s alumni relations program, tennis coach, and assistant basketball coach, died Feb. 5 after a long battle with cancer. He worked under seven presidents during his 38-year UNLV career. Albrecht arrived at UNLV as assistant basketball coach in 1970 and retired in 2007 as vice president for university and community relations. Along the way, he served as director of alumni relations, interim athletic director (twice), and executive director of athletics fundraising, and also became the “winningest” coach in UNLV tennis history. He was instrumental in the fundraising for — and the construction of — the Tam Alumni Center. In 2012, he was awarded the UNLV President’s Medal and was inducted into the UNLV Athletics Hall of Fame.

Rosemary Anderson, former education professor, died May 19, 2015, in Maryville, Missouri. She taught math education at UNLV from the 1969 until 1983. Much of her research dealt with children’s learning of math. She was a graduate of Ball State University in Indiana and the University of Iowa.

Jerry Crawford, emeritus professor of theatre and former dean of the College of Fine Arts, died March 20 in Michigan. A prolific playwright, he taught at UNLV from 1966 until his retirement in 2006. During his 40-year UNLV career he served as chair of the theatre department, founded a graduate playwriting program, and was named a Barrick Distinguished Scholar. For many years he served as a literary seminar director at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. A number of his plays were produced in various theaters from Nevada to New York. 

Robert Dodge, emeritus professor of English, died Feb. 25. He taught at UNLV from 1970 until 2013. A Melville scholar, he also was an expert on early American almanac humor. On occasion he would present performances in which he played a character who regaled the audience with “Yankee humor.” 

Charles Rasmussen, emeritus professor of psychology, died Oct. 26, 2015. A former psychology department chair, he joined the UNLV faculty in 1972 and retired in 2007. The Philadelphia native was a graduate of Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania and received his master and doctoral degrees from the University of Arizona.