Obituary: Harvey Wichman

Grandfather, longtime Claremont Colleges professor, pilot

Harvey Wichman, who taught at the Claremont Colleges for nearly 40 years, died February 2 at the age of 86.

He was born November 10, 1931 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the first of five children to Helen (Bagley) Wichman and Ray Wichman. At age five, his family moved to nearby Greendale, where he lived until graduating from high school.

At 16, Mr. Wichman and his friends formed an Explorer Air Scout troop and purchased a Piper J-3 Cub, a simple, affordable plane in which young Harvey first learned to fly.

He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from California State University, Long Beach, and his PhD from Claremont Graduate University, then taught psychology for almost 40 years at Claremont McKenna College and at his alma mater, Claremont Graduate University.

Mr. Wichman’s research was primarily in the area of aviation psychology. Over the years he worked closely with McDonnell Douglas, NASA and Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He also taught flying for many years at both Harvey Mudd College and Cable Airport in Upland.

He was known as a superlative teacher, winning many awards and the lifelong friendship of numerous students, his family shared. He was also a beloved brother, husband, father and grandfather.

Mr. Wichman is survived by his sister, Rosemary Derouin; his wife, Ann; two sons, Russell (Sue-Ann) and Glenn; four grandchildren, Caleb, Jake (and their mother, Nina), Heather (Jake) and Sara-Beth. He was the patriarch of a large and loving family of relatives too numerous to mention.

There will be a private service for the immediate family. Memorial donations may be made in Mr. Wichman’s name to the Braille Institute at ways-to-give, an organization that helped him greatly after he lost his vision in 2013.


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