It is with great sadness that my colleagues and I report the passing last summer of Professor Emeritus Alan P. Brockway, Ph.D. at the age of 83. News of Alan’s passing came to us through his longtime Denver friends Everett and Margaret Perkins. Alan and his wife, Dorothy (Dottie) had most recently been living in Bandon on the Oregon coast south of Coos Bay.
Dr. Brockway had a 30-year career in the Department of Biology (now Integrative Biology) and was instrumental in developing a highly successful Health Careers Advising Program, which has continued to grow and flourish. Dr. Brockway’s work and teaching evolved considerably over time as he responded to programmatic needs and changes in Biology. He derived great personal satisfaction from providing service, and he contributed his time generously at CU Denver and to various community groups, his church, and other institutions.
Alan always made time to meet with faculty and students who needed help with problem-solving and various departmental and advising issues. I also suspect that Alan’s immense involvement in numerous university and external service obligations was aided in part by the fact that he never slept more than a few hours each night, as he once or twice mentioned to me. In recent years, Alan and I had the opportunity to reconnect as we assembled information for a memoriam for Professor Emerita Emily Hartman.
Alan Brockway was born in Hebron, New Hampshire. He earned a B.A. in Liberal Arts at St. John’s College in Maryland in 1958, attended Cornell University to take courses in Zoology from 1958-61, and earned his Ph.D. in Biology at Case-Western Reserve University in 1964. Dr. Brockway’s first academic position, starting in 1963, was as Assistant Professor at Ohio State University in the Department of Zoology and Entomology. In 1967, he moved to the University of Colorado at Denver (now University of Colorado Denver) as an Associate Professor. He was promoted to full professor at CU-Denver in 1979.
For his graduate work and early years of his career, Alan Brockway’s scholarly interests centered on insect physiology. His primary research concerned the physiology of insect pupae, especially respiration rates and water loss in moth pupae. He was first author of a paper in the Journal of Insect Physiology based on his dissertation work, and he also authored eight additional short communications in American Zoologist and Biological Bulletin.
The classes taught by Professor Brockway over the years included general biology, entomology, human physiology, cell biology, and, later, the application of personal computers to studies in biology. He co-authored or authored laboratory teaching manuals in general zoology, biology, physiology, and applications of personal computers for use in his classes at Ohio State University and CU Denver.
Beginning in 1973, Dr. Brockway developed the Health Careers Advising Program for the campus and continued in that role with only a brief hiatus until 1997. From 1988 to 1990, he served as chair of the combined Biology and Chemistry Departments, and then as Chair of Biology until 1996. In addition, Alan served on numerous committees at the department, college, and campus levels and received a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Service Award in 1994. He was highly active in the Western Association of Advisors for the Health Professions, serving on their executive committee from 1978 to 1982, as well as in the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions.
From 1986 to 1994, Alan spent time each summer as an Elderhostel Instructor teaching the “Life of Birds” at camps in Black Forest, CO and later in Shellsburg, PA—a role he thoroughly enjoyed. Other community activities that he engaged in included faith-based service for the National Council of Churches of Christ, Colorado Council of Churches, the Rocky Mountain Conference, and various local churches, as well as the Crossroads Ministry Food Bank. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Salud Family Health Center in Estes Park.
Alan’s hobbies and interests included enjoying nature, bird-watching, model trains, fishing, and gardening. After retiring from CU Denver in 1997, Alan and Dottie moved from Denver to Estes Park, CO, to spend more time in nature. They also traveled frequently in their motor home. They moved to Sierra Vista, AZ, in 2004 and later decided to leave Arizona and live full-time in their motor home, traveling around the country to sightsee, birdwatch, and visit family and friends, and ultimately settling in Oregon.
Alan is survived by Dorothy (Seaman) Brockway, sister Barbara (Brockway) Perey, daughter Lesley Hoppert, son Joseph Brockway, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, his first wife Barbara, and daughter Julie. An obituary for Professor Brockway was posted by the Coos Bay Chapel at https://www.coosbayareafunerals.com/obituary/Alan-Brockway
Contributions in the memory of Alan Brockway may be made to the University of Colorado Denver Brockway-Ferguson Pre-health Student Support Fund: https://giving.cu.edu/fund/brockway-ferguson-pre-health-student-support-fund
Diana F. Tomback, Professor