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PASSINGS: Stan Thomas, Teh Fu Yen

Stan Thomas, former commissioner of the California Interscholastic Federation's Southern Section, dies at 78; Teh Fu Yen, environmental chemist and USC professor, dies at 83

January 22, 2010
  • Stan Thomas was commissioner of the California Interscholastic Federation's Southern Section from 1986 to 1993.
Stan Thomas was commissioner of the California Interscholastic Federation's… (Los Angeles Times )

Stan Thomas

Head of high school sports federation

Stan Thomas, 78, who served as commissioner of the California Interscholastic Federation's Southern Section from 1986 until 1993, when he was forced to resign over disputed expense-account reports, died Wednesday at an Orange County hospital after a heart attack.

Thomas, who lived in Fullerton, had been battling illnesses for the last 11 years, according to his son, Chris.

As commissioner of the body that governs high school sports, Thomas was credited with improving relations among the state's various high school organizations and praised for his administrative and managerial skills.

But he lost his position with the CIF in 1993 after an audit showed an unexpected deficit and the section's executive committee determined that he had overspent on meal and travel expenses. Thomas maintained that all of the expenses he reported were legitimately related to Southern Section business, but he resigned under pressure and reimbursed the section $5,000.

Thomas was born May 28, 1931, in Los Angeles. A graduate of Manual Arts High School, he played football at Whittier College and served in the Air Force.

He became a teacher and assistant principal at now-closed Excelsior High School in Norwalk and Neff High School in La Mirada, and he also coached football at Neff, leading the team to division championships in 1966 and 1974.

He was principal at Foothill High School in Santa Ana for four years in the 1980s and worked as an administrator in the Tustin Unified School District before joining the Southern Section.

Teh Fu Yen

'Green' chemist, USC professor

Teh Fu Yen, 83, an environmental chemist and longtime USC professor who specialized in green technologies, died Jan. 12 at Kindred Hospital in West Covina, the university announced. No cause of death was given.

Yen, a professor of environmental engineering, joined USC in 1969 after briefly teaching at Cal State L.A.

With a team of graduate students, Yen developed a process to safely dispose of volatile stores of solid rocket fuel using live bacteria and fungus to digest it.

"Most processes for hazardous waste disposal are very harsh," Yen told The Times in 1995. He called his new method economical and environmentally sound.

Born Jan. 9, 1927, in Kunming, China, Yen earned his bachelor's degree in chemistry from Huachung (Central China) University, his master's in chemistry and chemical engineering from West Virginia University and a doctorate in organic chemistry and biochemistry from Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

He wrote or edited 26 books and produced more than 500 papers.

-- times staff and wire reports

news.obits@latimes.com

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