DEEMS, WARD WYATT, FAIA Nov. 16, 1929 to Sept. 6, 2009 Ward Wyatt Deems, FAIA, - Architect and founder of the firm Deems Lewis McKinley Architects passed away on Sunday, September 6, 2009, at the age of 79 years in Bend, Oregon. His influence on the architecture of San Diego included numerous award winning designs and landmarks such as the San Diego Convention Center, Torrey Pines High School, UCSD Humanities Library, San Diego Main Post Office on Midway, U.S. Border Crossing at San Ysidro, 600 B Street Financial Square Building, Industrial Indemnity Offices at 3255 Camino Del Rio South in Mission Valley, Cordura Publications in Scripps Ranch and the Armand Hammer Research Facilities at the Salk Institute in La Jolla. He grew up in Pasadena, California, and received a Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1953 from the University of Southern California (USC). Deems joined the Los Angeles firm of Albert C. Martin and Associates in 1954 where he was soon joined by USC classmate William (Bill) Lewis. In 1959, Deems travelled to San Diego with Lewis to establish the firm that has borne their names for the past 50 years. One of their initial San Diego designs was the Crabtree Office Building at 301 A Street. Deems was passionately committed to the architectural profession. He served as President of the San Diego Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIASD), President of the California Council of the AIA (AIACC) along with numerous local and national committees and volunteer efforts. In 1973, Deems was inducted as a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) for his community and national contributions and for his enduring influence on the profession. Over the years, Deems' firm spawned many notable and talented architects that went on to provide numerous and enduring contributions to San Diego and elsewhere. In recent years, Deems resided in Bend, Oregon, with his wife, Nancy. He remained active in the USC Foundation. He took a special interest in the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and served as architectural consultant to the Institute for several years before moving to Oregon. Deems is survived by his wife Nancy, sons Jeffrey Deems of Seattle and Jeremy Deems and his wife Paula of Boulder, Colorado, and daughter Sheryl Biere and husband Peter of Seattle and three grandchildren. The family suggests any donations in Ward Deems' honor be sent to: USC School of Architecture, Attn: Ms. Dottie O'Carroll, http://arch.usc.edu/Connections/ GivingtotheSchool; Salk Institute, http://www.salk.edu/ support/memorial_gifts.html; Hospice House Bend, Oregon, https://secure.partnersbend.org/
To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store
Published by San Diego Union-Tribune on Sep. 16, 2009.