Health science professor emeritus Jules Vautrot, who served campus for more than 30 years, passed away May 4. He was 90.
Born March 8, 1930, in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, he graduated from Wauwatosa High and completed his bachelor’s degree at Beloit College in the early 1950s. He went on to earn a doctorate in education from the University of Northern Colorado, and completed post-doctoral work at Colorado State University. He also served as an operating room technician in the Army and as an inspector for radiation levels in food for the Food and Drug Administration.
He was hired as a faculty member in the Department of Health and Community Services, now the Department of Public Health and Health Services Administration, in 1970. He taught courses in international heath, microbiology, ecology, and environmental problems.
In addition to his academic expertise, he had a special interest in different forms of healing, holistic health, and in seeking unity among diverse people and ideas. He developed a course entitled “Nontraditional Medicine” and also focused on osteopathic and chiropractic medicine.
Alumna Judy Keswick (Nursing, ’80; MS, Nursing, ’90) remembers him as a very knowledgeable and sweet man, who had a “full but gentle life and was loved greatly by his students.” She counts herself among them.
“Jules was also one of my favorite professors at CSU, Chico. He was the first person to introduce me to alternative medicine modalities. He also helped me with ideas when I was going for tenure at CSU, Stanislaus. He had some great and funny stories around that process. I always think of him fondly.”
Faculty member Eileen Morris (Political Science, ’95; MA, Political Science, ’98) has fond memories of her time as Vautrot’s student as well.
“I learned so much about health issues, nutrition, and the food industry from Professor Vautrot in ‘Consumer Health’ class. He let me choose any topic I wanted for my term paper and he liked it so much he made a copy of it for his own reference. I was flattered!”
In 1983, after serving many years with the Cancer Federation Inc., which leads education and research into immunological and psychological approaches to cancer treatment, he was named its “Man of the Year.” Three years later, he was elected president of its governing board.
Vautrot retired from Chico State in 2000 and continued to enjoy traveling internationally. He and his wife, Janeen, were longtime friends and members of the Chico international dance community, and active in the Baha’i faith community in Butte County, a group that strives to create a practical expression of a vision of world unity. In recent years, they moved to Clovis to be closer to family.
He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Janeen; step-daughter Natalie Rickards (Timothy); sister Virginia Buerki; grandchildren Miles and Lena Rickards. A graveside service took place May 11 at the Clovis Cemetery. Friends can share memories and condolences at www.boicefuneralhome.com for the Vautrot family.
The flag will be lowered Monday, September 14, in his memory.