It is with great sadness that we report the passing of two former outstanding and well-respected faculty within the College of Health and Human Services.

birgr johnsonProfessor Emeritus Birger Johnson, whose story we brought you this past July, passed away on August 17, 2014 with his adoring family at his side. He was 95-years-old. Johnson taught in the department of kinesiology for 28 years, and held the distinction of being Fresno State’s very first athletic trainer. He was also a football and basketball player for the University, and later became a coach as well.

“He was vivacious and full of life,” said Dr. Scott Sailor, chair of the kinesiology department. “He was the pioneer of our athletic training program and truly set the bar for the program, as it stands today. He will be greatly missed.”

A celebration of remembrance for Johnson will be held this coming Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, located at 3973 N. Cedar Ave, Fresno, CA 93726. Please click here to view a clip highlighting Johnson’s career at Fresno State.


Reno Coletti Reno Paul Coletti, Jr. passed away on August 18, 2014 with his loving wife Martha Coletti and family members by his side. Coletti taught for many years in the communicative disorders and deaf studies department, and was one of the first American Sign Language (ASL) instructors on campus and in the valley during the 1970’s.

“He shared his love of language and laughter while inspiring thousands of students to learn ASL,” said Dr. Bryan Berrett, chair of the communicative disorders and deaf studies department.

A memorial service will be held in his honor and all family and friends are invited to attend. The service will be held this Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. at Riverpark Bible Church, located at 7500 N. Millbrook Ave, Fresno, CA 93720.

In lieu of gifts or flowers the Coletti family asks that donations be made to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Service Center, Inc.  Please make checks payable to DHHSC and mail to: 5340 N. Fresno St, Fresno, CA 93710 with “Reno Coletti” in the memo. Donations may also be made online at