A popular Weber State University mathematics instructor has apparently died of bacterial pneumonia with complications from the H1N1 flu virus.
Diane Pugmire, 52, died Wednesday.
The Weber-Morgan Health Department would only confirm that a female, age 40-64, had died from complications from H1N1 this week and not specifically Pugmire, per their policy.
The Weber State Signpost student newspaper reported Friday that Pugmire's family had received notification from the health department that she died from H1N1 complications.
Pugmire's death likely brings the total to 13 reported deaths this fall in Utah from the H1N1 flu virus and the 31st during 2009. It's also the second such flu death in the Weber-Morgan area since Oct. 22. A 24- to 49-year-old man in the Weber-Morgan Health District died in the prior week.
"In light of this week's sad news, we have been in touch with the local health department and based on its guidance, we do not anticipate any changes in our normal campus operations at this time," said WSU spokesman John Kowalewski, stressing WSU has already taken a lot of precautions to prevent the spread of germs on campus.
Pugmire was an award-winning instructor in the Department of Mathematics. She and longtime colleague Dixie Blackinton were recently named Educators of the Year by the Utah Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development.
She came to WSU in 1984 and besides her teaching talents, she and Blackinton had developed in-service professional development programs for teachers in local school districts.
"Diane Pugmire was one of those faculty members who had a true passion for teaching and a tremendous commitment to helping students succeed, even when they themselves didn't have confidence in their own mathematical abilities. Diane cared about each and every student she worked with," said Dale Ostlie, dean of the College of Science.
"Diane was especially dedicated to ensuring that new elementary education teachers had the knowledge and skills to help young children understand mathematics and build a solid foundation for their future education." he said.
One of her former students, Lyndee Bent of Ogden, described Pugmire on WSU's Facebook page as an amazing teacher.
"She not only taught, she inspired and cheered you on. She made you believe you could do anything and she helped you want to reach higher. She made you seem like you were the most important person and nothing else mattered if you needed something or came to her with a problem," she wrote.
An alumna of Weber State College, Pugmire earned her bachelor's degree in 1978 and her master's degree in 1990, both from Weber.
Pugmire's services will include a viewing on Sunday, Nov. 1, from 5-7 p.m. at the Riverdale LDS Stake Center, 4000 Parker Drive, Riverdale. An additional viewing will be Monday, Nov. 2, from 9:30-10:30 a.m., with funeral services at 11 a.m. at the Riverdale Stake Center.
A scholarship has been established in her name.
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