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Former state lawmaker and NAU professor John Wettaw dies

Posted at 12:14 PM, Dec 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-18 14:14:03-05

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - Former Northern Arizona University professor and longtime state lawmaker John Wettaw died on Sunday.

He was 79.

Wettaw taught chemistry at NAU for 47 years before retiring in 2014. In 1999, the university named its biology and biochemistry building after Wettaw after he successfully lobbied then-Gov. Jane Hull for funds to furnish the building.

NAU President Rita Cheng tweeted Sunday, "Today the Lumberjack community mourns the loss of a university icon, John Wettaw. John dedicated his life to the sciences long before STEM was a regularly used term. He made an impact in his field and in the classroom, and he changed the lives of students who crossed his path."

Wettaw also became the longest-serving Republican state lawmaker in Arizona history, serving 20 years in the Arizona House of Representatives and eight in the Senate.