John Cecil Haussler
1899 - 1986
John Haussler, known primarily as a Bible and history teacher, was also active as a musician. During his 60-year career he taught history, conducted choirs, served as a minister, an academy principal and dean of men, and, during his last 35 years of service, became well-known as a professor of biblical studies at La Sierra College, now La Sierra University, and Loma Linda University. In addition to working at LSC and LLU, he also worked at Canadian Junior College, now Burman University; Southwestern Junior College, now Southwestern Adventist University; and Southern Junior College, now Southern Adventist University.
John was born in Alvin, Texas, on October 19, 1899, one of seven children of Gustav Dietrich and Louise Emma Anna Schneider Haussler, devout Methodists. The 1900 Galveston flood created a surge that destroyed the family farm and led to a move to North Texas and a cattle farm. When their livestock was decimated by Hoof and Mouth Disease in 1910, friends in Kelso, Washington, helped them relocate there and start again.
John was good student and received an appointment to Annapolis Naval Academy. At that same time his mother became a Seventh-day Adventist and urged him to go to Walla Walla College, where he grudgingly enrolled. While there he joined the church and graduated with a degree in history in 1919. Following his first teaching position at Canadian Junior College, he accepted a position at Southwestern Junior College, where he resumed a friendship with Doris Holt who had earlier attended WWC briefly, and was now head of the music department at SJC. They married in 1925.
Haussler's most significant involvement in music came when he and Doris accepted positions as teachers at Southern Junior College in 1928. Officially he was to teach all of the history and government classes and some Bible, and she to assist in music, teaching piano and voice on a commission basis. By the beginning of their second year on campus, though, she was appointed head of the music department. During the next six years she conducted a women's chorus and the orchestra, organized and accompanied vocal groups and soloists, and made the first effort to create a school song.
He, in addition to teaching in other areas, assisted in music also, directing the college church choir, college chorus, and a male glee club. He also taught a conducting class and led out in regular regional radio broadcasts of college choral groups. Even though the Hausslers were totally immersed in all aspects of life at the school, they still found time to take students on field trips to attend classical music events in nearby Chattanooga.
Following the Tennessee experience, Haussler served as principal at Walla Walla College Academy in Washington state, where his wife taught music as needed in the academy from 1936 until 1941. They moved to LSC, where he completed a doctorate at the University of Southern California in 1945 and became a beloved professor in the Religion department. The Hausslers became an important part of student life at LSC.
They were living in Riverside, California, when Cecil died on June 24, 1986, at age 86, following five years as an invalid. Doris died two years later on October 31, 1988, at age 89.
Sources: Perry Family Tree (John Cecil Haussler), Ancestory.com; Obituaries: (John) Adventist Review, 28 August 1986, Walla Walla College Westwind; (Doris) Pacific Union Recorder, 20 March 1989; Dennis Pettibone, A Century of Challenge, The Story of Southern College 1892-1992, 1992, 126, 127; Dan Shultz, A Great Tradition, Music at Walla Walla College, 1982-1992, 242.