PULLMAN, Wash. — George Axel Frykman, 87, retired Washington State University professor of history and centennial historian for the university, died Dec. 30 at his Pullman home.

The memorial service will be 11 a.m. Jan. 8 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Pullman. Arrangements are under the direction of Kimball Funeral Home in Pullman.

Frykman was born April 30, 1917, in South San Francisco, Calif.  

He earned a bachelor’s degree from California State University, San Jose (1940), and a general secondary teaching credential from Stanford University (1941), where he also earned a master’s and doctoral degree (1947 and 1955, respectively). He served as a private and captain in the U.S. Army Air Force from 1942-46. His specialties were as photographic officer and instructor in photography.

Frykman joined WSU in 1950 as a history instructor before working his way to the ranks of professor in 1966. He also served as assistant to the dean of the graduate school from 1961-64. He retired from WSU in 1987.

His teaching and research specialties included American social and intellectual history, American historiography, Washington state and Pacific Northwest history, American studies and Christianity in America.

Appointed WSU centennial historian in 1985, Frykman authored “Creating the People’s University: Washington State University, 1890-1990,” an informative, formal institutional history of WSU. The book is one of three volumes written to commemorate the university’s first 100 years.