By Kimberly Peterson

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Gene Tchida, the assistant director of the UA Center for Disability Related Resources, died Monday at Tucson Medical Center from a cerebral hemmorage. He was 53.

His death came suddenly, said his sister, Joanne Anderson of Kent, Wash.

Tchida, who has worked at the University of Arizona for the past 21 years, was an expert on making buildings accessible for the handicapped, said Murray DeArmond, director of Student Health Service.

"He was terrific and has been an inspiration to the staff," DeArmond said. "This was one wonderful guy."

Tchida was instrumental in obtaining a new machine at the library that will read books and articles for the blind, said Jane Hodgson, a CDRR counselor.

"He was known and loved by many students and many staff and faculty across campus," Hodgson said. "His loss is really going to be a big one at the university."

Tchida graduated from Arizona State University in 1971 and received his master's at the UA in 1973, Anderson said. He also received many awards and certificates of commendation for his work.

Tchida became a quadraplegic in 1976, Anderson said.

"All of his college, his work, everything came under the most incredible hardship you can imagine," Anderson said. "He treated everybody the same always, he never seemed to lose his cool about things."

Tchida is survived by Anderson and brothers Wayne Tchida of Glendale, Ariz., and James Tchida of Malaysia.

The memorial service will be held on Monday at 10 a.m. at Streams in the Desert Lutheran Church, 5360 E. Pima St.

The UA will hold a separate memorial service for Tchida, but a date has not yet been set, DeArmond said.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Gene R. Tchida Scholarship Fund at the UA Foundation, 1111 N. Cherry St. Read Next Article