Jane Young Lang ’42, Agoura Hills, California, Feb. 3, 2018. Jane was born in Iowa and enjoyed summers at Lake Okoboji with her parents and older sister Ruth. After graduating from Grinnell, she moved to California to work at her sister’s employment agency. In 1950, she married Carroll Lang. When the couple’s two children were older, Jane earned a master’s in speech pathology at Pomona College. She worked as a speech therapist in public schools for 15 years. She talked fondly of her time at Grinnell throughout her life. She is survived by her two children, two grandchildren, and a nephew.
Robert T. Smith ’44, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Feb. 23, 2018. Bob worked in the agricultural industry for many years and enjoyed playing golf and traveling. He is survived by his son Thomas and three grandchildren.
Leatrice Schoeneck Mager ’45, Tinley Park, Illinois, May 12, 2018. Lee died in the house she was born in, a house built by her father and grandfather. She was a music major at Grinnell and taught music for more than 35 years. Survivors include two daughters, four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Helen Webster Lee ’47, Fontana, California, March 10, 2018. Helen played field hockey at Grinnell and graduated summa cum laude. She moved to Chicago to work and met her husband Carl there. The couple soon moved to California, where they settled to raise five children. Helen volunteered at her local hospital and church throughout her life and is remembered as a devoted mother and generous spirit. She is survived by one son, three daughters, and five grandchildren.
Dorothy Ruth Greenwald ’48, Grinnell, Iowa, April 22, 2018. Ruth graduated from Grinnell High School before attending Grinnell College. After receiving her M.S. from the University of Iowa, she taught high school math for 44 years. After her retirement, Ruth returned to Grinnell to live at the Mayflower Community. Ruth enjoyed reading, traveling, and knitting. She is survived by her brother Stanley Greenwald ’55, sister-in-law Gail Pomrehn Greenwald ’57, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Ruth Harms Mehuys ’48, Springfield, Illinois, March 12, 2018. In addition to Grinnell, Ruth also attended Augustana College, where she met her husband William Mehuys, a World War II veteran. They married in 1948 and raised four children. Ruth worked as a school librarian and school secretary for the Moline Public School System, retiring after William died. Survivors include three sons, four grandchildren, and a great-grandchild.
Barbara “Bobby” Wright Raffensperger ’48, Omaha, Nebraska, May 15, 2018.
Janet Rust McCallum ’49, West Lafayette, Indiana, May 2, 2018. Jan was known for her independence, smart wit, and no-nonsense attitude. She worked at the Purdue University athletic department, her dream job. She enjoyed traveling, socializing, and attending Purdue athletic events.
Hugh C. Acton ’50, Augusta, Michigan, May 19, 2018. Hugh was born and raised on the family farm and ranch in Nebraska, where he tended to the cattle, crops, and his pet golden eagle. He served in the merchant marines in Okinawa before attending Grinnell to study philosophy. He then earned his MFA at the Cranbrook Art Institute, where he honed his passion for art and furniture design. Hugh enjoyed athletics, participating in the Drake Relays while at Grinnell and later taking up competitive cycling and cross-country skiing. He received an Alumni Award from Grinnell College in 2005. He is survived by three children, including Rad C. Acton ’78 and Tana Acton ’78, and five grandchildren.
Calvin Wayne Fulton ’50, Tucson, Arizona, March 22, 2018. Wayne was a longtime member of St. Phillip’s in the Hills Episcopal Church, serving many roles. His survivors include his domestic partner of 24 years, Joe Yukish; and four children, 16 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Joan Adams Dee Kahn ’50, Louisville, Kentucky, March 23, 2018. Although Joan spent just three semesters at Grinnell, she always had a love for it, along with many anecdotes of that post-World War II time. She was an avid supporter of the arts in her new hometown of Indianapolis, continued with her bridge playing activities that she cultivated at Grinnell, and traveled widely. She is survived by two sons.
Doris Jean Nesbitt Smiley ’50, Schofield, Wisconsin, April 6, 2018. Jean met her husband William Smiley ’50 at Grinnell before the couple settled in Wausau, Wisconsin. Jean then pursued a master’s in library science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and worked at the Wausau Public Library. She was an avid reader with a fondness for murder mysteries and had a passion for politics and social justice. She loved traveling and visited 122 countries. Survivors include her husband, two sons, and four grandchildren.
Herbert B. von Lackum ’51, Marshalltown, Iowa, Aug. 31, 2017. Herb served in the U.S. Army after World War II and graduated from the University of Iowa. He spent many years in Australia as a high school science teacher. He sent many letters and postcards about his travels to his nieces and nephew.
John K. von Lackum ’51, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, April 24, 2018. Younger brother to Herbert (see above), John spent two years at Grinnell before graduating from Northwestern University. He earned a law degree from the University of Michigan in 1954 and then served in the U.S. Army in Germany. For the rest of his career, he practiced law in Iowa, primarily in private practice but also as assistant Linn County attorney in the early 1960s. Survivors include his two daughters, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
James W. Brown ’52, Osceola, Iowa, April 3, 2018. Jim graduated from Drake University Law School in 1959 after serving as a pilot in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. In 1979, he was appointed an Iowa District Court judge. In 2002, he was appointed a senior judge on the Appellate Court, where he stayed until his retirement in 2008. He enjoyed reading, fly-fishing, RAGBRAI (the Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa), and golf. Jim is survived by his wife Beth Taylor Brown, four children, five grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.
Elizabeth Rademacher Buhrman ’53, Gurnee, Illinois, March 31, 2018.
James Meyer ’53, Oct. 31, 2017, and Mary Wood Meyer ’53, Feb. 28, 2018, Carmel, Indiana. Jim and Mary both graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Grinnell. They were married for 63 years. Jim obtained his master’s degree from Indiana Kelly School of Business. Mary worked as a speech pathologist for 24 years. Both were active members of their Unitarian church. Jim was an avid sports fan and enjoyed playing bridge and solving crossword puzzles. Mary enjoyed baking, playing the piano, playing bridge, and shopping. She tutored disadvantaged students in her spare time. Survivors include three children, six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
Elizabeth “Skeeter” Oleson ’53, Mason City, Iowa, June 17, 2017. Skeeter was an English major who worked as a teacher. When she retired, she bought and helped run a bicycle shop, The Spinning Wheel, in Iowa Falls, Iowa. She was a fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes and loved golfing. She is remembered for her love of her hometown of Dows, Iowa, her outgoing personality, and her generous gifts to those in need. Skeeter is survived by three sisters, including Mary Lou Oleson Nuessen ’44.
Lora Lee “Loree” Pugh Rackstraw ’53, Grinnell, Iowa, May 8, 2018. After graduating with a major in philosophy from Grinnell, Loree obtained her master’s degree in English from the University of Iowa. She taught English at the University of Northern Iowa for 30 years until retiring in 1996. She also worked as a fiction editor for the North American Review. In 2009, Loree wrote a book, Love as Always, Kurt — Vonnegut as I Knew Him, about her 42-year friendship with Slaughterhouse Five author Kurt Vonnegut. She enjoyed writing, reading, music, and the arts. Loree served as a class agent 2007–2012 and on her class committee 2007–2015, was an inaugural representative in October of 2004, and was a regional volunteer for the Office of Development and Alumni Relations 2000–2005. Survivors include her son Kevin Rackstraw ’81.
Richard J. Raridon ’53, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, June 17, 2018. Dick grew up near Newton, Iowa, and graduated from Grinnell High School. He earned a master’s in physics and a doctorate in physical chemistry from Vanderbilt University. He worked at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory for 30 years and was the author or co-author of more than 100 papers in chemistry, physics, and computer science. He was an avid volunteer with many different organizations, including Grinnell’s Alumni Council from 2013 to 2017. He also served as his class fund director and on his class committee from 2011 to 2018. Survivors include two daughters and their families.
Mary Anne Brock ’54, Naperville, Illinois, May 4, 2018. After graduating from Grinnell, Mary earned her Ph.D. in biology from Harvard University. She went to work at the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health, where she researched the phenomenon of aging in subcellular, cellular, tissue, and organism models of aging. Her 73 publications include seven book chapters. She retired as senior research investigator at NIH in 1995. She received an Alumni Award from Grinnell College in 2000 in recognition of her distinguished achievement and service.
Ronald R. Stanger ’54, Olmsted Falls, Ohio, Dec. 15, 2017. Ron majored in political science at Grinnell and studied French at Sorbonne University in Paris. After his studies, he spent time traveling around Europe before returning to the United States. He married in 1963 and began a career in advertising that lasted until he retired in the early 1990s. Despite being diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Ron lived a long and independent life. He enjoyed writing, tennis, and traveling with his wife. Survivors include his wife, brother, nephew, two nieces, and nine great-nieces and nephews.
Edwin C. Weitz ’54, Council Bluffs, Iowa, Nov. 20, 2017. Survivors include his brother Robert Weitz ’59, six grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.
JoAnn Bergman Schneekloth ’55, West Des Moines, Iowa, Dec. 6, 2017. JoAnn spent 40 years working for the U.S. Postal Service, retiring as a postmaster. She played organ and piano at her Methodist church and enjoyed sports, playing cards, and baking pie. Survivors include two daughters and two granddaughters.
Joanne Thomann Wesch ’55, Peyton, Colorado, March 9, 2018. Joanne was an English teacher for nearly 30 years and was a member of Peace Lutheran Church. Survivors include her brother John Thomann ’59, two children, and two grandsons.
Patricia Pauley Guy ’56, Lawrence, Kansas, March 19, 2018. Pat graduated from Grinnell with a bachelor’s in English. After raising a family, she discovered her passion for theology and decided to obtain a master of divinity degree. She was ordained in 1989 and became a pastor at the First Presbyterian Church in Topeka, Kansas. She is remembered for her love of travel, music, and art. Survivors include her second husband Willard Guy, brother Bruce Pauley ’59, three children including son David Holmes ’82, three stepchildren, four grandchildren, and eight stepgrandchildren.
Charles W. Hastings ’56, Federal Way, Washington, April 2, 2018. Chuck double-majored in math and physics at Grinnell. He was bright and technically adept, working many jobs including writing software, marketing, and teaching. In his spare time, he enjoyed writing fiction and playing jazz piano. Chuck is survived by his wife Angelita Go Casanova Hastings, five children, and six grandchildren.
Stephan L. Jones ’57, Tucson, Arizona, March 17, 2018. Steve often spoke with pride about his time at Grinnell. He retired as president of Princor Mutual Funds at the Principal Financial Group in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1999 and took up gardening. He and his wife Linda Vernon Jones moved to Tucson, where he worked as a docent at the botanical park. Survivors include his wife, two children, brother Edward Jones ’68, sister-in-law Laura Hallock Jones ’69, and four grandchildren.
Phyllis Cantwell Miller ’57, Powell, Wyoming, Feb. 25, 2018. Phyllis was a registered nurse, longtime piano player, and avid painter. She is survived by two children and four grandchildren.
Mary “Betsy” Hertz Allan ’59, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, April 24, 2018. Betsy grew up in Ames, Iowa, and majored in sociology at Grinnell. She married George Allan ’57 on the winter solstice in 1958. She earned a master’s in library science in 1971 and worked as a librarian for about a decade. Then, she changed careers and became a tax preparer until retiring in 2002. Betsy loved to read mystery and fantasy novels. She was very creative and an excellent seamstress. She is survived by her husband, son James Allan ’83, two daughters, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Leigh S. Ratiner ’59, Reno, Nevada, May 3, 2018. At Grinnell, Leigh was a talk-show radio host, interviewing visiting celebrities. He earned a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and offered mediation and conflict resolution through a practice in Reno for 30 years.
Dianne M. Stevenson ’59, Willow Springs, Illinois, May 4, 2018. Dianne led her life as a loving mother, artist, psychologist, theatre patron, and world traveler.
David A. Nixon ’61, Overland Park, Kansas, June 10, 2018. Survivors include his wife Gloria Nixon and two daughters.
Kenneth D. Poush ’61, Rancho Mirage, California, Oct. 4, 2017.
Frances Galaty Carson ’62, Bettendorf, Iowa, May 3, 2018. Frances taught special education in the Davenport School District for 25 years. She enjoyed playing bridge, reading, and volunteering. She is survived by two children and her sister.
Richard Ulbricht ’62, Portland, Oregon, April 28, 2018. Dick conducted research for a pharmaceutical company in Illinois before moving to Oregon, where he taught high school science. He was a railroad enthusiast and enjoyed watching sports, skiing, hiking, and mountain climbing. He was also an active member of his Lutheran church. He is survived by his wife Susan Carter Ulbricht ’64, two sons, and one grandson.
Lee D. Weisel ’62, Ashland, Oregon, May 3, 2018. Lee majored in comparative literature at Grinnell and then earned a law degree at Yale. After practicing entertainment law, he acted as personal manager to Iron Butterfly, Herbie Hancock ’60, and several other artists. He was very active in Jewish affairs in his community and very supportive of the arts. Lee served on his class committee 2004–2012 and on the Alumni Council and its Stewardship Committee 2006–2011; he also volunteered for the Pioneer Fund 2008–2015. Lee and his wife JoAnn Weisel gave generously to Grinnell, especially to need-based financial aid and several capital projects, including the Humanities and Social Studies Center, a gift they made in honor of their parents. Survivors include his wife, two sons, and daughter Jessica Weisel ’91.
Frederick M. Arnold ’63, Madison, Wisconsin, March 3, 2018. Fred earned master’s in education and economics degrees from Northern Illinois University. He and his wife Barbara Beale Arnold ’64 were 1965–68 Peace Corps volunteers in Malaysia. Fred taught economics and humanities-based leadership studies for 33 years at Madison Area Technical College. He was a community activist in multiple arenas, serving on the Madison City Council and Dane County Board of Supervisors and as chair and member of multiple community boards and commissions. He’s survived by his wife; three sons, including Erick Arnold ’90; and four grandchildren.
Steven J. Rioff ’63, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Jan. 2, 2018. Steven played football at Grinnell and earned a law degree from Northwestern University. After law school he served in the Peace Corps and as a VISTA volunteer. He was a passionate advocate and leader for affordable housing in the Boston area. His volunteer work for Grinnell included mentoring student interns and speaking with prospective students as a GRASP volunteer. Survivors include his wife Beth Widgen, two sons, a daughter, a stepson, and four grandchildren.
James A. Harrington ’64, Westfield, New Jersey, June 20, 2018. After graduating from Grinnell, Jim earned a doctorate in physics from Northwestern University. He was an international authority in the field of infrared fibers, a science adviser to the U.S. Department of State, and a distinguished professor at Rutgers University. He published a book and more than 190 articles. He was also awarded 10 patents on specialty fiber optics and medical devices. Survivors include his wife Janice Boles, a daughter, two grandsons, and sister Donna Harrington Runyan ’66.
Gerald F. Hansen ’65, Council Bluffs, Iowa, May 26, 2018. Gerald served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War, then worked as a farmer in Nebraska and Iowa. He is survived by his wife Jenny Hansen and son.
Dean W. Nordquist ’65, Bloomington, Minnesota, June 29, 2018. Dean had a career as an engineer that included helping design the original Boeing 747 and designing chemical extraction facilities around the world. He was a devoted family man. Survivors include his son and two grandchildren.
John Harrod ’66, New London, New Hampshire, March 25, 2018. After two years at Grinnell, Jack transferred to and graduated from Colgate College. He then served 28 years with the U.S. Information Agency (USIA), with assignments including Afghanistan, Poland, and the former Soviet Union. From 1979–1981, Jack served as a media spokesman and a liaison with the families of the four USIA Iran hostages. He said the highlight of his career was notifying the families that the hostages were safe. The agency later gave him its highest honor. Jack is survived by a son and a sister.
Clifton M. Dowling ’67, Bel Air, Maryland, May 1, 2018. After attending Grinnell, Clif joined the U.S. Army as an ammunitions instructor. In 1977, he graduated from the University of California-Berkeley with a major in conservation of natural resources. He loved the environment and dedicated himself to environmental causes throughout his life and received recognition for his work. He was passionate about American history and politics and enjoyed trivia and fossil collecting. Survivors include his wife, two daughters, and two grandsons.
Howard L. Ward ’69, Chicago, Illinois, May 26, 2018. After graduating from Grinnell with a major in political science, Howard earned his law degree at the University of Illinois. He was named a Reginald Herbert Smith Fellow and worked for Cook County Legal Aid for four years. He was in private law practice for 40 years and was an adjunct professor at John Marshall Law School. He served as senior warden at St. Edmund’s Episcopal Church from 1999 until his death. Survivors include his wife of 48 years Margaret Smith Ward ’71 and three sons and one granddaughter.
Gregory M. Spencer ’70, Sarasota, Florida, June 16, 2018. Survivors include three children; a sister and two brothers, including Gary Spencer ’72; sister-in-law Helen “Beth” Graves Spencer ’69; and nephew Garth Spencer ’06.
Russell D. Mott ’71, Clive, Iowa, July 19, 2017. After graduating from Grinnell, Russ earned his doctorate in clinical psychology at the Fielding Institute in California. He worked in several clinics in Minnesota before moving to Maryland. There, he began working at the Walter Reed Army Hospital in 2003. He received the Commander’s Coin for his work as a therapist for veterans. Russ is survived by two children, one niece, and many friends and colleagues.
Mark J. Levin ’73, Sacramento, California, Jan. 25, 2018. Mark had recently retired from working in commercial real estate. He lived in California for 40 years and loved spending time in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and on the coast. Survivors include his daughter.
Rebecca Wolcott Hein ’79, Portland, Oregon, June 4, 2018. Becky majored in English at Grinnell and went on to earn a postgraduate certificate in accounting at Portland State University, as well as her CPA. She held top financial positions with several nonprofit organizations in Oregon and later worked as a private consultant. She was also a dedicated volunteer with social and educational programs. Survivors include her husband Clarence Hein and two stepchildren.
James T. Kirkpatrick ’81, Davie, Florida, Sept. 14, 2017. Jamie was a jack-of-all-trades who enjoyed baking and building boats. Survivors include his spouse Pamela Schultz Kirkpatrick ’80 and his children.
Patricia Neff Muller ’86, Northport, New York, April 29, 2018. Patty was a kind, creative, and dynamic spirit who enriched the lives of everyone who knew her. Survivors include her husband and her sister Kathleen Neff Aucoin ’82.
Robert Hershberger ’87, Greencastle, Indiana, May 20, 2018. Bob taught Spanish at DePauw University, where he founded the Servicio en las Américas Program and helped found the Hispanic Studies program. He was a loving father, beloved colleague, and deeply committed member of his community. Bob enjoyed the outdoors, fishing, traveling, and leading student trips abroad. Survivors include his wife Natasha Ryadovaya, two sons, and two daughters.
Kathryn Nassiff Keeler ’91, Needham, Massachusetts, April 2, 2018. Kathryn double-majored in physics and art history at Grinnell. She went on to receive her master’s in architecture from the University of Virginia. Survivors include her husband John Keeler, four children, mother Melissa Hicks Nassiff ’63, father Peter Nassiff Sr. ’64, and brothers Jeffrey Nassiff ’89 and Andrew Nassiff ’97.
Aden Bullock ’16, Aiken, South Carolina, April 25, 2018. Aden participated in cross country, track and field, and soccer in high school and was named Most Valued Player of both her cross country and track teams. Aden was a veteran of the U.S. Army and worked as a human resources analyst. She loved animals and was a member of the Annandale (Virginia) United Methodist Church. She is survived by her mother, two sisters, and many other family members.