In Memoriam

Fall 2021

  • Tyler Roberts

    Professor of Religious Studies

    Tyler RobertsProfessor Tyler Tillinghast Roberts, who taught religious studies at Grinnell beginning in 1998, died unexpectedly June 3, 2021, at the age of 61.

    Tyler was born in Hanover, New Hampshire, and grew up in Stowe, Vermont. He graduated from Brown University and received his doctor of theology at Harvard Divinity School in 1993.

    At Grinnell, he taught courses on a wide variety of subjects, including Religion in U.S. Public Life, Spirituality, and Theory and Method in the Study of Religion. In fall 2020, drawing on a lifelong interest in music, he taught a First-Year Tutorial, Words and Guitar: From Rock ‘n’ Roll to Hip-Hop.

    As a scholar, Tyler published two books, Contesting Spirit: Nietzsche, Affirmation and Religion and Encountering Religion: Responsibility and Criticism After Secularism, and contributed to many journals and collections. Closer to home, he was the speaker for the inaugural Grinnell Lecture in December 2014. The lecture series recognizes a distinguished body of scholarly work that makes a significant contribution or has a broad impact on the scholarly community. His lecture expanded on topics he grappled with in Encountering Religion, which seeks to find a balance between secular and religious understandings of how people engage with and make meaning in their worlds.

    Beyond publishing, Tyler was an active member of a scholarly community discussing the place of religion in public life. Along with eight other leading scholars, he was a senior fellow in the Project on Religion and Its Publics at the University of Virginia, which gathered a range of participants over time to bridge the gap between the academic study of religion and public discussions about religion.

    Throughout his career, Tyler contributed generously and thoughtfully to the life of the College in a variety of ways, including serving on the Executive Council (twice), the Personnel Committee, and the advisory board of the Center for the Humanities. He also served as chair of the Humanities Division and chair of the Department of Religious Studies on multiple occasions. Recently, Tyler brought his insight and experience to the Inscriptions for the Future Selection Committee, helping lead a multiyear initiative to select 12 names to inscribe in the Humanities and Social Studies Center atrium. Tyler and the committee worked with students, staff, faculty, and alumni to identify people whose work and legacies connect to the values and mission of our living, learning community.

    Outside his professional life, Tyler loved to cook and grill, bike, swim, and work in the garden. He was an avid reader and an extraordinary crossword enthusiast. He loved music of all kinds and was learning to play the guitar alongside his son, Will. As a native New Englander, Tyler loved to return to the ocean, visit family and friends, and watch the Red Sox play. Above all, he cherished time with his wife, Shuchi Kapila, professor of English at Grinnell, and his children, as well as a host of colleagues and friends.

    Tyler is survived by his wife, Shuchi; his mother, Jane T. Roberts of Providence, Rhode Island; his sister, Amy M. Roberts of Scarborough, Maine; and his children, Madeleine, Emma, Will, and Shivani. 

    Tyler’s family has established the Tyler Roberts Memorial Fund for the Humanities with the goal that it will provide support for campus engagement with big humanistic questions. You may make a donation to the Tyler Roberts Memorial Fund by going to Giving, selecting “Other” from the “Fund to Support” menu, and writing in “Tyler Roberts Memorial Fund.” If you have questions about the fund or your contribution, you may contact Development and Alumni Relations, 866-850-1846. You can also reach out to Caleb Elfenbein, Tyler’s colleague in the Department of Religious Studies.

Summer 2021

  • Cecily “C” Barker Finley ’42, Feb. 2, 2021, La Jolla, California, at the age of 101. She graduated with a degree in zoology and received her master’s in psychiatric social work from the University of Chicago. During World War II, she served in the Red Cross on the USS Chateau Thierry. She participated in the liberation of southern France and Italy and crossed the Atlantic numerous times caring for Allied troops. Having grown up before the invention of antibiotics, she was passionate about science and the promise of medicine, donating regularly to the San Diego Zoo and the American Cancer Society. After raising three children, she received her law degree from the Cabrillo Pacific University College of Law and volunteered her legal expertise. Survivors include three children and two grandchildren.

    Phyllis Copeland Fisher ’43, Jan. 6, 2021, Park Forest, Illinois. Phyllis attended Grinnell and then transferred to Drake University as a music major. She was active in music endeavors and was invited to join Lawrence Welk’s emerging music program. After college, she lived briefly in Chicago and then sang with the United Service Organizations (USO) in Colorado Springs, Colorado. After the war, Phyllis and her husband Bill Fisher moved to Lenox, Iowa, where Bill worked with Phyllis’ father at Copeland-Wells produce. In 1953, Phyllis and her husband bought the Prescott Hatchery in Prescott, Iowa, and operated the chicken hatchery as the family business until retiring in 1994. She is survived by her three children, six grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. Her children remember her as a devoted mother.

    Marilyn McCool Hampton ’44, Jan. 7, 2021, Montgomery, Texas. Marilyn studied speech and theatre at Grinnell, where she was the first female to be elected president of Grinnell’s student council. After graduation, she worked at a radio station and at the Methodist Publishing House in Kansas City, Missouri. In early 1946, Marilyn married her college beau, the late Kent B. Hampton ’42. Marilyn was fond of antiques that had personal meaning and was the collector and archivist in the family. She was a longtime class agent and class fund director for Grinnell. Marilyn received the Alumni Award in 2004. She is survived by her son, Kent Hampton ’69; three grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.

    Virginia Foote Ireys Anderson ’45, Dec. 30, 2020, Napa, California. Virginia was a generous spirit, an earnest early supporter of civil rights and the environment, avidly read literature in Latin and German, and had a deep love of classical music. At Grinnell, she met and married David Matlack ’43 (deceased), settling in Santa Monica, California. After separating, Virginia then moved to Santa Maria, California, where she began a lifelong career as an English teacher. She taught elementary grades and high school, serving as English department chair at Santa Maria and Righetti High Schools. In 1967, she moved to the Bay Area, where she taught English at Tamalpais and Danville High Schools. Survivors include four children, five stepchildren, and five grandchildren, including Sam Evans ’04.

    Louise Mayer Moon ’46, Jan. 2, 2021, Ankeny, Iowa. After graduating from Grinnell, Louise married John H. Moon ’42 (deceased) and settled in Des Moines. Louise worked for the benefit of many civic organizations and was a member of the Grinnell Alumni Council. She served as the League of Women Voters president at the state and local level and was one of the first woman lobbyists at the Iowa statehouse. Louise was appointed to the Iowa Soil Conservation Commission and to the board of trustees at the Des Moines Water Works. A water storage facility was named for her in recognition of her years of service. She is survived by her two daughters, six grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren.

    Gladys Anderson Dappen ’47, Dec. 22, 2020, Wenatchee, Washington. She was married to John Dappen ’42 (deceased).

    Robert L. Tree ’49, Jan. 11, 2021, Davenport, Iowa. Bob earned his bachelor’s in history at Grinnell and then a doctorate in history at Northwestern University. He taught history at Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa, until it closed. He also taught at Iowa Wesleyan College and Fairfield High School, retiring in 1993. He was an active volunteer in Fairfield and on behalf of Grinnell. He received an Alumni Award in 2003, served as his class fund director from 2001 to 2016, and served on his class reunion planning committee from 2008 to 2013.

    H. Lee Brintnall ’50, Jan. 7, 2021, Marshalltown, Iowa. Lee attended Grinnell for two years, then transferred to Washington University in St. Louis. While at Grinnell, he met Valois Jensen ’50and they married in 1952. He was active in community work, including the Community Concert Association, Chamber of Commerce board of directors, Water Works and YWCA (both as trustee), and the “Y” Heritage Club. He was a past treasurer of the Animal Rescue League and was a deacon at First Congregational Church. He also was past president of Junior Achievement, Marshalltown Rotary Club, and the MCC Foundation. Lee is survived by his wife, two children, and six grandchildren.

    Robert L. Fridley ’50, Feb. 3, 2021, Des Moines, Iowa, at age 103. When he was 24, Bob became owner and operator of the movie theatre in New Sharon, Iowa. A year later in 1941, he was drafted to serve in World War II. He was stationed at Camp Myles Standish in Boston. Since he had a theatre background, he was put in charge of the theatres there. With over 35,000 soldiers, he quickly learned to manage theatre crowds. After the war he returned to Iowa and met his wife, Myrna Blanchfield Fridley. They settled in Des Moines and started a family; and Bob began to build his movie empire. He owned and operated the Varsity Theatre, Capri Theatre, Plantation Drive-In, Sierra 3, and River Hills Theatre. His love for small-town Iowa was evident in his purchase and renovation of several theatres around Iowa, including the Washington Theatre, the oldest running theatre in the world, and a renovation of the Metropolitan Opera House Theatre in Iowa Falls in the 1990s. Fridley Theatres currently owns 18 theatres with 97 screens in Iowa and Nebraska, including the Strand in Grinnell and the new Waukee Palms Theatre. Survivors include his wife of 67 years, five children, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

    Dr. Henry R. Mol ’50, Dec. 8, 2020, Whitewater, Wisconsin. Hank served in the U.S. Army Air Corps and was assigned to postwar Germany. He met his future wife, Marthe Egan ’49 (deceased), at Grinnell. He earned his M.D. at the University of Iowa and went on to co-own and operate the Doctor’s Clinic of Elkhorn, Wisconsin. During his long service as a doctor, his greatest joy was delivering babies. He made more than 15 annual medical mission trips to Haiti. Hank was a member of the Elkhorn Kiwanis, serving in various leadership roles, including a stint as Wisconsin lieutenant governor. He is survived by his three sons, including Chris Mol ’79; nine grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and sister-in-law, Nancy Scruby Mol ’53.

    Vivienne Twamley Rockhold ’50, Dec. 31, 2020, Bozeman, Montana. Vivienne was an adventurer in her early years and was a kind, gentle, loving, supportive, and devoted daughter, wife, mother, and grandmother. After Grinnell she moved to New York City, where she lived in Greenwich Village and worked for The New School for Social Research. She then moved to Germany, where she worked for the USO, providing support to U.S. military troops and their families. After retirement, Vivienne worked for the Women, Infants, and Children nutrition program, serving low-income pregnant women, infants, and children. She was also involved with the League of Women Voters. She was predeceased by her husband and is survived by her two children and two grandchildren.

    Lauretta “Lolly” Parker Eggers ’51, Feb. 26, 2021, Iowa City, Iowa. After earning her master’s in library science from the University of Iowa in 1969, Lolly immediately began working at the Iowa City Public Library. She served as director from 1974 to 1994. Under her leadership, the Iowa City Public Library became the first in the United States to have a computerized checkout and catalog system, introduced in 1980. She was also instrumental in keeping the library downtown when a new library was being planned in the late 1970s. An active community leader particularly in the areas of women’s rights and issues and political action, Lolly was one of the city of Iowa City female employees who filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaint against the city in 1973 alleging gender discrimination in employment policies. In a negotiated EEOC settlement, the city agreed to specific practices to ensure fair treatment of women in hiring and employment policies. Lolly served as class agent from 1991 to 2015 and received an Alumni Award in 2006. Survivors include her husband, Delos Eggers ’50; two sons; and a grandson.

    George F. Redman ’51, Oct. 14, 2020, Andover, Massachusetts. George was a very proud Grinnellian and will be remembered as a kind, good, and humble man of simple tastes. In 1951, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was selected for Officer Candidate School. He served as a lieutenant during the Korean War, with deployments to Korea and Japan. George had a long career in his family’s business, as second-generation owner of Redman Card Clothing Co. He is survived by three children, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

    John E. Crew ’52, Nov. 21, 2020, Normal, Illinois. John taught physics at Illinois State University for 30 years, retiring as a professor in 1993. He is survived by four children, four grandchildren, and a great-grandchild.

    Catherine True Meyer ’52, Dec. 17, 2020, Decatur, Georgia. Catherine raised four children with her high school sweetheart, Bruce Meyer. She also volunteered with hospitals, schools, and churches. Survivors include her four children and seven grandsons.

    Maija Lakstigala Murray ’52, March 11, 2021, Middlebury, Vermont. Born in Riga, Latvia, Maija fled to a displaced persons camp in Esslingen, Germany, when the USSR invaded Latvia in the fall of 1944. Grinnell sponsored her entry into the United States in November 1949. Maija arrived at Grinnell with just the clothes on her back and no knowledge of the English language. Yet, she was able to earn her bachelor’s in chemistry in 1952 and became a published author while working at her first chemistry job in Appleton, Wisconsin. Marriage and four children followed. Maija worked as a chemist at Johnson & Johnson for 15 years. Retirement brought 30 blissful years with her husband enjoying all Vermont has to offer. Survivors include three children and six grandchildren.

    Helen Ferguson Crockett ’53, March 22, 2021, Amston, Connecticut. Helen attended Physical Therapy School at Washington University in St. Louis, graduating in 1953. As a young man, her father had had polio; and she herself had had bilateral knee surgery as a teen, giving her a desire to help others continue their mobility despite their disabilities. She met her husband, Dr. Wayne Crockett, while working as a physical therapist. She returned to that career after raising children, including her sister’s three. Their home saw a continuous flow of neighborhood kids, distant relatives, and foreign exchange students. Survivors include six children and 11 grandchildren.

    Nancy Stewart Marks ’53, Dec. 15,2020, Carmichael, California. Nancy attended one year at Grinnell College before entering Boston Children’s Nursing School. After she and her husband completed their medical training, they moved with the Army to Tokyo with their firstborn child. Following their time in Japan, Nancy and her family settled in Sacramento, which became her beloved city for 64 years. In her early 30s, Nancy and her husband built and ran a home for people with severe developmental disabilities. Survivors include her husband, Dennis Marks; four children; eight grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; her sister, Susan Stewart Morrow ’61; and niece, Mercedes Danforth Kelso ’92.

    John A. Meine ’53, Nov. 13, 2020, Surprise, Arizona.

    Lois Davidson Omdahl ’53, Feb. 21, 2021, Shelton, Washington. Survivors include three children.

    Margery “Kitty” Staley Langford ’54, Feb. 1, 2021, Herndon, Virginia. The first in her family to go to college, Kitty received a scholarship to Grinnell and majored in physics. She moved to Schenectady, New York, to work for General Electric doing acoustical research for a nuclear submarine. It was there that she met her husband, John Langford, who joined the Air Force. They traveled the world before settling down in Vienna, Virginia. To engage with their overseas friends, Kitty learned French, Spanish, and even some Farsi. She enjoyed volunteering, but the work she cherished most was as an Arlington Lady, representing the Secretary of the Air Force to welcome the bereaved families who came to bury their heroes at Arlington National Cemetery. Kitty loved being their guide, comforter, and advocate. Survivors include three children.

    Sylvia Welty Geer ’55, Dec. 21, 2020, Williamsburg, Virginia. Sylvia met her husband, Lucien Geer ’59 (deceased), at Grinnell. She taught at Florence Crittenton High School in Denver. She later earned a master’s in education from George Mason University and for over two decades taught special education and English in Arlington, Virginia. She volunteered throughout the community everywhere she lived. In Williamsburg, Sylvia was active in her church and volunteered with hospice and literacy programs. She was a Grinnell class committee volunteer from 2004 to 2010. She is survived by her three children and three grandchildren.

    James E. Kingland ’55, Dec. 14, 2020, Lake Mills, Iowa. After graduating from Grinnell, Jim enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he served his country from 1955 to 1959. He was a naval airborne air controller on the aircraft carrier USS Ticonderoga. Jim worked with his father at the family Ford dealership, Kingland Motor Co. in Lake Mills. While still at the dealership, Jim began his second career in farming. Just weeks before his death, Jim was still involved with the family farm, making decisions and offering advice. He is survived by his wife, Virginia Rhoads Kingland ’56; four children; eight grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

    Robert G. Wagner ’56, March 4, 2021, St. Charles, Missouri. Growing up in Kansas City, Bob worked summers at the railroad yard. He majored in physics at Grinnell, where he met his wife, Nancy Abel ’57 (deceased). He earned a master’s and a doctorate in physics as the University of Missouri and spent more than 40 years in the aeronautics industry, primarily with Boeing and with McDonnell Douglas before it merged with Boeing. He also served for six terms on the city council, from 1986 to 2010. He is survived by three children, including David Wagner ’81, and four grandchildren.

    Richard K. Williams ’56, Nov. 25, 2020, Wichita, Kansas. During his time at Grinnell, Dick spent a summer in Mexico with the Experiment in International Living. He felt keenly the plight of the economically underprivileged and became an advocate for peace and justice issues in the United States and abroad. During the civil war in El Salvador, Dick accompanied rural medical health providers. This experience led to involvement in the establishment of FOCUS Central America. He ran for the U.S. Senate in 1990, hoping to shed light on the tragedy of misguided foreign policy. A lifelong student and educator, Dick taught Spanish for many years, including at Wichita State and Friends Universities, impacting lives of many. He survived by his wife; two children, including Jane Williams Gillett ’86; and three grandchildren.

    Frances Ceraulo Comer ’57, Dec. 4, 2020, Chicago. With her husband Gary, Francie built Lands’ End, a business selling sailboat equipment and later apparel. The enterprise grew to become one of the largest direct mail-order businesses. After Lands’ End went public in 1986, Gary and Francie created the Comer Family Foundation, investing heavily in Chicago. In the early 2000s, they began to focus on revitalizing the South Side neighborhood where Gary grew up. In collaboration with the Paul Revere School, they envisioned a safe space for young people to go after school. In 2006, they founded and built the Gary Comer Youth Center to provide enrichment programs and academic supports. Gary and Francie also funded the creation of Comer Children’s Hospital at the University of Chicago to ensure access to world-class health care with state-of-the-art pediatric facilities and programs for the children of the South Side. She is survived by two children and five grandchildren.

    William O. Davidson ’57, Jan. 11, 2021, Unadilla, New York. After graduating from Grinnell, Wills enlisted in the Army. For three years, he taught in Hillside, New Jersey, before moving to Sidney, New York, in 1961. He joined an engineering unit in Binghamton, New York, and was recalled to active service. A year later, he returned to teaching seventh-grade math, then eighth-grade English for 32 years. He coached cross country and junior varsity wrestling for several years. He was Teacher of the Year in 1974, president of the Sidney Teachers Association from 1972 to 1973, Rotarian of the Year in 2000, chaplain of the American Legion for several years, member and past president of Sidney Rotary, an active member of the First Congregational Church, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Wall of Fame in 2019. He served as Grinnell class fund director 2009–2015, class committee volunteer 2006–2013, and GRASP volunteer 1997–2006. He is survived by his wife, Betsy, and two sons and two granddaughters.

    Dr. Charles E. Hawtrey ’57, Dec. 29, 2020, Iowa City, Iowa. Chuck married his college sweetheart, Elizabeth R. “Betsy” Patterson ’59 (deceased). He earned his medical degree from the University of Iowa. During the Vietnam War, Chuck served for two years as a urologist at the Naval Hospital in Beaufort, South Carolina. Returning to Iowa City, he became a clinical professor of pediatric urology at the University of Iowa until he retired in 2002, and he served as professor emeritus until his death. Chuck was recognized as Iowa’s first pediatric urologist and improved the lives of thousands of children. He received the Alumni Award in 2007. Survivors include his wife, Jo Ann; son Thomas Hawtrey ’90; sister-in-law Anne Patterson Egan ’57; brother-in-law John Egan ’57; brother-in-law Joel Patterson ’67; sister-in-law Roberta Dressler Patterson ’68; and nephew John Egan ’84.

    Patricia May Makeever ’57, Dec. 17, 2020, Arlington Heights, Illinois. Pat graduated from Grinnell with a degree in education, after which she taught briefly. She was a homemaker for many years and then worked as an administrative assistant. She was a devoted mother, wife, and friend of many. A member of the First Presbyterian Church in Arlington Heights for more than 50 years, she taught Sunday school, served as a deacon and an elder, and participated in women’s circles and many activities. She loved acting and played a number of roles as a member of the Round Barn Players at the Moorings and was a dedicated supporter of Northwest Community Hospital. She was predeceased by her husband, Dave, and survived by her children and three grandchildren.

    Mary Oglevee Cole Rack ’57, April 4, 2021, Northville, Michigan. Mary completed her bachelor’s at the University of Michigan and earned a master’s in education at Western Michigan University and a master’s in labor and industrial relations at Michigan State University. She had six children with her first husband. After their divorce in 1968, she began a career in information technology, working for governments, higher education, and publishing. She focused on end-user support and skill development. She also enjoyed volunteering and worked as a regional volunteer for Grinnell from 2000 to 2005. Survivors include her six children, 18 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren.

    Joseph W. Fell ’58, Feb. 5, 2021, Wimberly, Texas. Joe married Judi Reget ’56 (deceased) and they lived for many years in Chicago, where he owned Joseph W. Fell Ltd. Antique Oriental Rugs. Survivors include his sister, Roberta Fell ’55; and grandniece, Katherine Henry ’06.

    Tetsuo Najita ’58, Jan. 11, 2021, Kamuela, Hawaii. After receiving a doctorate from Harvard, Tets taught at Carleton College, Washington University in St. Louis, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and, from 1969 until his retirement in 2002, in the history department at the University of Chicago. His many publications on Japan’s modern intellectual history received numerous awards. He was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1993. In 2007, the University of Chicago established the Tetsuo Najita Distinguished Lecture Series in Japanese Studies. In 1989, Grinnell honored him with a Doctor of Laws, and, in 1998, with its Alumni Award. He is survived by his wife, a son, two grandsons, and a niece, Julie Najita ’89.

    Frank E. Vigus ’58, March 9, 2021, St. Louis. Frank enjoyed Men’s Glee Club and singing in the choir at Grinnell. He earned his law degree at Northwestern in 1961 and served in the U.S. Air Force as a judge advocate from 1962 to 1964. For most of his career, he served on the legal teams for Anheuser Busch and later Monsanto, which allowed him to travel frequently to other parts of North America, South America, Europe, and the Far East. Survivors include two children and two grandchildren.

    William E. Becker ’59, Dec. 7, 2020, Knoxville, Illinois. William received his bachelor’s degree at Grinnell and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and attended Princeton for his graduate studies. He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, serving from 1961 to 1965. He was an officer instructor in aircraft maintenance at Chanute Air Force Base. He then went on to spend 30 years as an aerospace engineer for the Naval Air Development Center in Warminster, Pennsylvania. After retiring, he worked as a contractor for the federal government. He is survived by his wife, Marilyn; two daughters; and four grandchildren.

    Rev. Susan Hass Faunce-Zimmerman ’61, Dec. 2, 2020, St. Paul, Minnesota. Susan was an avid reader, gardener, maker of pies, and friend to all who knew her. She found great joy in her family and in her ministry, both of which benefited from her warmth, compassion, and faith. She received a master of divinity from the United Theological Seminary and was an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. Susan and her second husband, the Rev. Jim Faunce-Zimmerman, were co-pastors in UCC congregations in Iowa and northern Minnesota. She was happiest connecting to people in her community through her ministry and spending time at their cherished lake cabin in northwest Wisconsin. Survivors include her brother, Paul Hass ’59.

    Paul E. Burkett ’62, Nov. 28, 2020, Des Moines, Iowa. Paul began his 41-plus years career at American Republic Insurance Co. in Des Moines as a claims examiner, advancing to personnel, and then as vice president and director of corporate relations. After retiring, he continued working as a consultant managing the company’s sales incentive programs, which earned him the title of “Director of Fun” from company agents. Paul was an active member of Aldersgate United Methodist Church, the Urbandale Public Arts Committee, and the Drake Relays committee. He is survived by his wife, Mary; two children; and four grandchildren.

    Stephen W. Thorpe ’62, April 3, 2021, Denver, Iowa. In addition to Grinnell, Steve attended Iowa State University and graduated from Upper Iowa University. He began his professional career during college as an intern with Northwestern Mutual Insurance. He retired in September 2020 after 56 years with the company. Community service was a lifelong passion for Steve. He was involved with many organizations, including being a Girl Scout and Boy Scout leader for children’s troops. Survivors include his wife, Liz; three children; four stepchildren; 16 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

    Roger P. Christensen ’63, April 6, 2021, Las Vegas. Roger graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Grinnell and earned his medical degree at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He did further training in Denver and Seattle, where he completed his residency in internal medicine and his fellowship in gastroenterology at the University of Washington and the VA Medical Center. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1969 to 1971 and was stationed at Clark Air Base in the Philippines. He returned to a private practice position in Tulsa, Oklahoma, before joining the Cooper Clinic in Dallas. After retirement, he and his wife of 35 years traveled extensively with friends and relatives. He also enjoyed running marathons, swimming, and other aerobic activities, as well as photography and reading (and a little television, too). He’s survived by his wife, Katy; two sisters, including Joan Christensen Iseman ’61; and an identical twin brother, Thomas Christensen ’63.

    Robert M. Konikow ’66, Jan. 5, 2021, Orlando, Florida. Bob majored in speech and theatre and went on to the University of Southern California for graduate study in the cinema department. He was one of the early experimenters with animation. Over time he became proficient in film production, video, camera operation, multi-projector presentations, video walls, directing, production planning, and special effects. He formed several companies of his own to pursue his love of creation, securing many commissions from Walt Disney Corp. He wrote two books: I Come for to Sing and The Hollywood Fantasy. He is survived by three daughters.

    Carolyn Sakai ’66, March 30, 2021, Parkville, Maryland. After Grinnell, Carolyn earned a master’s at Iowa State University and later retired as a social work administrator. Survivors include her husband, Darab Khadem; two children; and two grandchildren.

    John David Marion ’68, March 24, 2021, Easley, South Carolina. Dave played baseball for Grinnell, serving as team captain, before earning his bachelor’s in English from the University of Iowa. After college, he eventually returned to his high school alma mater in Keokuk, Iowa, where he served as an English teacher for 17 years. After teaching, he worked as an editor and proofreader, but his true passion eventually came in the form of the arts. After moving to Cincinnati while his wife, Darla Wood Marion, was studying at the university, Dave began a career impersonating Mark Twain. His show became a success; he performed everywhere from the Metropolitan Club in Covington, Kentucky, to Tall Stacks, the site of Cincinnati’s riverboat heritage festival. Survivors include his wife and two brothers.

    Thomas A. Zitver ’73, June 18, 2020, Greenbelt, Maryland. Survivors include three siblings.

    Jo Ann Thomas ’75, Feb. 19, 2021, Winona, Minnesota. Jo Ann began her career as a community organizer in Rice County, Minnesota. She was also a feminist and was director of Houston County Women’s Resources and co-director of the Women’s Resource Center in Winona. She married her husband, Douglas Nopar, in 1986 and they raised two daughters. After a cancer diagnosis in 1996, Jo Ann changed careers and completed a three-year training program at the Northwestern Academy of Homeopathy in Minnesota. She opened a practice in Winona where she served clients for 20 years. Survivors include her husband and two daughters.

    Roy P. Eichengreen ’78, March 4, 2021, Sedona, Arizona, of a glioblastoma. Roy was an All-Conference soccer player for Grinnell who left the team early to join the Grinnell-Rush Medical School Program during his senior year. After Rush, Roy was a resident at the Middlesex Hospital Family Practice Residency in Middletown, Connecticut, and then spent the next 30 years practicing in the area. Roy taught at Yale’s School of Nursing, Quinnipiac’s Netter School of Medicine, and the Middlesex Family Practice Residency Program. He served on the Deep River, Connecticut, Board of Visiting Nurses, as Deep River’s health director, and as the physician for the Tri-Town School District. Roy also volunteered for many years as a coach for the local youth soccer club. Roy moved to Arizona in May 2019 to enjoy hiking with his wife, Cindy Warm ’79. He is survived by his wife and their two daughters.

    Florence Berkley ’81, Feb. 14, 2021, Ellicott City, Maryland.

    David A. Thompson ’83, February 2020, Provincetown, Massachusetts, after a battle with brain cancer. He is survived by his husband, Chris Lefter, and his brother, Richard Thompson ’85.

    Philip C. Bishop ’90, March 2021, Stanhope, Iowa. Survivors include his sister, Jennifer Bishop ’87.

    Seth I. Bernsen ’95, Feb. 3, 2021, Kirkland, Washington, of pancreatic cancer. At Grinnell, Seth co-founded the Big Sandwich Club with classmates Zack Steven ’95 and Karl Johnson ’95. The group met every Wednesday at 10 p.m. for a trip to the local Hy-Vee for food supplies and then back to campus to make huge sandwiches from whole loaves of bread. The weekly event became well known, made the school paper, and was attended by both Grinnell’s mayor and the College president. A computer science major, Seth was an electrical and software engineer whose career spanned positions in engineering, project management, and business development. The Seth Bernsen ’95 Memorial Fund supports two programs, Code Club and Computing Peers United. Survivors include his wife, Bulgaa Legden, mother, sister, and stepdaughter.

    Justin R. Kinney ’99, Feb. 11, 2021, Boston. Justin played basketball for Grinnell and in his senior year served as captain of the team. Originally from Iowa, he moved around a bit after graduation, landing in Boston in 2001 and working in computer science. He loved music and sports and would fill the silence with a fact or story about Bruce Springsteen or Grinnell basketball. Survivors include his parents, a brother, and a sister.

    Travis A. Muckler ’05, Dec. 7, 2020, Grinnell, Iowa. Travis majored in philosophy at Grinnell and completed an internship with U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate ’69 in Jackson, Mississippi. After graduation, he worked as a trial assistant for a law firm in New York City. He enjoyed fishing, dogs, and conversations with friends at the coffee shop. Survivors include his parents, a brother, and a sister.

    Emeritus Faculty

    Professor Emerita Of Biology  

    Lenore Durkee, March 23, 2021, Ithaca, New York. Originally from Utica, New York, Lenore earned her doctorate in botany at the University of Iowa and was a professor of biology at Grinnell College for 30 years, beginning in 1963. She taught courses in introductory biology, botany, genetics, and electron microscopy. Lenore and her husband, LaVerne Durkee, professor emeritus of biology, helped establish an Audubon chapter for the Grinnell area and made many new friends through that endeavor. Lenore and Vern were also very active in central Iowa sailing and started a small-town yacht club (Rock Creek Lake Pretty Good Yacht Club), where they enjoyed sailing and racing their O’Day Daysailer. Lenore and her husband retired from Grinnell College and moved to Ithaca to be closer to family. Lenore is survived by her loving husband of 64 years; two children, including Susan Durkee Swensen ’85; a grandson; and two stepgrandsons.


Spring 2021

  • Grace Schoenhutt Poznan ’42, Sept. 27, 2020, Bensenville, Illinois. Grace was 101 years old and is survived by two children and six grandchildren.

    Florence Manny Hazard ’43, Oct. 3, 2020, Sylvania, Ohio. Florence was just 20 when she graduated from Grinnell. She began teaching but soon put her strong math skills to work as a draftsman during World War II, which led to work at Goodyear Aircraft in Akron, Ohio. She later earned a master’s in library science and worked for 23 years as a public school librarian. Reading was her greatest passion, and she cited it and walking as the keys to a long life. She is survived by four children, 10 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

    Gerry Ross Walters ’45, Oct. 21, 2019, Des Moines, Iowa. Gerry majored in physics, in part responding to a challenge from Professor Grant Gale to see if she could do well in a hard major. She could. Gerry made Phi Beta Kappa her junior year and, during her senior year, taught freshman physics to a class at the College where Robert Noyce ’49, later the co-founder of Intel, enrolled as a high school student to face enhanced academic challenge. (Unfortunately, Gerry received no grant of Intel stock for her bother.) After Grinnell, Gerry pursued a master’s in physics at the University of Wisconsin but left before completing the program. At Madison, Gerry met her husband-to-be, Walter Walters, also a graduate student. Gerry and Walt lived in State College, Pennsylvania, where Walt served as dean of arts and architecture at Penn State. She returned to Iowa during retirement years, which she filled with world travels.

    John O. Bonyata ’50, Aug. 20, 2020, Tallahassee, Florida. Born in Grinnell, John served two years in the Army Air Force during World War II before attending his hometown college. He was one of the school’s best short sprinters and was undefeated during all four years of Midwest Conference competition. John was inducted into the Grinnell College Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002. The chemistry major became a research chemist with two private companies and retired from Olin Corp. as a manager of a research and development group. Surviving are three children, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

    Hazel Olson Christensen ’51, Oct. 19, 2019, St. Germain, Wisconsin. Hazel was an active member of the community, participating in Women on Snow and as social chair for the Bo-Boen Snowmobile Club. She was married to H. Lee Christensen ’51, who died in 2014. She is survived by two children and four grandchildren.

    Alice Loeb Bendheim ’52, Sept. 5, 2020, Phoenix. At Grinnell, Alice was a copyeditor and reporter for The Scarlet & Black, so it’s perhaps no surprise that First Amendment issues were important to her. In 1959, she co-founded the Arizona chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. In the early 1960s, she spoke out at a public meeting in Phoenix about the U.S. House Un-American Activities Committee, condemning its investigations of people based on their political affiliations. After speaking out, she was eventually forced to resign. She later went to law school at Arizona State University and pursued a legal career, which allowed her to do pro bono work for the ACLU. She volunteered for the organization for decades, serving on the Arizona board of directors from 1959 through 2018. She was an avid duplicate bridge player. Alice had an abiding love and reverence for Grinnell College and was so proud of being an alum. She is survived by her four children — Anne H. Bendheim ’72, Dr. John C. Bendheim, Ruth Bendheim Schaefer, and Thomas M. Bendhiem — as well as eight grandchildren.

    Beverly Way Lowrie ’52, Oct. 18, 2020, Evergreen, Colorado. Beverly is survived by her son, three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

    Jean Zoller Cowan ’53, Sept. 22, 2020, Omak, Washington. Jean attended Grinnell for two years and graduated from Indiana Business School. She worked as a deputy city clerk and executive secretary before marrying her husband, Lyle Cowan, her high school sweetheart. Survivors include her husband of 67 years, three children, three grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

    Evelynne Hanson Bowman ’54, May 6, 2020, Green Valley, Arizona. After Grinnell, Evelynne earned a master’s in zoology at the University of Washington, where she met and married her husband, Douglas Bowman. For many years, she worked as director of senior citizens programs for DuPage County in Illinois. She is survived by three children, six grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

    Willis “Bill” L. Winstrom ’54, March 4, 2020, Omaha, Nebraska. A lifelong resident of Omaha, Bill was CEO and owner of Pennfield Oil and Animal Health Co. He was a highly respected leader and innovator in the animal health business and made friends with everyone’s pet dog. He especially loved his own Welsh corgi, Charlie. Bill is survived by his wife, Sydney Marshall Winstrom ’54; two children; and two grandchildren.

    Nancy Ashton Nylander ’55, Oct. 17, 2020, Minnetonka, Minnesota. She is survived by five children and five grandchildren. Survivors include son Chris Nylander ’81, daughter Jennifer Nylander ’89, and daughter-in-law Amy Welch Nylander ’83.

    Judson F. Strickland ’57, Sept. 4, 2020, Naperville, Illinois. Judson met his first wife, Zana Willison Strickland ’56 (deceased), at Grinnell. He worked for Illinois Bell/AT&T for many years. He enjoyed volunteering, including with his church, Rotary International, Grinnell’s Alumni Council, and GRASP. He was also a U.S. Army reservist. He loved to read and was a member of many book clubs. He is survived by his wife, Wanda Strickland; three children; six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

    Sarah “Sally” Cole Johnson Tanner ’57, July 12, 2020, Milton, Wisconsin. Sally’s survivors include a granddaughter.

    David H. Fleck ’58, Nov. 9, 2020, Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. After Grinnell, David graduated from Harvard Law School. He had a long, fulfilling career with Foley & Lardner in Milwaukee. He served the Milwaukee community through his work on the boards of Riveredge Nature Center, Wisconsin Humane Society, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Shoreline Interfaith, and North Shore Congregational Church. An avid runner, David completed more than 30 marathons, including the 100th Boston Marathon. He’s survived by his wife of 62 years, Janet Fleck; two children; and two grandchildren.

    William E. Goggin ’58, Sept. 30, 2020, San Antonio, of cancer. Bill was a philosophy major and one of eight Air Force ROTC graduates in 1958. He served eight years active duty, rising to the rank of major, then spent 20 years as an airline pilot followed by work as a flight instructor. His hobbies included sports cars and Labrador retrievers. Survivors include his brother, Jack Goggin ’51.

    Bruce S. Miller ’58, Oct. 31, 2020, Redmond, Washington. Bruce studied chemistry and biology at Grinnell and went on to earn master’s and doctoral degrees in marine science at the University of Washington. After 27 years, he retired in 2002 as a full professor from the university’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. He published a textbook in 2009, Early Life History of Marine Fishes. Survivors include two children and three grandchildren.

    Mary Ellen Hackney Voigt ’58, Sept. 4, 2020, Northlake, Illinois. Survivors include two daughters, two grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

    Carroll R. McKibbin ’60, Oct. 6, 2020, San Luis Obispo, California. Originally from Guthrie Center, Iowa, Carroll earned a doctorate in political science after Grinnell. Before beginning his teaching career, he entered the U.S. Foreign Service and was posted to Geneva. Later, he served as a professor of political science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and California Polytechnic State University. In his retirement he became a prolific writer, contributing many guest columns and essays to the Cedar Rapids Gazette and Des Moines Register as well as The Grinnell Magazine. He’s survived by Lynn McKibbin, his wife of 37 years; two daughters; and a granddaughter.

    Stephen J. Brodt ’61, Oct. 24, 2020, Brownsburg, Indiana. Steve met his wife, Barbara Scanlon Brodt ’62, at Grinnell. They were married for 58 years. He earned his doctorate in philosophy at the University of Iowa in 1973 and became a professor of criminal justice at Ball State University, where he served for more than 41 years. His particular interest was organized crime, and he enjoyed showing The Godfather and Goodfellas to his students. Survivors include his wife and three sons.

    John E. Carter ’61, March 20, 2020, Wayzata, Minnesota. John enjoyed travel and public service.

    Karen Schlicht Davis ’61, Oct. 14, 2020, Chicago. An American studies major, Karen lived for three years in Mali, where she learned French, enjoyed shopping in local markets, and taught herself to cook from a Julia Child cookbook. She later earned a master’s in linguistics and began a career in real estate. She enjoyed vacationing and retirement life in Paris and Provence. She is survived by two sons, including Cullen Davis ’94; five grandchildren; and her companion of 25 years, Bruce Thomas.

    Calvin J. Collier ’64, Oct. 6, 2020, Charlottesville, Virginia. Cal graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Grinnell, where he was also awarded most valuable player in baseball. More importantly, he met his wife, Mary Evans Collier ’64, at Grinnell and they were married the day after their graduation. He earned his law degree at Duke University in 1967 and began a career in public service in 1969. In 1975, President Ford appointed him chairman of the Federal Trade Commission. He also helped shape the economic and policy teams and platforms of the Reagan administration. In 1988 he began a new career as a corporate executive with Kraft Foods. Above all, he was dedicated to his family. Survivors include his wife, three children, and nine grandchildren.

    Neal F. Viemeister ’65, Nov. 3, 2020, White Bear Lake, Minnesota. Science and music were Neal’s two passions, and he followed them both at Grinnell. He majored in physics and worked on sound production for many traveling performance companies visiting the College. He earned a Ph.D. in psychoacoustics at Indiana University and spent the bulk of his career at the University of Minnesota, where he built a renowned psychoacoustics research program. A major focus of his work was advancing the understanding of how humans process changes in auditory intensity and timing. Survivors include his wife, Ginny Kirby; daughter, Kathryn Otto ’98; and a granddaughter.

    John “Jack” A. Dunning ’66, Oct. 19, 2020, Echo Bay, Ontario, Canada. After Grinnell, Jack earned his doctorate in psychology from McMaster University in Ontario and joined the faculty at Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie in 1972. In addition to teaching, he played a lead role in developing and administrating a co-op program arranging placements for students. He retired in 2009. Upon his death, the university lowered flags to half-staff. While still teaching, Jack and his family bought a 300-acre farm in Echo Bay, Ontario, where they raised goats, chickens, and cattle. In retirement, Jack resumed his interest in pottery and became an avid photographer. Survivors include Paula Smith Dunning ’67, his wife of 54 years; three children; and seven grandchildren.

    Dorothy “Dottie” Dosse Metzler ’66, Nov. 22, 2020, Charlotte, North Carolina. Dottie had been confined to a wheelchair after suffering a stroke during a heart operation in 2016. Her spirit was never broken, and she had planned to attend her 55th class reunion in May 2020 to accept an Alumni Award for her achievements in the field of environmental education. Her award was presented to her instead by her husband on their 54th wedding anniversary. Survivors include her husband, Richard Metzler ’65.

    Ellen “Nicky” Wernick ’68, Naples, Florida, Sept. 25, 2020. Nicky was a longtime champion of equality for women and minorities. At Grinnell, she was president of Read Hall, where she counseled and mentored up to 50 women, establishing a pattern of progressive engagement she continued the rest of her life. In the 1980s, she was empowerment director of the Coalition of Labor Union Women, acting as a bridge between the feminist movement and the labor movement. She served as class agent from 1968 to 1978 and was a member of her class’s 50th Reunion Committee. Survivors include three siblings and their children.

    Dr. Helen Brown Britton ’69, May 30, 2020, Lakewood, Colorado. Helen obtained her medical degree from the University of Chicago in 1973, where she also served as resident and chief resident in pediatrics. After completing fellowship training in community and forensic pediatrics at the University of Colorado, she led development of the child protection team at the University of Arizona and later directed child protection teams at the Children’s Hospital of New Orleans and at Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City. Throughout her career she served on many local, state, and national committees on child abuse, conducted research on maternal-child interaction, and published in the fields of child development and child protection. She is survived by her husband of 48 years, John Britton, and two children.

    Ruth Schori Carrell ’69, Nov. 10, 2020, Richmond, Texas, of pancreatic cancer. Ruth majored in psychology at Grinnell. She met her future husband, Sam Carrell ’69 (deceased), the first day of sophomore year and they married during their junior year. Early in her career, she taught Head Start, adult basic education, and English as a second language, but later developed a love for sales. She was active in leadership positions with her church and was a member of her class’s 50th Reunion Committee 2018–19. Survivors include three children and six grandsons.

    Gregory G. Bombinski ’72, July 17, 2020, Clear Lake, Iowa. Greg met Lynne Hayward Bombinski ’72 at Grinnell, and they married right before their senior year. He played basketball at Grinnell, earning a varsity spot as a freshman, and also played football and ran track. He participated in the Air Force ROTC program and pursued an Air Force career after graduation. For 20 years he flew fighter aircraft. After retiring from the military, he began a 22-year career with Southwest Airlines piloting Boeing 737s. He and his family traveled extensively worldwide but were always happy to return to Lynne’s hometown of Clear Lake to visit family. Survivors include his wife, two sons, four grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter.

    Michael K. Fitzgerald ’72, Aug. 10, 2020, San Francisco, of a glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer. After graduating with a degree in history, he went directly south to Interstate 80, turned right and didn’t stop until he hit San Francisco. He earned a degree in fish biology at University of California-Davis and went on to work in hatcheries focusing on sturgeon. As a member of the Teamsters union, he became a labor activist and worked to expand the reach of the union. In 2005 Mike married Mary Farrant ’73, and they spent much of their free time hiking, camping, riding, listening to music (especially jazz), and traveling.

    Mark S. Bowman ’78, Nov. 13, 2020, Choteau, Montana, of complications from pancreatic cancer. Mark played football and ran track at Grinnell. The lifelong athlete competed in many triathlons and more than 20 Chicago-to-Mackinac sailing races. He earned his J.D. at the University of Michigan and practiced law in St. Joseph, Michigan, for more than 25 years, many of them as city attorney. After his law career, Mark worked for 10 years in human resources departments at Dartmouth College and the University of Virginia. He was a GRASP volunteer for 20 years. In 2019 he retired to Montana, where he married Lisa Hudnutt. Survivors include his wife, two daughters, and his brother, Christopher Bowman ’79.

    Michael S. Cetina ’82, Nov. 25, 2020, Wheaton, Illinois. Mike was a standout football player at Grinnell and team captain. He earned his law degree at Washington University in St. Louis and began a career as an assistant state’s attorney with DuPage County. He also experienced law with a large civil defense firm before finding his ultimate calling for the injured and wronged as a plaintiff’s attorney with Walsh, Knippen & Cetina. He volunteered as a coach for multiple sports, including 10 years for the Wheaton Rams football program. Survivors include his wife, Tammy Alsobrook, and four children.

    Former Staff

    C.A. “Chuck” Hand, May 5, 2020, Niceville, Florida. Better known to students as “Saga Chuck” during his time at the College, Chuck served as food service director for Saga Food Service from 1964 to 1970 before filling a similar position until 1985 at South Dakota State University in Brookings. After Saga was purchased by the Marriott Corp., Chuck served as a labor analyst until retiring in Phoenix in 1990. In retirement, his hobbies were golf and woodworking. Beneath his gruff, sometimes intimidating exterior was a lovable guy with an infectious, explosive laugh. Chuck is survived by his wife, Beverly; three children; and numerous grandchildren.

Fall 2020

  • Waldo WalkerWaldo “Wally” Walker died Aug. 28, 2020, in Grinnell, at the age of 89. Although he retired from the College nearly 20 years ago, his impact on Grinnell is still apparent today.

    Professor Walker began his career at Grinnell College in 1958 as an assistant professor of biology. He became an associate professor in 1963 and full professor in 1968.

    In 1973, he assumed the role of dean and executive vice president of the College. In the following years he served the College in numerous capacities, including acting president, provost, treasurer, vice president for College services, and director of facilities management. When he retired in 2001, he became professor emeritus of biology.

    As dean, he was instrumental in assisting with work to develop such curricular innovations as the First-Year Tutorial, faculty writing workshops, and the Writing and Reading Labs.

    He was a member of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, American Association for Higher Education, and American Conference of Academic Deans, where he served as a board member, chair, and national president. He was also a member of the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Honor Society and had six publications in recognized journals in the areas of plant anatomy, plant physiology, and plant cell ultrastructure. He received two National Science Foundation grants and one National Institutes of Health grant. He was an NSF science faculty fellow and has been listed in Who’s Who in America since 1969.

    Professor Walker’s passion for education was apparent to all who met him. That passion, coupled with his genuine concern for students and a generous personality, had a lasting impact on those he taught. He was an inspirational mentor who often developed friendships with students that lasted long beyond their time at Grinnell (see Letters, “Memories of Professor Walker,” page 2).

    One such student, Peg Martin Stiffler ’63, commemorated her decades-long friendship with Professor Walker by creating the Waldo S. Walker Endowed Chair in Biology. Stiffler, who died in 2013, gifted her estate to the College to create the chair in recognition of his extraordinary commitment to teaching and to his students.

    Whether it was through his teachings in biology, his frequent travels to Rocky Mountain National Park, or his birdwatching, Professor Walker demonstrated his strong love of and appreciation for nature in his daily life. He was also a music enthusiast who enjoyed a wide range of genres, from country to classical. Beyond his work in education, he lived an active life that included building hardwood furniture, visiting with friends and former students, playing racquet sports, bicycling, and reading.

    He will be remembered for his love of nature, respect for education, musical gifts, passion for justice, and strong love of his family. Survivors include his wife, Rita; and two daughters, a stepdaughter, four grandchildren, two step-grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and son-in-law David Walker ’83.

    Private services for Professor Walker were held in October. The family has suggested that memorials may be designated to the Jacob Krumm Nature Preserve or St. Francis Manor Foundation. Condolences can be shared online.

  • Helen Lampert McCune ’42, Mankato, Minnesota, June 23, 2018. After graduating from Grinnell, Helen taught English and history at Grinnell Junior High School. During World War II, she was an associate editor of World Book Encyclopedia in Chicago. ln October 1945 she married John T. McCune ’41 after he returned from his military service in North Africa and Italy. From 1970 to 1982, Helen was director of student services at the University of Wisconsin’s Fox Valley Center, where she championed programs to serve nontraditional students. In a system of 14 campuses, she was the only woman director. She is survived by a daughter, Cathy McCune Gjerde ’73, and a granddaughter.

    Elsiebel Long Kasch-Noe ’45, Weslaco, Texas, Jan. 15, 2020. As a young woman, Elsiebel showed quarter horses and was affiliated with the Iowa Saddlehorse Association. A lifelong volunteer, Elsiebel took cancer patients to appointments and made robes and heart-shaped pillows at local medical centers. She is survived by two children, three grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren. 

    Colleen “Connie” Hannum Bartel ’47, Hopkins, Minnesota, July 16, 2020. Originally from Council Bluffs, Iowa, Connie was a proud fourth-generation Iowan. She was an avid supporter of the Council Bluffs Library and Mercy Hospital. She was a member of PEO (Philanthropic Educational Organization), was an excellent bridge player, and loved to golf. Proud of her Irish heritage, Connie had a fondness for Guinness stout. She is survived by her three sons and daughters-in-law. 

    Margaret Berry Christensen ’48, Ottumwa, Iowa, May 24, 2020. After leaving Grinnell, Margaret worked at the First National Bank in Shenandoah, then returned to school, receiving a bachelor’s in education from Northwest Missouri State University in 1950. In Ottumwa, she was an active member of First United Methodist Church. Margaret was also a member of the Women’s Club and a Paul Harris Fellow in Rotary International. She is survived by a brother, her daughter, three grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. 

    Verne D. “Danny” Hull ’49, Yankton, South Dakota, May 20, 2020. Danny was an excellent athlete in high school and college. As time passed, he channeled these energies into running road races and marathons, bicycling, and playing tennis and table tennis. During World War II, Danny served with the 2nd Armored Division in Germany, where he sustained major wounds from combat. Honorably discharged, Danny taught and coached sports. Danny loved to hunt game with his dogs; he even wrote stories about them and established Platte River Kennels, a training facility for hunting dogs. He is survived by his two dogs, Rango and Creamer. 

    Douglas R. Peterson ’50, Las Vegas, Nevada, May 27, 2020. He earned an additional bachelor’s degree from Florida State University, and a master’s in music from the University of Iowa. In 1976, he earned a doctor of musical arts in choral music and vocal pedagogy from the University of Iowa. He was music director of the Southern Nevada Musical Arts Society from 1968 to 2020. He prepared and conducted the world’s greatest choral-orchestra masterworks, enriching the lives of concert-goers for over five decades. He served as Grinnell class agent from 2012 to 2014 and was a member of the 60th and 65th Reunion Committees. Survivors include three children and a sister.

    William G. Stauffer ’50, Santa Clara, California, Aug. 5, 2020. Bill was an accomplished pianist, designer, gardener, and gastronome, with a passion for music, nature, and chocolate. He shared his love of the garden as a volunteer with schoolchildren and his love of language teaching English as a second language to adults, and he never stopped learning. He is survived by three children, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

    Alexander J. Elwyn ’51, Chicago, July 4, 2020. After high school, Alexander was drafted into the Army and was stationed in Italy following its surrender to Allied forces. While in Italy, he began his lifelong hobby of photography. Returning from the war, Alexander enrolled at Grinnell and graduated with degrees in math and physics. At Grinnell, he also met and fell in love with Sheila Boyer ’51, who became his wife. He loved to listen to Chicago radio and recorded 36 “Midnight Specials” in which he would play his favorite folk music and satire for his neighbors in Hyde Park. Alexander is survived by his three children.

    Roberta Hansen Van Schilfgaarde ’51, Huntsville, Alabama (date of death not available). She is survived by her sister, Eloise Hansen Krivosheia ’56; daughter-in-law, Lynn Beck Van Schilfgaarde ’74; son, Paul Van Schilfgaarde ’76; and grandchild, Diana Van Schilfgaarde Jones ’06.

    Dorothy Falk Barchman ’52, Wimauma, Florida, Jan. 5, 2020. Dorothy was an active member of the Handicapped Development Center Boosters and enjoyed working in her vegetable garden. Survivors include three children, three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. 

    Wayne L. Blewitt ’52, Ankeny, Iowa, June 29, 2020.

    Donald R. Boeckling ’52, Cupertino, California, June 19, 2020. Don studied economics and business at Grinnell. He and his wife, Ann Joseph ’52, married shortly after graduation. He enlisted in the Air Force and rose to the rank of first lieutenant. He left the Air Force in 1956 to pursue a career in software development and worked in the insurance, aerospace and defense, and computer hardware industries. A huge sports fan, Don loved the San Francisco Giants, 49ers, and Stanford football. He also was a regular theatre- and symphony-goer. Don is survived by his sister, Joanne Boeckling Olsen ’54, and brother-in-law, Jim Olsen ’55; two children; and two grandchildren.

    Susan “Bunny” Westerfeld Howell ’52, Newark, California (date of death not available).

    Alice Rutledge McKinney ’52, Eugene, Oregon, March 19, 2020. Alice lived in Yellow Springs, Ohio, after graduating and was an extremely active community member and volunteer for a number of local organizations for 72 years. She was a social activist all her life and was a champion for civil rights. She was a proud member of the diverse congregation at the First Presbyterian Church of Yellow Springs. Alice was known for leading hikes and being a wildflower and bird enthusiast. She worked for several years during retirement as the Yellow Springs News proofreader. Alice is survived by four children, including Ruth McKinney ’77; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. 

    James D. Jenkins ’53, Marshalltown, Iowa, April 18, 2020. After graduating, James was drafted into the Army and was stationed in Stuttgart, Germany, for two years. After his service ended, James attended law school at the University of Iowa and graduated with a J.D. in 1958. He worked in Des Moines for a few years, then moved to Albia, Iowa, in 1960 to work for his uncle’s law firm. That same year, he ran for Monroe County attorney and won his election by two votes, earning him the nickname “Landslide Jenkins.” James was a serial hobbyist and spent his time reading, camping, traveling, gardening, and flying his own light plane. He is survived by four daughters, including Rebecca Jenkins Schultz ’82.

    Charlotte Fitzpatrick Ramshaw ’53, Savannah, Georgia (date of death not available). 

    M. Isabelle Rice Borg ’54, Martinsville, Indiana, March 14, 2020. Survivors include a niece, Patricia Kennedy ’78; and two nephews, Paul Kennedy ’76 and Wesley Kennedy ’81.

    Robert F. Norton ’54, Salem, South Carolina, April 19, 2020. Bob was an active volunteer with his church, the local hospital, and the elementary school in Salem. He actively walked the course when he golfed and loved Cubs baseball. In 1953, Bob married Barbara Newman ’53. She preceded him in death. He is survived by two children, his sister, eight grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. 

    Frances Bean Rakestraw ’54, Sun City West, Arizona, July 20, 2020. After college, Frances joined her husband in England, where he served in the U.S. Air Force. They lived in the English countryside for two years before returning to the United States. Frances taught nursery school and was active in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) later in her life, holding officer positions at both the chapter and state levels. She had a passion for travel and went on more than 20 ocean cruises. Frances is survived by her husband, two sons, six grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. 

    Clinton Ross ’55, Laughlin, Nevada, March 12, 2020. 

    Jane North Norris ’56, Marshalltown, Iowa, May 21, 2020. Jane and David Norris ’55 were married at Grinnell before she joined him at his military deployment in Japan. Back in the United States, Jane was a news correspondent for the Des Moines Register, Waterloo Daily Courier, Cedar Rapids Gazette, and Dubuque Telegraph-Herald. She also volunteered at the Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, Iowa, and met with King Olav V on his visit to the community. Jane was obsessed with Norwegian needlecraft, teaching classes at the Marshalltown YMCA for many years. She served as a class agent from 1966 to 1989. She is survived by her husband, two children, two grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and a brother. 

    Barbara Udell Hammer ’57, Rancho Mission Viejo, California (date of death not available).

    Nancy Abel Wagner ’57, St. Charles, Missouri, March 20, 2020. She is survived by her husband, Robert Wagner ’56; siblings, Burdette Abel ’59, David Abel ’64, and Gordon Abel ’69; and son, David Wagner ’81.

    Anne Hruska Parsons ’58, Bangor, Maine, June 16, 2020. Anne earned a master’s degree in counselor education from the State University of New York. She and her husband, Lynn Parsons ’58, moved to Detroit, where she was elected to the Michigan Democratic State Central Committee. Anne moved back to New York and began a 20-year career at the State University of New York at Brockport, during which she served as the president of the New York College Learning Skills Association. As a retiree in Castine, Maine, Anne took on active leadership roles in the Unitarian Universalist Congregation and was a member of the Castine Garden Club. She is survived by her husband and two sons. 

    Sharon Heimendinger Hines ’60, Ankeny, Iowa, Nov. 23, 2019.

    William J. McClung ’60, Berkeley, California, July 27, 2020. Bill was best known as the principal founder of University Press Books in Berkeley. He also enjoyed a long career as an editor and editorial manager at the University of California Press. He spent his final decades as an urban activist, preserving both nature and culture in the Bay Area. He served as president of the San Pablo Park Tennis Club and was dubbed the “King of ‘The Claremont’” after he won both the singles and doubles championships at the club. Bill is survived by his wife, Karen; daughter, Nicola McClung ’97; one son; and two granddaughters.

    Robert S. Woito ’60, Madison, Wisconsin, June 21, 2020. Robert came to Grinnell on a basketball scholarship and ended up quarterbacking the football team under Coach John Pfitsch. He majored in history, joined ROTC, and served in Istanbul during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He went on to the University of California at Berkeley, earning a doctorate in history. He subsequently co-founded the World Without War Council in Berkeley and authored many books, such as To End War: A New Approach to International Conflict and The World Disarmament Kit. Robert is survived by his children, Andrea Woito Murray ’86 and Katrina Woito Severin ’85

    Keith B. Kester ’61, Arvada, Colorado, July 17, 2020. Keith earned a doctorate in chemistry from Harvard in 1968 and then taught chemistry as a professor at Colorado College until retiring in 2012. Keith was very active in his community and as a member of organizations such as the New Earth Covenant Community, a Rocky Flats cleanup project, and the Society for Religion in Higher Education. He loved nature, conservation, and exploring the outdoors with his family. Survivors include his wife, daughters, brothers, and ex-wife, Phyllis Ball Kester ’61

    Olive Kemp Whitley ’61, Chicago, Feb. 24, 2019. Olive was passionate about education and made it her life’s pursuit to ensure all children had educational opportunities that helped them reach their full potential. She earned a master’s in special education from the University of Illinois and taught kindergarten and special education, with a focus on educating people with hearing impairments. During her own education, Olive became a legacy member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, joining the same sisterhood as her mother. She is survived by her husband.

    Michael S. Horwatt ’63, Reston, Virginia, Aug. 14, 2020. Michael was the lead speaker of the Grinnell 14, a group of 14 students who drove from Grinnell to Washington, D.C., in the fall of 1961 to protest the nuclear arms race. The students became international news after they presented a petition to the White House and the Soviet ambassador. “Perhaps the signature characteristic of a Grinnell education is how to bring about change within the periphery of tradition,” Michael said when asked to reflect on his experience. His actions helped start a student-led movement for peace. Survivors include a grandchild, Jalyn Marks ’16.

    James W. Smith ’63, Cutler Bay, Florida, April 9, 2020. James loved his time at Grinnell and played on the tennis team. He was also part of the Grinnell 14 protest group led by Michael Horwatt that went to the White House. Survivors include his daughter, Tanya Smith ’92, and son-in-law, James Tipton ’94.

    Mary Beth Lohrenz Fox ’64, Green Valley, Arizona, April 15, 2020. Mary met her husband, Michael Fox ’64, at Grinnell. She earned a master’s in library science from Southern Connecticut State University and worked for many years as a reference librarian at the Darien, Connecticut, public library. Mary volunteered as a 50th Reunion planning committee member. She is survived by her husband, two children, and four grandchildren.

    Gregory R. Strawn ’64, Minneapolis, December 2019. Survivors include his wife, Catherine McDonald Strawn ’64.

    David W. Gauger ’65, Yankton, South Dakota, March 23, 2020.

    J. Kristian Nash ’66, Casselberry, Florida, April 25, 2020. Kris was an English/journalism major at Grinnell. Following graduation, he served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Following his discharge, Kris worked for the Associated Press, Sanford Herald, Firestone Tire Co., a printing company in Chicago, and as a courier driver running bank data from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of dialogue from his favorite movies and excelled at all sports trivia, recalling players’ names, stats, and details from games long in the past. He is survived by his wife, son and daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren.

    Steven R. Eberhardt ’67, Boonton, New Jersey, Dec. 15, 2019. He is survived by his spouse, Polly Priest Eberhardt ’68.

    Paul W. Thurston ’67, Savoy, Illinois, April 30, 2020. Paul graduated from Marshalltown High School, where he was a triple-threat athlete in basketball, football, and golf. At Grinnell, he was named All-Conference defensive end. He earned a master’s in history from Wesleyan University. During this period, Paul trained with the Peace Corps, served inner-city youth with Outward Bound/Upward Bound and Eastern Kentucky with Vista Volunteers, and spent six months on an economic development research project in Costa Rica. Returning to the Midwest, Paul obtained J.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Iowa. He then served the University of Illinois’ Department of Organization and Educational Leadership for 28 years in various roles, including professor and department head. He is survived by his wife, four children, and 11 grandchildren.

    M. Catherine Todd ’67, Concord, Massachusetts, Feb. 29, 2020.

    Gary R. Agisim ’69, Richmond, Virginia, May 15, 2020. Gary served in the U.S. Navy from 1969 to 1973. He was a longtime member and past president of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists (SCC). He worked for Pfizer Consumer Healthcare and held multiple patents. Gary was known for delivering the closing presentation to the SCC national meetings. His work presented top-quality science, but he sang and performed for a full house. He is survived by his daughter. 

    James “Jamie” W. Trotter ’71, Chicago, June 15, 2020. Jamie studied philosophy at Grinnell, where he met his future wife, Jane. After Grinnell, Jamie was drafted during the Vietnam War and served in the 15th Engineer Battalion, 9th Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, Washington. While at Fort Lewis, he earned a master’s in human resources management. He left the military after his direct commission to officer was stalled due to the Watergate scandal. He and Jane moved to Chicago, where he received an MBA in finance and accounting at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in 1978. Survivors include his ex-wife, Jane Coleman Trotter ’72; two children, a sister, and two grandchildren. 

    Milton P. Rolland Jr. ’75, Chicago, June 11, 2020. Milton loved to cook and took pride in his culinary skills. He had a deep love for his mother and took care of her throughout her life. He is survived by a sister, Careda Taylor ’76.

    Gwendolyn Satterfield-Barjon ’80, Red Oak, Texas, April 22, 2020. Survivors include her husband, Paul Barjon ’83, and three children.

    Judith Weinreb ’82, San Leandro, California, June 8, 2020. After Grinnell, Judith worked for United Airlines. Her career allowed her to explore her passion for travel (and shopping). She was a lifelong Oakland Athletics fan. Judith is survived by her husband, her mother, and her sisters.

    Christine Kaestle ’95, Blacksburg, Virginia, July 16, 2020. Christine studied biology at Grinnell and completed her doctorate in maternal and child health at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 2006. She joined the faculty in the Department of Human Development at Virginia Tech in 2006 and was promoted to full professor in 2019. Her career focused on understanding human sexuality as a core human behavior. Christine was a lifelong vegetarian and vigorously fought for women’s rights, anti-racism efforts, and economic justice. She was a GRASP Volunteer from 1998 to 2017. Survivors include her husband, Louis Madsen ’94; and her parents and sister.

    Brent E. LeMoine ’16, Aurora, Illinois, May 13, 2020. Brent excelled in academics, earning his degree in economic, and athletics at Grinnell. He played basketball all four years. He made annual trips with his friends to watch the Final Four Division I college basketball championships. Brent was known for being incredibly tall and strong, and for his easygoing and kindhearted nature. He was a supportive friend who was generous with his time and energy, always giving of himself to others. In 2016, he hosted Grinnell’s massive, campus-wide block party, continuing an annual tradition.


    Kenneth Goldsmith, Houston, June 26, 2020.

    Kenneth was a member of Grinnell’s music department faculty from 1975 to 1987. He was a lifelong musician and master of the violin. He began studying baroque and classical styles at Stanford University in 1966 and was one of the first teachers of baroque and classical violin in America. Kenneth performed with many of the world’s finest artists, and his students have gone on to perform in major symphony orchestras, in opera and ballet orchestras, in string quartets, in period music ensembles, and on the faculties of colleges across the United States. He had an extensive discography and received a Grammy Award nomination, a Stereo Review Recording of Special Merit, and a Record of the Year citation from the Village Voice.

Summer 2020

  • Russell G. Allen

    Russell G. Allen ’68, Newport Beach, California, Jan.19, 2020. After Grinnell, Russell earned a law degree from Stanford Law School then served four years in the U.S. Air Force. He went on to become a partner at the law firm of O’Melveny and Myers, where he worked for more than three decades. Later he worked for J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. before opening a private practice. He was a champion of Grinnell, interviewing prospective students in his home and serving on the Board of Trustees. He is survived by his wife, Joan Frahm Allen; four daughters; and two grandsons.


    Martha Reid Murphy ’39, Forest City, Iowa, Jan. 17, 2020. Martha was an active member of her church and served for more than 50 years in the Girl Scouts. She is survived by two children; six grandchildren, including Xylina Walker ’04; and 10 great-grandchildren.

    Hetty Green Hasekamp ’40, Roswell, New Mexico, March 11, 2020. Hetty worked with the Iowa Tuberculosis Society and at a department store in St. Louis. She and her husband, Lester, ran an architectural construction and engineering firm for 25 years. In retirement, she was involved with the Community Soup Kitchen, the Roswell Women’s Club, and her church. She is survived by her daughter, Sharon Hasekamp Torno ’62.

    Mary Safris Keller ’40, Poway, California, March 2, 2020.

    David R. Meade ’44, Philomath, Oregon, July 14, 2019. Survivors include his niece, Catherine Meade ’84; and nephew, James Meade ’68.

    Roberta “Bobette” Brown Sanders ’45, Cortlandt Manor, New York, April 25, 2020. She was the first female Midwest director at Liggett Drug Co. She and her late husband, Paul Sanders, were married for 59 years. She served as a class agent for Grinnell for 23 years and received an Alumni Award in 2015. She is survived by her son and daughter.

    Walter G. Seidlitz Jr. ’48, Minneapolis, March 14, 2020. Walter was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II. He was married to Miriam Norton Seidlitz ’47 for 62 years; she died in 2010. He was a longtime member of the Rotary Club and his church. Survivors include his two children, including Stephen N. Seidlitz ’71; daughter-in-law, Mary Beth Burney Seidlitz ’72; four grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

    William E. Siegel ’50, Sun City West, Arizona, Nov. 22, 2019.

    Robert M. Pilkington ’50, Grayslake, Illinois, March 4, 2020. Bob served in the infantry in World War II, fought in the Battle of the Bulge, was a prisoner of war, and received a Purple Heart. Shortly after graduating from Grinnell, he began working at WHAS-TV in Louisville, Kentucky; he married the late Audrey Wedel Pilkington ’49. He spent nearly 40 years at the company as a producer, director, and writer. He was a regular volunteer at Historic Locust Grove and Reading for the Blind. Survivors include three children and two grandchildren.

    William A. Smiley Jr. ’50, Schofield, Wisconsin, March 26, 2020. Before attending Grinnell, Bill was in the U.S. Army, where he was trained to be a paratrooper and helped build concrete “mulberry” docks to support the D-Day invasions on the Normandy beaches. He met his wife, Doris Jean Nesbitt ’50, at Grinnell and went on to earn a master’s from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He spent decades as a biology teacher at Wausau High School and coached track, cross country, and swimming. He founded the annual Wausau Invitational cross country meet, which was later renamed the Smiley Invitational in his honor. He was an active community member, participating in the Kiwanis Club of Greater Wausau. He is survived by two children, four grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

    Clark T. Kingery ’51, Hockessin, Delaware, March 9, 2020. Clark spent 36 years in a variety of roles at Hercules Inc., including corporate director of production operations for all 37 Hercules plants worldwide. He was an active volunteer, serving on the National Ski Patrol, coaching football, and serving as president and board member of the Boys Club of Wilmington. During his tenure, the club became the Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware. He lost his first wife, Carla Parks Kingery ’54, in 1994. He is survived by his second wife, Carol Wood Kingery; four children; eight grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

    Robert V. Pischke ’51, De Witt, Iowa, Jan. 22, 2020. In 1943, while still in high school, Bob enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He was trained as a gunner on a B-29 bomber. He attended Grinnell on the GI Bill. Over the years, he owned and operated Eldridge (Iowa) Pharmacy and served as a real estate agent and as a licensed insurance agent. He married Joy Dunn ’49, who died in 2004. He was also heavily involved in community activities, including serving as a Sunday school teacher. He was president of his church and held leadership positions for the Eldridge Lions Club. He is survived by three children, six grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren.

    Bruce M. Snell Jr. ’51, Ida Grove, Iowa, Dec. 20, 2019. After graduating from Grinnell, Bruce served in the Army for two years during the Korean War, then earned a law degree from the University of Iowa. He married Anne Fischer in 1956. He served as an Iowa assistant attorney general and had a solo law practice. He was appointed to the inaugural Iowa Court of Appeals in 1976 and then, in 1987, to the Iowa Supreme Court, on which father had served until retiring in 2001. His father served on that same court from 1961 until 1970. Bruce was deeply involved in his community as a longtime member of Kiwanis, American Legion, Masonic Lodge, and Abu Bekr Shrine. He served on the Horn Memorial Hospital board of directors. He was named Citizen of the Year by Ida Grove in 1987 and received distinguished alumni awards from both Grinnell College and the University of Iowa College of Law in 2001. He is survived by his two children, including Bradley S. Snell ’85.

    Constance Thuma Wallace ’51, St. Paul, Minnesota, April 3, 2020. Survivors include one brother and a niece.

    Beverly Cannon Skog ’52, Tucson, Arizona, Feb. 9, 2019. She was married for 64 years to Jackson Skog ’52, who died in 2014. Survivors include a brother, five children, 10 grandchildren, and 21 great-grandchildren.

    D. Paulette Esser Payne ’54, Austin, Texas, Dec. 25, 2019.

    Dolores Cain Hakes ’55, Orchard Park, New York, Aug. 14, 2019. Survivors include her husband, James D. Hakes ’53.

    Janet Wanzer ’55, Memphis, Tennessee, Feb. 26, 2020. After working at Ginn Publishing in Boston, Janet spent many years as a secretary in the Infectious Diseases Department of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital before her retirement. She was a devoted volunteer at a local hospital and a docent at the Memphis Zoo. She is survived by a nephew and niece.

    Elma Johnston Brooks ’56, College Place, Washington, Dec. 14, 2019.

    Joanne Bunge ’56, Costa Mesa, California, April 5, 2020. In addition to raising two sons, Joanne chaired the Family Education Center and was project manager for the Bloomington, Minnesota, Chamber of Commerce for the Mall of America. After her children left for college, she returned to Grinnell, where she worked for Grinnell Regional Medical Center and for the College as director of planned giving. She spent nearly two decades as a class agent and received an Alumni Award in 2011. In addition, she founded and chaired the Community Education Council, which offers popular “Bucket Courses” for seniors in the Grinnell community. Survivors include two sons and four grandchildren.

    Margot Waters Bates ’57, Boulder, Colorado, March 21, 2019.

    Nancy Johannsen Boyer ’57, Carroll, Iowa, Dec. 20, 2019. Nancy taught high school math before having three children. She was active in her children’s lives and her community, including Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, and her church. Later, she opened her own craft store, Busy Hands Craft Shop, and taught many classes. She went on to work as office manager for an H&R Block office and as a tax preparer for Mr. Tax. She is survived by her husband, Richard F. Boyer ’54; three children; four grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

    Don C. Leo ’57, Carol Stream, Illinois, March 9, 2020. Don earned a master’s from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, where he met his wife, Judy Barnsbeck. He was appointed to Methodist churches in Iowa and Illinois and counseled fellow clergy and pastoral candidates as part of the United Methodist Church’s Midwest Career Development Service. He also served as part-time chaplain for Central DuPage Hospital for 25 years. He is survived by his wife, four children, and seven grandchildren.

    Dan A. Ver Ploeg ’57, Anchorage, Alaska, March 26, 2020. Dan earned a master’s in biochemistry from the University of Iowa and a doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of Wisconsin. He worked for Chemical Abstracts Service for many years before joining the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s Division of Drinking Water. He married his first wife, Gail Davenport, in 1964, with whom he had two children. His second marriage was to Angela Henn Bollinger in 1988. Dan was a licensed pilot and a longtime spelunker. He was famous for his home-baked bread. Survivors include two sons and five grandchildren.

    John H. Williams ’57, Simi Valley, California, March 28, 2020. John earned a master’s from the University of Nebraska and a doctorate from Kansas State University. He taught for many years at The Ohio State University and later served as Midwest regional vice president for the Sierra Club. He went on to serve in a variety of government roles, including in the U.S. Department of Energy. In retirement, he was a book and film critic for Georgia’s Lakeside Ledger and chaired the executive board of the Simi Valley Council on Aging. He is survived by his wife, Virginia; three stepchildren; and nine grandchildren.

    William L. Britton ’58, Seattle, Dec. 8, 2019. Bill served in the Army for four years. He went on from Grinnell to the University of Washington Law School, where he met his first wife, Carol, and had three daughters. He served as an attorney and administrative law judge for the state of Washington. He married his second wife, Kathleen, in 1984, and had one daughter, Clara. Clara died from a brain tumor, and, following her death, Bill was an avid volunteer at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Survivors include his sister, Barbara Britton Lacy ’53; three daughters; and four grandchildren.

    Kimberly Meyer Sundet ’58, Beloit, Wisconsin, Oct. 18, 2019. In addition to Grinnell, Kimberly attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. She and her first husband, Bud Schroeder, had two sons. In 1979, she married the Rev. Arvid Sundet. She served with him as co-pastor of churches throughout Wisconsin. She is survived by her husband, two sons, two stepchildren, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

    Martha Pillars Buenneke ’59, Sarasota, Florida, Dec. 17, 2019.

    Nichola Flock Krause ’59, Prescott, Arizona, March 24, 2020. Nikki retired to Arizona from Denver after a long career as a flight attendant with United Airlines. Survivors include two daughters, three stepchildren, and five grandchildren.

    Michael J. Chandler ’60, Vancouver, British Columbia, Jan. 28, 2019. He was a professor in the department of psychology at the University of British Columbia for 25 years. Michael was named Canada’s only distinguished investigator of both the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research. Survivors include his wife, Alexandra; son Zack; and four siblings, including Stephen Chandler ’66.

    Glee Clark Hamilton ’60, Tampa, Florida, Jan. 21, 2020. Glee transferred from Grinnell to the University of Arizona’s College of Education, then taught first grade in Phoenix for two years. She went on to work for the Department of Defense as a teacher at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines, where she met her husband, Donald Hamilton. She had two sons and later earned a master’s in reading education from the University of South Florida. She spent nearly 20 years as a reading teacher at Franklin Middle School in Tampa. She is survived by her husband, two sons, and four grandchildren.

    Robert Gene Mack ’60, Greeley, Colorado, Dec. 23, 2019. Gene drove long-haul trucks before going to Grinnell College. After graduating, he went to Yale Divinity School and became a United Church of Christ minister in 1963. Gene served churches throughout Colorado. He helped establish Aims Community College, Weld Food Bank, and several Head Start programs. He is survived by his wife, Joanne, and four children.

    Richard A. Hoiekvam ’61, Omaha, Nebraska, July 23, 2019. Survivors include two children and two grandchildren.

    Henry G.L. “Mac” McCullough ’61, South Bend, Indiana, Feb. 24, 2020. After Grinnell, Mac served in the U.S. Air Force, then went on to work in a variety of roles at organizations including NASA, Kitt Peak National Observatory, and Babcock & Wilcox Company’s Atomic Energy Division in Virginia. He was a nuclear energy adviser to President Ronald Reagan and testified before Congress. Mac served as a class agent for Grinnell from 2011 to 2016. He is survived by his wife, Princess; and four children; three grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

    John Z. McFarland ’61, Moran, Wyoming, Dec. 29, 2019. John attended medical school at Louisiana State University and completed a residency in radiology. He practiced medicine in South Carolina, Colorado, and Nevada. He enjoyed helping others with their home projects. Survivors include his wife, Sherri; sister, Marjorie McFarland ’63; three children; and five grandchildren.

    John N. Scott ’61, Mahomet, Illinois, Feb. 26, 2020. A trumpeter, John played in a jazz group Herbie Hancock ’60 formed at Grinnell and co-wrote the song “A Tribute to Someone” on Hancock’s second album, My Point of View.

    Sonia Anderson ’62, New Brighton, Minnesota, Jan. 29, 2020. She worked at Control Data and at Dayton’s personnel department. She went on to spend 50 years at Target Corp. as manager of benefits. Survivors include her sister.

    Allen S. Boston ’63, Webster Groves, Missouri, Feb. 28, 2020. Allen graduated from Yale Law School and spent nearly 40 years at the law firm Lewis Rice. He later spent three years as general counsel for Saint Louis Public Schools. John was a member of the board of the Bach Society of Saint Louis and enjoyed playing the soundtrack from the 1972 film 1776 from his front porch every July 4. He is survived by his wife, Lucyann; two children; and three grandchildren.

    Elizabeth Brockert Howell ’63, Ames, Iowa, Feb. 24, 2020. At Grinnell Liz met her husband, Stephen H. Howell ’63. She attended graduate school for bryology, the study of mosses, at the University of Iowa. Before having children, she worked as a research technician in Baltimore and had roles at the Salk Institute and at the University of California San Diego Medical School. While raising her two daughters, she kept an active volunteer life. Survivors include her husband, two children, and four grandchildren.

    Larry F. Smucker ’63, Chevy Chase, Maryland, Feb. 24, 2020. As a student at Grinnell, Larry traveled to Washington, D.C., in 1961 to demonstrate for the nuclear test ban treaty, one of the first events in the national student peace movement of the 1960s. He met his first wife, Joan Lubin ’63, at Grinnell; the couple had three children. She died in 1985. Larry earned a master’s in European history from Harvard and later spent many years working for USAID and the World Bank. In retirement, he volunteered for Grinnell’s Office of Development and Alumni Relations. He is survived by his second wife, Fauzia Rashid Smucker; three children; and four grandchildren.

    Sally Wolf Robinson ’65, Lakeside, Michigan, Feb. 15, 2020. While at Grinnell, Sally met her husband, L. “Rob” Vern Robinson ’65. She worked for many years as a social worker and supervisor in child protective services for the Johnson County, Iowa, Department of Social Services. She also worked as an administrative assistant for the Johnson County juvenile probation office and as secretary for the principal of an alternative high school. She loved singing and was a member of two choruses. She was also an avid cyclist. She completed 15 RAGBRAIs (the cross-state bike ride sponsored by the Des Moines Register) and celebrated Iowa’s sesquicentennial by riding 5,000 miles from California to Washington, D.C., in 1995. She volunteered for Grinnell as a class agent until 2001 and received an Alumni Award in 1990. Survivors include her husband; two children, including Amy Robinson ’92; and two grandchildren.

    Janet Megorden Stalder ’66, Wake Forest, North Carolina, Jan. 24, 2020. Janet worked as a computer programmer for Honeywell before marrying Bob Stalder in 1976 and having two sons. She was active in the Cub Scouts, helped raise money for Paoli Hospital Auxiliary Board, and was a devoted member of her church. She is survived by her husband; sister, Margaret Megorden Bailly ’67; brother-in-law, Richard C. Bailly ’66; two sons; and three grandchildren.

    Jay H. Greener ’67, Centereach, New York, Jan. 18, 2020. Jay served in Vietnam as a combat engineer in the 70th Combat Battalion. He had a long career in sales, working for Dow Corning Corp., Lutheran Brotherhood, Owens-Illinois, and in his own business. He was a longtime class fund director for Grinnell, served as a class reunion chair, and received an Alumni Award in 2017. He was also a member of the University Glee Club of New York City and his church choir. He is survived by his wife, Lynn Marie Greener; three children; and five grandchildren.

    Louis L. Kelley ’68, Denver, Sept. 14, 2019.

    Erania Tecumseh-Hawkins ’69, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Feb. 26, 2020.

    Gordon D. Christensen ’70, Columbia, Missouri, Feb. 29, 2020. Gordon spent decades as a professor of medicine, specializing in infectious diseases and tropical medicine, at the University of Missouri School of Medicine and was known for taking on difficult patient cases linked to Lyme disease and chronic fatigue syndrome. He was frequently honored for his teaching and was proud of his popular undergraduate course, The Practice of Medicine Through Literature. He was also recognized for his research on medical device infections. Survivors include his wife, Alice Hyde Christensen ’70; two daughters, including Charlotte Christensen, Grinnell assistant professor of physics; and a grandchild.

    Richard F. Faust ’74, Minneapolis, Sept. 22, 2019.

    Robert S. Miller ’74, Chicago, Sept. 5, 2019.

    Linda Rodriguez-Torrent ’74, Sebring, Florida, Jan. 21, 2020. Linda earned her law degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1982. She started in a small private practice before moving to Indianapolis, where she worked for the women’s legal clinic and Indiana public defenders on appeals and death-penalty post-conviction cases. She moved to Sebring, Florida, in 1998 to work for the public defender’s office, then opened her own law firm that specialized in criminal defense law. Linda was instrumental in launching the Highlands County teen court program and was awarded the Governor’s Community Investment Award for her work with that program. She visited classrooms and organized community events for the Highlands County Bar Association Law Day program. She earned the Judge Clifton M. Kelly Award for her efforts teaching law and justice to children and received the 2018 Highlands County Bar Association Lifetime Achievement Award. She is survived by her husband, Eric Menges; two children; and a grandchild.

    David I. Wright ’74, St. Paul, Minnesota, March 17, 2020. David earned his doctorate from the University of Kansas and spent more than 30 years at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. He was an avid sailor, cross-country skier, and cyclist. He was a longtime supporter of the men’s soccer program at Grinnell and had recently established the Wright Fund for Men’s Soccer. Survivors include his wife, Deborah Smith-Wright ’75; three children, including Evan Wright ’12; brother, Douglas Lochner-Wright ’84; sister-in-law, Barbara Smith ’72; brother-in-law, Craig Gordon ’71; and two grandchildren.

    Beata Riedlmayer ’76, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Aug. 30, 2019.

    John Hukushi ’83, Santa Monica, California, Nov. 23, 2019.

    Christopher S. Coles ’85, Eureka, Missouri, Oct. 5, 2019. Survivors include his sister, Deborah Coles Ryan ’87; and niece, Grace Ryan ’14.

    Scott W. Hamilton ’89, Austin, Texas, Jan. 26, 2020. Scott was a devoted husband, father, stepfather, brother, and son. He served as a class agent and is survived by his wife, Laura; three children; and three stepchildren.

    Julia Christine Snyder ’89, Malibu, California, Feb. 19, 2020. Julie was a studio art major at Grinnell and earned her bilingual elementary teaching credential at the University of California-Los Angeles. Survivors include her father, Peter Z. Snyder ’63; and mother, Karen Sorensen Snyder ’64.


    Wade A. Jacoby, Provo, Utah, Feb. 29, 2020. He was 55 when he suffered a heart attack while mountain biking in southern Utah. A former assistant professor of political science at Grinnell, Wade earned his doctorate in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and taught at Grinnell from 1995 to 2000. He later took a professorship at Brigham Young University. Survivors include his parent; wife, Kindra; three children; one granddaughter; and seven siblings.

Spring 2020

  • James Shallcross Magee, former chair of the Grinnell College political science department, died Dec. 17, 2019, in Minnesota.

    Jim’s first 10 years of teaching (1961 to 1971) were at Grinnell College, where he was chair of the political science department for several years. In 1968 he won an Associated Colleges of the Midwest Non-Western Studies Fellowship to pursue his study of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa at Haile Selassie University (now Addis Ababa University) in Ethiopia. Jim and his first wife Judy packed up their young family and lived in Addis Ababa for six months while they also explored the beauties of Ethiopia. Upon leaving Grinnell for eastern Michigan, he received a Program in Practical Political Education chair with the inscription: “to Jim Magee, who for 10 years has captured our hearts and minds.”

    In 1972 Jim was hired by Eastern Michigan University to create a new political science department. In 1992, he received EMU’s Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award. The nomination letter stated in part that Jim was “a teacher of the finest caliber who is totally committed to students.”

    Survivors include his wife Joyce Magee and former wife Judy Magee; children Robin, Stephen, and Caitlin Magee; and four grandchildren, including Emily McClure ’18.

  • Some alumni and friends inquire about making a memorial gift. If you would like to do so, please call 866-850-1846 and ask for Jayn Bailey Chaney ’05.

    Kenneth W. Shoulberg ’42, Valley Park, Missouri, Dec. 26, 2019. Kenneth served in the U.S. Army in the Philippines in World War II and later founded Fortune Paper Co. in St. Louis. He is survived by two sons, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

    Evelyn Meyers Badger ’44, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Oct. 19, 2019. Evelyn enjoyed travel and visited many countries. She and her late husband Walter Badger were married for 70 years. Evelyn is survived by a daughter, four grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

    Dorothy Fryer ’46, Norfolk, Nebraska, Dec. 7, 2019. After graduating from Grinnell, Dorothy worked for the Fort Dodge Messenger for nearly 20 years, primarily as its regional editor. Later she was city editor at the Norfolk (Nebraska) Daily News. She is survived by two cousins and many cherished friends.

    Doris Cozzens Boehmler ’49, Missoula, Montana, Dec. 9, 2019. Doris earned her degree in speech correction at Grinnell. She met her husband Richard Boehmler ’51 (deceased) in a horseback riding class. She worked as a speech therapist while Dick completed his doctorate at the University of Iowa. They eventually moved to Missoula, where they lived for the rest of their lives. After their children were in school, Doris worked part time as a speech pathologist and elementary school teacher. In addition, she volunteered for many years at the Missoula Public Library and the Missoula Food Bank. Doris had a passion for music, nature, and hiking. She often traveled on Elder Hostel trips and continued to meet with her friends from a hiking club well into old age. She is survived by her three children, three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

    Lois Hansen Hanske ’49, Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Jan. 28, 2019. Lois attended Grinnell College and graduated from Drake University, then married her husband in 1951. Lois had a wonderful life shared by the friendships she created and nourished everywhere she lived. She also was an accomplished golfer, winning the Minnesota Senior Women’s State Amateur Championship (1978) and the Women’s State Senior Public Links Championship (1981). Survivors include six children; 13 grandchildren, including Zachary Davis ’16; and 11 great-grandchildren.

    George L. Kessel ’49, Naples, Florida, Nov. 30, 2019. George was inducted into the Army after graduating from high school in 1943. A member of the 26th (Yankee) Infantry Division, he was part of the first convoy to sail directly from New York City to France and became part of Gen. Patton’s 3rd Army. He was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, Purple Heart, Presidential Unit Citation, Bronze Star, three Battle Stars, and the French Legion of Honor. Following his service, George attended Grinnell, where he lettered in basketball for three years. He joined Aetna Life Insurance in 1951 and retired in 1986. He served on the school board and coached Little League. He is survived by two children and 10 grandchildren.

    Julia Gillespie McCarty ’50, Panora, Iowa, March 26, 2019. Julia finished her teaching degree at the University of Northern Iowa and taught kindergarten for many years. She lived with her husband Donald Ray McCarty on the McCarty family farm near Guthrie Center. She’s survived by three children, eight grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren.

    Robert C. Green ’51, Ridgway, Colorado, March 16, 2019.

    Marvin W. Heller ’51, Loveland, Colorado, Dec. 26, 2019. Marvin entered the Army Air Corps in 1945 right before graduating from high school. After returning from the service, he enrolled in the University of Iowa and then finished his education at Grinnell. During his college years, he served as a ranger at Zion National Park. Marvin completed his doctorate at Iowa State University in physics and later taught at Colorado State University. He is survived by his wife Marilyn Heller, two sons, two grandchildren, and two step-grandchildren.

    Miller F. Myers ’51, Naples, Florida, Dec. 4, 2019. Miller graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School; and as chairman and chief executive officer, he was instrumental in the formation and expansion of International Dairy Queen. He was an avid gardener and cultivated his friendships like his garden. He is survived by his four children, including Burton Myers ’77, nine grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

    The Hon. Bruce M. Snell Jr. ’51, Ida Grove, Iowa, Dec. 20, 2019. After graduating from Grinnell, Bruce served in the U.S. Army and then returned to Iowa to earn his law degree at the University of Iowa College of Law. He served as a law clerk to the U.S. district judge for northern Iowa, practiced law in New York City, and finally returned to Iowa to serve as Iowa assistant attorney general. In 1976, he was appointed to the Iowa Court of Appeals as one of the five original members when the court began operating. He served in this position until the governor appointed him to the Iowa Supreme Court in 1987, where he served until retiring in 2001. Survivors include his son, Bradley Snell ’85.

    Dr. Peter Carlton ’52, Mount Laurel, New Jersey, Jan. 3, 2020. Following his studies at Grinnell College, Peter dedicated his life to the study of animal and human behavior as a professor of psychiatry at Rutgers Medical School. He loved books, Klondike bars, and baseball statistics. He is survived by his wife Dr. Janet Berson, five daughters, and two grandchildren.

    Dr. James W. Good ’52, San Rafael, California, Sept. 22, 2019. Jim completed medical school at the University of Iowa and then headed to California for his internship and residency. He practiced oncology for more than 50 years. His sense of humor was a highlight of gatherings with family and friends. His first wife Dona Kliday died of cancer in 1996. After retiring in 2004, Jim enjoyed building and fixing things. He is survived by his wife Sandra Rivera, two children, two stepchildren, and three grandchildren.

    Marilyn Romey Sowers ’52, Clive, Iowa, Nov. 16, 2019. Marilyn graduated from the University of Iowa with majors in English and Spanish. She met her husband Max Sowers at Iowa too. She taught Spanish for several years in Mason City and volunteered with several organizations including the YWCA and Goodwill Industries. She was a lifetime member of the PEO, serving as Iowa state president and as a representative of the international chapter. She’s survived by two daughters, six grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

    Joy Cramer Van Hoof ’53, Horton, Michigan, Dec. 18, 2019. Joy majored in elementary education and spent two years teaching in California. After marriage, she spent 20 years in a Navy family, relocating 13 times. While her husband commanded the USS Daniel Boone, Joy served as the captain’s wife during his submarine patrols. She loved art and children’s literature and volunteered her time with schools, UNICEF, and Common Cause. She is survived by five children and nine grandchildren.

    Carol “Sue” Mac Cluskey Chase ’54, Knoxville, Illinois, Dec. 7, 2019. Sue graduated from Western Illinois University and taught elementary school. She also held several other jobs, including with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, the Knox College Alumni Office, and the Carl Sandburg College Career Guidance Center. She once led a group of Knox College faculty wives in a demonstration against segregated housing at a state convention of real estate agents. Sue was also an active member of the community, co-founding the Prairie Plays theatre group and DeKalb Learning Exchange. Additionally, she volunteered for the food pantry and visitor’s center in Galesburg, Illinois. She is survived by her companion Charlie Jenkins, three sons, three stepdaughters, 22 grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren.

    Thomas Fisher Railsback ’54, Mesa, Arizona, Jan. 20, 2020. After graduating from Grinnell, Tom married Patricia Sloan ’56 (now deceased) and earned his law degree at Northwestern University Law School in Illinois. He served in the U.S. Army from 1957 to 1959 before returning to the Quad Cities to practice law. Tom had a strong passion for ethical leadership and in 1962 was elected to the Illinois General Assembly as a Republican state representative, where he served for two terms. In 1966 he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he represented Illinois’ 19th district for 16 years. He was the second ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee and a key member during the Nixon presidency. Following his time in Congress, Tom worked briefly for the Motion Picture Association of America, served as Washington coordinator for the Federal Judges Association, and represented national communications and entertainment companies through his law firms. Survivors include his second wife Joyelyn Railsback; four daughters, including Kathryn Railsback ’80; four stepchildren, six grandchildren, and 12 stepgrandchildren.

    John H. Stroupe ’57, Kalamazoo, Michigan, Nov. 8, 2019. The only child of professional musicians, John was himself an accomplished pianist as well as a Chicago Cubs fan. After graduating from Grinnell, where he met his wife Nancy Homan Stroupe ’59, John earned a doctoral degree in English literature from the University of Rochester in 1962. He taught there, at Iowa State University, and at Western Michigan University, from which he retired in 2001. In 1967 he co-founded an international journal of dramatic criticism, Comparative Drama, which he also edited until 1998. He also edited or co-edited 10 volumes of critical essays and wrote 100 professional articles, reviews, and freelance pieces. Survivors include his wife of 60 years, three sons, and three grandchildren.

    Edward A. Fleig ’58, New Port Richey, Florida, Oct. 9, 2019. Ed worked in advertising for more than 30 years. He loved trains and volunteered for a large model railroad in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Survivors include his daughter and two grandsons.

    Judith Laird Griffin ’59, Appleton, Wisconsin, Nov. 21, 2019. Judith graduated from Lawrence University and earned a master’s in education from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. She was the first teacher for autistic children in the Appleton school district. She was a lifelong advocate for children with special needs. She was also interested in genealogy. A descendant of Barnum and Bailey circus partner James L. Hutchinson, Judith became involved in the Circus Historical Society, serving as its president from 2010 to 2013. Survivors include her three children, five grandchildren, and two great-granddaughters.

    John A. Kujawa ’60, Snellville, Georgia, July 18, 2019. After graduating, John created his own consulting firm, Phoenix Business Consultants, and he served as commissioner for the Woodridge Park District in Illinois. He enjoyed horseback riding and golfing and served as the parish photographer for St. Oliver Plunkett Catholic Church in Snellville. He celebrated life by capturing special moments like children meeting with Santa. He is survived by his spouse Jackie Moss Kujawa ’59, two children, and five grandchildren.

    Dr. Lyle E. Brumley ’61, Allen, Texas, Dec. 17, 2019. After Grinnell, Lyle earned a master’s in biology and taught for a year at Loyola University of Chicago before pursuing a degree from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. The second- and third-year students were surprised to discover that he was the author of one of their textbook chapters. Lyle worked for 50 years as a small-animal private-practice veterinarian in the Chicago area and his hometown of Ottumwa, Iowa. He also served as chief of staff of the Illinois Animal Welfare League. He is survived by his wife Barbara Treat Brumley ’63; three children, including his daughter Diane Brumley Marty ’92 (and son-in-law Kirk Marty ’90); and 12 grandchildren.

    Nancy Burgeson Anderson ’62, Brattleboro, Vermont, Dec. 7, 2019, of late-stage cancer. Nancy studied fine arts and elementary education at Grinnell. She taught elementary school in the Kansas City area and Illinois for a few years and helped manage property while her first husband, the Rev. Ronald Fournier, pursued his career. In 1990 she relocated to Vermont and worked as a substitute teacher for many years. She created her own stationery and greeting cards through her own publications business. She also met her second husband, Alan Anderson, with whom she published a book, Meeting God in the Breakdown Lane. She is survived by five daughters, eight grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

    Dr. Thomas J. Brobyn ’62, Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, Oct. 9, 2019. Thomas majored in biology before earning his medical degree at Temple University in 1966. After a general surgery residency, he served in the Army Medical Corps in Saigon during the Vietnam War. His decorations included a Bronze Star. After his military service, he completed a plastic surgery residency and went into practice. He was also an assistant professor of surgery at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and Temple University Hospital. He retired in 2008. Survivors include Laura Brobyn, his wife of 40 years, and two children.

    Dr. Carol Scott ’65, Omaha, Nebraska, Dec. 12, 2019. Carol was pre-med at Grinnell and earned her medical degree from Nebraska University Medical School, where she was one of only a few women at the time. After completing a residency in gastroenterology, Carol opened her own practice. She served as many as she could and loved spending much of her time caring for the elderly and patients in nursing care facilities. She was also an accomplished pianist who loved to attend operas. Survivors include her ex-husband Dr. Stuart Oxford, son, and sister, Judith Scott ’68.

    Patimah Hasan Fouts ’71, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Nov. 5, 2019. Tima was born in Malaysia and attended Grinnell on a Fulbright Scholarship. She graduated in just three years with a major in economics. She worked as the city of Cedar Rapids’ equal employment opportunity officer before taking a job in finance with Rockwell Collins. Survivors include Terry Fouts, her husband of nearly 50 years.

    John A. Robinson ’71, Warrenville, Illinois, Nov. 13, 2019. John is survived by his two daughters and five grandchildren.

    Mary Pampolini-Roberts ’73, Gwynedd, Wales, United Kingdom, June 30, 2019, after a long struggle with multiple sclerosis. Mary was an academic, published poet, and painter who traveled widely after leaving Grinnell. She was very fond of Grinnell and attributed much of her later successes to her time here. She leaves her husband Iwan Roberts, daughter Oriana, and son Tristan with cherished memories of her creativity and love of life.

    Betsy Parsons ’76, South Portland, Maine, Sept. 5, 2019, due to complications of myelodysplastic syndromes. She developed a passion for music and social justice, which she shared wherever she was a learner or a teacher. Betsy taught high school English for 30 years. In 1996, she helped establish the Southern Maine chapter of the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network in order to make schools safe for students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. She led the way for LGBTQ public school teachers by coming out in 1998. She was also a national leader in fighting for LGBTQ rights, including marriage equality, and received many awards for her civil justice advocacy.

    Eric L. Davis ’77, Waterloo, Iowa, Dec. 12, 2019. Eric attended Grinnell College on a tennis scholarship and later joined the Air Force. During his service, he filmed military commercials for television and later worked for KWWL in Waterloo as a camera operator for sports events. Later, he worked as a fork-truck driver at Ferguson Enterprises. He is survived by his mother, siblings, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

    Julie Claus De Blaey ’82, Phoenix, Arizona, Oct, 19, 2019, due to ovarian cancer. She majored in English and biology at Grinnell and worked for several years in banking and the legal field before marrying in 1991. She enjoyed being a full-time homemaker. She is survived by her husband Dave De Blaey, three children, and three grandchildren.

    Jeffrey C. Raymond ’85, Baltimore, Maryland, Oct. 27, 2019. Survivors include his wife Beth Raymond and son Seth.

    Theresa Kirland Conder ’93, Boca Raton, Florida, July 29, 2019, of breast cancer. She graduated from Nova Southeastern University with a degree in business and worked in her family’s automobile business. She raced cars and later managed a professional race team. She was an avid reader and loved all kinds of music. Survivors include her two sons.

Winter 2019

  • Roberta Lincoln Greenspon ’43, Sea Cliff, New York, Nov. 23, 2017.

    Margaret Samuelson Walker ’43, Poulsbo, Washington, Sept. 8, 2019. After Grinnell, Margaret earned her master’s at Purdue University and then taught in Hammond, Indiana. When she lived in San Diego, she was an active volunteer with the Mission Hills United Church of Christ, Walkabout International, the San Diego Women’s Club, and the Scripps Ranch High School Library volunteers. Her survivors include three children, three grandchildren, and a great-grandson.

    Mary Parsons Burkett ’48, Portage, Michigan, Aug. 20, 2019. Mary began her musical career very early on when she sang at her local Congregational Church. At Grinnell, Mary studied education and then earned a master’s in vocal music from the University of Michigan. She worked as an elementary school teacher and choir director. In the late 1960s, she and her husband Charley Burkett helped start the Paw Paw Village Players in Paw Paw, Michigan, and later purchased the playhouse that still puts on many players’ productions. Mary is survived by four children, 10 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

    Muriel “Scottie” Scott Harkee ’48, Glendora, California, Aug. 10, 2019.

    Lee H. Baker ’49, Charleston, South Carolina, Sept. 8, 2019. Lee joined the U.S. Navy in 1942, serving on two aircraft carriers and a submarine chaser, primarily in the Pacific, during World War II. After Grinnell, he completed graduate work in public administration at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. In 1950 he married Carolyn Pitz. Lee worked for the Pentagon for 30 years in offices related to naval operations. For 16 years after that he was a self-employed financial management consultant to the U.S. House Appropriations Committee. Survivors include six children, nine grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
    Joann Pitcher ’49, Chicago, June 21, 2019.

    Ray J. Mourer ’49, Richland, Iowa, July 19, 2019. Ray served in the U.S. Army in the Pacific theater during World War II. He married Winnie McNeese of Grinnell in 1946. His interest in conservation led to his service on the Washington County (Iowa) Conservation Board, and in 1972 he received the State of Iowa Conservation Award. His survivors include four children, eight grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.

    Patricia Sholders Spencer ’49, San Antonio, Aug. 14, 2019. Patricia attended Grinnell as a Younker Scholar and graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1949. After receiving her teaching certificate from California State University, Long Beach, she taught French in public schools in Ohio and Oregon. She earned her master’s at Portland State University in 1972. Her husband Gordon Spencer’s U.S. Air Force career took them around the world. Patricia is survived by three children, six grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

    Dale W. Christison ’50, Rancho Palos Verdes, California, Aug. 7, 2019. After serving in the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific during World War II, Dale attended Grinnell and met his future wife, Barbara Anderson Christison ’50. Dale taught high school for many years, including his first three in Grinnell. He also coached many successful track and football teams. He was an avid stamp collector, a talented woodworker, and loved to travel with Barbara, visiting all 50 states over the years. Dale is survived by his wife of 69 years, five children, and eight grandchildren.

    Marian Scott Dillingham ’52, Carol Stream, Illinois, Sept. 7, 2019. After graduating from Grinnell, Marian taught grade school in Iowa before moving to Chicago. There she met her husband Bruce Dillingham at the YMCA; they married in 1960. Marian had a passion for evangelical missions. She and Bruce served as short-term assistant missionaries in Peru, where she taught Spanish. For Grinnell, Marian served as a regional volunteer from 2000 to 2005. Helping others was something she enjoyed. Her survivors include three children and six grandchildren.

    Thomas W. Ohrbeck ’52, Edmonds, Washington, April 3, 2019.

    Richard M. Combs ’53, Laguna Woods, California, May 31, 2019.

    Sally Goen Maurer ’53, Iowa City, Iowa, Sept. 9, 2019. An Iowa native, Sally also attended the University of Iowa.

    Lucy Wilson Sly ’53, Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey, July 1, 2018. Through her work as a teacher and a counselor, Lucy touched many lives. Survivors include two daughters and two grandsons.

    Arthur “Bud” Heusner Jr. ’54, Bluffton, South Carolina, Aug. 30, 2019.

    Cecil C. Smith ’54 Jr., Chicago, Sept. 5, 2019. Cecil was fond of humor and puns. He retired as the circulation manager for the Chicago Tribune. He is survived by his wife Suzanne Johnsen Smith ’56; three children; nine grandchildren, including Alexandra Schmitt ’13 and Margaret Schmitt ’15; a great-granddaughter; and several nieces and nephews, including Bruce Johnsen ’82 and Gweneth Johnsen ’85.

    Talbert E. Dowling III ’55, Washington, Maryland, Aug. 20, 2019. Talbert was a master electrician in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Survivors include two children and three grandchildren.

    John P. Herman ’56, Colville, Washington, Sept. 24, 2019. In 1951, home for Christmas break after his first term at Carleton College, Jack discovered that all his friends had joined the U.S. Navy, so he did too. He attended medical corps school at Bainbridge Naval Training Center in Maryland and served for several months in Korea until the truce in 1953. After his discharge from the navy, Jack finished his undergraduate work at Grinnell and then attended the University of Iowa Medical School, graduating in 1961. He met his wife Jobyna “Joby” Ann Rankin while in medical school. Most of his medical practice was spent in Colville, Washington. Jack’s survivors include his wife of 61 years, three children, 12 grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

    Le Roy “Lee” Jacobs ’56, Minneapolis, Sept. 14, 2019. Lee died from complications due to Alzheimer’s disease. He met his wife Josephine Pondelicek Jacobs ’56 at Grinnell. He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy Reserve and a longtime member of the Lions Club. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, three children, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

    R. Wayne Ohline ’56, Socorro, New Mexico, Sept. 17, 2019. Wayne was a Grinnell volunteer from 1998 to 2017, greeting and interviewing prospective students with the GRASP program. Survivors include his brother, Howard Ohline ’58; sister-in-law, Katherine Davis Ohline ’60; and daughter, Shane Ohline ’89.

    Samuel D. Porter ’56, West Des Moines, Iowa, Aug. 6, 2019. After graduating from Grinnell and marrying Jewel Hendrickson, Sam went to Creighton Medical School and began his surgical residency at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. He practiced medicine in Mason City, Iowa, for 20 years. He was passionate about caring for his patients and dedicated to the continuous improvement of health care in northern Iowa. He retired from medicine in 1986 and began a second career in health care administration. Sam was a member of many medical councils across Iowa and served as president of the Midwest Medical Association. Sam also loved to spend his time as the sideline doctor for the Mason City High School football team. He is survived by his wife of 63 years; four children, including Samuel Porter ’83; and nine grandchildren.

    Henry-York Steiner ’56, Spokane, Washington, Sept. 6, 2019. Hank’s connection to Grinnell was deep. His grandfather was Edward A. Steiner, professor of religion at the College, and for whom Steiner Hall was named. Hank’s time at Grinnell was interrupted by the Korean War. He served as a military policeman for two years before completing his bachelor’s in English. After earning his master’s from Yale University in 1957, Hank began his teaching career at Grinnell as an English instructor from 1957 to 1959. Teaching became his passion and life’s work. He earned a doctorate in English in 1963 at the University of Oregon and then returned to Grinnell as an assistant professor in English from 1964 to 1968 and associate dean 1966–68. Then he was recruited as dean of undergraduate studies at Eastern Washington University, where he served in many different roles. He became professor emeritus on June 13, 2019, having taught EWU students with distinction for 51 years. His areas of interest included folklore, East-West philosophy and religion, and fantasy theory. He was a pre-eminent Tolkien scholar, and his children and grandchildren loved consulting with him on all things Lord of the Rings. Survivors include his wife Lori Flores Steiner; three children; seven grandchildren, including Deborah Berk ’12; brother, David Steiner ’57; and nephew, Henry-York Steiner ’84.

    Maynard F. Swanson Jr. ’57, Wellborn, Florida, Feb. 4, 2019. After graduating from Grinnell, Maynard earned a law degree at Duke University and then served as a judge with the 6th Circuit Court for 30 years. He is survived by Ruthann Frantz Swanson, his wife of 28 years, and three children, four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

    Nancy Slaughter ’58, Minneapolis, July 31, 2019. Nancy completed her bachelor’s and master’s at Macalester College. She began her professional career as an elementary school teacher and later worked in public relations for Winston-Seabury Press. She was a philanthropist serving the Twin Cities on multiple boards for different causes — women’s foundations, humanities commissions, church groups, and more. Her passions were art, arranging flowers, and extensive travel. Nancy is survived by her sister and cousins.

    Beth Dieterly Barnes ’59, Milford, Massachusetts, March 9, 2019. Beth completed her bachelor’s at Miami of Ohio University and a master’s at Northwestern University. She also earned certification in speech therapy, which she provided to preschoolers for more than 50 years, working in Oklahoma, Florida, and Maine. Her survivors include two children and four grandchildren.

    J. Joseph Okumu ’62, Kenya, July 10, 2019, of prostate cancer. Joe, who came to Grinnell slightly older than his peers, studied economics and political science. He played on the College’s first men’s soccer team and was also the team’s unofficial coach, because the official coach, George Drake ’56, didn’t really know soccer. Joe earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in political science at the University of California before returning to Africa, where he taught at several universities in Kenya, Sudan, and Tanzania. He wrote many articles published in the East African Journal analyzing political events in Kenya and at times earned the ire of the country’s security forces due to his forceful critiques. In 1973 Joe received an Alumni Award. His survivors include two children and four grandchildren.
    Patricia Taylor Wilson ’62, Ankeny, Iowa, July 26, 2019. Patricia was active in many local groups and organizations. She enjoyed reading, antiquing, and traveling. She is survived by her husband Richard Wilson, two children, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

    Bruce M. Bell ’63, Barrington, Illinois, Aug. 23, 2019. After receiving his degree from Grinnell, Bruce enlisted in the U.S. Navy and completed officer candidate school in 1965. He served in Vietnam and was awarded a Bronze Star. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati Medical School in 1972 and married Joanne Reinersman that year. Bruce worked as a physician in Barrington until he retired in 2017. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, three children, 10 grandchildren, and his sister, Ann Bell McCarty ’56.

    Robert F. Taylor ’63, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Aug. 19, 2019. Bob graduated from Grinnell High School and Grinnell College, where he majored in music and was active in theatre. He was a talented trombonist and composer, performing in groups big and small. In college, he played in a group led by Herbie Hancock ‘60. When serving in the Peace Corps, Bob learned from the traditions of Latinx jazz musicians in Colombia and Brazil. Upon his return to the United States, he played in a band that backed Motown groups, on tour with Broadway show companies, and in many more groups. Later in his career, he taught Spanish and TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) at Grand Rapids Community College. Survivors include his nephew, Ben Gordon ’11.

    Lureta Kahler ’66, Toledo, Iowa, Aug. 1, 2019. Lureta was a biology major who went on to earn a master’s in teaching from the University of Colorado. She taught high school science and worked in medical research. When she was nearly 40 years old, she enrolled in Logan Chiropractic School in Missouri, graduating in December 1986 with a doctorate of chiropractic medicine. At the time she went back to school, she was amazed at how well her Grinnell education prepared her, even after 20 years. She found joy in her grandsons (whom she homeschooled), her church life, and the large vegetable gardens she maintained. She is survived by her daughter, son-in-law, and their four sons.

    Peggy Gerber ’67, Lansing, Michigan, Jan. 23, 2019. After graduating from Grinnell, Peggy worked for the University of Michigan Mathematical Reviews Department. She was a master gardener and an avid reader of science fiction. She was drawn to animals, especially cats. Wherever she lived, her friends became her family.

    Alice Evans Handy ’67, Bloomington, Minnesota, Sept. 25, 2019. Alice graduated with a bachelor’s in history and American studies and married Phillip T. Handy ’66 on June 17, 1967. She was awarded a fellowship to the University of Minnesota for a master’s in library science and education. In 1970 she became a media specialist in the Burnsville/Eagan (Minnesota) School District, where she remained until retiring in 2004. Alice’s vision and passion was to have the media center be a resource and support for the curriculum objectives of each teacher in the classroom and to encourage the literacy, curiosity, and critical thinking of every student. A frequent presenter at Minnesota Educational Media conferences, Alice published many articles in professional journals. She was a scholar, educator, proud feminist, poet, musician, and genealogist. Survivors include her husband, two daughters, and one grandson.

    John K. Milne ’67, Portland, Maine, Sept. 5, 2019. John loved politics and spent four decades in journalism with United Press International, the Miami Herald, the New Hampshire Times, and the Boston Globe. He was present in 1972 when presidential candidate Edmund Muskie gave his famous “crying” speech that ended up harming his campaign. John wrote about the incident after Muskie’s death in 1996 and didn’t think there were tears. John always had a book project in the works, eventually editing Crosscurrents of Change: Concord, N.H. in the 20th Century, written by local historians. He enjoyed staying up late playing blues guitar, hiking, cooking, and reading to his grandchildren. He is survived by his wife Lisa Milne, two children, and four grandchildren.

    Mata Bowyer Stevenson ’67, Chicago, Sept. 23, 2019. Mata died of Parkinson’s disease. After Grinnell, she earned a master’s in library science at Rutgers. She worked as a writer for Encyclopædia Britannica and as a research librarian for Newsweek magazine. She retired from the library of the Fashion Institute of Technology at the State University of New York. While living in Manhattan, she enjoyed opera, ballet, films, restaurants, and tango dancing. She loved learning and took night classes to learn the Greek language. She had a deep, lifelong love for Chicago. She is survived by husband Arthur Stevenson and brother Paul Bowyer.

    Paul R. Revenko-Jones ’68, Chicago, Aug. 20, 2019. After graduating from Grinnell, Paul went on to earn his master’s from the University of Chicago. He worked as a registered piano technician and co-founded the Chicago School for Piano Technology. Paul loved to write poetry, go sailing, and play music and was an Aikido black belt. He is survived by Oksana Revenko-Jones, his wife of 42 years.

    Nancy Morrison ’69, Pacifica, California, Aug. 13, 2019. After graduating from Grinnell, Nancy earned her master’s in social work from St. Louis University. She moved to San Francisco in 1975 and worked for various social service agencies in the area. In 2014, Nancy retired as a mediator with the San Mateo County Family Court. She was also very active in local politics and community groups, serving on the board of directors of the Pacifica Resource Center for many years. Nancy is survived by her husband Peter Loeb and two stepchildren.

    Karen P. Smith ’69, Chicago, May 5, 2019. Karen was a talented psychologist who provided excellent care to her clients for more than 30 years. A lifelong Chicagoan, she lived unapologetically as a brilliant black woman, doctor, lesbian, and advocate. She uncompromisingly lived her purpose as a caring, dedicated counselor and devotedly guided the healing of others until the end of her life.

    Gwendolyn Carter ’74, Philadelphia, Dec. 19, 2018.

    James “Jimmy” Garst ’79, North Las Vegas, Nevada, July 2019. Survivors include his sister, Sallee Garst Haerr ’74.

    David I. Hennagin ’85, Lakeway, Texas, Aug. 2, 2019. David studied political science at Grinnell and then moved to Los Angeles to work in advertising. It’s also where he met his wife Jean Hagan. David’s career included award-winning campaigns and Super Bowl commercials. Survivors include his wife of 30 years and two daughters.

    John F. Dalal ’87, Chico, California, Sept. 5, 2019. John launched an international fabric design company, Maharaja Me, while living in New York City. He later moved to Oakland to live near his family. He served as a board member for San Francisco Bay Area-based Camp It Up!, the first LGBTQ+ family camp in the United States. John is survived by his husband Aaron Sauberan and their son.

    Ralph W. Nyberg ’88, Manhattan, Kansas, Dec. 21, 2017. Ralph was proud of his bachelor’s in history from Grinnell. He was widely read and had broad tastes in literature and music. He played the cello and also briefly guitar in a rock band. Ralph loved traveling, including family sabbaticals in England and Sweden. He enjoyed street hockey, disc golf, and briefly, cricket. Survivors include his parents, brother, and sister.

    Sean P. Wieser ’93, West Des Moines, Iowa, Oct. 7, 2019. After Grinnell, Sean earned his law degree from Drake University and worked as an attorney for Dallas County (Iowa) for 20 years. He was an active Grinnell volunteer, serving on his class committee from 2005 to 2019, as a regional volunteer beginning in 2010, as a New Student Orientation volunteer in 2015, and as an externship host in 2018 and 2019. He also volunteered with his son’s Cub Scout pack. In his quiet way, he was passionate about craft beer, music, watching sports from his couch, making the world a better place, and his family. Survivors include his wife Emily Wiser, son, and brother, Paul Wieser ’95.

Fall 2019

  • BrownJonathan “Jackie” Brown, professor of biology, died July 25, 2019, at the age of 57, following a car accident. He’d been conducting research in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island.

    After joining the biology department at Grinnell College in 1995, Jackie rose quickly to the rank of full professor. He regularly taught a First-Year Tutorial; Introduction to Biological Enquiry; Organisms, Evolution, and Ecology; Animal Behavior; History of Biological Thought; and Mechanisms of Evolution. Jackie wholeheartedly embraced the liberal arts. He loved not only biology, but also literature, theatre, art, and foreign languages. He played a pivotal role in transforming the biology department’s first-year teaching into a model where students learn to ask questions, develop answers, and then communicate those answers in the way that biologists do. His deep belief in the active nature of practicing biology was reflected in every aspect of his teaching.

    Jackie was admired and loved by his students and colleagues for inspirational teaching, supportive mentoring of student researchers, and dedicated service. His research in evolutionary biology generated dozens of scholarly publications, earned generous support from the National Science Foundation, and left a legacy of numerous former students who themselves became professional scientists.

    Jackie spent countless hours at the Conard Environmental Research Area (CERA), where he served as director and often taught. He integrated long-term research on fire effects in prairie and woodland ecosystems into his biology classes. He also skied at CERA, hunted deer there with friends, and simply enjoyed long walks on the prairie. He was dedicated to helping students find joy in nature and the study of it.

    Jackie attended Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, where he met his wife Rebecca Loew. He completed his doctorate in zoology at Michigan State University’s Kellogg Biological Station in 1989. He completed postdoctoral positions at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, where he also served as a visiting assistant professor.

    He is survived by his wife and his two children, Amelia Loew and Adam Loew.
    The family would like to direct memorial support for scholarships and CERA. Memorial contributions may be sent to the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, 733 Broad Street, Grinnell, IA 50112. Memorial donations may also be made in Jackie’s memory to The Nature Conservancy, Hawaii Chapter, Kau Preserve, an organization he and his family often contributed and collaborated with friends and colleagues in Hawaii.

    Dorothy Maxeiner Beck ’40, East Wenatchee, Washington, May 24, 2019.

    Fred C. Schaefer ’41, Grayslake, Illinois, April 21, 2019.

    Elaine Capps Heskett ’42, Downers Grove, Illinois, Dec. 28, 2018. Elaine is survived by two children and two grandchildren.

    Jean Bates Nelson ’42, Spartanburg, South Carolina, June 9, 2019. A native of Grinnell, Jean moved to New York City in 1945 to work for ABC, where she met her husband Harry Nelson on her first day. After retiring in 1990, she and Harry enjoyed many cruises and trips around the world. Jean ardently supported the arts. She is survived by two sons, two grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

    George C. Scott ’43, St. Petersburg, Florida, May 14, 2019. George attended Grinnell College until his junior year, then joined the Navy during World War II. He became a pilot and trained fighter pilots in California and Florida. After the war, he spent his entire professional career working in photo finishing for three different companies. In the waning days of his job, George split his time between work and the golf course. He is survived by two children, three grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.

    Robert D. Watkins ’44, Bettendorf, Iowa, May 17, 2019. Robert was a member of his class committee from 2004 to 2019. Survivors include his children, Suzanne Watkins Klein ’65 and David Watkins ’67.

    Norman K. Peters ’46, Granger, Indiana, March 16, 2019. During World War II, Norman served as a U.S. Navy ensign at a hospital for wounded soldiers returning from combat. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Purdue University. An aerospace engineer at Bendix Corp. (now Honeywell), Norm was integral in the design and development of the Typhoon and Talos missiles. In 1960, he joined Hewlett Packard Corp. and worked directly with Bill Hewlett. After marrying, he and his wife moved back to South Bend, Indiana, where Norm resumed his career with Bendix. He was granted two U.S. patents throughout his career. He is survived by his wife Mary Landram Peters, two children, and two grandchildren.

    Kathleen Van Trigt Persons ’47, Granada Hills, California, March 21, 2019. After graduating from Grinnell College, Kay moved to Van Nuys, California, to pursue a career with American Mortgage and Lending. In 1953, she became an escrow officer, and by 1965 she was an executive escrow officer at Manufacturers Bank in Encino, California. She was married to Erwin “Bud” Persons Jr. for 70 years. Kay was very involved in the Catholic Church, the Arts Council at California State University-Northridge, Alzheimer’s Association, American Cancer Society, and VFW and was a leader of many organized bridge clubs.

    David C. Jelinek ’49, Bluemont, Virginia, May 11, 2019. Before coming to Grinnell in 1945 and majoring in history, David served as a bombardier on a B-24 with the 458th Bombardment Group, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. While a student at Grinnell, he studied at the University of Stockholm for three semesters. David entered the Foreign Service and with his wife Dorothy was assigned as vice consul in Venice and Palermo, Italy, and Salzburg, Austria. In 1961 he was detailed to the John F. Kennedy White House, where he was engaged in executive recruiting. He transferred to and retired from the U.S. Department of Justice. After retiring in 1979, David was very active in local community service. He is survived by his wife of 68 years; three sons, including Richard Jelinek ’74; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

    The Rev. Don R. Yungclas ’50, Grinnell, Iowa, April 15, 2019. After graduating from Grinnell, Don attended Chicago Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1955. He and his wife Patricia Packard ’51, whom he met on a blind date, were married in 1949. Don served as a pastor in churches in Washington state, Iowa, Nebraska, and Illinois. He spent the latter half of his career as a conference minister in several different states. He was awarded the Grinnell College Alumni Award in 2013. In 2015, Don and Pat moved back to Grinnell and lived in the Mayflower Community. Survivors include his wife; sister-in-law, Karen Kraft Packard ’54; brother-in-law, B. Gordon Packard ’58; nephew, Bruce Packard ’81; five children; 10 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren.

    Richard M. Boehmler ’51, Missoula, Montana, May 30, 2019. Dick met his wife Doris Cozzens Boehmler ’49 at Grinnell. He transferred to the University of Iowa and earned his doctorate in 1953. As a child, Dick suffered from severe stuttering. He developed an extremely effective model for speech therapy that cured his own stuttering and helped hundreds of clients overcome theirs. He helped found the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Montana. He was also an environmental and wilderness activist. Survivors include his wife of nearly 70 years; brother, Robert Boehmler ’52; three children; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

    William A. Hall ’51, Farmington, New Mexico, May 19, 2019. An Iowa native, Bill studied at Pacific University and Grinnell College and earned his doctorate of optometry from Southern Illinois College of Optometry. After practicing in the U.S. Navy for several years, Bill decided to set up his practice in New Mexico. He loved his career and remained in practice until he was 84. Bill served as a city councilman and was praised for his committed service of enriching the community. He is survived by his wife Suzanne Lynn Hall, four children, and nine grandchildren.

    Jean Barnett Kramer ’52, Midland, Michigan, July 6, 2018. Jean attended Grinnell College for two years then left to train as an X-ray technician. Jean was a devoted member of Knox Presbyterian Church and served in its Stephen Ministry. She enjoyed golfing, playing bridge, swimming, biking, and vacationing in Maui, Hawaii. All her life, Jean was a diehard Chicago Cubs fan and made sure that she lived long enough to see them win the World Series. Above all, she loved being with her family. She is survived by her three sons, two stepsons, eight grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

    Charles E. Dunham ’53, Montpelier, Virginia, May 1, 2019. Chuck served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. After graduating from Grinnell College, he worked for Quaker Oats Co. for 30 years and retired as plant manager of its frozen food plant in Jackson, Tennessee. Chuck was named man of the year by the Jackson Chamber of Commerce in 1987. He was invested in his local community, serving on the boards of the Boy Scouts of America and Jackson Arts and on the Council Advisory Board of Lambuth University in Jackson, now part of the University of Memphis. Chuck is survived by two children, one stepdaughter, and six grandchildren.

    Diana Kratoville Garoian ’53, Carbondale, Illinois, April 20, 2019. Diana attended Grinnell College for two years then graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a bachelor’s in education. A lifelong member of Alpha Chi Omega, a member of Southern Illinois University Women’s Club, and a Cub Scout leader, Diana was always invested in the communities around her. She loved to work in her Japanese garden. Survivors include two children and two grandchildren.

    William “Neale” Kelley ’53, Lincoln, Nebraska, May 10, 2019. Neale completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of Iowa. He worked in banking for many years, retiring in 1997 as senior vice president of First National Bank in Fairbury, Nebraska. Survivors include his wife Patricia Vriezelaar Kelley, three children, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

    Donald W. Pederson ’53, Lincoln, Nebraska, June 2, 2019. Don earned his law degree at the University of Nebraska and started his career first as deputy county attorney in Scotts Bluff County and later in private practice, building his own firm. In 1996 he was appointed to the Nebraska legislature and eventually served 10 years, after which he was term-limited. He is survived by his wife June Remington Pederson, four sons, 12 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.

    Larry “Nick” Nickander ’54, Edina, Minnesota, Feb. 26, 2019. After Grinnell, Nick served four years in the U.S. Air Force as part of Strategic Air Command and piloting B-25s. Following his military career, he spent most of his time in the work force as a manufacturer’s representative for Broyhill Industries. His favorite pastimes were boating, telling stories, and enjoying the serenity of his cabin on Big Sandy Lake. Nick was a longstanding member of the American Legion and Presidents Club of the North Central Home Furnishings Association. He is survived by his wife Vivette Nickander, two children, and a granddaughter.

    Nancy “Anna” Hummel Dallner ’55, St. Paul, Minnesota, Sept. 1, 2018. In her first semester at Grinnell College, Nancy was named to the dean’s list and earned the Phi Beta Kappa book award for academic excellence in the end of her first year. She and her husband moved to the Twin Cities, where they raised their family and enjoyed neighborhood bridge parties. Nancy worked for Target Corp. managing store technology. After moving around the Midwest and to Arizona briefly, they returned to Minnesota in 2015; and Nancy enjoyed her days reading and cheering on her favorite sports teams. Nancy is survived by her husband Robert Dallner, four children, and three grandchildren.

    Charles A. Gessler ’55, Torrance, California, April 27, 2019. Charles was a distinguished public defender who worked diligently to provide legal advocacy on behalf of those accused of crimes. He was a longstanding member of St. Cross Episcopal Church.

    Carolyn Raffety Knutson ’55, St. Paul, Minnesota, May 27, 2019. Carolyn acted as a class agent in 2019. Survivors include her brother, Seymour Raffety ’54; niece, Jennifer Peek ’13; three children; and six grandchildren.

    H. Keith Long ’55, Fort Collins, Colorado, May 17, 2019. In 2000, Keith retired from his career as a chemist in Denver. He loved vintage cars, card games, computer games, woodworking, sailing, camping, and reading. His true passion was for flying. As a student, Keith kept his plane at a nearby airfield in Grinnell. He is survived by his wife Kay Long, three children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

    Margaret Barnard Stubbs ’56, Baltimore, June 15, 2019. Peggy worked as a child welfare specialist at the state and local levels in Maryland for more than 20 years. She is survived by her siblings, Elizabeth Barnard Brooke ’54 and Thomas Barnard ’61.

    Carol Gibson Selby ’57, Davenport, Iowa, June 2, 2019. After college, Carol worked until she started a family, then returned to the work force when her children were all in school. She worked for the Davenport Community School District and retired as an administrative assistant after 31 years. Carol always looked forward to family fishing trips to Minnesota and loved to visit the family farm. She is survived by three children, six grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren.

    Kathleen Paasch Hunter ’59, Washington, D.C., Nov. 5, 2018. Kathy enjoyed reading and had a keen interest in history and political affairs. She loved raising children and took joy in the innocence and curiosity of all babies and toddlers. She is survived by her husband John Hunter, four children, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

    Harris E. Ulery ’59, Newark, Delaware, June 18, 2019. After Grinnell, Harris earned his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the California Institute of Technology. He spent his career as a laboratory research chemist with DuPont in Delaware, where he occasionally worked on projects beyond the confines of chemistry. His thirst for knowledge never waned, and he pursued a variety of hobbies that included languages, aviation, computer programming, woodworking, birding, and gardening. For many years he volunteered as a tutor at Delaware School for the Deaf and Literacy Delaware. His memories from Grinnell provided a rich source for stories he loved to share. He is survived by his former wife, Dana Tanzer Ulery ’59; two children; and two grandchildren.

    Janet “Jill” Gleysteen Dill ’60, Wilmington, Delaware, May 13, 2019. Jill is survived by her sister, Glenore Gleysteen Jerrard ’69.

    John “Jack” Pitts ’61, Santa Rosa, California, May 13, 2019.

    Patricia Haley ’63, May 19, 2019. Pat studied art and French at Grinnell and completed her degree at San Francisco State University in 1964. She taught art at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Day School in San Mateo, California. In 1980, she became a realtor in San Mateo and the Santa Maria valley. Pat was the sales manager at multiple firms throughout her career. Always active in the community, she was a regular and passionate contributor at Rotary, Kiwanis, and Minerva. She enjoyed traveling the world and was a lifelong lover of the arts. She is survived by three children and four grandchildren.

    The Rev. Allen L. Lewis ’63, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, April 29, 2019. Allen attended Grinnell College and Augustana College before embarking on a 13-year career in the trucking industry, rising to president of Midwest Coast Transportation. Allen returned to Augustana College and received a bachelor’s in 1980. He later went on to earn his master’s of divinity from the University of the South, School of Theology. He served as a pastor in towns across the Midwest, including Sioux Falls and Sturgis, South Dakota. Even retiring in 2012, he offered continued support to local churches in Lahaina, Hawaii. Allen is survived by his wife Brenda Anderson Lewis, four children, and five grandchildren.

    Mary Barnard Litts ’64, Las Cruces, New Mexico, July 5, 2019. Mary graduated from the University of Iowa after attending Grinnell. She worked at the University of Iowa for more than 40 years in a number of different positions, finally as the director of volunteer services at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. While director, she created a number of programs meant to improve the patient and family experience, such as a certified dog visitation service. Mary was also involved in the Iowa Directors of Volunteer Services, Rotary International, and the League of Women Voters in New Mexico. She is survived by her husband Stephen Litts, two children, and two grandsons.

    Mary Jane Cooper ’68, North Port, Florida, May 20, 2019. Janie was a member of the synchronized swim team and the board of Associated Women Students at Grinnell. She worked as a computer programmer in Iowa, Minnesota, and Massachusetts for many years before moving to Florida. She was a successful executive assistant and director of marketing for a local general contractor. Her many personal passions included playing tennis and writing letters to the editor of the local paper, many of which were featured in print. She served on her class committee from 2006 to 2011. Janie is survived by her son and daughter and two grandchildren.

    Karen Smith ’69, Chicago, May 5, 2019.

    Kathleen Ogle Ronnebaum ’72, Baileyville, Kansas, May 7, 2019. Kathleen graduated from Grinnell with a major in history with an emphasis on Slavic studies. She earned a master’s in elementary education from Emporia State University and later a master’s in special education from Kansas State University. Kathleen taught gifted students for most of her career and led many academic competitions such as a Geography Bee, Scholar’s Bowl, and math activities. She was a founding member of the Seneca Quilt Guild, taught quilting lessons, and was regionally recognized for her artistic ability. Kathleen is survived by her husband Elmer Ronnebaum and two children.

    Joyce Nakamura-Tanoue ’73, Honolulu, May 10, 2019. Joyce graduated from Grinnell and returned home to Hawaii, where she earned her medical degree at the University of Hawaii. She completed her OB-GYN training and worked at the Honolulu Medical Group before joining Kaiser Permanente Group. Joyce retired in 2014 after 28 years with Kaiser. She enjoyed making crafts and playing the guitar and piano. She is survived by her husband Ross Tanoue and two sons.

    Robert C. Creasey ’74, Waterloo, Iowa, Sept. 21, 2018. After graduating from Grinnell, Bob earned his law degree at the University of Iowa College of Law. He spent most of his career teaching at Western Iowa Tech Community College. He loved grilling fine cuts of steak and was a practiced photographer. Bob served on his class committee from 2004 to 2007 and was a class solicitor from 2010 to 2012. Survivors include his brother, Bill Creasey ’69; nephew, David Creasey ’04; and two children.

    Dennis E. Lamb ’80, Grinnell, Iowa, May 29, 2019. Dennis grew up in Grinnell and graduated from Grinnell High School and Grinnell College. In his youth, he and his brother, Dale Lamb ’78, made a business venture in shoveling snow and mowing lawns for $3 to $5 per house. After college, he taught in the Grinnell School district as a full-time and substitute teacher. Dennis was an athletic and artistic child and balanced both of those pastimes well into adulthood. Survivors include his brother; sister-in law, Mary Finn Lamb ’80; and parents, sister, and a nephew.

    Kevin J. Lang ’83, Sunnyvale, California, April 29, 2019. Kevin was a math major and a member of the Grinnell Singers. He won the Archibald Prize his senior year, awarded to the student with the highest grade point average. He earned a doctorate in computer science in 1989 from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and worked as a computer science researcher for several different companies, including Yahoo, which recognized him as a “master inventor” in 2015. He published more than 30 research papers during his time with Yahoo. Survivors include his parents; brother, David Lang ’87; and two half-sisters.

    David N. Mitchell ’90, Pelham, New York, June 22, 2019. After David majored in English at Grinnell, he worked for various companies in Chicago before returning to his native New York. He married Lestiyani Mitchell in 2008. Most recently he worked for Stroz Friedberg, a risk management Aon company, as a project manager. David was a voracious reader, had a deep interest in history, and loved listening to jazz. He is survived by his wife, three children, his mother, and his sister.

    Heather Strait ’93, Elbert, Colorado, June 16, 2019. She is survived by two children.


    Leota May Brown, Chesterfield, Missouri, April 28, 2019. Leota was 89. She spent many years at Grinnell College as secretary with the athletics department. She is survived by a daughter, five grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.