Fern Bruce McKinnon ’35, Spencer, Iowa, Dec. 23, 2017. Fern was 105 when she died. She married Gordon McKinnon in 1930 and graduated from the University of Iowa in 1935. The couple made their home in Spencer, Iowa, where they owned and operated the movie theatre until 1970. Both had private pilot’s licenses and flew their own plane to Florida three times. Fern and Gordon had no children of their own. Fern is survived by a nephew and his children.
Marilyn Tuteur Eppstein ’44, Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 22, 2018. Marilyn loved painting, sewing, music, and travel but especially loved to be with all her family, including her late husband Richard C. Eppstein. She was a member of Temple Shomer Emunim. Marilyn is survived by a son, daughter, six grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.
Blanche Lutcha Komarek ’45, Northport, New York, Oct. 7, 2018. A longtime resident of Northport, Blanche lived a full and adventurous life, seizing every opportunity to enrich her world. She loved her time at Grinnell and furthered her education at Adelphi University and Long Island University-Post. Blanche first worked as a publisher for McGraw-Hill but spent most of her life working in the Hauppauge Unified School District. She enjoyed her leisurely pursuits of ceramics and watercolor painting, traveled extensively, and loved her family, garden, and community. She is survived by her daughter, four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Suzanne Schaefer McConnell ’45, Edmonds, Washington, July 28, 2018. Suzanne served in the U.S. Navy during World War II as a navigational trainer, where she met her husband Neil Lathrop McConnell. She is survived by her three children, four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
Shirley Bell Gooley ’46, La Grange, Illinois, Aug. 10, 2018. Shirley grew up in Oak Park, Illinois, where she played piano and violin and belonged to the drama club. She met her husband John Gooley ’45 at Grinnell, and they married in 1944 before John began his naval service in the South Pacific. Shirley worked as a reporter for the Oak Lawn Independent, as well as various other organizations. Along with her lifelong interest in bridge, she enjoyed sewing, cooking, reading, and traveling, and new technology, playing iPad games with her grandchildren and mentoring friends on how to use Skype. Shirley is survived by three daughters, six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
LaDeane “Laddie” Osler Casey ’47, Scottsdale, Arizona, Dec. 1, 2018. Laddie died after a brief and courageous battle with cancer. Born in Griswold, Iowa, she married her childhood sweetheart, Donald Casey ’50, in 1947 upon his return from service with the Marines. After raising their six children, Laddie returned to college at the age of 50 and earned a master’s in psychology from Drake University, then a doctorate from Arizona State University. For the next 25 years, she practiced as a psychologist in Scottsdale. Laddie won an Alumni Award in 2006 and served as a class agent from 1987 until her death and on her class committee from 2004 until 2017. She is survived by her spouse, five children, nine grandchildren, and two great-granddaughters.
Marillyn Green Muldoon ’48, Newport Beach, California, July 25, 2018. Marillyn attended Grinnell before graduating from Duquesne University. In 1949, she married John Muldoon and embraced the life and responsibilities of a military wife, including providing her five children exposure to the cultures of France and Japan. Marillyn enjoyed her cats, gardening, and the San Diego cultural scene, including classical music, the opera, ballet, and plays. She was a founding member of the Friends of Bonita-Sunnyside Library and a lifetime member of the San Diego Zoological Society. Marillyn is survived by five children, eight grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter.
Jacqualyn Day Platt ’48, Osawatomie, Kansas, Sept. 1, 2018. Jackie attended Grinnell and then Iowa State University, where she received a bachelor’s in home economics. She spent the next several years teaching high school home economics in Iowa, married Donald Franklin Platt in 1953, and then moved to Kansas, where they raised their three children. She earned her teaching license while raising her children and returned to the classroom full time for nearly 20 years and then as a substitute teacher in her retirement. Jackie was active as a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Osawatomie for 65 years and also served her community as a member of the board of the Osawatomie library and public schools. An avid reader, she also enjoyed playing bridge and cooking, especially with family, and keeping up with the activities and sports of her family. She is survived by three children, eight grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.
Barbara Edmunds ’50, Huntington Beach, California, Oct. 13, 2018.
Sheila Boyer Elwyn ’51, Chicago, Sept. 4, 2018. She is survived by her husband Alexander Elwyn ’51.
Richard D. Georgeson ’51, Denver, Dec. 18, 2018.
David L. Hammer ’51, Newton, Iowa, Dec. 27, 2018. David met his wife Audrey Anna Lowe ’52 while studying at Grinnell, and they married in 1953. He began law school at Northwestern University before being drafted to serve in the Army during the Korean War. He earned his J.D. from the University of Iowa, then moved to Dubuque, Iowa, where he joined the firm of O’Connor, Thomas, McDermott and Wright. In 1988, David founded the law firm of Hammer and Simon. He practiced before federal courts of multiple jurisdictions, including the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition to his legal career, David was a writer of mostly nonfiction books, but especially favored writing poetry and penned two novels in his lifetime. David is considered one of the foremost American authorities on Sherlock Holmes, the detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. After Audrey died in 2011, David reconnected with a childhood friend, Carol Soderblom from Newton, and they married in 2013. David is survived by two children and three grandchildren.
Mary Squires Legg ’51, Palos Verdes Estates, California, Oct. 28, 2018. Born in Chicago, Mary graduated from Grinnell and married Sidney C. Legg ’50 in 1952. Together they moved to Palos Verdes Estates in 1961, where Mary raised several AKC champion beagles. She is survived by her husband, eight children, and 14 great-grandchildren.
Robert E. Miller ’51, Highlands Ranch, Colorado, May 29, 2018. Before graduating from Grinnell, Robert served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He earned his medical degree from the University of Texas-Dallas in 1955 and married Angela Pedrazine in 1956. Robert then served in the U.S. Army as a surgeon and commanding officer in Korea and later Vietnam. After retiring from the Army in 1972, he entered private practice in Kansas, where he practiced for 28 years, treating the people of western Kansas and supervising student and surgery residents from the University of Kansas. He is survived by four children, including his son, Kevin Miller ’82, as well as eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Donald J. Simpson ’51, Farmington, Connecticut, Jan. 6, 2019. Don earned a business degree at Grinnell, which he put to work first at General Electric and later EIS Automotive. He retired as the company’s financial services manager in 1997. He was active in local planning and zoning, helping create a long-term land-use plan for Glastonbury, Connecticut. He enjoyed opera and classical music and was a tremendous reader. Survivors include his wife Dawn Chase Simpson, a son, three stepchildren, two grandchildren, and two stepgrandchildren.
Janet Reinke Jenkins ’52, Albia, Iowa, Aug. 28, 2018. At Grinnell, Janet studied writing, public sector negotiation, mediation, apartment management, and painting. She married James Jenkins ’53 in 1953 and had four daughters. Janet was the first director of the Albia Low Rent Housing Agency, where she set up a housing assistance program. She was also a social worker at the Monroe County Department of Social Services. She was an active volunteer, named Monroe County’s Iowa Volunteer of the Year by Farm Bureau and the governor’s office in 1989, and in 1993 was inducted into the Albia Hall of Fame. She is survived by her husband, four daughters, including Rebecca Jenkins Schultz ’82, 16 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and her sister, Gretchen Reinke Price ’56.
John J. “Swede” Reimers ’52, July 31, 2018. Swede came to Grinnell after serving in the Marine Corps. He loved all types of sports and played basketball and football for Grinnell. He also was a president of Honor G. After Grinnell, John worked for the Sheaffer Pen Co., and the job sent him to many cities throughout the United States. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Suzanne Tornquist Reimers ’51, a son, and a granddaughter.
Douglas D. Klink ’53, Mequon, Wisconsin, Dec. 21, 2018. After Grinnell, Douglas received his M.D. from the University of Iowa in 1956. While conducting his residency in Cincinnati, he met Marcella Enderlin and married in 1959. He served in the U.S. Air Force Medical Corps for three years. Douglas then worked in private practice at Internal Medicine of Milwaukee for 35 years, recognized by peers as a leader in the field of endocrinology, especially in the treatment of diabetes. He continued to serve the medical community well into his retirement, taking on various leadership and teaching roles in medical associations and colleges. Douglas was also an avid golfer, taking up the sport as a kid. He even qualified to compete in the British Open as an amateur while stationed in England. He is survived by four children and four grandchildren.
Harry Alfred Young Jr. ’53, Harwich, Massachusetts, Sept. 29, 2018. Harry played on the tennis team at Grinnell while earning a degree in economics. He then served in the U.S. Army from 1954–56 before studying law at Harvard University, where he met his wife Tinka Hardacker. They were married in 1959 after he graduated from Harvard, and they settled in Oak Park, Illinois. Harry worked as a trial lawyer in Chicago, eventually becoming a partner in the firm Neinstein, Richman, Hauslinger. He is survived by his daughter and two granddaughters.
Marjorie De Neui Creighton ’54, Faribault, Minnesota, Dec. 25, 2018. Marge attended the University of Minnesota for one semester before transferring to Grinnell, where she met her husband Robert Creighton ’53. After Robert’s service in the military ended, they returned to Minnesota, where they raised three daughters. Marge actively participated in the community as a scout leader, where she gained her nickname, “Eddie Eagle.” Marge always had a passion for reading, especially mysteries, and enjoyed being creative through her sewing and knitting. She was an avid Vikings fan and active member of the Congregational Church in Faribault. She shared her love of birds — feeding and watching them —with friends and family alike. Marge developed special relationships with her neighbors and valued time spent with her family, especially with her husband during their 64 years of marriage. She is survived by her husband, their three daughters, seven grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren.
James E. Dimit ’54, Grinnell, Iowa, Dec. 17, 2018. Jim grew up in the Grinnell area and graduated from Grinnell prior to earning a master’s from Drake University. He worked as a biology professor at Truman State University for 36 years and returned to Grinnell in his retirement. Jim enjoyed hunting and fishing and was an avid reader. He is survived by his daughter and granddaughter.
G. Robert Sackett ’54, Perry, Iowa, Dec. 21, 2018. Bob enlisted in the U.S. Army after graduating from Grinnell, serving in a field office in Okinawa before returning to work for Allied Mutual Insurance in Des Moines. He earned a J.D. from Drake University in 1960 and married Ann Marie Bartley. After law school, Bob joined his father and formed the law firm of Willis and Sackett, where he practiced until he was 84. He had a lifelong interest in flying, earning his private pilot license as a teenager and serving on the Perry Airport Commission for many years. Bob is survived by his wife, two daughters, including Joanne Sackett ’90, and a granddaughter.
Thomas H. Thornton ’54, Stamford, Connecticut, Dec. 8, 2018. After Grinnell, Tom served in the U.S. Army. He moved to Los Angeles, where he worked at CBS and met his future wife Diane. Tom continued his career with CBS, then NBC, and later Gannett Radio. He enjoyed sailing and spending time with his family. Tom is survived by his wife, two children, and three granddaughters.
Muriel “Lee” Katter Peterson ’55, Cokato, Minnesota, Oct. 26, 2018. Lee attended Grinnell for one year before transferring to the University of Minnesota, where she majored in humanities. She married Bruce Peterson in 1959 and they raised two children and their dog. Lee was a lover of the arts; once her children were in school, she took classes in studio arts at St. Cloud State University. She enjoyed drawing, painting, screen printing, sculpting, theatre, photography, and wood carving. She also worked at the State Bank of Cokato and was very active in her community, from being den mother to band booster. She is survived by her two children and two grandchildren.
Richard C. Simpson ’55, Binghamton, New York, March 14, 2018. Richard took over his father’s insurance business in Wichita, Kansas, where he and his wife Cynthia Draegert ’56 raised their three sons. Together they built their dream home and started their second life in Colorado’s Crystal River Valley in 1999. He loved travel, good food, fine wine, tennis, golf, scouting, and symphonic music, serving as a board member of the Wichita Symphony. Richard served as a GRASP volunteer from 1998 to 2002. He is survived by his second wife Elida Simpson and two sons, David Simpson ’81 and Mark Simpson ’89.
Anna Robinson Wiesman ’55, Omaha, Nebraska, Nov. 20, 2018. Anna graduated from Grinnell and worked as a speech therapist. Among other charitable work, she was active in Beth El Synagogue Sisterhood and was president of the Central Regional States Women’s League for Conservative Judaism. She is survived by her husband Benjamin Weisman, sister Sally Robinson Schechter ’49, four sons, and seven grandchildren.
Harold L. Wilson Jr. ’55, Gonzales, Texas, Dec. 15, 2018. Harold attended Grinnell and the University of Minnesota. He married Charlotte Brown in 1955 and then served in the U.S. Army in Korea. Harold worked for Nor Best Turkeys and Swift Butterball for several years and later as an inspector for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He loved golf, bowling, and playing bridge and was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Gonzales. Harold is survived by his wife, two sons, and two grandchildren.
John L. Dunlop ’56, Glendale, Arizona, Aug. 28, 2018. Before moving to Phoenix in 1972, John worked in his family’s sausage-making business in Minnesota. In Arizona he owned a small business in water conditioning. He was a longtime supporter of numerous ministries, including Along Side Ministries, an organization helping incarcerated Christian men transition from prison to society. John and his wife Matilda Surridge Dunlop ’56 were married for nearly 62 years. They loved to travel. John is survived by four children and seven grandchildren.
Isabelle Hampton Morgan ’57, Indianapolis, March 27, 2018. Bella is survived by three daughters, seven grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.
Ronald P. Henry ’57, Macomb, Illinois, Dec. 16, 2018. Ron served in the U.S. Navy from 1948–1953, assisting in rescue operations after the USS Hobson collided with the USS Wasp in one of the worst naval disasters in U.S. history. He married his first wife, Roberta Fell ’56, in 1955, with whom he had five children. He married Marie Barber in 1975. After graduating from Grinnell, Ron worked for Motorola for more than 30 years. He spent many decades acting and singing in performances with The Village Players in Oak Park, Illinois. Ron was an amateur photographer, golf enthusiast, bowler, poker player, and avid fisherman. A die-hard Cubs fan, he was finally vindicated for his loyalty with their 2016 World Series victory. Ron is survived by five children, six grandchildren, including Katherine Henry ’06, and four great-grandsons.
Juergen H. Roennau ’57, Mount Prospect, Illinois, Oct. 31, 2018. Juergen, a first-generation German immigrant and U.S. Army veteran, received his bachelor’s from Grinnell and went on to obtain his MBA at Indiana University. He was a generous, kind, and loving man, enjoying the company of family and friends. His world travels created lasting memories for all those he knew. The Roennau Advanced Biology Teaching Laboratory is named after Juergen. He served as honorary marshal in the 2007 Grinnell College Commencement and was a scholarship fund donor, as well as a donor for the Rinefort Scholarship and Barbara Jenkins Roennau ’57 and Patricia Blackmore Scholarship Fund. Juergen is survived by his fiancée Vilma Bell, three children, and seven grandchildren.
Vibert A. Mahanger ’59, Fort Myers, Florida, Oct. 21, 2018. After Grinnell, Vibert earned his M.D. from the University of Rochester and then worked as a solo family practitioner in Churchville, New York, for nearly 30 years. In 2004, he became a physician at the Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic in Fort Myers, where he practiced until his retirement. A visionary who foresaw the future of electronic medical records systems, Vibert designed and implemented his own computer records platform in his Churchville practice.
Carol Fleck Couchenour ’60, Grayson, Georgia, June 10, 2018. She is survived by her husband Joseph Couchenour, her brother David Fleck ’58, two children, and three grandchildren.
Linda Owens Drennan ’60, Ames, Iowa, June 11, 2018. Linda attended Grinnell for two years before marrying Galen Drennan in 1958. She worked as a secretary at Iowa State University for 23 years. Linda was a member of Northminster Presbyterian Church and Beta Sigma Phi sorority. She enjoyed reading, traveling, and volunteering at the local hospital. She is survived by her husband, sister Sharon Owens ’63, two sons, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
S. Joseph Nassif ’60, Winter Park, Florida, Nov. 23, 2018. After Grinnell, Joe earned an MFA from Yale University’s School of Drama and doctorate in theatre history and criticism from the University of Denver. He served as the executive director of the Pittsburgh Playhouse, general manager of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and chairman of the theatre and dance department at Point Park College in Pittsburgh before finding his home at Rollins College in Orlando, Florida. An actor, director, and educator, Joe served as the chair of the Rollins theatre and dance department for more than two decades and produced more than 100 plays in the college’s storied Annie Russell Theatre. He served on his Grinnell class committee from 2004 to 2010. Joe is survived by his two children and four grandchildren.
Grant Fairbanks ’61, Camarillo, California, July 7, 2017. Grant majored in physics at Grinnell and was an outstanding cross country and track runner. He then earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from MIT. In 1962, he married his college sweetheart Ellen Wolz ’63, with whom he had two daughters. Grant worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School, where he published important research on gel staining techniques, research which is still widely used and extensively cited in scientific papers. Grant moved to the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology, where he ran a research lab for 20 years. During that time, he received several awards for his work, including one from the American Cancer Society, and an Alumni Award from Grinnell for his work in red cell membrane research. After retiring, Grant renewed a friendship with a high school classmate, Mary Rawcliffe, and they married in 2003. He is survived by his wife Mary, sister Janet Fairbanks Thomas ’64, two daughters, including Katherine Fairbanks Sargent ’91, a stepdaughter, and six grandchildren.
Cameron B. Hendershot ’62, Evanston, Illinois, Aug. 27, 2017. Cameron served as a social studies teacher to generations at Dalton School in New York City. He was an avid reader of The New York Times and other newspapers and was particularly fond of the crossword puzzles. He is survived by his wife Marilyn Moss, two stepchildren, and four grandchildren.
Ronald K. Goodenow ’63, Northborough, Massachusetts, Oct. 28, 2018. After attending Grinnell, Ron received a master’s from the University of Wyoming. He served on the Grinnell admissions staff while completing a Ph.D. in the history of education from the University of California, Berkeley. He joined the faculty of State University of New York at Buffalo and later Trinity College, focusing his scholarship on race relations and urbanicity in educational history. After leaving academia, he became a consultant, developing training programs for technology companies, but continued to publish scholarly articles. Ron was an avid photographer and loved jazz and classical music, gardening, canoeing, railroads, travel, meeting new people, getting together with friends, and talking politics. He was an active member of Rotary International. He is survived by his wife Carol Shaver Goodenow ’64, two daughters, and three grandchildren.
Harriet E. Hoffman ’64, Arlington, Massachusetts, Nov. 5, 2018. Harriet died after a yearlong battle with acute myeloid leukemia. She worked at Harvard for more than 40 years in the department of economics, serving as the editor of its Quarterly Journal of Economics for many years.
Nancy Wolf Rosenblum ’64, Milford, Connecticut, Oct. 20, 2018. Nancy studied journalism at Grinnell and Oklahoma State University and earned a master’s in social work from Fordham University. For more than 30 years, she ran a private practice providing counseling services. Nancy was an avid tennis and bridge player who loved to garden and lived her last years avoiding winters, always with a book to read. She is survived by her sister, Sally Wolf Robinson ’65, daughter, two stepchildren, and three grandchildren.
Hertha Farmer Chellevold ’65, Mesa, Arizona, May 2018.
Gwendolen Grant Bivens ’67, Atlanta, Georgia, Jan. 4, 2018. After attending Grinnell, Gwen earned a J.D. at Ohio State University. She became the first female assistant city attorney for Battle Creek, Michigan. She went on to serve many years with the Environmental Protection Agency, winning numerous awards for her work on oil pipeline and watershed pollution cases. Fluent in Spanish, Gwen also represented the EPA in Central America on uniform water pollution regulations. She is survived by three children and three grandchildren.
Avram Machtiger ’74, Pittsburgh, Nov. 30, 2018. At Grinnell, Avram majored in psychology and elementary education. He then earned two master’s degrees from the the University of Pittsburgh. Avram served as a member of the Alumni Council from 2004 to 2010, member of his class committee from 2004 to 2017, and GRASP volunteer from 1998 to 2017. He is survived by his partner Lathe Haynes.
Brian S. Gratch ’83, Evanston, Illinois, Nov. 24, 2018. Brian earned an MBA from Kellogg School of Management after graduating from Grinnell, where he met the love of his life, Michelle Ney ’85. His professional career spanned the worlds of marketing and technology, starting at Motorola Mobility and recently as chief marketing officer of Xaptum. Brian had a profound love of travel and exploration, and he enjoyed spending summers at his family’s Montana home hiking and exploring. More than anything, Brian adored his family, relishing in time spent sharing stories and laughter, as well as music from his jazz collection. He is survived by his wife, four children, niece Hannah Ney ’10, and nephew Jesse Ney ’13.
James M. Howard ’91, Clifden, Ireland, July 6, 2018. Jamie died after a brief illness in County Galway, his home for more than 20 years. He loved traveling, live music, and meeting friends in pubs. Jamie worked as a freelance photographer and was the official events photographer for the Clifden Arts Festival. Jamie was a GRASP volunteer from 2006 to 2017. He is survived by his two brothers.
Tasman “Taz” Grout ’16, Lawrence, Kansas, Oct. 15, 2018. Taz died unexpectedly of a ruptured aneurysm one week after her 25th birthday. She grew up in Lawrence, Kansas, and graduated from Grinnell with a degree in anthropology and Spanish. An avid traveler, she visited more than 30 countries and made friends all over the world. She put her Spanish to good use, working with Spanish-speaking families as a match specialist and big sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters. She is survived by her mother, three fathers, eight sisters, and one brother.