In Memoriam

Winter 2017

  • Robert H. Douglass ’39, Iola, Wis., Nov. 18, 2016. Born in Hayward, Wis., Robert attended both Grinnell College and University of Wisconsin-Stout. After earning his B.S. at Stout, he went on to receive his master’s degree in education. Robert taught industrial arts at public schools for 19 years before transitioning to a job with the U.S. State Department establishing vocational education schools. This took him to many countries around the world, including Panama, Vietnam, Thailand, and Afghanistan. Robert returned to Wisconsin for his retirement, where he passed the time woodworking in his basement, writing about his life, and cheering on the Green Bay Packers. He is survived by three children, six grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

    Anita Harrison Dawson ’40, Lake Oswego, Ore., July 6, 2017. Anita died at the age of 99 doing what she loved best — reading a history book. She majored in piano performance and history at Grinnell and taught public school music, history, and math. She enjoyed reading, gardening, and traveling. Survivors include her two children, six grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, niece Anita Harrison Beutel ’69, and many other nieces and nephews.

    Jack W. Frye ’43, Charles City, Iowa, Aug. 2, 2017. Jack was born in Oskaloosa, Iowa, and graduated from Grinnell in 1943. He then served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps in China before returning to school to study law at the University of Iowa. While in Iowa City, he ran into an old friend from Grinnell, Helen Matthews ’43, and they married in 1949. They were together for 64 years until her death in 2014. Jack practiced law in Iowa, serving as county attorney for about 14 years before being appointed an Iowa District Court judge in 1973. He is survived by two children, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. 

    Edward E. Shackelford ’43, Corpus Christi, Texas, Sept. 22, 2017. After studying economics at Grinnell, Ed served in the Army Air Corps in World War II. His subsequent military career was spent in the Air Force Security Service, where he was trained in cryptology and Russian language. Ed loved music, and in his free time he enjoyed playing cards, golfing, and growing roses. He is survived by two children, four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

    Mary Stoeber Richards ’44, Exeter, N.H., June 17, 2017. After attending Grinnell, Mary moved to Los Angeles to await the return of husband William C. Richards Jr. while he served in the U.S. Navy in World War II. She worked as a real estate agent until she retired with William to their lake house in New Hampshire in 1986. Mary was interested in politics and enjoyed golfing and spending time outdoors. She is survived by two children, three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

    William D. Voiers ’44, Eureka Springs, Ark., April 3, 2017. Bill served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in the South Pacific in World War II before going on to found speaker recognition company Dynastat in 1974. He was a member of the Acoustical Society of America, the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, and a former board member of his local animal shelter. His research on the mating rituals of darters was presented all around the world. He died as he wished, wearing his Hawaiian shirt and shorts. Bill is survived by his wife Virginia Voiers, seven children, and four grandchildren.

    Donald W. Martin ’49, Pleasanton, Calif., Aug. 24, 2017. Donald was born in Grinnell, Iowa, and studied English and journalism at Grinnell College. He worked in construction machinery before starting his own advertising agency in the 1970s. Donald was an avid pilot, and enjoyed writing, art, and golf. Survivors include his spouse Joyce Ogle Martin ’47, sibling Ruth Martin Minter ’51, three sons, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

    Marilyn Benson Tucker ’49, Marion, Iowa, May 8, 2017. Marilyn was born in Benson, Iowa, and taught second grade for over 25 years in Cedar Rapids. She was an Iowa Hawkeye fan and enjoyed golf, bridge, and spending time with her family. She is survived by two sons, five grandchildren, and one great-grandson. 

    Carol Runnels Faerber ’51, Dallas, April 28, 2017. Carol showed her appreciation for history and literature by serving as a longtime member of societies in her community including the Lancaster Shakespeare Club and the Daughters of the American Revolution. She is survived by her husband Gordon Faerber ’52, three sons, two granddaughters, and a great-grandson.

    Patricia Galey Hauser ’51, Elmira, N.Y., Aug. 30, 2017. Patricia was born in Chicago and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Grinnell, where she majored in German. Along with raising her own children, Pat sometimes took in foster babies. In her 50s, she trained as a nurse and began working at Bethany and St. Joseph’s Hospital assisting the elderly. Pat loved to sing and found a singing group to join wherever she lived. She was also a prizewinning quilter. Survivors include her spouse David Hauser ’52, three children, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

    Alice Egan Hanson ’52, Golden, Colo., March 22, 2017. Allie worked as a teacher for five years before becoming a full-time mother. She adored the natural beauty of Colorado and enjoyed sculpting, painting, quilting, and reading fine literature. She had a hobby of collecting humorous obituaries. She is survived by her husband Jay Hanson, six children, 11 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

    W. Mayfield Marshall Jr. ’52, La Cañada Flintridge, Calif., Aug. 31, 2017. Mayfield served in the U.S. Navy in World War II and then attended Grinnell on the GI Bill. He worked in advertising in New York and California for several years. His interest in cars led him to 17 years with Datsun (Nissan). He is survived by his wife Sarah Kniering and three children.

    Lela Strovers Brush ’53, Indianapolis, Iowa, Aug. 24, 2017. 

    Patricia Flowers Farris ’53, Waukee, Iowa, Aug. 22, 2017. Patricia graduated from Grinnell with a B.A. in education in 1952. She was married a year later, and she and her husband Russell Olive worked as farmers in Iowa for many years. Patricia also worked in the Corning florist shop in the ’70s and ’80s and was a certified master gardener. After the death of her husband in 2004, she married an old high school friend, Paul Farris. She is survived by her husband, three children, five grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.

    Sheldon E. Johnson ’53, Albuquerque, N.M., Aug. 31. 2017. Sheldon was a talented golfer, winning the Waseca (Minnesota) city championship in 1952. He attended Grinnell and graduated from Mankato State University before joining the U.S. Air Force. He spent 20 years with the Air Force, including a year in Vietnam as an AC-47 gunship pilot. He retired in 1974 and lived in Albuquerque. He enjoyed playing handbells at his church, camping, hiking, and classical music. Sheldon is survived by his wife Lee Johnson, three children, two stepchildren, and numerous nieces and grandchildren. 

    Carol Whitlow Boyle ’54, Sioux City, Iowa, July 23, 2017. After two years as an English major at Grinnell, Carol decided she would rather be a nurse than a novelist and transferred to the University of Iowa. She met her husband Don Boyle at the veterans’ hospital in Iowa City where he was also working. When the family moved to Sioux City, Carol stopped nursing and invested herself full time in raising her children. She was active in the local schools and societies, participating in the Parent-Teacher Association and helping to found a women’s investment club. She was known for her hospitality and warmth and passed on her love of reading to her children. She is survived by two daughters, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

    Peter Kizer ’57, Detroit, Aug. 24, 2016. After four years in the U.S. Air Force in Alaska in the late 1940s, Peter set his sights on TV and radio broadcasting. He studied journalism at Grinnell, beginning his career at a radio station in Grand Rapids, Mich., before launching into a career behind the camera as a manager. He then led several stations around the country before settling in at WDIV-TV in Detroit, where he eventually rose to vice president of broadcasting. Peter’s ultimate goal was to own stations, and at the height of his career he owned seven TV stations and two radio stations. He is survived by his wife Kay Ingamells Kizer ’56, three children, and 10 grandchildren. 

    Marilyn Jensen Crowl ’58, Council Bluffs, Iowa, March 3, 2017. Marilyn loved to garden, cook, play bridge, and spend time with her family and friends. Survivors include her spouse Richard Crowl ’57, three sons, and six grandchildren. 

    Carol Muller Brandt ’60, Petaluma, Calif., Sept. 30, 2016.

    Carol Flora Brooks ’60, Mount Hope, Ontario, Canada, Aug. 8, 2017. Survivors include her sister Kathryn Flora Rettkowski ’61, two children, and one granddaughter.

    Gordon P. Harding ’60, Randolph, Vt., April 23, 2017. Gordon began his journalism career with newspapers in Iowa, starting as a sports writer before transitioning to a highly successful career in photojournalism. He worked for nationally known newspapers throughout the 1960s. After moving to Vermont in the 1970s, he worked for The Herald of Randolph for many years. Along with his photography, he was known for being an excellent Volkswagen mechanic. Survivors include his daughter Jennifer Harding Swenson ’85, son-in-law James Swenson ’84, and three grandchildren. 

    Richard T. Scott ’60, Fort Collins, Colo., March 27, 2017. Richard double-majored in math and physics at Grinnell and received a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Iowa. After college, he worked at his father’s mechanical contracting firm before starting his own contracting firm, Environmental Systems Construction Co. (ESCCO), in 1974. He later moved to Fort Collins, where he discovered a passion for designing retrofitted heating and air conditioning units to help preserve Colorado’s historic buildings. Richard enjoyed exploring Colorado with his wife Paula Meek Scott ’59 and their golden retrievers; they would have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in 2017. He is survived by his wife, his sister, two children, and many grandchildren.

    Linda S. Smiley ’60, Dallas, June 15, 2017. Linda attended Grinnell for a year before transferring to the University of Minnesota. She spent much of her life working at the YMCA, eventually serving as executive director of the YMCA in Mason City. Her interests included ballet and modern dance. She is survived by many friends and cousins.

    Gilbert B. Kelly ’61, Williamsburg, Va., July 18, 2017. Gilbert studied classics at Grinnell and received his Ph.D. in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He began his career teaching English at Bluefield College and the University of Nebraska before switching his focus to editing. Beginning in 1984, Gilbert served as managing editor of book publications for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture for more than 30 years. He enjoyed collecting old typewriters and old cars and was known for his eccentric wit. He is survived by his daughter, two sisters, and many nieces and nephews. 

    Hiram James Maxmin ’64, Nobleboro, Maine, Jan. 25, 2016. Jim had a long and distinguished business career that included serving as the CEO of Laura Ashley and co-founding Demeter Entrepreneurs Support Network. He also co-wrote a book with his wife Shoshana Zuboff, published in 2004, titled The Support Economy: Why Corporations Are Failing Individuals and the Next Episode of Capitalism. Those who knew James spoke fondly of his generosity, compassion, and kindness. He was described as ahead of his time in the business world and as someone who was always willing to give his time to help others. He is survived by his wife and two children. 

    Rev. Stephen M. Johnson ’66, County Kerry, Ireland, Sept. 9, 2017. Stephen taught history and political science at Grinnell, as well as acting as an inaugural representative. During his lifetime, he also worked as a journalist, a PR writer, an entrepreneur, and a Unitarian minister. He arrived in Laramie, Wyo., for his first full ministry just before the infamous homophobic murder of Matthew Shepard. Stephen was a key leader of protests in the aftermath, which influenced the eventual passage of hate crime legislation. He returned to Grinnell for a class reunion in 2016 and described the experience as “magical.” He is survived by his wife Rev. Penny Thoms. 

    Cynthia Brust Moore ’66, Minneapolis, Sept. 1, 2017. Cynthia was a strong supporter of the Workers League and its successor, the Socialist Equality Movement. She wrote several hundred articles, largely dealing with worker’s struggles, under the pen name Cynthia Blake. Later in life, she became an advocate in the Minneapolis area for people with disabilities. She is survived by her brother, her son and daughter, and five grandsons.

    Dan W. Dodson Jr. ’68, Austin, Texas, Sept. 5, 2017. Dan served in the U.S. Army after graduating from Grinnell with a degree in political science. He earned a master’s degree in history and a law degree from the University of Texas. He was an active member of his community and served on a board of condominium owners in Austin. 

    Krystyna Neuman-Tisue ’68, Whitehall, Mich., July 29, 2017. Krystyna was a passionate civil rights activist and dropped out of college for a time to protest alongside Martin Luther King Jr. She received a master’s in early childhood education from the University of Illinois and worked with disadvantaged children in Chicago. She married, raised two adopted children, and lived abroad in Uruguay and Austria before returning to the United States in 2001. She is survived by her husband, two children, two stepchildren, two grandchildren, and her brother and sister. 

    Daniel E. Weiskopf  ’76, Park Forest, Ill., Feb. 28, 2017. Daniel played saxophone and loved jazz, food, and the Three Stooges. He was editorial production manager for Incontext Publishing Partners for 25 years. Daniel is survived by his mother, sister, and brother.

    Andrew M. Bursten ’79, Las Vegas, Aug. 2, 2017. Andrew worked as an accountant for a number of nonprofits, including the Special Olympics, the Washington Opera, and, most recently, the College of Visual and Performing Arts at George Mason University. He was also an accomplished viola player and played in a number of orchestras. Survivors include his sister Amy Bursten ’82.

    Susan K. Kahn ’82, Overland Park, Kan., June 6, 2017. Susan was a gifted software programmer who had a great sense of humor and enjoyed singing. She is survived by her mother, sister, brother, five nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles, and many cousins.

    Craig S. Taylor ’85, Los Angeles, May 22, 2016. Whether it was with his friends in the halls of the science building, or on football fields of the Midwest Conference, Craig always displayed a genuine love for people. Craig will be missed by all the Grinnellians of the early 1980s.

    Talent Takundwa ’11, Zimbabwe, July 27, 2017. Talent drowned in the river Spree in Berlin, Germany. He majored in math at Grinnell and was a math tutor in Berlin for high school and university students. He’d earned a master’s in math from Jacobs University in Bremen and was working on his doctorate at Free University of Berlin.

    Colin M. Carr ’12, Jamaica Plain, Mass., Aug. 1, 2017. Colin loved movies, books, and food. His thirst for learning led him to graduate school at the University of Chicago, where he was studying philosophy. He is survived by his parents, sister, brother, many cousins, and his cherished dog. 

    Samuel Baron

    Professor of Russian history

    Sam Barron speaking at Alumni Awards 2015Samuel Baron, Brooklyn, N.Y., Aug. 16, 2017. Sam was a professor of Russian history and taught at Grinnell College in the 1960s. He also taught at the University of California at San Diego and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Sam retired from UNC as a distinguished professor in 1986. The following year, the Samuel H. Baron Professorship was established. He wrote several books, three of which were published by Stanford University Press, as well as numerous articles. His best-known book, Plekhanov: The Father of Russian Marxism, was translated into Spanish, Japanese, and Russian. In 2013 he was a special guest of the class of 1963 for its 50th Reunion and spoke at its luncheon. 

Fall 2017

  • George W. Jones, London, April 14 2017. He was 79. George taught for Grinnell-in-London, a program he cared deeply about, beginning in 1974, teaching a course called Policy Making in British Government. For about the last 10 years, he taught a seminar for students doing internships in the British parliament. He taught for 50 years at the London School of Economics, where he was professor emeritus of government. He concentrated on the office of the prime minister, the Cabinet, and especially local government.

  • William Michael Cavanagh, professor emeritus of English, died on Aug. 26, 2017, at the age of 74. 

    Mike taught English at Grinnell College from 1971 to 2005. He taught the works of Milton, James Joyce, Elizabeth Bishop, W.B. Yeats, Philip Larkin, Seamus Heaney, W.H. Auden, and many more. He loved introducing students to poetry. Thinking that Grinnell needed a poetry writing course, he invented one in the 1970s and taught it until the mid-1990s. 

    He was also the first professor to teach Joyce’s Ulysses, long regarded as too difficult for undergraduates. He taught Ulysses twice in Dublin, making his students walk almost every inch of the Dublin that Joyce recorded and evoked in his novel. In 2003 he was named the Orville and Mary Patterson Routt Professor of Literature.

    Mike’s doctoral dissertation was about Archibald MacLeish’s poem “Conquistador” as an allegory of Roosevelt’s New Deal. He later published articles on MacLeish, Seamus Heaney, Dante, Milton, John Crowe Ransom, and W.B. Yeats. In 2009, he published a book about Seamus Heaney, Professing Poetry, and finished a book on Milton in 2016.

    In addition to scholarship, Mike devoted the last decades of his career to writing and publishing poetry. He had poems published in journals that included The Sewanee Review, The South Carolina Review, the Free State Review, Aurorean, Rattle, Eclipse, the Heartland Review, The South Dakota Review, and Lyrical Iowa, among others. He spent almost two decades teaching himself Dante’s Commedia in Italian. Much of his poetry strives after Dante’s simple style and manner. 

    For many years Mike managed the Grinnell College Public Events Committee. He brought many renowned performers to Grinnell and enjoyed entertaining them. 

    Mike is survived by his wife Lenore Marie “Lynn” Cavanagh; his sister, Patty Dobbs, of Newton, Iowa; and by his sons Sean and Peter, their wives, and four grandchildren.

  • Lois Wahl McClanathan ’39, Las Vegas, April 17, 2017. After graduating from Grinnell with a degree in music education, Lois taught for a year before marrying her high school sweetheart, George McClanathan. George’s job as a broadcast engineer took them all across the country: Chicago, Phoenix, Dallas. During their time in Phoenix, Lois founded the Phoenix Youth Symphony, which educates and encourages young musicians to this day. Lois also hosted a daytime television show for mothers who worked in the home. Her life’s story is recorded and preserved in the University of Nevada-Las Vegas library. Lois is survived by two children, three grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.

  • Ann Drennan Finck ’41, Bloomfield, Conn., June 19, 2017. At Grinnell, Ann met George Finck ’40. After graduation, they were married and moved to New York City. Later they lived in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Toronto. Ann was a longtime member of the St. James Episcopal Church and of the Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO), dedicated to providing educational opportunities for female students worldwide. Ann was preceded in death by her husband and is survived by her son, two grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

  • Clara Larson King ’42, Litchfield Park, Ariz., May 20, 2017. Born in West Branch, Iowa, Clara attended Grinnell and graduated from Kean University in New Jersey. She taught elementary school from 1959 to 1982. She married James Otis King in 1942; he preceded her in death. She is survived by two children, two grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

  • Beulah Edgington Fleiss ’44, Chatham, N.J., Jan. 1, 2017.

  • Richard Gadient ’44, Sister Bay, Wis., June 13, 2017. Richard met Bette Jean Horst ’44 on a blind date the summer before they both attended Grinnell. Richard enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1942 and was commissioned as an officer May 10, 1944. He and Bette married the next day. He served in the South Pacific during World War II. After the war, Richard became an investment banker in Davenport, Iowa. In their retirement years, Richard and Bette spent summers in Wisconsin and winters in Florida. Richard is survived by Bette, their six children, 19 grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

  • Dean C. Newell ’44, Murrieta, Calif., June 22, 2017. After graduating with a degree in history, Dean married Helen Landes ’45 and then earned a master’s degree in education from the University of Minnesota. Dean served in the Navy during World War II and in the Naval Reserves until 1953. Dean enjoyed a long career as a high school history and English teacher. In retirement he enjoyed volunteering as a docent at the Santa Rosa Plateau in Murrieta, where he led nature walks and built and monitored bird nesting boxes. Dean was preceded in death by his wife, a son, and a grandson. He is survived by three children, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

  • Richard F. Streitz ’44, Joliet, Ill., March 21, 2017. Richard attended Grinnell for three semesters before joining the Navy during World War II. He served in the Pacific where he helped with dental care aboard the USS Repose. After serving in the Navy, Richard graduated from Loyola Dental School and attended the Forsyth Dental Hygiene Clinic in Boston. There he was involved in original growth studies and specialized in pediatric dentistry before it was a specialty. Richard settled in his hometown of Joliet, where he had a private practice for 50 years. He volunteered at the Will Grundy Medical Clinic and helped found the Joliet Area Community Hospice. He is survived by his wife Jean Streitz, their four children, eight grandchildren, and dog Piper.