In Memoriam

Summer 2017

  • Saadi Abid Simawe, professor emeritus of English, died Feb. 19, 2017, in Iowa City, Iowa, following a battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 70.

    Saadi joined Grinnell’s English department in 1992 and earned his doctorate in African American literature from the University of Iowa in 1994. His teaching and research interests included Arabic language and literature, Middle Eastern literatures, and the study of literary interconnections between the West and the Islamic East.

    A native of Iraq, Saadi was imprisoned as a dissident under Saddam Hussein during the 1970s. He came to the United States for graduate studies and never returned to Iraq. After becoming a U.S. citizen, he frequently traveled abroad to maintain a close network with the Iraqi diaspora. He was well known as a sensitive translator and an advocate for Arabic literature, particularly Iraqi art and literature.

    A scholar whose body of work bridged cultures, he was known to deploy a formidable wit and a wonderfully plastic sense of language to confront the sorrows of history. When asked how he could be against Saddam and yet also against the Iraq War, he reportedly replied mischievously, “This is why you need a liberal arts education!” 

     

  • Tribute to Jack Dawson

    This is by no means an adequate tribute to Professor Emeritus Jack Dawson. I feel obliged to say this because his academic field and mine were leagues apart, and I have only the sketchiest sense of where his special expertise lay and of his achievements strictly within his profession. In our acquaintance he shunned self-puffery of all kinds, and in a way my vagueness concerning his curriculum vitae introduces the point I want to make about Professor Dawson’s distinctive contribution to Grinnell College. 

    From the time Jack Dawson joined the faculty in 1957 until many years after his retirement, he embodied in an unassertive, but always in an uncommonly discerning and constructive way, the idea of wide-ranging involvement in the life of the College. I’ll limit myself to just three examples of Jack’s resourceful support for what can only be described by the possibly annoying but nonetheless essential term, “the campus culture.”  

    When the Forum was scheduled to replace the Student Union, a building left over from World War II, a committee representing the various campus constituencies was formed to work with the chosen architectural firm. Every good thing about the Forum, both in intention and realization, from the coffeehouse to the private dining rooms, owes a large debt to Jack Dawson’s discerning input. The overall elegance and appealing tone of the whole building are a tribute to his conscientious care and meticulous judgment.

    Jack very often served on the Public Events Committee; and even in years when he was not an official member, his exacting standards and patient example continued to inspire its work. His role in choosing those cultural occasions loosely named “public events,” no less than in the case of the building of Grinnell’s Forum, entailed a responsibility that was not only considerable but entirely “extra-curricular.”  That’s to say voluntary and uncompensated.  It’s refreshing to recall how wholeheartedly Jack applied himself to such work and how, so it seemed, he relished it.

    That goes equally for those lunches, which provided regular opportunities for sociability and the welcome exchange of views, at Faculty House. These demanded lots of time and attention, generously given by a good number of others besides Jack; but surely it’s fair to regard him, almost to the end of his life, as their propelling spirit. No one put a higher value on opportunities for such interactions within the College than did Jack. He deeply believed that amiable, relaxed conversation in a congenial environment had institutional benefits that may be hard to measure but absolutely justify the care and effort. 

    One last observation: My three examples of Jack’s valuable service all have to do — either figuratively or merely literally — with the matter of taste. He was a man for whom taste always mattered. I’m reminded of the Victorian art critic John Ruskin’s no-doubt extravagant yet sobering assertion: “Tell me what you like, and I’ll tell you who you are.” It wasn’t in Jack Dawson’s nature to make such a self-assured claim, but I imagine him nodding agreement with its implications. The cultivation of taste, through the buildings we live in and among, the music and art we encounter, and — yes — even the food we eat, is essential to our human development and so belongs in any worthy conception of the educational adventure.

    Jack Dawson brought with him plenty of institutional experience besides the strictly academic kind, and he brought it to bear in his years with Grinnell College. He was gifted with a combination of careful thought, persistence, and vast good humor. I’m thankful to have enjoyed his collegiality and his friendship.  

    James Kissane ’52, professor emeritus of English

Spring 2017

  • Dorothy Huesselmann Twitchell ’38, Rockville, Md. Survivors include her son, Robert Twitchell ’60.

    Mirriel Shields Bedell ’41, Seattle, Oct. 26, 2016. 

    Winifred George Oetjen ’42, Albert Lea, Minn., July 26, 2016. Wini was born and raised in Grinnell, Iowa. After graduating from Grinnell High School and Grinnell College, she married her husband George, also an alum, in Herrick Chapel. Wini worked in travel and greatly enjoyed meeting people, helping them plan their vacations, and visiting other parts of the world. She also served as a deacon, elder, and Stephen minister at the First Presbyterian Church of Albert Lea and volunteered often in her church and community. Wini loved her family, church, friends, reading, and writing; and she took great pride in her Scottish heritage. Survivors include her spouse, George Oetjen ’41, and daughter, Christine Oetjen ’68

    Barbara Mullen White ’42, Sioux Falls, S.D., Oct. 14, 2016. Barbara was a lifelong high school teacher whose career took her from Iowa to Minnesota, Texas, and eventually back to her home state of South Dakota. After retiring, she began volunteering as a “second career.” Barbara was appointed to the Sioux Falls Board of Preservation, served in local cancer and hospice units, and was an active volunteer for the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science, among other civic organizations. Survivors include several cousins.

    Beatrix Havens Smith ’45, Des Moines, Iowa, Oct. 31, 2016. Bea was an outgoing, fun-loving person who leaves behind a legacy of civic leadership. After graduating from Grinnell, Bea attended Drake Law School, where she was one of only three women in her graduating class. She practiced law for many years and was appointed the first woman probate clerk in the Iowa District Court of Polk County, a position that she held from 1952 to 1955. When her husband Neal was elected as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1959, Bea gained admission to the Washington, D.C., bar and split her time between Washington and Iowa. She was also involved in numerous civic and social organizations and leaves behind a lifetime of volunteer work for veterans, children, hospice care, and the blind. While doing all of these things, she faithfully served as a partner to her husband during his 36 years in Congress and their 70 years of marriage. In addition to Neal, Bea is survived by a son; a daughter; six grandchildren; eleven great-grandchildren, including Tayler Chicoine ’14; and one great-great-granddaughter. 

    Dorothy Dosé Otis ’48, Omaha, Neb., Nov. 12, 2016. Dorothy was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother with many cherished friends from all walks of life. She loved spending time with her family, the arts, and Nebraska football. Survivors include two sons, two daughters, five grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and a brother.

    John M. Thompson ’48, Mendota Heights, Minn., Oct. 16, 2016. Survivors include his nephew, Daniel Halsey ’86.

    Niel S. Hansen ’49, Melvin Village, N.H., Dec. 6, 2016. Niel served in the U.S. Army during World War II, where he fought in the 27th Infantry Division in the Pacific theatre, before attending Grinnell. After graduating from the College and Stanford University executive management program, Niel launched a long and successful career as an insurance executive. Before partially retiring in 1988, he founded and served as president and CEO of Atrium Corp., a subsidiary of Swiss Re America Corp. Active in community affairs, Niel was elected to the Darien Representatives Meeting, appointed to the Darien Police Commission, and served as class fund director for his Grinnell class of 1949. In his spare time, he loved hunting, fly fishing, sailing, travel, and his dogs. Survivors include Ruth Holden Hansen ’49, his wife of 68 years; two daughters; four grandchildren; and two great-granddaughters. 

    Arthur S. Kahn Jr. ’49, Des Plaines, Ill., July 11, 2016. Born and raised in Chicago, Arthur grew up wanting to help the less fortunate. After graduating from Grinnell, he pursued this dream by becoming a teacher in the Chicago Public Schools. Over the course of his career, he taught business courses at John Marshall, Austin, and Prosser high schools. Arthur is survived by two sons, two daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren. 

    Alice Powers Stein ’49, Tonawanda, N.Y., Jan. 1, 2017. Alice was a writer, poet, editor, English teacher, lecturer, and photographer. After graduating from Grinnell, she earned master’s degrees from Cornell University and the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She then began a long career as an English teacher, working mainly in the Buffalo public schools. An avid photographer, she was a lifetime member and past president of the Twin Cities Camera Club. She also was a philanthropist who built a school in the Amazon rainforest and volunteered for charitable and museum organizations locally in Buffalo. Survivors include her husband of 62 years, Robert; a daughter; and two grandchildren.

    James R. Heiny ’50, Mason City, Iowa, Dec. 29, 2016. At Grinnell, Jim was a member of the Honor G Society, president of his sophomore class, member of Friars Club (top 10 men in the senior class), and played basketball all four years. After graduation, he attended law school at the University of Iowa, where he excelled academically and wrote for the law review. Aside from two years of service in the U.S. Army, Jim spent his career practicing probate and real estate law at the law firm of Westfall, Laird and Burington, working at the same firm for 57 years. Jim served in leadership positions for multiple legal, religious, and civic organizations, including the YMCA and scholarship trusts. Survivors include two daughters, two sons, seven grandchildren, a sister, three stepchildren, and nine step-grandchildren.

    William R. Porretto ’50, Kaukauna, Wis., Oct. 12, 2016. After graduating from high school in 1942, Bill entered the U.S. Marine Corps and served in the South Pacific during World War II. Following the end of the war, he attended Grinnell, then transferred to Pomona College, where he earned his bachelor’s. He earned a master’s in history from Claremont Graduate University. Bill spent the next 22 years working as a historian for the U.S. Air Force and eventually became chief historian for Air Training Command. After his first wife Estelle died, Bill married his second wife, Patti, and moved to Kaukauna in 1975. He took a job as a study hall supervisor and worked 19 years at Kaukauna High School, earning the affectionate title “Sarge.” He enjoyed reading, playing the stock market, the Chicago White Sox, the Green Bay Packers, and above all, spending time with his family. He is survived by his wife Patti, three sons, a daughter, eight grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, a sister, sister-in-law, and many other relatives and friends.

    Nancy Bunnell Viney ’50, Monroe, Wash., July 15, 2016. Born in Chicago, Nancy attended Grinnell before transferring to Cornell University to attend nursing school. She worked as an obstetrical nurse and later as a teacher’s aide in the libraries of two Washington middle schools. As a lifelong traveler, Nancy climbed the Great Wall of China, swam with dolphins, and celebrated her 25th wedding anniversary in the South Pacific.  Her greatest gift was her ability to express love to everyone she met. She is survived by two daughters; two granddaughters, including Robin Godfrey Blue ’04; and five great-grandchildren.

    John C. Whitsell II ’50, Sharon, Conn., Oct. 31, 2016. John graduated from Grinnell Phi Beta Kappa in three years before attending Washington University Medical School in St. Louis and completing his internship and surgical residency at New York Hospital-Cornell. Having entered the “Berry Plan,” which gave doctors a deferral until after they completed their residencies, he then spent two years in England as a captain in the U.S. Air Force before returning to New York Hospital and meeting his wife Rosemary, an operating-room nurse. During this time, John performed thoracic, vascular, and general surgery and became clinical professor (emeritus) of surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College. He was also one of only 127 charter members of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons. Survivors include his brother, Paul Whitsell ’61

    R. Marie Blattner Dare ’51, Washington, Iowa, Nov. 2, 2016. 

    Donna Redfern Maas ’51, Kalona, Iowa, Nov. 15, 2016. After graduating from Grinnell with a major in music, Donna married her husband Meredith and taught K–12 music in the Montezuma, Iowa, school district for several years. Later she taught piano lessons and worked at the University of Iowa as a transcriptionist. She also was an active member of the Sharon Center United Methodist Church, where she belonged to United Methodist Women and directed the choir for 48 years. She was involved with many civic organizations and enjoyed music, gardening, sewing, and other crafts. She is survived by her son and daughter; three grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and a sister, Phyllis Redfern Allen ’58.

    Roger R. Schuessler ’52, New Lenox, Ill., July 28, 2016. Survivors include his spouse Joan Dalvini Schuessler ’53.

    Barbara Kroh Jackson ’53, Easley, S.C., June 22, 2016. After graduating from Grinnell, Barbara worked as a bookkeeper. She was of the Lutheran faith. Survivors include her son, two daughters, a half-brother, a half-sister, and four grandchildren. 

    Jean Kingston Stumbaugh ’53, Harvest, Ala., Dec. 11, 2016. Jean met her husband Dave at Grinnell College; they married when they graduated. During Dave’s 22 years of Navy service, she supported him and raised a family as they moved to various duty assignments. She was also involved in the Bush Hill Presbyterian Church in Alexandria, Va., and taught preschool there for 27 years. She loved animals and was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. Survivors include her spouse David Stumbaugh ’53, three daughters, two sons, six grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. 

    Edwin L. Laing ’55, Santa Barbara, Calif., Aug. 7, 2016. Ed was a lawyer, socialist, civil libertarian, and member of the Peace Corps at various points in his life. After graduating from Grinnell Phi Beta Kappa, he served for three years in the U.S. Navy. He then earned a degree from Stanford Law School and joined the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office before going into private practice. Survivors include two daughters, two grandchildren, and cousin Donald Laing ’66

    James R. Burdett ’57, Wheaton, Ill., Oct. 13, 2016. After attending Grinnell and graduating from the University of Illinois, James worked for the family business in the golf course industry. He was a longtime member of the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Glen Ellyn, Ill., and a loving husband, father, uncle, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Marilyn; his son and daughter; eight grandchildren; a great-granddaughter; and a brother and his family.

    Judith Morgan DeCourcy ’59, Gresham, Ore., Sept. 29, 2016. Judith was born in Rhode Island and attended Shawnee Mission High School in Kansas before graduating from Grinnell with a degree in English. She and her husband Peter, who married in 1964, moved to Oregon to attend graduate school. Judith received her master’s in social work and worked for the Multnomah County, Ore., school system for many years. After her husband died, she became involved with St. Henry’s Church, volunteering in the food bank and serving in the directorship of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. She enjoyed knitting, photography, and cats. Survivors include her brother and sister-in-law, two nephews, two great-nephews, a great-niece, and her cat, Bettie.

    David A. Goss Jr. ’59, Panora, Iowa, Sept. 3, 2016. After attending Grinnell and transferring to Drake University, David was drafted into the U.S. Army and served in the National Guard until 1966. He owned and operated Johnston Distributing Co. in Panora from 1960 until his death. He was also a longtime member of the Lion’s Club, served on the Johnston Community school board for 15 years, was president of the Iowa Automotive Wholesalers Association, was the football announcer for the Johnston High School football games for 37 years, and was named Johnston Citizen of the Year in 1988. He is survived by his wife Patricia Middlesworth Goss ’60, three sons, a daughter, 11 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

    Ferne Hart Norris ’59, Grinnell, Iowa, Nov. 23, 2016. Ferne died just 12 days shy of her 100th birthday. In the 1930s, she attended Parsons College, where she met her future husband George. After George completed his service in the Navy during World War II, the pair settled in Grinnell and raised four children. Ferne was active in community affairs, serving as the Welcome Wagon hostess and teaching physical education in the local schools. In 1957, she became state president of the League of Women Voters and graduated from Grinnell College during her two-year term. She then worked for the College briefly before buying a travel agency in Grinnell. She began with only one employee and no income. When she sold the agency in 1982, there were seven employees doing over $1 million in travel business each year. The business allowed Ferne and George to travel extensively around the world, and Ferne served as escort for many tour groups — including 30 trips to Hawaii. She was also the founder and first chair of the Grinnell Community Planning Council. Ferne enjoyed painting, wallpapering, upholstering, and even laying cement and tile. She is survived by two sons, a daughter, and a brother.

    Jane Lefler Watson ’60, Bellevue, Neb., Aug. 20, 2016. Survivors include three sons, a daughter, 13 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

    Kenneth W. Pierini ’62, Naples, Fla., April 29, 2016. He was a surgeon and a family practice doctor. 

    Diana Harper Robertson ’63, Ottumwa, Iowa, Aug. 26, 2016. Diana taught high school English for 12 years and spent the next 30 years as a middle- and high-school substitute teacher. She was active in community organizations and spent many years on the board of directors of the Iowa Junior Miss scholarship program. She is survived by her husband Douglas, their daughter, and two grandchildren. 

    Jean F. Peterson ’64, Dalkeith, Ontario, Canada, Dec. 11, 2016. Jean was a retired McGill University professor and died on his farm, which he loved. Survivors include his sister, Susan Peterson Gateley ’73.

    Michael Salz ’64, Laramie, Wyo., Oct. 21, 2016. Born in New York City and raised by union leaders, Michael brought a spirit of compassion to his work and life. After attending Grinnell, receiving his B.A. from City University of New York, and earning a master’s in administrative medicine from Columbia University, Michael launched a long career in health care. He worked at several hospitals in New York and Colorado, was tribal health director for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, and managed the physician-initiated Professional Standards Review Organization. Survivors include his life partner, Mona, a sister and her family, and Mona’s son.

    Mark A. Schorr ’66, Watertown, Mass., Jan. 2, 2017. Mark’s life was an interface between technology and the liberal arts. After beginning his career teaching at Milton Academy in Massachusetts, he became interested in the technological aspects of the computer revolution and how they applied to writing. Mark spent the next 25 years working at various technology companies as a writer, trainer, and web designer. In 2002, he became executive director of the Robert Frost Foundation, a small nonprofit that works to make poetry more accessible. He also returned to teaching as an adjunct professor at Cambridge College and published several books of poetry. Mark championed the cause of saving Burling Library with a poem he wrote while in Russia, “Remembering Grinnell, Iowa from Kiev”, and he memorialized the last of Grinnell’s original elms in Sesquicentennial Ode to Elms. He will be remembered as a gentleman, scholar, poet, and gentle soul. Survivors include his wife Natalie, a son, a daughter, and three grandchildren.

    Judith A. Samuels ’67, Magnolia, Texas, Nov. 26, 2015. 

    Stephen C. Casey ’68, Henderson, Nev., Oct. 28, 2015. After graduating from Grinnell with a major in mathematics, Steve earned a master’s in statistics from the University of California, Berkeley. He taught at Rutgers University for several years and then worked for Consumer Reports magazine. He retired from BAE Systems, a British defense and engineering company, after 25 years and moved to Sun City Anthem, an active-adults community in Nevada. He is survived by his wife Luisa, their four children, 15 grandchildren, and two brothers. His love, wit, and laughter will forever live in the hearts of his loved ones.

    Carl W. Guhman ’69, Fort Smith, Ark., Aug. 1, 2016. Survivors include his sister, Ann Guhman ’70

    Chris B. Amundsen ’74, Maplewood, N.J., Dec. 20, 2016. After graduating from Grinnell, Chris earned a master’s in public policy from the University of Pennsylvania. He was an economist by profession for the semiconductor industry, a jazz lover, and a diehard Chicago Cubs fan. Chris also volunteered for the Grinnell Regional Admission Support Program and owned Kokoro, a locally-sourced gift shop in Maplewood, with his wife. Survivors include his wife Susan, a twin sister, and a brother.

    Mark S. Maire ’78, Duluth, Minn., Oct. 13, 2016. After graduating from Grinnell and earning a master’s from the University of Iowa, Mark worked as a reference and technical services librarian. He was also a serious poet whose work was published in literary magazines and anthologies; he authored two books of poetry. For his accomplishments, he received the Codhill Prize and Chapbook Prize in 2016. Survivors include two sisters, two nephews, and a niece.

    Paul M. Schlegel ’85, St. Louis, Dec. 7, 2015. After graduating from Grinnell, Paul attended the New England Conservatory of Music. He was self-employed as owner and partner in Learnfastearnfast.com and was also known as a professional piano player and composer in the St. Louis area. In his free time, Paul was a master chess and backgammon player and served as a Grinnell Regional Admission Support Program volunteer. He loved the piano and spending time with his kids, taking them swimming and on bird walks. Survivors include his parents, wife, son and daughter, two sisters, a brother, and his first wife.

Winter 2016

  • C. Roger Nelson ’37, Bethesda, Md., July 25, 2016. Roger grew up on an Iowa farm during the Great Depression, and his family could not afford to send him to college. However, Roger’s high school principal recognized his abilities and convinced a childless friend to fund his first two years at Grinnell. Roger went on to win the Archibald Prize, given annually to the senior with the highest grade-point average in the graduating class. After graduation, Roger earned a master’s in political science as well as a law degree from Columbia University before serving for a year as law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harlan F. Stone. During World War II, Roger was appointed to the Military Intelligence Service, where he was one of four officers chosen to represent the War Department and senior Army officers during the hearings of the Joint Committee of Congress on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack. For the next 40 years, he engaged in the private practice of law in Washington, D.C. Roger also served on the 1937 class committee and was appointed class fund director. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Elizabeth Campbell Nelson, as well as a son, daughter, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

    Eleanor Meyers Butterfield ’39, Metamora, Ill., Aug. 25, 2016. Eleanor will be remembered for her wonderful sense of humor and joyful, adventurous spirit. After graduating from Grinnell, she attended Chicago Theological Seminary for a year before working as youth director at YWCAs in Dubuque, Iowa, and Bay City, Mich. A resident of Bay City for 54 years, Eleanor was active in the YWCA, the First Congregational Church, and Boy and Girl Scouts. Survivors include her son and daughter, two grandchildren, a great-granddaughter, and a sister, Evelyn Meyers Badger ’44.

    Julia Bridge Knouse ’40, Davenport, Iowa, Aug. 18, 2016. Born in South Korea, Julia graduated from Grinnell and went on to create the court reporting program at AIC Business College in Davenport. She was a great listener who was compassionate to all. Survivors include her daughter, three sons, four grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

    Kent B. Hampton ’42, Findlay, Ohio, July 23, 2016. Kent, former vice president and general counsel of Marathon Oil Company, will be remembered for his dedication to work, his sense of humor, his low-key style, and his respect for others. After graduating from Grinnell, he served in both the Atlantic and Pacific theatres in World War II as a navigator aboard an amphibious craft and a destroyer escort. Kent earned a law degree from the University of Michigan, joined Ohio Oil Co. (now Marathon), and went on to lead the legal team that thwarted Mobil Oil’s attempted takeover of Marathon in 1981–82. After retiring in 1983, he served as counsel to various civic activities and charities in Findlay, Ohio and expanded his family’s six-generation farm near Lerna, Ill. Kent is survived by his wife of 70 years, Marilyn McCool Hampton ’44, son Kent Hampton ’69, daughter April Ann Lehman, and three grandchildren.

    Betty Tinnes Skonnord ’42, Naples, Fla., Aug. 1, 2016. Betty spent her youth in Grinnell and graduated with honors from Grinnell College. In 1967, she and her late husband Birger moved to Naples, Fla., and formed a real estate company. Betty was a member of the Florida Association of Realtors, Naples Area Board of Realtors, the Royal Poinciana Golf Club, and the League of Women Voters. 

    Catherine Herejk Burrows ’43, Belle Plaine, Iowa, Jan. 11, 2016. Catherine was a loving mother and an active member of her community. She is survived by two children, three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

    Richard L. Fort ’44, Lead, S.D., Sept. 13, 2016. Over the course of his life, Dick was a decorated World War II cryptanalyst, a humanities teacher at Wilbur Wright College, and a lifelong painter, sculptor, composer, and environmentalist. He was best known as a leader of two decades-long environmental projects. Dick and fellow cross-country skiers worked with the U.S. Forest Service to create the Eagle Cliff cross-country ski area in the Northern Hills of South Dakota, and he was also a founding member of ACTion for the Environment, formed to protect the Black Hills from damage threatened by open-pit gold mining. 

    William B. Palmer ’45, Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., Oct. 17, 2015. Bill believed in hard work, honesty, and fairness to others. Born and raised in Grinnell, he attended Grinnell College for a short time before serving in the U.S. Navy as a pilot, where his duties included flying the Navy baseball team to games during World War II. After the war, he graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in aeronautical engineering. Bill married his wife Josephine and moved to California. There, he began a 40-year career in the aerospace industry, receiving accolades for his design work on commercial aircraft landing gear and for structural components on NASA spacecraft. Bill is survived by two daughters, a brother, five grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren.

    Lillian Ackerman Cook ’46, Burbank, Calif., Dec. 19, 2015. 

    Shirley L. Dutton ’46, Mount Prospect, Ill., May 10, 2016. Shirley was a longtime member of Faith Lutheran Church and a retired secretary for the Chicago Bar Association. She was a cherished daughter, sister, aunt, and great-aunt.

    Carmen J. Elsner ’48, Little Chute, Wis., June 28, 2015. Carmen was a lifelong First Congregational Church member who loved to play the cello. After retiring from a long career in journalism, Carmen continued to play cello in the Madison and Appleton orchestras and often loaned her child-sized cello out to boys and girls who were starting to learn music. She is survived by her sister and many nieces and nephews.

    Dorothy Bremicker Hendricks ’48, St. Joseph, Mo., June 6, 2015. Dorothy was the devoted matriarch of her loving family. Friends and family in the many places she has lived will remember her charismatic personality and contagious smile. Survivors include her daughter and son.

    Mary Kelly Hollosy ’48, St. Marys, Ga., May 25, 2016. Mary Ellen was a devout Catholic who enjoyed gardening, reading, volunteering, decorating, telling stories to her children and grandchildren, and spending time with her many friends. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Survivors include her husband of 67 years, Chuck, a son, two daughters, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

    Julie Tregaskis Kreiensieck ’48, Boise, Idaho, April 5, 2015. 

    Robert J. Muyskens ’48, Bradenton, Fla., Jan. 30, 2016. Robert, a Navy veteran, was a salesman for Foster Medical Group for 20 years. He is survived by a son, two daughters, and two granddaughters. 

    Mary McMurray Pigot ’48, Head of St. Margaret’s Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada, Sept. 10, 2015. Mary was a vivacious, warmhearted woman who loved life, the performing arts, her garden, her family and friends, and games of any sort. Survivors include her sister Barbara McMurray Rickey ’42, niece Ann McMurray Balderson ’62, and nephew Tom McMurray ’64

    Dorothy Morris Smith ’48, Tallahassee, Fla., June 25, 2015. 

    Barbara Smith Gunderson ’49, Sun City West, Ariz., Feb. 11, 2016. 

    James L. Morrison ’49, Cocoa, Fla., May 20, 2016. 

    LaRue Dietz Travlos ’49, Sioux Falls, S.D., Sept. 18, 2016. LaRue grew up in Manning, Iowa, before attending Grinnell College. She later transferred to the University of Iowa, where she graduated with a degree in nursing. Over her lifetime, LaRue worked as a registered nurse; director of nurses for a nursing home in Waterloo, Iowa; and a health care facilities inspector for the state of South Dakota. LaRue is survived by her husband Speros, four daughters, three sons, 11 grandchildren, and a sister.

    Ada Carney Mazza ’51, Vero Beach, Fla., June 20, 2016. Ada taught voice and piano and worked as a secretary until retiring in 1993 to Barefoot Bay, Fla. There, she cultivated her love of art and became an accomplished watercolorist. Ada was a warm, caring, and supportive wife and mother who always carried on her Midwestern values. She is survived by her three sons, granddaughter, and stepbrother.

    Margaret Threlkeld Williamson ’51, Winter Park, Fla., Jan. 15, 2016. Meg, who attended Grinnell for one year before transferring to Simpson College, was known for her love of family, singing, and her Alpha Chi Omega sorority sisters. Meg is survived by her husband Jack, their son and daughter, a grandson, two great-granddaughters, many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

    Dr. Robert G. Zeitler ’51, Tampa, Fla., May 20, 2016. Bob was a compassionate, intelligent, and loving psychiatrist and family man with a “bon vivant” appetite for life. After graduating from Grinnell (Phi Beta Kappa), Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kan., Bob and his wife Joyce moved to Florida, where they raised four daughters. He practiced psychiatry until 2010, including many years as medical director at Anclote Manor in Tarpon and Clearwater, Fla. In addition to his passion for helping others, Bob loved classical music, O-gauge model trains, and playing the guitar. He is survived by four daughters, three sons-in-law, and nine grandchildren, all of whom have inherited his love of learning and life.

    Kathleen McCarthy Petersen Anderson ’53, Orem, Utah, Sept. 17, 2016. Kathleen grew up on a farm in Madelia, Minn., before attending Grinnell College, where she met her first husband, Arthur J. Petersen ’51. They returned to Madelia, raised four children, farmed for many years, and ran a hobby business selling stamps, postcards, and Indian jewelry. Some years after Art passed away from a sudden illness in 1989, Kathleen met and married Parley G. Anderson, who also had been widowed. They were active volunteers at the Orem Senior Friendship Center and received multiple awards for their dedication to the community. Survivors include her son, three daughters, 11 children, 11 great-grandchildren and two brothers, as well as five stepsons and their families.

    Constance Matson Ferwerda ’54, Kenosha, Wis., Aug. 12, 2016. Connie was an enthusiastic social activist whose dedicated work continues to better the lives of many. Over her lifetime, she founded eight social service programs and organizations and was a driving force behind the creation of many others. For her efforts and achievements, Connie received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in 1997. In 2016, she received the Susan B. Anthony Lifetime Achievement award in Kenosha. Survivors include her husband Dr. James Ferwerda, a son, two daughters, three grandsons, and many relatives and friends.

    Susan Riley Jarrett ’54, St. Louis, July 17, 2016. Susan was a class agent who served on the 1954 class committee and received an Alumni Award in 2004. Survivors include her husband Thomas, daughter Elaine Jarrett ’77, son T. Barry Jarrett ’83, and a granddaughter.

    Paul R. Jones ’56, Adel, Iowa, Sept. 20, 2016. Paul was a passionate educator who worked for many years as a teacher, coach, administrator, principal, and superintendent at schools across Iowa. He was also an accomplished athlete, serving as captain of Grinnell’s football team before taking time off to serve in the U.S. Navy for four years during the Korean War. Later in life, he served on numerous boards and civic organizations, finding special satisfaction serving as a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) for youth in central Iowa. Paul also loved nurturing his garden, raising Angus cattle, and congregating with friends over card games and at the fitness club. He is survived by his wife Janice, a daughter, three sons, two stepsons, 13 grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. 

    Peter A. Kizer ’56, Naples, Fla., Aug. 24, 2016. Peter was an accomplished broadcast manager who was beloved by his family, friends, and those who worked for him. After graduating from Grinnell with a major in English/journalism and serving four years in the Air Force, Peter joined a radio station in Grand Rapids, Mich., rose through the ranks, and made his mark as a top manager at WDIV-TV (Channel 4) in Detroit. He went on to lead stations all over the country, eventually owning a group of seven TV stations and two radio stations. Survivors include his wife Kay Ungamells Kizer ’56, three children, and 10 grandchildren.

    Robert M. Allguire ’57, Tallapoosa, Ga., Jan. 12, 2015. Robert was an Army veteran and pharmacist who operated Keely Drug in Crosby, Minn. He was involved with the Veterans of Foreign Wars and enjoyed hunting with his son, golfing with his brother, painting, and vacationing in Orlando, Fla. Robert is survived by his son, daughter, grandson, two great-grandchildren, and a brother.

    Robert L. Briden ’58, Waterloo, Iowa, Sept. 8, 2016. After attending Grinnell and Gates College, Robert partnered with his parents to grow WMB Marine. Later in life, he founded a businessmen’s group, BNI (now known as Cedar Valley Networking), as well as the Iowa Marine Dealers Association. In his spare time, Robert played trumpet in a band and was involved with the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Exchange Club, and Jaycees. He is survived by his wife Rosilda, two sons, three grandchildren, three step-grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

    Robert O. Curvey ’58, Munster, Ind., July 12, 2016. Robert is survived by his wife of 57 years, Betty Brodd Curvey ’58, their son and daughter, and four grandchildren.

    Geraldine Beaty King ’58, St. Paul, Minn., July 18, 2016. Geraldine, an active member of the American Library Association, taught library science at St. Catherine’s University and worked at many libraries throughout her career. An avid and accomplished knitter who regularly donated knitted items to charity, she also loved teddy bears, traveling, and the many cats she shared with her late husband John. Geraldine is survived by her sister, three nieces, and one nephew.

    Jo Ann Ossian Monroe ’60, Burlington, Iowa, April 13, 2016. Jo was a teacher, a night manager at the Burlington Shelter for Battered Women, and active in the Democratic Party throughout her life. She was also a voracious reader who taught the joy of reading to her children, students, and everyone she encountered. Jo is survived by two sons, two daughters, two foster daughters, a brother, and many friends. 

    Georgina Becker Stenstrom ’60, Beloit, Wis., July 19, 2016. Georgina was a devoted environmentalist and a lifelong teacher. After graduating from Grinnell (Phi Beta Kappa) with honors in Spanish, she continued her studies at the University of Chicago, where she received her master’s in Spanish. Georgina taught Spanish at Milton College and University of Wisconsin, Rock County and was actively involved with the school board and library in Beloit. She and her husband loved visiting different parts of the country in their RV to examine geologic features. Survivors include her husband of 56 years, Richard, and a son as well as a sister-in-law, brother-in-law, two nephews, and a niece.

    Richard E. Barbour ’61, Centreville, Va., July 28, 2016. Dick was a highly decorated captain in the U.S. Navy. During his time at Grinnell, he displayed his leadership skills, serving as president of the Young Democrats, president of Clark Hall, and an All Midwest Conference Honorable Mention for Pioneer football. After graduating from Grinnell and the U.S. Naval War College, he embarked on a 28-year naval career that included tours in Vietnam, Pearl Harbor, and Seoul. Following his retirement, he worked for defense contractors in the Washington, D.C., area. Dick is survived by his wife of 53 years, Dolores, their three sons, four granddaughters, and a sister.

    Kenneth W. Pierini ’62, Naples, Fla., April 29, 2016. 

    Mary Herman Drish ’65, Albuquerque, N.M., July 9, 2016. Mary was a visionary leader of the Girl Scouts who influenced organizational change in Chicago and throughout the nation. Over her 10 years as CEO of South Cook County Council of the Girl Scouts of America, Mary pioneered efforts to build the first indoor Scout camp, provide progressive programming for girls, and increase diversity awareness. She is survived by her daughter, son, and sister.

    Walter G. Bradford ’68, Wilmette, Ill., July 30, 2016. Walter founded Bradford Organ Co. and was a beloved husband, brother, and uncle. Survivors include his wife Margaret, brother Lewis Bradford ’67, sister Sarah Bradford Frank ’75, and many nieces and nephews, including L. Addison Bradford ’97

    Dr. Anne Laughlin Kempf  ’68, Tijeras, N.M., March 11, 2016. Anne, an osteopathic physician, enjoyed helping her patients, promoting traditional osteopathy, advancing medicine, reading, and spending time with her grandchildren. She is survived by her husband C.J., three sons, a daughter, six grandchildren, a brother, a sister, and their families.

    John C. Herr ’70, Charlottesville, Va., Sept. 17, 2016. John was an enterprising University of Virginia reproductive biologist who invented the home male fertility test and led the search for a male contraceptive. An accomplished scientist, John headed a lab that named more than 35 genes in the human genome; he founded several biotechnology companies specializing in in vitro fertilization, cancer, and contraception research and was listed as inventor on 64 different patents. At the time of his death, he was working on a new cancer treatment targeting a protein found on the surface of certain types of cancer cells. John will be remembered as not only a researcher, but also as an innovator and businessman who always sought to convert his research into products that could help the general public. He was passionate about helping others and changing people’s lives. Survivors include his wife, Mary Jo Haberman Herr ’68, sister Catharine Herr Van Nostrand ’59, and niece Maren Van Nostrand ’88.

    John D. Gardner ’71, Mission, B.C. Canada, Sept. 3, 2016. 

    John Allen Turner ’74, Hanover Park, Ill., Aug. 12, 2015. A semitrailer driver for most of his life, John was a wonderful storyteller who loved history, beer, Fox News, and his Harley-Davidson. He is survived by two daughters, three grandchildren, a brother, a sister, and many friends.

    Gordon B. Pfitzer ’82, Chino Hills, Calif., Sept. 26, 2016. Gordon was a devoted teacher and school administrator who worked in public schools for more than 30 years in Durango, Mexico, and in the Los Angeles area. For the past 12 years, he was principal of Merced Elementary School in West Covina, Calif., where he was beloved by teachers, staff, and students for his devotion to the job and his willingness to do whatever was necessary to provide schoolchildren with a safe, healthy, and productive learning environment. He was also a gifted cartoonist, a practice he employed in bilingual classrooms as a visual learning device and in illustrated greeting cards that he sent to family and friends. Gordon is survived by his wife Gabriela, their son Ian, two brothers, a sister, and their families.

Fall 2016

  • Doug Diamond, Minneapolis, May 27, 2016. Doug was an instructor in music at Grinnell College from fall 1996 through spring 2003. He joined the faculty at Augsburg College’s music department in 2005 and was an assistant professor of music there when he died unexpectedly. Doug received his bachelor of music and master of music degrees from Mannes School of Music in New York. He was a candidate for a doctor of musical arts degree at the University of Missouri’s Kansas City Conservatory. Known for his strength in developing orchestral ensembles and in classroom teaching, Doug was director of Augsburg’s orchestra and taught courses including Aural Skills, Materials of Music, and Instrumental Conducting.

    Mary J. Meneray Fariday ’38, Plantation, Fla., May 15, 2016. 

    Dorothy Dewey Shiffler ’39, Hastings, Neb., July 25, 2015. Dorothy earned a master’s degree in library science from Syracuse University in 1946.

    Harry F. Kies ’40, Marco Island, Fla., July 14, 2015. 

    Eleanor Vogel Melville ’40, Garrett Park, Md., April 3, 2016. After majoring in zoology at Grinnell, Eleanor earned a master’s degree in physiology at the University of Iowa. She is survived by two of her sons, John and Martin Melville.

    Robert C. Dewel ’41, Baraboo, Wis., June 21, 2016. Bob attended Algona (Iowa) High School and graduated from Grinnell College and the University of Iowa with degrees in science and dentistry. After serving in World War II as a dentist, Bob practiced dentistry in Iowa and Wisconsin, moving to Baraboo in 1961. A volunteer, writer, and historian, he published more than 500 local history articles and many books. He received the Dippel Community Service Award, Baraboo’s Gem Award, and the Historical Society’s Canfield Award. Bob was preceded in death by his wife, Helen, and an infant son. 

    Gertrude Rainey Torquato ’41, Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., April 29, 2016. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Trudy graduated from Grinnell with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. She was a talented painter and loved to travel the world. 

    Dan H. Morris ’42, Longmont, Colo., Aug. 26, 2015. After graduating from Grinnell, Dan served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, working aboard a destroyer in the Pacific. After returning home, he and his wife Bertha started a family and eventually moved their family from Missouri to Colorado. There, Dan worked for the rest of his life at Model Laundry, even working part-time for 19 years after retiring. He was a talented wood carver, loved reading, and happily served as the family historian. He was a wonderful storyteller. 

    Carol Edwards Murray ’42, Macon, Ga., March 8, 2016. Valedictorian of her high school class in southern Iowa, Carol earned a secretarial degree in Des Moines, Iowa, before attending Grinnell, where she earned a bachelor’s in music. Her focus was cello performance. She also earned a master’s in music from the Texas State College for Women. In addition to teaching in public schools, Carol played cello in several symphony orchestras, string quartets, and solo performances. She is survived by a son, daughter, and grandson.

    William L. Brown ’43, Alexandria, Va., April 7, 2016. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Harriet Elizabeth Brown, and four daughters, 10 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.

    Marguerite Schalck Glenny ’43, Naperville, Ill., Feb. 21, 2015. Marguerite was an avid flower and vegetable gardener as well as a watercolor artist, quilter, seamstress, and basket weaver. Survivors include four children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

    Grace Sevcik Mattocks ’43, Centennial, Colo., April 4, 2015.

    Marabelle Mortimer Willis ’43, Orlean, Va., March 5, 2016. Survivors include two daughters and a granddaughter.

    Ardath Kucera Scott ’44, LaSalle, Ill., April 23, 2016. 

    Helene Drusch Beisswenger ’45, Fullerton, Calif., May 25, 2016. 

    Jimmy H. Heimann ’45, San Diego, Aug. 18, 2015. Born and raised in Chicago, Jimmy went to Grinnell College in 1941. During World War II, he served in the South Pacific in the U.S. Army Air Forces. He also attended the Art Institute of Chicago and Northwestern University. His work life included his family’s retail business, H. Heimann, and Reynolds & Co. Stock Brokerage. Jimmy retired in 1976 and moved to San Diego, where he performed with the PJ Country Dancing Group in various settings. He was a friend of the library and a member of Congregation Beth Israel. 

    Mary McCollum McKenzie ’45, Sebring, Fla., July 8, 2016. An art major at Grinnell, Mary left college in 1944 to join the Navy. As a WAVE, she worked as a cartographer drawing invasion maps, stationed at Navy Pier in Chicago and later in Washington, D.C. She met her husband John Charles McKenzie at a USO dance. He lost an eye in the D-Day invasion and was recovering at Bethesda Naval Hospital. They farmed in Indiana. Survivors include a son, two daughters, 10 grandchildren, and 23 great-grandchildren. 

    Patricia Nemmers Hayden ’47, Jefferson, Ga., July 3, 2016. Patricia worked at Abbott Laboratories after graduation and after having her children. She worked as project manager for the development of clarithromycin, an antibiotic for infections such as strep throat and Lyme disease. She is survived by her daughter.

    Frances Clark Alft ’49, Elgin, Ill., May 4, 2016. Survivors include her spouse of 65 years, E.C. “Mike” Alft ’49, and two daughters and two sons. Frances worked as a certified medical technologist for more than 20 years and as a volunteer for 18 years at Sherman Hospital. 

    Carl A. Bartelt ’49, Goodyear, Ariz., June 15, 2016. Originally from Chicago, Carl joined Navy Cadet training during his first year at Grinnell and served in the Pacific in World War II in naval aviation. He earned a degree in physics from Grinnell and worked at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio before moving to Florida to work for Pan Am at Patrick Air Force Base. His master’s degree in operations research is from Florida Institute of Technology. After 42 years of civilian government work, Carl found joy meeting the needs of patients as a Big Bend hospice volunteer. 

    Richard M. Clark ’50, Albany, N.Y., Feb. 26, 2016. Dick joined the Army after high school and then attended Grinnell on the G.I. Bill. He completed his bachelor’s degree in three years and then earned a doctorate at Michigan State University. He taught educational psychology and statistics, retiring from the State University of New York at Albany in 1992. Immediately after that, Dick accepted a consulting position with the government of Lesotho in southern Africa, helping to implement a new primary education project. Survivors include his wife, Gloriana Hale Clark ’51, their three daughters, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

    David W. Flood ’50, Honolulu, June 9, 2016. Survivors include his son, Brian Flood ’89.

    Philip F. Nelson ’50, Chapel Hill, N.C., June 10, 2016. Survivors include his spouse, Georgia Yelland Nelson ’51.

    D. Lorrie Becker Richmond ’50, San Diego, Dec. 6, 2015. Survivors include her sister, Jeanne Becker Gibbs ’45

    Philip E. Bennet ’51, Bethesda, Md., July 3, 2016. At Grinnell, Philip played varsity tennis, participated on the debate team, and was sports editor of The Scarlet & Black. After graduating from Harvard Law School, he worked for the Internal Revenue Service until retirement in 1997. In retirement, his paintings and prints were exhibited in various galleries, and some of his work is part of the Faulconer Gallery collection at Grinnell.

    David C. Price ’51, Carlsbad, Calif., Jan. 13, 2016. 

    Henry F. Ayling II ’53, Palm Desert, Calif., March 18, 2016. After graduating from Grinnell, Henry embarked upon a career in the airline business, eventually becoming an executive with Flying Tigers, an all-cargo airline. In 1984, he went into technical writing and advanced to become the managing editor for IEEE Magazine. Survivors include his spouse of 60 years; his son, Harry Ayling ’81; grandson, John Ayling ’08; and granddaughter, Lindsay Ayling ’10.

    Carole McNeill Bell ’53, Minneapolis, July 5, 2016. Carole worked in two different career fields — physical therapy and real estate. After 12 years as a physical therapist and a master’s from New York University, she transitioned to real estate for the flexibility it offered a single mother. She also loved helping first-time homebuyers find the right home. She is survived by two daughters, a son, and two grandsons. She served on her Grinnell class committee for four years and as class fund director for six years.

    Michael P. Litka ’53, North Canton, Ohio, April 29, 2016. Michael, who spent his career teaching law from a business perspective, authored 17 textbooks. He retired in 1996 after 25 years as professor emeritus of business law at the University of Akron (Ohio). He is survived by his wife, Eleanor, and four children. “He spoke often of his days at Grinnell with pride and fun times. Teaching was Mike’s passion. He so loved the classroom and students,” says Eleanor. 

    Barbara Newman Norton ’53, Salem, S.C., June 12, 2016. A native of New Jersey, Barb met her husband, Bob Norton ’54, at Grinnell. She was a lifelong teacher and educator, having taught at St. Anne Catholic School in Barrington, Ill. She also served many years as executive director of the Summit County, Ohio, adult literacy program, Project: LEARN, and was a substitute teacher and tutor. An elder and active member of Seneca Presbyterian Church, she served on several committees. Barbara was a valued GRASP volunteer. Survivors include her spouse. 

    Peter W. Robinson ’54, Chaska, Minn., Oct, 15, 2015. 

    John F. Shean ’54, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, April 1, 2016. If John were here, he would want to share the following: “We are all transient beings, sharing an amazing planet with all its splendid plants and creatures. Be caretakers, gardeners, and conservators rather than extractors and despoilers. Feed a bird, plant a tree, cultivate diversity wherever you can. Celebrate life by living yours to the fullest, while also looking out for the little guy, the less advantaged. Cherish all those who fall within your orbit, (family, friends, and community) and service their needs first, before your own. Always look for an opportunity to make someone smile, or to lighten their load for even a brief moment. In short, pay it forward!” Survivors include his wife Sally, four children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

    Dan H. Nicolson ’55, Bowie, Md., June 2, 2016, after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. Born in Kansas City, Missouri, he grew up in Shenandoah, Iowa. He received a degree in botany from Grinnell College, an M.B.A. from Stanford Business School, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell University. He was a curator at the U.S. National Herbarium of the Smithsonian Institution for 43 years and was an international authority on the Code of Botanical Nomenclature. A 10-year alumni/development volunteer for Grinnell, Dan loved traveling, working with other botanists, and genealogy. He is survived by his wife and three children, including John Nicolson ’83 and David Nicolson ’88

    Richard G. Lehrer ’56, Dyer, Ind., Aug. 11, 2015. Survivors include his wife, Lorene Bialek Lehrer ’56

    Carol Steele Greenwood ’58, Minneapolis, June 25, 2016. Carol’s passion for a healthy and sustainable future was exemplified by her involvement in organizations that benefited her family, such as Girl Scouts, Y-Guides, and Boy Scouts. The pets she welcomed into her home were from shelters or were rescue animals. She was active with Minnesotans for an Energy Efficient Economy (MN E3), Friends of the Mississippi, and multiple Earth Day celebrations. She worked on environmental issues including recycling, clean air and water, energy efficiency grants for homeowners, and sustainable landscaping. She is survived by her husband, children, grandchildren, and her beloved cats. 

    A. Ellen Spaulding ’58, Kansas City, Mo., March 16, 2016. 

    Marjorie Voytilla Wolf ’58, Hilton Head Island, S.C., April 20, 2016. Known as Margie to her friends, the Sheldon, Iowa, native had a flair for debate in high school, winning a national oratory award and graduating valedictorian of her class. She earned a political science degree at Grinnell and married her college sweetheart, James Wolf ’57. Margie taught school in Forest Park, Ill., working with emotionally challenged students. She retired from teaching to raise her four children and focus on her philanthropic career, volunteering for numerous organizations and raising awareness for organ donation. Her husband preceded her in death.

    Charles M. Baker ’60, Apache, Okla., April 24, 2015. After attending Grinnell, Charles went on to graduate from Colorado State University with a degree in horticulture. He entered the U.S. Navy and served as a lieutenant in the Pacific during the Vietnam War. Upon his reentry into civilian life in Colorado, Charles purchased Richard’s Flowers and Greenhouses in Fort Collins, Colo. 

    Roy W. Simpson Jr. ’60, Peoria, Ariz., April 22, 2016. Roy graduated from Grinnell and went on to own his own sports equipment and irrigation business, Simpson Norton Corp., for almost 30 years. He served as a class fund director and remained involved with Grinnell College throughout his years. Roy had a great sense of humor and enjoyed doing card tricks to impress his “audience.” Survivors include his grandson, Tyler Anderson ’16.

    Donald G. McClelland ’64, Falls Church, Va., June 14, 2015. After graduating from Grinnell with a degree in economics, Don served as a volunteer in the U.S. Peace Corps in India, where he developed an interest in international development. He went on to earn an M.S. from the University of Massachusetts in 1968 and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1973. His expertise was in international food security, promoting agriculture, and evaluating U.S. foreign assistance investments. For more than 30 years, Don worked as an economist and policy advisor for the U.S. Agency for International Development and served for two years as an agricultural officer in Kenya. 

    Barbara Weiss Patrone ’64, Vernon Hills, Ill., May 2, 2016. 

    Ariane Sylva ’67, Reston, Va., Jan. 23, 2016. 

    Mark H. Sokolsky ’72, Richmond, Va., May 19, 2016.

    Renee Weldon-Wright ’73, Evanston, Ill., Aug. 18, 2015. After earning her bachelor’s degree in political science from Grinnell, Renee earned two master’s degrees, one from Fisk University and one from Delaware State University. She is survived by her mother, daughter, son, grandson, and her dog, Zippy. 

    Paul M. Nelson ’97, Algonquin, Ill., June 3, 2016. He is survived by his wife Deanna and two children.

Spring 2016

  • The Rev. Dennis Wayne Haas, professor emeritus of religious studies and former chaplain at Grinnell College, died peacefully in Grinnell, surrounded by family, on Jan. 18, 2016, at the age of 81.

    One of the College’s most beloved teachers, his areas of interest and expertise included the Hebrew Bible and Christian Scriptures. Faculty and students knew him as a generous, thoughtful, compassionate man who was devoted to issues of social justice, diversity, and peace.

    A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Franklin & Marshall College, Dennis received a master’s of divinity from Union Theological Seminary, N.Y., and a master’s of sacred theology from Lancaster Theological Seminary, Pa. In 1959 he began his career serving as pastor at Faulkner Swamp German Reformed Church (UCC), Gilbertsville, Pa. He joined the Grinnell College faculty in 1966 and served in the dual role of professor and chaplain until his retirement in 1996. He became professor emeritus in 2003. Dennis was an active and dedicated member of Grinnell UCC Church, most recently teaching the adult Sunday School Seekers class. Among his many accomplishments, Dennis served as president of the National Association of College and University Chaplains, board member of Mid-Iowa Community Action, and on the Grinnell Affordable Housing Commission.

    The son of Wayne B. and Mamie C. Haas, Dennis was born Dec. 23, 1934, in Topton, Pa. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Thomsa “Tommy” Stewart Haas; his children Jonathan Haas (Deborah), David Jordan-Haas (Constance), Andrew Haas (Sarah), and Elizabeth Haas; siblings Christine Luckenbill, Richard Haas, Timothy Haas, Bonnie Haas; and five grandchildren. Dennis is preceded in death by parents Wayne and Mamie Haas of Kutztown, Pa., and siblings Larry Haas, David Haas, and Alan Haas.

    Memorial gifts may be made in his honor to Southern Poverty Law Center or the Mayflower Human Needs Endowment Fund.