Florence Collier Simmons ’41, June 17, 2022, Goodyear, Arizona.
Virginia “Gina” Dodds Worthington ’43, Aug. 17, 2021, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. During her formative years, Gina lived in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In 1946, she married Jack Worthington, who died in 1991. Gina was a claims adjuster at Liberty Mutual Insurance in Chicago, and an English teacher in Kenosha, Wisconsin. She was member of PEO Sisterhood, Chapter EK. She is survived by her daughter, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Barbara Schneider Royal ’45, June 22, 2022, Munster, Indiana. Barbara met Richard Royal ’43 when he helped new students move into their dorm at Grinnell. On the first day of spring of her first year, they eloped — World War II was on, and Dick had been drafted into the army. Barbara and Dick were married over 60 years. After the war ended, she helped support him through Harvard Business School, then moved with him to Chicago before settling in Hammond, Indiana, where they raised their three children and lived until Dick died. Barbara was deeply engaged in her community and was involved in organizations such as the League of Women Voters, the Philanthropic Educational Organization (from which she received an award in 2020 for 78 years of involvement), and the PTA Council. She was employed at times as a reading teacher and at an architecture firm. She is survived by a son and daughter, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Evelyn Faulkner Casper ’48, May 2, 2022, Big Pine Key, Florida. After she received a bachelor’s degree cum laude, Evelyn married and moved to Miami. She and her husband lived in Key Biscayne, Florida, for 30 years. She worked at the Miami Beach Public Library and later taught at the Key Biscayne Community Church Preschool. She worked for the Miami-Dade Public School District as a reading resource teacher for 10 years before moving to the Florida Keys. She received a master’s from Florida International University in 1978 and completed seminary training at Unity Worldwide Ministries in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, in 1988. She founded Unity of the Keys church in 1984 and served there until 2000. She also founded Unity Church of Marathon in Marathon, Florida. She is survived by her daughter, a grandson, and great-grandchildren.
Charles E. Farr ’48, May 27, 2022, Des Moines, Iowa. After serving as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the Philippines and with the occupation forces in Japan, Charles was honorably discharged and entered Grinnell to major in mathematics. He graduated with honors and married Marilyn Herselius ’47 in the College chapel on graduation day. A year of graduate studies at Columbia University in New York was followed by employment in the insurance industry at Equitable Life Assurance Society in New York. In 1952, the young family moved to Des Moines, Iowa, where Charles was an actuarial trainee at Bankers Life, now Principal Financial Group. His employment at Principal spanned 35 years. He was a fellow of the Society of Actuaries, a member of the American Academy of Actuaries, a fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, and an enrolled actuary. He retired from Principal in 1987 as chief actuary and then formed an actuarial consulting firm, retiring, from this work in 1996. Charles was active all his life in activities such as pole vaulting, softball, bowling, tennis, golf, swimming, sailing, canoeing, camping, cross-country skiing, and mountain climbing. Other interests included the trombone, piano, opera performances (serving on the Des Moines Metro Opera board for many years), learning American Sign Language, and qualifying as a master gardener. Charles and Marilyn traveled extensively. He also volunteered at Grinnell, where he served as an Alumni Council member. Marilyn preceded him in death. Survivors include one daughter; three sons, including Charles Farr ’72 and Tom Farr ’74; a daughter-in-law, Deirdre Schectman Farr ’75; and seven grandchildren, including Kathleen Farr Matthews ’05.
Elizabeth Johnson Wilson ’48, April 11, 2022, Dallas. After graduation, Elizabeth worked for many years as a speech therapist. She was known for her beautiful soprano voice and was in demand as a soloist and choir section leader. She is survived by two daughters and two grandsons.
Ruth Holden Hansen ’49, Jan. 21, 2022, Daytona Beach, Florida. Ruth married Niel Hansen ’49 in 1948. Family always came first for Ruth. She was a full-time mother, while also volunteering as a Girl Scout leader, chair of the elementary school library, and on the Council of Student Parents. She was the treasurer for the Darien Visiting Nurse Association and the Stamford Home Health Aides, and volunteered for Meals on Wheels. She was dedicated to the Melvin Village Community Church and the Hikers. Ruth and Niel loved to travel, particularly enjoying the national parks and international travel. Ruth enjoyed knitting, skiing, tennis, kayaking, and, most of all, living on the lake and watching the loons. She is survived by her daughters, four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
William “Bill” R. Frank ’50, March 28, 2022, Wayzata, Minnesota. While majoring in sociology, Bill spent a semester in 1947 at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia, as an exchange student. Living in a community of Black students and experiencing segregation in the non-campus community had a profound influence on his life. After graduation, Bill attended Yale Divinity School. In 1952, he married Louisella Kurth ’51. He was ordained as a minister in the United Church of Christ in 1953 and served at churches in Wisconsin and Ohio. After retiring as a pastor, he worked for the Milwaukee Council on Alcoholism, seeking shelter for the homeless and counseling for those with addictions or mental illness. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, and a son, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Claudine Briese Jacobs ’51, May 31, 2022, Medford, Oregon. Claudine married Robert Glenn Jacobs ’50 after graduation. Over the next 10 years, Robert attended graduate school at the University of Iowa and the Chicago Theological Seminary and taught at Iowa Wesleyan College. Claudine taught school for one semester, took graduate classes, and worked as a secretary. They had two children before moving to Los Angeles, where Robert taught at University of California-Los Angeles. Later, he taught at Western Illinois University in Macomb. Claudine worked in the college bookstore after her children were grown. After his retirement, Robert developed numerous health issues, and Claudine became the primary caregiver. She is survived by a son, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Elaine Brown Kirst ’51, June 27, 2022, Watertown, Wisconsin. Elaine, who married Eugene Kirst in 1949, furthered her education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, UCLA, and Grinnell. Later in life, she became an LPN. She and Eugene raised five children. She had a love for music and shared her talents by educating others with piano, voice, and violin lessons. She was a part of the Watertown Chamber Violin Orchestra, Watertown Players, Euterpe Singers, Vesper Singers, and the Lutheran Chorale Singers. Reading, taking part in book clubs, playing bridge, and cross-stitching brought her much pleasure. She is survived by her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Janet Wallyn Purcell ’51, April 2022, Prospect Heights, Illinois. She was preceded in death by her husband, Lawrence Purcell ’50.
W. Ben Whitehill ’51, June 7, 2022, Stevens Point, Wisconsin. At Grinnell, Ben was president of Dibble Hall, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and graduated in three years. Ben married Carolyn Slater ’54. He attended Harvard Medical School, interned at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, and served in the U.S. Navy on Guam for two years. A residency in general practice in Denver was followed by 15 years as a medical missionary in Hong Kong. In 1975, he joined the U.S. Public Health Service and worked at the Leavenworth, Kansas, and Atlanta federal penitentiaries and the Santa Fe Indian Hospital in New Mexico. After retirement, he enjoyed new opportunities to serve others — in a Santa Fe elementary school as a volunteer tutor, as a physician in mountain villages in Honduras and Quito, Ecuador, and as a board member of a clinic for low-income persons in Santa Fe. Ben was honored with a Grinnell College Alumni Award in 1976 and received the Joseph F. Wall ’41 Alumni Service Award in 1998. In 2016, he and Carolyn were named Santa Fe Living Treasures. He is survived by his wife, a daughter, four grandchildren, and one great-grandson.
Nancy Tegger Edwards ’52, May 30, 2022, Schenectady, New York. Nancy attended Grinnell for two years before transferring to the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana to complete a bachelor’s in political science. Years later, she earned a Master of Public Administration degree. She married James Edwards in 1956, and they raised two children. Nancy was a devoted mother, always putting family first during their younger years, but staying active by serving in the League of Women Voters and engaging in one of her passions, bridge. With her children grown, Nancy returned to the workforce; her favorite job was coordinating the travel-abroad program at Union College as an administrator in the foreign languages department. Nancy’s love of travel took her all over the world with her husband. She is survived by her husband, her daughter and son, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Margaret Wilson Kersten ’52, Nov. 22, 2021, Rockford, Illinois. Margaret was married to Willis Kersten, who preceded her in death. Survivors include a daughter and son, four grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and a brother.
Benjamin F. McGuckin Jr. ’52, April 7, 2022, Charleston, South Carolina. After graduation, Ben joined the U.S. Navy, where he rose to the rank of captain. He was called to active duty in 1962 for 10 months during the Berlin crisis. As a lifelong athlete, Ben enjoyed swimming, tennis, and golf, as well as fishing, shrimping, and hunting. He was a member of Grace Church and a member and former commodore of the Carolina Yacht Club. He spent 40 years with New York Life, but his greatest joy was his family. He is survived by two daughters and a son, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Barbara James Williams ’52, June 2, 2022, Montpelier, Vermont. After a time at Grinnell, Barb graduated from the University of Iowa. She and her husband settled in the south suburbs of Chicago. Following her divorce in 1974, Barb raised her four children as a single mother while earning a master’s in environmental engineering from Governor’s State University in Illinois. She went to work first for the Environmental Protection Agency and later the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Chicago. She served for many years on her town’s park district board and was president of the Illinois Association of Park Districts in 1979–80. Barb enjoyed hiking, tennis, bridge, travel, and socializing with a wide circle of friends. She is survived by one son, two daughters, and five grandchildren.
Mary Halliday Freeman ’54, June 7, 2022, Plainfield, Illinois. After graduation, Mary worked as a medical technician and librarian and married Robert Freeman. They lived in Glen Ellyn, Yorkville, and Plainfield in Illinois and had three children. Mary regularly volunteered at church and loved singing in the choir. She is survived by her children and five grandchildren.
J. Barry Lawrence ’54, March 26, 2022, Hendersonville, North Carolina. Barry was an avid swimmer and was part of a conference championship-winning Grinnell swim team. After earning a bachelor’s degree in sociology, Barry went on to a successful career as an advertising account executive. He was married to Sandra Lobotzke Lawrence. They enjoyed traveling and living in places such as Little Rock, New Orleans, and Seattle before settling in Hendersonville. Barry loved sailing and was a member of the North Shore Yacht Club for many years. Barry and Sandra were both active members of St. James Episcopal Church. Sandra died in 2019 after 42 years of marriage.
Norman D. Noe ’54, April 10, 2022, Greeley, Colorado. Norm met Marty Strovers, a Grinnell “townie,” and they married in 1955. After college, he went into the insurance business with his father in Greeley and continued working in the insurance field until his retirement in 1996. He helped form Pioneer General, a surety bonding company, where he served on the board of directors. Among Norm’s many public service roles, he was a Jaycees member and statewide vice president and president of the Boys and Girls Club of Greeley. He also sat on the Greeley parks and recreation and museum boards. Norm was a family man and enjoyed watching his kids’ and grandkids’ activities. He was an avid reader and loved camping and fishing. He is survived by his wife, three children, and grandchildren.
Seymour J. Raffety ’54, June 16, 2022, Grinnell, Iowa. Seymour was one of five children of LaVerne Raffety ’22 and his wife, Iness. Seymour’s parents farmed for many years northwest of Grinnell. After Seymour earned a degree in physics and mathematics from Grinnell, he went on to complete a master’s and a doctorate in nuclear engineering at Iowa State University. His nuclear engineering doctoral dissertation, “Design of UTR-10 Fission Plate,” completed in 1964, examined the implications of development of a useful fission plate installation for research work. Seymour also served in the U.S. Air Force. He was a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers and the American Nuclear Society. He worked as a nuclear engineer for the Dairyland Power Cooperative, a generation and transmission cooperative headquartered in La Crosse, Wisconsin, that delivers electricity to 62 counties in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois. Seymour was married to Carmen M. Raffety, and after he retired from Dairyland, the couple returned to Grinnell. Seymour was a generous benefactor to the College. Among his philanthropic contributions were donations to create the Raffety Physics Advanced Capstone Laboratory and the LaVerne E. Raffety Scholarship. Seymour was 89 when he died at the Mayflower Community Health Care Center in Grinnell. A service with military honors was held at Hazelwood Cemetery in Grinnell. Survivors include his wife, a brother, and three children.
Gerald P. Hagen ’55, Jan. 31, 2022, Grinnell, Iowa. Born and raised in Grinnell, Jerry played many sports. He received a degree in physical education and teaching and later went on to earn a master’s in educational administration from Drake University. He started his career in teaching and coaching, eventually moving into educational administration. He served as an elementary principal in the Grinnell-Newburg School District from 1965 until he retired in 1996. He was passionate about Grinnell history. Jerry started Grinnell’s first soft-serve ice cream shop, The Frosted Palace, and he and several friends owned JD’s Restaurant for a time. Jerry ran the clock for football and basketball games for many years. In 2006, he received Football Coaches of Iowa Achievement Award honors. Jerry married Jeananne Reisetter ’63 in 1963, and they raised two daughters. The couple divorced in 1998. He is survived by his two daughters, grandchildren, and a great-grandson.
Rachel “Polly” Hallett Johnson ’55, March 15, 2022, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Polly graduated from Grinnell Phi Beta Kappa and went on to Harvard Law School, where she was one of eight women in her class. After law school, Polly married a Harvard classmate, Robert “Joe” Johnson, and they lived in Concord, New Hampshire, before heading west to New Mexico in the early 1960s. Family lore has it that Polly got the highest score on the New Mexico bar the year that Polly and Joe took the exam. She and Joe were married for 57 years until his death in 2018. Polly is survived by two daughters, two sons, and her grandchildren.
Allan D. Kellar ’55, April 9, 2022, Lake Elmo, Minnesota. Allan majored in music at Grinnell and was a member of two national honor societies — Phi Beta Kappa (academics) and Pi Kappa Lambda (music). In Chariton, Iowa, he met and married Linda Bricker, and they raised two daughters. He earned master’s and doctoral degrees in music at the University of Iowa. In 1965, he joined the faculty at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as chair of the music department, teacher of music history, and director of choral activities. He led Coe choirs on seven tours to Europe. He also directed the choir at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Cedar Rapids. In 1975, he was named the Pearl M. Taylor Chair in Music, Coe’s first endowed professorial chair. In 1999, the Kellars moved to Lake Elmo, where they were active in musical and community activities. Allan also performed in Broadway-style musical productions and for 10 years was a member of the Minnesota Chorale, performing regularly with the Minnesota Orchestra. In 2010, Grinnell College presented him with an Alumni Award for his work as a teacher and humanitarian. Allan loved baseball, traveling, reading, and photography. Most of all, he loved his family. He is survived by his wife, Linda; daughters, Beth and Holly Kellar ’93; and his grandchildren.
Bonnie Hagen Schmidt ’55, May 16, 2022, Marion, Iowa. Bonnie was born and grew up in Grinnell. After she graduated, she moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where she enjoyed teaching in the public school system for eight years. She married Gene Schmidt in 1962, and they had two children. Bonnie was a member of Christ Episcopal Church, Chapter DK in PEO, and various educational organizations. She loved spending time with her family and following her grandchildren’s activities. She is survived by her husband, two children, and three grandchildren.
Nancy Hunter Batz ’58, July 20, 2022, St. Paul, Minnesota. At Grinnell, Nancy made lifelong friends, traveled the country and abroad, and prepared to embark on a music teaching career. Nancy met Ronald Batz, her husband of 50 years, while teaching in Lake City, Iowa, and they had three children. Nancy’s most significant teaching job was in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, teaching K–8 music for 21 years before retiring in 1998. Her favorite job was teaching at United Community (now Boone High School), in Boone, Iowa. Nancy and Ron loved meeting new people and hosting parties around the upright grand piano in their living room. Upon retirement, they built and lived in a lake home in Spirit Lake, Iowa, where Nancy continued teaching piano and voice. Nancy was a member of the Grinnell Reunion Planning Committee from 2012–17. She is survived by her son, two daughters, grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter.
Joan Spratler Jackson ’59, March 8, 2022, San Francisco. Joan’s love and devotion to her children was rivaled only by her dedication to her 30-year career as a librarian and branch manager with the San Francisco Public Library. She is survived by her son and daughter.
Roger C. Smith ’60, March 30, 2022, Grand Junction, Colorado. Roger was a retired criminologist who served as director of the Michigan Bureau of Forensic Mental Health Services for 20 years. He earlier worked for the Hawaii Department of Public Safety and U.S. Justice Department, after earning advanced degrees from the University of Chicago and University of California-Berkeley. Survivors include his wife, Carmen.
Steve K. Beaumont ’62, June 16, 2022, Garber, Iowa. After he attended Grinnell, Steve earned a doctorate in history from the University of Wisconsin and served in the U.S. Navy. Steve made his living as a carpenter. A passionate conservationist, he reconstructed several plots of prairie at his Jupiter Ridge Farm near Garber. He also maintained a huge garden. His carpentry expertise and advice were invaluable in his volunteer restoration work at Motor Mill, a historic site in Clayton, Iowa. Steve also volunteered for the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and for the Clayton County Conservation Awareness Network, which honored him with a conservation award in 2019. Steve’s benevolence culminated with the donation of his farm to the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust, an organization formed to protect farmland to be used for growing food.
Vicki Warren Churchman ’67, April 9, 2022, Wichita, Kansas. Vicki earned a teaching certificate and a bachelor’s from Grinnell, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. She went on to earn a master’s in literature from the University of Iowa and journalism certification at Fort Hays State University. Her professional career centered on education and had a positive influence on the lives of many students. She was named to the Kansas Journalism Teachers’ Hall of Fame in 2001. She is survived by her husband, Dale Churchman; four children; grandchildren; and great-grandchildren.
Virginia “Ginny” Olson Richardson ’68, Dec. 11, 2021, Tucson, Arizona. Ginny created art over a span of seven decades. She earned a bachelor’s from Alfred University in 1972 and worked as head of the graphics department for the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts. She painted large-scale performance pieces in settings from schools to churches. Her work has been exhibited nationally and hangs in the homes of individuals as well as churches across the United States and internationally. She was married to Randy Richardson for 44 years. Together, they made a trip around the world, living for a year in Paris and six months in Cambridge, England. Ginny loved being a mom to her two children. In 1993, she earned a master’s from the University of Arizona. She was a counselor and art therapist with Carondelet Hospice in Tucson. She is survived by her husband, two children, and two grandchildren.
Mark S. Soldat ’69, April 18, 2022, West Des Moines, Iowa. As part of his studies at Grinnell, Mark spent a year abroad at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. After graduation, he went on to study law at Drake University, graduating in 1974. He practiced law in Algona, Iowa, from 1974–2003. During that time, he also served as the Kossuth County attorney. He spent the latter half of his career practicing law in the Des Moines area and was prominent in the field of workers’ compensation law. Early in his career, he famously worked pro bono to save a beautiful tree canopy from destruction in a road expansion project in Algona. While ultimately unsuccessful in that battle, the spirit of fighting against greed, power, and corruption embodied the way he lived his life. Mark was particularly proud of being a founding member of the Iowa Association for Justice Workers’ Compensation Core Group, his numerous Iowa Supreme Court cases establishing legal precedent that benefited injured workers, and the fact that he actively practiced law and tried cases for 47 years. He loved music and dance, was an avid Iowa Hawkeye and New York Yankees fan, and enjoyed travel. Above all, Mark loved his family and friends. He is survived by his partner, Jeanne Anderson; two children and his ex-wife, Marcia Soldat; and two grandchildren.
Charles U. Tweed ’69, Nov. 5, 2021, New London, Iowa. In 1967, Charles married Jean Percilla Capen ’68. Charles, who studied music in Oberlin, Ohio, received a bachelor’s in history from Grinnell. For more than 40 years, he served as a minister of the Congregational Universalist Church in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, retiring in 2004. He was a humanitarian and a classical pianist who also loved biking, hiking, camping, and sipping coffee with friends. He had a wonderful sense of humor and loved to tell jokes, but he was happiest when surrounded by family. Survivors include his wife; two daughters; four grandchildren; and his sister-in-law, Marian Capen Engstrom ’64.
Evelyn “Evie” Underwood ’70, July 16, 2022, Del Norte, Colorado. After graduating from Grinnell, Evie attended law school at the University of Minnesota. She was admitted to the bar in Colorado and Texas. For a brief time, she practiced law in Germany for the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG). After returning from Germany, she continued practicing law and owned a private law office in Del Norte. She was a member of PEO and Twin Mountain Ladies Aid and was active in Pioneer United Church. Evie enjoyed the presence of numerous animals — cows, yaks, goats, horses, dogs, and cats — in her life. She also spent many hours working on her vegetable garden. She was always game for an adventure: camping, fishing on the Rio Grande, foraging for culinary mushrooms, and traveling with family and friends.
Martha “Molly” Wolf ’71, Feb. 25, 2022, Gananoque, Ontario, Canada. She is survived by two children.
Stephen G. Dohe ’73, May 9, 2022, Omaha, Nebraska. Stephen is survived by his wife of 51 years, Marilou Dohe; a son and daughter; and two grandchildren.
Bruce F. McKean ’73, May 7, 2022, South Portland, Maine. Bruce attended Grinnell for one year and then transferred to the University of Iowa, where he graduated with a degree in English. An excellent musician, Bruce played lead guitar in bands during college and for many years afterwards. After graduation, while continuing with music, he began a separate career as a middle school English teacher. He also coached basketball and track and led a group of students in a band that played at local events. Bruce taught for 15 years before health problems forced his exit from the profession, though he continued playing music and taught private guitar lessons. In 2007, he moved to the Portland, Maine, area, where he married Karen Canter. He enjoyed Maine for the food, the crisp weather, and the life. Survivors include his wife, Karen, and his brother, Kevin.
Alan S. Rosenfield ’73, May 11, 2022, Santa Clarita, California. Alan graduated from Grinnell with honors in political science. One of his favorite extracurricular activities in Iowa was aviation, and he became a pilot. Alan began his career with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. While still working full time, Alan entered the Southwestern University School of Law. He was admitted to the bar in 1981. He worked as a deputy district attorney until he was appointed to the Newhall Municipal Court in 1990. He was elevated to the Los Angeles Superior Court in 2000. He presided over criminal matters for 17 years in Newhall, Lancaster, and Antelope Valley courthouses. He sat in central civil in 2008 and transferred to the Santa Clarita courthouse in 2014, retiring from the bench in 2017. He had served as an assigned judge since his retirement. Alan was proud of his service in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1983–2012. He served as an army judge advocate officer and received the JAA Outstanding Career Armed Services Attorney Award. Alan was an excellent chef; played the banjo; loved cars, motorcycles, aviation, and his pets; collected whimsical art; and traveled with his wife, Angela. A 40-year resident of Santa Clarita, he was known for his community service. Alan served as a GRASP (Grinnell Regional Admission Support Program) volunteer for Grinnell from 1998–2002. He is survived by his wife and a stepson.
Laurie Casselman ’75, March 2022, Tucson, Arizona. Laurie served as an executive of QRP Inc., producer of specialty gloves and finger cots for controlled environments, a company founded in 1974 by her father. Laurie’s survivors include her brother, Duncan Casselman ’81, and a daughter.
Jonathan V. Higgins ’80, July 24, 2022, Evanston, Illinois. Jonathan was an active athlete, musician, and scholar at Grinnell. He was rookie of the year, a two-time co-captain, and three-time all-conference soccer player. He adored his soccer coach, John Pfitsch, and John’s wife, Emily. He played music in numerous bands during his time at Grinnell, most notably with the Space Potatoes, who still perform at reunions. Jonathan was a biology major who pursued independent research in freshwater ecology under the direction of Professor Ken Christiansen. Jonathan received master’s and doctoral degrees in science from the University of Illinois-Chicago. He began his career as a contractor with the Environmental Protection Agency before joining the Nature Conservancy in 1995. With the conservancy, he developed methods to incorporate freshwater into their planning efforts, helping to transform the organization from a land-based, nongovernment organization to one that conducts broad conservation globally. Jonathan was widely published, cited, and recognized globally as an expert in freshwater conservation ecology. His work took him across North, Central, and South America as well as Africa, China, and Australia. Jonathan was passionate about his work and always eager to share his knowledge. He mentored young professionals with enthusiasm. In 2020, he created and funded the Grinnell College Jonathan Higgins ’80 Internship in Environmental Conservation Fund to encourage students to pursue careers in conservation and the environment. Donations to the fund can be made online (select “Other” under “Fund to Support,” and specify Jonathan Higgins). Checks may be mailed to: Grinnell College, 733 Broad St., Grinnell IA 50112-1690. Jonathan is survived by his wife, Susan Besson, and her two children, as well as his sister, Robin Higgins Karney ’78, brother-in-law, Peter Karney ’78, and nephews Daniel Karney ’04 and Benjamin.
Leisa Knettle Mukai ’86, April 21, 2022, Xcalak, Mexico. After 30 years of diving and snorkeling around the world, Leisa and her husband, Rob, an avid fly fisherman, moved to Mexico in 2014. They established a beachside off-the-grid eco inn, the Acocote Eco Inn, in Xcalak. Leisa was killed and Rob was seriously injured in an auto accident outside Xcalak. Survivors include her husband and a son.
Jennifer Bishop ’87, June 27, 2022, Fairhaven, Massachusetts. While at Grinnell, Jenn participated in track and cross country and set several College and state records. After graduation, she put her degree in political science to use when she joined the Democratic Party as a campaign organizer for presidential candidate Mike Dukakis. In 1992, she enrolled in law school at Boston University. After graduating, she married Robert Norton and moved to Wellesley, Massachusetts, where she joined G.W. and Wade Financial Planning group. After Jenn and Robert divorced, she moved to Fairhaven, Massachusetts. There, she met and married Ian Dobson and welcomed their son in 2003. She left G.W. and Wade to set up her own financial planning business in New Bedford, Massachusetts. This gave her the opportunity to get involved in her son’s activities as well as community activities such as YMCA, Boy Scouts, and city preservation projects. After Jenn and Ian divorced, she continued her service work in the community. She is survived by her son, Calvin Bishop Dobson.
James “Pen” Helm ’92, May 13, 2022, Louisville, Kentucky.
Peter D. Pennington ’04, June 4, 2022, White Salmon, Washington. Pete loved nature and the outdoors. During high school, he trained in Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue and became an Eagle Scout. As an adult, he kayaked through the Grand Canyon. He enjoyed hiking, biking, skiing, hunting, fishing, and camping. During Pete’s 2004 Commencement ceremony, he conducted an orchestral piece that he had composed. He went on to earn a master’s in counseling from Oregon State University-Cascades. Highlights of his career included working with at-risk youth in a wilderness program and building a successful problem-gambling recovery program. He practiced yoga and meditation. Throughout his life, Pete struggled with mental health issues. He continually worked to understand and navigate these challenges.
Nathan E. Austin ’07, June 9, 2022, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. Nathan’s survivors include his spouse, Keegan Gourlie Austin ’07, and one child.
Former Faculty and Staff
Robert Haveman, June 18, 2022, Madison, Wisconsin. Bob received a bachelor’s in economics from Calvin College and went on to earn a doctorate in economics at Vanderbilt University. He started at Grinnell in 1962 as an instructor in economics, eventually earning the rank of professor. He left the College in 1970 but often spoke of Grinnell as a “a place he loved.” He took a position as a senior economist with the U.S. Congress, then joined the faculty at the University of Wisconsin, where he finished his career. Along the way, he served as director of the Institute for Research on Poverty and LaFollette School of Public Affairs and chaired the Economics Department. Bob was an award-winning teacher who published widely. In 1996, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Umea University in Sweden. He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Bobbi Wolfe; five children; and 10 grandchildren.
Katherine McClelland, June 18, 2022, Grinnell, Iowa. Katherine graduated from Oberlin College and went on to earn a master’s in education at Lesley College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Katherine was Grinnell’s second director of the Mathematics Learning Center. She led the transformation of the center into what is now known as the Math Lab. In her 28 years as lab director and lecturer in mathematics, Katherine trained and supervised teams of student tutors and worked with hundreds of students individually to help them succeed in their mathematics and statistics courses. In her later years at the College, she taught introductory statistics courses. After retiring in 2012, she continued to teach statistics in the Liberal Arts in Prison Program at the Newton Correctional Facility. Survivors include her husband, Kent McClelland; son, David McClelland ’03, and daughter-in-law, Karen Fischer McClelland ’02.
Paul Nelson, Aug. 11, 2022, Grinnell, Iowa. In 1990, Paul joined Grinnell as a music technical assistant in the music department, a position that combined his love of music and audiovisual recording. He served as a staff member for more than 30 years before retiring in 2021. Paul organized and went on Grinnell choir tours throughout the world. Music was a year-round activity, from playing in the community band during the summer to the College Symphonic Band during the academic year. Around town and across campus, Paul was known as someone who “never met a stranger.” Paul’s biggest passion in life was family. Survivors include his wife of 44 years, Merna; five children, including Revae Nelson ’02, associate director of financial aid at the College, and Maureen Nelson ’04; and four grandsons.
Bruce Voyles, May 24, 2022, Grinnell, Iowa. Bruce joined Grinnell as an assistant professor of biology in 1977. He was promoted to associate professor in 1985 and became a professor of biology in 1994. He helped create and served as the first chair of the biological chemistry major and served as the chair of the science division for several years. Bruce was appointed the inaugural holder of the Patricia A. Johnson Professor of Biology in 2000 and held this professorship until 2011. He moved to senior faculty status in 2006 and was granted emeritus rank in 2011. He made numerous contributions to his field as a respected scientist and researcher. He contributed to programs to better integrate teaching and research that received grant funding from the National Science Foundation and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. One of his most impactful achievements was helping create the mentored advanced program for student research, MAP. Over the years, he included many students in his own research studies. Bruce was known for making science clear and interesting and for caring about his students. He is survived by his wife, Martha Voyles, Grinnell associate professor emerita of education; two children; and four grandchildren.