Roberta Lincoln Greenspon ’43, Sea Cliff, New York, Nov. 23, 2017.
Margaret Samuelson Walker ’43, Poulsbo, Washington, Sept. 8, 2019. After Grinnell, Margaret earned her master’s at Purdue University and then taught in Hammond, Indiana. When she lived in San Diego, she was an active volunteer with the Mission Hills United Church of Christ, Walkabout International, the San Diego Women’s Club, and the Scripps Ranch High School Library volunteers. Her survivors include three children, three grandchildren, and a great-grandson.
Mary Parsons Burkett ’48, Portage, Michigan, Aug. 20, 2019. Mary began her musical career very early on when she sang at her local Congregational Church. At Grinnell, Mary studied education and then earned a master’s in vocal music from the University of Michigan. She worked as an elementary school teacher and choir director. In the late 1960s, she and her husband Charley Burkett helped start the Paw Paw Village Players in Paw Paw, Michigan, and later purchased the playhouse that still puts on many players’ productions. Mary is survived by four children, 10 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.
Muriel “Scottie” Scott Harkee ’48, Glendora, California, Aug. 10, 2019.
Lee H. Baker ’49, Charleston, South Carolina, Sept. 8, 2019. Lee joined the U.S. Navy in 1942, serving on two aircraft carriers and a submarine chaser, primarily in the Pacific, during World War II. After Grinnell, he completed graduate work in public administration at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. In 1950 he married Carolyn Pitz. Lee worked for the Pentagon for 30 years in offices related to naval operations. For 16 years after that he was a self-employed financial management consultant to the U.S. House Appropriations Committee. Survivors include six children, nine grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
Joann Pitcher ’49, Chicago, June 21, 2019.
Ray J. Mourer ’49, Richland, Iowa, July 19, 2019. Ray served in the U.S. Army in the Pacific theater during World War II. He married Winnie McNeese of Grinnell in 1946. His interest in conservation led to his service on the Washington County (Iowa) Conservation Board, and in 1972 he received the State of Iowa Conservation Award. His survivors include four children, eight grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.
Patricia Sholders Spencer ’49, San Antonio, Aug. 14, 2019. Patricia attended Grinnell as a Younker Scholar and graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1949. After receiving her teaching certificate from California State University, Long Beach, she taught French in public schools in Ohio and Oregon. She earned her master’s at Portland State University in 1972. Her husband Gordon Spencer’s U.S. Air Force career took them around the world. Patricia is survived by three children, six grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.
Dale W. Christison ’50, Rancho Palos Verdes, California, Aug. 7, 2019. After serving in the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific during World War II, Dale attended Grinnell and met his future wife, Barbara Anderson Christison ’50. Dale taught high school for many years, including his first three in Grinnell. He also coached many successful track and football teams. He was an avid stamp collector, a talented woodworker, and loved to travel with Barbara, visiting all 50 states over the years. Dale is survived by his wife of 69 years, five children, and eight grandchildren.
Marian Scott Dillingham ’52, Carol Stream, Illinois, Sept. 7, 2019. After graduating from Grinnell, Marian taught grade school in Iowa before moving to Chicago. There she met her husband Bruce Dillingham at the YMCA; they married in 1960. Marian had a passion for evangelical missions. She and Bruce served as short-term assistant missionaries in Peru, where she taught Spanish. For Grinnell, Marian served as a regional volunteer from 2000 to 2005. Helping others was something she enjoyed. Her survivors include three children and six grandchildren.
Thomas W. Ohrbeck ’52, Edmonds, Washington, April 3, 2019.
Richard M. Combs ’53, Laguna Woods, California, May 31, 2019.
Sally Goen Maurer ’53, Iowa City, Iowa, Sept. 9, 2019. An Iowa native, Sally also attended the University of Iowa.
Lucy Wilson Sly ’53, Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey, July 1, 2018. Through her work as a teacher and a counselor, Lucy touched many lives. Survivors include two daughters and two grandsons.
Arthur “Bud” Heusner Jr. ’54, Bluffton, South Carolina, Aug. 30, 2019.
Cecil C. Smith ’54 Jr., Chicago, Sept. 5, 2019. Cecil was fond of humor and puns. He retired as the circulation manager for the Chicago Tribune. He is survived by his wife Suzanne Johnsen Smith ’56; three children; nine grandchildren, including Alexandra Schmitt ’13 and Margaret Schmitt ’15; a great-granddaughter; and several nieces and nephews, including Bruce Johnsen ’82 and Gweneth Johnsen ’85.
Talbert E. Dowling III ’55, Washington, Maryland, Aug. 20, 2019. Talbert was a master electrician in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Survivors include two children and three grandchildren.
John P. Herman ’56, Colville, Washington, Sept. 24, 2019. In 1951, home for Christmas break after his first term at Carleton College, Jack discovered that all his friends had joined the U.S. Navy, so he did too. He attended medical corps school at Bainbridge Naval Training Center in Maryland and served for several months in Korea until the truce in 1953. After his discharge from the navy, Jack finished his undergraduate work at Grinnell and then attended the University of Iowa Medical School, graduating in 1961. He met his wife Jobyna “Joby” Ann Rankin while in medical school. Most of his medical practice was spent in Colville, Washington. Jack’s survivors include his wife of 61 years, three children, 12 grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.
Le Roy “Lee” Jacobs ’56, Minneapolis, Sept. 14, 2019. Lee died from complications due to Alzheimer’s disease. He met his wife Josephine Pondelicek Jacobs ’56 at Grinnell. He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy Reserve and a longtime member of the Lions Club. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, three children, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
R. Wayne Ohline ’56, Socorro, New Mexico, Sept. 17, 2019. Wayne was a Grinnell volunteer from 1998 to 2017, greeting and interviewing prospective students with the GRASP program. Survivors include his brother, Howard Ohline ’58; sister-in-law, Katherine Davis Ohline ’60; and daughter, Shane Ohline ’89.
Samuel D. Porter ’56, West Des Moines, Iowa, Aug. 6, 2019. After graduating from Grinnell and marrying Jewel Hendrickson, Sam went to Creighton Medical School and began his surgical residency at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. He practiced medicine in Mason City, Iowa, for 20 years. He was passionate about caring for his patients and dedicated to the continuous improvement of health care in northern Iowa. He retired from medicine in 1986 and began a second career in health care administration. Sam was a member of many medical councils across Iowa and served as president of the Midwest Medical Association. Sam also loved to spend his time as the sideline doctor for the Mason City High School football team. He is survived by his wife of 63 years; four children, including Samuel Porter ’83; and nine grandchildren.
Henry-York Steiner ’56, Spokane, Washington, Sept. 6, 2019. Hank’s connection to Grinnell was deep. His grandfather was Edward A. Steiner, professor of religion at the College, and for whom Steiner Hall was named. Hank’s time at Grinnell was interrupted by the Korean War. He served as a military policeman for two years before completing his bachelor’s in English. After earning his master’s from Yale University in 1957, Hank began his teaching career at Grinnell as an English instructor from 1957 to 1959. Teaching became his passion and life’s work. He earned a doctorate in English in 1963 at the University of Oregon and then returned to Grinnell as an assistant professor in English from 1964 to 1968 and associate dean 1966–68. Then he was recruited as dean of undergraduate studies at Eastern Washington University, where he served in many different roles. He became professor emeritus on June 13, 2019, having taught EWU students with distinction for 51 years. His areas of interest included folklore, East-West philosophy and religion, and fantasy theory. He was a pre-eminent Tolkien scholar, and his children and grandchildren loved consulting with him on all things Lord of the Rings. Survivors include his wife Lori Flores Steiner; three children; seven grandchildren, including Deborah Berk ’12; brother, David Steiner ’57; and nephew, Henry-York Steiner ’84.
Maynard F. Swanson Jr. ’57, Wellborn, Florida, Feb. 4, 2019. After graduating from Grinnell, Maynard earned a law degree at Duke University and then served as a judge with the 6th Circuit Court for 30 years. He is survived by Ruthann Frantz Swanson, his wife of 28 years, and three children, four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Nancy Slaughter ’58, Minneapolis, July 31, 2019. Nancy completed her bachelor’s and master’s at Macalester College. She began her professional career as an elementary school teacher and later worked in public relations for Winston-Seabury Press. She was a philanthropist serving the Twin Cities on multiple boards for different causes — women’s foundations, humanities commissions, church groups, and more. Her passions were art, arranging flowers, and extensive travel. Nancy is survived by her sister and cousins.
Beth Dieterly Barnes ’59, Milford, Massachusetts, March 9, 2019. Beth completed her bachelor’s at Miami of Ohio University and a master’s at Northwestern University. She also earned certification in speech therapy, which she provided to preschoolers for more than 50 years, working in Oklahoma, Florida, and Maine. Her survivors include two children and four grandchildren.
J. Joseph Okumu ’62, Kenya, July 10, 2019, of prostate cancer. Joe, who came to Grinnell slightly older than his peers, studied economics and political science. He played on the College’s first men’s soccer team and was also the team’s unofficial coach, because the official coach, George Drake ’56, didn’t really know soccer. Joe earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in political science at the University of California before returning to Africa, where he taught at several universities in Kenya, Sudan, and Tanzania. He wrote many articles published in the East African Journal analyzing political events in Kenya and at times earned the ire of the country’s security forces due to his forceful critiques. In 1973 Joe received an Alumni Award. His survivors include two children and four grandchildren.
Patricia Taylor Wilson ’62, Ankeny, Iowa, July 26, 2019. Patricia was active in many local groups and organizations. She enjoyed reading, antiquing, and traveling. She is survived by her husband Richard Wilson, two children, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Bruce M. Bell ’63, Barrington, Illinois, Aug. 23, 2019. After receiving his degree from Grinnell, Bruce enlisted in the U.S. Navy and completed officer candidate school in 1965. He served in Vietnam and was awarded a Bronze Star. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati Medical School in 1972 and married Joanne Reinersman that year. Bruce worked as a physician in Barrington until he retired in 2017. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, three children, 10 grandchildren, and his sister, Ann Bell McCarty ’56.
Robert F. Taylor ’63, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Aug. 19, 2019. Bob graduated from Grinnell High School and Grinnell College, where he majored in music and was active in theatre. He was a talented trombonist and composer, performing in groups big and small. In college, he played in a group led by Herbie Hancock ‘60. When serving in the Peace Corps, Bob learned from the traditions of Latinx jazz musicians in Colombia and Brazil. Upon his return to the United States, he played in a band that backed Motown groups, on tour with Broadway show companies, and in many more groups. Later in his career, he taught Spanish and TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) at Grand Rapids Community College. Survivors include his nephew, Ben Gordon ’11.
Lureta Kahler ’66, Toledo, Iowa, Aug. 1, 2019. Lureta was a biology major who went on to earn a master’s in teaching from the University of Colorado. She taught high school science and worked in medical research. When she was nearly 40 years old, she enrolled in Logan Chiropractic School in Missouri, graduating in December 1986 with a doctorate of chiropractic medicine. At the time she went back to school, she was amazed at how well her Grinnell education prepared her, even after 20 years. She found joy in her grandsons (whom she homeschooled), her church life, and the large vegetable gardens she maintained. She is survived by her daughter, son-in-law, and their four sons.
Peggy Gerber ’67, Lansing, Michigan, Jan. 23, 2019. After graduating from Grinnell, Peggy worked for the University of Michigan Mathematical Reviews Department. She was a master gardener and an avid reader of science fiction. She was drawn to animals, especially cats. Wherever she lived, her friends became her family.
Alice Evans Handy ’67, Bloomington, Minnesota, Sept. 25, 2019. Alice graduated with a bachelor’s in history and American studies and married Phillip T. Handy ’66 on June 17, 1967. She was awarded a fellowship to the University of Minnesota for a master’s in library science and education. In 1970 she became a media specialist in the Burnsville/Eagan (Minnesota) School District, where she remained until retiring in 2004. Alice’s vision and passion was to have the media center be a resource and support for the curriculum objectives of each teacher in the classroom and to encourage the literacy, curiosity, and critical thinking of every student. A frequent presenter at Minnesota Educational Media conferences, Alice published many articles in professional journals. She was a scholar, educator, proud feminist, poet, musician, and genealogist. Survivors include her husband, two daughters, and one grandson.
John K. Milne ’67, Portland, Maine, Sept. 5, 2019. John loved politics and spent four decades in journalism with United Press International, the Miami Herald, the New Hampshire Times, and the Boston Globe. He was present in 1972 when presidential candidate Edmund Muskie gave his famous “crying” speech that ended up harming his campaign. John wrote about the incident after Muskie’s death in 1996 and didn’t think there were tears. John always had a book project in the works, eventually editing Crosscurrents of Change: Concord, N.H. in the 20th Century, written by local historians. He enjoyed staying up late playing blues guitar, hiking, cooking, and reading to his grandchildren. He is survived by his wife Lisa Milne, two children, and four grandchildren.
Mata Bowyer Stevenson ’67, Chicago, Sept. 23, 2019. Mata died of Parkinson’s disease. After Grinnell, she earned a master’s in library science at Rutgers. She worked as a writer for Encyclopædia Britannica and as a research librarian for Newsweek magazine. She retired from the library of the Fashion Institute of Technology at the State University of New York. While living in Manhattan, she enjoyed opera, ballet, films, restaurants, and tango dancing. She loved learning and took night classes to learn the Greek language. She had a deep, lifelong love for Chicago. She is survived by husband Arthur Stevenson and brother Paul Bowyer.
Paul R. Revenko-Jones ’68, Chicago, Aug. 20, 2019. After graduating from Grinnell, Paul went on to earn his master’s from the University of Chicago. He worked as a registered piano technician and co-founded the Chicago School for Piano Technology. Paul loved to write poetry, go sailing, and play music and was an Aikido black belt. He is survived by Oksana Revenko-Jones, his wife of 42 years.
Nancy Morrison ’69, Pacifica, California, Aug. 13, 2019. After graduating from Grinnell, Nancy earned her master’s in social work from St. Louis University. She moved to San Francisco in 1975 and worked for various social service agencies in the area. In 2014, Nancy retired as a mediator with the San Mateo County Family Court. She was also very active in local politics and community groups, serving on the board of directors of the Pacifica Resource Center for many years. Nancy is survived by her husband Peter Loeb and two stepchildren.
Karen P. Smith ’69, Chicago, May 5, 2019. Karen was a talented psychologist who provided excellent care to her clients for more than 30 years. A lifelong Chicagoan, she lived unapologetically as a brilliant black woman, doctor, lesbian, and advocate. She uncompromisingly lived her purpose as a caring, dedicated counselor and devotedly guided the healing of others until the end of her life.
Gwendolyn Carter ’74, Philadelphia, Dec. 19, 2018.
James “Jimmy” Garst ’79, North Las Vegas, Nevada, July 2019. Survivors include his sister, Sallee Garst Haerr ’74.
David I. Hennagin ’85, Lakeway, Texas, Aug. 2, 2019. David studied political science at Grinnell and then moved to Los Angeles to work in advertising. It’s also where he met his wife Jean Hagan. David’s career included award-winning campaigns and Super Bowl commercials. Survivors include his wife of 30 years and two daughters.
John F. Dalal ’87, Chico, California, Sept. 5, 2019. John launched an international fabric design company, Maharaja Me, while living in New York City. He later moved to Oakland to live near his family. He served as a board member for San Francisco Bay Area-based Camp It Up!, the first LGBTQ+ family camp in the United States. John is survived by his husband Aaron Sauberan and their son.
Ralph W. Nyberg ’88, Manhattan, Kansas, Dec. 21, 2017. Ralph was proud of his bachelor’s in history from Grinnell. He was widely read and had broad tastes in literature and music. He played the cello and also briefly guitar in a rock band. Ralph loved traveling, including family sabbaticals in England and Sweden. He enjoyed street hockey, disc golf, and briefly, cricket. Survivors include his parents, brother, and sister.
Sean P. Wieser ’93, West Des Moines, Iowa, Oct. 7, 2019. After Grinnell, Sean earned his law degree from Drake University and worked as an attorney for Dallas County (Iowa) for 20 years. He was an active Grinnell volunteer, serving on his class committee from 2005 to 2019, as a regional volunteer beginning in 2010, as a New Student Orientation volunteer in 2015, and as an externship host in 2018 and 2019. He also volunteered with his son’s Cub Scout pack. In his quiet way, he was passionate about craft beer, music, watching sports from his couch, making the world a better place, and his family. Survivors include his wife Emily Wiser, son, and brother, Paul Wieser ’95.