In Memoriam

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.