LuxEsto - The Digital Magazine of Kalamazoo College

In Memory

InMemory Spring 2024

Constance (Newcomer) Griffith

Constance (Newcomer) Griffith ’47 on Nov. 5, 2023. While at Kalamazoo College, she shared the Hodge Prize in Philosophy with Donald Griffith’47. After time, a romance ensued, and she and Don married in 1949. They were happily married for 72 years until Don died in 2022. After marriage, Connie supported Don by working as a telephone operator while Don went to medical school. They had two children and moved to Eau Claire, Wisconsin, in 1957, when Don started his career as a doctor. Connie was a stay-at-home mother and was active in volunteer organizations. She served as president of the American Association of University Women; president of the Women’s Auxiliary to the Eau Claire, Dunn and Pepin Medical Society; and as a board member of the YMCA, University of Wisconsin Foundation, and United Church of Christ. She was active in the League of Women Voters for many years and was a member of a chapter of the Philanthropic Educational Organization, serving as president from 1993–1995. Connie spent a number of years working as a bailiff for Eau Claire County, a job that she thoroughly enjoyed. Connie had a long, full and happy life. She enjoyed reading and decorating her home and loved observing things—people, nature and great-grandchildren, in particular. Even into her 90s, she was a whiz at cards and almost always won family card games. Connie was preceded in death by her husband, Don, and her son, Curt. She is survived by her daughter, four granddaughters, and three great-grandchildren. 

Joan (Akerman) Millar

Joan (Akerman) Millar ’48 on June 11, 2023. Joan was active in speech and drama at K. She was the Christmas reader for the annual Christmas Carol Service in 1947 and co-starred with Jack Ragotzy ’48 in Maxwell Anderson’s The Star-Wagon, the senior play in 1948, presented at the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre. She did her student teaching under the direction of Howard Chenery, a well-known drama teacher at Kalamazoo Central High School for whom the present auditorium is named. Following graduation, Joan taught high school in Wisconsin and Illinois from 1948–1959. She earned her master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin in 1952. Joan stopped teaching to be a stay-at-home mother, yet stayed active in her community. She was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Alliance, Ohio; Riverside, Illinois; and Pittsburgh, where she was involved in programs assisting those in need. She was a former member of the League of Women Voters, a community theatre director in Meadville, Pennsylvania, and the “Story Lady” on TV in Meadville. Joan drove for Meals on Wheels for 29 years in Pittsburgh. She was preceded in death by her husband, John Millar. Those left to cherish her memory are her son, five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, as well as her longtime friend and K roommate, Jackie (Buck) Mallinson ’48, with whom she maintained a close friendship for almost 79 years, from their arrival at K in the fall of 1944, until Joan’s passing.

Melisse Louise (Truitt) Kurtz

Melisse Louise (Truitt) Kurtz ’49 on February 23, 2023. On September 6, 1947, she married the Rev. Gordon F. Kurtz ’48, who preceded her in death. She was also preceded in death by one son, Stephen. Surviving are three sons, two daughters, including Margaret “Peg” Carroll ’74, four daughters-in-law, and one son-in-law, numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, as well as many other family members, including nieces Laura Kurtz DeBoer ’70 and Karen Kurtz Spielman ’70, nephew David Kurtz ’75, and grand-nephew Andrew Kurtz ’05.

Barbara (Schreiber) Hamlow

Barbara (Schreiber) Hamlow ’50 on October 28, 2023. Barbara graduated from Kalamazoo College and was employed as a feature writer and editor for the company magazine of The Upjohn Company in Kalamazoo. She married the love of her life, Eugene E. Hamlow, in 1954, and they moved to Evansville, Indiana, where she lovingly raised three children. She had six grandchildren. Her volunteer work supported the League of Women Voters, Evansville Deaf Social Services, the United Way, Great Expectations, and Republican Party politics. She will be remembered as an advocate for the homeless who championed a group of volunteers called Lutherans for Habitat and was proud of the many homes they funded and built through Habitat for Humanity of Evansville. Barbara was passionate about the decorative arts, especially needlepoint, and led the crafters who, over a period of several years, designed and created beautiful needlework cushions for the sanctuary of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, where she was an active member.

Barry Taylor Parsons ’52 on October 8, 2023. Barry was a proud graduate of Kalamazoo College. He worked as a bank manager in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and as an advertising manager for BBDO in Detroit. Barry served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and was stationed at Madigan Army Hospital in Spokane, Washington. Barry and the love of his life, Lucille Greenwalt Parsons, were married for 63 years. They owned and operated Parsons’ Children’s Store, a very successful children’s clothing and gift store and a favorite of local residents for many decades. Barry was an icon in the community, working well into his 80s at several local banks, and a favorite to all who came in contact with him. Barry was deeply dedicated to his family and loved a good crossword puzzle and spending time in the sun. An avid gardener, he was always finding a unique tree, bush or plant which he would “stick in the yard” so all could enjoy. He was a knitter who produced beautiful sweaters and full-length coats along with countless pairs of mittens; he made amazing, intricate gold bracelets and necklaces; and he was famous for his Christmas peanut brittle and fruitcakes. In his later years, he provided around-the-clock care for Lucy when she became wheelchair-bound. They could often be seen walking outside their home or baking in the kitchen, with Barry doing the work while Lucy provided the instructions. Barry was preceded in death by his wife, Lucy, in April 2023. Barry is survived by his three children and their spouses, seven grandchildren and a great-grandson.

June (Studhalter) Whittaker ’52 on March 5, 2023. June enjoyed swimming, boating, family get-togethers and spending time in Florida with her husband, Bill. June raised her daughters, by example, to be loving, caring and kind. All who knew June admired her warmth, grace and her beautiful handwriting. June was the beloved wife of the late William Whittaker, loving mother of three children, cherished grandmother of eight, and great-grandmother of four.

Zelda (Zook) Hittel ’53 on November 1, 2022.

Leslie Edwin Greene

Leslie Edwin Greene ’54 on January 4, 2024, at his home in Three Rivers, Michigan. Les was a graduate of Kalamazoo College and Western Michigan University after active duty in the Navy. He met his wife, Helen, at Kalamazoo Central High School, and proposed marriage over the phone while stationed in Guam—a short call due to the high international rates. He mailed her an engagement ring, and the couple wed in July 1955. They enjoyed traveling to Crystal Lake and being active at First Presbyterian Church of Three Rivers/Centreville. They raised two children and were blessed with two grandchildren—the lights of their lives. Les was a lifelong private pilot. He was a tinkerer who loved designing, building and fixing just about anything. He also loved cars, reading, music (especially big band and classical), singing, sweets and farming. Les will be remembered as a really good friend, always willing to help others. Les was a retired Navy commander and for three decades taught biology and aviation at Loy Norrix High School. He was preceded in death by his wife, Helen. Remaining to cherish his memory are his son and daughter and two granddaughters.

David H. Brethauer ’55 on November 18, 2023, in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. A Kalamazoo College engineering graduate, he enjoyed a successful career as a regional manager for Press Steel Tank Co., earning respect for his work ethic. Beyond his professional life, Dave embraced adventure, from motorcycling to hunting, and was an avid motor home enthusiast. A skilled wood turner, golfer and family man, he was known for his generosity and community involvement. For 30 years, Dave was deeply involved with Alcoholics Anonymous and helped many find their sobriety as a sponsor and facilitator. He was very passionate about his commitment to the organization and how it provided positive changes in people’s lives. Dave is survived by his wife, Alma, two sons, three grandchildren, three step-grandchildren and a great-grandson. 

Marion (Johns) Dodson

Marion (Johns) Dodson ’55 on September 29, 2023, in Longview, Washington. Marion was born in Benton Harbor, Michigan, to Vernon L. Johns and Betty Wykkel Johns ’29. At Kalamazoo College, Marion studied literature, participated in the student senate, and met her future husband, Arleigh Dodson ’55. Their marriage after graduation was the beginning of a 66-year partnership as they raised four energetic boys while exposing them to a world of books, education and adventures. Arleigh’s first, and only, teaching position brought the newlyweds to Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Marion enjoyed a rewarding 13 years with the L&C Institute for the Study of American Language and Culture, where she welcomed visitors, students, and staff, fixed everything from immigration problems to copy machines, and became a second mother to students from around the world. Marion and Arleigh spent their adult lives working to strengthen voting rights in America. In 1967, they moved their family to Greensborough, North Carolina, for a year so Arleigh could serve as a visiting professor at North Carolina A&T State University, a historically Black college. In 1972, Arleigh and Marion took their four sons and 24 brave Lewis and Clark students on an enriching six-month study abroad program to Ghana, West Africa. Marion was a voracious reader and she made sure that her kids and grandkids caught the reading bug. She also loved helping them with homework, attending sports games and taking them on road trips across America. Marion was an empathetic, vivacious woman with a quick wit and a great love for her family and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, Arleigh. She is survived by four sons, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. 

Irene T. Olson ’55 on July 21, 2022, in Waukegan, Illinois.

Monica Evans

Monica Evans ’56 on January 15, 2024, after a long illness. Monica graduated in 1956 with a bachelor’s in biological sciences from K, after having spent the summer of 1955 at the University of Michigan’s Biological Station in Pellston, Michigan. She later earned a Master of Science in 1958 from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Monica returned to Kalamazoo after her studies and worked in membership operations for the Michigan Audubon Society (MAS). In 1960, she began a career at the Kalamazoo Nature Center (KNC) that would span 39 years. She began as administrative assistant, was later promoted to executive assistant, and held the positions of secretary and treasurer. Monica served for 10 years as board secretary for the MAS. She was a lifetime member of the MAS as well as KNC and the Wilson Ornithological Society. For her decades of service, KNC named the Monica A. Evans Arboretum in her honor. Monica had deep empathy and kindness for people and was an avid animal lover. An adept record-keeper and archivist, she documented the feathered visitors to her birdfeeder and entered this data into KNC’s database as a volunteer. Upon retirement, Monica pursued her passion for world travel, as attested by numerous passport books filled with stamps from circumnavigating the globe. Monica visited nearly all the world’s countries, and every country in North and South America. Monica will be missed by many that shared her love of family, cats, friends, nature, travel and art.

JoAnne Elizabeth (Keller) DeVries ’56 on October 27, 2023. JoAnne arrived at K in September 1953, on an honorary full-tuition scholarship. She quickly became a part of college life, editing the Boiling Pot yearbook in her junior year and meeting Duane DeVries ’55, who became her husband a few days after he graduated. They moved to East Lansing, where he earned his Ph.D. in English literature and she her B.A. and Master of Science degrees. They then moved to New York City, where JoAnne earned her Ph.D. in microbiology on a full-tuition fellowship from Columbia University while Duane taught in the English department of New York University. She completed post-doctoral work at New York University and worked her way up the executive ladder at Schering Plough Pharmaceutical Co. (now Merck) to become the director of one of its prestigious laboratories. JoAnne loved life and traveled all over the world for her company—and for pleasure, with her husband of 68 years, who survives her and wrote this brief summary of her very full life with tears in his eyes.

Paul Coash

Paul Coash ’57 on November 23, 2023. Paul attended the University of Notre Dame before transferring to Kalamazoo College, where he was captain of the football team in 1954. Paul received his bachelor’s degree in economics and political science in 1957. Paul met his wife of 66 years, Sue Mattes, on a blind date in 1954. They married in June 1957. Paul and Sue welcomed four children to their family: Todd, Julie, Patsy and Matt. Paul began as a personnel manager at Peter Echrich, then later owned the Budweiser Busch Distributorship in Kalamazoo from 1969 to 1985. He was also the owner of West Hills Athletic Club from 1974 until 1998, when he sold it to Western Michigan University. Paul served as the president of the Notre Dame Club of Kalamazoo and was the past president of the K-Club at Kalamazoo College. For over 50 years, Paul and his family enjoyed summer vacations on the waters of South Haven, Michigan, but his favorite spot was in Naples, Florida, where he and Sue spent over 25 years. They enjoyed many good friendships in Naples, all of whom truly made their winter retreat feel like home. They recently moved back to Westfield, Indiana, to be closer to their family. Paul is survived by his wife, Sue, four children, 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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Linda Ann (Leeuw) Johnston ’58 on November 30, 2023, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. Despite health issues that manifested in the early ’70s, Linda remained as active as possible. She loved her charity work volunteering at the Portage Community Outreach Center, and since she was an avid reader, she enjoyed volunteering at the Portage Public Library. Linda also enjoyed many arts and crafts, including knitting, sewing and refinishing furniture. Her independence and ability to adapt to any situation was a strength Linda was very proud of, but she was most proud of the successes of her three sons. Linda is survived by three sons, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

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Judith (Pavia) McCabe ’60 on November 24, 2023, in Louisville, Kentucky. Judy lived her constant encouragement of “Be nice” and “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Love all people. She lived thinking of others first and helping the less fortunate. She radiated kindness. She loved her family; they were so important to her. She worried enough, no one else needed to. Judy was a great cook, but favored painting, gardening and reading. Her artistic creativity extended from landscapes and seascapes on canvas to painting on silk to her personalized birthday, Christmas, and greeting cards to murals of Star Wars and the University of Louisville Cardinal mascot on basement walls and picturesque scenes on bathroom walls. She saw beauty in everything. Her passing was a blessing as obstacles in life increased and her abilities slowly diminished. Her complaints, if any, were soft. She is now at peace. Judy was a member of Harvey Browne Memorial Presbyterian Church, Louisville, and an affiliate member of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Beulah, Michigan. Beloved wife of James R. McCabe ’60 for 62 years, she was the mother of four children, grandmother of 13, including Nicholas McCabe ’19, and great-grandmother to five. Her sister-in-law, Barb Fowler’57, was the sister she never had.

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Judith H. Cooper ’61 on June 2, 2023, at her home in Gustavus, Alaska, in the company of her beloved sled dogs. A biology major at K, Judy joined the Peace Corps in 1964 and served in Bolivia, where she was involved with public health programs. Judy worked in Ashville, North Carolina, for a year, serving disadvantaged Appalachian families. She would have stayed longer, but suffered an aneurism, prompting a move home to Wisconsin while recovering. She moved to Alaska in 1968 to take a job in Hoonah as director of the Parent Child Center. In the early 1970s, Judy took a job with a Juneau Parks and Recreation program for street children. She attended a workshop given by Dale DeArmond, a wood block artist. Leaving the workshop, she told a friend, “I’m going to do this for the rest of my life.” True to her word, she never stopped producing prints, specializing in linoleum block printing and displaying and selling her work in downtown Juneau at the Artists Co-op, which she co-founded. She joined the Laborers Union and went through their training program in Anchorage. She appealed to the union and was singlehandedly responsible for the rule change that allowed women to be flaggers. Soon, she joined the workers on the Alaska Pipeline. After pioneering as a woman on the pipeline, Judy took a cross-country ski trip in the Yukon and was introduced to skijoring and dog sledding. Judy bought a cabin in Tagish, Yukon Territory, becoming a true “snowbird,” leaving her home in Juneau during the winter months for Tagish with her dogs, skijoring then dog sledding. She then moved on to the “Mushing Capital of the World,” Two Rivers, outside of Fairbanks, where she maintained a dog lot, eventually tending to well over 50 sled dogs. She bred dogs for skills as well as color and named her kennel Earth Tone Huskies. Her neighbors on Starr Hill, where she lived for over 20 years, remember her as an active member of the community, including as a dancer and musician in the Juneau Folk Ensemble. Judy was known to initiate and pay for public artwork, including the Chicken Yard Park nun sculpture, and she also contributed funds and labor to the U.S. Forest Service Cabin at Eagle Glacier. One friend recalled that Judy successfully petitioned the Alaska Board of Game to limit trapping in the vicinity of Juneau’s main trail system, saving many local pets from unintentional harm. In 2013, she was welcomed into the community of Gustavus, Alaska, where she sold her cards at local markets, loved attending potlucks and community dances, and participated in virtually every parade with her closest pet, Osa. Judy’s was a good life, well lived. She was predeceased by her parents, Helen (Folsom) ’27 and Garrett Cooper. 

Gerald Vernon

Gerald Vernon ’63 on November 2, 2023. Jerry married his high school sweetheart, JoEtta (JoEy) in 1962. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Kalamazoo College and master’s degree in business from the University of Michigan. Jerry spent 18 years working in human resources for Pillsbury in Springfield, Illinois (where son David was born); Hamilton, Ohio (where Douglas was born); Brooklyn Park, Minnesota (where Kent was born); Grand Folks, North Dakota; and Deephaven, Minnesota. He moved on to Banquet Foods in St. Louis, in 1983, and then to ConAgra in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1985. Jerry was an active member of St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church in Elkhorn, Nebraska. He served as finance committee chair, member of the Legacy Society Team, garden volunteer in the lawn mower brigade, and part of the Friday morning men’s Bible study. Jerry especially enjoyed the Christian Outreach Program of Elkhorn Tuesday bread run group (aka Dough Boys) and coffee club that followed with lively conversations that solved the world’s problems. Jerry was loyal and put everyone else first. He was humble, generous, compassionate and never met a stranger. He is preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, JoEy Vernon, and son Douglas. Jerry is survived by sons David and Kent, and seven grandchildren.

Christopher Roy Jocius ’65 on June 27, 2023 in Paxton, Illinois. He was a resident of Amber Glen Alzheimer’s Special Care Center, Urbana. Chris attended Kalamazoo College, where, in his junior year, he lived with a family in Münster, Germany, for three months while studying sociology and German. Chris started work on a master’s degree in Russian history at Northern Illinois University before opting to leave school and apply for conscientious objector status. As a conscientious objector, Chris served with the Church of the Brethren Volunteer Service program. He went to Poland for two years as an English language lecturer in the foreign language department of the Agricultural University of Warsaw. When he returned to the U.S., he completed a master’s degree in Russian history at the University of Kansas, then a master’s degree in library science at the University of Illinois, where he was the manager of the Information Service program in the Library Research Center for several years. Chris also managed a year-long special project for the State Library with two other librarians, reviewing library services in the prisons of Illinois. While at the University of Illinois, Chris became an active member of Urbana-Champaign Friends Meeting. In 1989, Chris moved to Aurora to become the reference librarian at Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. During his 14 years in the Chicago area, he was a much-loved member of Downers Grove Friends Meeting. In 2003, Chris became the head of the library reference department at the Missouri Institute of Science and Technology, a job he held for 10 years. When he retired, he moved back to Champaign and rejoined the Urbana-Champaign Friends Meeting. Chris is survived by his brother and sister-in-law and two nephews.

Harold G. Schuitmaker

Harold G. Schuitmaker ’65 on November 26, 2023. Harold attended Kalamazoo College and Western Michigan University, attaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1965. He received a Juris Doctor degree at Wayne State University Law School in 1970. His dedication and legal acumen were recognized with the Region 8 (Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana) Outstanding Student Award from the Delta Theta Phi Law Fraternity. On a warm August day in 1966, he wove the threads of his destiny with Zoe Verhage, his beloved life partner. Harold’s professional career began selling real estate. Harold proudly served as the president of the State Bar of Michigan Probate Council. He clerked for the honorable Judge Marjorie Luna and then began working for the law office of Horace Adams. In 1980, Harold founded his own legal practice and also entered the political arena, running for Congress. His commitment to public service extended to his role as the longest-serving district chair of the Republican Party. He served as an elder of his church and taught Sunday School together with his wife for over 15 years. He was a member of the Paw Paw Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow, was involved in the incorporation of the Kal-Haven Trail and supported the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy and SLD Read in obtaining 501(c)(3) status. Harold was a kind, gentle and loving soul. His intelligence shone through, his optimism infectious, and his sense of humor, reflected in endless bad jokes, a source of shared laughter. Surviving are his loving and faithful wife, Zoe, his dear daughter and two grandchildren.

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John Lansford Moore ’66 on November 19, 2023, at his home in Chevy Chase, Maryland. John was a dedicated and accomplished individual with a profound interest in economics. John earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Kalamazoo College and later received his Ph.D. in natural resource economics from the University of Michigan. His intellectual curiosity and commitment to the field were evident in his numerous publications throughout his illustrious career. One of John’s most significant professional accomplishments and sources of pride was his over 30-year tenure at the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress. He served for many years as the director of the Resources, Science, and Industry Division and its predecessor division, where his expertise and insights made lasting contributions to the field of natural resource and environmental policy. Beyond the world of academia and his career, John found enjoyment in the simple pleasures of life. His love for sailing and golf was infectious, and he never missed an opportunity to invite others to share in these passions. Michigan held a special place in his heart, and he reveled in spending summers sailing at Beaver Island with his two daughters when they were children. Later, he enjoyed time on his beloved sailboat in Annapolis with family and friends, as well as playing chess with his grandchildren. John was preceded in death by his parents, Lansford “Bud” Moore ’40 and Jane Moore ’40. He is survived by his loving wife, Bela Moore, and his two daughters. His memory will live on through his four grandchildren.

Barbara King Paxson

Barbara King Paxson ’67 on January 19, 2024. Barbara was a lifelong artist and a lover and maker of lyric beauty. She studied arts and cultures at Kalamazoo College and went on to excel in graphic arts at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. Her master’s thesis spanned the connections between African art and South American traditions. She gained a second master’s degree in Seattle, with an emphasis on art history in Native American cultures. She made three extended trips to West Africa, serving in the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone and in the Vista program in the Virgin Islands, as a research assistant to an anthropologist, trekking into the bush to study Mende culture, and then once again in the Peace Corps. These efforts infused her art with energy, color and variety for the rest of her life. She was also a passionate advocate for peace and justice. Nature itself inspired her, from the seashells and leaves to the shaping of the seasons. She did freelance work as an illustrator for botanical and medical journals, as well as Parabola magazine. Much science informed her work. Barbara’s art has left its lasting blessing for many of us. Her delicate, detailed illustrations bloom in medical texts, cultural books, children’s magazines and art studies. Her watercolors, collages, mermaid figurines, decorations and prints grace galleries and walls all across our country. She illustrated works of craft from indigenous American people and worked with Potawatomi basket makers, going with them to the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., to demonstrate their art. Such bestowals are the legacy of a determined, industrious, illumined heart enraptured by life’s beauty. 

Dana Sterling Getman

Dana Sterling Getman ’68 on October 15, 2023. Dana was a dedicated businessman and leader who spent his professional career at Getman Corporation, a family business that under his leadership grew from a small, regional manufacturer of construction and mining equipment into one of the most recognizable brands in underground mining worldwide. Dana worked at Getman Corporation for over 45 years, joining the company in 1968, at age 22, and retiring from a full-time role in 2013. He remained chairman of the Board of Directors of Getman Corporation at the time of his death. Over the final 10 years of his life, Dana turned his attention more fully to his lifelong passions of community service and philanthropic work. He was a key contributor to multiple organizations and causes, including holding leadership roles with Youth Development Company, the Covert School Board and the South Haven Center for the Arts. He was instrumental in the creation of the South Haven Recreational Authority, contributed to the establishment of the Van Buren County Senior Services Center in South Haven, helped lead efforts for the funding and construction of the Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven, and established the Getman Endowment for Equity in Women’s Athletics at his alma mater, Kalamazoo College. Dana touched the lives of many with his compassion, helped young entrepreneurs gain footing with new businesses, provided advice and counsel whenever asked, and had an open ear and an open mind for anybody who needed it. He raised his children to be their own selves, never judging, always supporting and encouraging, and he welcomed sons-in-law and daughters-in-law with the same love as his own children. He cherished his wife and their time spent together discussing countless things. Dana is survived by his wife, Teresa, eight children and 14 grandchildren.

Lee William Kaslander

Lee William Kaslander ’68 on December 6, 2023, on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada. His old lungs could not fight off the pneumonia that followed a bad bout of stomach flu. Lee attended Kalamazoo College, which included six months of foreign study in Erlangen, Germany. He and partner Chris (Owens) Ast ’68 then moved to Regina, Saskatchewan, where Lee earned a Master of Science in chemistry. Instead of continuing in chemistry, he decided to join the new computer center in the Saskatchewan government. He spent the next 25 or so years working in the IT industry in Saskatchewan, Yukon, British Columbia, Washington state, California and wherever else he was sent. Lee found his true calling when he took a motorcycle safety course and decided to become a certified motorcycle safety instructor in Washington state. Over the past 20 years, Lee taught about 9,000 students and worked with 171 other instructors. These were truly his people and this was his joy. Lee loved motorcycles – riding and owning them, teaching others to ride them, watching them race, following the riders and teams, visiting bike shops, talking to “like-minded fools” about them, taking solo motorcycle trips and trips with his wife, Bev, and the “bike gang.” Other fun facts about Lee: his favorite song was The Weight by the Band; his “backup plan” was Stevie Nicks; he kept stats on motorcycle racing, his motorcycle classes, baseball, books he’d read; he was a reader and read The New Yorker from cover to cover; he was a grammar and punctuation purist and believed in the Oxford comma. He loved a good “debate.” He was a smart, funny, good man, and he will be missed by so many people. He is survived by his wife, Bev Franks, two sons, and four grandchildren, as well as Chris Ast, the mother of his sons.

Kenneth Howard Quigley

Kenneth Howard Quigley ’69 on October 23, 2023, at home in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. He received his bachelor’s degree in English from Kalamazoo College. Ken started his own marketing and public relations firm, Quigley and Associates, in 1977, and ran it until 1995, when he became president and CEO of the Morehouse Group, a publisher serving the Episcopal Church. In 2002, Morehouse Publishing was acquired by Continuum International. Ken continued to serve as the U.S. CEO of Continuum International Publishing Group until 2005. Ken joined the Episcopal Church Foundation, New York City, in July 2005, as program director overseeing the growth and development of endowment management services. In his role, Ken counseled churches on defining purposes, building structure, growing endowment funds and business development. In addition, Ken has served in many capacities, including as the board president of the St. Vincent’s Center for Disabled Children in Haiti. Ken is survived by his loving wife, Patti, two daughters, three step-children, four grandchildren and four step-grandchildren.

Gail Hunt Henry ’70 on October 18, 2023.

Michael Schonfeld

Michael Schonfeld ’70 on January 5, 2024, after a brief, gracefully walked journey with liver cancer. Born in Detroit in 1948 to Miriam (Hougom) and Jack Schonfeld, Mike grew up with his four siblings in Imlay City, Michigan. His German and Norwegian ancestors arrived in the Great Lakes region in the 1800s, a time when numerous land cessions and treaties were negotiated with or contested by tribal nations. His parents farmed muckland, taught piano and showed him to care for and love all people and the land. Mike loved sports and worked hard as a student, graduating from Wayne State Medical School in 1974, and completing residency at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing in 1977. A great joy was building a log cabin in remote Ontario with his brother Pete Schonfeld ’75 and friends Jim Clay ’70, Bill Struck ’70 and Jeff Fishel ’76. He and Lucy (D’Arcy) were married almost 50 years ago under a maple tree near Lucy’s family farm in Imlay City. They moved to Reedsburg, Wisconsin, where he practiced family medicine and they raised three children. It was his joy to serve and learn from his patients in their journey from early life through to meaningful death. He always wanted to hear your stories and share some of his, which, at least started with the truth. He was close to God in wild places and lived a life of love and adventure. Even last year, he spent many nights sleeping in wilderness areas, and he enjoyed passing on skills to the next generation as an archery and hunter safety teacher and devoted grandpa. Mike is survived by Lucy, their children, Darcy Schonfeld ’99, Sally, and Paul, their partners, five grandchildren, and beloved family and friends.

John H. Deming ’75 on March 2, 2023. John did not want an obituary. His obituary rests with the memories of everyone in the Grand Ledge, Michigan, community whose lives he touched.

Paul Burkett

Paul Burkett ’78 on January 7, 2024, from sudden complications of acute myeloid leukemia. Paul attended K and received his Ph.D. in economics at Syracuse University. His teaching career began at Syracuse and took him to Auburn Correctional Facility in New York, the University of Miami, and Indiana State University, from which he retired in June 2020. An intellectual and scholar, Paul published many books, journal articles, notes, reviews and book chapters in his field. He felt his most important books were Marx and Nature: A Red And Green Perspective (1999) and Marxism and Ecological Economics (2006). He was passionate about his work, socialism, the planet, justice and jazz. He began playing the saxophone when his son Patrick died, as a way to cope with deep grief, and proceeded to bring to his study of the instrument, of jazz, and of music in general, the same focus and fierce dedication he brought to his academic work. Calling himself PapaPatty in honor of Patrick, he played in many venues all around the Terre Haute, Indiana, area for almost two decades. Paul was preceded in death by his youngest son, Patrick. He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Suzanne, three children and two granddaughters.

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Caroline Sue Vernia ’82 on August 21, 2021, at her home in Raleigh, North Carolina. Carrie studied philosophy at Kalamazoo College, where she was editor of the school newspaper and earned the Henry and Inez Brown Award for outstanding participation in the college community. In 1982, she received a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship that provided the opportunity for her to spend nine months living in Thailand with Hmong refugees. She moved to Raleigh in 1992, and began working with Lutheran Family Services, where she continued her service with the refugee community in the triangle area. She later switched paths and achieved an M.S. in forestry at North Carolina State University, subsequently working as a research technician in the plant pathology department, where she authored and co-authored several articles with a focus on North Carolina fungal ecosystems. In 2005, she combined her desire to help others and her love for science by becoming a teacher at Sanderson High School, where she taught science, English as a Second Language, and night school before her retirement in 2017. After retirement, she continued to serve others through her work with P.E.O. International, the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, the JC Raulston Arboretum, and Brown Bag Ministries, among others. She was overjoyed to become a grandmother in 2020. Carrie had a gift for finding the good in everyone, and a passion for social justice and education. She was a dedicated educator who encouraged and inspired many. Above all, she will be remembered for her kindness and compassion. Carrie is survived by her daughter and grandson.

Edward Monovich

Edward Monovich ’92 on December 27, 2023. Alongside a ready laugh and smile, Ed shared a love of people and an easy conversation style with his role models, his grandfather and namesake, Edward Peter Monovich, and father, Robert Edward Monovich. Ed valued family, tradition and connection, as well as exploration, adventure and experimentation. He was nimble with words and concepts and passionate about education, mountains, sports, dogs and art. He is remembered as a dear friend, devoted father and husband. Ed earned his Bachelor of Arts from Kalamazoo College with a double major in biology and studio art. After earning his Master of Fine Arts in painting and drawing from the University of Texas at Austin, Ed began his career as an artist with solo and group shows across the country. Ed’s early career work encouraged the viewer to interact with or contribute directly to the art, a theme he maintained through the rest of his life. Ed’s recent work showed locally in Boston, across the U.S., and internationally in South America and Europe and reflected his interest in additional media such as print making, bronze casting, mixed media, sculpture and performance. Collaborative and interdisciplinary projects with artists and scientists marked his later work. Since 2011, Ed enjoyed connecting with students and faculty as a dedicated and esteemed professor of art at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. He married Lauren Gilchrist ’93 on October 5, 1996, in Stetson Chapel at Kalamazoo College, and the pair lived in Texas, Colorado and New Jersey before settling in Belmont, Massachusetts, in 2004. In addition to his wife, Lauren, he leaves his three children and many other family members, including his brother Robert C. “Chris” Monovich ’87.

Meredith Metzler ’97 on July 21, 2023, after a courageous battle with cancer. Meredith double majored in mathematics and physics at K and went on to complete additional studies at Cornell University. In 1999, he married his wife, Kelly (Riley) Metzler ’97, and they welcomed two sons, Riley and Kieran, during their 24 years of marriage. Meredith worked in a variety of positions at the Cornell NanoScale Facility, the Quattrone Nanofabrication–Singh Center for Nanotechnology, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology over his professional career. He also participated in many working groups and planning teams in his scientific interest areas. Meredith enjoyed his time volunteering with scouting and his son’s robotics team. He was a car enthusiast and delighted in fixing cars, spectating at amateur rally racing and attending professional races. Meredith’s other hobbies included cycling (proudly completing two charity century races), tackling house projects, taking his sons to concerts and spending time with friends. He is survived by his wife, Kelly, two children, and many caring family members, colleagues and friends.

Mary Dawn Ponce Ramos

Mary Dawn Ponce Ramos ’97 on January 4, 2024. Dawn graduated from Mount Carmel School in Saipan, Kalamazoo College, and received her master’s degree from Emerson College in Boston. She worked as a senior biller for Barclay Damon. Dawn enjoyed reading and loved traveling and trying new foods. Dawn is survived by her partner, Timothy Diehl.

Edwin O. Salvatierra ’16 on September 15, 2023. Edwin majored in East Asian Studies at K and studied abroad in Hikone, Japan. He lived in Sylmar, California.

Faculty, Staff and Friends of the College

William Andrew (Andy) Reed

William Andrew (Andy) Reed on November 22, 2023. Andy spent many years in Kalamazoo, enjoying a career as sports information director at Kalamazoo College from April 1985 to February 1989 before relocating to Atlanta, Georgia. He spent much of his time in Atlanta coaching local high school swimmers and tutoring university students in English and philosophical studies when he wasn’t spending time farming or baking bread at home. Andy will be remembered for his dedication to his hobbies, his love of sports (from football to futbol), and his appreciation for and consumption of all fields of knowledge. He is survived by his longtime partner, Gail Zorn, and two sons.

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