Volume 34 Number 1 Fall 2011
In this Issue
- Café Society
- We did it!
- An Artist in Stone & Glass
- Set for Life
- The Red Bishop
The Editor's Page
- Letters to the Editor
- Echoes of the Unreal
Along Middle Path
- Wishing and Hoping . . . and Waiting
- Community Beacons
- Test your KQ
- How To Take Better Photographs
- The Hot Sheet
- Gambier is Talking About...
- Best in the Nation, Round Two
- On Location
- Kenyon in Quotes
- Going the Extra Mile
- Inside Dylan
- Recent Books by Kenyon Authors
- Lessons of Excellence
- A Wizard with Wood
- The Reel Deal
- Seven faculty members win tenure
- Class Notes
- Cosmic Explorer
- Margaret Maloney
- Rebecca Dash
- Alumni Digest
The Last Page
- A midlife crisis management guide
Jay C. Ehle '38, on January 22, 2011. He was ninety-three and lived in Fort Worth, Texas.
Jay was an economics and psychology major. He played baseball and football for Kenyon and was on the swimming team. He joined Beta Theta Pi. Jay later studied civil engineering at Fenn College. He began his career with Cargill in Minneapolis but soon joined Cleveland Builders Supply, a concrete, plaster, and insulation production company in Cleveland, Ohio. He became company president in 1963, retiring in 1984. He moved to Texas in 1995.
In a 1963 story published in the Cleveland Press, Jay said, "We have supplied concrete for most of the buildings in downtown Cleveland. Most of our customers are in the industrial and commercial fields." He was described in the story as "forceful and decisive with a square jaw and a sparse crew cut."
President Bill Clinton appointed Jay to the board of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Jay was a former chairman of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority and served on many other corporate and civic boards. He was also commodore of the Cleveland Yachting Club.
In addition, Jay wrote the book Cleveland's Harbor: The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority. A review of the book in the Alumni Bulletin said, "Ehle has captured much of the romance of the sea in his descriptions of the ships and their crews that have called at Cleveland."
Jay was an enthusiastic class representative. He received a number of awards for his contributions to the Kenyon Alumni Association, including the distinguished service award in 1997 and the class agent award in 2002. He was the grandfather of Judith Hruska Shook '91, and he wrote a letter in 1994 to other Kenyon grandparents, including praise for the faculty. "These great men made an impression on me and the same happened to my granddaughter," he said. In a 1993 letter to a Kenyon senior, Jay described his career and said, "Why was I so lucky? I loved my work ... and Kenyon had taught me to be a survivor, as I was never coddled. At Kenyon, you either made it or they threw you out."
Jay was preceded in death by his wife, Janet, and daughter, Judith Jayne. He was survived by sons James Ehle and Jay Ehle, eight grandchildren, and twelve great grandchildren. Donations in his memory may be sent to St. Peter's Episcopal Church, 18001 Lake Ave., Lakewood, Ohio, 44107, or to Kenyon College, Office of Development, Gambier, Ohio, 43022.
William K. Kindle '44 P'76, on November 28, 2008. The Tempe, Arizona, resident was eighty-six.
William was a physics major. He was a member of Beta Theta Pi. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army Air Forces. He was a radar and weather officer and spent time on Guam during the war.
He was a computer-industry pioneer and became supervisor of the analog computer section at the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory. William joined Electronic Associates in Los Angeles in 1956 as director of the computation center. He played a role in the advancement of analog computation, new developments in microwave tuning and heating, and the solution of missile and aircraft problems. William became chief engineer and was in charge of analog and hybrid computing systems and did specialized work on computer systems, computer linkage equipment, digital instruments, and analog plotters. He was named product program manager for the company in West Long Branch, New Jersey, in 1963, and managed the translation of research findings into equipment. By 1969 he was vice president and general manager of the company's Computer Service Division.
He was the co-author of The Handbook of Automation, Computation and Control.
William was the father of Kyle W. Kindle '76.
Donald M. Knapp 1945, on August 15, 2007. The resident of Reinholds, Pennsylvania, was eighty-five.
Donald joined Delta Tau Delta. He left Kenyon to join the U.S. Army and became a radio operator before promotion to the rank of sergeant.
He became president of H.A. Knapp and Sons, a home-supply retail store in Greenfield, Massachusetts. He worked there for more than thirty-six years. After retirement, Donald restored eighteenth-century homes in Maine and New Hampshire. He also participated in the Senior Olympics in track and field events for several years.
Edward W. Goodrich 1946, on May 23, 2011. The Palm Beach, Florida, man was eighty-seven.
He joined Alpha Delta Phi. He later graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in electrical engineering. Edward served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
He worked for a time at the Goodrich Electric Co. in Chicago. Edward moved to Palm Beach in 1968.
Edward was preceded in death by his son Bruce Goodrich. He was survived by his wife of sixty-three years, Dorothy; son, Tom Goodrich; daughter, Betsy Schuermann; and four grandchildren. Donations in Edward's memory may be sent to VITAS Foundation, 1901 S. Congress Ave., Suite 420, Boynton Beach, Florida, 33426.
C. Cameron Macauley '49, on May 17, 2007. He was eighty-three and lived in El Cerrito, California.
Cameron was an English major. He contributed photographs to Reveille and was on the Hika editorial board. While a student, he hitchhiked to New York City to meet the photographer Alfred Stieglitz. He withdrew from Kenyon in 1943 to serve in the U.S. Navy Air Corps as a petty officer. He trained in photography in the Navy and was assigned to a photographic squadron that made maps of the coastlines of the Western Hemisphere. He also served on the USS Tangier, a seaplane tender, in the South China Sea. He returned to Kenyon in 1946. During the 1940s, he photographed such Kenyon and Kenyon Review-related figures as Robert Lowell '40, Flannery O'Connor, Anthony Hecht, and John Crowe Ransom. Cameron spent the summer of 1947 as a foreign correspondent working in Central America, including photographing the revolution in Costa Rica. He later studied at the California School of Fine Arts. He earned a master's degree in creative photography at the University of Wisconsin in 1958, after working there as an instructor from 1952-57.
Cameron became a noted photographer, filmmaker, and educator. He was known for his prizewinning still photographs, ethnographic films, and expertise on historic films and photographs. He was part of the American Indian Film Project, funded by the National Science Foundation from 1956-64 to document Native American culture on film. Cameron also produced films on primate behavior.
He taught photography at the University of California at Berkeley and at the University of California at San Francisco. He was director of the university system's media distribution center. He left the education system to found Media Appraisal Consultants in 1983, and among his contracts there was an assignment to appraise a series of documentaries featuring Ernest Hemingway and an assignment to appraise the Zapruder film of the assassination of President Kennedy.
Cameron was an awards juror in eighty-five national and international film festivals. He was scriptwriter/cinematographer for thirty-three films; producer/director of eight films; and production manager or film animator for nine films.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Robie Macauley '41, a former editor of the Kenyon Review.
Joseph Weiner '49, on January 27, 2010. The East Meadow, New York, man was eighty-four.
Joseph enrolled at Kenyon after serving in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II. During the war he was an instructor in airborne radio operation and maintenance. At Kenyon, he was a physics major. He joined the Middle Kenyon Association.
Joseph had worked at the Sperry Gyroscope Co. in Great Neck, New York.
Donald W. Gray '50, on March 17, 2011. He was eighty-six and lived in Venice, Florida.
Before attending Kenyon, Donald served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was an English major. He joined Delta Tau Delta and was part of the Drama Club and the debate team. He later earned a master's degree in English at Southern Connecticut State University.
Donald was a junior high school teacher of English for the Prospect School System in Connecticut for thirty-two years. He participated in the University of Connecticut CT Writing Project, a program established in 1982 to help professionals improve writing skills. Donald also helped develop an oratory contest with a U.S. Constitution theme sponsored by the American Legion.
Donald was an accomplished artist and enjoyed sailing.
He was survived by his wife, Ruth; daughters Donna Flynn, Melanie Collard, Kim Carter, and Erin Mulligan; sons Michael A. Gray, Todd W. Gray, Derek Gray, Seann T. Mulligan, and Colin Mulligan; and ten grandchildren.
David W. Kraemer '50, on June 11, 2011. He died, at eighty-one, at his home in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania.
David was a biology major and graduated summa cum laude. He played lacrosse, was on the swimming team, and joined Delta Phi. He was also on the Reveille business staff, was a Mather Hall proctor, and was a biology lab assistant. He completed medical school in 1954 at the University of Pennsylvania. His residency in obstetrics and gynecology was done at the University Hospital.
He served as a captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, assigned to the Fort Hood Army Hospital from 1958-60. His private practice in Mt. Lebanon spanned thirty-three years, until 1993. David was on the emeritus staffs of Magee-Womens Hospital and St. Clair Hospital.
David was dedicated to his patients and often studied medical charts at home and called his patients from home if needed, his daughter, Betsy McPherson, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. His longtime companion, Patricia Hughes, said he had a reputation for being calm in any situation. Hughes is a retired registered nurse who worked with David at St. Clair Hospital in Mt. Lebanon. "David had a soft and calming effect on everyone when we were in operating rooms," Hughes said. "I never heard him raise his voice or berate the nurses or the interns. He knew what had to be done, and he did it right."
Another daughter, Kristin Biehl, told the newspaper that her father never raised his voice in discipline. "He would sit us down and talk to us," Biehl said. "And it worked."
David had a passion for tennis and creating artwork in stained glass.
In addition to his daughters, he was survived by his son, David G. Kraemer; four grandchildren; and brother, George Kraemer. He was predeceased by his son, Mark S. Kraemer.
Sanford Church 1951, on December 15, 2007. The Albion, New York, man was seventy-eight.
Sanford was a political science major. He joined Delta Phi. He went on to graduate from Alfred University. Sanford served in the U.S. Army from 1951-53.
He practiced law in Albion. He was a former trustee at the State University of New York at Brockport and had served on the board of directors of the Oak Orchard Community Health Center.
Sanford was survived by his wife of fifty years, Joyce; son, Sanford Church; daughters Katherine LaLonde and Julie Sanford; and seven grandchildren. Donations in his memory may be sent to the First Presbyterian Church of Albion, 1190 Winton Road South, Rochester, New York, 14618.
Leroy L. "Lee" Meier '51, on April 2, 2011. The Rocky River, Ohio, man was eighty-two.
Lee was an English major. He joined the Middle Kenyon Association. Lee earned a master's degree in interior design at Western Reserve University in 1964.
Lee started his career in 1951 with the Cleveland Play House, where he won a three-year Ford Foundation grant for training and touring as an actor. He studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and at the American Shakespeare Festival and Academy. He appeared on the television anthology series Westinghouse Studio One.
In 1957 he became the owner of the Village Inn in North Ridgeville, Ohio, and, in 1964, went to work for Marion Gilmour Interior Designer in Cleveland. Lee founded and was president of Lee Meier Interiors, an interior design firm in Westlake, Ohio, in 1967. The firm built a reputation for its work in exclusive residential and commercial buildings. He was joined in the business by his life partner, Quentin Draudt '51.
His condominium home was the subject of a feature story in the Plain Dealer of Cleveland in 1980. The newspaper said Lee's home "has the mystique of a charming southern courtyard that is hidden from the public eye" with "a little of the aura of a child's secret tree house." The furnishings were "handsomely traditional."
Lee was an artist who enjoyed painting.
Lee and Quentin had lived part time in Gambier. Lee was a generous supporter of the College.
John K. Waggoner 1951, on September 19, 2010. The Dacula, Georgia, resident was eighty-four.
John served in the U.S. Army during World War II and the Korean War. He was awarded three Purple Heart medals for wounds suffered in combat. He wrote that his military service fostered his "intense interest in government and law." He became an officer and sat on several military tribunals. He was an observer at the war crimes trials in Tokyo after World War II.
John graduated from Indiana University and earned a law degree there in 1959. He retired as a lawyer for the Lincoln National Life Insurance Co.
John was survived by his wife of fifty-four years, Christine; sons Robert Waggoner and John Waggoner; three grandchildren; sister, Ruth Ann Chambers; and brother, Bill Waggoner. Donations in his memory may be sent to First Baptist Church, 5106 Spring Street, Flowery Branch, Georgia, 30542.
Anthony Peterson '59, on December 30, 2010. He died at seventy-three in Central Lake, Michigan.
Anthony was a French major. He joined Delta Phi.
He owned a business in the Lansing, Michigan, area for thirty years and was involved in international real estate as an associate broker with Coldwell Banker Hospitality Brokerage Group.
Anthony was survived by his wife of forty-eight years, Betsy; daughters Michele Berres and Kelly Peterson; son, James Peterson; five grandchildren; brother, Edward Peterson; and sister, Penelope Massey. Donations in his memory may be sent to Central Lake District Library, Post Office Box 397, Central Lake, Michigan, 49622.
Dail B. Willoughby 1960, on May 25, 2011. The Eagle Harbor, Michigan, resident, who was seventy, died in San Diego.
Dail joined Phi Kappa Sigma. He contributed cartoons to the Collegian. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1960. He continued his interest in cartooning and contributed to military newspapers during his four-year stint. Dail then attended Kalamazoo College, where he became a student of theater.
He was active as an actor and director before becoming a ski instructor in Michigan. He continued to ski and taught the sport throughout his life. Dail returned to the stage as a story-telling character known as Janko Ferkovich, a logging-camp cook, and entertained around the country for twenty years. He also became an artist.
Dail was survived by a daughter, Raeanon Schmid; son, Buchanan Willoughby; and two grandchildren.
David W. Zeman '68, on June 29, 2009. He was sixty-two and lived in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.
David served as a rifleman in the Fourth Infantry Division in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War and was stationed near Pleiku, South Vietnam. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1973 and practiced law in Canonsburg.
In a note to the College, his widow, Kathleen Zeman, said, "He was brave enough to marry a woman with two teen-aged children. He was a wonderful son, brother, husband, and stepfather."
Donald A. "Donnie" Swartz '69, on March 31, 2011. He was sixty-four and lived in York, Pennsylvania.
Donnie was a psychology major. He was a member of the basketball and soccer teams and joined Beta Theta Pi.
Donnie started his career as a special education teacher in the Southern York County School District. He later became president of the family manufacturing business, General Machine Works, in York. He also became president of General Regulator and co-owner of the Blue Moon Restaurant. Donald was active in a number of real-estate partnerships.
He established a scholarship fund in the name of his late wife, Gretchen, who died in 1998, and served as its chairman. He was also active in the York County Heritage Trust, the Farm & Natural Lands Trust of York County, and the Annual Oyster Festival. The Mount Wolf farmland that he had owned with his wife has been set aside for preservation. Donnie was active in the Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club of York, and the Country Club of York. Donnie enjoyed many close friendships and loved travel, unique cars, and long naps.
He also had a lifelong passion for basketball and worked as an official in a local league for forty years. He was a referee during back-to-back games a few weeks before his death. He also enjoyed playing soccer, and he was a coach of the Touch of Bluegrass women's soccer team.
Donnie represented Kenyon at the presidential inaugurations of James L. Powell of Franklin and Marshall College in 1984 and Katherine H. Will of Gettysburg College in 2004.
Donnie was survived by his companion, Linda A. Fitz of York; brother, William H. Swartz Jr.; and sister, Lois A. Wick. Donations in his memory may be sent to Leg Up Farm, 4880 N. Sherman Street, Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania, 17347, or Penn Mar Organization, Maryland Line, 310 Old Freeland Rd., Freeland, Maryland, 21053.
Jeffery Morgan '72, on October 26, 2009. He was fifty-nine and died at his home in Lewisville, Texas.
Jeffery was a history major. He joined Alpha Delta Phi. He taught history for the Lewisville Independent School District.
He was survived by his children Grainne and Rynd; parents Donald and Gertrude Morgan; and sisters Janet Morgan and Anne Morgan.
Richard C. Stroh '74, of a heart attack, on June 8, 2011. The Miami Beach, Florida, man was fifty-nine.
Richard was a history major. He joined Delta Phi.
Melody Edwardsen Phillips '76, on May 17, 2011. She died, at fifty-seven, in her home in Glens Falls, New York.
Melody was an English major. She joined the Peeps. She graduated from the New England School of Law in 1981.
She practiced law in Saratoga Springs, New York, including a private practice focused on family court that she established in 1985. Melody launched Howley Associates, a corporate recruiting and human resources consulting firm, in the 1990s.
Melody was survived by her son, Colin Studenroth; daughter, Portia Studenroth; and sister, Elizabeth Edwardsen. Memorial donations may be sent to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Upstate New York, 588 Queensbury Avenue, Queensbury, New York, 12804.
Timothy S. Truitt '82, on July 14, 2010. The fifty-one-year-old Indian Harbour Beach, Florida, man took his own life.
Timothy was a chemistry major. He played soccer and was named team captain and most valuable player in 1980. He completed medical school at the University of Texas in 1986 and did his residency at the University of Oklahoma Teaching Hospitals. He practiced internal medicine with the Brevard County physician group MIMA and at Palm Bay Hospital.
Timothy was a member of the Space Coast Runners of Brevard County, Florida.
He had been charged with attempted murder in an attack on his wife, Susan, in their home on June 16, 2010. Timothy denied the charge. His attorney, Robin Lemondis, told Florida Today, "Dr. Truitt devoted his life to helping others and was very well-respected by the community, his patients and other physicians. I truly hope he is remembered for all the good he had done."
He was survived by his wife; sons Tyler and Cody Truitt; father, Everett Truitt; sister, Valerie Icenogle; and brother, Dean Truitt. Memorial donations in his name may be sent to the American Diabetes Association, 1701 North Beauregard Street, Alexandria, Virginia, 22311.
Jennifer I. Walker Hess '88, on March 19, 2011. She was forty-four and lived in Somerville, New Jersey.
Jennifer was a drama major. She was on the track team and the Reveille staff and performed with the Owl Creek Singers.
She was an accomplished pianist. Jennifer spent many of her teen years in the company of her horse, Red, riding cross country, competing in rallies, and taking part in fox hunting with the Somerset Hills Pony Club.
In a note to the College, Jennifer observed, "Mothering is a full-time job!" She had also worked for the Open Your Heart Animal Shelter. She taught Sunday school and was the children's choir director at the United Methodist Church.
Jennifer was survived by her husband, Ronald Hess; children Alexander, Gillian, and Benjamin Hess; parents Alfred and Heather Walker; and brothers Matthew Walker and Samuel Walker. Memorial donations may be sent to St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center, Post Office Box 5281, 3201 Route 22 East, North Branch, New Jersey, 08876.
Jennifer L. "Jenny" Vonckx '88, on December 24, 2010, of a brain tumor. She was forty-four and lived in Seattle.
Jenny was a biology major. She played on the women's rugby club team and was part of the Student-Alumni Association. Jenny earned a master's degree in psychology from Antioch College in 2005.
Jenny worked for a law firm in New York City as a client accounts manager and with Grey Advertising as a media planner. She later moved to Seattle, where she lived for the last twenty years and worked as a mental health counselor.
Jenny was an experienced hiker, mountain climber, and bicyclist, and she took a bicycle tour in Spain. She also enjoyed yoga and meditation retreats. She did volunteer work with Seal Sitters, an organization that strives to protect the seal population in Washington and Oregon. Jenny was an active alumna, and, in 1998, Kenyon awarded her the David Harbison Award for outstanding personal contributions to the Alumni Admissions Program.
Jenny survived a battle with a brain tumor in 1997 and lived a full and active life for twelve years before suffering from a second brain tumor, in March 2009, and then a third in the summer of 2010. In October 2010, given two months to live, she became the first human patient to undergo a treatment that involved injecting stem cells into her brain to fight a glioblastoma tumor. CBS News described Jennifer as a "pioneer patient." Ten million neural stem cells were injected in Jenny during the clinical trial at City of Hope Hospital in Los Angeles. "First in the world? I would prefer that there have been a few people going through it before me," she told CBS. Commenting on the prognosis for her survival, she said, "It's a short time when they tell you that. Wow. You wouldn't even believe how short it feels."
She was survived by her father, Skip Vonckx; sisters, Elizabeth Vonckx and Hilary Vonckx '93; and significant other, Rob Stumpf. Contributions in her memory may be sent to the Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure Foundation, 1717 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, Suite 700, Washington, D.C., 20036, and the Vashon Maury Island Land Trust, Post Office Box 2031, Vashon, Washington, 98070.
Stephanie E. Cohn '05, on April 2, 2011. The Skokie, Illinois, woman was twenty-eight.
Stephanie was a psychology major. She played on the tennis team and performed with the Flute Choir. Stephanie was active in Hillel.
Stephanie was survived by her parents, Paul and Judy Cohn.
Lynne M. Niemiec, administrative assistant for psychology and neuroscience, and wife of Associate Professor of Psychology Andrew J. Niemiec, died unexpectedly on May 1, 2011. She was forty-eight.
Lynne came to work at the College in September 1994 as a data-entry and control clerk in Information and Computing Services, a predecessor of Library and Information Services. In July 2001, she took on her duties with the Department of Psychology and the Neuroscience Program. For the past several years, Lynne had been taking courses at the College, working toward her bachelor's degree. She was scheduled to graduate in May with Kenyon's Class of 2011.
Professor of Psychology Hewlet McFarlane, who directs the Neuroscience Program, recalled that "Lynne cared deeply about the Psychology Department and the Neuroscience Program. She worked hard to support the department and the program and formed close bonds with many of the students. The last thing she did for us was to help in putting together the Neuroscience Program's external review. She worked tirelessly to make sure that the review went smoothly and was conducted in a professional manner. We could not have done it without her tireless help and attention to detail.
"The program misses Lynne already. I miss her. I miss her sense of humor, her love of The Simpsons, and the fun, goofy conversations we had every day. Her love of, and concern for, the welfare of animals is well known." McFarlane recalled how once, "as we walked together on campus, we saw a bat on the lawn. Lynne rushed back to Sam Mather, got Andy, and together they went back with leather gloves and rescued the bat, putting it on the trunk of a tree in the cemetery, out of harm's way. I think that says it all."
Michael Levine, Samuel B. Cummings Jr. Professor of Psychology, said, "Lynne was always a voice and a presence for the principle that we all have a responsibility for the less fortunate of God's creatures, whether they are abandoned animals or each other."
When asked what she thought was the best thing about being at the College, Lynne cited the rural environment. "I was born in the big city, but I always felt I was meant to live in the country." Involved in numerous volunteer activities, she and Andy had been foster parents, and she had been a bus aide for Knox County Head Start. She had worked as a 4-H advisor, helping children train their dogs. Lynne and Andy also ran the "Friday Guitar Circle," an informal guitar group for students, faculty, and staff.
Lynne was probably best known in the community for her love of dogs and her frequent e-mail messages regarding some aspect of canine health and well-being. In her staff profile for the Psychology Department, she wrote, "I am fascinated with dogs and dog behavior. I have six dogs of my own, and I enjoy them more than would seem humanly possible."
That love for dogs brought Lynne into contact, and frequently friendships, with many people in the area, often raising their awareness of canine issues. Former Kenyon colleague Kay Mackenzie wrote, "It's just weird to think that Lynne's not here anymore. She was one of those people in my life who taught me so much; she helped me to become a dog person and she was always an inspiration. When I think, 'What would Lynnie do?' it always helps me decide. Now I'm the one who stops by the side of the road to check out loose dogs."
Another of Lynne's longtime friends, Linda Michaels, a former member of the College public affairs staff, said, "Lynne struggled with health problems for much of her life but you never heard her complain. She was one of those people who were always looking forward; she was very happy about the fact she would fulfill the graduation requirements.
"But I think what Lynne would most like to be remembered for was her devotion to the voiceless among us--the cats and dogs she and Andy rescued themselves as well as the animals who found homes through her efforts.
"Lynne's life was all too short, but in the years she had, she made a real difference in the lives of so many animals and in the lives of the people who are, or were, connected to those animals. It is a great loss for all of us who knew and loved Lynne. I'm really heartbroken."
Lynne was survived by her husband of thirty years. She was predeceased by an infant daughter, Kayla Mae, in 1993.Memorial contributions may be made to Dogs Deserve Better, Central Ohio Chapter, Post Office Box 23, Tipton, Pennsylvania, 16684; Best Friends Animals Society, 5001 Angel Canyon Road, Kanab, Utah, 84741; or a spay and neuter organization of the donor's choice.
Jon L. Williams, a family hero, dedicated professional, and village icon, leaves a legacy of kindness. Jon, an emeritus professor of psychology, died on May 12, 2011, in his Gambier home. He was seventy-two years old.
His long record of academic achievement was matched by a high profile on Kenyon committees and a zeal for community service that stretched from roles as chairman of the Knox County Head Start Board to president of Gambier Little League Baseball. He joined the Kenyon faculty in January 1968 and retired in June 2004, after receiving an honorary doctor of science degree at that year's commencement. He was a leading researcher into the biopsychological effects of stress, and he was a founder of the College's Program in Neuroscience.
"Jon, to my way of thinking, was the perfect kind of Kenyon professor," said Charles E. "Chuck" Rice, professor emeritus of psychology and a long-time friend and colleague. "He was the consummate professional, very well-recognized in his field, published in the most prestigious journals. And what was best for Kenyon is that he was just an absolutely dedicated teacher."
Not flashy in the classroom, he was meticulous and methodical as a lecturer. "He was absolutely clear, absolutely organized," Rice said. "The students came away and remembered what they learned. They got the essence of science as a mode of inquiry."
From early in his career, he spent his summer days doing research, working with students on their projects--before the advent of the Summer Science Scholars program. "Those students were co-authors of major articles and they were published in journals," Rice said.
One of those students was David Lopatto '75, professor of psychology at Grinnell College. "His easy-going, collaborative style invited the student into psychology," Lopatto said. "I found it pleasant to have out-of-class conversations about interesting questions in the discipline. Jon would turn the conversation toward how we could use experimental methodology to answer the questions. Before long, I was working in his animal lab on independent research."
He was known to be kind and patient with his students while also pushing them to do their best work.
"I think my experience with Jon taught me to value inquiry-based learning and to love the liberal arts experience," Lopatto said.
Jon was prized as a mentor, and made a difference in the life of Laura A. King '86, professor of psychology at the University of Missouri. "I was fortunate enough to have had this amazing teacher in my life," she said. "Dr. Williams had an unmistakable twinkle in his eye that spoke to an enthusiasm for science, discovery, and, especially, psychology." Jon encouraged her to pursue her interest in science, she said.
Jon will be remembered for his role in creating the Neuroscience Program, which was founded in 1993 and is growing in popularity. "He was very passionate about it," said Hewlet G. McFarlane, professor of psychology and program director. McFarlane had planned to share with Jon a recent report on the program written for an external review. "It's very sad," McFarlane said. "This was kind of his baby. He made all this happen."
Sarah K. Murnen, professor of psychology and department chair, recalled teaching research methods with Jon for many years. "He was very supportive of my efforts as a beginning teacher, and I learned a lot about how to involve students in research by watching Jon.
"He welcomed me and my family into his home on many occasions, and it was fun to temporarily be part of his friendly, energetic family."
That family started on June 23, 1973, when he married Laurel "Lolly" Suman, who had six children. An only child and the son of only children, Jon embraced family life with gusto and adopted the children. "When my dad showed up on campus he had a sports car," said his daughter Robyn Suman Williams Shimrak '86. "He traded in a red (Triumph) TR6 for a yellow Volkswagen bus. We laugh about that a lot. He liked all the action of the family. When we were growing up, he was involved with all the school meetings and Little League committees.
"My dad was a hero," she said. "My dad changed our lives. He gave us all the opportunities that we might not have ever had without him. We were afforded amazing educations."
Lolly Suman Williams was a social worker who graduated from Kenyon in 1984. She died of cancer on February 24, 2005, a few months after Jon retired.
Jon enjoyed the steady company of family dogs, and he was often seen in recent times in the company of Jed, a labradoodle. "He was known as a lover of animals," Murnen said, "and it was a joke in the 'dog community' that although he was a national expert on animal learning, he never trained his own dogs very well. He was simply too kind-hearted to appropriately correct the behaviors of the large, beautiful dogs he had befriended over the years."
Affable if soft-spoken, he was a familiar patron at Gambier restaurants and "always willing to lend an ear," Murnen said.
Jon earned a bachelor's degree in psychology at Oberlin College in 1961, a master's degree at Kent State University in 1963, and a doctorate at the University of Michigan in 1968. He was the first incumbent of the Samuel B. Cummings Jr. Chair in Psychology and served as the department chair and chair of the division. He was associate editor of The Psychological Record. Jon was coordinator of the Off-Campus Activities Program in Psychology, which channeled students into volunteer opportunities with local social-service organizations. He was a consultant for a number of local public school districts and served on the board of education for St. Vincent de Paul School in Mount Vernon. He was also a consultant for the Mount Vernon Youth Community Center and served on the board of Knox County Children Services.
An avid tennis player, Jon was a fan of Kenyon tennis and other Lords and Ladies teams. In a profile written for the College, Jon mentioned his interest in tennis, racquetball, art museums, family life, and "long walks with my dog." Describing what he liked about teaching at Kenyon, he said, "Working with bright and motivated students in a beautiful setting."
In addition to Robyn Shimrak, he was survived by Marc Suman Williams '88, Lora Suman Williams Catalano, Lisa Suman Williams, Christopher Suman Williams, and eleven grandchildren. Assistant Athletic Director Amy Heasley Williams '88 is married to Christopher Suman Williams. Another son, Jeffrey Suman Williams '83, is deceased. Donations in Jon's memory be sent to the Jeffrey S. Williams Memorial Award for Integrative Study in Psychology and Economics, Office of Development, Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, 43022.
Margaret Mary Curry, a highly regarded and compassionate nurse for the College for almost eighteen years, died on May 27, 2011, at the Ohio Eastern Star Home in Mount Vernon. Margaret was eighty-nine.
She was the mother of eight children and a registered nurse.
"She was a sweetheart," said Beth Hillier, Health and Counseling Center secretary. "We knew each other a long time and I grew up with some of her children. She raised a bunch of good kids. She was a good mom, a good lady."
Former College physician Tracy Schermer recalled her as "a terrific lady." Working for many years with another College nurse and longtime friend, the late Helen Ann Campbell, Margaret treated hundreds of students. "They were the yin and yang of the office," Schermer said. "They loved the students. They loved getting involved.
"Margaret was soft-spoken and quiet. She was penetrating in what she was able to hear and observe and then articulate with the patient."
At her retirement, Schermer gave her a picture of the Madonna and child that hung in the office, a picture she had long admired. "To distinguish her from Helen Ann Campbell, I gave Helen Ann the fire bell when she retired. Helen Ann was the ringing fire bell, and Margaret was the quiet Madonna and child." Schermer later created an annual award in their names for a student who demonstrated love and caring. Margaret, Schermer said, "was loved by everyone."
Margaret Omlor graduated from the Mount Carmel School of Nursing in Columbus in 1942. She worked at Mercy Hospital in Mount Vernon from 1942-47. After many years as a homemaker, Margaret joined the staff at the Ohio Eastern Star Home, where she worked in 1969 and 1970. She was hired at Kenyon in 1970 and retired in 1988. Patrick Gilligan, director of counseling services, knew her by reputation. "She was well-liked, highly respected," he said.
In 1939, the year she graduated from St. Vincent de Paul High School, Margaret was the Knox County women's tennis champion. She married L.D. Curry in 1946.
Margaret was survived by her children Nancy Rupp, George Curry, Susan Duffy, Mary Marti, Cindi Fogle, Michael Curry, and Douglas Curry; twenty-four grandchildren; and eight great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband; son, Kevin; a granddaughter; and a great grandson. Susan Duffy is married to Michael Duffy '73. Memorial contributions may be sent to the Station Break, 501 South Main Street, Mount Vernon, Ohio, 43050.
Margaret "Maggie" Patton, a noted choreographer and director and a long-time dance professor, died on June 8, 2011, at Kobacker House in Columbus, Ohio, following a short illness. She was seventy-one.
"Maggie really believed in Kenyon and the dance department--a department she willed into being almost single-handedly," said Balinda Craig-Quijada, associate professor of dance. "She also believed in her students and made them believe in themselves. Maggie was not a hand-holder or a coddler, though. Instead, she was a natural and charismatic teacher who empowered everyone around her to take a leap into the unknown. She was also a talented choreographer whose work was complex, honest, funny, brash, and surprising."
A native of Centralia, Illinois, Maggie graduated from the University of Illinois in 1962 and earned a master's degree at Ohio State University (OSU) in 1965. In the fall of that year, she joined the dance faculty at OSU, where she was later chosen to join the university's professional dance company, American Dance in Repertory.
In 1971, Maggie accepted a position at Kenyon as the College's first instructor of dance. She left in 1973 to form her own dance company, Dancentral, the first professional dance company in Columbus. "Maggie was the singular dynamic force behind its development for more than ten years," according to Pam Bishop, development director at BalletMet Columbus. "At the time, this trailblazing effort was significant as it was rare in the United States for a city outside of New York to boast its own professional contemporary dance company.
"While Maggie served as Dancentral's lead choreographer, she also supported local artists by producing work of emerging choreographers, nurturing and developing dance artists, and partnering with local musicians. Dancentral's repertoire was a reflection of Maggie herself--unpretentious, playful, theatrical, musical, and witty."
As the company's artistic director, Maggie created more than seventy major works for subscription seasons and regional tours. Among Dancentral's triumphs was a children's theater production of her adaptation of Peter and the Wolf at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her next several teaching engagements were as a guest artist, with residencies at Denison (1975), Wayne State (1977-78), and Wright State (1982) universities.
Maggie returned to Kenyon in 1982 as an assistant professor of dance. She won tenure and promotion to associate professor in 1987 and promotion to full professor in 1998. She was among the earliest Kenyon faculty members to receive the Trustee Teaching Excellence Award, earning that recognition in 1995.
"Maggie was a pioneer, with all the traits that word suggests: courage, audacity, endurance, and more," said Andrew Reinert, associate professor and chairman of the Kenyon Department of Dance, Drama, and Film. "Her humor, charisma, and astonishing temerity attracted legions of devoted students and colleagues.
"Maggie loved the irreverent, the insouciant, the surprise that would both bewilder and delight an audience. She also loved travel, food, family, dogs, low humor, and grand opera. She had the gift of inspiration: I remember her staging, off the cuff, a snake-dance of a curtain call that was so sharp and funny and surprising I would have sat through the entire evening twice over just to watch that one moment. This was much like the way she led the dance program as a whole: she seized hold of a single idea, and articulated it so powerfully as to establish an unmistakable dance aesthetic at a place where dance had previously been limited to recreation. Her like will not come again."
At her retirement from Kenyon in 2000, Maggie was awarded an honorary doctor of fine arts degree and the status of professor emerita. Written and presented by her colleague and friend Harlene Marley, professor emerita of drama, the citation for the degree read, in part: "Your work lives in the bodies and hearts of hundreds of Kenyon students, many of whom are themselves dancers, choreographers, teachers, and arts administrators, and all of whom are amateurs in the true sense--lovers of dance."
In 1979, Maggie began her "summer career" as the choreographer of the Ohio Light Opera (OLO), a professional company in residence at the College of Wooster. She had a distinguished record of achievement with the OLO in her eleven seasons with the company, choreographing or directing more than fifty productions from Gilbert and Sullivan and European operetta.
Maggie also worked in grand opera, choreographing productions ranging from Carmen and Faust to Rigoletto and Tannhauser for the Chautauqua Opera Company. In 1997, she made her debut as a director of the Columbus Light Opera (CLO) with a staging of The Pirates of Penzance. She choreographed and directed numerous CLO productions in the following years, along with directing opera workshops at OSU and Otterbein University and an annual production at the Columbus School for Girls.
Maggie worked with an array of dance, light opera, and opera companies as well as many choreographers and dancers over the course of her long career. Recipient of numerous honors and awards, Maggie won fellowships and grants from the Ohio Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts as well as a Kenyon Faculty Development Grant to study dance history at Goucher College. In 2006, Kenyon honored her with dedication of the Margaret Sprehe Patton Multipurpose Room, used for dance classes and other activities, in the Kenyon Athletic Center.
Maggie was survived by her husband of forty-five years, David Braden Patton; sons, Eric David and Steven Robert Patton; two grandsons; and brother, Steven Sprehe. Memorial contributions may be sent to the Maggie Patton Fund, care of the Kristina Isabelle Dance Company, 67 Jefferson Avenue, Columbus, Ohio, 43215.