Fall/Winter 2015 In Memoriam
Rowena (Peterson) Shangraw passed away on February 9, 2015, at the Samaritan Summit Village in Watertown, New York. Rowena was a teacher, librarian, and writer, often contributing to professional journals. She also served as associate editor of North Country Life, a precursor to Adirondack Life magazine. Rowena is survived by cousins and was preceded in death by husband, Bernard J. Shangraw.
June (Miller) Swartz passed away on February 9, 2015. She is survived by two children, four grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. Her husband, Dr. Gordon Swartz, preceded her in death.
Ethel (Wheeler) Belleville, 97, died on Wednesday, January 21, 2015. Ethel received her master’s degree from Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. She spent her professional career as an elementary teacher, beginning with her first job in a two-room schoolhouse. She is survived by her children, Brian, Bruce, Bradley ’76, and Brenda; eight grandchildren; and her brother, Rev. Myron L. Wheeler. She was preceded in death by her husband, Raymond Belleville, and her brother, Howard Wheeler.
Doris (Nesbitt) Bannister died peacefully in Kent, New York, on July 30, 2015, in her home, surrounded by her family. She is survived by seven children, LeRoy N. Bannister and his wife, Susan (Moore ’75) Bannister; Janis (Bannister ’64) Hempel; Robert Bannister; Marcia (Bannister ’69) Skinner; Lynne Sue (Bannister ’75) Pierce and her husband, Mitchell Pierce ’76; Roger Bannister ’78; and Richard Bannister as well as 44 grandchildren, including Victoria (Bannister ’03) Gerhardt and her husband Jeremy Gerhardt ’04; 34 great-grandchildren; and two siblings. She was preceded in death by her husband of 71 years, LeRoy D. Bannister ’41; two brothers; and a grandson.
Herbert D. Loomis, 96, passed away on Thursday, August 13, 2015. Rev. Loomis was a retired minister and was preceded in death by his wife, Betty.
Ruth (Shea ’41) Willett | Read feature obituary
Robert E. Foster went to be with the Lord on Monday, February 16, 2015 in Keller, Texas. Rev. Foster was called to pastor the First Baptist Church in Port Jervis, New York, in 1945 and retired in 1985 after more than 40 years of service there. He is survived by his daughter, Nancy (Foster ’74) Hoyer and her husband James Foster ’74; four grandchildren including Melissa (Hoyer ’99) Sanders; and eight great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his first wife and college sweetheart, Elsie Burger, who passed away in the first trimester of pregnancy in 1946; second wife, Phyllis Foster; and son, David Robert Foster.
Helen D. Powers died on Friday, May 22, 2015, at her home in Fillmore, New York. She was employed with the Department of Social Services in Belmont, New York, for 10 years and then taught kindergarten for 23 years. She retired in 1977 from the Maryvale School System in Cheektowaga, New York. She is survived by two sisters, Pauline Powers and Ruth Bennett, and many nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by two sisters, Gertrude Heyer and Frances Miller.
Francesca (LaSorte) Cohen, 94, died on Friday, June 26, 2015, at the Masonicare Health Center, in Wallingford, Connecticut. Francesca enjoyed a 50-year professional career as a reference librarian and an English and social studies teacher at the high school and college level. After her retirement, she earned her Master of Library Science degree and was the reference/adult services librarian for the Ocean County Library System in Lakehurst, New Jersey, where she was nominated for librarian of the year in 1993 and 1995. Her passion over the years was working with students on research projects and modernizing the library reference system. Francesca is survived by her husband of 60 years, Jacob Cohen; four children; and six grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her brother, Dr. Antonio LaSorte ’48.
Arnold Cook ’43 | Read feature obituary
Margaret (Baker) Jones died on Tuesday, September 1, 2015, at age 93. She is survived by three daughters, Susan McCarthy, Mary Kay Kitchens, and Pat Jones; three grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and her brother, David Baker. She was predeceased by her husband, Robert; a brother, William Baker; and three nieces.
Ellen Giebel went home to be with her Lord on February 25, 2015. Ellen spent her life as a missionary with China Inland Mission (now OMF), serving in both Taiwan and China for 44 years. While on the field, Ellen lived among the Eastern Taiwan indigenous people, taking care of needy families in the village, teaching Bible studies in both men and women’s prisons in Hualien County on the eastern coast of Taiwan, founding the “Salvation Communications Association” in Taipei, and teaching English to housewives, students, teachers, postal workers, airline workers and office workers—often out of her small apartment. Ellen is survived by several nieces and nephews.
Ina (Jackson) Sergeant went to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on February 22, 2015. She is survived by sons, Bruce and Brian Sergeant, and three grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Osmond.
Helen (Bowers) Seward, age 91, entered into rest on Friday, March 27, 2015, at Eastern Niagara Hospital in Lockport, New York. Surviving Helen are her daughter, Susan Harrod; seven grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. Helen was predeceased by her husband, Floyd Seward; her son, Thomas Seward; and her brother, Donald R. Bowers.
G. Wendell Boice passed away on Thursday, June 25, 2015, in Watertown, New York. He was 91 years old. Mr. Boice spent his entire business career in marketing, working for four New York State companies located in Niagara Falls, Syracuse, Corning, and Watertown. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Mildred “Millie”; two children, G. Gordon Boice ’78 and Alyson (Boice ’76) Burleigh and her husband Rev. Douglas Burleigh ’75; three grandchildren, including Dr. James Burleigh ’07 and his wife, Amanda (Weldon ’07) Burleigh; three great-grandchildren; and a sister, Arlene Boice Sanger.
Edwin Wilson Brown, Jr., died on May 23, 2015 at a hospice center in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dr. Brown was a retired physician and former Indiana University professor. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Patricia; their three children, Edwin Wilson Brown III, John C. Brown, and Wende Camp; six grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and two brothers. He was preceded in death by a brother.
Arthur W. Ruder, age 88, passed away on Tuesday, June 30, 2015, at his daughter’s home in Annapolis, Maryland. Rev. Ruder pastored for 22 years at Gateway Community Church in Clarksville, Michigan. He was also a third- and fifth-grade teacher at East Elementary in Lake Odessa, Michigan, and Clarksville Elementary. He is survived by seven children, Nancy Joy; Ann Marie (Ruder ’72) Roth; Rebecca (Ruder ’76) DeBlaey and husband, Christopher DeBlaey ’75; Rachel Cash; A. Joseph Ruder ’80; Priscilla Bomgardner; and Naomi (Ruder ’83) Wenger as well as 18 grandchildren, including Elisabeth Wenger ’10, Margaret Wenger ’12, and Emily Wenger ’13, and 22 great-grandchildren. Preceding Arthur in death are his wife, Gertrude (Bailey ’49) Ruder; his parents; and his brother, John Ruder.
Marjorie (Hamm) Soderberg died on May 31, 2015. She is survived by sons, David Soderberg and William Mark Soderberg; daughters, Valli Brown, Lisa Soderberg, and Kathi Meadows; ten grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and one brother. She was predeceased by her husband, Dale, and daughter-in-law, Melanie Soderberg.
Antonio LaSorte, 91, passed away on September 16, 2014, at his home in Binghamton, New York. Dr. LaSorte earned his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Rochester and did his postgraduate general surgical training at the New York Hospital (Cornell Medical Center) and thoracic surgical training at Triboro Hospital in Queens, New York. Antonio was certified by the American Board of General and Thoracic Surgery and spent 14 months as a Captain in the Army Medical Corps during the Korean conflict at a surgical field hospital. Dr. LaSorte is survived by his children, Tony Jr., Dr. Bradley LaSorte, Denise, Adrian, and Desiree; the mother of his children, Margaret; three grandchildren; a brother, Dr. Michael LaSorte; and a sister, Rose. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother; following him in death was his sister, Francesca (LaSorte ’43) Cohen.
Milton Myron Rhodes, 93, peacefully passed away on March, 24, 2015, at Angela Hospice in Livonia, Michigan. “Milt” became a Master Technical Sergeant and led a radar team in early landings on Saipan in World War II, allowing the US to launch its fighter planes before enemy plans could attack our fleet. He was later sent to Okinawa to oversee the final radar installation there. Rhodes returned home from the war and moved his family to Houghton, New York, for college, then to Boston, where he received his Master of Divinity degree from Gordon Theological Seminary. He was ordained into the Primitive Methodist church and ministered to congregations in Massachusetts and then to Methodist churches in Western Pennsylvania. During and after his career in the ministry, Rev. Rhodes served as a chaplain at Veterans Administration Hospital in Butler and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and retired at age 64. In retirement, he continued to kayak, study original Greek Biblical tests, write poetry, and contemplate the universe. He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Romayne (Wallace ’50) Rhodes; his daughters, Marlea Pfeil, Lynnette Rhodes, and Nancy Rhodes; five grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents, two brothers, and a sister.
Don Roy, 90, passed away on August 4, 2015, in Denver, Colorado. He is survived by his wife, Martha (Bowers ’49) Roy; children, Joy, Jacky, Judy, Don, and Jennine; 12 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
Isabella (Buchanan) Wheatley died peacefully on Monday, July 13, 2015, in Barrington, Illinois. She was 90 years old. She is survived by her only son, Robert, along with his wife, Kristen, and their daughters, Heather and Peach.
Wayne Frair, often referred to as “Dr. Turtle,” passed away on Thursday, January 29, 2105, at Morristown Medical Center in Morristown, New Jersey. He was 88 years old. Known for his extensive research on the biochemical taxonomy of large sea turtles—1,000 to 2,000 pounds—he discovered the only turtle species known to be warm-blooded. Dr. Frair was on the faculty of The King’s College in Briarcliff Manor, New York, where he was head of the biology department for 40 years and was honored as professor emeritus upon retirement. In addition, he was the author of three books and hundreds of scientific journal articles on the subject of science and creation. In December, 1981, Dr. Frair was a witness for the defense at the McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education trial in Little Rock, Arkansas, regarding creation versus evolution. He was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Scientific Affiliation, the Creation Research Society, and the Victoria Institute in England and was a member of many other scientific societies. He served as president of the Creation Research Society from 1986 to 1993. Wayne is survived by his wife, Elizabeth “Betty” (Bolback ’53) Frair, and his sister, Shirley Buck, and her family.
John L. Gililland passed away at his home in Gilbert, Arizona, on August 2, 2015. Dr. Gililland completed his master’s degree at Walla Walla College in Washington State. Prior to attending medical school, he was drafted and assigned to the 44th 8063 MASH unit in Korea, where he became a surgical assistant. Upon his discharge from the Army in 1952, he obtained his MD from the University of Tennessee in 1956 and joined a medical group in Mesa, Arizona, where he practiced family medicine for more than 50 years. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Lynn; his sons, John Jr. and David; his daughters, Susie and Robyn; nine grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and a sister.
Robert T. Noble, Jr., age 90, died on June 2, 2015, in Schenectady, New York. Following high school, Robert served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After attending Houghton, he received a bachelor’s degree in music from Syracuse University and a master’s degree in music from Ithaca College. He was on the music faculty at Houghton from January 1950 through June 1951 and then at Piedmont College in Georgia. He taught music at Windsor Central Schools in Windsor, New York, and then from 1959 until his retirement, he was a guidance counselor at Scotia-Glenville Central Schools. After retirement, he taught music at Schenectady Christian School, now Mekeel Academy. He is survived by his wife of nearly 67 years, Barbara (George ’50) Noble, and five children, Cynthia (Noble ’73) Sayler, Katherine Noble, Robert T. Noble III, Nancy Olson, and Susan Benoit. Also surviving are 11 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Thelma Mae (Atkins) Proper passed away in Lincoln, Nebraska in 2015.
Priscilla (Ries ’50) Waltz | Read feature obituary
Thomas “Tom” Boghosian, 85, went to be with his Lord on March 23, 2015, at Glens Falls Hospital in Glens Falls, New York. Rev. Boghosian was ordained in 1953, and, as a Wesleyan pastor for 62 years, he served churches in the Eastern New York–New England and Central New York districts of The Wesleyan Church, including founding the Kirkville Community Church in Syracuse, New York. He also served as Protestant Chaplain at Syracuse University, President of Houghton Academy from 1969 to 1972, and Chaplain at Great Meadows Prison. Retiring from full-time ministry in 1991, he later served as assistant pastor in the Free Methodist Church in Warrensburg, New York. Tom is survived by his wife of 62 years, Vera; his four children, Thomas (’75), Daniel, Bruce, and Dianne Freestone; 11 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; a sister; and many nieces and nephews.
John Leo Powell, 87, passed away in Alaska on October 7, 2015. He is survived by his college sweetheart and wife of over 60 years, Virginia (Elmer ’53) Powell; six children, Joy McCall, Adele George, Bonnie Lenamond, Lucy O’Hara, Tim Powell, and Ben Powell; 14 grandchildren; and his brother, Ronnie Powell.
Byron Showers entered eternity on Easter Sunday, April 15, 2015. Dr. Showers began his career as an ordained elder of the United Methodist Church and pastored in several churches in Pennsylvania. He had the status of honorable location in the Philadelphia Conference of UMC. He received his Master of Divinity from Temple University and both his Master and Doctor of Education from Rutgers University. He served as a professor of counselor education and psychology at Millersville University in Millersville, Pennsylvania, from 1965 to 1990. Previously, he was an assistant professor of psychology at Monmouth College in West Long Branch, New Jersey, and a lecturer in education at Rutgers. Byron is survived by his wife of 63 years, Jane; three children, David, Dr. Thomas, and Shelley Showers; two granddaughters; and two sisters. He was preceded in death by a stepbrother.
Rea (Elwell) Wible, age 84, passed away on Thursday, September 17, 2015, at her home in Lower Alloway’s Creek Township in Salem County, New Jersey. She is survived by her husband, Charles Wible; her step-son, Charles “Chuck” Wible; her step-daughter, Gale Williams; six grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
Carolyn (Makey) Eltscher passed away on August 19, 2015, at the age of 82. She taught high school English and public speaking at Fillmore Central School in Fillmore, New York, from 1964 to 1985 and received the Golden Apple award as Allegany County Teacher of the Year. After moving to Rochester in 1991, she worked as a receptionist in a pediatric practice and used her gifts as a musician and educator at Fairport United Methodist Church and the Rochester OASIS adult educational program. She is survived by her husband of 61 years, Louis Eltscher ’54; daughters Judy Malloy and Susan (Eltscher ’79) Warrick; and two grandsons.
Allen Wilcox, 88, died on Monday, June 29, 2015, in Jamestown, New York. Surviving are his wife of 67 years, Valerie Johnson Wilcox; his daughter, Willow Brost; three grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; a brother; and many nieces and nephews. His parents and an infant daughter preceded him in death.
Dean C. Hegarty passed away on June 19, 2015. He was 94 years old. Dean served his country in World War II, spending 35 of his 38 months in the Army overseas—England, North Africa, Italy, Corsica, and France—with the 87th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion. At age 28, he became a Christian and felt called into ministry. After attending Philadelphia Bible Institute (now Cairn University), he earned his bachelor’s degree at Houghton in 1955 and married his college sweetheart, Erma (Beatty ’55) Hegarty that same year. He earned a master’s degree from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (now Palmer Theological Seminary) in 1968. Rev. Hegarty served in American Baptist churches for nearly 50 years, retiring twice: once in 1985 and again in 2006 at age 86. Dean loved to travel; he began riding a motorcycle at age 60 and did so for the next 26 years. He and Erma visited all 50 states over the years and traveled internationally to visit their children on the mission field, tallying visits to Cambodia, Thailand, Cuba, and Nicaragua as well as travel to the Holy Land. Dean is survived by his wife of 59 years, Erma; three children, Susan B. Hegarty, Debra K. Coats, and Robert W. Hegarty; three grandchildren including Micah Coats ’18; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents and nine siblings.
Richard Webb, Jr. died on Friday, July 24, 2015, at his residence in Houghton, New York, following a lengthy illness. He was 84 years old. During his years as a student at Houghton, Richard traveled with the Houghton Chorale and the Men’s Quartet. Following graduation, he received his master’s degree from Fredonia State. He worked for Forestville Central School in Forestville, New York, as a vocal music teacher for 32 years and then as an Elementary Principal for eight years, retiring in 1995. Richard is survived by his wife of 57 years, Patricia Webb; a daughter, Cynthia Webb Szot ’83; and a son, Ronald Webb. Also surviving are three grandchildren, two step-grandchildren, and a niece and nephew. He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister.
Frederick J. Krantz passed away on May 2, 2015, at the age of 81. He was a writer, actor, artist and musician who loved the art of food and fine music. He is survived by two nephews and a niece as well as many grand- and great-grandnieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister.
Jimmie Margaret Gilliam passed away on September 24, 2015, at the age of 80. Jimmie was a poet, teacher, workshop leader, editor and mentor. Her teaching career spanned five decades as an English teacher at Starpoint High School in Lockport, New York, and as a professor of English at Erie County Community College City Campus in Buffalo, New York. Along with teaching, Jimmie was a working poet and could often be found writing books, performing readings of her work, and mentoring young writers. She was the recipient of the prestigious Literary Legacy Award given by the Just Buffalo Literary Center for her life’s work and dedication to the literary arts in 2006. Jimmie is survived by her spouse of 35 years, Geraldine E. Grossman; daughters, Marea Cheval-Leavitt and Jenny Chalk; a sister, Joann Gilliam Olliff; and many nieces, nephews, family and friends.
Thomas Ashmead, 84, died on April 21, 2015. He is survived by his three sons, Richard, Johnny, and Robert and five grandchildren. He was predeceased by his loving wife, Virginia “Ginny”, two sons, a granddaughter and his daughter-in-law.
Evelyn (Hall) Looper passed away Monday, March 23, 2015, at Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Evelyn taught various subjects in the public schools for over 20 years and served as the minister of pastoral care at Christian Chapel and Cathedral of Praise churches. Surviving Evelyn are her husband, Rev. John Looper; their five children, Daphne, Clifton, Sherry, Kathy, and Jack, and 10 grandchildren.
Betty (Lawson) Young passed away on June 12, 2015, at Summa Akron City Hospital in Akron, Ohio. She was 79 years old. She is survived by her husband of 61 years, Cecil; children, Philip Young, Treva Heil, Douglas Young, and Lori Young Spurlock; five grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; three siblings; and many nieces, nephews and other family and friends.
Lola Haller ’57 | Read feature obituary
Wynita “Nita” (Rees) Outhous, 79, passed away on Saturday, April 25, 2015, at her home in Richmond, Virginia. Nita was a speaker, writer and Bible teacher. She is survived by her husband of 55 years, J. Wendell Outhous; four children, Dale, David, Dean, and Carol Jones; 15 grandchildren; a brother and a sister; and many nieces and nephews.
Wilma Jean (Houghton) Rossette died on Thursday, June 19, 2014. She was 77 years old. Please see our next issue (Spring/Summer 2016) for an extended note. Wilma Jean was a great-great niece of Houghton College founder, Willard J. Houghton.
Margaret (Tysinger) Ross passed away on August 1, 2015, under hospice care at Brooksville Healthcare Center in Brooksville, Florida. She was 77. Margaret and her husband, Barry Ross ’61, together gave some two and a half decades to missionary service in Asia, the Pacific area, Africa and the Caribbean, serving under the direction of The Wesleyan Church. In all these areas, Margaret taught home economic skills to women of all stations of life. During periods of time in the States, she taught home economics in public schools in New York, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania and California. She is survived by her husband of (one week shy of) 56 years, Barry L. Ross ’61; three children, Barri Lynne Kirkham, John Ross and Elizabeth Bailey; seven grandchildren; one great-grandchild and siblings, Doris (Tysinger ’55) Essepian and husband, Dr. John P. Essepian ’55; Faith (Tysinger ’65) Lamphier; Pattie (Tysinger ’56) Linton and husband, David Linton ’58; and Dr. James “Bud” Tysinger, Jr. ’65 as well as nieces and nephews including Ruth (Putney ’80) Blackman and husband, David Blackman ’81; Rosemary (Essepian ’81) Burgher; Alice (Putney ’89) Carpenter and husband, Eric Carpenter ’93; Mary (Putney ’85) Johnson; Charles Essepian Esq. ’85 and wife, Donna (Iacobucci ’92) Essepian; John P. Essepian III ’84; David Putney ’83 and wife, Audrey (Higle ’84) Putney; Peter Putney-Ross ’81; and James W. Tysinger III ’88. Also surviving are sister-in-law Ruth (Ross ’55) Putney and husband, Rev. John Putney ’52 and brothers-in-law William Stephens ’58 and David Ross (UWC) along with his wife, Nova Ross (UWC). She was preceded in death by a sister, Mary Ruth (Tysinger ’57) Stephens; father-in-law Kenneth Ross (UWC); and sister-in-law Beverly (Ross ’64) Reed.
Marie (Bean) Harris passed away on Wednesday, September 2, 2015, at Auburn Community Hospital in Auburn, New York. She is survived by her siblings, their children, and many other family members and friends.
Ronald W. Kerr died on Monday, June 8, 2015. He was 78. Mr. Kerr was an accomplished businessman in real estate and in the music business. He was also a talented trumpeter; classmates may remember him as a member of the Houghton Trumpet Trio. Following graduation, Ron served with the Army Band at West Point and taught trumpet for 10 years at Philadelphia College of the Bible (now Cairn University) in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. He is survived by his wife, Gwyneth Kerr; a daughter, Bonnie S. Kerr; and three sons, Capt. Ronald S. Kerr ’86 and wife, Wendy (Hitch ’84) Kerr; Robert W. Kerr; and Donald W. Kerr as well as eight grandchildren and Marion Stahl Kerr, mother of his children.
Anthony Yu ’60 | Read feature obituary
Lt. Col. (Ret.) Robert Rowland McBride died on Friday, March 6, 2015, at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He was 75 years old. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Mary; his daughter, Veronica McBride; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by two brothers and a sister.
Rebecca “Becky” Cherry, 73, passed away on March 26, 2015, at the Episcopal Church Home in Rochester, New York, following several years with Alzheimer’s disease. Becky is survived by her daughter, Karen Goulet; her son, Matthew Goulet; two grandchildren; her sister, Miriam Moore; and loving nieces, nephews and cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents and two siblings.
David Robinson, 73, died suddenly on June 11, 2015. Rev. Robinson attended Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was ordained as a minister in 1968. He served as a parish priest in New York, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire from 1968 until his retirement in 2007 in Binghamton, New York. He is survived by his children, John Robinson and Katherine Robinson; three grandchildren; his sister, Mary “Eunice” (Robinson ’66) Sitzer; and cousins, including Brock W. Baker ’74; Tod H. Baker ’82 and wife, Ann Morris Baker, Esq. ’81; Rev. Christine (Willet ’73) Greenwald and husband, Rev. Gary Greenwald ’71; A. Jonathan Shea ’63; Eila Shea ’66; Dr. Paul W. Shea ’69 and wife, Deborah (Greenmeyer ’69) Shea; Sally (Shea ’56) Syme; Nancy (Wright ’70) Tucker; and Dr. Thomas Willett ’68. He was preceded in death by his wife of 32 years, Priscilla Morris Robinson; his parents, Rev. Harvey N. Robinson and Mary (Shea ’23) Robinson; and uncles Rev. Alton J. Shea ’36; Dr. George Beverly Shea ’32; and Dr. J. Whitney Shea ’33 and wife, Phoebe (Lusk ’26) Shea as well as aunts Ruth (Shea ’41) Willett and husband, Dr. Edward Willett ’39, and Lois (Shea ’38) Wright and husband, Dr. Kenneth Wright ’34 and a cousin, Holly (Willett ’77) Gillette.
Donald “Don” Schott passed away on June 5, 2015, at his home in Bel Air, Maryland. He was 74. Don earned a Master of Science degree from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in Baltimore, Maryland and worked at Edgewood Arsenal for 11 years in the medical research facility. In addition, he co-owned a medical lab and was a consultant on occupational health and safety for over 31 years. He was the author of articles published in scientific journals as well as a book about his experiences in occupational health and safety. Mr. Schott is survived by his wife of 52 years, Pam (Rogers ’63) Schott, and son, David A. Schott.
Harold “Steve” Jones, Jr., 69, died on Monday July 20, 2015, in Dallas, Texas.
Steve gave generously to Houghton College, although no record of his gifts exist in the advancement office. In the late ’70s, Steve was sound engineer for Great America Amusement Park near Chicago. He took the initiative to record retired professor of organ and chair of the fine arts department, Dr. Charles H. Finney, on the 61-rank Holtkamp organ in the John and Charles Wesley Chapel. The resulting LP was titled “The Art of Hymnprovisation,” and without Steve’s urgings, there would be no record of these remarkable efforts. Steve wanted to do this for Houghton College and would take no money for the endeavor.
In 2005, Steve contacted Houghton again and offered to do another recording on the chapel Holtkamp. He was directed to professor of organ and harpsichord, Dr. Judy Congdon, and together with former professor of trumpet, Dr. Paul DeBoer, they performed many hymns dear to Steve’s heart. This recording was titled “With Heart and Hands and Voices,” and Steve gave 100 copies of the CD to the advancement office to be used in fundraising. He did several other recordings with Dr. Congdon over the years, always volunteering his time, equipment, travel time and expertise. Many of these CDs can still be purchased in the Houghton College Campus Store.
He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Janie Jones; four children, Anne Jones, Amy Jones Haywood, David and Peter; four grandchildren; and a brother.
Judith “Judy” (Stair) Barrett, 69, passed away August 25, 2015, at the Hart Comfort House of Allegany County in Wellsville, New York. Judy was a teacher from 1969 to 2001 and, after that, was in charge of the 21st Century Grant after-school program. In addition, Judy was the coordinator for the Belfast Central School preschool parent program, and, from 1996 until the present time, she served as the Caneadea town justice. Judy is survived by a son, James Barrett; a daughter, Pamela Cockle; five grandchildren; many nieces and nephews; a sister, Betsy Harvey; and special friends Dawn and Tren Young.
John Hemenway, 67, lost his battle with cancer on Saturday, November 8, 2014. After college, John was a member of the 18th Army band stationed at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, from 1969 to 1972 and then spent his professional career as a music teacher in several elementary, middle and high schools in Massachusetts. He retired from the Worcester School System in 2006. In addition to teaching music, John had the opportunity to play in many town bands, and, as a member of the local musicians’ union, he played for high school and college musical productions, graduations and concerts. He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Gerd Brita (Adolfsen ’72) Hemenway; two sons, Stephen and David; his sister; and several nieces and nephews.
Anne (Little) Brown passed away peacefully at her home in Fairport, New York, on April 20, 2015, surrounded by her family. Anne was an accomplished cellist, pianist and vocalist and, before attending Houghton, had the opportunity to study cello with Ronald Leonard and Alan Harris in the Preparatory Department of the Eastman School of Music. She loved her time as a student at Houghton and was especially grateful that her education there allowed her to follow her musical passion throughout her life. After college, Anne earned a master’s degree in elementary education from Nazareth College in Rochester, New York, and her career as a music educator spanned 40 years, many of them in the Fairport Central School District as a string teacher. She spent the last 10 years as an adjunct professor of music education at Houghton, where she enjoyed being on campus and attending the Christmas Prism. She is survived by her husband, Kenneth; children, Rachel Englander, Amanda Brin, and Nathanael Brown ’05; seven grandchildren; nieces including Melanie (Neureuther ’04) Houck, Jennifer (Little ’93) Kegler, and Melissa (Neureuther ’02) Wantuck; and nephews including Jonathan D. Little ’95, Matthew C. Neureuther ’05 as well as three siblings, Paul D. Little ’65 and wife, Linda (Finger ’65) Little; Thomas R. Little ’75; and Jane (Little ’69) Neureuther. Anne was preceded in death by her mother, Frances (Hotchkiss ’36) Little.
Nils Peter Nilsen, 63, passed away at his home in West Long Branch, New Jersey, on Tuesday, August 18, 2015. Surviving are his mother, Marion Cornman; three sisters; two brothers; and thirteen nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, John Howard Nilsen, in 1964 and his stepfather, A. Wesley Cornman, in 2009.
Ruth (Senseney) Stratton, 59, passed away on July 31, 2015, after a sudden illness. Ruth is survived by her husband of 37 years, Jim; three daughters, Amanda Kirk, Rebecca Draper, and Emily Schilling; four grandchildren; her father, Morton; four siblings; and many nieces and nephews.
Abraham D. Burdick passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, March 15, 2015, in Olean, New York. He was 40 years old. Surviving are two sons, Abraham “Joe” Burdick and Robert “Robie” Burdick; his step-mother, Roxanne Burdick; three brothers, Clinton, Benjamin, and Calvin; three sisters, Teresa Bailey, Sarah Burdick, and Amber Ramsey; step-grandparents; and several nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, and other extended family members.
Teresa (Winship) Baker died on Sunday, May 17, 2015, at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, in Williamsville, New York, after a brief illness. She was 36 years old. Teresa graduated from the University of Buffalo as a nurse practitioner and was employed as a psychiatric nurse practitioner for the University Psychiatric Practice in Buffalo. She also was an adjunct professor at the University of Buffalo. She is survived by her husband of 12 years, James Baker; her parents, Benjamin Winship and Joan Winship; four brothers, Dean, Shawn, Aaron and Benjamin; and several nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and colleagues.
Judith “Judy” Curran ’00, Olean Cohort G2, passed away on Sunday, November 23, 2014, at Cuba Memorial Hospital’s Comfort Care Unit in Cuba, New York. She is survived by her high school sweetheart, soulmate and husband of 39 years, Kevin Curran; two daughters, Kaitlin Speta and Kristin Flachs; one granddaughter; her father; her sister and best friend, Jan Howard; several nieces and one nephew; and several grandnieces and grandnephews. She was predeceased by her mother in 2010 and a brother-in-law.
Gary C. Fiegl ’64 passed away on Tuesday, July 7, 2015, at the Hart Comfort House in Wellsville, New York. Gary’s connection to Houghton College began when his father, the late Robert T. Fiegl, Sr., was hired as the superintendent of buildings and grounds in 1950. Gary worked for his father on campus in the summers, mowing lawns, carrying ashes and firing coal boilers. After some time as a student at Houghton, Gary went to barber school in Buffalo and then was drafted into the Army, where he served in Denver, Colorado, as a medical records clerk in the cardiology clinic at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital. Upon his return home to Hume, New York, he found that he didn’t enjoy working as a barber, so he found employment in construction, plumbing and heating. In 1977, Gary was operating heavy equipment on highway construction in Baltimore, Maryland, when the new superintendent of building and grounds at Houghton, Paul Crane, invited him to apply for work in his department. Gary returned to Houghton and eventually became the director of maintenance, retiring in 2001. Gary was known for his consistent leadership as a supervisor, his accessibility, and his willingness to help out in any situation with a smile and a good attitude. Surviving in addition to his wife, Linda, are his six children, Eric M. Fiegl ’88 and wife, Lynelle (Hall ’88) Fiegl; Dr. Wade E. Fiegl ’90 and wife, Heather (Sardina ’90) Fiegl; Ivy (Fiegl ’91) Rothfus and husband, Tedd Rothfus ’86; Holly (Fiegl ’94) Fertich; Julia Mills; and Peter Romance and wife, Jessica (Mullen ’08) Romance as well as 25 grandchildren. Also surviving are his five siblings, Zane Fiegl ’56 and wife, Laura (Gilmore ’64) Fiegl; Roberta (Fiegl ’59) Barnett and husband, Dean Barnett ’60; Claudia (Fiegl ’68) Kauffman; Dawn (Fiegl ’74) Bateman and husband, Kenneth Bateman ’76; and R. Thomas Fiegl ’77 and wife, Jayne (Davis ’78) Fiegl as well as many nieces and nephews including Michael Barnett ’81 and Laurie (Fiegl ’83) Graziano. He was predeceased by his father, former maintenance supervisor, Robert Fiegl.
Dr. G. Edna Howard | Read feature obituary
Thomas C. Randall passed away on Friday, July 31, 2015, at his home in Rushford, New York. Tom was a dairy farmer who later owned and operated a sawmill business and most recently was employed by Houghton College as a plumber. Driving and logging with his draft horses was a longtime passion for Tom, as was his love for two-cylinder tractors. He is survived by his wife, Esther Palmer Wolfley as well as his children, Marie Woodard ’96 and her husband, current staff member, John Woodard and John Randall; step-children, Linrae Ellis, Craig Wolfley, Ron Wolfley, Joyce Blue, and Dale Wolfley; 27 grandchildren including Jennifer (Woodard ’06) Keeler and husband Justin Keeler ’10; 20 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Patricia Scott; a grandson, Isaiah Blue; and siblings Arthur Randall and Joyce Randall.
Louise R. Rees, 93, passed away peacefully on Palm Sunday, March 29, 2015, at her home in Batavia, New York. Louise held three different positions at Houghton College: secretary to the dean of the college, secretary of the public relations office, and secretary to the church relations director. Louise is survived by her children, John A. Rees ’75 and Carol (Rees ’72) Ensell; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband of 68 years, Dr. Arland B. Rees ’50, former associate professor of history; brothers, Howard C., Leonard C., and Louis C. Wales; and grandson, Joshua David.
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Ernest T. Anderson passed peacefully into the presence of God on May 14, 2015. He was 94 years old. Dr. Anderson is survived by his six children, Mark S. Anderson ’70; Timothy J. Anderson ’71 and wife, Marybeth (Burdick ’72) Anderson; Sharon (Anderson ’73) Babbitt and husband, Stephen Babbitt ’71; Daniel Anderson; Jonathan D. Anderson; and David E. Anderson as well as 13 grandchildren including Kari (Babbitt ’00) Cowell, 14 great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his wife of nearly 65 years, Wanda, and two sisters.
Robert B. Crowell, 90, died peacefully at his home in Arkport, New York, on February 27, 2015, after several years of declining health. He is survived by two daughters, Beverely Crowell ’73 and Maribeth Crowell ’76; a brother; many other family members and special friends; and his beloved poodle companion, Chloe. In addition to his parents, Bob was preceded in death by his wife, Glenora (McBride ’46) Crowell.
Roger B. Olsen passed away in his home in Houghton, New York, on Saturday, July 25, 2015. He is survived by his four children, Assistant Professor of Physical Education and Equestrian Program Director, Jo-Anne (Olsen ’69) Young; Christina O’Neill; Constance (Olsen ’72) Kennedy and husband, John Kennedy ’72; and David E. Olsen ’78 and wife, Donalee (Blackstone ’81) Olsen as well as nine grandchildren including Steven B. Young ’91 and Erin M. Kennedy ’00; 14 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews including Philip F. Olsen (UWC) and James S. Olsen ’65. He was predeceased by his beloved wife and life partner in all circumstances and adventures, Virginia, in 2009 and five siblings including graduate of Eastern Pilgrim College, J. Francis Olsen.
Leland F. Pemberton, 96, passed away on March 10, 2015, at Cuba Memorial Hospital in Cuba, New York. Mr. Pemberton was a World War II veteran, having served in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a master sergeant in the European Theater. He was a research engineer with Cal Span in Amherst. He is survived by two cousins and many friends, including Bill and Roberta Stone. Besides his parents, he was predeceased by two brothers, a niece and a cousin.
Gesa M. Valk passed away peacefully on March 19, 2015, after bravely succumbing to leukemia. Dr. Valk is survived by her husband, Rev. John. H. Valk ’56; children, Steven Valk and Jennie Merna; and three grandchildren.