Winter 2017 in Memoriam
Adrienne (Phillips) Wickersham died of natural causes on March 27, 2016. She was 95 years old. After earning her BS in communications engineering from Houghton, Adrienne was employed by the United States Army Signal Corps as a transmission engineer before taking a similar position with ITT. She also held positions in systems engineering and publications administration for various ITT companies and later Computer Science Corporation. She is survived by her granddaughters, Kate and Elena; her daughter-in-law, Lisa; and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Wilfred, and their two sons, Ed and William.
Lucille (Barnett) Beach, 90, died May 2, 2016. She is survived by children Nancy Cecil; Dr. Bradley Beach ’75 and his wife, Elizabeth (Lecappelain ’75) Beach; Kimberly (Beach ’78) Scheel; and Robyn Beach Buxton ’84 as well as 17 grandchildren including Amy (Scheel ’03) Wells and her husband, Kevin Wells ’02; Andrea Scheel ’05; Jeffrey Falke ’93 and his wife, Amy (Brown ’94) Falke; Richard Falke ’98 and his wife, Christine (Fitzgerald ’97) Falke; and Emily Beach ’01 and 30 great-grandchildren. Also surviving are brothers Dr. Bev Barnett ’49 and his wife, Margie (Miller ’49) Barnett; Robert Barnett, Dean Barnett ’60 and his wife, Roberta (Fiegl ’59) Barnett; and Allan Barnett and his wife, Eveleyn (Blackbourn ’69) Barnett as well as several nieces and nephews including Kathleen (Barnett ’69) Daake; Barbara (Barnett ’73) Daake; Debra (Barnett ’77) Beers and her husband, Rev. Gary Beers ’75; Dr. Keri (Barnett ’99) Bassett; Ronald Barnett ’79; Michael Barnett ’81; and Jonathan Barnett ’84. She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard “Dick” Beach ’50; children Stephen Beach and Sharon (Beach ’69) Falke; and three brothers, Gordon Barnett ’44, Glenn Barnett ’48 and David Barnett ’54.
Edna (Woodworth) Shaffner died on April 5, 2016, in Springfield, Virginia. She was 90. Edna earned her master’s degree from SUNY Albany and, upon graduation, was granted a Fulbright Scholarship to teach at Niagata University, Japan. Instead, she took a position at Jeffersonville-Youngsville Central School in Jeffersonville, New York, where she taught English for 40 years. During her tenure there, she was the recipient of the NY Teacher of the Year and NYS Excellence in Teaching English Awards. She also served as an adjunct professor at Sullivan County Community College in Loch Sheldrake, New York. She is survived by daughters Lois Cassano and Lila Allgeier; four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and a sister, Lila Woodworth. She was preceded in death by her first husband, Robert Clark, and her second husband, Douglass Shaffner ’40.
Arleen (Werres ’50) Boyd, 88, died May 26, 2016. For three years, Arleen was director of women’s personnel for the Haloid Co. as it transitioned to Xerox Corp. before leaving her career to raise three daughters. A consummate teacher, she taught Bible classes for children and adult women under the Rochester (NY) Bible Clubs; neighborhood women’s Bible classes; and women’s Sunday school classes at Northgate Bible Chapel in Greece, New York. She was a passionate quilter and was published in books and national magazines, taught quilting classes, and received many awards at local and national exhibits, including a first prize awarded for a quilt at the New York State Fair. Arleen is survived by her husband of 65 years, James Boyd ’49 and children Eleanor (Boyd ’77) Fox and her husband, Ted Fox ’77; Nancy B. (Boyd ’79) Kennedy; and Janet (Boyd ’81) Hallatt as well as five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Elmer Ritzman passed away on July 19, 2016. Following high school, Dr. Ritzman enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he proudly served as a radar operator aboard ship in the Pacific Theater of World War II. After graduating from Houghton, he earned an MA degree from the University of Chicago and a D.Ed. degree from Rutgers University. His career as a counselor was spent serving secondary schools, universities and community colleges. He is survived by his high school sweetheart and wife of nearly 67 years, Nancy; his daughter, Rolanda Ritzman; a sister, Georgina Renn; and many cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by a brother and a sister.
Robert Wollenweber passed away peacefully at his home in Richmond, Kentucky, on October 21, 2016. He was 91 years old. Rev. Wollenweber served in the Marines during WWII, and, following Houghton, he attended Gordon-Conwell Seminary. Bob pastored churches in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Illinois. He served in Quito, Ecuador, in radio and TV ministry; was executive director of Chapel of the Air in Wheaton, Illinois; and was area director in Connecticut and Rhode Island for Prison Fellowship. In 1991, Houghton named him Alumnus of the Year, and he retired in 1992. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Wilma (Lange ’51) Wollenweber and three children, Dr. Elizabeth (Wollenweber ’75) Kleppinger and her husband, Dr. Eugene Kleppinger ’75; Faith Kaufman; and Mark Wollenweber as well as seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Mary (LaCelle) Kinnetz passed away at the age of 87 on October 3, 2016. Mary studied at Columbia Presbyterian School of Nursing to become a Registered Nurse and spent her career caring for others in labor and delivery, as a visiting nurse, and as a school nurse before retiring in 1991. Mary is survived by her husband of 55 years, Ronald Kinnetz; sons Gregory Kinnetz and Douglas Kinnetz; and three siblings: Dr. John LaCelle ’54 and his wife, Eleanor (Mead ’55) LaCelle; James LaCelle ’52; and Esther (LaCelle ’59) Pitzrick as well as three grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews including Andrea (LaCelle ’79) Redfern; Dr. Kristina LaCelle-Peterson ’82; Dr. Peter LaCelle ’84; Daniel LaCelle ’78 and his wife, Jill (Sylvester ’81) LaCelle; and Ned LaCelle ’83 and his wife, Karen (Tworzydlo ’83) LaCelle. She was preceded in death by her twin brother, Dr. Paul LaCelle ’51, and his wife, June (Dukeshire ’50) LaCelle.
Lt. Col. Vincent Rothwell died at his home in Westfield, New York, following a brief illness, on June 1, 2016. He was 91. Vincent joined the US Army Air Corps in 1943 where he trained to be a turret gunner on the B-24 Bomber in Europe. He returned to the US to be trained on the B-29 when he was reassigned to become a Personnel Sergeant. After his service, he took advantage of the GI Bill and graduated from Houghton, then went on to Evangelical Theological Seminary in Naperville, Illinois. He served as a pastor until 1957, when he reentered the US Army and became an Army Chaplain. He served in Ohio and in Hawaii and then was assigned to Ft. Meyers, Arlington National Cemetery, and was honored to have presided over 1,500 soldier’s funerals. In 1968, he was sent to Vietnam for a year and returned to Fort Belvoir, Virginia. While in Virginia, he received his Master of Education from the Presbyterian School of Christian Education. He retired from the Military at Ft. McClellan, Alabama, as Senior Chaplain, having attained the rank of Lt. Colonel following 22 years of service to his country. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Elizabeth; his children, Lucinda Kolpien, Douglas Rothwell, Donald Rothwell and Dickson Rothwell; 12 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; and his brother, Keith Rothwell. He was preceded in death by two grandsons, three brothers and a sister.
Roger Rounds, 85, passed away July 28, 2016, at UPMC in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Rev. Rounds was faithful in his preaching/teaching ministry throughout his lifetime in the Wesleyan Methodist and Free Methodist denominations. His teaching ministry also extended to the college/university level both in the US and overseas. He is survived by two sons, Gregory and Kevin Rounds, and three grandchildren.
Barbara Colleen Weekley, 87, passed away on September 10, 2016. Barbara Colleen earned her master’s degree from SUNY Geneseo and spent six years as a missionary/educator in Nigeria, West Africa, training teachers. Following her time in Africa, she spent the rest of her career in Arkport, New York, as a teacher, elementary principal and finally the K-12 principal. After her retirement, she served as the director of the Hornell chapter of the American Red Cross as well as the chair of Attica Prison and Groveland Prison Visitor Centers. She received a legislative resolution from the state of New York honoring her for her work upon her retirement, and, in 1994, she was honored as a Distinguished Alumni of Houghton College. She is survived by a sister, Jean Atkins; a niece, Susan Phillips; a nephew, Randal Atkins; and numerous great-nieces, great-nephews, and great-great-nieces and -nephews. She was preceded in death by a brother-in-law, Ray Atkins, and a niece, Linda Graham.
John Venlet, 84, died on September 16, 2016. Rev. Venlet attended Baptist Theological Seminary in 1957 and was ordained to the Gospel ministries in November 1960 by Calvary Baptist of Grand Rapids, Michigan. He spent his life serving as an evangelist and was instrumental in the early years of Word of Life Bible Clubs. He was inducted into the Word of Life Hall of Fame in May 2012. He is survived by his high school sweetheart and wife for 63 years, Delores; four children: David, Douglas, Cheryl Black and Kristen Wharton; three granddaughters; five great-grandchildren; and one sister.
Richard William “Bill” Black, 86, passed away on August 30, 2015, at his home in Mount Vernon, Ohio, surrounded by his wife and family. Following his high school graduation, Bill served his country as a paratrooper in the 376th Army Airborne Field and Artillery Battalion from September 1946 to March 1948. He graduated from Houghton after the war and spent his career as a high school teacher and basketball coach, retiring in 1988 from Falconer High School in Falconer, New York. Bill was admired by his students for his humor, his friendship and his love for the Lord. After retiring from teaching, Bill continued to work as a house painter year-round until he was 80 years old. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Inga; four children: Cindi Gronberg, Sue Swanson, Rev. Jim Black and Rev. Jon Black; 12 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; a sister; and many nieces, nephews and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers and two sisters.
Frances (Allday) Stockin, 81, went to be with her Lord on September 24, 2015, following 17 years of total disability due to strokes. Fran was a teacher, serving in New York State public schools as well as in California at Santa Barbara Christian School. She is survived by her husband, Bruce Stockin ’56; children, Daniel Stockin and Rebecca Stockin; four grandchildren; a great-grandson; and several nieces and nephews including Philip G. Stockin ’67 and his wife, Donnalee (Berry ’68) Stockin; LoraBeth (Stockin ’77) Norton and her husband, Dr. David Norton ’75; Judy (Stockin ’70) Ganch; and Prof. Audrey (Stockin ’64) Eyler as well as a brother, Clavon Allday.
Donald Trasher passed away on May 2, 2016, at Rochester General Hospital. He was 78. Don received his master’s from SUNY Buffalo and began his career at SUNY Geneseo as an assistant professor in 1964. In 1978, he was appointed chair of the Department of Mathematics, a position he held until his retirement in 2000. Don is survived by his wife, Virginia (Snow ’58) Trasher; children, Dennis Kenyon, Laura (Trasher ’86) Bernhofen, Diane (Trasher ’89) Broberg, Steven Trasher and James Trasher; 12 grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; a sister; and several nieces and nephews.
Alice (Belden) Rowley died September 17, 2016, at her home in Winnebago, Illinois. She was 74 years old. Alice earned a Master of Arts in Spanish literature from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and taught Spanish and French in Waverly, New York, before she and husband, John, served as missionaries in Chile and Oaxaca, Mexico. She and John were married for 50 years, and he survives her. Also surviving are five children, Karen Ball, Philip, Dan, George and Wayne; six grandchildren; and her loving church family at Winnebago Evangelical Fellowship.
Harvey MacBride passed away May 8, 2016. After receiving his MA from the State University of New York at Albany, he spent his professional years as a college administrator in Oneonta and Albany, New York. He was an avid runner and reader. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Ruth MacBride; his children, Jean (MacBride ’84) Rupprecht and Neil H. MacBride ’87; eight grandchildren; and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his son, Bruce MacBride.
Wallace Mason, Jr. passed away September 3, 2016. His family will miss his love of family, friends, music, the outdoors and the Lord. Survivors include his wife, Ruth; his son, Douglas C. Mason; his daughters, Heather Wright and Rachael Willoughby; and six grandchildren as well as siblings Douglas W. ’81 and his wife, Dr. Laura (Sawyer ’81) Mason, and Helen (Mason ’84) Atzenweiler and niece Marcia (Mason ’13) Mauger and her husband, Robert “Bobby” Mauger ’14. He was predeceased by his parents and his brother, Norm Mason ’73
Darren Allen died in a traffic accident on July 10, 2016, in El Paso County, Texas. He was 53. Darren received a Master of Science degree in mathematics with a minor in computer science from Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and was most recently employed as a mathematics instructor at Cochise College’s Santa Cruz Center in Nogales, Arizona. He is survived by a daughter, Fiona Allen; siblings, Darryl Allen, Eric Allen, Sharlene Allen, and Andrea LeCompte; his mother, Yolanda Allen; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father and two brothers.
Elisabeth “Peg” Folts, 95, died August 5, 2016, at the Livingston County Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Mr. Morris, New York. Peg owned and operated Peg’s Beauty Shop in Fillmore, New York, for many years and was a longtime member of the Geneseo United Methodist Church in Geneseo, New York. She is survived by her children, Dwight Folts, Kathe Hartnett, and Louise Goodall; seven grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Frances Koukal and Vivian Reithmiller; and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband, Stewart Folts ’47, and a son-in-law, Robert Goodall.
Dana R. Pickup, Jr., former member of Houghton’s President’s Advisory Board, passed away Tuesday, May 24, 2016, at Transitions Hospice Home in Raleigh, North Carolina. He was 73. Dana earned his MBA from the University of Texas at Austin and served with the U.S. Army in Korea. He practiced as a certified public accountant in Wellsville, New York, and then purchased the Cuba Specialty Manufacturing Co. of Fillmore, New York, in 1980. He successfully ran and expanded that business until his retirement. In addition, he served as president of the American Fishing Tackle Manufacturers Association, an industry trade organization, and, during his tenure, he had the opportunity to host a fishing trip with President and Mrs. George H. W. Bush at Grand Teton National Park. Dana is survived by his wife, Patti (Miller ’68) Pickup; children, Lance Pickup, Shannon Leonida, and Danielle Quiocho; step-children, Todd Willard and Brittany Willard; eight grandchildren; his brother, Bob Pickup; his goddaughter; and many nieces and nephews.
Ward Silsbee, 86, passed away unexpectedly September 7, 2016, at his home in Caribou, Maine. Ward served with the US Navy and was employed as the quality control manager for the Birdseye Division of General Foods in Caribou as well as for R.T. French, Potato Service and McCain Foods. He is survived by his children, Gary Sislbee, David Silsbee and Susanne Laforge; six grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; special friend, Joanne Smith; and first cousins, Margaret (Fancher ’47) Serley and Joanna Fancher ’50. He was preceded in death by his parents, Lewis and Charlotte (Stebbins) Silsbee; his wife, Ruth; an infant brother, Laverne; several aunts including Ethlyn Stebbins ’23; and first cousins including L. Roscoe Fancher ’35, Esther (Fancher ’37) Lister, and Ruth (Fancher ’43) Hutton.
FOMER FACULTY AND STAFF
Retired Houghton College electrician Rev. Robert Miller passed away on December 31, 2016. He served the college from 1963 until his retirement in 1991. Please see the upcoming Spring 2017 issue of Houghton for an extended tribute to this faithful staff member.