Spring 2022 Courier Obituaries



Florence Van Winkle Ramsay, 101, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on August 22. At Coe, Florence sang in the choir and made lifelong friends with the people she met in the Music Department. She taught school in Alta Vista, Iowa, for one year after graduation and then went off to New York City with her good friend to "seek her fortune." After several jobs, she became music director for eight schools on Long Island. While living in Bayshore, Long Island, at a boarding house for teachers, she became acquainted with Joanie Ramsay, a 10-year-old girl who lived across the street. Joanie begged Florence to give her piano lessons. In time, this led to Joanie inviting Florence over for dinner with her and her widowed father, Don Ramsay. His British accent and his painting on the kitchen floor of a teapot with musical notes rising out of the spout convinced Florence that she should continue seeing him. Around 1948, Florence returned to Cedar Rapids to care for her ailing grandmother. Soon after, Don and Joanie joined her, and Don and Florence were married in November of that year. Florence taught music in Norway, Iowa, then enrolled at the University of Iowa to get her English teaching degree. She taught language arts at Roosevelt Junior High School for many years. After retirement, she enjoyed teaching English as a second language for Kirkwood Community College until she was 85 years old. Music, poetry, literature, grammar and studying languages were Florence’s passions. She directed the quartet for Temple Judah for 36 years, sang in a madrigal group and in the First Presbyterian Church choir under the direction of her beloved professor Paul Ray and organist Eleanor Taylor. She was a member of the Beethoven Club and the Shakespeare Club for many years, as was her grandmother before her. She even recited poetry to herself at night instead of counting sheep! She never lost her enthusiasm for these lifelong passions. Florence loved traveling to Europe, making new friends and putting her language studies to use. She supported distant friends and family with her graceful letters. She was sustained by many long-term friendships from her music groups, her teaching friends and from her neighborhood. In her mid-70s, she joined Curves, which turned out to be the spark that enhanced the rest of her life. She became fast friends with a group of women who regularly met for exercise, coffee and birthday lunches. Florence is survived by her two daughters, Sharon Ramsay and Jennifer (Neil) Kacena; her stepdaughter, Joan Ramsay Russell ’51; six grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and five nieces and nephews.


Edith Gensicke Miller, 97, of Astoria, Oregon, on August 21. In addition to Coe, Edith attended the University of Iowa, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing. In her first job as a registered nurse, Edith worked at Fort Leonard Wood, a military hospital in Missouri. Capt. Blair Henningsgaard was one of her patients. He was a combat medic with the 101st Airborne and was recovering from injuries suffered in the Battle of the Bulge. In 1945, at their first bedside meeting, Edith dismissed his announced plan to marry her. However, they married later that year. Edith and Blair moved to Portland, where he completed his residency in internal medicine at Good Samaritan Hospital and Edith taught nursing. In 1948, Blair joined the Fowler Clinic in Astoria. Edith loved Astoria from her first visit, and she quickly became a force in the community. Over the years, she served as president of the League of Women Voters, the Clatsop County Medical Auxiliary, First Lutheran Church council, YMCA, Women's Auxiliary to Astoria Golf & Country Club, United Way and Community Concert. She was drive co-chairman of the Astoria Aquatic Center. She served on the Clatsop County Welfare Commission and on boards of the Red Cross of Clatsop County, Columbia River Maritime Museum and Columbia Memorial Hospital. Edith and Blair raised four children, and Edith was active in parents' clubs at Astoria Middle School and Astoria High School. She visited sister city Walldorf, Germany, several times and helped start the Walldorf-Astoria High School exchange program in 1983. Blair passed away in 1980, and Edith continued to be involved in community activities after his death. In 1982, she was elected mayor of Astoria, serving two terms and being elected to a third term in 1990. While mayor, she was elected to the League of Oregon Cities board of directors and served as president in 1989. She also served on the state Film and Video Board, and five movies were filmed in Astoria during her tenure including "The Goonies" and "Kindergarten Cop." She was active in Friends of the Astoria Column and Liberty Restoration Inc. In January 1991, Edith married Joe D. Miller, a longtime family friend. She resigned as mayor, and she and Joe moved to Kentucky and Florida. She missed Astoria, however, and they moved back in 1993. She and Joe traveled extensively until Joe's death in 2006. Edith received the Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce's George Award, the Main Street Citizen of the Year award and the first Lady Liberty Award. She was the Astoria Regatta admiral in 1995. In 2009, the Liberty Theatre mezzanine was named for her. She was an honorary Norwegian and participated in the Astoria Scandinavian Midsummer Festival every year in her beautiful Valdres bunad. She was a member of First Lutheran Church for 73 years. Edith was never idle. She was an expert seamstress, and she enjoyed knitting, embroidery, needlepoint, hardanger, gardening, reading, entertaining, golf and travel. She kept a lovely home and did much of the interior painting and wallpapering. She kept a beautiful garden. She was kind, generous and smart. Edith loved her children and grandchildren and provided many opportunities for family adventures. She is survived by two daughters, Lisa (Greg) Howell and JoLee (Dennis) Ford; a son, Blair (Paula Brownhill); a daughter-in-law, Susan Sullivan; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Betty Shafer Scheible, 99, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on October 17. Betty attended Franklin High School, and at a Franklin basketball game with crosstown rival McKinley, she spotted a tall, good-looking young man out on the court. After Betty graduated high school and came to Coe, that same young man, Frank Scheible ’41, flirted with her one afternoon in Stewart Memorial Library. In November 1941, after Frank graduated from Coe, he and Betty eloped to Lancaster, Missouri. Frank was in the U.S. Army Air Corps and received pilot training at several locations around the country. Betty followed him to Florida and Texas, which was a pretty brave thing for a young woman who had never really been out of Iowa. During World War II, Betty lived with her parents while Frank flew B-29 missions in the Pacific. They wrote to each other every day, saving all the letters in a footlocker that always moved with them. In 1944, Betty gave birth to a son, and upon Frank's return at the end of the war, they bought their first house. Soon after, a daughter was born, but Cedar Rapids was not going to be home for long. Frank was recalled into service during the Korean War, and the family moved to San Antonio, Texas. After a few very happy years there, Frank was transferred to Tokyo, Japan, which was a great adventure for the family. Betty navigated the crowded streets of Tokyo in the family Buick and learned traditional Japanese arts such as doll making and flower arranging. As the wife of a military man, she got used to moving. After Japan, they lived in Indiana, then Alabama and finally California. Wherever they lived, Betty made a comfortable home for her family, although much to her dismay she was never able to find that perfect house without a kitchen (she hated to cook). However, she did have a green thumb, which she inherited from her mother, and she tended her flower gardens with great care. Betty cherished her friends and faithfully kept in touch with her schoolmates from Franklin, her sorority sisters from Coe, the wives of Frank's World War II squadron mates and the friends and neighbors from every town she lived in. One of Betty's favorite places was Santa Monica, California, where for 10 years she lived a mere four blocks from Palisades Park overlooking the Pacific Ocean. In 1979, Betty and Frank moved to their true retirement home in Carlsbad, California. Betty was taught at an early age to love nature, and she and Frank landscaped their yard to become one of the early National Wildlife Federation's certified backyard habitats. During their retirement years in Carlsbad, Betty and Frank enjoyed their trips to Europe and to locations all throughout the United States. Their high school and Coe reunions kept bringing them back to Cedar Rapids for happy times with their many friends. Betty and Frank came full circle in December 2003 when they moved back to Cedar Rapids. Their apartment at The Meth-Wick Community was only five blocks from that first house they bought after the war. Frank passed away in January 2007, a few months after they celebrated their 65th anniversary. Betty had a big and loving heart and always thought of others before herself. Even in her final year, she continued to be a mom, a role she loved above all else. A proud Democrat, she fervently hoped the nation would heal and would lead the world in combating the climate crisis, for the sake of her grandchildren, great-grandchildren and all future generations everywhere. Betty is survived by her son, F. William Scheible Jr.; her daughter, Ann Klovstad; her brother, Charles (Betty) Shafer; two grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; and a second daughter, Cheryl Mann.


Ruth Clark Grom, 98, of Sioux Center, Iowa, on January 11. Ruth started teaching at Colesburg, Iowa, and there she met her future husband. She was united in marriage to Donald Grom on June 5, 1945, in Scotch Grove. She continued to teach at Center Junction in the Maquoketa School District. Several years later, the couple moved to the family farm near Scotch Grove, where they farmed for many years. In 1971, they moved to Alden, Iowa, and Ruth worked as a librarian for the city of Alden. In 1976, they moved to Spicer, Minnesota, to a lake home on Green Lake. There, Ruth worked part time at the Spicer Library. She was a member of the Hope Presbyterian Church in Spicer, active with several church activities. She enjoyed reading, watching the Hallmark Channel and was an avid Twins and Vikings fan. She enjoyed time spent fishing with Don on Green Lake. In 1983, Don died unexpectedly. Ruth remained living in Spicer and stayed active with her church and community. She moved to Crown Pointe Assisted Living in 2015 and recently to Crown Pointe Care Center. Ruth is survived by her son, Philip (Diane) Grom; 10 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; a sister-in-law, Betty Hyde; and other extended family.

Crystal Knox Budd, 98, of Daytona Beach, Florida, on May 9. Crystal met her true love of 71 years, Lt. Col. Philip Joseph Budd, while working at Schick General Hospital, a wartime hospital in Clinton, Iowa, where they were both employed. After a short romance, they were married on November 8, 1945. Crystal and Philip spent the first part of their marriage in the Washington, D.C., area before moving to Daytona Beach in 1974. As promised, her husband "bought her an ocean" as they lived in the Aliki on the world's most famous beach. Crystal was a member of the Seabreeze United Church of Christ and the Museum of Arts and Sciences Guild and spent many years working on the Halifax Arts Festival. She also was the unofficial leader of the "Aliki Ladies," her group of friends who would lunch weekly around the Daytona Beach area. She enjoyed traveling the world with her husband and also sharing her love for all of the National Parks with her children and grandchildren on summer trips. Crystal is survived by her sister, Doris Madison; her children, Stephen Philip Budd (Cheryl), Janet Eileen Elliott (Dave), Jeffrey Vincent Budd (Kathy) and Thomas Knox Budd (Tina); three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.


Genevieve Moulds Lee, 96, of Alexandria, Virginia, on August 17. Prior to attending Coe, Genevieve attended Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. She returned to Stephens to work in the counseling department and met her husband, James (Jim) H. Lee, who was a graduate student in horticulture at the University of Missouri after serving in World War II. They were married 67 years until Jim’s death in 2014. Genevieve and Jim shared many interests, including traveling, gardening and reading, and they were both active in many civic organizations, including the Frederick Garden Club. Genevieve was a lifelong learner with never-ending intellectual curiosity. She loved talking to people, hearing their stories, collecting antiques and gourmet cooking. Her greatest joy and interest, however, was her family and their activities. Genevieve is survived by her three children, Sharon, Clark and Jimmy; seven grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and her children and grandchildren’s spouses.


Gail Whitford Bochek, 94, of Garden City, Idaho, on October 15. While at Coe, Gail played basketball and volleyball and became proficient with the clarinet and piano in the music program. She also met the love of her life, Robert Bochek. They were married on June 6, 1948, in Oelwein, Iowa. Gail and Robert relocated to Denver, Colorado, to pursue their teaching careers and start a family. In Denver, daughters Cheryl and Cindy were born. After three years in Denver, they relocated to southern California where Gail established a long, successful career in elementary education in the Azusa School District. She was an outstanding kindergarten teacher and taught classes in early childhood education at UCLA. During the California years, Christina was born, and many family trips were taken to historical sites around the country. In 1980, Gail and Robert moved to Lake Stevens, Washington, to be closer to their daughters’ families. Gail continued her career as a highly respected kindergarten teacher for the Vashon School District. Upon retirement in 1993, Gail and Robert moved to their final residence in Boise, ldaho. Gail loved to read and stay informed on current events. She had a passion for challenging crossword puzzles and word games. She loved animals and was generous with local animal care organizations. Her little shi-tzu, Leo, was always by her side in her final years. Gail is survived by her daughters, Cheryl (Perry) Thacker, Cindy (Tom) Brisson and Christina Bochek; two grandchildren; three great-grandchildren, Kelsey, Jacob and Tyler; and one great-great-grandchild.


Richard “Dick” Cook, 98, of Arlington Heights, Illinois, on October 9. Dick served his country during World War II in the Army Air Force, 388th Bomb Group, Radar and Radar Jamming Communications group servicing B-17s in England. He participated in 306 missions all over the European continent. After the war, Dick returned to Coe to complete his degree. While at Coe, he met Renee Cardell Cook ’47, and they were married on December 27, 1947. Dick worked at Western Electric as an industrial engineer for 30 years, retiring in 1981. Following retirement, he and Renee took 19 trips to England, Scotland, Wales and other European countries. During this time, Dick began a second career volunteering at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, serving in many different roles such as a member of the finance committee, council president, Stephen minister, acolyte and crucifer. For over 30 years, he gave of himself to assist others. Dick created model ships out of scrap wood. He built several schooners, a replica Mayflower and small sailboats and gave many of them away as gifts to people he loved and appreciated. In addition, he painted in oils as a copy artist or created scenes from memory of places he and Renee had visited in England. He especially loved cathedrals and castles. Dick's greatest attribute was his enormous love for his family and friends and his church. He was so proud of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Dick is survived by his wife of 74 years, Renee; three children, Dr. Martha C. Schneerman, Timothy Richard (Mary) Cook and Mary Ann (James Mulligan) Cook Mulligan; eight grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.


Virginia Stouffer Nelson, 96, of Mount Morris, Illinois, on August 30. After graduating from Coe, Virginia earned her registered nursing degree from Evanston Hospital School of Nursing, then remained in Evanston to teach anatomy and chemistry at Northwestern Hospital. In 1953, she obtained her public health certificate and began a new position at Freeport Memorial Hospital. In 1955, Virginia had an eye appointment at Dr. Kortemeier's office in Freeport. Her optician, Norm Nelson, was smitten with her, and they married on July 15, 1956. Norm and Virginia became part of the family business, Stouffer Poultry Farm and Hatchery, in 1957. In 1972, Virginia returned to the nursing profession as a Rockford school nurse, retiring in 1981. Virginia was an avid quilter, belonging to several quilt groups and organizations. She was a member of St. James Lutheran Church in Forreston. She loved her grandchildren and great grandchildren, taking great pride in their many accomplishments. Virginia is survived by her son, Jeffrey (Kathy) Nelson; her daughter, Kristin (David) Sible; four grandchildren; and four great-grandsons.


Earl Altmeyer, 94, of North Olmsted, Ohio, on October 7. Earl attended summer school so he could graduate high school early and join the U.S. Navy as an underage enlistee to serve in World War II. After the war ended, he attended Coe and remained in the Navy Reserves. Upon graduation, he was called back to active duty and was stationed in the Philippines during the Korean War. After his discharge from the Navy in July 1951, he told his friend that he wanted to first find a job and then find a wife. Earl’s friend set him up on a blind date with Lois Erickson in early August 1951. It must have been fate, because they were engaged in late November and married on June 7, 1952. In 1953, the couple moved to Kansas City when Earl took a job with Union Carbide. He later was transferred to Minneapolis and eventually transferred to Cleveland in 1975. During his time in Cleveland, Energizer Battery was spun off from Union Carbide. Earl continued to work for Energizer Battery, now owned by Ralston Purina. After a long and successful career focusing on transportation, logistics and import/export, Earl retired in 1992. During retirement, Earl and Lois enjoyed trips to Okinawa, Guam, Australia and Germany, along with travels in the United States, including the annual family vacation in Northern Minnesota at the Cedarwild Resort. Earl enjoyed reading history, exercising and swimming at the YMCA and overall keeping busy. He even took a part-time job parking cars at Avis, which he held for 10 years. He was an active member of First United Presbyterian Church in Elyria, Ohio. Earl is survived by his wife, Lois; his sons, David (Joan, deceased), James (Judy) and John (Susan); three grandsons; a great-granddaughter; and numerous nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. 

Merle Buck, 95, of Columbia, Missouri, on September 20. Merle served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was stationed in Germany. After the war ended, he played football for the Ninth Infantry Division, which won the U.S. Army European Championship. After being discharged from the Army in 1946, Merle enrolled at Coe. That same year, he married Jean Benner Buck ’49. In his time at Coe, Merle was voted president of his junior class and was named to “Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.” A standout football player, he made the Mid-America Athletic Conference football team all four years, was nominated to the Small College All-American football team and was named by the International News Service to the All-Midwest team, where he was topped only at his defensive guard position by players from Notre Dame, Minnesota and Indiana. His talents on the football field earned him induction into the Coe College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1976. After graduation, Merle went to work for the Department of Agriculture in Des Moines selling federal crop insurance. He later earned his master’s degree in accounting from Drake University. In 1954, Merle and his family moved to Omaha where he worked as a public accountant for Arthur Anderson & Co. While there, he passed his CPA exam and became a certified public accountant. In 1959, the family moved to Gallatin, Missouri, where Merle entered into a partnership with Joe Roberts, who owned the local telephone company. In 1960, Merle moved the business to Columbia where he opened the Columbia Service Bureau. He grew a sizable business acquiring billing and accounting services for independent telephone companies in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Louisiana. While in Columbia, Merle began 50 years of service to the Presbyterian church, serving in the Synod, and as elder and deacon to multiple Presbyterian churches. In 1972, Merle sold his business and joined Continental Telephone Company (later known as Contel and eventually Verizon). His employment with Contel led the family to Reston, Virginia; the corporate headquarters in Bakersfield, California; St. Louis and eventually Seymour, Indiana. Merle retired in 1991, and he and Jean pursued one of their dreams by moving to the oceanfront and golf community of Hilton Head, South Carolina. Hilton Head was the family homestead for 19 years. Merle and Jean hosted contestants each year during the International Piano Competition. They traveled the world extensively, visiting every continent except Antarctica. Merle was a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan and a Mizzou football fanatic. He is survived by his wife of 75 years, Jean; a brother, Dan Buck; two sons, Craig (Donna) and Rod Buck (Lynn); a daughter-in-law, Patricia Buck; four grandchildren; and three great-grandsons.


Florence Jablonski Lehman, 91, of Clarksville, Indiana, on May 25. Florence was a loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She loved her numerous cats, reading and watching old movies. Both she and her husband, the late Kirtland Lehman, were longtime members of the Jeffersonville Elks Country Club. Florence is survived by three children, Randy Lehman (Terri Gorney), Kristine Corrigan (Bob) and Karen Schapansky; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Doris Pascoe Niemann, 92, of Asbury, Iowa, on December 21. After attending Coe, Doris worked in Chicago for a few years. She married Robert B. Niemann on November 26, 1954, in Park Ridge, Illinois; he preceded her death on April 26, 1985. After their wedding, they immediately moved to Port Huron, Michigan, where they had the first of their three children, Bruce. Nearly a year after that they moved to Castile, New York, where Diane and Linda were born. Bob's career in engineering brought them to Camanche, Iowa, in November 1965. Doris was a homemaker, but she also worked outside of the home for the Camanche schools while the children were growing up and as a medical transcriptionist for a number of years. She was a serious writer. She wrote humorous and personal essays, some of which had been accepted and published in Julien's Journal, the Dubuque area lifestyle magazine, in addition to other national magazines. She had several poems accepted and printed in a poetry anthology. Although Doris never remarried, she participated in a variety of social activities. She enjoyed many years of friendships in Dubuque, Iowa, with the Chit Chat Club ladies. Most of all, she was thankful for the special blessings of being healthy in body, mind and spirit throughout her life. Doris respected religion through her membership with St. John's Episcopal Church, Lord of Life Lutheran Church and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Dubuque. She is survived by her three children, Bruce Niemann (Carolyn Nowosielski), Diane Noland (Grant Kummerow) and Linda Niemann (Cindy Wiese); two grandchildren; one great-grandson; and two sisters-in-law, Jan Wojcik and Donna Stephan.


Elizabeth Hunter Hoft, 90, of Huntsville, Alabama, on August 26. At Coe, Elizabeth met her husband, Willard Hoft ’53. They were married on June 12, 1951, in Bedford, Iowa. After marriage, Elizabeth and Willard traveled the country while Willard pursued his career in the aerospace industry before settling in Huntsville with their two children in 1964. Elizabeth considered all the moving to be a great adventure in seeing the country and took every opportunity to see the nation's sights with her children. After raising her children, Elizabeth returned to school at the University of Alabama in Huntsville where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1977. She served as the assistant director of nursing at Madison Manor Nursing Home before retiring. Over the years, Elizabeth was an active member of her community. She was a member of the University Methodist Church and later the Grace Methodist Church where she sang in the choir for many years. She served as a Red Cross volunteer for school clinics and worked with Meals on Wheels as a volunteer. She also was involved in her children's activities such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, PTA and Band Parents. Elizabeth was a devoted mother and grandmother who despite her early life challenges ensured her children and grandchildren would never go without. She put a great value on their education both inside and outside of school. She always sought ways to connect with them and enrich their lives, supporting them in all their endeavors and never missing a single event while doing everything she could to bring her family joy. Elizabeth is survived by her daughter, Ann Bourgeois Lane (Keith W. Lane); her son, Willard Ben Hoft (Marie G. Hoft); five grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; 11 great-great-grandchildren; and her younger sister, Mary Hunter Youngblood.


Stanley Cejka, 90, of Mesa, Arizona, on August 11. After attending Coe, Stanley entered the University of Iowa College of Dentistry in 1952. Upon graduation in 1956, he and his first wife, Bonnie O'Neill, and daughter, Cathie, left Iowa City for Fort Hood, Texas, where he served honorably in the U.S. Army Dental Corps, attaining the rank of captain. He returned to Cedar Rapids with his young family — now including another daughter, Susan — and established his dental practice (ultimately to become The Dental Center) in 1959. Stanley and Bonnie's son, Chris, was born in 1962. Stanley was remarried to Clarissa Langan Paulson in 1991, welcoming stepson Tad Paulson into his family. Stanley loved the dental profession, and he loved his patients. He was a meticulous, caring dentist and continued to hear from former patients long after his retirement. Stanley was passionate about Golden Retrievers, adopting his first Golden puppy as a dental student. Whatever the weather, he could be found walking his dogs around the neighborhood or on nature trails. He and Clari took their "girls” on many a cross-country car trip, stopping for dogs-posed-against-landmarks photos along the way. In retirement, Stanley was proud to volunteer for Rescue a Golden of Arizona. A longtime member of the Cedar Rapids Country Club (where he served as caddy master in younger days), Stanley dependably headed out for a few holes of golf after work. He enjoyed the camaraderie of many foursomes over the years. His passionate interest in golf continued in Arizona, where he took lessons at renowned golf academies and hosted good friends from Cedar Rapids for golf vacations. He had the pleasure of playing the great golf courses of Scotland and Ireland, achieving remarkable scores on challenging, windy courses. He was engrossed in the game, playing actively for over 60 years. Athletics engaged Stanley throughout his life. As a boy, he ran for the sheer joy of it, whether he was accompanying his bicycling father home from work or racing home from school for lunch. In his teens, he organized sports as a playground supervisor. Stanley lettered in track at Coe. Relocating to Iowa City for dental school, he inevitably became an Iowa Hawkeyes fan. He enjoyed football Saturdays in Iowa City, tailgating, road trips to away games and afternoons watching the game on TV. He also followed the Hawkeyes on the court. After retirement, he continued to follow Iowa football and basketball in the company of other Arizona Hawkeyes. Stanley was fortunate to inherit artistic interests and talents from his parents. His mother, Bessie, played piano in her nephew's traveling band, Stan Stanley's Aristocrats. Stanley developed a love of the big band sound as his family traveled the upper Midwest on working vacations with the band in the 1930s. He continued to enjoy live concerts of favorite band leaders, jazz musicians and singers throughout his life. His father, Stanley Sr., excelled at drawing, a talent he passed on to Stanley. A gifted natural sketch artist from childhood, Stanley also painted remarkable watercolors. He designed exceptional jewelry, created using the lost wax casting technique with the collaboration of his good friend, Bob Jones. Friends and family looked forward to his painted holiday art and original birthday cards. In his later years, he returned to his love of sketching, creating detailed pencil and ink drawings of friends and family and, of course, their dogs. Stanley is survived by his wife of 30 years, Clarissa; his children, Catherine Cejka Powell (Gary), Susan Cejka Hollander ’80 (Scott Hollander ’80), Christopher Cejka and stepson, Tad Paulson; six grandchildren; one great-grandson; former spouses, Bonnie O'Neill Malone and Sally McAleer; and his beloved golden retriever, Heidi.

Virginia Verburg Johnson, 90, of Plano, Texas, on December 23. Virginia wrote about her Coe experience, saying, “My two years at Coe were a sheer delight.” She was very active socially and was voted the Military Ball Queen at the annual Military Ball for 1950. Her grades placed her in the top 10% of her class. Upon leaving college, she wrote, “On May 1952, I left my Alice in Wonderland college life and entered the lone and dreary world of work and boredom.” However, Virginia’s love of learning never ceased, and her education was simply put on hold. Twenty-five years later in 1977, she went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern Illinois University. Then four years later in 1981, she earned a master’s degree in interpersonal communication from Governors State University. From 1979 until 1990, she worked for Forest Hospital as a social therapist and team leader. In 1953, Virginia started working for Allstate. It was there she met and started dating Ted Conterio in 1954. They were engaged on Christmas 1954 and married in April 1955. From this marriage came Virginia’s three children: Paul born in 1956, Karen in 1958 and Kim in 1962. The family lived in Des Plaines, Illinois, until 1966 and then in Northbrook, Illinois, until May 1983 when she and Ted divorced. While living in Des Plaines, Virginia and her children attended the United Church of Christ. Upon moving to Northbrook, she attended one time the Village Church of Northbrook. Not satisfied, the next Sunday she started attending the United Methodist Church. When it came to faith and religion, Virginia was a deep thinker. She would ask herself what is the purpose of our coming into existence and then dying? Why are we here? What is the purpose of life? In the summer of 1968, she prayed to find answers to her spiritual yearnings. Within one week of her prayer, two missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints knocked on her door. Elder Ralphs and Elder Alvey provided the answers to her questions. She joined the church that year and remained an active member her entire life. In 1986, Virginia started dating Doug Johnson. She had known Doug from grade school — he grew up a block away from her and attended the same Methodist church. As their dating progressed, Doug would attend church with Virginia, took the missionary discussions and was baptized in 1987. In September 1988, she and Doug were married. In May 1990, they were sealed in the Chicago Temple. Virginia and Doug loved to travel, and much of their short time together was spent doing just that. Sadly, in March 1992, Doug took a terrible fall and ended up in the hospital with a shattered pelvis. While there, he aspirated food into his lungs and passed away. In 1993, Virginia and her 85-year-old mother, Marion Verburg, moved to Utah. Virginia purchased a home in Orem, and Marion moved into a retirement center in Provo. Virginia loved Utah and loved her new ward. In 2015, she moved to Plano where she had been lovingly cared for by her two daughters until her passing. Virginia is survived by her three children, Paul Conterio (Ashlee), Karen Conterio and Kim (Patrick) Downes; seven grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and her brother, James (Debbie) Verburg.


Duane Devlin, 91, of Ypsilanti, Michigan, on July 31. Duane received an honorable discharge after proudly serving in the U.S. Army in post-World War II Allied-occupied Germany. On August 14, 1954, he married Donna J. Cotant in Fort Dodge, Iowa, and she preceded him in death on November 20, 2018. He retired from the Willow Run School District in 1992, where he was employed as a teacher, athletic director and football coach. Duane was a former member of Transfiguration Catholic Church and became a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Ypsilanti. He was a former member of the Ypsilanti Kiwanis Club and an active member of the Milan Kiwanis Club where he served as lieutenant governor, president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. Duane is survived by two children, Connie Devlin and Steven (Ofelia) Devlin; three grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; two brothers, Thomas (Mary) Devlin and Leonard (Rose Marie) Devlin; two sisters, Janet Karvel and Sharon (Del) Hayner; and several nieces and nephews.

Bill Fitch, 89, of Montgomery, Texas, on February 2. Bill served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He coached basketball at four colleges: Coe, University of North Dakota, Bowling Green State University and University of Minnesota. In 1970, he began his NBA career as the first head coach of the expansion Cleveland Cavaliers. He earned his first NBA Coach of the Year honor in 1976 by guiding the "Miracle of Richfield" team to 49 wins and the Eastern Conference Finals. After leaving the Cavaliers, he was named head coach of the Boston Celtics where he won his second NBA Coach of the Year title and the NBA Championship in 1981. Bill then went on to coach the Houston Rockets from 1983-1988, leading the team to win the Midwest Division title along with the Western Conference, only to lose to the Boston Celtics in the NBA finals in 1986. Bill wasn't done helping turn franchises around and went on to coach the New Jersey Nets from 1989-1992, taking them to the playoffs. His last stop was the Los Angeles Clippers from 1994-1998, and he led them to the playoffs as well. It was during his time with the Clippers that he underwent triple bypass surgery after suffering a heart attack. He formed and cherished a lifelong friendship with his cardiac surgeon, Dr. Connie Hutton. There was never a day he did not state that if it wasn't for the grace of God and the "Great Connie Hutton," he would not be here. During his 25-year pro coaching career, he led his teams to the NBA playoffs 13 times and mentored countless players and coaches. In 1996, Bill was named one of the NBA's 10 greatest coaches of all time. In 2013, he received the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2016 was honored by Rick Carlisle with an honorary bench by the Hall of Fame in honor of great coaches. Bill was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019. He also was inducted into the Coe Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998. Everyone called Bill "Coach," but to his kids he was just Dad, Grandpa or Pop-Pop who gave his love and wisdom. He was a Christian and strong in his faith. Well known for his sense of humor, he loved to challenge anyone to a game of checkers. Bill is survived by Margaret Fitch; his children, Tammy (Bob) Palmer, Lisa Fitch and Marcyann (Ron) Coville; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Gerry Lorenzen Johnston, 89, of Solon, Iowa, on November 16. At Coe, Gerry was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority and was a member of Mortar Board for academic achievement. After graduation, she married David Johnston ’54 in 1954, and they moved to Iowa City where he attended medical school. Gerry worked as an executive secretary at ACT for 23 years and was an accomplished musician and organist for First Presbyterian Church in Cedar Rapids. Gerry could be described as a gentle and kind spirit. She was all about family and loved being a grandmother. Her selflessness was matched only by her sense of humor and quirky wit. She had a genuine interest in other peoples' stories and always held people captive in conversation. She was an avid Hawkeyes basketball fan and loved to travel the world with her team-doctor husband. Gerry is survived by her husband, David; their four children, Steve (Cristie), Jeff, Dan and Scott; five grandchildren; her sister, Judy Conrad (Duane); and several nieces and nephews.


Richard “Dick” Andersen, 87, of Muscatine, Iowa, on November 3. Prior to attending Coe, Dick attended Iowa State University. After graduating from Coe, he later earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Iowa. He married his high school sweetheart, Sondra “Sonnie,” on August 2, 1959, in Muscatine. Dick and Sonnie lived in Muscatine for many years where they were active in their community and church and raised their two children before moving to Bella Vista, Arkansas, in 2008. After college, Dick was employed by Stanley Consultants starting in 1959 and retired from there in 1996. He designed and managed many successful projects and was an expert in air pollution controls for industrial facilities. Dick always loved sports and played sports all through high school and at Coe and even played semi-pro baseball after he graduated. He also enjoyed singing and performed for many years with the Elks Chanters in Muscatine as well as with the Wesley United Methodist Church choir. After moving to Arkansas, he continued to sing with their church choir in Bella Vista as well as the Bella Vista Men's Chorus. Dick and Sonnie were heavily involved for many years as marriage encounter leaders and traveled all over the world in order to help enrich the lives of married couples. They also both liked to participate in Grandcamp in Colorado, which is a Christian-based camp for kids and their grandparents. Dick also was very active in church activities and Bible studies. He will be remembered for his strong Christian faith. Dick is survived by his children, Barry (Jeanine) Andersen and Brenda (Jeff) Stineman; six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Thelma Loeck Perry, 87, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on December 18. After graduating from Coe, Thelma later went on to earn her master's degree from the University of Iowa. On August 27, 1957, she was united in marriage to Dale Perry in Independence. She was very active in various ministries with Kenwood Park United Methodist Church and the United Methodist Conference. Thelma is survived by her children, Ann (Richard) Grimm, Patricia (Glenn) Prochaska, Dale Aaron Perry II and Peggi (Travis) Knight; six grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and her sister, Marilyn Jo Scott.

John Skogsbergh, 92, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on December 23. John enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served four years with Navy Patrol Squadron P2V, stationed in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and Japan. After completing his service, he enrolled at the University of Dubuque before transferring to Coe. He married Nancy Lamb Skogsbergh ’52 on December 19, 1953, and was a much-beloved son-in-law to her father, the late Harris A. Lamb ’27. John began his career in banking and also worked in financial management before owning his own printing company. He ultimately retired from the Cedar Rapids Planning and Relocation Department after 18 years of service to the city, where in 1997 he was recognized for his work on the new Cedar Rapids Police Station. In 2006, he was honored by the Coe College Alumni Association with the Distinguished Service Award. In addition to his many community activities, he served St. Paul's Methodist Church, Aging Services and Cottage Grove foundations. John was a devoted father and felt fortunate to live long enough to be a major part of his grandchildren's lives and to meet his five great-grandsons. He loved his golf and tennis games, and he and Nancy enjoyed their special trips with dear friends. John is survived by his wife of 68 years, Nancy; his daughter, Susan (Dan); his son, Jim (Diana); five grandchildren; five great-grandsons; two nephews; three nieces; his sister-in-law, Jane Lamb McGinn; and his cousin.


Sally Casey Clancy, 86, of Washington Island, Wisconsin, on August 27. At Coe, Sally met the love of her life, Richard Clancy ’59. The two were united in marriage May 16, 1959. While residing in Cedar Rapids, they welcomed their two sons, Timothy and Sean Clancy ’92, and spent the next 30 years building an amazing clothing business, Clancy’s Limited, Clancy’s Too and Clancy’s Ladies Shop. Summers were spent on Washington Island, where they extended their businesses to include the Ship’s Rib and Clancy’s of Ephraim. Sally managed the day-to-day operations of the summer businesses while balancing time for their two children. Sally and Richard moved to Washington Island permanently in 2000. Sally was an active member in the community, working for years at the Trueblood Performing Arts Center and as a member of the Women’s Club, Quilters Club and Book Club, to name a few. She was an avid Green Bay Packers and Iowa Hawkeyes fan, which was easily seen on game days when she and her beloved dogs wore their supporting apparel. A tennis player, golfer, card player and gardener, she rarely sat idle and always kept active with various projects. Both a successful businesswomen and loving mother, Sally was known for her grace and infectious smile. She gave selflessly and would volunteer whenever needed, regardless of the function. Most importantly, Sally had the joy of being part of a true love affair that spanned over 62 years of marriage with Richard. They were the embodiment of true happiness and everlasting love. Their time together was blessed by making countless lasting memories and friends. Sally is survived by her loving husband, Richard Clancy; and her sons, Timothy Mason Clancy and Sean Casey Clancy.

Barbara Grow Lebsock, 86, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on September 11. In her youth, Barbara excelled in swimming and was a member of the Chicago Swim Club, participating in the Olympic trials in 1956. Prior to attending Coe, Barbara attended Northwestern University, where she was part of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. She retired in 1997 after teaching for 28 years in the Cedar Rapids Community School District. Barbara enjoyed gardening, animals, all of nature, music, traveling and family. She was a volunteer at Wickiup Hill and Prairiewoods Franciscan Center. Barbara is survived by her daughter, Susan Lebsock-McKinnon (Vance III); her son, David Lebsock; a brother, Jim (Suzie) Grow; seven grandchildren, including RaeAnnon Fairlie Kramer ’07 (Chad Kramer ’06) and Katie Fairlie McKinnon ’09 (Dr. Troy Rhodes); and nine great-grandchildren.

Chris Pappas, 88, of Denver, Colorado, on October 26. Chris was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean War and attended adjutant general school where he became a postal specialist. He was stationed in Linz, Austria, where he played quarterback for the football team that won the Austria-Italy Championship. The team was composed of college players and a single professional player. He also coached and played on the hospital basketball team. After fulfilling his service commitment, he attended Coe, where he played football his freshman and sophomore years and was first-string quarterback on the varsity team as a freshman. He coached freshman football his senior year. He also was the president of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity and president of the Interfraternity Council, and his leadership made changes in Coe's curriculum and fraternity rushing. Chris was hired by the Federal Reserve System of Chicago in August 1957. He attended assistant and senior examiners school and trust examiners school from 1957-1962. He was employed with the Federal Reserve system for 12 years and achieved the status of senior examiner and trust examiner. He then was employed by Bankers Trust Company in Des Moines, Iowa, as senior lending officer with responsibility in commercial lending, business development, administration asset and liability management. When he examined Bankers Trust in 1967, he classified loans that made Bankers Trust a problem bank and subsequently was hired by Bankers Trust in October 1967. A year later when the Federal Reserve and state examiners examined the bank it became an "A" bank. It maintained its rating through 11 years and until the loan committee was taken over by the president of the bank. His last year at Bankers Trust, he collected over $10 million in bad loans and resigned October 1, 1982, when he achieved that goal, as he did not want his reputation ruined due to disagreement with the bank president. Chris was then a consultant for a few years and then was recruited in 1985 by the FDIC as a senior credit specialist in conjunction with the Continental Illinois Bank, with the responsibility to work out and settle commercial loans totaling $700 million. After that, in early 1986 he took a position as executive vice president with Anthony Wayne Bank of Fort Wayne, Indiana. This was a problem bank in Indiana that received a Memorandum of Understanding, and Chris was able to work out the loans and not only keep the doors open but make the bank profitable. William Taylor, director of supervision for the Federal Reserve System, indicated that he had never heard of the FDIC removing a Memorandum of Understanding in 90 days. Chris felt this was his greatest achievement. As exceptional as he was in banking, and business in general, with many people in many industries seeking his advice, he was most well known for being one heck of a great guy. He was the man that always had a smile and wanted to brighten your day by telling you how great you were. He also was a man who shared his father's simple but profound philosophies, which he passed on to his children and others. He was an extremely generous man with both his time and money, always giving more than he received. Chris was married to the late Marjorie “ML” and the late Joanne and felt he was fortunate to have two beautiful wives in his lifetime. One of his greatest loves was playing golf, which he also enjoyed with ML and was grateful to play a round of golf with her the day before she died. Chris is survived by his daughters, Terianne Pappas and Anastasia Pappas Fuller; five grandchildren; a daughter-in-law, Carla Kenney (John Kenney, who was like a son to Chris); one great-grandson; a stepdaughter, Laurie Navarro (James); and two step-grandchildren.


Roberta Arthur Sandercock, 85, of Lake Ozark, Missouri, on November 8. At Coe, Roberta did a bit of modeling for local print, was a member of Alpha XI Delta sorority, received the title of May Fete Queen of 1958 and met her future husband, Richard Sandercock ’59. They were united in marriage on June 19, 1958, in Washington, Iowa. They had shared a happy 62 years together at the time of his passing on March 10, 2021. After her marriage to Richard, Roberta obtained her teaching certificate and taught both kindergarten and first grade for four years. She gave birth to two sons, Mark Allen Sandercock and Mike Arthur Sandercock. She embarked on a 30-year journey with her husband during his career as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, traveling all over the U.S. plus a three-year assignment in the Philippines, where she took several trips to Hong Kong, Taiwan and Tokyo. Throughout this time, she did volunteer work and was a member of various Air Force boards. Being an officer's wife was a social affair. She threw countless cocktail parties, dinner parties and luncheons, all with aplomb. She was an excellent hostess. After retiring to Lake Ozark, Roberta and Richard traveled, boated and jet-skied. They made many good friends there, and Roberta loved living on the lake. She was an avid reader, art collector, dog lover, superior homemaker, a fantastic and loving mother and an all-around wonderful person who was perpetually positive, cheerful and giving with a joyful sense of humor. Roberta is survived by her sons, Mark and Mike; and her brother, Bill Arthur (Jan).


Max Fitz, 91, of Marion, Iowa, on September 15. Max joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1952 and completed a tour of duty in Korea. He was united in marriage in 1952 to his first wife, Wanda Ward. She passed away in 1989. He was then united in marriage to his second wife, Jean Cordes Chester, in 1990. After graduating from Coe, Max went on to earn his MBA from Indiana University. He was a pioneer in the data processing field, starting with Collins Radio, Merchant's National Bank, EDS, Occo and retiring from Armstrong-Race Realty. He was a proud Mason and Shriner. He volunteered for 20 years at St. Luke's and PGA tour events. He was a founding member of Lovely Lane United Methodist Church and an active member of St. Paul's United Methodist Church. Max is survived by his wife, Jean; his son, Dennis (Linda) Fitz; three daughters, Deann (Dan) Zenor, Denise (Ron) Feltes and Debra (Tom) Galvin; 11 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.

William “Bill” Lonergan-Highley, 88, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on November 13. After serving in the military, Bill returned to Cedar Rapids, attended Coe and began a long career at Rockwell Collins. He married his wife, Jane, on November 23, 1979. Bill is survived by his wife, Jane; his sister, Dona Anthony; five children, Matt (Jeannie), Pam Copp (Tom), Cheryl Kloepping (Hans), Robert (Lisa) and Ken (Stephanie); a sister-in-law, Jeanne Harrinton; a brother-in-law, Dale Harrington; a sister-in-love, Ginny Dougherty; 13 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and many loving nieces and nephews.

Joyce McAfee Hamilton, 83, of Hendersonville, North Carolina, on September 22. Joyce earned her master’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa and worked as a librarian for many years in Iowa and North Carolina. She was a gifted pianist and avid gardener. She loved music, ice cream, nature and animals, especially dogs, deer and elephants. She adored all of her four-legged children as well, especially her beloved Rottweilers. She is survived by her beloved husband of 64 years, David Hamilton ’58; her children, Melodie Hamilton ’81 (Mike) and Michelle (Laurie); and four grandchildren.

Rita West Brown, 83, of Hiawatha, Iowa, on October 10. On December 27, 1957, Rita and Jerry Brown were united in marriage at St. Ludmila Parish. After attending Coe, Rita later attended Mount Mercy College (now Mount Mercy University), graduating in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in English literature and elementary education. She taught at St. Patrick's, St. Jude and St. Ludmila (Holy Family) for 35 years, retiring in June 2013. She was deeply dedicated to her Catholic faith and had a special love for the students she taught. Rita and Jerry loved and enjoyed their family. Together they attended many activities and sporting events of their family. Special times together on vacations, holidays and gatherings brought many wonderful memories and traditions. Rita is survived by her husband of 63 years, Jerry; four children, Shelley (Steve), Rick (Heidi), Tom (Cindy) and Julie (Matt); a brother, Jim West; a sister-in-law, Dorothy Parson; 13 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.


Dolores Erger Svoboda, 94, of Sun City, Arizona, on December 1. Dolores was a public elementary school teacher for many years in the Atkins and Cedar Rapids School Districts. Dolores and Sylvester "Dutch" Svoboda were married in 1947. They had known each other since grade school. Dutch owned and operated Duchess Dry Cleaners in Cedar Rapids. Dolores also worked there after school and on weekends. Dolores and Dutch retired and moved to Sun City in 1974 where they lived an active lifestyle. Dolores loved traveling in their motorhome, ballroom dancing and Dixieland Jazz festivals. In later years, she enjoyed regular trips to Laughlin, Nevada, where she could sit and watch the Colorado River. She was a devoted and loving wife and mother and always had a smile for others. Dolores is survived by her husband, Dutch; her son, Dean Svoboda; and her brother, Lee Erger.

Charles Johnson, 81, of Fort Dodge, Iowa, on November 7. In the fall of 1962, Charles accepted his first English teaching position at Newton High School, while also acquiring his master’s degree in the summer of 1966 while attending Western State College of Colorado (Gunnison). He married Marilyn (Vander Schel) Johnson on June 4, 1966, and they moved to Fort Dodge, Iowa, the following year. This was the beginning of Charles’ 34-year tenure as an English professor at Iowa Central Community College (ICCC) from 1967-2001. Whether known by Mr. Johnson, Charles, Chuck or Charlie, he spent his early years at ICCC with his many friends and co-workers in the “bullpen.” Charles spent all of his 34 years at ICCC investing his time in the cultural aspects of the educational experience, including continual and constant support of the arts and athletics. He and Marilyn and their children were often to be found at any number of ICCC events. After his retirement from ICCC, Charles became a substitute teacher’s aide for the Fort Dodge Community School District from 2001-2017. During his time as an aide, he especially loved working with preschool and special education teachers and students. Charles’ second home was Sebago Resort in Nisswa, Minnesota. From his first family trip there in 1974, and every year subsequently through the remainder of his life, many of his extended relationships were built. He and his family spent entire summers there managing the resort from 1988-1994, and one of his favorite activities was sharing the resort experience with his children and grandchildren. Charles enjoyed his later years traveling with Marilyn, experiencing the joy of laughter with his grandchildren and supporting the many endeavors of his sons and their children. He could often be found still attending ICCC events, enjoying a book, giving himself cultural experiences, donating to various charities that strove to help others and sitting near the bench cheering on one of his son’s volleyball teams. Charles is survived by his wife, Marilyn Johnson; his sons, John (Lindsey) Johnson, Tyler (Melanie) Johnson and Matthew (Wendy) Johnson; and six grandchildren.


Jane Sneden Gould, 78, of Naperville, Illinois, on March 31, 2021.


Fred Wehmeyer, 81, of DeKalb, Illinois, on December 9. At Coe, Fred was active in Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity. He also attended Control Data Institute in Rockford, Illinois, where he studied computer programming. He was employed by the Del Monte Corporation Farm Department in Mendota, Illinois; Rochelle, Illinois; and Frankfort, Indiana. Fred was a computer programmer for DeKalb Ag Research/DeKalb Pfizer Genetics in the Hybrid Research Department in DeKalb, where he retired in 2003. Fred was a member of First Lutheran Church in DeKalb. He enjoyed the Experimental Aircraft Association when he maintained a pilot's license for many years. As a youth, he was active in Explorer Scouts and enjoyed canoe trips to northern Wisconsin. He was an assistant scoutmaster for DeKalb Troop 28. For several years, he volunteered for the DeKalb County Sheriff's Auxiliary. He had an interest in genealogy and traveled throughout New England tracing his ancestry. Fred enjoyed watching sports events, especially the Bears, Cubs, NASCAR and college football. Over the years, he enjoyed traveling throughout the United States to scenic locations. After his retirement, he especially loved the many trips to the Wisconsin family lake house, highlighted by the time spent there with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Fred is survived by his wife, Mary; one son, Jeffrey (Rebecca) Wehmeyer; one daughter, Laura (Ronald Jr.) Bradt; three grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; two stepgrandchildren; one sister, Susan Ramsey; and one sister-in-law, Janet Wehmeyer.


Paul Kriese, 77, of Richmond, Indiana, on March 6, 2021. Education always was a high priority in Paul's life; he earned a bachelor’s degree, three master's degrees and a doctorate. He spent his professional career as a professor of political science at Indiana University East and devoted his life to equality, diversity, democracy and social justice. Paul became involved in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and carried his concerns for racial justice for the rest of his life. He published articles and books in the United States and abroad on race, gender and democracy and served as co-editor with Harold D. Weaver Jr. and Stephen Angell on the book “Black Fire: African American Quakers on Spirituality and Human Rights” (Quaker Press of FGC), an anthology of the writings of Black Quakers over three centuries regarding racial justice — both within the Religious Society of Friends and in society at large — and their lives in the Spirit. Paul was a member of Clear Creek Friends Meeting and played an active role in Quaker organizations locally, regionally and nationally. He believed passionately in the importance of civic engagement and worked with the Friends Committee on National Legislation and the Indiana Friends Committee on Legislation to translate principles of peacemaking and justice into laws and budgets. In his teaching as well as his activism, he worked to include people who often traditionally had felt excluded from the political process. Paul grew up participating in Jewish worship and continued that relationship as a member of the Richmond Jewish Congregation. He actively attended Beth Boruk Temple where he participated in educational, religious, cultural, social and recreational activities in support of Jewish community and tradition. Paul is survived by a brother, Richard "Dicky"; and three nieces.

Thomas “Tom” Vavra, 76, of Ely, Iowa, on October 12. Upon his graduation from Coe, Tom was commissioned a second lieutenant with the U.S. Air Force. Tom served as a computer systems and data automation officer in the Air Force for 20 years, including a one-year tour in Thailand. During his Air Force career, Tom received a master’s degree from Georgia Tech University. He retired from active duty in 1987 and settled near Ely, Iowa, where he devoted much of his time to caring for his mother, as well as numerous aunts and uncles. Tom was at the center of leadership at the St. Quentin Post of the American Legion in Ely, which included 30-plus years serving as the finance officer. He was dedicated to decorating the graves of veterans in various local cemeteries annually on Memorial Day. The Legion recently stated, “It can be said Thomas was the heart and soul of the St. Quentin post.” His community work continued by serving as a trustee for Putnam Township as a respected member of the community. Trustees are responsible for allocating tax money for the township cemeteries, the fire department, among other community organizations. As such, he was very supportive of the Ely Volunteer Fire Department’s needs and activities. Tom was a corporate and financial officer of his church, First Presbyterian Church, for decades. His passion for higher education inspired others through his work with student scholarships, particularly the Motycka and Carson Scholarships. Tom sang bass in the choir for many years and was always on hand to assist with kolache baking for their annual soup supper and other events. Tom was a dedicated and active amateur radio operator, operating under the call-sign WB8ZRL. His main interest was DXing, contacting foreign amateurs all over the world, achieving the highest level working all 340 DXCC entities. Tom was very active in the Eastern Iowa DX Association, where he held a number of offices and served on several committees. He was a life member of the American Radio Relay League, the national organization promoting and supporting the many facets of amateur radio. Tom built and supported the local area DX Packet Cluster allowing the interchange of DX information throughout the country or more. Tom enjoyed helping operators, both new and experienced. Tom is survived by his brother, Bill (Marian); his sister-in-law, Betty; two nephews; two nieces; grandnephews; and a grandniece.


Larry Sovern, 77, of Marion, Iowa, on September 29. Prior to attending Coe, Larry attended the University of Missouri, where he was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. Larry served his country in the U.S. Army Reserves as a medic. He began his career at Nesper Sign Company where he started in sales and eventually became owner/president. Highlights from his years at Nesper encompassed several area landmarks and iconic signs including the eternal flame on the Veterans Memorial Building, the Paramount Theater sign, the City of Five Seasons tree and a regional contract with Hy-Vee Food Stores. Larry served as a member of the Downtown Rotary and Lake Geneva Beach Association Men's Club, president of the YMCA, committee member of the Pribyl Junior Golf Tournament and elite runner liaison with the Fifth Season 8K Race. He was a longtime member of Elmcrest Country Club where he served as president of the board and on various committees. In his spare time, he enjoyed golf, tennis, running, handball and fishing. Larry is survived by his wife of 50 years, Barbara; his daughter, Lindsey Sovern Urbanek (Matthew); two grandchildren, Gray and Sylas Urbanek; two brothers-in-law, Chuck Gaskill and Jerry Falck; a nephew; a niece; and the Steve Sovern family, Colfer family and Rhodes family cousins.


Lawrence “Bud” Reading, 75, of Middletown, Connecticut, on November 6. Bud spent his life in sales and in service to anyone in need. He was a loving father, grandfather, a faithful friend and colleague and a spiritual prayer warrior. He was a founder of the Men's Prayer Breakfast, a 36-year ministry at First Church of Christ in Wethersfield, Connecticut, and was beloved by all who knew him. Bud is survived by his daughter, Kelly; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.


Cheryl Abernathy Cage, 72, of Chicago, Illinois, on September 16.

John Reinheimer, 73, of Galena, Illinois, on November 27. John grew up knowing he wanted to spend his career helping others, and after graduating from Coe, he went on to earn a master’s degree before investing over 37 years with the state of Iowa as a rehabilitation counselor. He enjoyed his working years but also found great peace in the 12 years he spent as a courtesy driver with McGrath Kia after his retirement. John was always a very social person who simply enjoyed being around others and striking up a stimulating conversation whenever possible. He also spent many hours practicing his skills on his piano and savored any opportunity when he could simply sit and visit with his loved ones and dear friends. John is survived by his spouse of 27 years, Kent Klingman; and numerous extended family members, friends and neighbors.


Terry Hull, 72, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on September 13. Prior to attending Coe, Terry attended Wartburg College. While at both schools, he was on a nationally ranked debate team and tri-state racquetball champion doubles team and was a college radio host. He married Judy (Lawrance) Hull on September 22, 1976, at Peace Christian Church in Cedar Rapids. This union welcomed one daughter, Tracie. He was a career employee at the United States Postal Service for 31 years, retiring in 2004. Terry enjoyed parachuting and reading. He had many collections including movies, depression glass, stamps, baseball cards, books and Hallmark ornaments. He enjoyed decorating for Christmas — usually the planning started in the summer and the decorating started in September, and each year had a different theme. After retiring, he spent much of his time as an avid wildlife photographer around Cedar Lake, Noelridge Park and Brucemore. Many people at the lake and the parks would refer to him as "the old guy with the camera." He also spent many hours photographing his two granddaughters' soccer games. He would make sure he had pictures of all the team members and then share the photographs with the families. Terry is survived by his wife, Judy Hull; his daughter, Tracie (Cory); his mother, Wini Hull; his brother-in-law, Bill (Eliza) Lawrance; his sisters-in-law, Jean (Norm), Jan Spencer, Kathy Lawrance and Debbie Mullen; and two granddaughters.


Myrna Green Ginther, 92, of Hiawatha, Iowa, on September 20. Prior to attending Coe, Myrna attended Iowa State Teacher's College (University of Northern Iowa) to begin her teaching credentials. She taught in western Iowa and in Knierim, Iowa, where she met Walter Conderman. They married on January 14, 1951, and later moved to Cedar Rapids. The couple had two sons. Walter preceded her in death on February 3, 1985. After graduating from Coe, Myrna was a teacher associate, elementary teacher and substitute teacher for many years in public and parochial schools in the Cedar Rapids area. She enjoyed a variety of activities such as birdwatching, baking, swimming, exercising, dancing, embroidering and writing cards and letters to friends and family. During her retirement years, she volunteered for the Red Cross Disaster Action Team and took piano, golf and flying lessons. She was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church. In November 1997, Myrna married Arlo Ginther from Cedar Rapids. They enjoyed a nice life together attending dances, traveling to visit their children and entertaining family and friends at holidays.


Marietta Seckel Heller, 93, of Marengo, Iowa, on October 17. Marietta graduated high school with a Normal Training Certificate which allowed her to teach for two years at Honey Creek No. 4 rural school. She renewed her certificate at Coe during the summer and continued teaching for three more years at Oak Grove School south of Marengo. On June 24, 1948, Marietta married Wesley Heller in a double wedding ceremony with her sister and brother-in-law, Bonnie Lou and Robert Pierson, at St. John's Lutheran Church. Marietta assisted her parents in the operation of Iowa County's first nursing home. The residents enjoyed watching Wes and Mary's children, Steve and Lynette, as they grew. Marietta and her husband operated Heller Oil Company for 31 years. She attended Coe from 1976-1981. Upon graduation, she found fulfilling work at the University of Iowa for 15 years with Preventive Medicine and the Iowa Birth Defects Registry. Marietta was a lifelong, active member at St. John's Lutheran Church. She taught Sunday school, Vacation Bible School and Midweek and was involved with choir, Christian Couples Club and altar guild and evangelism committees. During her time as public relations director, she organized the first confirmation reunions and a trip to the LCMS Seminary and International Center in St. Louis, including Perry County, Missouri. Her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ was very important to her and she eagerly attended services at St. John's each week where, as her confirmation verse instructed, "Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it" (Luke 11:28). Faith and family were her primary focus. In addition to being a homemaker, Marietta enjoyed attending the activities of her children and grandchildren and the many hours she spent with them. She looked forward to having her family gather at their home on the hill. Mary and Wes were active in scouting. They enjoyed western family vacations, including Philmont Scout Ranch, trips to Hawaii and the Caribbean, a church-sponsored trip to Europe and visiting their daughter and family in Accident, Maryland. Marietta often could be seen biking, walking or working with her flowers. Marietta is survived by her daughter, Lynette (Wilfred) Karsten; four grandchildren; great-grandchildren; nephews and nieces; and her brother-in-law, Frank Heller.


Jeffery “Jeff” Gunther, 49, of Omaha, Nebraska, on October 30. In high school, Jeff went on a trip to play tennis in Australia with Sports For Understanding. He continued playing tennis at Coe, then went on to wrestle for Westmar College. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Bellevue University in Bellevue, Nebraska. Jeff married Tammy Backhus on November 13, 1999, in Omaha, and the couple was blessed with two children, Abigail Claire and Quinten James. The family made their home in Omaha. Jeff and Tammy later divorced but remained close. Jeff worked for several years for American Title Company and later was an account manager for Info USA. He also worked for Mr. Picnic and Event Rental. He enjoyed going fishing and hunting and was an accomplished cornhole (bags) player. His favorite place to be was Okoboji, and Jeff considered it a second home. Jeff was a funny, laid back, kind, caring and supportive man who could also be sarcastic. He was a huge fan of the Hawkeyes and Kansas City Chiefs and appreciated a good steak and crab leg dinner, a cold can of Busch or hanging out at Boondocker’s. He disliked judgmental people and could break out his groovy dance moves at any time. Jeff cherished his children more than anything and will be most remembered for his unique, dry sense of humor and contagious, unforgettable laugh. Jeff is survived by his daughter, Abigail Gunther; his son, Quinten Gunther; their mother, Tammy Hanke; his parents, Jim and Sue Gunther; his sister and brother-in-law, Lisa and Andrew Bach; two nephews; a niece, Madison Bach; numerous aunts, uncles and cousins; and his beloved dog, Charlie.

Gary Wilhelm, 71, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on September 29. Gary served in the U.S. Army Reserves during the Vietnam era. He was united in marriage to Paula Abbott on September 4, 1971, at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Cedar Rapids. Gary loved attending his children’s and grandchildren's events. He enjoyed golfing and playing cards with his family. Gary and Paula shared a love of cooking and traveling together. He was an avid Bears, Cubs and Hawkeyes fan. Above all else, he was a dedicated family man and a great listener; you could always count on Gary for anything. He never let his family forget a group hug. Gary is survived by his wife of 50 years, Paula Wilhelm; his daughters, Kelly Wilhelm Kremer ’98 (Randy) and Amy Paulson (Brent); five grandchildren; four siblings, Monica Jansen, Dennis (Shirley) Wilhelm, Steven (Carol) Wilhelm and Marsha (Howard) Worm; and a sister-in-law, Jackie Wilhelm.


Debra Walton Quinlan, 44, of Marengo, Iowa, on September 21. After graduating from Coe, Debra later returned to Kirkwood Community College and earned her nursing degree. She was united in marriage to Daniel Quinlan on June 19, 1999. They were blessed with two children, Jeana and Aidan. Debra was a registered nurse and worked at various hospitals and clinics. She currently was employed at Williamsburg Family Medical Clinic. Debra was a member and past president of PEO and was an active member at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Marengo.  She enjoyed singing and reading. She loved taking family vacations and spending time with family and friends. Debra is survived by her husband, Dan; a daughter, Jeana Quinlan ’24; a son, Aidan Quinlan; her parents, Dennis and Peggy Walton; her father and mother-in-law, Larry and Jean Quinlan; a brother, Jeff Walton ’97 (Kathy Denning Walton ’96); a sister, Emily (Matthew) Cahoy; two brothers-in-law, Mike (Julie) Quinlan and Ed (Janel) Quinlan; two sisters-in-law, Joni Lawson and Anne Quinlan; and numerous other relatives and a host of friends.


Terrie Popp McCarthy, 68, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on September 6. Terrie was a member of Faith Lutheran Church. She especially enjoyed being with friends and family and will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her. Terrie is survived by her son, Jamie Russman ’03 (Rebecca); one grandson; her brother, Milo Popp Jr. (Karen); one niece; two nephews; and many great-nieces and -nephews.


Brian Barkdoll, 37, of Marion, Iowa, on November 26. On October 6, 2012, Brian was united in marriage to Tasha Washburn at the Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. In his early years, Brian worked in car sales and detailing cars, eventually becoming the owner of Economy Auto Repair in Marion. He enjoyed his job, selling cars, going to car auctions with his business partners, Craig and Gary, and his lunch dates with his mom. Brian also enjoyed golfing, hunting, fishing and kayaking. His favorite movies were "Christmas Vacation" and "Back to the Future." He was a good football player and enjoyed watching the Iowa Hawkeyes. He enjoyed hanging out with friends and family. He was a great brother to his sisters, always watching over them and protecting them. Brian's greatest love was his family, especially his three boys. They were always by his side, whether it be playing sports, enjoying tractor rides around the neighborhood or best of all, going to hotels as a family to get the best room and go swimming. Brian enjoyed hanging out with his dad, spending many hours remodeling the shop. He also enjoyed Tasha's cooking and gardening with her. He was Tasha's teammate, her "Mr. Mom." Brian is survived by his wife of nine years, Tasha Barkdoll; their three sons, Nash, Rolyan and Boston; his parents, John and Denise Barkdoll; two sisters, Katie (Adam) Fryman and Kellie (Spencer) Pflughaupt; and grandparents, Denny (Donna) Stainbrook and Max Gildersleeve.