Summer 2020 Courier Obituaries
Irene Oltman Hoaglin, 105, of Iowa City, Iowa, on March 27. Irene began her teaching career in Hillsboro, Iowa, where she taught elementary and high school vocal music, instrumental music, typing and bookkeeping. When Hillsboro consolidated with Bonaparte and Farmington schools, she taught middle and high school music and French for a combined total of 34 years. Irene played piano and organ at the Hillsboro Baptist Church, where she was a member for over 75 years. She also was an active member and leader in community organizations such as PEO Chapter AB, Delta Kappa Gamma, Hillsboro Public Library, Quilter's Club and Alpha Club. Irene is survived by a daughter, Joanna Reno; two grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
True Miller Sherman, 100, of Urbandale, Iowa, on February 9. Throughout her career, True was a stenographer for the FBI in Chicago; a teacher in Stanhope, Iowa; a high school principal in Blairsburg, Iowa; and a professional legal and secretarial instructor for many years at Des Moines Area Community College. She was a member of PEO and Plymouth Congregational Church. True is survived by two sons, Frank “Skip” Sherman and Robert Sherman; two daughters, Susan Differding and Mary Lay; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, Frank Sherman ’43.
Cornelia Ross, 100, wife of the late Donald Ross ’42, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on May 25. Cornelia earned her bachelor’s degree in piano and vocal music from Northwestern University in 1943. She taught private music lessons and worked in human resources for Liberty Mutual Insurance in Chicago. After marrying Donald, Cornelia moved to Cedar Rapids where she sang in the First Presbyterian chancel choir and directed the church's youth choir, played at multiple churches as a substitute organist, performed and accompanied as a member of Beethoven Club and taught private piano lessons. She also was an active member of PEO Chapter FO and the Cedar Rapids “Rock and Read” program and enjoyed hosting Coe College reunion dinners. Cornelia is survived by a son, John D. Ross; two grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, Donald.
Corinne Mae Foster Stout, 98, of Wilcox, Arizona, on February 16. After graduating from Coe, Corinne Mae taught in a one-room elementary school for a year before relocating to Boston and San Francisco with her first husband, Warren Kellogg, an officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II. While Warren was deployed, Corinne Mae signed up as a civilian Navy employee. She was sent to metallurgical school for four months and proudly became a “Rosie the Riveter,” inspecting R4D aircraft at Douglas Aircraft Plant in California for the rest of the war. After the war, Corinne Mae and Warren worked as part of a traveling tent show, then bought and operated a motel in Newport Beach, California, for several years. Following Warren’s death, Corinne Mae returned to teaching elementary school and earned a higher teaching degree from San Diego State College. After retiring from teaching in California, she moved with her second husband, Ron Stout, to Arizona, where she resumed teaching for several more years. In 1985, she and Ron founded and ran Stout's Cider Mill until 2011. Corinne Mae is survived by her husband of 49 years, Ron; two sons, John Kellogg and Rick Stout; two daughters, Kristi Stevens and Robin Leksell; two sisters, Marilyn Foster Erickson ’47 and Geneva Lemman; nine grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
Kathleen Check Mollison, 97, of Fort Myers, Florida, on April 15. She was predeceased by her husband, Drexel Mollison ’41.
Dorthe Clark Flick, 97, of Clinton, Iowa, on April 28. After graduating from Coe, Dorthe worked in the office of Hoyt W. Thomas, DC, in Cedar Rapids before moving to Bridgeport, Connecticut, to marry her husband, George. While in Connecticut, she was employed by aviation tech manufacturer Bridgeport Lycoming. Dorthe and her husband later relocated to Clinton, where Dorthe worked at Elijah Buell Elementary School and was a longtime member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Clinton. She established the Flick English Scholarship at Coe and was a supporter of the Clinton Symphony Orchestra, River Arts Center, Clinton Area Showboat Theater and Dickinson County Museum in Spirit Lake. She also sought and received Iowa Century Farm recognition at the 2015 Iowa State Fair for her parents' quarter section, which she managed until the end of her life. Dorthe is survived by a son, Geoffrey; three nieces; and three nephews.
Joan Morr Grovert, 97, of Newhall, Iowa, on December 29. Joan attended Coe and the University of Iowa, where she earned her nursing degree. She served in the U.S. Army during World War II, proudly attending to injured military personnel while stationed in the Philippines. Joan was an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary for 50 years. She enjoyed baking cookies and taking them to veterans at Iowa City Veterans Hospital and Marshalltown Veterans Home. She also was a lifelong member of St. John Lutheran Church in Newhall. Joan is survived by her husband, Donald Grovert ’47; two daughters, Susan Much and Patricia Creech; a son, William Grovert; a sister, Barbara Revsbeck; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Carleen Petersen Wood, 96, of Austin, Texas, on February 25. Carleen was a member of Alpha Xi Delta sorority, Pi Gamma Mu honor society and First Presbyterian Church. She received the Order of the Rose in 1992. Carleen is survived by a son, Kyle Wood; a daughter, Julie Wood; three grandchildren; and two nephews.
Ambrose “Nelson” Smith, 96, of San Diego, California, on February 18. Nelson served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He attended Coe and the University of Iowa, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in commerce in 1947. He was a member of Phi Kappa Psi, played football and ran track for the Hawkeyes. After college, Nelson worked at Phillips Petroleum Company before moving to Rockford, Illinois, and founding Rockford Oil Company, where he served as president until his retirement in 2005. He was an active and longtime member of Rockford Kiwanis Club and a past board member and president of Ken Rock Community Center. He also was a member of Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association, National Petroleum Marketers Association, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Rockford Country Club, Clocktower Racquet Club, The University Club of Rockford and Iowa Letterman's Club. Nelson is survived by a son, Gregory Smith; a daughter, Nancy Klahn; six grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren.
Shirley Hintz Theobald, 94, of Oelwein, Iowa, on February 8. Shirley was a homemaker as well as a skilled seamstress and knitter. She is survived by three sons, John, Mike and Peter Theobald; a daughter, Bridget Hartmann; a sister, Mary Ann Sahs; 14 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Helen Rosain Anderson, 93, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on March 28. Helen first worked at the old Virginia Gay Hospital in Vinton, Iowa, as the lab and X-ray supervisor, then went on to teach high school biology and anatomy and physiology for 21 years. She was a longtime member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church and was a member of Chi Omega sorority at Coe. She went through the Red Cross program and became a Red Cross water safety instructor and the head of the Red Cross program for years. Helen is survived by two daughters, Karen Barnotes and Judy Tooley; three grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, Paul Anderson ’50.
Nancy Rowland Filbert, 93, of Pittsfield, Illinois, on January 20. Nancy was a homemaker and was employed for several years as the executive secretary of the Woman's Board of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois. She was active in the Methodist church, was president of many women’s organizations and was a member of PEO. Nancy is survived by a daughter, Carolyn Ryczek; two sons, James and Walker Filbert; seven grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Mary Martin Harrington, 93, of Walnut Creek, California, on February 4. Mary attended Coe and the University of Iowa, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in art in 1948. She painted throughout her life and was a member of the Mendocino Art Center and Mendocino Study Club. She also volunteered for many years at the Mendocino Community Library. Mary is survived by two daughters, Amy Franco and Sarah Harrington; a sister, Eva Martyn; two grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and many nieces and nephews.
Janet Shimerda Allbee, 93, of Bluffton, South Carolina, on June 11. Janet attended Coe and the University of Iowa, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in music and English. She taught K-12 vocal music at Conrad and Green Mountain Schools and later was a paraprofessional at Palmer School in Marshalltown, Iowa. Janet performed in many productions at Marshalltown Community Theatre and Marshalltown Community College. She was a member of 20th Century, Early American Glass Club, PEO Chapter NU, American Legion Auxiliary, Garden Club, Tuesday Musical Club and the Dreamettes. She also was an active member of First Congregational Church in various choirs and started an interpretive choir over 20 years ago. Janet is survived by a daughter, Jayne Bonnette; a son, George Allbee; and two grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, Don Allbee ’46.
Evangeline Cavros Lillios, 93, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on January 28. Evangeline was a graduate of Kirkwood Community College. She worked for several federal agencies throughout her life and retired from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Evangeline was an active member of St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Cedar Rapids and St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Rock Island, Illinois. She also belonged to the Philoptochos Society and Daughters of Penelope. Evangeline is survived by three daughters, Dr. Anna Lillios, Nicolette Diamantis and Mariellen Crosson; two sons, the Rev. Father Emmanuel Lillios and Judge Paul Lillios; 14 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
Dawn Hanson Heusinkveld, 93, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on April 24. Throughout her career, Dawn worked in the offices of Universal Engineering and the Zachar real estate firm. She retired in 1973 as secretary to the president of the Lefebure Corporation. She was a member of the Linn County Historical Society, Cedar Rapids Art Association and Kappa Delta sorority when she attended Coe. She is survived by a daughter, K. O'Brien; a son, J. Sheets; two grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and the families of two stepsons.
Audrey Popma Beckman, 92, of Lubbock, Texas, on March 31. She was predeceased by her first husband, William Beckman ’49.
Robert “Bob” Ford, 94, of Hiawatha, Iowa, on March 29. Bob served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He served for three years as a radioman second class in the Pacific theater. After the Japanese surrender, he was assigned to the Port Director Unit at Nagoya, Japan, until he returned home and was honorably discharged. Bob attended Coe and the University of Iowa, where he earned his bachelor’s and Juris Doctor degrees. He practiced law in Cedar Rapids for 25 years and then accepted an appointment by the Iowa governor to serve as an Iowa district court judge. He served nine years in this capacity as assistant chief judge. After his retirement, he returned to practice law as a member of the Klinger, Robinson and Ford law firm. Bob was a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 788, Disabled American Veterans, Knights of Columbus, Elks Club, Linn County Bar Association and Board of Governors Iowa State Bar Association. He was a charter member of the board of directors of the United Security Savings Bank in Cedar Rapids and was chairman of the Cedar Rapids Riverfront Improvement Commission for many years. He also was president of the St. Jude Parish School Board, Coe College Alumni Council and Iowa State Bar Foundation. Bob is survived by his wife of 68 years, Arlis Ford; four sons, Jeffrey, Patrick, David and Edward Ford; two daughters, Jennie Ward and Elizabeth Ford; four grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
Margaret Berger Lewis, 90, of Dalton, Massachusetts, on January 29. Margaret pursued graduate studies at the University of Colorado and the University of Wisconsin. She taught school in Schaumburg and Hoffman Estates, Illinois; Hakata, Japan; and Ada, Ohio, and was a substitute teacher for many years in the Central Berkshire Regional School District. Margaret was active in the First Congregational Church of Dalton, teaching Sunday school and serving as a deacon and a member of the Monday Morning Crew. She also was active in scouting as a den mother, den mother coach and committee member. Margaret is survived by her husband, Ron Lewis; three sons, Jeffrey, Robert and Glenn Lewis; five grandchildren; five stepgrandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
Lola Dodder Lehman, 91, of Wheaton, Illinois, on March 20. During her teaching career, Lola taught fifth and seventh grades. She later earned her master’s degree in library science and established the elementary libraries in the West Chicago Schools, serving as the librarian for two decades. At her retirement, the West Chicago Schools system officially renamed the Indian Knoll Library as the Lola Lehman Learning Center. Lola was a 25-year member of Aldersgate United Methodist Church and later a nearly 40-year member of Gary United Methodist, as well as a member of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority and Phi Betta Kappa national academic honor society while at Coe. She also delivered Meals on Wheels for 11 years. Lola is survived by her husband of nearly 70 years, Gil Lehman ’51; two daughters, Kathy Srinivasan and Jeanne Lehman Wolf ’76 and her husband, Scott Wolf ’75; a son, Joel Lehman; seven grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
George Feiwell, 91, of Chicago, Illinois, on November 28, 2018. In his younger days, George worked as a rancher in Wyoming and performed in rodeos. He later raced both cars and boats. He attended Coe and the University of Iowa, where he earned his bachelor’s and Juris Doctor degrees. He practiced law for over six decades in state, local and federal courtrooms. In his later years, he focused primarily in the Domestic Relations Division of Cook County and continued to be a zealous advocate for his clients. George is survived by a son, Todd Feiwell; a daughter, Annie Diamond; four grandchildren; and a devoted companion, Jan Kramer.
Lowell Phillips, 93, of San Luis Obispo, California, on May 25. Lowell served in the U.S. Navy from 1944-1946. For his distinguished service, he was awarded the American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Navy Occupation Service Medal, Philippine Liberation Ribbon and Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation. After the war, Lowell worked as an accountant and office manager/salesman for a lumber corporation and as a construction expediter in Cedar Rapids. Throughout his early adult life, he was employed in the retail meat market and grocery business as well, working in food processing and other manufacturing plants. He earned his master’s degree from the University of Iowa and furthered his education through additional graduate studies from the University of Iowa, Purdue University and University of Ohio. Lowell served as division chairman and instructor in political science and economics for Eastern Iowa Community College in Clinton, Iowa. He later held college administrative positions with Ocean County Community College and Mercer Community College in New Jersey and Kaskaskia College in Centralia, Illinois. In 1991, he retired and taught political science on a part-time basis. Lowell was active in all of the communities in which he lived. In Iowa, he served as a city councilman. In New Jersey, he was a member and chairman of the Bordentown Township Planning and Zoning Commission. He worked on the Salem, Illinois, Planning Commission for over 10 years and was chairman of the commission for seven years. He also was a member and original chairman of the former South Central Regional Corridor Council, was chairman of the Salem Enterprise Zone Commission and was councilman for the city of Salem. Lowell was a leader within the veterans’ community as well. This included his membership with the American Legion and his service as a life member and commander of a local Veterans of Foreign Wars post. He further distinguished himself as a 32nd degree Mason of the Scottish Rite. In 2017, he was given the honor of being named Veteran of the Year in the 35th Assembly District of the State of California. Lowell is survived by a son, Christopher Phillips; two daughters, Katherine Drastal and Sarah Diaz; and four grandchildren.
Sallee Jones Lee, 90, of Topeka, Kansas, on April 26. Sallee served as the first president of the Washburn University Women's Alliance and received the prestigious Monroe Award in 1998 for her work with the organization. She also was president of Washburn’s Mulvane Art Center board, and in 1984, the university’s basketball arena was named after Sallee and her husband, Bob. In addition to her involvement at Washburn, Sallee was a business partner in The Sports Boutique. She served the Topeka community as the chairperson of the Mental Health Task Force for the Volunteer Center and as president of the Topeka Day Care Association, Mrs. Topeka Active 20-30 Club, Topeka DAR and Topeka Tri Delta Alumni Association. She also was active in the Topeka Panhellenic Council, Topeka Junior League, Office of Economic Opportunity board and PEO. She was a member of Faith Lutheran Church, where she was a Sunday school teacher for 15 years and served on the Service Guild. Later, she and her husband helped start Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, where she served as a Stephen Minister and on the Service Guild. Sallee is survived by two sons, Greg and David Lee; a daughter, Debbie Florence; three grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
John Crookham, 89, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, on April 2. John earned his master’s degree from Omaha University. He served in the U.S. Army for two years, stationed in Trieste, Italy. He worked as a teacher and coach at several schools including Omaha Technical High School, where he was an assistant football and head track coach who won several state championships during his tenure. When the school closed, he spent three years as assistant principal at Norris Junior High until retirement. John is survived by his wife, Ramona; a sister, Francis Walter; a brother, Joel Crookham; many nieces and nephews; and several great nieces and nephews.
Duane Thenhaus, 88, of Marion, Iowa, on December 19. Duane served in the U.S. Air Force as a lieutenant colonel for 28.5 years, earning the Bronze Star and retiring in 1981. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Therese; two sons, Mark and Michael Thenhaus; a daughter, Lori Schwartz; a brother, Ron Thenhaus; 10 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Ralph “Ed” Sutton, 87, of Saratoga, California, on October 17, 2019. Ed served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps for two years. He attended Coe and San Jose State University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1958. He retired from Ames Research Center after 27 years of service. He was an active member of First Presbyterian Church in Santa Clara and served as an elder during his 50 years of attendance. Ed is survived by his wife of 64 years, Martha; two sons, Mark and Ethan; and two grandchildren.
Ernest Dochterman, 87, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on January 2. Ernest attended Coe and the University of Iowa, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology. He served in the U.S. Army from 1953 to 1955 during the Korean conflict. He later worked as a supervisor at Quaker Oats until his retirement in 1994. He was a member of St. Jude Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus and the American Legion. Ernest is survived by his wife of 59 years, Mary Dochterman; two daughters, Lori McMann and Karen Wintringer; two sons, Michael Dochterman and Kevin Dochterman; a sister, Mary Lou Sharp; seven grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Joyce Herr Erdahl, 86, of Monticello, Iowa, on February 5. Joyce worked as a receptionist at KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids before moving to Monticello. She was a longtime member of PEO, Delphian Club and her local book club. She also was an active member of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church. Joyce is survived by a son, Thomas; two grandchildren; many nieces, nephews and cousins; and her longtime caretaker, Mary Brokaw.
Jeannette “Lynn” Cormack Deinard, 82, of Port Saint Lucie, Florida, on May 30. Lynn did voice work for various radio programs in Colorado when she lived there. She was an active civic volunteer and enthusiastic golfer for much of her life. Lynn is survived by her second husband, David; a son, Rick McCollister; a daughter, Stephanie Cox; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and two stepchildren, Jonathan and Allison. She was predeceased by her first husband, H. Richard McCollister ’57.
Sharon Long Johnson, 83, of Independence, Missouri, on April 19. Sharon earned her master’s degree in elementary education from Murray State College in Murray, Kentucky, and her master’s degree in special education from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. She first taught music in Kentucky and then taught in the Hickman Mills School District in Kansas City for 30 years. After retirement, she taught at the Sunshine Center in Independence for over 10 years and homeschooled her youngest grandchild for a year. She also was a partner in the family business, Silver Heart Inn Bed & Breakfast. Sharon participated in local community choirs and was active in her retirement community, where she organized the residents' birthday committee and was a founding member of a group that sewed bears to be donated to children’s hospitals. Sharon is survived by a son, Perry Johnson; five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Judith Jellison Roeder, 81, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on January 22. Judith worked at GMAC before becoming a homemaker. She was a member of St. Mark's Lutheran Church and later First Lutheran Church, Alpha Xi Delta sorority, Dieman-Bennet Dance Theatre, Sons of Norway, Cedar Rapids Country Club and Junior League of Cedar Rapids, where one of her favorite projects was doing stage makeup for the Children's Theatre Playtime Poppy productions. Judith is survived by a daughter, Shelley Fletcher; a son, Kent Roeder; and five grandchildren.
Richard Dee, 81, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on April 19. Richard wanted to enlist in the U.S. military after high school but was too tall at 6 feet, 8 inches. While at Coe, he played basketball and football and ran track. He earned his bachelor’s degree in speech from the University of Sioux Falls (formerly Sioux Falls College) in 1961. He entered business with his father after college but eventually left to attend the Denver, Colorado, School of Theology. While in seminary school, he worked for a commercial radio and television company and had his own radio talk show. Richard was a member of the Iowa Annual United Methodist Conference and served churches in Denver, as well Council Bluffs, Sheldon, Urbandale and Pocahontas, Iowa. He had a heart for evangelism and placed special emphasis on youth ministry. In his retirement years, he ministered at Discovery House in Spirit Lake. Richard is survived by his wife, Teresa; three daughters, Catharine Goodwin, Anna Van Gorp and Susanna Fife; a brother, Steve Dee; a sister, Linda Dee; 11 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Charles Gries, 80, of Yuma, Arizona, on February 10. Charles is survived by a daughter, Deborah.
Karmen Krueger Shedenhelm, 79, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on March 12. Karmen was the organist at Turner Funeral Homes as well as Cedar Memorial for more than 60 years. She also played the organ for several local churches and community events. She was a member of Lovely Lane United Methodist Church, Quilts of Valor, United Methodist Women and Cedar Rapids Area Theatre Organ Society. Karmen is survived by two daughters, Cynthia Haring and Becky Copeland; and five grandchildren. She was predeceased by her mother, Gilberta Green Krueger ’33.
Shirley Winn Grulke, 92, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on January 24. Before attending Coe, Shirley attended Iowa State Teachers College (now the University of Northern Iowa) and Upper Iowa University. After graduating from Coe, she earned her master’s degree from the University of Iowa. She was a longtime educator, teaching at College Community schools, Cedar Rapids Jefferson High School and Kirkwood Community College. She also worked in human resources at Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids and completed her career as an independent communications trainer. She was a member of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. Shirley is survived by a son, David Rademaker; two grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Margit Meszaros Kotorman, 82, of Westford, Vermont, on April 8. Margit worked as a histology technician at a hospital and then focused on raising her three children. She became a private pilot and climbed all 46 peaks of the Adirondack Mountains twice. Margit is survived by a daughter, Erika Rothwell; two sons, Mark and Daniel Kotorman; a sister, Krisztina Hucker; eight grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and a nephew.
Russell Lacher, 90, of Mount Vernon, Iowa, on December 17. Russell proudly served in the U.S. Navy. He worked at Square D, Collins Radio and later as an electrician at the Rockwell Graphics Division, retiring from there after many years of service. Russell is survived by his wife, Glenda; three sons, Greg, Curt and Grant Lacher; and four grandchildren.
Merle Ricklefs, 76, of Victoria, Australia, on December 29. Merle attended Coe and Colorado College, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in history in 1965. He earned his doctorate from Cornell University and then lectured at The School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London before moving to Australia. He was a professor of history at Monash University from 1980-1993. After leaving Monash, Merle became director of the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies at the Australian National University and, more recently, professor of Southeast Asian history at the National University of Singapore. He also held appointments at All Souls College Oxford in England and Leiden University in the Netherlands and was foundation director of the Melbourne Institute of Asian Languages and Societies at the University of Melbourne in Australia, a position he held until 2005. Merle was an acclaimed international scholar of Indonesia and was fluent in Indonesian, Javanese, Dutch, German and French. He wrote many books about the history of Indonesia and was best known for a trilogy of books on the subject: “Mystic Synthesis in Java: A History of Islamisation from the Fourteenth to the Early Nineteenth Centuries,” “Polarising Javanese Society: Islamic and Other Visions (c. 1830-1930)” and “Islamisation and Its Opponents in Java: A Political, Social, Cultural and Religious History (c 1930 to the Present).” The final book in the series won the 2015 George McT. Kahin Prize for best book on Southeast Asia and was long-listed for the ICAS Book Prize 2015 for Best Study in the Humanities. Another of his books, “A History of Modern Indonesia ca. 1300 to the present,” is considered a standard teaching text in many universities. Merle wrote and edited several other major books and many book chapters and articles. He was sectional editor for Southeast Asia for the third edition of the “Encyclopaedia of Islam” and a co-editor of both the monograph series, Handbook of Oriental Studies (Handbuch der Orientalistik) and Southeast Asia Library. He also was a member of the editorial boards of Studia Islamika, Journal of Indonesian Islam and Journal of Southeast Asian Studies. He was a member of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Editorial Advisory Board for the publication series Documents on Australian Foreign Policy. He continued to publish a series of major scholarly works on the history of Islam in Java, in both precolonial and more recent times, culminating in “Soul Catcher.” Merle also was passionate about expanding educational opportunities for indigenous Australians. In the early 1980s, he worked with the director of the Aboriginal Research Centre and consulted with Aboriginal leaders to co-found the Monash Orientation Scheme for Aborigines. This was the first bridging program for Aboriginal people in an Australian university and helped prepare them for university study. Merle took on numerous roles and earned many accolades during his career. He was appointed emeritus professor by Monash in 2019 and held the same title at the Australian National University. He was a fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and was a former member of the Australian National Commission for UNESCO. He was a founding member of the Australian Foreign Affairs Council and also a member of the International Council of the Asia Society (New York). In 2003, he was awarded a Centenary Medal by the Government of Australia for service to Australian society and the humanities in the study of Indonesia. In 2010, he was elected an erelid (honorary member) of the Netherlands Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal, Landen Volkenkunde, and in 2017, he was appointed a member of the Order of Australia. Merle is survived by his wife, Margaret; and two children, Norman and Charles.
Jeffrey “Jef” Missman, 75, of Kansas City, Missouri, on February 22. While attending Coe, Jef studied abroad at the London School of Economics in 1964-1965. He later earned his MBA from Washington University in 1968. He worked at Arthur Anderson & Company and retired in 2003 from Commerce Bank as director of compliance. Jef was a member of the National Library Council and the KC Regional Council of Washington University. He was a CPA and a lifetime Mensa member. Jef is survived by his wife, Kathleen; a sister, Melinda Missman; a stepbrother, Harris Harmon; and a niece, Zsanet Pettit.
James “Jim” Pickering, 75, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on May 7. Jim earned his master’s degree in psychology from the University of Missouri. He taught at Coe for several years before deciding to switch gears and teach himself computer technology. He worked in construction and then transitioned into computer programming and AutoCAD for Pickwick and, most recently, Alliant Energy. He also enjoyed writing, and some of his works have been published. Jim is survived by his wife of over 50 years, Toni Kirchner Pickering ’66; seven children, James Paul Pickering, Samuel "Pick" Pickering, Pippin Pickering, Aerin Freno, Kenley Pickering, Kerrin "KK" Magu and Elen "Tom" Pickering; 10 grandchildren; and several extended family members and friends.
Deanna Matthews Skolfield, 74, of Auburn, California, on March 1. Deanna earned her master’s degree and doctorate in political science from the University of Minnesota. She was a professor at Columbus College (now Columbus State University) and Kent State University. While at Columbus College, she developed a program to teach prisoners at the Georgia Penitentiary. She later became a CPA and worked for the IRS in Colorado and California and as an auditor for the state controller of California. Deanna is survived by her husband, James Forsberg; a sister, Darlene Parks; and her beloved dogs.
Jane Goodwin Riehl, 73, of Tinton Falls, New Jersey, on January 2. Mary Jane was a logistics manager at Fort Monmouth in Eatontown for 32 years. She is survived by her husband of 42 years, William C. Riehl Jr.; a son, William C. Riehl III; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Betty Skala Metz, 86, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on December 25. Before attending Coe, Betty attended Iowa State Teachers College (now the University of Northern Iowa). She taught for a year in rural Johnson, two years in Ainsworth and 35 years at College Community schools. She was a member of St. Ludmila Catholic Church and St. Anne's Circle, where she volunteered at funeral dinners and many kolache bakes. She also volunteered at Prairie Heights Elementary School following retirement. Betty is survived by a son, Randy Metz; two grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; and a special family friend, Kaye Heitmann.
Joyce Kofron Gerleman, 71, of Swisher, Iowa, on April 6. Joyce taught music, dance and performance to elementary students for 33 years, first at St. Pius X and then in the Cedar Rapids public schools. She loved performing as a dancer and character actor in the Cedar Rapids Follies. The Dr. Joyce Kofron Gerleman Music Education Award has been established at Coe in her honor. Joyce is survived by her husband, David; a daughter, Gina; a sister, Carolyn Myers; and many nieces and nephews.
Kenneth Kirby, 96, husband of the late Bernice Hallman Kirby ’71, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on February 15. Kenneth earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and German from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1945. He joined Green Giant Company as a chemist for eight years until entering Purdue University where he completed a master’s degree and doctorate in biochemistry. Upon graduation, he joined Penick and Ford in Cedar Rapids, where he remained for 32 years, with the exception of two years at R.J. Reynolds and five years at the University of Iowa in preventive medicine. He retired from active work in 1991 as chairman of Penick and Ford. Kenneth was active in publishing and wrote many chapters for texts covering starch and carbohydrate chemistry. He was a member of the American Chemical Society, Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry, Institute of Food Technology, Cereal Chemistry and Textile Chemistry and Cedar Rapids Literary Club. Kenneth enjoyed writing essays for the Literary Club ranging from science to humor to Alzheimer’s disease. His major accomplishment in life was getting the CDC to change the physicians’ handbook for completing death certificates to have an example of Alzheimer's death when diagnosed as the underlying disease, which helps get funding for research to cure or prevent Alzheimer’s. He leaves this accomplishment as a legacy for Bernice, who died of the disease, and for many others who will benefit from research funding. Kenneth was very active as a singer, soloist, choir member and director. He was a member of the Civic Chorus and Chorale Midwest. He also sang in male quartets in college, at Green Giant and at Purdue. He was a 20-year member of the New Horizons band, a former director of the Fine Arts Council, a member of the symphony board and a 55-year member of the Community Concert Board. He also was a 45-year member of the Cedar Rapids Country Club and a member, deacon, trustee and elder of First Presbyterian Church in Cedar Rapids. Kenneth is survived by a daughter, Carol Kirby Williams; a son, Robert Kirby; and three grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife of 68 years, Bernice.
Michael Rogers, 72, of Russell, Kansas, on February 16. Michael served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam and Germany from 1967-1970. He attended Coe and Mankato State University, where he earned his degree in business administration in 1973. He worked in sales for several different companies in Minnesota, Iowa and Colorado. In 1984, Michael became the owner and operator of Teleconnect, a telephone installation and repair service. He was a member of the Disabled American Veterans of Hays and U.S. Golf Association. He also helped found a Colorado chapter of Sick Kids [Need] Involved People. Michael is survived by his wife, Christine Cimprich Rogers ’73; a son, Nicholas Rogers; a daughter, Adrienne Rogers; a brother, Patrick Rogers; three nephews; and a niece.
Alisa Bearov Landrum, 66, of Norfolk, Virginia, on June 3. Alisa earned her Juris Doctor degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. After practicing law in Ohio for a short time, she returned to her home state of Maryland to work as a department store executive, first with Hoschild Kohn's, then Hecht Company and finally Smith & Welton in Norfolk. After suffering through the turmoil of department store closures in the early 1980s, she returned to her passion for teaching. While raising her sons, Alisa taught part time, serving as an adjunct professor of law at Virginia Wesleyan College and Old Dominion University. She became a passionate community activist and joined with others to form the Norfolk Preservation Alliance, devoting countless hours to preserving Norfolk's historic architecture and open space including Taylor Elementary School, Blair Middle School and Bay Oaks Park. A proud Francophile, Alisa twice served as president of the Hampton Roads "Chapitre de Grasse" of the Alliance Française. After her sons grew older, she taught French to middle and high school students in the Chesapeake and Norfolk Public Schools and became a national board-certified teacher. Alisa is survived by her husband of 36 years, retired Navy Lt. Cmdr. Charles R. Landrum; two sons, Christopher and Brian Landrum; a sister, Cathryn Bearov ’81; two grandchildren; and the godmother of her sons, Jean Johnson Lamkin.
Kent Kraus, 65, of Santa Fe, New Mexico, on February 12, 2019. Kent was a sculptor and owned his own art studio in Santa Fe.
Edith Nekola, 81, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on May 16. Prior to attending Coe, Edith earned her registered nurse’s license from St. Luke's School of Nursing in 1959 and, after graduating from Coe, earned her master’s degree from the University of Iowa in 1980. She was a nursing instructor for many years, teaching students at Coe, St. Luke's, Mount Mercy and Kirkwood. Edith is survived by her husband, Fred; a son, Jeff Nekola ’87; a daughter, Laura Nekola ’89; a sister, Marietta Shutte; and two grandchildren.
Judith Armstrong Mather, 75, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on January 5. Judith was a member of PEO Chapter JT and Time, Talent and Treasure Chapter GE. She was an active member of St. Paul's United Methodist Church in the Serendipity Sunday school class, Ruth Circle, Holiday Fair, Bible Study Fellowship and many other church organizations. Judith is survived by her husband, David Mather; two daughters, Michelle Thomas and Meredith Drish; a son, Mark Mather; a sister, Arlene Staton; a brother, David Armstrong; and eight grandchildren.
Thomas “Tom” Soenksen, 66, of Wanatah, Indiana, on December 31. Tom attended and played football at Coe and University of Northern Iowa. He made his career as a banker, most recently with Citizens First Bank from 2000-2018, when he retired. Tom lived much of his life in Clinton, Iowa, and served on the board of directors of the Clinton Regional Development Corporation, Clinton YMCA, Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce, River King/Queen Boosters and Clinton Country Club. He was a member of St. John's Lutheran Church. Tom is survived by a daughter, Kelli Bennett; two sons, Eric and Joseph Soenksen; his mother, Luella Anderson; a sister, Cindy Swanson; two brothers, Ron and James Soenksen; six grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Nancy Wolfson, 65, of Missoula, Montana, on June 2. Nancy attended Coe, Kansas City Art Institute and University of Montana, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in art and history. She was an accomplished artist and had a small greeting card business. She was concerned with the environment and was a founding member of Save Open Spaces, a land conservation group. She also organized a book club among her friends that still continues to meet. Nancy is survived by her husband, Edward Jenne; a daughter, Emily; her father, Harold Wolfson; a brother, Peter Wolfson; an uncle, Bertram Wolfson; and several cousins, nephews and nieces.
Kathy Bartlett Everett, 60, of Fairfax, Iowa, on April 17. Kathy was a librarian and later the deputy city clerk for the city of Fairfax. She was a member of the Fairfax Lions Club. Kathy is survived by her husband of 39 years, Kevin Everett; a son, Andrew Everett; a daughter, Jennifer Roling; her mother, Margaret Bartlett; two brothers, Jeff and John Bartlett; and one grandchild.
Carolyn Wayman, 60, of Franklin, North Carolina, on April 13. Carolyn worked as a travel agent, and her artistic talents gained her a position teaching crafts to cruise ship passengers. She won awards for her photography at the local Macon County Fair. She was a member of Discover Church in Franklin, where she was baptized with water from the Jordan River collected on a trip to the Middle East. Carolyn is survived by her husband, Ralph Allen; and two sisters, Mary Kay Wayman and Nancy Wayman.
Julie Fill Arms Meeks, 59, of Atlanta, Georgia, on April 17. Julie served as a photographer in the U.S. Marine Corps for eight years. She fought tirelessly for the Reconciling Ministries Network for full inclusion in the United Methodist Church. Julie is survived by her wife, Vanessa Meeks; a daughter, Morgan East ’06; a brother, Jim Fill; three biological sisters, Cara Sivert, Marion Peters and Sherry Hoots; a biological brother, Roger Harshman; two aunts, Nancy Watson-Bocher and Becky Acuff; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins; and her loving dog, Harry.
Judith Mikulsky Zachar, 80, of Pawleys Island, South Carolina, on February 27. Before attending Coe, Judith earned her bachelor’s degree from Marquette University in 1961. She stayed at home to raise her children, then worked as a teacher before earning her second bachelor’s degree from Coe and her MBA from Lake Forest College. She had a career as a systems analyst at Household Financial until she retired in 1992. Judith was a life member of the Christ Child Society, serving as president of the Dayton, Ohio, chapter from 1974-1976 and as a national board member from 1976-1978. She later rose within the ranks of the organization to serve in national leadership positions. She also was active in her local parish, Precious Blood of Christ Catholic Church. Judith is survived by two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth; two sons, John and Tom; a brother, John; 12 grandchildren; and two nieces.
Joseph Buresh, 60, of Geneseo, Illinois, on April 9. Joseph earned his master’s degree in K-12 school administration from Western Illinois University. He had a 35-year career as an educator and public school administrator. He spent the majority of his career as the superintendent of the Annawan School District. After retiring from Annawan in 2017, he continued his career as the elementary principal at Costa Catholic Academy in Galesburg, Illinois. Joe was a member of the Education Executive Board, serving as the chairman three times. He especially enjoyed his role as a member of the board of directors for the Illinois Elementary School Association. He was a valued member of the Illinois Association of School Administrators, where he was the Black Hawk Division's superintendent of the year on two separate occasions. Joe coached volleyball, basketball and softball and was a huge advocate for athletic success at Annawan. In 2019, he and his wife, Rhonda, went back to their farming roots and established Buresh Horse Farms with the help of their son, Beau. Joe is survived by his wife, Rhonda Buresh; three daughters, Lori Anderson, Brooke White and Kelly Storm; two sons, Beau and Ben Buresh; his mother, Alda Buresh; a brother, Jeff Buresh; and five grandchildren.
Paul Giere, 53, of Remsenburg, New York, on January 29. He is survived by his wife, Kimberly; his children, Shannon, Matthew and Ryan Giere ’20; his mother, Sarajane Palmer Giere ’62; and a sister, Lisa Conigliaro. He was predeceased by his father, Bernard Giere ’62.
Jeffrey “Jeff” Arnell, 57, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on February 25. Jeff was a senior accountant at Rockwell for more than 12 years. He earned several degrees, including his master's degree in accounting from Iowa State University. He proudly served in the U.S. Marine Corps and won its prestigious Leatherneck Award. Jeff is survived by his mother, Connie; a brother, Tim; and several other family members.
Lloyd Frederick, 74, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on April 15. Lloyd served in the U.S. Army from 1962-1965. He later attended Coe and the University of Northern Iowa as a nontraditional student. He is survived by his wife, Brenda K. King; four children, Lloyd Frederick III, Gabriel Frederick, Patrick Frederick and Dawn King; a brother, Larry Frederick; and four grandchildren.
Jennifer “Jenni” Hills Wise, 46, of Central City, Iowa, on March 13. Jenni attended Coe and graduated from Mount Mercy University. She worked at Collins Aerospace since 2003. An elite athlete, she most enjoyed playing softball. She was a catcher through her high school and college career and continued her love for the game by coaching multiple sports at various levels. Jenni is survived by her husband, Joe Wise; her children, Allie Kubik, Brady Wise and Avery Wise; her parents, Renee Condit and Ed Hills; three brothers, Doug Hills, Mark Condit and Joe Connelly; a sister, Kassie Stocker; three grandchildren; and many aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.
Herbert Musser, 61, of Fairfax, Iowa, on May 6. Prior to attending Coe, Herbert earned his associate degree from Kirkwood Community College and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Iowa. He worked in accounting and auditing for the University of Iowa for six years, Perpetual Savings Bank for 13 years and Midwest One Bank for 13 years, retiring in 2020. Herbert was a member of St. John XXIII Catholic Church and had completed two and a half years of the Roman Catholic Deaconate Formation Class 19 but sadly was unable to complete his goal of becoming a deacon of the church. Herbert is survived by his wife, Marcia; two daughters, Jennifer Liedtke and Elizabeth McDade; two sons, Stephen McDade and William Musser; his mother, Marylin; his mother-in-law, Helen Mann; three siblings, Shawna Flanders, Julie Allen and Janine Wasson; an uncle, David Schmidt; three brothers-in-law; 11 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and many nieces and nephews.
Bradley Bosma, 33, of Chicago, Illinois, on February 11. While at Coe, Bradley was an editorial intern at The Onion. His name can be found in the list of editors in "Our Dumb World: The Onion's Atlas of the Planet Earth, 73rd Edition.” After college, he taught English at Chiang Mai University in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Upon moving back to the U.S., Bradley studied film and broadcast journalism at Tribeca Flashpoint College in Chicago. He then started his own advertising and media-production company, Narrative Motion Productions. During this time, Bradley continued playing guitar, writing music and participating in theater. He took improv classes at Second City and was in a production at Stage 773 in Chicago. Bradley is survived by his sister, Dr. Jamie Groh; a nephew, Jackson; a niece, Charlotte Grace; his paternal grandparents, Jenifer and Mary Ann Bosma; an aunt, Lorrie Bosma; an uncle, Brian; and several cousins.
Former German professor Richard Benesh, 85, of Brodhead, Wisconsin, on March 17. Richard was accepted into U.S. Air Force Intelligence and trained as a Russian specialist during the Cold War years. He was stationed in Germany and became fluent in German while he was there. Upon his return to the U.S., he got his teaching certification and became the first high school Russian teacher in Iowa, teaching Russian and German in Waterloo. After earning his doctorate in German at the University of Iowa, Richard was a German professor at Coe and the University of Iowa. He then joined the Vista program and spent time on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana, then subsequently spent many years working with Native American tribes in Nebraska and later in Wisconsin, where he was in charge of all of the Ho-Chunk casinos. Richard also was the CEO of a couple small businesses in Iowa that manufactured educational materials and then began his own business as a consultant for economic development for small towns and Native American tribes. During that period, he spent a lot of time in Washington, D.C., working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Richard ended his career teaching German at Beloit Memorial High School in Wisconsin, retiring in 2006. In his spare time, Richard and his wife, Michele, enjoyed photography and exhibited their work at art shows through the Midwest for about 25 years, receiving many judges' awards. They also did custom picture framing and organized groups of travelers for tours in Europe for many years. Richard was a member of the Brodhead Congregational United Church of Christ, where he was on the church council, Pastoral Search Committee and Land Use Committee. In the community, he was project administrator for the Pearl Island Recreational Corridor project and was a major advocate for the covered bridge at Putnam Park. He also was president of the Decatur Lake and Mill Race Association and a member of the Optimist Club and Lower Sugar River Watershed Association. Richard is survived by his wife of 32 years, Michele; his children, Jeff Riter, Chad Riter, Aimee Fish, Joseph Benesh and Jared Benesh; his mother-in-law, Jacqueline Telford; seven grandchildren; and three nephews.
Former sociology professor James “Jim” Campbell, 73, of Columbia, Missouri, on February 20. Jim earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 1968 and 1970, respectively. In 1980, he earned his doctorate in medical sociology from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He began his career at Coe, where he taught from 1970-1975. He spent the remaining 40 years of his career as a professor in the department of family medicine at the University of Missouri. He obtained many research grants, had many published articles and taught several thousand medical students. Jim was known as a leader in medical education. His research on the physician and nurse practitioner relationship was the basis for introducing interprofessional education into the curriculum. He was one of the founding members of the Association for the Behavioral Sciences and Medical Education and served as president of the board of directors from 1998-2000. Jim received many awards and honors for excellence in medical education, including the Margaret Sullivan Award for Teaching Excellence in Medical Student Education in 2003, the Curriculum Board Teaching Excellence Award for Outstanding Block Director–Preclinical Curriculum in 2004 and the Southern Illinois University Alumni Association selection as the graduate school member of the Alumni Hall of Fame in 2018. Jim had a genetic kidney disease and underwent two kidney transplants in his lifetime. He and his wife, Anne, helped create a nonprofit organization called the Central Missouri Kidney Association in 1978. Jim was president of this group that is still going strong after 40 years and has provided nearly $500,000 in financial assistance to dialysis and transplant patients all over a large portion of Missouri. He was active in the Missouri Kidney Program as well, serving on the advisory council from 2009-2018 and acting as chair of the council from 2016-2018. Jim was active in sports throughout his life and participated in the National Kidney Foundation’s Transplant Games from 2004-2012, playing racquetball and earning several medals including gold. He also was a member of First Christian Church beginning in the mid-1980s and served his church in many ways, most notably as head of a deacon team for 26 years. Jim is survived by his wife, Anne; two nephews; two nieces; and several cousins.
Former head golf coach and Trustee William “Bill” Fletcher, 93, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on April 21. Bill earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Iowa State University, where he was a member of the Naval ROTC. Upon graduation, he served as a naval officer in World War II. He then earned his MBA from Harvard University in 1955 before being called back into the Navy, where he served in the Pacific theater during the Korean War. After leaving the Navy, Bill joined his father at the family business, Rapids Chevrolet, and continued running the company until his retirement and the subsequent sale of the business. In 1990, he was named Time Magazine's “Dealer of the Year” for Iowa and was a finalist for its national award. He then became chairman of the board of Perpetual Savings Bank, where he helped guide the bank's sale to its successor. Bill also was the head golf coach at Coe for more than 35 years, with his 1974 men's team winning the conference championship. He received the Distinguished Service Award in 2001 and was inducted into the Coe College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007. Bill further served Coe as a member of the Board of Trustees. Bill was active in Immaculate Conception Church and served as a golf rules official for tournaments in and around the state of Iowa. He also was chairman of numerous community organizations, taking special pride in his efforts on the boards of the Five Seasons Center, Hawthorne Hills, Cedar Rapids Country Club and Cedar Rapids YMCA, to name just a few. Bill is survived by two sons, Daniel and Andrew Fletcher; five grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
Former Nursing Department secretary Josephine “Jo” Horst, 92, of Waunakee, Wisconsin, on March 20. Jo attended Cornell College. She was a stay-at-home mom to her children before working at Coe for 17 years. She was involved in the American Business Women’s Association and PEO. Jo is survived by her children, Michael Horst, David Horst ’76, James Horst ’83 and Julie Schoer; a brother, Roger Laible; a sister-in-law; eight grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Former aerospace studies professor and director of Coe ROTC Col. Jack Jeangerard, 92, of Madera, California, on January 9. Jack served in the U.S. military for 30 years, first as a marine and then as an Air Force pilot. He served in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He was awarded many medals for his service including the Distinguished Flying Cross and Bronze Star. After retiring from the military in 1975, Jack moved to California and joined his brothers in a successful tire business, Gerard Tires, for seven years. He then worked as a real estate broker for another 10 years. His greatest achievement was managing the Jeangerard Foundation, a nonprofit charitable organization whose main focus is the betterment of California's National Parks, including making them accessible for all visitors. Jack is survived by three daughters, Joni Nuxoll, Kelli Sutherland and Susie Meade; and four grandchildren.
Former Marvin D. Cone Professor of Art Emeritus Robert “Bob” Kocher, 90, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on February 16. Bob earned his bachelor’s degree in art and zoology and his master’s degree in painting from the University of Missouri. After graduation, he was employed by and served in the Missouri National Guard for four years, achieving the rank of master sergeant. He taught art for four years at Culver-Stockton College before being recruited to Coe by art professor Marvin Cone in 1959. Bob became a full professor in 1971 and served for many years as chair of the Art Department, director of the art galleries and curator of the college’s permanent art collection. He also co-chaired the Coe Sesquicentennial Committee and served for many years as director of the Coe Fine Arts Festival. Bob produced a variety of artwork and exhibited widely during his career, retiring in 1995 as the Marvin D. Cone Professor of Art Emeritus. He and his beloved wife, Joan, were very involved in the Coe community and were fixtures at a variety of campus events — often with Bob sporting two colorful ties. The couple received the Eliza Hickok Kesler Outstanding Service Award in 2006 and the Distinguished Service Award in 2011. They also established the Kocher Visual Arts Endowment, which brings a visiting artist to campus each year and annually supports a prize in art to a Coe student. In October 2019, Bob and Joan had a 50-year retrospective art show at the Marvin D. Cone Galleries at Coe College. Beyond Coe’s campus, Bob served on the committees of the Iowa Arts Council, Cedar Rapids Arts Council, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art and Cedar Rapids-Marion Trust for Historic Preservation. He also served as director of the Iowa Association of Visual Artists and was a longtime member of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. Bob is survived by his wife, Joan; two daughters, Terrye Kocher and Paula Kocher Barnes ’77, a son, Erik Kocher; five grandchildren; two brothers-in-law; and a cousin.
Former paraprofessional and secretary Phyllis Lindsay, 89, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on February 1. Phyllis was the wife of the late Yothers Professor of Mathematics Charles Lindsay. Phyllis earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in French from the University of Iowa, then spent a year in Paris at the Sorbonne. It was on her way to Paris aboard the Queen Mary where she first met Charles, who was on his way to study at a different graduate school in the city, and the two were married before returning home the following year. Over the many years that Charles taught at Coe, Phyllis was primarily a stay-at-home mom to the couple’s four children. In addition to working at Coe, she also taught French at Cedar Rapids elementary schools. She was active in many Coe activities including Phi Beta Kappa and the French conversation lunches that took place weekly in the 1980s and 1990s. The Lindsay study lounge on the third floor of Stuart Hall is named in honor of both Phyllis and Charles, and Phyllis established the Charles and Phyllis Lindsay Scholarship for Study Abroad in 2017. Phyllis also was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church, where she sang in the choir and led Bible study for decades. She is survived by three daughters, Chris Lindsay ’78, Sarah Lindsay and Virginia Mizobuchi; a son, Roger Lindsay; a sister, Glenna Podlaha; and two grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, Charles.
Former assistant professor of psychology Richard Putney, 87, of Atlanta, Georgia, on June 8. Richard attended Yale before earning his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Colorado in 1956. He then earned his master’s degree and doctorate in psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia. After teaching at Coe from 1962-1967, Richard joined the psychology department at Georgia State University in 1967. His research included studies of psychophysiology, perception, attention, memory and animal behavior, and he gave annual talks at the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology. He taught thousands of undergraduate students and provided mentoring to dozens of graduate students before retiring in 1997 as tenured associate professor of psychology. Recently, Richard was completing a scholarly history of cognitive theories of consciousness. Until his death, he collaborated actively with colleagues at Georgia State University's Language Research Center on topics of evolution of language, ape mentality and the history of cognitive psychology. Richard is survived by a daughter, Eleanor; two grandchildren; and two nieces.
Former physics professor emeritus Paul Smith, 86, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on March 9. Paul earned his bachelor’s degree from Park College, his master's degree from Washington University and his doctorate in physics at Tufts University. He became a professor at Coe in 1964 and retired in 1999. During his career at Coe, he taught introduction to liberal arts, physics and astronomy courses. He helped establish the first computer center at Coe, built a cardboard geodesic dome planetarium and projected solar eclipses onto the wall at the far end of Peterson Hall. A highlight of his professional career was a People-To-People International trip to Russia and China during his sabbatical in 1983. He was one of 30 U.S. science teachers selected to share experiences and ideas on improving the teaching of science with Russian and Chinese counterparts. Paul and his wife, Margaret, were active first at First Congregational Church and then at Central Park Presbyterian Church, where Paul was involved in everything from pastor recruitment to furnace replacement committees. They also were active in the United Nations Association and Women for Peace (now Workers for Peace). Paul was a prolific writer of letters to the editor on topics of religion, politics, personal and community integrity and conflict resolution. He published his many writings at www.essayz.com. Paul also was active in the Democratic Party. He served on the committee that reorganized the caucuses between 1968-1972 and as secretary and parliamentarian for conventions at the county, district and state levels. In 1996, he received the Iowa Democratic Party's Dixon Terry Award for outstanding service as a party activist. In 2008, he volunteered at the Democratic National Convention in Denver that nominated Barack Obama. In 2004, Paul and Margaret moved to Fort Collins, Colorado, where they became members of Plymouth United Church of Christ and helped establish a new chapter of the United Nations Association. Paul is survived by his wife, Margaret; two daughters, Valerie Smith and Amy Dorff; three brothers, Bob, Dave and Karl Smith; a sister, Joanne Drake; two grandchildren; 10 nieces; and one nephew.
Former head football coach Steve Staker, 76, of Lisbon, Iowa, on April 28. Steve attended the University of Northern Iowa and then Upper Iowa University, where he played football, earned his bachelor’s degree in 1968 and was inducted into the Upper Iowa University Hall of Fame in 2001. Shortly after graduating, he began his career at Fredericksburg High School, where he spent 36 years coaching football, basketball, track and baseball; teaching physical education; and serving as the athletic director. His "unofficial duties" included team bus driver, groundskeeper and trainer. Among his many coaching achievements was a state track title in 1992, a state football championship in 2001 and membership into the Iowa Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1994. The Fredericksburg football field was named Steve Staker Field in 2012. He also was actively involved with the Special Olympics, ran summer youth baseball, managed the city pool, organized summer "Street Sports," taught Sunday school and sang in the choir at his church. Upon retiring from Fredericksburg High School at age 61, Steve began coaching football as defensive coordinator at Coe in 2004 and became head coach in 2008. Known affectionately as "Papa Stake," Steve compiled a 55-29 record, giving him the third most wins in school history. In 2009, he led the Kohawks to an NCAA playoff victory and was named Liberty Mutual National Coach of the Year. In his eight years as head coach, he coached three Iowa Conference MVPs, seven D3football.com All-Americans and 67 All-Iowa Conference players, 32 of whom were first-team selections. Steve is survived by his wife, Linda; five children, Cody Staker ’90, Lance Staker ’93 and his wife, Coe Vice President for Enrollment, Marketing & Institutional Effectiveness Julie Kleis Staker ’93, Shane Staker ’97 and his wife, Kelly Isbell Staker ’96, Shannon Staker Cook ’02 and her husband, Coe Director of Athletics & Recreation and Head Baseball Coach Steve Cook, and Coe Head Football Coach Tyler Staker ’06 and his wife, Kristy Upah Staker ’08; six siblings, Bryce Staker, Robert Staker, Mariel Brubaker, Gene Staker, Gloria Whisner and Joie Casto; 19 grandchildren; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Former assistant professor of political science Dean Yarwood, 85, of Columbia, Missouri, on June 15. Dean earned his bachelor’s degree and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa at the University of Iowa. He later received a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship and pursued his master’s degree at Cornell University and his doctorate at the University of Illinois. Dean’s career included faculty positions at Coe, the University of Kentucky and the University of Missouri. During his 33 years at the University of Missouri, Dean taught public administration in the political science department, served two rotations as department chair, was the Frederick A. Middlebush Professor in Political Science from 1992-1995 and was an active member of several political science associations. Before retirement, he founded the Dean L. Yarwood Scholarship for graduate and undergraduate political science students with emphasis in public policy and administration or American politics. Additionally, he authored numerous articles and the book “When Congress Makes a Joke” and was editor of the books “The National Administrative System” and “Public Administration, Politics, and the People.” Dean was an active member of St. Andrew Lutheran Church and volunteered at the Missouri Alumni Association. Dean is survived by his children, Lucinda Snider, Kent Yarwood, Keith Yarwood, Douglas Yarwood and Dennis Yarwood; a brother, Curt Yarwood ’53; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; a sister-in-law; and a host of other relatives and friends.