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Miscellaneous Albion College
Faculty & Alumni Obituaries

Albion, Michigan
From Campus Newsletters and Magazines


Catherine Urch Dunham, ’24, on Sept. 26, 1998 in Green Valley, AZ. She is survived by her daughters Betty Dunham Bichl, ’48, and Jacqueline Dunham Rudelius, ’53, and granddaughter Melissa Bichl Sturgis, ’82.

Zora Hilderley DeVinney, ’25, on Oct. 13, 1998 in Grand Rapids. She worked for many years as an elementary teacher and was involved in her church. She is survived by three children, 10 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Gertrude Wright Peterson, ’25, on April 27, 1998 in Bradenton, FL. She is survived by her twin sister, Genevieve Wright Sirey, ’25.

Lucille Marsh Howell, ’26, on July 17, 1998 in Albion. She worked at the State of Michigan Library prior to working in her family’s business, Marsh Funeral Home, where she remained until it was sold. She was very active in various organizations and enjoyed embroidering, cross- stitching and needlepointing. She is survived by her son Charles Howell, ’53, and daughter Virginia Howell Egnatuk, ’57, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

George M. Jones, ’30, on July 16, 1998 in Chelsea.

Herbert C. Brubaker, ’33, on Aug. 28, 1998 in Chelsea. He received a bachelor of divinity from Northwestern University in 1937 and was awarded the doctor of divinity from Albion in 1964. He married Helen Miller in 1930 and, after her death, married Metha Stevens, ’25. He served the United Methodist Church as a pastor in various locations through the years and was a district superintendent of the Saginaw Bay District. He was an active leader in Boy Scouts of America and United Methodist camping programs. He was a charter member of the Kiwanis and a member of the Board of Trustees at Lake Louise United Methodist Church. He is survived by two children, nine grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

Ella Allman Patton, ’33, on Oct. 13, 1998 in Albion. She taught in the Albion, Howell and Redford Township public schools. She was a 50-year member of the First United Methodist Church, the D.A.R., the South Albion Women’s Club and the Calhoun Extension club. She was a 4-H leader for many years and served as secretary-treasurer of the Howell school board. She is survived by a son and two daughters, five grandchildren and six greatgrandchildren.

Melvin J. Zahnow, ’34, in October 1998. A Saginaw resident, he was an executive of the Wickes Corp., and in 1963 he was an incorporator of Saginaw Valley College, which later became Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU). He was on the Board of Trustees for SVSU and for the former St. Luke’s and Saginaw General hospitals, and was a member of the SVSU Foundation.

Mildred Thomas Dick, ’35, on Oct. 3, 1998. She married James Dick, ’36, and taught school in the Battle Creek area. She is survived by a daughter and a brother, Howard Thomas, ’42.

Leland Pope Beers, ’38, on Aug. 12, 1998. He served in the Army during World War II and was an accountant in Birmingham before retiring to Palm Harbor, FL. He is survived by a son, a daughter and four grandchildren.

Martin M. Ronan, ’49, on Aug. 10, 1998 in Albuquerque, NM. Martin was a World War II veteran, serving in the U.S. Army. After receiving his bachelor’s degree, he joined the family business, Ronan and Kunzl, in Marshall, and worked there until the company was sold in 1974. After leaving Ronan and Kunzl, he entered the map business and was affiliated with Highroad maps of New Mexico. He was a member of the Rotary Club in Marshall and Albuquerque and a member of the First Presbyterian Church. He is survived by his wife Ruth, three sons and seven grandchildren.

V. Duane Spencer, ’64, on Aug. 18, 1998 in Alma. He married in 1964. After receiving his degree from University of Detroit Dental School, he moved to Alma in 1969 and began his own dentist practice where he remained until 1997. He was a member of the Trinity Baptist Church, Jaycees and past board member of the Alma Chamber of Commerce, member of the ADA and Psi Omega dental fraternity and a former member of the Alma Lions Club. He is survived by his wife Joanne Cornell Spencer, ’65, and two sons. Steven J. Brown, ’74, on July 25, 1998.

Jeffrey S. Pitak, ’76, on Sept. 19, 1998 in Northville. He received a master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University and was a production manager for Ford Motor Co. He is survived by his wife Debra and daughter Megan.

Norma G. Sleight, ’24, on Dec. 6, 1998 in Kalamazoo. She continued her education after Albion earning her M.A. at Columbia University and went on to teach high school biology, physics and mathematics in Allegan, Lansing and other locations. Norma concluded her career at New Trier High School in Winnetka, IL, where she headed the Mathematics Department. She was an abstract painter in the ’70s and had several articles published in scientific journals. She was the daughter of longtime Albion mathematics professor E. R. Sleight.

Evelyn Thornton Baad, ’27, on Nov. 13, 1998 in Athens. She was a teacher for 33 years, having taught in Constantine, Leonidas and Athens. She spent the last seven years of her career as a high school counselor. Evelyn was a member of the Athens First Congregational United Church of Christ and several education associations. She was also a member of Alpha Beta Epsilon Iota sorority. Surviving are her two sons and eight grandchildren.

Howard Teeter, ’29, on Dec. 15, 1998. A long-time community leader in Coldwater, he had served the city as mayor. He owned and operated the Teeter Equitable Life Agency for 65 years and was named a member of the Equitable Hall of Fame. Howard was a member of the Michigan Republican Central Committee, Coldwater Jaycees, Coldwater Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors of Southern Michigan National Bank and the First Presbyterian Church of Coldwater. Past president of the Coldwater Rotary and a Paul Harris Fellow, he also was active in the purchase and restoration of Tibbits Opera House. The Scouts were a continuing interest for Howard, as was Sigma Chi fraternity. He is survived by his three sons, including Robert Teeter, ’61, and John Teeter, ’67, and four grandchildren.

George M. Jones, ’30, on July 16, 1998. The recipient of an M.Div. degree from Yale, Jones served as a United Methodist minister for 42 years, retiring in 1972. He was the holder of a Conference cane for six years. During the 1950s, Jones participated in a Peace Witness trip to Europe, visiting eight countries in two months. He is survived by his wife Evelyn, a son, two granddaughters and four greatgranddaughters.

L. Graham Lyday, ’30, on Oct. 11, 1998 in Jacksonville, FL. He worked for Sears Roebuck and Co. for 37 years and retired in 1968. He had lived in Florida for the last 28 years. Graham was actively involved with The Peoples Church in East Lansing where he was an elder and with the First United Methodist Church in Stuart, FL. He is survived by his wife, Alberta, his son, John Lyday, ’58, and granddaughter, Katharine Lyday Thompson, ’86.

Robert Colwell, ’33, on Dec. 13, 1998. He practiced optometry in Dearborn for 50 years. Robert served as elder of Littlefield Boulevard Presbyterian Church, president of the East Dearborn Kiwanis Club and board chairman of the Dearborn YMCA. He is survived by his wife, Grace Campbell Colwell, ’34, three daughters, seven grandchildren and three great- grandchildren.

James Ted Watts, ’33, on Nov. 14, 1998 in Frankfort. A World War II veteran, Ted also attended Central Michigan University, University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Long Island University further pursuing his teaching and administrative careers. In addition to teaching physics, speech and math at the high school and college levels, Ted coached basketball, football, and track and field. He retired in 1972. He was a member of Sigma Nu. Ted served on the Benzie County Social Services Board for 12 years and devoted 40 years of service to the Boy Scouts of America. He is survived by his wife, a son, a daughter and two step-daughters, and 15 grandchildren.

Rex Martin, ’38, on Dec. 20, 1998 in Adrian. He began his career in law after graduating from the University of Michigan Law School in 1941. Rex served as assistant prosecuting attorney and prosecutor before being elected Circuit Court judge in 1954. He retired after 29 years on the bench, and the judicial facility where he served was renamed the Rex B. Martin Building. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church. Rex received honors from the Adrian Exchange Club, a distinguished service award from the Adrian Jaycees, the Maple Leaf award from the Adrian Chamber of Commerce, the Eagles Good Citizen Award, Kiwanian of the Year and the Boy Scout Silver Beaver Award. Survivors include his wife, Mary Pearson Martin, ’38, two sons, two daughters and six grandsons.

Paul Goodman, ’39, on Oct. 27, 1998 in Marquette. A World War II veteran, he was awarded the American Service Medal, the European Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the WWII Victory Medal and the Purple Heart Award. Paul taught high school band and worked for New York Life Insurance Co., distinguishing himself as an awardwinning agent. He was a member of Mitchell United Methodist Church and served as the choir director. Paul was involved in numerous swing and jazz bands and orchestras in Europe, New York, New Orleans, Chicago and throughout Michigan. Surviving are his wife and three daughters.

Arlo Butcher, ’43, on Dec. 9, 1998 in Corunna. He worked in tool and die and retired from Toledo Commutator in 1987. Arlo was a veteran of World War II, serving as a paratrooper in the U.S. Army. He was a member of the Corunna United Methodist Church and a dedicated member of the Corunna school board for 21 years. Arlo was selected “Citizen of the Year” by Ford Motor Co. in 1965 for his work in community service. Survivors include his wife Corrine and two daughters.

Richard Smith, ’43, on Dec. 4, 1998 in Bay City. He went on to earn his law degree from the University of Michigan and spent his professional years in private practice with the firm of Smith and Brooker. Richard served two terms in the Michigan State House of Representatives and as Bay County Circuit judge for seven years. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church, the Bay City Lodge #88 B.P.O.E. and several professional organizations. Survivors include his wife Joyce, four children and 11 grandchildren.

Elizabeth Hayes Van Patten, ’48, on Oct. 23, 1998 in Cadillac. After Albion, Elizabeth lived and taught school in Flint for nine years. After two years of teaching in Indianapolis, she returned to Michigan to teach in the Alanson area. She loved to cook and was very active in community activities including the Bliss Pioneer Memorial Church. She was a member of Kappa Delta sorority. She is survived by one daughter and four brothers.

Patricia McGinnity Mulligan, ’56, on June 10, 1998. She earned her mortuary science degree from Wayne State University. Her husband, Robert Mulligan, ’55, owned a funeral home business in Detroit. Active in the Kappa Delta Alumnae Association, Pat was elected province president, named a national officer and awarded the Order of the Emerald for special services. She served on the Albion College Alumni Association Board of Directors and was chairwoman of the American Lung Association Project Hope fundraiser. Pat founded a travel agency in Southfield. She was active in gardening, music, travel and entertaining. She is survived by two sons including, Arthur Mulligan, ’79.

Constance Salmon Stone, ’58, on Nov. 9, 1998 in Naples, FL. After graduation, she taught in the Ypsilanti school system. Connie then moved to the Lansing area and devoted her time and energy to her family and the community. She is survived by her husband Larry and two children.

David Dippel, ’61, on Oct. 29, 1998 in Grand Rapids. He graduated from Michigan State University in 1961 and then served in the U.S. Army for three years. After his discharge, he worked for Stouffer’s for many years. David was a member of the Spring Lake Lions Club, National Restaurant Association, Michigan Restaurant Association and the Knights of Columbus. Surviving are his wife Marie, three daughters, his mother and step-father, and one grandchild.

James DeFrancis, ’65, on Jan. 1, 1998 in Chevy Chase, MD. He worked on the staff of U.S. Senator Robert Griffin for 10 years and served on the presidential campaigns of President Gerald Ford and Michigan Governor George Romney. James was deputy assistant secretary of the Energy Department for four years, and he directed communications and federal relations for Ebasco Services. Since 1994 he had worked for Raytheon Engineers and Constructors as vice president of Washington operations. James also was a skilled amateur horticulturist. Survivors include his wife Suzanne and their three sons.

John Cawood, Jr., ’77, on Nov. 8, 1998 in East Lansing. He was president of Cawood Building Co. and wellrespected in his community. John coached his sons’ basketball and soccer teams. He was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity and Faith Lutheran Church in Okemos. Surviving are his wife Rebecca and two sons.

Helen Gromme, ’92, in December 1998 in Thailand. A world adventurer and photographer, Helen was killed in a Thai Airways crash with her fiance. They were filming gibbons and hornbills in northern Thailand for the PBS-TV “Living Edens” series. After graduating from Albion, Helen sold fax machines to raise money for a 14-month around-theworld backpacking trip with her twin sister, Andrea. This year, she was quoted in a nationally syndicated article about their journey. Surviving are Helen’s parents and two sisters.


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