Cora B. DeWitt
Cora Bell Dewitt of Columbia died Thursday, April 13, 2000, at Boone Retirement Center. She was 78.
Ms. Dewitt worked in the dietary department at DePaul Hospital in St. Louis until 1986. She then came to Columbia after she retired.
Ms. Dewitt was a member of Parkade Baptist Church.
"She was very active in her Sunday School class, and she had almost a constant smile," said Terry Hunsaker, pastor at Parkade Baptist Church.
Ms. Dewitt was born May 1, 1921 in Whitewater to William Samuel and Dora Bell McIntire Dewitt.
Visitation for Ms. Dewitt will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. today at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W.
Services, conducted by Don Crawford, will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at McDaniel Funeral Home in Kennett.
Ms. Dewitt is survived by four sisters, Leona Phillips of Columbia, Anna Bailey of Carleton, Mich., Dorothy Crawford of Columbiaville, Mich., and Mattie Crawford of Kennett; and many nephews and nieces.
Her parents, three brothers and a sister died earlier.
Earl English was a tireless educator who traveled around the country to improve journalism education, but he always had time for his students.
Mr. English, the former dean of MU's School of Journalism, died Tuesday, April 11, 2000, in Columbia. He was 95.
"During his long tenure as dean, English moved the School of Journalism toward the reputation for excellence he knew was more storied than real," said Paul Fisher, a former MU professor. "He knew it was, and had to be, a work in progress. He would have loved to have continued it."
Friends and colleagues say English greatly contributed to MU's School of Journalism, both as dean and teacher. He joined MU as associate professor of journalism in 1945 and became associate dean four years later.
He became the fourth dean of the School of Journalism when Frank L. Mott retired in 1951, and he continued in that role until 1970.
English pioneered the accrediting system for journalism schools. He traveled 43,000 miles through 41 states as he investigated schools of journalism for accreditation for the American Council of Education.
Despite his travels, he would return to Columbia every Monday to fulfill his job as a teacher.
"His biggest contribution was as a mentor to grad students," said Joye Patterson, a former graduate student and faculty member. "As a graduate student, you had a relationship with him, not just formal. He really cared about journalism education, anythi ng to do with it."
In the classroom, he pushed his students toward excellence.
"He made people do better than they thought they could," Patterson said.
He was particularly well-known for his course, general semantics in journalism, the first course of its kind offered in the United States.
"He made us carry semantics with us outside of the classroom," Patterson said. "He really forced you to change your thinking."
English established the Freedom of Information Center at MU and is credited with improving the Graduate Studies Center.
"He was a man of vision," Patterson said. "He really cared about the freedom of information and the function of media in a free society."
English was an accomplished newsman. He was a member of many journalism organizations including Kappa Tau Alpha, Chairman of the National Council on Research in Journalism and Executive Secretary of Accrediting Commission of the American Council of Ed ucation for Journalism.
He also had another interest. "He was very much in love with linotype machines," said Don Brenner, a faculty member who worked with English. He was devoted to his linotype school, which was not part of MU's regular curriculum but an apprenticeship pro gram, Brenner added.
He was an exceptionally good administrator, Fisher said.
"That consumed him entirely, and all of his efforts went to that," he said.
A few weeks ago, Patterson visited her respected colleague and friend; he took her hand and said, "so many people have been so good to me."
Patterson was touched that this sentiment came from a man who had done so much for others.
English was born in Lapeer, Mich., in 1905. He married Ceola Bartlett on June 14, 1930.
Services, conducted by his grandson, the Rev. Earl Bland of Atlanta, will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Parker Funeral Home on Tenth and Walnut streets. A family burial service will be held Monday in Michigan.
Survivors include his wife, Ceola English; two daughters, Ester E. Bland of St. Louis, and Barbara E. Leach of Rockville, Md.; four grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
Memorials may be sent to the Earl and Ceola English Scholarship Fund, care of the School of Journalism, 76 D Gannett Hall, Columbia, Mo. 65211.
Joyce Ann Fobes
Joyce Ann Fobes of Columbia died Sunday, April 9, 2000, at her home. She was 59.
Ms. Fobes was born July 5, 1940, in Okanogaw, Wash., to Merle Delbert and Mary Rose Gormley Madison.
Ms. Fobes was a member of the Newman Center.
Services, conducted by the Rev. Dennis Schmidt, will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Newman Center. A reception will follow.
Ms. Fobes is survived by four sons, Brian Fobes, Sean Fobes and David Fobes, all of Columbia, and Kevin Fobes of Santa Cruz, Calif.; one daughter, Amy Mace of Columbia; one brother, Donald Madison of Hoyt, Kan.; and six grandchildren.
Her parents died earlier.
Memorials may be sent to the Newman Center, 701 Maryland Ave., Columbia, Mo. 65203.
A memorial gathering and reception for Edwin Miller will take place at 2 p.m. at Stephens College Senior Hall on Saturday, April 15.
Miller, who died on April 9, worked at Stephens College from 1943 to 1969. He was chairman of the Literature Department and of the Division of Literature, Science and the Arts for many years.
Geraldine Laneta Wilson spent her life loving children, cooking and cross-stitching.
Mrs. Wilson died Tuesday, April 11, 2000, at Boone Hospital Center in Columbia. She was 61.
Mrs. Wilson was born Feb. 18, 1939, in St. Louis to Otto and Ida Boheme Bachmann. She married William H. Wilson in St. Louis on April 9, 1961.
She was an active member of University Baptist Church of Columbia. After retiring from her job as a bookkeeper at MFA Oil, she was a cook at Rock Bridge Elementary School for nine years. Mrs. Wilson later was a cook at Great Beginnings Child Development Center.
Mrs. Wilson also completed many cross-stitch patterns.
Visitation for Mrs. Wilson will be from 7 to 9 p.m. today at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W. Services, conducted by the Rev. Jeffrey Benson, will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Memorial Funeral Home.
Mrs. Wilson is survived by her husband; two sons, James Wilson of Casa Grande, Ariz., and Michael Wilson of Columbia; one brother, Don Bachmann of St. Louis; and three grandchildren, Amanda, David and Brandon of Columbia.
Her parents died earlier.
Memorials for Mrs. Wilson may be sent to Gideons International, P.O. Box 7108, Columbia, Mo. 65205.
Alfred L. Whitfield
Alfred L. Whitfield of Columbia died Monday, April 10, 2000 at University Hospital. He was 51.
Mr. Whitfield was born on March 16, 1949 in Boone County to Marvin R. Whitfield and Martha Hughes Whitfield.
He was a member of Second Baptist Church in Columbia and served in the United States Marine Corps from May 1969 to May 1971. Mr. Whitfield was formerly employed with the City of Columbia Public Works Department.
Visitation for Mr. Whitfield will be from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight at Warren Funeral Chapel, 10 N. Fourth St. Services, conducted by the Rev. Donald R. McNeal, will be at 1 p.m. Friday at Second Baptist Church, 407 E. Broadway. He will be buried at Memorial Park Cemetery, 1217 Business Loop 70 W.
Mr. Whitfield is survived by three sons, Kevin Logan, Mark Logan and John Alfred Whitfield, all of Columbia; a daughter, Denesha Logan of Columbia; two sisters, Martha E. Whitfield and Evelyn L. Paige, both of Columbia; two brothers, Shadrick Paul Gross III and Marvin L. Whitfield, both of Columbia; one granddaughter, three uncles and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
His parents and a sister, Patricia Robinson, died earlier.
Paul Nelson Britt of Columbia is remembered by many alumnae of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority as a man who helped them move in, pack their cars and kept their house in good condition.
"He was a great favorite, very faithful and a valued help to us all," said Martha Toler, the sorority's housing corporation president.
Toler also said Britt was very conscientious and kind. He knew the house well, and many generations of young women who were in the sorority will remember him fondly.
"He did kindnesses for us all," Toler said.
Mr. Britt, a maintenance man at the sorority house during the 1980s, died Saturday, April 8, 2000, at Boone Retirement Center. He was 90.
Mr. Britt was born June 18, 1909, in Ash Grove to Noah and Willa Blythe Britt. He graduated from Lincoln University High School in Jefferson City. He was a member of St. Luke United Methodist Church and the Methodist Mens organization. He was also a member of Steward Board.
Visitation for Mr. Britt will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today at Warren Funeral Chapel, 10 N. Fourth St. Services, conducted by the Rev. C.L. Seibert, will be at 1 p.m. Thursday at St. Luke United Methodist Church, 204 E. Ash.
Mr. Britt is survived by his wife Nora of Columbia; two daughters, Betty Jackson of San Diego and Paula Britt of Columbia; two sisters, Pauline Seibert of Jefferson City and Loraine Newton of Columbia; two grandsons and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
His first wife, Ruby Poston, and one daughter died earlier.
Kenneth Buchert of Collinsville, Ill., died Monday, April 10, 2000. He was 76.
Mr. Buchert was born on Sept. 8, 1923, in Belleville, Ill. He received a doctoral degree in engineering from MU in 1964. Mr. Buchert was a professor of civil engineering for 13 years at MU, and at the University of Illinois-Edwardsville for nine years. He was selected as an outstanding professor multiple times. He was also a vice president with Bechtel Inc.
He helped design the Dallas Football Stadium, the Houston Astrodome and the Space Needle at Sea World in Florida.
During World War II, Mr. Buchert served in the U.S. Army. He loved to play baseball. He played for the MU Tigers and was drafted by the St. Louis Browns.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Herr Funeral Home, 501 W. Main St., Collinsville, Ill. Services will be at 11:15 a.m. Friday at Jefferson Barracks Cemetery, 2900 Sheridan Rd., St. Louis.
Mr. Buchert is survived by his wife of 52 years, Muriel (Peg); three sons, Pete Buchert of Columbia, Mike Buchert of Tulsa, Okla., and Steve Buchert of St. Paul, Minn.; three daughters-in-law, Theresa Buchert of Columbia, P.J. Buchert of Tulsa, and Michelle Buchert of St. Paul, Minn.; one sister, Jean Buchert; and seven grandchildren.
Memorials may be sent to the American Heart Association, Salvation Army or the Madison County Humane Society.
Dr. Carlos Perez-Mesa, a doctor without borders, died Sunday. He was 75.
His love of and dedication to life, medicine and the arts affected friends, family, co-workers, patients and students throughout his stay in Columbia and his tenure at the Ellis Fischel Cancer Hospital.
Dr. Perez-Mesa was born Feb. 1, 1925, in Santa Clara, Cuba. He attended the University of Havana Medical School from 1942 to 1949, and later worked as a resident in internal medicine and a resident in pathology in Cuba. In 1956, he moved to the Glockne r-Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs, Colo., as a pathology resident.
He met Laura Heims on his first day in Colorado. She was a medical technologist, and the resident she was dating at the time had picked Dr. Perez-Mesa up at the airport and brought him over to her apartment. In the next few months, they got to know eac h other well. "He had a great sense of humor, he was charming, had a wonderful personality, he was smart, considerate and loved life," she said.
At the St. Patrick's Day ball that year, he asked her to dance. And that was that.
Laura Heims and Carlos Perez-Mesa were married two years later.
After working at St. Louis' Barnes Hospital and in Buffalo, N.Y., Dr Perez-Mesa came to the Ellis Fischel Cancer Hospital.
Nellie Dodd has worked at the Ellis Fischel cafeteria since September 1968. Dr. Perez-Mesa was the first physician she met. "When I first came, I didn't say nothing to nobody," Dodd said. "He came downstairs and introduced himself."
"I've seen all different types of physicians in my time here," Dodd said. "But he was genuine. He had a deep caring and compassion for all mankind."
Dodd remembers that Dr. Perez-Mesa would attend all the Christmas parties the staff at Ellis Fischel Cancer Hospital would throw for the patients. At one of them, the staff ran out of one of Dr. Perez-Mesa's favorites. "My boss asked us to run downstai rs and fix some more just for him," Dodd said. "And we did. That's how special he was."
"With him, it didn't make a difference who you were, he treated them all the same - like family."
Ronald Oxenhandler, a clinical faculty member at Vanderbilt University, remembers how Dr. Perez-Mesa combined a love of the arts and medicine with a love of people. Oxenhandler came to MU, attended medical school here and then went to Ellis Fischel as a pathology resident.
"Many times the pathologist doesn't get involved with the patient," Oxenhandler said. All they look through is the microscope, all they see is the biopsy. Dr. Perez-Mesa showed us and taught us to get involved with the patients, to think about their ci rcumstances and their histories."
Dr. Perez-Mesa helped Oxenhandler, and others who passed under his tutelage, see beyond the diagnoses. He taught them to read widely and to read everything, so "we were better able to understand the humanity of our patients and understand them as peopl e," Oxenhandler said.
"He had a thirst for learning," said Mrs. Perez-Mesa. "He would read all the time, every day and anything: the New York Times, MAD magazine, The New Republic. He even read at stop lights."
Dr. Perez-Mesa's love of words was stressed in the first memorial lectureship held in his honor earlier this month. Bill Bondeson, a faculty member at MU, attempted to capture what his 'treasure of a friend' was like.
"He was the kind of person who talks your arm off, but you don't really mind because he's so interesting, so alive and so intense. There isn't even a specific memory I have of him," said Bondeson, who knew Dr. Perez-Mesa for over 30 years. "Just sittin g down and talking to him is the best memory. He was an incredible researcher, incredible physician and incredible friend."
"The one thing I remember most about him is his great curiosity about almost all of life. Theatre, art, philosophy, fine wine, good food - he really knew how to appreciate the best things in life."
Dr. Perez-Mesa's affinity for good food made for some memorable family excursions.
He once went fishing at Bennett Springs with his two teen-aged sons. Although they never ate the trout they caught, their father instead treated them to steak dinners two nights in a row. On the third day, Dr. Perez-Mesa apologized to his sons, telling them there was only five dollars left. They made it back home, lucky not to have run out of gas.
He was more of the absent-minded doctor than the business doctor, his son Carlos said. Money never figured importantly in his priorities. Instead, Dr. Perez-Mesa's legacy lies in the relationships he cultivated in the arts and with people from differen t walks of life.
The Rev. John Long was an example of his love for people and medicine. Rev. Long called one day to ask if Dr. Perez-Mesa would take his blood pressure. "Carlos hadn't taken blood pressure in a long time," said his wife. But he scooted off to a neighbor ing doctor's house to borrow a blood pressure cuff, returned to practice on his wife Laura a few times, and then headed over to the rectory to check Rev. Long's pressure.
"He told him 'You're the first live patient I've had in a long time," said Mrs. Perez-Mesa. "Carlos had a great sense of humor." Even after spending three decades in the U.S., it was hard to tell whether Dr. Perez-Mesa was saying "jail or Yale, choose or shoes," his wife said. "But he never got upset if you corrected him, he just made fun of it."
Even when he became ill with cancer in 1998, Dr. Perez-Mesa kept his spirits up. "He fought for a very long time and savored every day," said Mrs. Perez-Mesa. "He firmly believed that if life gave you a lemon, you should make lemonade."
Dr. Carlos Perez-Mesa is survived by his wife, Laura; two sons, Carlos Perez-Mesa Jr. of Kaneohe, Hawaii, and Michael Perez-Mesa of Littleton, Colo., a daughter, Melissa Hayes of St. Louis; and one brother, Guillermo Perez-Mesa of New York City.
Memorial services for Dr. Perez-Mesa will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 1115 Locust St.
Nell A. Hudson
Nell A. Hudson of Ashland died Sunday, April 9, 2000, at Boone Hospital Center. She was 96.
Mrs. Hudson was born on April 2, 1904, in Crawford County to William and Electa Bacon Patton. She married Lloyd Hudson on Nov. 2, 1932, in Cedar City. She worked for Twitties and the West End shoe company.
Mrs. Hudson was a member of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Hartsburg for more than 65 years and of the Ashland Senior Center.
Visitation for Mrs. Hudson was from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday at Robinson Funeral Home in Ashland. Services, conducted by the Rev. Mike Quinn, will be at 10 a.m. today at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Hartsburg. She will be buried at Mount Pleasant Cemeter y.
Mrs. Hudson is survived by her son, Gary Hudson of Columbia; two grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Her husband, three brothers and three sisters died earlier.
Memorials may be sent to Mount Pleasant Baptist Cemetery, Hartsburg, Mo., 65039.
L.T. Dozier of Columbia died Friday, April 7, 2000, at Boone Hospital Center. He was 83.
Mr. Dozier was born August 18, 1916, in Easley to Loyd Thomas and Mabel Cunningham Dozier. He married Henrietta Palmer on April 25, 1936, in Columbia.
Mr. Dozier served with the U.S. Navy in the Pacific during World War II. He retired as supervisor of General Telephone after 30 years of service. He was a member of VFW Post #280 in Columbia.
Visitation for Mr. Dozier will be from 1 to 2 p.m. today at Memorial Funeral Home. Services will follow at 2 p.m. at Memorial Funeral Home Chapel.
Mr. Dozier is survived by his son, L.T. Dozier III of Columbia; one sister, Lorena Holman of Columbia; and two grandchildren, Kelli Dozier of Gilbert, Ariz. and Greg Dozier of Little Rock, Ark.
His wife and one sister died earlier.