Bradley University Skip repetative content
Attending Bradley Apply Online Student Life Our Community Visit Us A to Z Index Search Home
Bradley Hilltopics
In Memory  

Fall 2006 • Volume 12, Issue 4


Clyde Benjamin ’31, January 27, Canton. He was 101 years old.

June Newkirk ’36, November 7, 2005, Northridge, California. She had won national awards as a teacher of deaf and hard of hearing students for 64 years. The high school at the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind in Tucson was named in June’s honor. She began teaching in 1971 at California State University-Northridge, where she was an associate professor emeritus.

Josephine Goebel Owen ’36, March 9, Peoria. She was a homemaker. Two sons, five grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren survive.

Margaret Lund Mason ’39, March 28, Peoria. She was a department store fashion coordinator and a radio show host on WMBD many years ago. An active community volunteer, Marg was a member of Pi Beta Phi. She was named the 1956 Junior League volunteer of the year. Survivors include her two daughters, grandson, and great-granddaughter.


Marguerite Healy Strand ’43, May 2,Sacramento, California. Her campaign for public parks resulted in the Mission Oaks Park District. She and her husband also helped found St. Michael’s Episcopal Church. Surviving are three children, seven grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Robert Bower ’47, May 18, Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. He retired from Caterpillar Inc. in Peoria as a research chemist. An avid golfer and reader, he served in the Navy during World War II and the Korean War.

Donald Emser ’47, April 12, East Peoria. He was employed by Caterpillar Inc. for 32 years, retiring as superintendent of construction in 1982. Don was a member of First Christian Church for more than 50 years and served as elder emeritus. He enjoyed painting and was a founder of the local YMCA. He was a World War II Army veteran. His wife Jean, three children, and five grandchildren survive.

Joe Arvidson ’48, May 3, Bradenton,Florida. He retired from Philips Magnavox in 1986 as a regional manager. He was an elder in his church in Evansville, Indiana. Joe was a World War II Navy fighter pilot. His wife Marilyn, two children, eight grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren survive.

John Studyvin ’48, April 1, Tremont. He worked for the IRS for 30 years and then for the Illinois Department of Revenue for 20 years. John was also a life-long farmer. He was a World War II Army veteran. Three sons and three grandchildren survive.

John Wiese ’48, December 10, 2005, Fairview, Pennsylvania. He worked in management for GTE Telephone, retiring in 1986. He was a World War II Marine Corps veteran. John was active in Masonic work. His wife Virginia, their daughter, and four grandchildren survive.

Robert Carkenord ’49 MBA ’65, April 22, Peoria. He had a 40-year career in the savings and loan industry, retiring in 1989 as a senior vice president at United Federal Savings. Bob was involved with United Way, the Heart Association, and founded a housing corporation designed to serve low-income families. He was a World War II Marine veteran, and had been president of Sigma Phi at Bradley. Surviving are his wife Donna, two daughters, and three grandchildren.

Lavern Swords ’49, March 27, Peoria. A licensed engineer in eight states, he founded Swords Engineering in 1956 and served as city engineer for six cities in central Illinois. Vern was a World War II Army veteran. He was an avid fisherman and held the state record for muskies. Three children, six grandchilden, and six great-grandchildren survive.


Frank Collins ’50, November 22, 2005, Houston, Texas. He began his 41-year careeer with the Boy Scouts of America in 1950 and became the national director of program in 1983. Frank earned a Bronze Star while serving with the Army Medical Service Corps during the Korean War. At Bradley he was president of Lambda Chi Alpha. Survivors include his wife Winnie and their daughter.

Jack “Jake” Errion ’50, March 3, Peoria. He worked in marketing and industrial communication for Caterpillar Inc. for 28 years, retiring in 1988. A World War II Army veteran, Jack was a part-time instructor at Bradley and Illinois Central College. An active volunteer, he was an honored member of Rotary-North and a board member of Youth Farm. Jake had been president of Sigma Nu at Bradley.

Henry Fritz ’50 MA ’52, November 13, 2005, Northfield, Minnesota. He led the history department at St. Olaf College for 15 years, retiring in 1996. The author of The Movement for Indian Assimilation 1860-1890, he was a consultant and expert witness for the Department of Justice in cases involving minerals and timberlands on Indian Reservations and the Public Domain. Survivors include his wife

Dolores Moeller Fritz ’52, three daughters, and six grandchildren.

Robert S. Marshall ’50, June 24, 2005, Peoria. His wife Evelyn, three children, a stepson, and several grandchildren survive.

Fred Reifsteck ’50 MA ’69, June 2, Palmyra, Pennsylvania. Fred was superintendent of Rantoul Township High School in Illinois from 1972 to 1987, and earlier was a principal, teacher, and coach. He served in the Army Air Corps and the Air Force. Two children and two grandchildren survive.

William Blackwell Jr. ’51, April 7, Peoria. A chiropractor since 1957, he was a member of the Bradley Sports Hall of Fame. He enjoyed working as a square dance caller. He served in the Air National Guard. Survivors include six children and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Maurice Pescitelli Sr. ’51, August 21, 2005, Hartwell, Georgia. He had retired as a parts analyst from Caterpillar Inc. in Morton. He was an Army Air Corps veteran. Survivors include his wife Betty, five children, and 13 grandchildren.

Paul Hopkins ’53, May 13, Kent, Washington. Paul was an insurance executive with Liberty Northwest for 30 years. He had lived in Chicago, Portland, and Kent. He was an Air Force veteran. Surviving are his wife Margie, two sons, three stepchildren, and seven grandchildren.

Eugene Kellenberger ’53, April 29, Washington. Gene was co-owner and president of Illinois Valley Printing until retiring in 1989. He was an artist and enjoyed gardening. He was a World War II Marine Corps veteran. Five children, 16 grandchildren, and 21 great-grandchildren survive.

Robert Kumpf ’53, March 6, Palatine. He operated Specialized Underwriting Services for 20 years and had been a regional vice president with Prudential. He was an Air Force veteran. His wife Joy, three children, four grandchildren, and a great-grandchild survive.

Richard Estergard ’54 MA ’67, December 12, 2005, Roswell, New Mexico. He was a physical education teacher and coached various sports at New Mexico Military Institute. Later he was assistant principal of Dexter High School. Dick was an Air Force veteran. He was a Bradley basketball player and a member of the Athletic Hall of Fame.

Paul Vegna MS ’55, May 10, Apple Valley, California. An Air Force captain, he served for 20 years and was a veteran of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Paul had been a math teacher in Illinois and later at Victor Valley College for many years, retiring in 2003. He also taught for four years at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Survivors include his wife Peggy, his mother, three children, two stepchildren, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Marilyn Park Hawthorne ’57, April 17, State College, Pennsylvania. A member of Gamma Phi Beta, she was an avid rose gardener. Survivors include two children.

Royal “Gus” Gustafson ’58, May 28, Washington. He was a popular local band leader and taught music at Washington Grade School. Gus was a World War II Army veteran. Surviving are three children, two grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and his fiancée.

William Reaugh ’58 MBA ’70, May 16, Peoria. He retired from Caterpillar Inc. in 1999. He was past national president of the Association for Information Technology Professionals (AITP). An active community volunteer, Bill had served as board president of the Peoria Symphony and the Peoria Public Library. He was an Air Force veteran and a member of Sigma Chi. Survivors include his wife Gleneta, two children, two stepsons, and seven grandchildren.

Esther Crossman ’59, January 28, Eureka. She joined the Army Nurse Corps in 1945 and retired from the Army Reserve unit as a lieutenant colonel in 1971. Later she worked at the Veteran’s Hospital in Danville. Esther was an active member of Eureka Presbyterian Church where she was the first woman to be elected as an elder.


Forrest Krummel Sr. ’60, February 24, Peoria. He retired from Caterpillar Inc. in 1993, and had been a manager at Federal Warehouse. He volunteered at Wildlife Prairie Park and was a deacon in the Presbyterian Church. He was a World War II Navy veteran. His son and two granddaughters survive.

Lloyd Dale Thompson ’60, January 28, Fayetteville, Arkansas. He was an electrician. He served in the Navy for 10 years and retired from the Reserves. Surviving are his wife Nancy, six children, 18 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren.

Harold Pearl ’62 MA ’78, April 23, Peoria. He held doctoral degrees from Illinois State University and Western Illinois University. He had been principal of Blaine-Sumner School, dean of boys at Manual High School, and was principal of District 150 special schools for the past 20 years. He was active in the Boys Club and Neighborhood House. Survivors include his two children.

Stanley Bane ’64, February 17, Washington. Stan retired from Caterpillar Inc. as a division manager of Telecommunications World Wide. He was a master gardener and was active in Masonic work. Surviving are his wife Carol, six children, and seven grandchildren.

Mary Beth Eatmon ’66 MA ’71, May 22, Washington. She was a teacher and counselor in Creve Coeur District 76 from 1961 to 1984. Survivors include four children, 10 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

Louis Schwabacher ’66, May 5, Peoria Heights. He was a state surveyor of long-term health care for 22 years. He held a master’s degree from the University of Idaho. He was an Army veteran. Survivors include his wife Phyllis, two daughters, a stepson, and two grandsons.

Sharron Smith MA ’66, May 20, West Peoria. Sherri worked for attorney Gary Morris for 20 years. She had been the organist and choir director at several churches. Earlier she was director of the Peoria Area Blind People’s Center and a counselor at Bradley.

Leonard Crooks Sr. ’68 MA ’77, April 9, Hammond, Louisiana. He was an attorney in New Orleans for more than 20 years. Earlier, Lennie served as Bradley’s director of black studies and also played lead guitar for groups such as Surviving Souls. His bands opened for singers including Marvin Gaye and Patti LaBelle. His son survives.


Michael John Moore ’71, May 13, Rockton. He was a lifetime member of Northwest Fireman’s Association. His wife Connie, their five children, and his parents survive.Frankie Freeman ’74, April 10, Mesquite, Texas. He had operated four gymnastics schools, including his first in Peoria and eventually one in suburban Dallas. Frankie had coached gymnastics in Singapore and was a middle school teacher in Mesquite. His wife Karen and his mother survive.

Jerry Busse ’75, January 2006, Chicago. Survivors include his wife Olga, two sons, and his parents.


Maria Cheneler MA ’85, March 14, Peoria. Maria worked for the Illinois Employment office for nearly 20 years, providing classes and group counseling in Spanish and English until 1997. Earlier she was a teacher in Guadalajara. Survivors include her husband Alphonse J., their son, and three grandchildren.

Phyllis Young ’88 MA ’94, May 5, Peoria. She had been a math teacher at Woodruff High School and Midstate College, the director of Upward Bound at Illinois Central College, and a therapist with Catholic Social Services. Phyllis was active in the Pentecostal Church. Six children and five grandchildren survive.


Kristina Robin Torisky ’91, June 5, Carpentersville. She had worked at Huntley Unlimited Gymnastics and Provena St. Joseph Hospital. Kristina was a gymnastics judge at the state level. She was a member of Gamma Phi Beta. Survivors include her parents.