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Bradley Hilltopics

Summer 2007 • Volume 13, Issue 3
In Memory
In Memory  •   A tribute 


Dorothy Jones Probanz ’31, January 26, Cape Coral, Florida. She was a teacher and principal in Geneseo for more than 37 years. She moved to Florida in 1968. Her son and two grandsons survive.

Wilbur Dersch ’34, July 28, 2006, Peoria. He practiced law for more than 50 years. A World War II veteran, he was an avid chess player. Survivors include his wife Betty, two daughters, and three grandchildren.

Robert V. Larson ’35, January 24, Weslaco, Texas. He retired from Caterpillar Inc. in 1978 with 42 years of service. He was involved in the Episcopal church in Peoria and Weslaco, and also was active in Masonic work and Shrine activities. Survivors include his wife Velma, four children, five grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Marjorie Hire ’36, February 28, Peoria. She was a secretary for the UAW, as well as several law offices. She was a member of Chi Omega.

Louise Swanson Placher ’37, December 17, 2006, Peoria. She was a teacher at White School and a social worker for the American Red Cross. Her son survives.


James Finn ’40, March 1, Peoria. He was a sales rep for various companies. He was active in the Bradley Chiefs Club and had been president of the Orpheus Club. He was a World War II Navy veteran. Seven children, 17 grand-children, and eight great-grandchildren survive.

Leslie Winslow ’42, November 24, 2006, Taylorville. He was a civil engineer. A World War II Army veteran, he was involved in Masonic work. Survivors include his wife Blossom, three children, 10 grandchildren, and a great-grandson.

Warren L. Smith ’47, January 18, Tulsa. He was a clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction. He later worked for the state of Oklahoma, testifying on inmates’ competency to stand trial. Warren held master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Illinois. He was a World War II Army veteran. His wife Rarity, three children, five grandchildren, and a great-grandson survive.

Robert Brinkmeier ’48, March 9, Springfield. He served in the Illinois General Assembly from 1967 to 1977. Earlier Bob was a teacher and coach in Forreston for 20 years. He taught and coached at Aquin Catholic High School in Freeport from 1968 to 1973. Bob was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame in 1981. He held administrative positions with the Illinois State Fair, the attorney general’s office, and Eastern Illinois University. He was a World War II Army Air Forces veteran.

Robert Long ’48, January 11, Peoria. He owned an insurance agency and was active in the Independent Insurance Agents Association. Robert was a World War II Army Air Forces veteran. Surviving are his wife Beverly Carrigan Long ’47, two daughters, and four grandchildren.

Charles von Tesmar ’48, March 5, Ocala, Florida. He managed a plastics manufacturing plant in Schenectady, New York. A member of Sigma Chi at Bradley, he served on the city council of Ashtabula, Ohio. Charles was a World War II Army Air Forces veteran. His wife Elizabeth Royalty von Tesmar ’48, four children, and six grandchildren survive.

Robert Fenstermaker ’49, January 29, San Jose, California. He was a mechanical engineer for Lockheed for 33 years. During World War II, Bob was a pilot in the Naval Air Corps. Surviving are his wife Ila Mae Fell Fenstermaker ’48, two children, and five grandchildren.

Alfred Grupe ’49, March 26, Peoria. He worked at Caterpillar Inc. for many years and was a past commander of the Peoria Boat Club.

Ralph Lytle ’49, December 3, 2006, Peoria. A World War II Army veteran, he devoted his career to medical research as a Naval commanding officer in Chicago. His achievements included work with DNA and anthrax testing. An avid tennis player, Ralph was active in the Knights of Columbus. Three children and six granddaughters survive.

Virginia Thompson Martin ’49, August 18, 2006, Princeton. She enjoyed bridge. Survivors include two daughters, four grandchildren, and a great-grandson.

Ross Morris ’49, March 5, Cuba, Illinois. As a law student, he was editor-in-chief of the Washington University Law Quarterly. Ross practiced law with a Peoria firm from 1951 to 1977, and then an additional 13 years in Lewistown. His specialty was trial litigation. He received a Purple Heart for his World War II Navy service. Survivors include his wife Lois Hooper Morris ’51 and two children.


Raymond Huffman ’50, January 19, Peoria. After 39 years with Caterpillar Inc., he retired as chief engineer of vehicles and standards at the Mossville Tech Center in 1989. He was chairman of the YMCA board in Davenport, Iowa, from 1983 to 1985. A World War II Army veteran, Ray was a watercolor painter and sang in a barbershop quartet. Surviving are his wife Doris, three children, and four grandchildren.

Carolyn Jurgens ’50, February 21, Pekin. She was director of the practical nursing program at Illinois Central College, retiring in 1986. Carolyn previously spent 37 years as director of the Proctor Hospital School of Nursing. She was an active volunteer and a member of Chi Omega at Bradley.

Henry Lopez ’50, November 7, 2006, Kewanee. He worked in quality control for Admiral Corp. in Bloomington and as a business administrator for General Electric. Later he was a high school Spanish tutor. Henry was a World War II Army Air Forces veteran. His wife Mary, three children, and six grandchildren survive.

Gail “Hap” Murphy ’50, January 13, Chillicothe. Hap was an alderman for 12 years and served as vice president of Plumber’s Local #63. A World War II Army Air Corps veteran, he served in the Air Force during the Korean War. His son and two grandchildren survive.

Gene Schramm ’50, December 9, 2006, Oxnard, California. He operated several businesses in Chicago as an entrepreneur with plastics and fiberglass. In Oxnard he and his wife Catherine Schram Schramm ’53 ran Frame of Mind, an art gallery and framing business, until 1999. An avid tennis player, Gene was a World War II Navy veteran. Two children also survive.

Clarence Shivers ’50, February 17, Colorado Springs. A member of the Tuskegee Airmen, he served in the Air Force until 1969, and later became an artist. His life-size bronze sculpture, The Black Airman, was unveiled at the Air Force Academy in 1988. Clarence and his wife Peggy endowed an African-American historical and cultural collection in Colorado Springs, as well as a concert series. He was honored as a Bradley Centurion in 1999. Other survivors include four children, six grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren.

John Mennenoh ’51, January 2, Morrison. John held a juris doctor degree from John Marshall Law School. He owned and operated H.B. Wilkinson Title and Abstract Co. from 1971 until 1996. Earlier he was employed by Chicago Title for 16 years. He was a philatelist and a railroad enthusiast. His wife Ann, three children, and seven grandchildren survive.

Selma Ferguson Morris ’51, January 15, Aurora. Sally was a teacher in Chillicothe for many years and was active in St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. Her three children and eight grandchildren survive.

Anna Behrends ’52, February 12, Lincoln. She taught for 42 years at Wilson School in Pekin, as well as several other schools. She also managed farmland. Anna was a Sunday school teacher at Immanuel Lutheran Church for 40 years. She is survived by her brother.

Richard “Mick” Delaney ’52, November 23, 2006, Seattle. Mick began a career as a motivational speaker in 1970, speaking nationally and in Europe. He was the first inductee into the National Speakers Hall of Fame in 1994. Earlier he operated his own Seattle insurance agency. He also had worked at Caterpillar Inc. and State Farm Insurance. Survivors include his wife Esther, three daughters, two grandchildren, and a great-grandson.

Robert Doubet ’52, February 7, Peoria Heights. He owned and operated Commercial Glass Co. for 33 years. Robert was active in Masonic work and was a Shrine jester. Three children and six grandchildren survive.

Earl Hawkins ’52, February 6, Princeville. Earl was a retired banker. He was active in First United Methodist Church and Cursillo. A Korean War Army veteran, Earl was a charter member of Delta Upsilon at Bradley. Surviving are his wife Charlotte Phelps Hawkins ’50, four children, 12 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Roy White ’52, February 16, Peoria. He was employed by Vernard Studio and the McKesson Corp. Roy was a World War II Marine Corps veteran.

Mae Hageman Doubet ’53, December 26, 2006, Peoria Heights. She was a member of Pi Beta Phi at Bradley. Survivors include three children and six grandchildren.

Richard Kieser ’53, February 3, Peoria. The recipient of the Central Illinois Engineer of the Year Award in 1985, he retired from Caterpillar Inc. the following year as chief engineer of large engine design. Richard received the G. Edwin Lecture Award in 1988 and was honored as boss of the year by the American Business Women’s Association. His wife Alice, three daughters, and five grandchildren survive.

Donald Lindsley ’53 MS ’54, October 14, 2006, Deerfield. Don had retired from teaching in Deerfield District 109. He is survived by his wife Connie.

Charlotte Lang Berg ’54, October 6, 2006, Scottsdale, Arizona. She had been a music teacher and traveled with a marimba quartet. Her husband William, four children, and 10 grandchildren survive.

Nancy Newman Giampetro ’54, January 30, Coral Gables, Florida. Nancy was a flight attendant for Eastern Airlines and later worked in the athletics department of the University of Miami. She co-owned and operated an ice cream shop. Her husband George, two children, and five grandchildren survive.

Joann King Goelzer ’54, January 25, Los Altos, California. Survivors include her husband Dick Goelzer ’53 and two children.

Jack “J.D.” Wheeler ’54, January 13, Peoria. An Air Force veteran, he worked in the life insurance division of Pekin Insurance for many years until retiring in 1995. J.D. served as president of the local chapter of the ACLU for nine years. He received a number of honors for community activism, including a lifetime service award in 2005 from the ACLU of Illinois. He was a founder of the Central Illinois chapter of the Interfaith Alliance.

Charles Rassi ’55, May 19, 2006, Detroit. He was a Presbyterian pastor in Michigan until 1968. Chuck later managed a personnel agency and sold insurance and real estate. Three children survive.

Frank Rubino ’55, March 2006, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. He graduated from the University of Illinois Medical School at Chicago. Frank specialized in neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. He was a veteran. Survivors include two daughters and three grandchildren.

Ralph Nibbelin ’56 MA ’58, January 13, Chillicothe. He taught at Illinois Valley Central High School for 36 years, retiring in 1993. A member of two athletic halls of fame, Ralph was the official timekeeper at athletic events for 45 years. He also served as an alderman. Survivors include his wife Gladys, four sons, and four grandchildren.

Donald Norton ’56, April 18, 2006, Peoria. He worked in Peoria for many years and then lived in California and Florida. He was a veteran of the 82nd Airborne Division. Five children, 13 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren survive.

Mary Deyo MA ’57, February 27, 2006, Peoria. She was a guidance counselor at Smart Junior High in Davenport, Iowa, for 15 years. Mary was also a church organist. She directed the Peoria Women’s Club Chorus for five years. Her daughter and granddaughter survive.

Roger Patterson ’57, October 30, 2006, Raleigh, North Carolina. He retired from IBM and then worked as a commercial real estate appraiser. Roger held an MBA from the University of Chicago. An Air Force veteran, he enjoyed outdoor sports and woodworking. His wife Joan and their four children survive.

Ellwood “Dean” Poling MA ’58, March 4, Copperas Cove, Texas. Dean was a teacher, coach, and principal in Illinois before becoming a priest in the Anglican Catholic Church. He was dean of the Diocese of the Midwest for 10 years. A World War II Army veteran, Dean also served five years in the Reserves. Surviving are his wife Donna, two daughters, and five grandchildren.

Donna Hurst Vonachen ’59, March 25, Peoria. Known as the first lady of baseball, she kept score at every Peoria Chiefs game. Donna enjoyed painting and flower gardening. She was a member of Pi Beta Phi. Survivors include her husband Harold “Pete” Vonachen Jr. ’49, five children, and 11 grandchildren.


Donald Seghetti ’61, March 5, Las Vegas. An avid bowler, he owned Town and Country Bowl in Peoria and Northgate Lanes in Galesburg. He last worked in insurance. His wife Linda, six children, and seven grandchildren survive.

Roy Swanson ’66, January 13, Raleigh, North Carolina. Roy held a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin. He worked in finance and manufacturing for companies including Borg Warner and SSI Technologies.Survivors include his wife Cynthia, his mother, two stepchildren, and a granddaughter.

Eugene Gildermaster MEA ’68, November 7, 2006, Washington. Gene was an engineer at Caterpillar Inc. for 37 years, retiring in 1986. A World War II Army Air Corps veteran, he was an active volunteer and a former library trustee. He enjoyed golf. Two children and five grandchildren survive.

Barbara Dearborn Phelps MA ’68, January 15, East Peoria. She was a teacher and principal at Rogers Elementary School in North Pekin for 25 years, retiring in 1977. She ran Lorene’s department store in Roanoke. Three sons, a stepson, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren survive.

Arthur Hossler ’69, January 26, Canton. He owned and operated Art Hossler Auto Plaza. Art had served as chairman of the United Way, and was an Army veteran. He enjoyed outdoor sports. Two children survive.

Elizabeth Rankin ’69, January 6, Grand Forks, North Dakota. A professor of English at the University of North Dakota, she also was the director of Instructional Development. Libby was the author of two books on writing. She held master’s and doctoral degrees from the State University of New York at Binghamton. She and her husband Tom Steen enjoyed camping. Also surviving are three stepchildren and five grandchildren.

Rolland Scholl MSEE ’69, January 29, Dunlap. He acquired 23 patents during his 37 years at Caterpillar Inc., and retired as program manager in the electronics and electrical department. He was chairman of the board of the Apostolic Christian Church and its nursing home. His wife Carol Hoerr Scholl ’65, three children, and five grandchildren survive.


James C. Stewart MA ’70, December 19, 2006, East Peoria. He retired in 1990 from teaching at Longfellow School in Peoria. He was active in Masonic work and the Mohammed Temple Shrine. Survivors include his wife Edith White Stewart MA ’67, and their daughter, grandson, and great-granddaughter.

Joseph Gibson ’71, March 15, Peoria. A graduate of the John Marshall Law School, he was in private practice for many years. Joe served as assistant state’s attorney in the late ’70s. He and his five brothers enjoyed participating in the Brothers’ Bowling Tournament.

Richard Isaacson ’71, November 4, 2006, Edwards. A teacher and coach at Peoria High School for 30 years, he was on the Manual High School baseball team that won the state championship in 1965. He played on Bradley’s final football team. Survivors include his wife Lynn and two children.

Morrill Marston Piercy ’71, August 19, 2005, Duxbury, Massachusetts. He owned IG Marston Co. of Holbrook. Marston was a former church deacon and an avid sailor. His wife Evelyn and two children survive.

Clara King ’73, February 11, Spring Hill, Florida. She was a school librarian and elementary school teacher. She visited schools as Amelia Bedelia and read to students. Clara’s seven children, nine grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren survive.

Terry Thomas ’74, March 18, Pekin. He worked for Caterpillar Inc. for 32 years, last working as a supervisor in the metallurgy lab. He was a softball coach and enjoyed outdoor sports. Survivors include his wife Jeanne, his parents, five children and a granddaughter.

Ryan Shipton ’77, December 5, 2006, Castle Rock, Colorado. He was employed by Hewlett Packard for many years, and earlier had worked for Westinghouse Corp. Ryan had a private pilot’s license and enjoyed flying. His wife Sheryl Goodman Shipton ’77 and their two daughters survive.


Theresa Finan ’80, November 6, 2006, Peoria. For 15 years Theresa edited the Monthly Book Page of The Catholic Post. She had retired from teaching at AOL/Spalding Institute and Notre Dame High School. Theresa was active in her church and was a master gardener. She is survived by seven children.

Deirdre Purcell Collins ’86, August 17, 2006, Glendale, California. She held two master’s degrees in mathematics from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Deirdre taught math at the high school and college levels in Chicago, and later in California. She was active in the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges. Deirdre enjoyed quilting and Scottish country dance. Survivors include her husband Sterrett and her mother.


Dhawn Barnes Workman ’90, November 29, 2006, Pekin. She worked part-time as a correspondent for the Pekin Daily Times. Dhawn was active in local theatre. Survivors include her husband Jesse, her parents, son, sister, and two stepchildren.

Stella O’Hanlon MA ’91, February 24, Peoria. She was a licensed clinical professional counselor for more than 15 years, specializing in grief and loss. She co-founded the Cancer Center for Healthy Living and taught workshops on relaxation training. In 2000 she was named Outstanding Practitioner by Chi Sigma Iota international honor society. Stella is survived by her husband Timothy, three children, and three grandchildren.

Jeffrey Malecek ’93, February 19, St. Charles. Jeff was an underwriter for Traveler’s Insurance. He enjoyed outdoor sports. Survivors include his parents and sister.

In Memory  •   A tribute