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Bradley Hilltopics

Spring 2008 • Volume 14, Issue 2

In Memory


Evabeth Miller Kienast ’34, December 10, 2007, Peoria. She was a reporter and arts columnist for the Peoria Star until 1959. Evabeth worked in public relations and then ran the office of her husband’s medical practice in Chicago until 1970. She was a member of Lambda Phi at Bradley. Survivors include her brother and stepdaughter.

E. Harold “Andy” Missal ’35, December 18, 2007, East Peoria. He was controller for the Brass Foundry Co. for 28 years, retiring in 1992. Earlier he worked at the University Club and F. Meyer & Bros. Hardware and Industrial Supplies. Andy attained the rank of captain in the Army Transportation Corps. His wife Emma survives.

Norma Davies Hopkins ’36, October 31, 2007, Hopedale. She was a teacher and later worked as a news correspondent for area newspapers. A founder of Tazewell County Rural Youth, Norma also directed her church choir. Three sons, eight grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren survive.

Albert Siepert Jr. ’36, January 24, Tucson, Arizona. An Army veteran, he was executive officer of the National Institutes of Health from 1947 to 1958. When NASA was established, he became its director of business administration from 1958 to 1963. He was then deputy director of Kennedy Space Center until 1969 when he began working at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. Albert was a BU Centurion and was honored with the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1960. Siepert Hall was named in memory of his father, who had been Bradley’s dean of education and industrial arts. Albert is survived by his daughter, sister, six grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

Eleanor Blanchard Seckel ’37, January 3, Palm Harbor, Florida. She was a champion golfer and served on the board of the Women’s Western Golf Association. Eleanor was president of the Junior League of Peoria and was named volunteer of the year. Two children, two grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren survive.

Dorothy Miner Bliss ’39, December 13, 2007, Plano, Texas. She was a member of Chi Omega at Bradley. Survivors include her husband Franklin Palmer Bliss ’37, three children, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


Janet Moore Orsborn ’40, November 14, 2007, Naples, Florida. A member of Delta Kappa at Bradley, she was a kindergarten teacher in Peoria in the late ’50s. Surviving are her husband Charles Orsborn ’39 MS ’51, a daughter, granddaughter, and great-grandson.

Carolyn Bailie Hawk ’41, August 26, 2007, Bradenton, Florida. A member of Chi Omega at Bradley, she was a first grade teacher.

Robert Willis ’41, August 5, 2007, Peoria. He worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 26 years, as well as Caterpillar and Hiram Walker. He was a World War II Army veteran. Survivors include his wife Augusta, four children, seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Dorothy Mayhew Lay ’42, August 15, 2007, Kewanee.

Robert Molitor ’43, December 15, 2007, Peoria. He operated Molitor Electric for more than 50 years. He was a founding member of Peoria Heights Congregational Church. Robert was a World War II Army veteran. Surviving are his wife Marilyn, three children, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Cecil Patterson ’43, September 2007, Tennyson, Indiana. He practiced medicine in four Indiana communities: Dale, Evansville, Scottsburg, and Charlestown where he chaired the town redevelopment effort. He enjoyed painting, raising cattle, and hosting Doc’s Annual Cookout for local residents. Cecil was an Army veteran. His son survives.

Media Stubblefield Totten ’44, December 9, 2007, Peoria. A high school math teacher, Media was also an active volunteer. She was a member of Pi Beta Phi. Her husband Jack Totten ’48 survives.

Harry Kolditz ’47, September 18, 2007, Peoria. He was an inspector at Caterpillar for 30 years. A World War II Navy veteran, he was active in Masonic work, VFW Post 814, and the American Legion. Survivors include his wife Eileen, two sons, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Sally Stubblefield Luthy ’47, October 27, 2007, Las Vegas. She was employed by the Peoria Journal Star for many years and earlier worked for AT&T. A member of Pi Beta Phi at Bradley, Sally was involved with the Methodist Hospital Service League. Her two sons survive.

Robert Calhoun ’48, October 29, 2007, Marquette Heights. Bob retired in 1984 from Caterpillar where his work included mechanical drawings for the catalog. He had been president of the local library board and the Lion’s Club. A Korean War Army veteran, he was a member of Rho Delta at Bradley. Surviving are his wife Barbara, two children, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Eleanor Read Hayes ’48, October 3, 2007, Chillicothe. She taught home economics at Mid-County High School. A member of Sigma Kappa at Bradley, Eleanor was active in the Eastern Star and her church. Survivors include her husband Robert, two daughters, three stepchildren, 11 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

James Neifing ’49, March 10, 2007, Davenport, Iowa. He managed personnel and industrial relations for a division of Gulf & Western Manufacturing Co. A member of Theta Xi at Bradley, Jim was active in his church and several organizations. Survivors include two children, three grandchildren, and his friend Beverly Linn.


Allen Brady ’50, December 5, 2007, Alvarado, Texas. He was a district manager with State Farm in New Mexico before being ordained as a minister. Allen served Disciples of Christ churches in Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico. His wife Maryjane, three children, and several grandchildren survive.

Frederick J. (Jim) Carney ’50, October 8, 2007, Mauston, Wisconsin. He was a senior underwriter for Continental Casualty Insurance, retiring after more than 25 years. A member of Sigma Chi at Bradley, Jim was active in the Knights of Columbus and his community. He was a World War II Army veteran. Surviving are his wife Gerrie, six children, and eight grandchildren.

Thomas Flatley ’50, July 28, 2007, Springfield. He was an auditor for the Illinois Department of Revenue, retiring in 1986. He was a World War II Navy veteran. Eight children, 13 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren survive.

Leona Krause Johnson ’50, November 17, 2007, Peoria. She was a nurse and served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. A member of the Air Force Band and the band at BU, she later taught piano and organ in Bloomington for many years. Surviving are three children, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

William McEnary ’50, August 24, 2007, Peoria. He worked in account sales at Caterpillar for 42 years. A World War II Navy veteran, Bill was an avid golfer. He was interested in genealogy. Survivors include his wife Wilma, seven children, nine grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

William L. Miller Sr. ’50, October 30, 2007, Peoria. He was an administrative engineer for the city, retiring in 1996. Bill had served as president of the Independent Sports Club and was involved in Masonic work. A World War II Navy veteran, he was a member of Sigma Phi at Bradley. Five children, three grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter survive.

Robert Weyeneth ’50, August 24, 2007, Fort Wayne, Indiana. A World War II veteran, he worked at Fort Wayne Bible College and was instrumental in getting WBCL on the air. He was a cofounder of a local Christian school. He served with HCJB World Radio in Ecuador and the U.S. from 1976 to 1998. Surviving are his wife Irene, two children, and five grandchildren.

Robert Zoul ’50, October 9, 2007, Elgin. He was employed by Kraft Foods for 43 years. He was a Korean War veteran. Survivors include his wife Jerri, three children, and three grandchildren.

Leigh Johnson ’51, July 8, 2007, Oceanside, California.

Wayne Blystone ’52, January 5, Normal. He was the owner of Traveland of Southern Illinois in Centralia. Wayne had worked in Columbus, Ohio, at North American Aviation and Cummins Engine Co. He also was employed at General Radiator in Mount Vernon. Surviving are his wife Ramona, three sons, and four grandchildren.

Elmer “Chuck” Siewert ’52, October 26, 2007, Algonquin. He retired from Continental Machine Co. as president. Chuck helped guide the growth of Elk Grove Village and served on the town’s plan commission. He later worked part-time at Willow Creek Community Church. His wife Theresa, four children, and nine grandchildren survive.

Eldon Prather ’53, November 1, 2007, Little Rock, Arkansas. He was an executive at Pekin Insurance. Eldon was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon at Bradley. Survivors include his wife Diane Schuller Prather ’52, two children, three grandchildren, and a great-grandchild.

Jack Shepard ’53, July 21, 2007, Champaign. Jack was an office manager for the USDA for 30 years. He was a Marine Corps veteran. His wife Patricia Lampman Shepard, MA ’53 survives.

Carl Toland ’53, October 18, 2007, Knoxville, Tennessee. He retired from Sara Lee Corp. in 1990. An Air Force veteran, Carl became a life master in duplicate bridge in 2006. Survivors include his wife Jane.

Marjorie Frey Goodyear ’54, October 21, 2007, Morton. She was an RN in the nursery at Methodist Medical Center for 15 years and then worked as an occupational nurse at Caterpillar for 15 years. Surviving are her husband Howard, four children, and eight grandchildren.

Robert Muir ’54, September 23, 2007, Highlands Ranch, Colorado. He worked for several architectural firms until founding Muir & Associates in 1972. Rob was honored as Colorado Architect of the Year in 1978. He provided grant-writing services for undercapitalized school districts and received numerous awards for exceptional school design. A supporter of the arts, Rob was active in the community and chaired the United Way campaign. He was an Air Force veteran. His wife Janice, four children, six stepchildren, and 11 grandchildren survive.

Roger Dersch ’55, November 2, 2007, Morton. He retired in 1990 after 30 years with AT&T. Survivors include his wife Rosie Waugh Dersch ’55, four children, and six grandchildren.

Richard Groharing ’55, August 26, 2007, Morrison. Dick retired as president of Groharing Mason Contractors in 1996. He was president of the local Chamber of Commerce and served on local school boards. He was involved with Sauk Valley Community College for many years. In 1989 he was president of the Illinois Community College Trustees Association. Dick was an Army veteran. His wife Rachel, two sons, and six grandchildren survive.

Allen J. Nelson ’55, December 9, 2007, Overland Park, Kansas. He worked as a systems analyst. Prior to retiring in 1998 he was a student loans compliance officer for the state of Illinois. Allen was active in his church and the Knights of Columbus in Lake Forest. A Navy veteran, he retired from the Reserves in 1994 as a commander. Two children and two granddaughters survive.

Helen Seely Rave ’55, March 28, 2007, Lockport. She was a teacher in District 92 for 37 years. Helen was active in the Eastern Star and her church. Her husband Jim, three children, and four grandchildren survive.

Duane Lovestrand ’56, August 23, 2007, Burnsville, Minnesota.

Melvin Benovitz ’58, December 8, 2007, Louisville, Kentucky. He was a co-founder of Master Charge, president of AirPlus Americas, and senior vice president of 1st National Bank and JC Penney Credit Card Services. Melvin was active in the community and served as president of B’nai B’rith. At Bradley he was president of Alpha Epsilon Pi. Surviving are his wife Shellie, three children, and five grandchildren.

Russell Staker ’59 MSME ’65, November 13, 2007, Peoria. He retired as a Caterpillar engineer in 2000. His interests included antiques and miniatures.


Donald Diemer MS ’61 MEA ’69, September 11, 2007, Peoria. He worked as an engineer in research at Caterpillar, retiring in 1986 after 34 years. He was an Army veteran. His wife Carole, two sons, and two grandsons survive.

James Furlong ’61, September 21, 2007, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. He founded ALKON Corp. in Columbus, Ohio, and was active in the community. He enjoyed boating and fishing. Survivors include his wife Suzanne, five children, and eight grandchildren.

Doreen Danner Cunningham ’62, July 26, 2007, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She was a member of Sigma Kappa at Bradley. Survivors include her husband James F. Cunningham, MS ’70, two daughters, and four grandchildren.

Samuel B. Wilson ’62, December 8, 2007, Hampton, Virginia. Sam held a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from the University of Hartford. He was a minister and a Navy veteran. His wife Fay, four children, and 11 grandchildren survive.

Duane Springer ’63, August 25, 2007, Metamora. He co-owned Springer Electric Co. Duane was an avid sportsman. Survivors include two brothers.

Jack Hasler ’64, December 19, 2007, Peoria. He was employed by CILCO for 41 years, retiring as general manager in 1989. An active volunteer, Jack was a school board member and a Dale Carnegie instructor. He served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War. Surviving are his wife Helga, three children, and three grandchildren.

Gerald Tjaden ’64, December 12, 2007, Bartonville. He worked at Keystone Steel & Wire Co. for 35 years. Gerald was an active member of Bethel Lutheran Church. His wife Carol, two children, his mother, and six grandchildren survive.

Marianne Niehaus Tiebout ’65, September 19, 2007, Sacramento, California. She started two local businesses, Class in Bath and The Lunch Bucket. Surviving are her husband Neil Tiebout ’65, two children, and four grandchildren.

Ethel Oertley ’67, October 23, 2007, Peoria. She taught in the Dunlap schools and was active in community youth activities. Survivors include her husband Glenn, three children, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Charles Cicci, MBA ’68, August 9, 2007, Covington, Tennessee. He worked for 33 years for the state of Illinois at the Lincoln Development Center and then for two years in Tennessee. Chuck was active in the Knights of Columbus, Rotary, and his church. He was a volleyball and basketball referee. His wife Barbara, five children, 13 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren survive.

Forrest Powers ’68, September 30, 2007, Morton. Forrest was a salesman for IBM until 1977 when he started Computer Properties Unlimited. He held a master’s degree from the University of Chicago. His mother and daughter survive.

Joe Restivo ’68, November 26, 2007, Los Angeles. He performed on the national comedy club circuit and had appeared in more than 15 TV shows. Joe also performed in USO shows overseas. In the early ’60s he recorded Summer Love and other songs under the name of Joey Richards. Joe earned two master’s degrees and worked in marketing before becoming a comedian. Surviving are his wife Maryanne, three sons, and his mother.


Duane Davy ’70, October 9, 2007, Chicago. He retired in 2004 as coordinating planner with the city. Duane was a Korean War Air Force veteran. He was an active volunteer with local theater. Survivors include his father, stepmother, sister, and friend JoAnn Worthy.

Robert Messinger ’71, December 25, 2007, Morganton, North Carolina. He taught English for 33 years in Providence, Rhode Island, retiring in 2006. Twice he was voted teacher of the year at Mount Pleasant High School where he served as Academic Decathlon coach. Bob was active in his church and its choir. His wife Dee Dee and their son survive.

Valerie Wilcoxson Ergle ’73, December 24, 2007, Mapleton. She retired in June after teaching at Manual High School for 29 years. Survivors include her husband Preston and her parents.

Jean “Jill” Rogers ’74, December 12, 2007, Braidwood. She was a computer systems analyst in Palatine School District 211 for many years. Jill played in the band at Bradley. She was active in her church. Her parents and three brothers survive.

Richard Waldmeier ’74, November 7, 2007, Pekin. He was a technical writer at Caterpillar for 29 years. An avid photographer, Richard was involved in a state RV association. His wife Nancy, two sons, and his parents survive.

Patsy Browder ’76, August 19, 2007, Chicago. She worked in management with Walgreen’s for more than 10 years. A member of Delta Sigma Theta at Bradley, Patsy was active in the Saint Felicitas parish. Her mother, brother, and two sisters survive.

Susan Smith Whitehouse ’76, December 10, 2007, Metamora. A freelance writer for the Metamora Herald, she was assistant choir director at St. Mary’s Catholic Church for many years. Survivors include three children and four grandchildren.

Mardell “Mardy” Hinrichsen, MA ’77, November 20, 2007, Peoria. She was a nursing instructor at Methodist School of Nursing and Illinois Central College. An active volunteer, Mardy also was involved in her church. Five children and 13 grandchildren survive.

Gregory M. Williams ’78, December 28, 2007, Pekin. He worked in the electric power division of Caterpillar. Greg ran the sound system and helped with the college dinners at Bradley Epworth United Methodist Church. Surviving are his wife Mona, two sons, and his mother.


Anton “Tony” Christians ’81, December 3, 2006, Oblong. He was a mechanical engineer for Halliburton in China before returning to Illinois in 1992. Tony was the owner of the Village Tap. Survivors include his mother.

Leanne Johnson ’82, August 24, 2007, Byron. She was a professional storyteller and served on the board of the Northlands Storytelling Network. Survivors include her husband Dayton Smith II, her mother, and three stepchildren.


Julia Deissler Bjerke, MS ’97, November 30, 2007, Dunlap. She was a metallurgical engineer at Caterpillar’s Technical Center in Mossville. Julie was an active member of Prospect United Methodist Church. Survivors include her husband Ron, three sons, her parents, and two sisters.


Edward Dillon ’02, December 31, 2007, Arlington Heights. He joined the local police force in 2003 and was working as an investigator. Ed earned a master’s degree in criminal justice in 2005 from Boston University. At Bradley he served in the Student Senate. Surviving are his parents and two brothers.

Blythe Ann O’Sullivan ’04, December 6, 2007. A native of Bloomingdale, she had been serving in the Peace Corps in Suriname since May 2006. She was working with women to develop a community center and a potable water project. Prior to joining the Peace Corps she worked as an event coordinator in Denver. Blythe was a member of Beta Gamma Sigma society at Bradley and served on the executive board of Alpha Psi Omega for theatre. Her parents survive.


Jennifer Buckman ’09, November 16, 2007, Morton. She was a member of Alpha Chi Omega and the Women’s Choir at Bradley. Jennifer was office and sales manager of Buckman Photography. Survivors include her parents and sister.