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Bradley Hilltopics

Winter 2009 • Volume 15, Issue 1  

In Memory

Bradley grad and family wrote medical history

By JUSTIN PHELPS ’05

Macdonald family

DR. HUGH MACDONALD 14, seated with his family in this 1941 photo, developed the vaccine for whooping cough and served in World War II before returning to Peoria. Pictured from left, back row, are WILLIAM 49, David, JOHN 51 and Robert; front row, Edith, Richard, and Dr. Hugh Macdonald.

DR. HUGH MACDONALD ’14 likely saved millions of lives from whooping cough when he perfected his vaccine in 1933.

After creating a vaccine for the disease, Macdonald, a 1919 graduate of Rush Medical College, volunteered his own family as test subjects. Scientists nationwide were consulted, and planning lasted more than a year. In the summer of 1933, Macdonald’s wife, Edith, and their four children were quarantined in a flat that still exists on Knox Avenue in Skokie. The family spent the entire summer, with no air conditioning, in the small apartment, while Macdonald continued his practice as an internist. Edith and her two sons, 9-year-old Robert and 8-year-old JOHN MACDONALD ’51, were given the vaccine in February 1933, while 8-year-old WILLIAM MACDONALD ’49 and 6-year-old David were not. In June, all four boys were given 150 pertussis bacilli — whooping cough germs and the ‘P’ in the DPT vaccine — through their noses. “The way they explained it was William and John were twins, so genetically you had a close match there,” Richard said. “One was given the vaccine, the other wasn’t.”

The testing was a success, but it wasn’t without struggles. Within two days, William and David developed a cough that became progressively worse. “We started coughing within a week,” remembered William, who later was a star track athlete with John at Bradley. “I slept with my twin brother, and he didn’t start coughing at all.”

While the condition of both unvaccinated boys deteriorated, David’s turned considerably worse. “Mom said David’s temperature got so high that they put him in the bathtub with ice,” Richard said. “That’s when she said to give him the vaccine and that’s what brought his temperature down,” William claimed.

The family survived the summer, and their story was told to the world through newspapers and scientific journals. The January 1943 issue of Reader’s Digest included this caption under a photo: “These four boys helped write medical history a few years ago by submitting to experiments — conducted by their father and his associates — which aided development of the whooping cough vaccine.”

The pertussis vaccine — now part of a shot called DTaP — is still given to children. DTaP, which was introduced to America in 1991, is considered safer than DPT because it doesn’t use whole-cell pertussis germs. Use of whole-cell DPT vaccines ended in America in 2002.

Macdonald served in World War II before returning with his family to Peoria, where he practiced dermatology. He also researched the effects of chlorine on viruses, the safety of drinking water, the structure of viruses, the polio virus, and his theory that cancer was a “man-made” disease. After working toward a polio vaccine, he wanted to test it on Richard, who was not part of the pertussis testing. “My mother said, ‘Timeout. Once in a lifetime is enough.’ ”

1930s

ANNICE HARRIS GOUVEIA ’33 MA ’66, September 15, 2008, Petersburg. She was a guidance counselor at Farmington High School for 13 years. After retiring in 1977, she lived in Lombard and in Colorado. She was a member of Chi Omega at Bradley. Two children, two grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren survive.

HELEN TRAVERS KESSLER ’36, September 8, 2008, Creve Coeur. She was employed by the Peoria Public Library for 41 years, retiring in 1979 as head of the children’s and young people’s services. Helen was active in the community and enjoyed volunteering in Peoria. Two step-grandchildren survive.

GEORGE ZWEIFEL ’37, August 31, 2008, Peoria. After 39 years at First Federal Savings and Loan, he retired in 1978 as senior vice president. He served on the boards of his church, the American Red Cross, Junior Achievement, and the Tri-County Urban League. George received a Bronze Star for his World War II service in the Army. Three daughters, six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren survive.

RICHARD “JACK” ROBERTS ’38, August 25, 2008, Chenoa. He was an engineer in the planning department at Caterpillar in East Peoria for more than 40 years. Jack enjoyed outdoor sports. He was a World War II Navy veteran. His wife Evelyn, three children, nine grandchildren, and 18 great-grandchildren survive.

1940s

WHITNEY SAPP ’40, August 30, 2008, Venice, Fla. He retired in 1977 from Illinois Bell as a division commercial manager in Springfield. An Army veteran, he received a Purple Heart during World War II. He was active in Masonic work in Peoria and Sarasota. He was a member of Sigma Phi at Bradley. Two children, four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren survive.

ROBERT WALKER ’40, September 27, 2008, Springfield. He worked at Caterpillar for 41 years, retiring in 1981. He was a World War II Navy veteran and a Mason. He enjoyed golf. Survivors include his wife Millie, their daughter, two granddaughters, and four great-grandchildren.

GEORGE YAKOFF ’40, October 13, 2008, Peoria. He owned a liquor store and a tavern with his brothers. A World War II Marine Corps veteran, he had served as president of the Eagles. George was an active member of St. Ann Catholic Church. Surviving are his wife Frances, a daughter, two grandsons, and four great-grandchildren.

NORMAN GEBAUER ’41, October 13, 2008, Peoria. He worked for Keystone Steel & Wire Co. for 40 years, retiring in 1978 as a sales director. An Army Air Forces veteran, he served in World War II and the Korean War. He volunteered at Proctor Hospital. Survivors include two children, three grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

JEAN GRAHAM GORGES ’43, August 7, 2008, Columbia, Mo. She worked at the University of Missouri for 20 years, retiring in 1988. Two children and three grandchildren survive.

MARILYN LUNDGREN DERR ’45, August 11, 2008, Mt. Lebanon, Pa. She was active in her church. She was a member of Pi Beta Phi at Bradley. Two children and her granddaughter survive.

ROBERT ADDIS ’48, September 1, 2008, Seattle. Bob spent 25 years in Washington after retiring from Caterpillar. Three sons and five grandchildren survive. His wife Pat died on September 23.

ROBERT E. DAVIS ’48, August 10, 2008, Fort Myers, Fla. He worked in sales, specializing in building materials and floor coverings. Robert was active in Araba Shrine and its Legion of Honor. He was a World War II Navy veteran. Surviving are his wife Joanne, two children, and two grandsons.

FREDERICK “BUD” WALDMIER ’48, July 11, 2008, Bloomington. He worked for Eureka Co. for 36 years, retiring in 1986. A World War II Army Air Corps veteran, Bud was active in Kiwanis. His wife Jean survives.

ANNA MOHN HONNESS ’49, August 13, 2008, Peoria. She was a teacher in School District 150 for 33 years, retiring in 1975. Anna was an active member of Westminster Presbyterian Church and the Daughters of the Nile. Three nieces survive.

MAURICE “FRANK” RIDDILE ’49, September 22, 2008, Fort Worth, Texas. He founded Frank Riddile & Associates, a manufacturer’s rep firm, in Peoria, Chicago, Rockford, and Moline. He served on the boards of Bradley Corp. in Wisconsin and the Peoria Heights Bank. Frank was a World War II Army Air Forces veteran. His wife Patricia, their son, and two grandsons survive.

1950s

WALTER HARRIS ’50, September 23, 2008, Springfield. He was a social studies teacher in Illinois and California, and held a master’s degree in history from Illinois State University. Walter was a researcher for the Illinois General Assembly until retiring in 1990. A veteran of World War II and the Korean War, he was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. His volunteer efforts helped build the World War II Illinois Veterans Memorial. Surviving are his wife Shirley, four children, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

RICHARD KEMPLE ’50, August 24, 2008, Gibson City. He operated a restaurant and an insurance agency for many years. Dick served on the library board and was president of the Chamber of Commerce. Later he worked for Youth for Christ in Wheaton and the Quad Cities. Before retiring, he was a family counselor in Texas. Dick was part of March of Dimes history as one of the first local children diagnosed with polio in 1932. His wife Marilyn, three children, eight grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren survive.

ROBERT B. KENNEDY ’50, October 12, 2008, Pekin. He opened Pekin Tire Center in 1959 and operated it for almost 20 years. Bob was active in state and national associations for tire dealers. Later he worked for the Illinois Department of Revenue. The recipient of the 2002 Pere Marquette Award for volunteer work, he was active in the Knights of Columbus and OSF Saint Francis Hospice. Bob was a World War II and Korean War Army veteran. His wife Ruth, four children, and seven grandchildren survive.

JOHN M. MacDONALD IV, MA ’50, September 1, 2008, Sarasota, Fla. He was a chemistry and physics teacher, guidance director, and principal of Vicksburg High School in Michigan for many years. John was active in the Lions Club and the Masons. He was board president of Unity Church. Surviving are his wife Joanne, three children, and seven grandchildren.

ROBERT McCUNE ’50, September 18, 2008, Dubuque, Iowa. His lifelong career was at John Deere. He retired in 1982 as distribution administrator. An active member of his church, Robert was also involved in Sigma Phi Epsilon. He was the district governor of Iowa, and had earned the fraternity’s highest honor for service. Surviving are two sisters and his brother.

THADDEUS “TED” SAWA ’50, October 15, 2008, Chicago. He ran the manufacturing operations of two Chicago businesses and later worked for the federal government. Ted retired in 1993. He had served as president of the National Metal Trades Association. He was an Army veteran. Survivors include his wife Terry, six children, many grandchildren, and a great-grandson.

WILLIAM H. GARDNER ’51, May 29, 2008, Elmhurst. He was an engineer and a manufacturer’s rep. Bill was a World War II Army veteran. His wife Jean, one son, and three grandchildren survive.

ARLYN JONES ’51, August 30, 2008, Peoria. He was a teacher at Marquette Heights Elementary School for many years. Arlyn was a former pastor at Wesleyan Church in Creve Coeur. He enjoyed photography. Surviving are his wife Geneva, a son, four grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and a great-great-grandchild.

JAMES PITTMAN ’51, July 1, 2008, Walnut Creek, Calif. He taught industrial arts and drafting in the Oakland schools for 34 years. James was an Army veteran and a Mason. He was a founding member of Holy Cross Episcopal Church. He and his wife Katie enjoyed travel and were members of an RV club. She survives.

BARBARA LEHMAN SOMMER ’51, September 5, 2008, Peoria. She was active in Junior League, and took part in its children’s theater. She organized a TV production that featured puppets teaching French to children. Her daughter and two grandchildren survive.

JANICE BRATT ZOOK ’54, August 20, 2008, Washburn. She worked in a doctor’s office and later at Nuske’s Plumbing. Janice was active in her church and Woodford County Home Extension. Her husband Paul, four children, six grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter survive.

BONNIE MASON FOSTER ’57, September 10, 2008, Demorest, Ga. She was the first female engineering graduate at Bradley. Bonnie co-owned Balok Printing in Clarksville, Ga., for 13 years. Survivors include her husband Larry, one daughter, her mother, and two grandchildren.

SALLY GREEN McGAUVRAN ’57, April 15, 2008, Clinton, Iowa. Sally was a member of Gamma Phi Beta at Bradley. Her husband RON McGAUVRAN ’55, four children, and seven grandchildren survive.

DON CAROTHERS ’58, September 26, 2008, Cary, N.C. He worked in insurance in the Quad Cities for many years. He was the first three-letter athlete at Bradley, participating in football, basketball, and track. Don played on the 1957 NIT championship basketball team. He was the 10th-round draft pick by the Chicago Cardinals football team. He later played for the Bears and the Denver Broncos. Surviving are three daughters and six grandchildren.

MARILYN TERRELL HATLER ’58, September 14, 2008, Dallas, Texas. She had been a Realtor in Park Cities, Texas. Marilyn was a member of Chi Omega at Bradley. Her son and sister survive.

MERLE DEAN HEIDENREICH ’58, August 28, 2008, Pekin. After 30 years of service, he retired from Caterpillar as an engineer in 1990. Dean enjoyed sports. He is survived by his wife Margaret, three children, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

SYLVIA JURKOVICH ’58, September 20, 2008, New York, N.Y. She worked in communications in the insurance industry in Chicago and New York. She retired in 2004 as executive vice president of a communications consulting firm. She was active in the Public Relations Society of America. Sylvia served on Bradley’s national alumni advisory board. A member of Delta Zeta, she was on the Scout staff as a student. Her husband Roger Yanule survives.

GLEN GROWE ’59, August 5, 2008, Sun Lakes, Ariz. He founded Holiday International Inc., and was involved in product development and mass merchandising. A Korean War Marine Corps veteran, Glen was a member of Sigma Nu at Bradley. He formerly lived in St. Paul, Minn. Survivors include his wife JoAnn, three children, 11 grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter.

1960s

EARL HIETTER, MA ’60, August 25, 2008, Peoria. He was principal of Lincoln Grade School in Washington for 27 years, retiring in 1985. He was ordained a deacon in 1979 and served at St. Patrick’s Church in Washington. Earl was active in Knights of Columbus. He was a Korean War Army veteran. Surviving are his wife Bonnie, six children, 20 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.

JAMES SERRE ’60, August 8, 2008, Soddy-Daisy, Tenn. Jim was an engineer, retired from Mueller Co. in Chattanooga. His wife Timm, three children, and two grandsons survive.

JAMES SWANSON ’61, September 23, 2008, Blue Eye, Mo.

RAYMOND SPREHE, MA ’62, October 12, 2008, Buckley. He was retired from teaching. Surviving are his wife Velma, four children, 10 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

DUANE BURK ’64 MSME ’68, September 25, 2008, Germantown Hills. He was an engineering specialist at Caterpillar, retiring after 40 years of service. Duane enjoyed golf and oil painting. He was a member of St. Monica’s Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus. Survivors include his wife Judith, five children, his parents, and 12 grandchildren.

STEVE AHLRICH ’68, September 15, 2008, Placida, Fla. He served in the U.S. Naval Air Service after graduation. He was a marketing manager for Lucent Technologies in Bloomington, retiring in 2000. Steve was president of a local Republican club in Florida. Surviving are his wife and daughter.

HALLIE CASE, MA ’69, August 25, 2008, Hot Springs Village, Ark. A retired RN, she had served on the board of Spoon River Mental Health Services.

1970s

MARY STREITMATTER MINTON ’71, August 7, 2008, Toulon. Mary was a teacher for 32 years and later operated the Corner Shop. She was active in the Eastern Star. Survivors include her son, stepson, and step-grandson.

LIBBY SHORE PARKS ’73, October 2, 2008, Schaumburg. She worked for 10 years at AT&T as a business manager writing technical documents. Libby was a supporter of Junior Achievement. She was an active member of Beth Tikvah Congregation. Surviving are her husband Richard, their daughter, and her mother.

OLEEDA ALBRECHT ’74, September 8, 2008, Tiskilwa. A retired teacher, she was a member of Willow Springs Mennonite Church. Survivors include her husband Marion, four children, seven grandchildren, and a great-grandchild.

JAMES THORWEGEN ’75, April 15, 2008, Portland, Ore. He was employed by Ash Grove Cement West Inc. Survivors include his wife MELODEE WALTER THORWEGEN ’76.

DAVID DUNNE ’77, September 10, 2008, Creve Coeur. He worked at Peoria Plastics for 40 years, retiring in 2005. David was an Army veteran. He was an avid hiker and an active volunteer. His wife Diane, two children, his mother, and two grandchildren survive.

1980s

CYNTHIA COHEN ’82 MA ’93, August 30, 2008, Peoria. She had been director of nursing for six nursing homes. Cynthia played on Bradley’s tennis team and helped establish the local tennis tots program. She is survived by her father and three brothers.

1990s

MARY ELLEN ZERKLE ’90, October 25, 2008, Peoria. She was a legal secretary, then an accounting technician for Fort Transfer for 14 years. She was a member of St. Thomas Catholic Church. Her daughter, sister, and four brothers survive.

2000s

IMELDA CORRAL-MILLS ’04, October 27, 2008, Raleigh, N.C. She was a fourth grade teacher at Forestville Road Elementary School. Survivors include her husband SAM MILLS ’03, her parents, sister, and three brothers.

MATTHEW TYLER ’05, October 20, 2008, Addison. He was an engineer for WCW Engineering. Matt enjoyed building and playing guitars, and the martial arts. His parents, sister, brother, and niece survive.

“In Memory” Guidelines: To submit an obituary, please mail a newspaper clipping or memory card from the funeral home to: Bradley Hilltopics, 1501 W. Bradley Ave., Peoria, IL 61625.