OB-GYN pioneered use of chemo
DR. JOHN I. BREWER ’25 HON ’76 spent his life researching how to save others. Instrumental in the research and treatment of choriocarcinoma, a malignant tumor of the placenta, Brewer was a pioneer in the use of chemotherapy for cancer patients. He died in 1997.
Brewer, former chairman and professor emeritus of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University School of Medicine, founded the John I. Brewer Choriocarcinoma Research and Treatment Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. It was the first program in the nation, with the exception of the National Cancer Institute, to use chemotherapy as a form of cancer treatment.
At the treatment center, Brewer provided specialized training in chemotherapy treatment of choriocarcinoma to residents and fellows.
Under Brewer’s leadership as chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Passavant Memorial Hospital* in Chicago during the 1960s, the remission rate for choriocarcinoma skyrocketed. Thanks to the use of drugs in treatment, almost 100 percent of patients survived in cases where the cancer had not spread, and 80.5 percent of patients survived in cases where the cancer had spread. Part of that success was due to the development of a program that recognized patients at high risk for the cancer, which allowed for earlier treatment.
In 1962, the John I. Brewer Trophoblastic Disease Center was founded at Northwestern University School of Medicine. Since 1981, almost all patients treated primarily at the center have been cured.
Brewer served as president of the American College of Obstetricians and three other national organizations. During his time at Bradley, Brewer was involved in Sigma Phi fraternity and played basketball and football; he was captain of the basketball team for the 1923–24 season. He was inducted into the Bradley Athletics Hall of Fame. Brewer received the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1952, and was named an Honorary Alumnus in 1976. He was inducted into the Centurion Society as a charter member in 1982. Brewer was a member of the Founder’s Society and the 1897 Associates Society.
MARJORIE SANFORD THOMPSON ’37, May 10, 2008, Albuquerque, N.M. She lived in Houston and New Mexico for many years. Marjorie was a WASP during World War II, after learning to fly at Bradley.
CLAYTON EIGSTI ’38, Aug. 4, 2009, Morton. A founder of Morton Metalcraft in 1963, Clayton was also an accountant with R.G. LeTourneau, retiring in 1973. He was a World War II Army veteran. His grandson survives.
ELIZABETH SILZER MILES ’39, June 23, 2009, Elmwood. She retired from teaching in 1981. Survivors include three children, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
ROBERTA ANDERSON JACOBS JOHNSON ’43, Dec. 17, 2008, Riverside, Calif. Bobbi was a member of Pi Beta Phi and Bradley’s 1897 Associates.
HERMAN “BUD” GRONEWOLD ’44, June 18, 2009, Trivoli. Bud was a farmer and a director of the Peoria Soil and Water Conservation District. A World War II Navy veteran, Bud enjoyed flying and was involved in the Bradley Flying Association. He served on school boards and was active in his church. Three children, six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren survive. His wife Jean died in March.
RAY RAMSEY ’47, Aug. 25, 2009, Springfield. A World War II Navy veteran, Ray taught and coached at Lanphier High School for 29 years. He played 10 seasons in the NFL and two seasons in the NBA. Ray earned 13 varsity letters at Bradley in football, basketball, and track, and was inducted into many sports halls of fame, including Bradley and Peoria. Survivors include seven children, nine grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
ANNE BEVENCY-WALTER ’49, Aug. 31, 2009, Bloomington. Anne was a professor of fine arts at Illinois State University for 30 years, retiring in 1993. She won several international awards for filmmaking. Anne’s three children, brother, and sisters LOUISE BEVENCY BULACH ’52, FRAN BEVENCY ERRION ’57, and MARGARET BEVENCY ERWIN ’61 survive.
DELBERT “STEAMBOAT” REDMANN ’49, Aug. 23, 2009, Park Ridge. A World War II Army veteran, Delbert was a mechanical engineer in Wisconsin, Iowa, and California. He worked at John Crane, retiring at age 70. He volunteered as a ski patroller for many years. Survivors include his wife Mary, two daughters, and two grandchildren.
FREDERICK WITZIG ’49, Aug. 14, 2009, Duluth, Minn. He held a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Illinois. He was a professor at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, retiring in 1990. Frederick was the author of Voyageurs National Park: The Battle to Create Minnesota’s National Park. He was a World War II Navy veteran. His wife Lois, four children, 13 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren survive.
CHARLES YOUNGMAN ’49, Aug. 3, 2009, Peoria. A World War II Army veteran, Chuck was a CPA with the Internal Revenue Service for 38 years. He was active in his church and the CPA Society. Three children, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren survive.
EDWARD BRENNAN ’50, July 26, 2009, Huntington Beach, Calif. A World War II and Korean War Navy veteran, Edward worked at Great Central Insurance and Allstate in Illinois. He was an avid golfer. Survivors include his wife Darlene, two children, and four grandchildren.
HARRY DUNN ’50 MS ’51, Sept. 16, 2009, Peoria. Harry was a teacher and an administrator. He held a doctoral degree from Indiana University and was superintendent of Peru Public Schools for 20 years, retiring in 1989. He was a World War II Army veteran and a member of Theta Chi at Bradley. Survivors include his wife HELEN JOOS DUNN ’51 MA ’70, daughters PAMELA DUNN BAUMANN ’78 MS ’79 and PATRICIA DUNN WORKLEY ’82 MA ’83, and five grandchildren.
ROBERT GILLESPIE ’50, July 5, 2009, Peoria. He worked in advertising at Multi-Ad Services for more than 30 years, retiring in 1988. He was a World War II Army Air Corps veteran. Survivors include his wife Mary Jane, four children, and five grandchildren.
JOHN MORTON ’50, Sept. 8, 2009, Loves Park. He retired from General Motors New Departure/Hyatt Bearing Division, and worked 23 years at Atwood Golf Course. A World War II veteran, he was chairman of the Society of Automotive Engineers. John’s wife JOAN ROSE MORTON ’50, three children, and two granddaughters survive.
FLOYD STEWART ’50, Sept. 1, 2009, Peoria. Floyd was an architect for LZT Architects and Caterpillar. A World War II Navy veteran, he was involved in Masonic work. Floyd’s wife Barbara, three children, six grandchildren, and his great-grandson survive.
ROBERT PETRI ’51, July 27, 2009, Lenoir, N.C. He was a retired Caterpillar executive. A Navy veteran, he was involved in Masonic work. Two sons and three grandchildren survive.
WILLIAM ROBB ’51, Aug. 6, 2009, Peoria. An Army veteran, Bill was an engineer for Caterpillar for 35 years, retiring in 1983. He enjoyed golf, skiing, and flying. Survivors include his wife Alice, two sons, four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
MARK SOMMER ’51, Aug. 6, 2009, Chandler, Ariz. Mark worked for National Lock Co. and co-founded Mitchell-Sommer Accounting and MS Financial Services Inc. He was an active volunteer. Four children and six grandchildren survive. His wife Kathryn died in May.
ROBERT McWILLIAMS ’52, July 25, 2009, Peoria. An Air Force veteran, Bob owned and operated Franklin Metal Manufacturing. He enjoyed fishing and golf. Bob was a member of Sigma Nu at Bradley. His wife MARGE HATLEY McWILLIAMS ’56, two daughters, and his grandson survive.
MARCIA OAKLEY ZIEGLER ’52, Aug. 24, 2009, Peoria. Marcia worked at the Peoria Visitors and Convention Bureau, and previously was a Spanish translator at Caterpillar. She enjoyed repairing dolls. Survivors include four children.
ALBERT KELLERSTRASS ’54, June 29, 2009, Springfield. Al retired after 34 years with the Illinois Division of Water Resources. He was a Korean War Air Force veteran. His wife Amy, two children, a granddaughter, and his brother ERNST KELLERSTRASS ’54 survive.
BERNITA GILTNER POLLITT ’54, July 10, 2009, Lombard. Bernie was a surgical nurse before operating PC Services Inc. with her husband DAMON “ED” POLLITT ’53 for 30 years. She enjoyed sewing. Her husband, four children including KAREN POLLITT ’83, and seven grandchildren survive.
FRANK CARONE ’55, June 26, 2009, Orland Park. Frank retired from Ford Motor Co. Stamping Plant in Chicago Heights as an industrial engineer. His wife Marilyn, two children, and six grandchildren survive.
DONALD HELFER ’55, Sept. 5, 2009, East Peoria. Don was director of manufacturing technology at Caterpillar, retiring in 1987. He was active in his church and volunteered with AARP. His wife Myrle, three children, and seven grandchildren survive.
SOL ROSENBERG, Ph.D. ’55, Aug. 10, 2009, Sarasota, Fla. A clinical psychologist in Peoria and later in Florida, he had been president of the American Academy of Psychotherapists and wrote extensively for its publication, Voices. He taught at Bradley and Argosy University. He enjoyed tennis. His wife Bernice and their three children survive.
JOYCE STRIBLING BAYLESS ’57, Aug. 15, 2009, Petersburg. Joyce was a speech pathologist for 30 years. She was a past state president of Children of the American Revolution and a 52-year member of DAR. Survivors include her husband LARRY BAYLESS ’57, seven children, and eight grandchildren.
VIRGINIA COVEY BOSWELL ’57, July 31, 2009, Loves Park. After receiving her master’s degree from the University of Illinois, Virginia taught English, literature, and creative writing at the high school and college levels. She also wrote poetry greeting cards for 20 years for the Leanin’ Tree Co. of Boulder, Colo. Two daughters, her brother JOHN COVEY ’60, and three grandchildren survive.
JANE STITT CIEPLY ’57, March 17, 2009, Lake Barrington. An active member of the Chicago Suburban Antiques Dealers Association, Jane owned Hypoint American Antiques and Folk Art for more than 35 years. She enjoyed traveling with her husband RICHARD CIEPLY ’56. Also surviving are two children and five grandchildren.
WILLIS “TATER” ZOBRIST ’57, Aug. 24, 2009, Morton. He owned N. Zobrist & Sons Inc. and Zobrist Development, which developed Field Shopping Center. He served on the boards of Lutheran Home, the Peoria Chiefs, and Morton Community Bank. His wife Nancy, six children, six siblings including LLOYD ZOBRIST ’54, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren survive.
NORMAN HOWELLS ’58, Sept. 7, 2009, Peoria. Norman retired from Caterpillar Research Division in 1985 after 30 years of service. He was a World War II and Korean War Navy veteran. Norman was active in the Multiple Sclerosis Society and was a lifetime member of the Society of Automotive Engineers. His wife MARY JO HATFIELD HOWELLS ’52 MA ’60 survives.
LARRY G. HUGHES ’58, June 29, 2009, Peoria. He was a civil engineer with McDougal-Hartmann for many years. Survivors include his wife Patricia, two daughters, and four grandchildren.
GEORGE POLKOW ’60, July 7, 2009, Lake Geneva, Wis. George was vice president of the Opus North Corporation in Rosemont, a commercial real estate development corporation. He was a member of Delta Upsilon at Bradley. His wife Ginny, three children, and six grandchildren survive.
ROBERTA GEHRIG ’61 MS ’66, Aug. 19, 2009, Pekin. Roberta worked for the Department of Children and Family Services for many years after earning her master’s degree in social work from the University of Illinois. Previously, she taught at East Peoria Community High School. She enjoyed travel.
FRANK SCHOENER ’65, Aug. 15, 2009, Peoria. Frank retired from Caterpillar. He enjoyed bowling. His wife Linda, two sons, and four grandchildren survive.
DAVID GERKIN, EM ’71, July 10, 2009, Dunlap. He retired in 2001 after 36 years as an engineer at Caterpillar. Dave enjoyed golf and travel. His wife Mescal “Mick,” three children including SHELLEY GERKIN HERZOG, MBA ’94, and seven grandchildren survive.
GLADYS HAHN ’71, Aug. 12, 2009, West Peoria. Gladys taught first grade in Norwood, retiring in 1984. She enjoyed dogs, walking, and reading. Her daughter SHERRILL HAHN FILZEN ’69, several grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter survive.
JAMES UPCHURCH, MA ’71, Aug. 29, 2009, Leesburg, Fla. James was a psychologist and school administrator for Peoria District 150, retiring in 1987. He received his Ed.D. from Indiana University. He was a hospice volunteer. Survivors include his wife Mildred, three children, two stepchildren, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
LAWRENCE VOGLER ’71, Aug. 1, 2009, Charlotte, N.C. Larry worked in commercial real estate and finance. He was the president of the Prime Group in Chicago, and previously was a vice president for NationsBank of North Carolina for 12 years. He held a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin. Survivors include his wife JANET PUTZ VOGLER ’73, one daughter, and his parents.
NANCY BRADLEY WASSON ’71, Sept. 9, 2009, Chalfont, Pa. Nancy was director of development at Lutheran Community at Telford. Previously, she worked at Pearl S. Buck International and the Network of Victim Assistance. She served on the board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Philadelphia Chapter. Survivors include three children, two grandchildren, and her mother.
JOHN “SPENCE” DePAUW ’72, June 24, 2009, Washington. He worked in various computer divisions at Caterpillar and retired from the patent office after 38 years. Spence enjoyed woodworking and model railroads. His wife Shirley, their son, and two grandsons survive.
ROGER A. JOHNSON ’72 MA ’75, Aug. 24, 2009, Peoria. A Vietnam War Navy veteran, Roger was a teacher and an administrator. He was active in the Special Olympics and the Council for Exceptional Children. He enjoyed travel and collecting antiques. Roger’s wife MARY RAYNETT JOHNSON ’70 MA ’71, three children, and three grandchildren survive.
MARY KAY ROBINSON ’73 MA ’77, July 26, 2009, Dunlap. She was director of staff development at Methodist Medical Center prior to working for Maloof Realty. She was a member of the Bradley University Alumni Association and enjoyed bridge, golf, and travel. Survivors include her husband GENE C. ROBINSON, HON ’95, three children, and eight grandchildren.
GLENDA HOPPE FOSTER ’87, Sept. 2, 2009, Peoria. She was an affiliate instructor in Bradley’s art department from 1992 to 2004. Earlier, she worked in the audio-visual department. Glenda’s paintings and photos were in a variety of exhibitions. Survivors include her husband Dr. Merrill Foster of the biology department, one daughter LYNNOR McCURDY MATHENEY ’91, and three grandchildren.
MICHAEL MERTEN ’90, Sept. 3, 2009, Pewaukee, Wis. Mike was national sales manager for Consona Corp. He was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha at Bradley. Survivors include his wife Molly, four children, and his parents.
DENNIS PUTMAN, MBA ’03, Aug. 15, 2009, Peoria. Dennis retired last February from Caterpillar after 35 years. He ran marathons and was a member of the Illinois Valley Wheelmen and Illinois Valley Striders. His wife CLAIRE HORAN PUTMAN ’93 MBA ’03, three children, three stepchildren, and seven grandchildren survive.
“In Memory” Guidelines: In Memory is written from newspaper clippings, as well as published obituaries supplied by friends and family. Bradley Hilltopics attempts to identify spouses, parents, children, and siblings who are also Bradley alumni. Submit an obituary by mailing a newspaper clipping or memory card from the funeral home to Bradley Hilltopics, 1501 W. Bradley Ave., Peoria, IL 61625.