In Memory

Ruth (Schlobohm) Anderson ’36

A memorial service for Ruth and her husband Donald Anderson ’33 was held in Richland, Michigan, on May 24, 2015. Don graduated from University of Michigan Law School in 1936 and practiced law in Kalamazoo, where he also served as Probate and Circuit Court Judge. He lived to be almost 101, and Ruth lived to be almost 100. They were married 75 years. They met in the Kalamazoo College Library in 1932, and were kicked out of the library for playing music with a rubber band on a book.

Robert Herman ’45

Bob died on August 21, 2015. He earned his bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics at K, and he earned a master’s degree in physics from the University of Michigan. In 1947, he began his career in various research and management positions at the U.S. Naval Ordinance Test Station in China Lake, California. In 1959, Bob made the decision to use the computer and engineering skills he developed while working for the Navy to create his unique, high speed magnetic core computer. He made the decision to resign from his civil-service position and moved his family to Orange County. He formed Orange County’s first home grown computer company, Decision Control, Inc. of Newport Beach. His highly successful company merged with Varian Associates, Inc. Bob left Varian to launch numerous other high-tech companies. He enjoyed skiing, sailing, flying, hiking and traveling with his family. He is survived by his wife, children, and grandchildren.

Patricia Jean (Christensen) McCarthy ’49

Patricia died on July 31, 2015. She matriculated to Kalamazoo College from LaPorte, Ind. Before and after her marriage, she had a diverse career as a clothing buyer and fashion consultant for a Midwestern retailer. She also worked as an office manager for a large medical practice in Falls Church (Va.) and as a manager of Reston’s (Va.) Visitor Center. After her marriage to John W. McCarthy, Jr., they traveled extensively throughout the world in support of his career as an employee of the U.S. Department of State.


Edward Yaple ’53

Edward died on July 5, 2015. He graduated from K with a major in biology, and he earned his medical degree at Wayne State University School of Medicine, where he trained as an orthopedic and hand surgeon. He returned to Kalamazoo and practiced orthopedic medicine and surgery for 35 years in Kalamazoo and in the Three Rivers, Michigan, area.

Alice (Curtis) Dudley ’55

Alice died on August 9, 2015, in The Dalles, Oregon. She earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology and later married Gordon Dudley, with whom she had two sons. They enjoyed camping and exploring the West, and lived both in Oregon and Boston. After a divorce, Alice lived with her sons in Portland, where she earned a master’s degree in social work (Portland State University) in 1971. She dedicated herself to raising her two sons and to a career in social work, first in Salem and then in The Dalles. She primarily worked in the Oregon Children’s Services Division in The Dalles, where she served as an administrator. She positively influenced the lives of many children in foster care. She loved to play golf and bridge. Alice is survived by her two sons and three granddaughters.

Gary Babcock ’60

Gary died on June 27, 2015. He came to Kalamazoo College already fascinated by technology and physics. In fact, he helped pay his way through K by building vacuum-tube volt meters during summer vacations. He earned his bachelor’s degree in physics and took a job with the Naval Air Weapons Research Station in China Lake, California. His primary career focus was on computers. After Gary retired from China Lake in 1984, he lived briefly in Fairfield, Iowa, where he studied transcendental meditation. Returning to California after a couple of years, he worked for several contractors as a computer troubleshooter and photographer. Gary loved chamber music, reading, taking wildflower photographs and learning new things. His favorite occupation in recent years was playing with his beloved grandchildren, Svetlana and Dalton.

Doug Gunnison ’66

Doug died on May 14, 2015, of complications from heart arrhythmia. He passed away at home under hospice care. Doug earned his degree from K in biology.

David Kyvig ’66

David died unexpectedly on June 22, 2015, from complications of diabetes. David was a Distinguished Research Professor of History at Northern Illinois University (DeKalb). He was a prominent and prolific scholar of 20th century U.S. history who wrote nearly a dozen books and numerous journal articles, several book chapters, and countless encyclopedia entries.

He came to Kalamazoo College from Muskegon, Michigan, and cited the lasting influence on his life and career of several key professors: Wen Chao Chen (who also served as his faculty advisor), John Peterson (whose specialty was African history), and Ivor Spencer (U.S. history). David spent his career service quarter working in the office of Michigan Senator Philip Hart during the middle of the debate on the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He studied abroad in Muenster, Germany, and used that opportunity to study and listen to what Germans found noteworthy and intriguing about American history. His Senior Individualized Project (which focused on the U.S. Senate during the “100 Day Session” of President Franklin Roosevelt’s first term) immersed him into primary historical research, and he loved it.

After graduating with his B.A. in history (cum laude), David earned a Ph.D. in American history from Northwestern University. He spent a year in Washington, D.C., as an archivist in the Office of Presidential Libraries at the National Archives. He began his college teaching career in 1971 at the University of Akron. In 1999 he joined the faculty at Northern Illinois. He also taught as a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Tromso in Norway (1987-88) and was a resident fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

The majority of David’s research and writing focused on the U.S. constitutional amendment process. His book Explicit and Authentic Acts: Amending the U.S. Constitution, 1976-1995 earned the Bancroft Prize, the most prestigious book-publishing accolade for American history. More recently he published the highly regarded book The Age of Impeachment: American Constitutional Culture Since 1960.

David was the subject of a LuxEsto story (Spring 2002) in which he cited the fundamental importance of history, “how looking at the past can be useful in coming to terms with contemporary moments, particularly moments of crisis.” He attributed his appreciation for that insight to his experiences at Kalamazoo College. “K,” he said, “took a provincial kid from West Michigan and exposed him to the possibilities of life. Working in Washington, D.C., going abroad, being surrounded by so many bright people, new ideas, new ways of looking at things—and discovering that I could hold my own in that environment—instilled a confidence in me that I could handle new experiences.”

David is survived by his wife, Christine Worobec. David was instrumental in establishing at Kalamazoo College the Wen Chao Chen Endowed Professorship of East Asian Social Sciences. Christine has established an endowed scholarship at K to honor David. It is called the “Dr. David Kyvig ’66 Memorial Scholarship for the Study of History,” to which alumni, classmates and friends are invited to contribute.

Donna (Kaczmarek) Ritchie ’73

Donna died on July 14, 2015, surrounded by family and friends. She matriculated to Kalamazoo College from Beverly Hills, Michigan, and graduated with a degree in English. She did her career service at the Otter Lake Conservation School (Greenfield, New Hampshire) and studied abroad in Erlangen, Germany. After graduating from K she earned a master’s degree in education at the University of Michigan and worked as an elementary school teacher and reading consultant in the Anchor Bay school district for more than a decade. In 1986 she and Scott Ritchie married, and they were together for nearly 29 years. Their daughter, Emma Elizabeth, was born in 1988. Donna retired from teaching to devote more of her time to raise Emma Elizabeth and to help Scott run the family business. Donna was an avid and passionate reader. She also enjoyed gardening, music, travel, being outdoors and visits with her daughter. Throughout the years she kept up a lively correspondence with fellow English major classmates. She continued to write these beautiful letters almost until the time of her death.

Jeffrey Edward Boyd ’80

Jeff died on August 19, 2015, at home in Ljubljana, Slovenia, after a short illness. Jeff matriculated to K from Spring Lake, Michigan, and earned his B.A. in psychology. He was well-known and highly regarded in the automobile industry, working in a wide range of positions from retail sales and management to advanced electric vehicle manufacturing, network development and distribution. He played a key role in developing business and effectively managing dealer operations for several dealerships and dealer groups across the United States. Until his death, Jeff was employed as chief operating officer at Kia Motors Adria Group (KMAG) in Slovenia. Jeff is survived by his wife, Ying Feng-Boyd, and her children; his parents and seven siblings; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles.

Richard T. Stavig, Professor Emeritus of English, Director Emeritus of Foreign Study

Professor Stavig died on Sunday, Easter morning, April 5, 2015. He was 87 years old. During his tenure at the College Professor Stavig established his legacy in several areas. Generations of students remember him for his inspired teaching, careful scholarship, preparation and dedication to excellence. Colleagues at home and abroad owe a great deal to his skills as a gifted administrator. The College community benefits from the legacy of his high ethical and moral standards.

In 1955 Professor Stavig began his 37-year career at Kalamazoo College as an assistant professor of English. Some 30 years later–in a speech he gave on Honors Day (October 31, 1986) about the beginning of study abroad at Kalamazoo College–he described his feelings on being chosen to accompany the very first group of 25 K students to experience three months of foreign study in the summer of 1958:

“Wonder of wonders, a thirty-year-old untenured assistant professor of English who had been at K only three years, who had never been to Europe, and whose oral language skills were minimal was selected to take the first group over [on the ship Arosa Star, departing from Montreal on June 17] and give them–what else could he give them–minimal supervision. Plans had been carefully made, but there was simply a lot we just didn’t know. We did know, however, that we were involved in a great adventure, an adventure that had tremendous implications for us and our college. And we knew we had the responsibility for making it work.”

That same year he accompanied the first group of students to study abroad Professor Stavig also was promoted to associate professor English.

He became a full professor in 1963 and served in that capacity until his retirement from K in 1992. And he did much more. In 1962–the year the K-Plan launched as the College’s curriculum–Professor Stavig became K’s first director of foreign study. In this role he established procedures and goals that are still valid today. Five years later he was named dean of off-campus education. He served in both of those posts until 1974.

In 1982, Stavig was awarded the Florence J. Lucasse Fellowship for excellence in teaching, the highest honor for pedagogy, and one conferred by one’s faculty colleagues. Stavig’s speech accepting the award is a study in keen and humble insight into the art of teaching. In the speech he shares 11 observations about the profession of college professor. Among those observations one finds these favorites: “2) Education is life for the students, teachers, and others who are engaged in it. Each of us should, therefore, seek to provide pleasure, satisfaction, rewards, and a sense of worth for all those who participate; 5) Anyone who claims to understand completely what happens in the classroom is either a fool or a liar. Each class, each day, is inevitably a new adventure. Sometimes everything clicks and the world is beautiful; sometimes, for whatever reasons, nothing works and one wonders what sins could possibly have earned such punishment; and 7) The longer I teach, the less concerned I am with supplying good answers and the more concerned I am with asking good questions.”

Rightly considered one of the founders of the K-Plan, Professor Stavig loved, believed in and advocated for the educational leaps that result from foreign study. He credited study abroad in large part to the vision of his friend, English department colleague, and fellow K-Plan architect, Larry Barrett, who also died on an Easter morning. “Larry Barrett saw foreign study as a unique opportunity for us to experiment and innovate,” said Professor Stavig, “to see if a boldly different kind of educational experience could be made to work. And he wanted this because he always wanted education simply to be better for the students.” And so, too, did the man who wrote those words about his friend.

Stanley G. Earl Jr.

Stan died on August 6, 2015. He worked in Facilities Management at Kalamazoo College for 27 years before retiring in 2004. Stan was a lifelong Kalamazoo area resident. He attended the Kalamazoo Public Schools (Milwood Junior High School, Loy Norrix High School) where he was an outstanding athlete in football and basketball. He earned his associate’s degree from Kalamazoo Valley Community College. He was a devoted family man who loved to boat, fish, camp and play with his grandchildren.

Joe Brockington, Ph.D., Associate Provost for International Programs

Joe died on August 12, 2015. In addition to his post in the Center for International Programs, he also served as professor of German language and literature.

He earned his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D degrees from Michigan State University, and began his career at Kalamazoo College in 1979 as an instructor in German language and literature. During his 35-year career at K, Joe served in several roles in the Center for International Programs before being named associate provost in 2000. He was recognized internationally as a safety and risk management expert in study abroad programming. During his career he served in various positions of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, including chair of the Section on U.S. Students Abroad and member of the International Education Leadership Knowledge Committee. He also served as a member of the founding board of the Forum on Education Abroad, the Association of International Education Administrators. Joe published and presented numerous papers on modern German literature as well as a variety of study abroad topics, including orientation and re-entry, international programs administration, and campus internationalization. He led best practices workshops in legal and risk management issues and co-edited the third edition of NAFSA’s Guide to Education Abroad for Advisers and Administrators.

“Joe interacted with generations of K students,” said President Eileen B. Wilson-Oyelaran, “and increased their opportunities for independent research and service learning abroad. He was a faithful advocate for international students at K, working with colleagues to ensure a full and productive K educational experience. Joe significantly expanded K’s reputation as a leader in study abroad and international programming. He will be missed by many in the K family and throughout the world.”

In the fall of 2008 Kalamazoo College celebrated its 50th anniversary of sending students abroad. Joe devoted his career to that important educational tradition. Some 80 percent of K students have studied in programs ranging from China and Japan to India and Israel; from Kenya and Senegal in Africa to Ecuador, Costa Rica, Chile, and Mexico in South and Central America. Their options have included European programs in Greece, Hungary, Denmark, Italy, and England as well as the opportunities that have continued (since the program’s origins) in France, Spain, and Germany. Most students study in a foreign language and live with host families. And most participate in an Individualized Cultural Research Project that requires them to get out into a community, participate in a service project, and write a report about the experience. All of that is part of the legacy of Joe Brockington. “The goal,” he once said, “is to help the student look at other cultures, other peoples, and say ‘we’ instead of ‘they.’”