Florence L. (Gleason) White passed away Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She was born October 26, 1920, in Kalamazoo, a daughter of Clarence and Cora (Wagner) Gleason. Florence graduated from State High School in 1938 and attended Kalamazoo College. Surviving are her four children, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Patricia (Pat) M. Pratt died on March 2, 2019, in Kalamazoo. Born and raised in Detroit, Pat came to Kalamazoo College where she met the love of her life, Eric Pratt ’42. Together they raised four children (Doug, Mollie, Nancy and Lise) and built a Frank Lloyd Wright house near Galesburg, Michigan. Over the years, they welcomed exchange students, Myrna from Uruguay and Rebeca from Chile, which sparked an interest in Central and South America. They loved to travel, first camping and canoeing with the kids, then on their own. They explored the world, driving to Chile and Alaska, and loved it all. For her spirit, curiosity and love of life, she is greatly missed.
Stephen W. Leavenworth of Concord, New Hampshire, died on December 21, 2018. He was born in the Bronx, New York, on September 28, 1925, to Horace Miner Leavenworth and Olive (Clemons) Leavenworth. After graduating from Mamaroneck High School in 1943, he entered the Army Air Force Corps where he trained as a navigator on the B-24 bomber. He was honorably discharged in 1946 and later enrolled at Kalamazoo College. After two years, he transferred to the University of Michigan where he graduated in 1950 with a degree in Civil Engineering. In 1966, he earned his master’s in Civil Engineering from Tufts University. Steve’s first job after college was working for the city of Cadillac, Michigan, as Assistant City Engineer. After a few years, he accepted a job offer from the State of New Hampshire, working first for the New Hampshire Health Department, and later as Chief of New Hampshire Water Supply and Pollution Control. During this time, Steve joined the Army Reserve. After 10 years he retired as a major. Steve was an avid sailor, and he joined the Coast Guard Reserve, continuing his affiliation with the military for a total of 27 years. He was a member of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Concord and volunteered at the New Hampshire Historical Society. Steve is survived by his wife, Patricia, three children, four grandchildren, a great-granddaughter, two stepdaughters and one stepson.
Mary Ann M. Fisher died peacefully on February 25, 2019, in Bellingham, Washington. Mary Ann was born December 4, 1928, in Waukegan, Illinois. She graduated cum laude from Kalamazoo College in 1950 as a member of the scholastic honor society Phi Kappa Alpha. She was issued her teaching certification and went on to teach for eleven years, in Michigan and then Indiana. First grade was her favorite. She married John Fisher in 1960 and settled in Lafayette, Indiana, retiring from teaching at Burtsfield Elementary School to raise her family. Mary Ann was a long-term volunteer at the Tippecanoe Humane Society, and served on its Board of Directors until 1989. She and her husband divorced in 1993; John preceded her in death in 1995. Mary Ann moved to Bellingham, Washington, in 2003 to live near her daughter, and was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at that time. She maintained her hobbies of crossword puzzles and reading, and discovered she had a talent for painting. She moved into her daughter’s house for the last three and a half years of her life. In lieu of a funeral, Mary Ann asked that people put on a piece of beautiful music and think of her, remembering that she particularly loved children and birds. She generously donated her body for Alzheimer’s research, continuing to help others after her death. Mary Ann is survived by two children and a granddaughter.
Susan Hayward Burgess passed away peacefully February 22, 2019, surrounded by loving family. She will be remembered most for her generous spirit, warm smiles, love of music and love for her family and friends. Susan was born in Flint, Michigan, on October 12, 1943, to Louise and Roy Burgess. Susan graduated from Ann Arbor High School in 1961, and then attended Kalamazoo College for two years before returning to Ann Arbor to finish her bachelor of music at the University of Michigan. In conducting class, she met her future husband, Gary, who shared her last name. She worked as an instrumental music teacher in the Fraser Public Schools before marrying in 1967. The couple moved to Adrian, Michigan, where Gary accepted a position as band director. Susan taught math for two years in Adrian before moving to Midland in 1971, shortly before their only child, Lorin, was born. Susan taught math at both Jefferson Intermediate and Dow High schools, retiring in 1998. During the time that Gary was the band director, she was the faculty advisor for the color guard during marching band season. Susan was a member of First United Methodist Church in Midland, where she played in and conducted handbell choirs for more than 20 years. She also sang in the chancel choir, and often performed on flute. She played in the Midland Symphony Orchestra as principal flutist for 24 years, and she and Gary were named Midland Music Society’s Musicians of the Year in 1992. She continued to play in the Midland Concert Band when Gary was conductor during their retirement. She is survived by her husband, Gary, her son and two granddaughters.
Lee E. Kaufmann, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, died of Lewy body dementia on Tuesday, February 12, 2019. He was 71. While in high school, Lee developed several lifelong, passionate attachments: to bluegrass music, to playing the banjo and other stringed instruments, and to Susan (Sue) Wasserman, who would later become his wife. After attending Kalamazoo College as a first-year student, Lee decided to join Sue at the University of Illinois, where he studied history. Lee and Sue married on June 7, 1969, and moved to Ann Arbor so Lee could pursue graduate studies in French and Russian history at the University of Michigan. During 1973-74 Lee and Sue spent 10 months in France while Lee conducted research. He completed all requirements for the Ph.D. except his dissertation. Lee and Susan’s daughter, Maggie, was born in 1977, and their son, Evan, in 1981. Lee had a varied career, working at the Herb David Guitar Studio, teaching the banjo, selling computers at the Complete Computer Center, and becoming a computer technician and network administrator in the telecommunications industry. In 1986, Lee and Sue bought a small bungalow on the Old West Side of Ann Arbor. Lee never lost his intense devotion to music, performing with local bluegrass bands and in The Original Bluegrass Opera of Detroit. Lee is survived by his wife, two children and a grandchild.
The Rev. Dr. Thomas Ray Eden of Cross Plains, Tennessee, died February 19, 2019, after a long and valiant fight against multiple myeloma. “Brother Tommy,” a proud native Nashvillian, was born at St. Thomas Hospital on August 13, 1951, to Earl Ray and Imogene Cooley Eden. He graduated from Lakeview High School, Battle Creek, Michigan, in 1969 and from Kalamazoo College in 1973, with a double major in music and German. A highlight of his college education was a year studying in Berlin. He received a master’s degree in music and pursued a doctorate in opera performance at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Tom was director of many church choirs, including First Baptist Church, Marshall, Michigan, and Irving Park Baptist Church in Chicago. On July 9, 1976, he was married to his beloved Daisy, the former Nancy Day ’69. After several seasons in the chorus of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Tom received a call to ministry and entered Northern Baptist Theological Seminary from which he earned his Master of Divinity and Doctorate of Ministry degrees. His seminary internship was bilingual at the Deutsche Baptisten Missionsgeinde in Chicago. During his thirteen years at the Lyric, his talents were recognized with adjunct professorships at Trinity International University, Judson University and Wheaton College. In 1987, the Woodruff Place Baptist Church of Indianapolis called Tom as their senior pastor. He led the church through its transition from decline to renewal and attracted a new generation of leaders, committed to the church and living in the inner city. Pastor Tom continued to be a teacher as well. He taught at Taylor University, Northern Baptist Theological Seminary and Martin University. A world traveler through the Lyric Opera and mission trips, he visited Kenya, Peru, Italy, Russia, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. He preached, taught, sang and shared his love of the Lord. In 2015 the Edens moved to Robertson County, Tennessee, his ancestral home, where in semi-retirement, Brother Tommy became pastor of Oak Grove Baptist Church, Springfield. He is survived by his wife.
Sherilyn Kay Marshall passed away on November 2, 2017, in California.
Susan Louise Coon has died. She was born June 29, 1952, in New York, New York, the second child of Dr. Minor Jesser Coon and Mary Louise Coon, nee Newburn. At the end of her father’s sabbatical year at New York University, the family returned to Philadelphia. In 1955, the family moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Sue graduated from Kalamazoo College with honors in 1974, Phi Beta Kappa, majoring in French and theatre arts. Her study abroad year was spent in Caen, France, where she was able to enjoy many performances and side trips.
After graduating from college, she spent five months in Europe before returning to Ann Arbor, where she began graduate school at the University of Michigan. After one semester at the University of Michigan, Sue transferred to New York University, where she received her Master of Arts in Performing Arts Administration in June 1976.
Sue accepted a position as manager of Stewart Theatre at North Carolina State University. It was there that she met Conrad Walton Weiser, who was director of the North Carolina State Crafts Center. They were married in 1978. Their first child, Sarah Emily Jane Weiser, was born in 1982.
In 1984, Sue accepted the position of director of cultural affairs at Duke University. Sue and Conrad’s second child, Philip Konrad Richard Weiser, was born in 1987. Their grandson, William Jesser Davis, son of Sarah and John Davis, was born in 2015. After a Student Affairs restructuring, Sue was named associate dean and then dean of university life. After another student affairs restructuring, Sue moved to undergraduate admissions, where she stayed until retiring after 33 years at Duke in 2017.
Unfortunately, her retirement plans for travel, playing cello, and looking after her adored grandson, were seriously affected by a diagnosis of ALS. Sue and Conrad have appreciated the help of family and friends, who accompanied her on her difficult journey. Condolences may be shared at CremationSocietyNC.com.
Ursula Heinemann Gerndt, friend of the College, passed away on August 25, 2018, at age 90. She hosted more than 25 Kalamazoo College students at her home in Erlangen, Germany, as part of the K study abroad program from 1969 to 1995. Many of her former students stayed in close contact with her throughout the decades, and she remained a significant part of their lives. She traveled with many former students and shared their weddings and the births of their children and grandchildren. Several former students traveled to Erlangen to attend her 90th birthday party in January of 2018. John Wright ’72, said, “She was an intelligent, generous and unique human being who enriched the lives of many of us lucky enough to have known her and loved her. She will be missed.”