In Memory

Merrill Brink ’45

Merrill died on September 22, 2016. He was 92 years old. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He retired from the Navy as a Lieutenant Commander. He was later employed with National Water Lift and was a real estate agent for many years until his retirement. A lifelong resident of Kalamazoo, Merrill was involved in many civic organizations. He also volunteered with the American Red Cross and in that role served on many disaster relief trips.

William Bos Jr. ’50

Bill died on June 8, 2016, at the age of 89. He was a talented basketball player and tennis player in high school (Muskegon, Michigan) and he played tennis for the Hornets at K. He was a lifelong tennis instructor, who worked for Wilson Sporting Goods, the U.S. Naval Academy, and the Dallas Country Club, where he often taught tennis to local sports celebrities from the city’s professional sports franchises (Mavericks, Rangers, and Cowboys), including Hall of Fame Dallas Cowboy football coach Tom Landry, who called Bill “Coach.”

Hobart Smith ’52

Hobart died on July 11, 2016, in Franklin, Tennessee. He was 89 years old. At K he earned his degree in economics and business. During his career he worked with the Pacific Finance Corporation, Naugahyde Corporation, and Wynn and Graff, Inc. After retiring Hobart enjoyed a painting career for many years, traveling throughout the South attending juried shows. He and his wife, Charlotte, enjoyed traveling, particularly throughout Europe, North America and South Africa. They also visited nearly every state in the United States. Hobart was active in Scouting for most of his life beginning as a member of the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts and then later serving in adult positions.

Don Croysdale

Don died on July 31, 2016. He attended K and graduated from the University of Michigan. During a business career that spanned 38 years Don worked as an investment analyst/manager and was subsequently the president of his own management company specializing in benefits administration and association management. Don received national recognition for his management and state legislative achievements from the American Subcontractors Association. He was an avid golfer and bridge player.

Joseph Garrison ’66

Joseph died on September 30, 2016. At K he majored in economics, and he studied abroad in Madrid, Spain. He also served as president of the class of 1966. After graduation he earned a postgraduate degree from the University of Michigan and served in the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant. He spent his career in the financial industry in New York City.

Rosemary (Tucker) Decker ’68

Rosemary died on June 24, 2016, from injuries sustained in a horse riding accident while on vacation with her family. Rosemary grew up in Casper, Wyoming, and matriculated to Kalamazoo College from Natrona County High School, where she was seventh in her class of 783 students. At K she majored in English, studied abroad in Aix en Provence, France, and did her career service quarter in Washington, D.C., working for U.S. Senator Milward Simpson. She wrote her Senior Individualized Project on the 18th-century poet Alexander Pope. One month after graduating in June 1968 she married her college sweetheart and the love of her life, Harold J. Decker ’67. Rosemary died one month shy of what would have been the couple’s 48th wedding anniversary. Rosemary earned a Master of Library Science degree from UCLA and worked in the Whittier (Calif.) Public Library as a children’s librarian. She and Harold returned to Kalamazoo in 1980. They raised three beautiful daughters. Rosemary was active in many civic and fundraising organizations, including, among others, Newcomers, Junior League, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra League, and the Kalamazoo College Alumni Association Executive Board. She was an avid reader, gardener and skier. Above all, she loved family and friends. She is survived by her husband, their three daughters and three granddaughters, two sisters, as well as several nieces and nephews and their children.

Rebecca (Roach) Oshoway ’71

ebeccaOshowayRebecca died on October 18, 2015, in Silver Spring, Maryland. She graduated from K with a B.A. in psychology and studied abroad in Clermont-Ferrand, France. After graduation Becky moved to Washington, D.C., and attended the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, where she was a member of the law review (J.D. 1979). Throughout a distinguished legal career, Becky specialized in commercial real estate leasing, franchising, and related transactions. She wrote frequent articles regarding commercial leasing, and she served on the editorial board of Commercial Leasing Law and Strategy and Shopping Center Legal Update. Prior to her retirement in 2011, Becky was a partner for many years at Shulman, Rodgers, Gandal, Pordy, and Ecker, P.A. Becky was married to F. John Oshoway ’73 from 1972 to 1980.

Tim Chapman ’78

TimChapmanTim died on August 28, 2016, at his childhood home in Dearborn, Michigan, with his family by his side.  For three decades he’d suffered from multiple sclerosis and bipolar disorder, and recently from kidney failure, which led to his death after he decided to stop dialysis.  He was an English major at K and did his foreign study abroad in Hannover, Germany.   After graduation Tim joined VISTA and was an organizer for the Auburn-Gresham community on Chicago’s south side.  He then moved to Boston where he worked for the author and home-schooling advocate, John Holt, while rehabbing a three-story brownstone he co-owned.  During this time he was married to Cindy Froeber ’79.  Returning to Michigan, he lived independently or with others, until his physical condition required assisted living.  Before his disabilities prevented it, Tim taught German with Dearborn Public Schools and worked other jobs.  He was enthusiastic about all he was involved in, and made friends wherever he went.  His family and others remember Tim as a highly-intelligent, fun-loving, and gentle soul who, despite a hard life, always remained kind and cheerful. Donations in Tim’s memory can be made to Habitat for Humanity Detroit (14325 Jane Street, Detroit, MI 48205)

Jack Flynn ’17

Jack died on June 29, 2016, following an automobile accident. Jack matriculated to K from Lakeland High School (White Lake, Michigan) where he was an outstanding athlete (football and baseball) and honor student. At K he was part of the 3/2 engineering program. He completed the requirements for his major in physics in his first three years, and he intended to complete the engineering portion of his degree at Michigan Technological University (Houghton). Jack also played baseball for the Hornets. He loved the outdoors–fishing, golfing and camping–and he loved music. Most of all he loved his family and friends. He is survived by his parents and his sister, three grandparents and many cousins, aunts and uncles.

Ada Letitia (“Tish”) Loveless, Ph.D.

Tish Loveless, foreground, and Marge Schneider, K tennis standouts, at the Markin Tennis Center 10-07.

Tish Loveless, foreground, and Marge Schneider, K tennis standouts, at the Markin Tennis Center 10-07.

Tish, who was a women’s athletics pioneer and longtime director of women’s athletics at Kalamazoo College, died on Thursday, September 22, 2016, at her home. She was 91 years old.

Tish served as director of women’s athletics from 1953 until she retired in 1986. Prior to her arrival, there were no women’s intercollegiate athletic teams at Kalamazoo College. During her tenure, she established women’s varsity teams in tennis, field hockey, archery, swimming, basketball, volleyball, soccer, and cross country.

She is the most successful coach of women’s teams in the history of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association, the oldest athletic conference in the country. Her teams won 28 league championships: 23 in tennis, four in archery, and one in field hockey. Her 1986 women’s tennis squad finished third in the nation. In 1992, Kalamazoo College inducted Tish into its Athletic Hall of Fame and, in 2015, the College dedicated the “Tish Loveless Court” in the Anderson Athletic Center.

Tish believed in the benefits of competition for everyone, regardless of skill level, and she worked tirelessly to ensure all students had opportunities to compete. She added new sports and classes based on student requests, and not just her own skills.  On several occasions, Tish coached sports largely unfamiliar to her at the urging of passionate students. Over the years, she learned, and then taught, fencing, archery, modern dance, folk dance, social dance, and swimming.

“Tish’s legacy includes the thousands of students whose lives she touched,” said Marilyn Maurer, coach emerita of women’s swimming and a longtime colleague and friend. “She opened their eyes to doors of possibility to which they hadn’t realized they already possessed the key. Many of her students remained in close contact to the very end.”

Tish earned a B.S. in physical education from the University of Illinois in 1948, an M.S. from UCLA in 1952, and a Ph.D. in education from Michigan State in 1977.  In 1988, she was inducted into the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Hall of Fame.  She received the Weimar K. Hicks Award from the Kalamazoo College Alumni Association for service to the College in 2002.

Thanks to the loving care of friends and caregivers, Tish spent her last days at her Kalamazoo home that she had shared with Marilyn Hinkle, a lifelong good friend and member of Kalamazoo College class of 1944.  Marilyn died on January 25, 2007.

Tish is survived by many nieces and nephews and their children, as well as several generations of Kalamazoo students who always treated her like family.

A memorial service is being planned for Saturday, November 12, 2016, at 3:30 p.m. in Stetson Chapel followed by a reception in Anderson Athletic Center Lobby. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Tish Loveless Women’s Athletics Endowment or the Marilyn Hinkle Endowed Scholarship for Arts at Kalamazoo College.

David Evans, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Biology

DavidEvansDavid died on September 20, 2016. He was 77 years old, four days shy of his 78th birthday, and doing one of the things he loved most–taking a walk on a trail. David’s 39-year career at Kalamazoo College began in 1965 and concluded with his retirement in 2004. “Biology is magnificent,” he once said, “and humbling, and goofy. In some sense, biology is best approached with a good eye for silliness, for it is stuffed with paradoxes, irony, and the ridiculous. This aspect of the subject is often the most engaging for non-majors, but it never fails to lead to more sophisticated material. I often used this movement from the ridiculous to the sublime as a teaching strategy in my courses.”

David’s area of specialty was insect behavior, and two important (and related) themes of his teaching and research were seasonality and adaptation. He earned his undergraduate degree in biology from Carleton College and his master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Wisconsin. His research was published in numerous journals, and he received many academic grants during his career.

His work took him to Africa many times. In 1982 he was a Fulbright professor of Biological Sciences at Njala University College at the University of Sierra Leone. In the early 1990s he visited the continent to study locust migrations on behalf of the United States Agency for International Development. His work and study in Africa became the basis for one of his K courses, “Ecology of Africa.” In 1995 he received the Frances Diebold Award for Contributions to the College Community, and in 1998 the faculty awarded him its highest teaching honor, the Florence J. Lucasse Lectureship for Excellence in Teaching. Those awards were related, in part, to the K marine ecology courses he co-taught with the late David Winch (professor emeritus of physics) on site at San Salvador Island and Jewfish Cay in the Caribbean. “On campus,” he said, “the class handled gray rubbery specimens preserved in jars. In San Salvador the students experienced the organisms alive and in color, and observed how they behaved in their habitat. It was like having one’s eyesight restored.”

Near and after his retirement he served during the summers as a naturalist at Fort Abercrombie State Park on Kodiak Island, Alaska. He loved that assignment, in part because of the “really cool truck” he drove, but mostly because of the liberal arts breadth of the work. In addition to naturalist, he worked as the island’s historian (delving into the area’s World War II days, in particular), and he wrote a weekly column for the island’s newspaper. Shortly after his final courses in a K classroom (spring term 2004) David served as “ship’s biology teacher” in a Semester-at-Sea program that circumnavigated the globe, with stops that included Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Myanmar, Kenya, South Africa, Brazil and Cuba. And long into his retirement he often contacted the College with alerts regarding the achievements of his former students, both majors and non-majors.

David always loved the liberal arts, a passion closely related to his academic and research interest in adaptation. He believed that the liberal arts was the best educational model to develop a broader range of reference and a better sense of humor, traits he considered essential for adaptation in careers and life in general.

He died taking a walk, an activity he loved (particularly along an ocean shore) and that he wrote about in his August 29, 2001, column in the Kodiak Daily Mirror, his final column for that summer’s season.

“For me, the last tide pool walks mean that the park season is winding down….[T]idepooling is one of the most unpredictable park activities in which I’m involved. We seem to have a particularly good time when children are along…

“There’s an Alutiq saying that expresses tidal rhythms in terms of using plants and animals as food: When the tide goes out, the table is set; When the tide comes in, the dishes are washed. The saying gets to the same rhythmic renewal that makes me appreciate this kind of field activity so much. I know I can go down to an area where I’ve been dozens of times, and I can be guaranteed of seeing something new and wondrous.”

Betty Rita Gómez Lance, professor emeritus of Romance languages and literatures

BettyLanceBetty died on September 18, 2016. She was 93. Her career at Kalamazoo College spanned 27 years (1961-1988). Before coming to K she taught at Washington University in St. Louis and at the University of Illinois.

Betty was born in San Jose, Costa Rica. Her father had migrated to that country from Spain. In Costa Rica he worked as a shoemaker to support his wife and their four daughters. Betty’s mother was the staunch advocate of education for her four daughters. Betty came to the United States in 1942 to study science and earned her bachelor’s degree (physical sciences) at Central Missouri State University and her master’s degree (agricultural chemistry) at the University of Missouri. But literature was her great passion, and she earned her Ph.D. in Romance languages and literatures at Washington University in St. Louis. Betty was fluent in Spanish and English and proficient in French, Italian, Portuguese, and German. She loved her native country and believed that Costa Rica’s commitment to democracy and freedom to dissent had much to teach the world.

In addition to her teaching duties at K, Betty directed Puerta de Oportunidad, a project to teach English as a foreign language to Spanish speaking people in the Kalamazoo area. She was a prolific scholar, whose works include a book on Spanish novelist Juan Antonio de Zunzunegui. She also authored books on Peruvian writer Enrique Lopez Albujar and El Salvador poet Claudia Lars, and she published a work of literary criticism on the picaresque tradition in 20th century literature of Spain.

Betty was a short story writer and poet. Her volumes of poetry include Vivencias (Lifeways), Vendimia del Tiempo (Harvest of Time), Alas en el Alba (Wings in the Dawn), Bebiendo Luna (Sipping Moon), and Siete Cuerdas (Seven Chords). Her short story collection was titled Hoy Hacen Corro Las Ardillas (Today the Squirrels are Holding a Pow-Wow). She also published poems and stories in many Spanish-English literary journals. She had a style of concrete imagery often drawn from nature and a writing regimen reminiscent of the late U.S. Poet Laureate William Stafford, making poems every day, or, in Betty’s case, every night. “I work on images [and] it is night when I write poetry,” she said. “Sometimes they come and come and come. I’ll do three to five poems.” In 1993 Betty was inducted into the Academia Iberoamericana de Poesía de Madrid (Iberoamerican Academy of Poetry), whose honorees also include Nobel Laureates Vicente Alexandre and Pablo Neruda. Betty had previously been inducted into the Asociación Prometeo de Poesía (The Prometheus Association of Poetry) in Madrid, Spain.

Betty was active in many organizations, including Friends of the Library, the Kalamazoo Institute Arts, the Kalamazoo Nature Center, and the Environmental Concerns Committee in Kalamazoo. She was a member of Poets and Writers America, the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, the Asociación De Escritores Costarricenses, the aforementioned Asociación Prometeo De Poesía and Asociación Iberoamericana De Poesía, and many others.

In addition to writing, Betty loved to hike and knit. After her retirement she established an award at K in Latin American Studies that had been given anonymously until her passing.  The fund now bears her name The Betty R. Gómez Lance Award in Latin American Studies. She is survived by two sons, Edward (a graduate of K) and Harold, and the many students (“sons” and “daughters” of another kind) whom she inspired to become teachers of Spanish and Latin American and Spanish literatures. A campus memorial service is being planned for December. More information on the service will be forthcoming.

“I write to give vent to my joys, my sorrows, my feelings, my thoughts,” she once wrote. “I write for personal solace; and when I receive praise for my writings that connection to another soul, the vivencias of another human being, surprises me. It is very comforting to know that they too have these feelings and that we’re all part of the universal human soul.”