In Memory

Jane (Crandall) Freeman ’42

Jane died on August 3, 2017. She was 97. She attended Kalamazoo College and later earned her degree in social work from Michigan State University. She worked for the TB Association in the thumb area of Michigan and at Abrams Camera during World War II. She met her husband, Tom Freeman, at a USO dance in Lansing. They married in 1946 and raised two children. She volunteered at Ingham Medical for more than 20 years and was a member of Grace United Methodist Church for many years as well. Jane was an accomplished pianist. She loved to read, travel, and to watch the Tigers and Spartan basketball.

John E. Sarno ’44, M.D.

John died on June 23, 2017. He matriculated to K from New York City and stayed for three years before leaving in 1943 to join the Army. He worked in field hospitals in Europe for the remainder of World War II. John received his medical degree from Columbia University in 1950 and spent nearly a decade in family practice in Fishkill, N.Y., where he founded the Mid-Hudson Medical Group. He returned to New York in 1960 for a residency in pediatric medicine at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and then another residency at the Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at New York University (N.Y.U.). He joined N.Y.U.’s Rusk Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine in 1965 and practiced there until his retirement in 2012. John specialized in rehabilitative medicine and wrote many books on the psychological origins of chronic pain. His most widely known title was the best-selling Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection. His other books included The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain; The Divided Mind: The Epidemic of Mindbody Disorders; and Mind Over Back Pain. John returned to K’s campus in 2000 to deliver the commencement address, “Stronger Than We Think.” During that visit he said: “In addition to academic studies, which were top flight [in my time] as they are now, Kalamazoo College was music, art, theatre, the social graces, and gentleness. It was a great introduction to the adult world I was about to enter.”

L. James Wetherbee ’46

Jim died on September 4, 2016. He was 93 years old.  Jim matriculated to K from Kalamazoo. At K he majored in history. He married classmate Marilyn Sharp on September 8, 1945 and they moved to Northport, Michigan, in 1972. Marilyn died in 2015. Jim was a gifted artists and shipwright and was employed for many years as a commercial artist and boat builder. He is survived by his daughter and two sons, five grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Owen Williams ’48

Owen died on June 1, 2017. He was the third of five children of famed National Geographic photographer and writer (and K alumnus, class of 1910) Maynard Owen Williams. At K Owen majored in history and trained in the U.S. Marine Corps ROTC. He later earned a master’s degree from George Washington University. During World War II Owen enlisted in the Navy and served in the Pacific from 1944 to 1945. After the war he returned to Kalamazoo and graduated from K in 1948. He began a long career in mapping, charting, geodesy and terrestrial sciences during which he served all four military branches and the department of defense. His work, in concert with the effort of scientists around the world, culminated in the deployment of the Global Positioning System (GPS). In 1981 he was awarded the Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award. Owen had a special talent for building international scientific partnerships that overcame barriers through research and development. These teams increased humankind’s understanding of the earth’s geodesy, gravity and geophysics. After retirement, Owen and his wife of 65 years, Betty Lou Williams, enjoyed connecting with family that included their five children and many grandkids and great-grandkids.

Jane (Ellenburg) Corfield ’51

Jane died on July 3, 2017. She earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology, served as president of Kappa Pi, vice president of the Women’s League, and was a member of the Spanish Club. She also met her husband, classmate Jim Corfield, while attending K, and they were married for 65 years. After he completed medical school the couple moved to Los Altos, California, and raised three children. Jane had exceptional artistic talent in many areas: floral designer, seamstress, interior designer and cook–to name a few. Jane and her business partner opened up a floral design shop called The Acorn, which was an immediate and huge success. Jane also was a volunteer as a floral designer for 25 years. She opened a second business as a wedding and event planner. She is survived by her husband, three children, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

James Marlett ’63

James died on June 3, 2017. At K he majored in chemistry and studied abroad in Bonn, Germany. He earned his divinity degree from the Colgate Rochester Divinity School in Rochester, New York. He is survived by his wife, their two children and three grandchildren.

Lynn Landry Smith ’64

Lynn died on July 16, 2017, from complications of pancreatic cancer. She matriculated to K from Detroit, studied abroad in Caen, France, and earned her B.A. in French. Her Senior Individualized Project was titled “Comparison of characters from 17th- and 19th-century psychological novels as they reflect their historical periods.” Lynn was a member of Eurodelphian Gamma, the French Club and the Christmas Carol Service. Her husband survives. He and Lynn were married 53 years and five days. Lynn was only very sick for a few days and passed peacefully, surrounded by family.

Kirk Oberfeld ’67

Kirk died on July 28, 2017. At K he earned a B.A. in political science and studied abroad in Muenster, Germany. He earned a master’s degree in journalism from Ohio State University and began his journalism career in Columbus, Ohio, for UPI. He later went to work as an editorial writer for the Battle Creek (Mich.) Enquirer. He reported and editorialized for the Philadelphia Bulletin for many years, and sold and collected artworks in Baltimore for a time. He moved to Washington D.C. to work for the Washington Star and went on to create the weekly news magazine, “Insight on the News.” Kirk later worked in fundraising for two large National Security non-profits. Kirk made frequent appearances on the Financial News Network, CNN, CNBC and C-Span as an expert political commentator. He is survived by two daughters from his marriage to Winifred Williams and by his wife of 22 years, Pamela White. Over the years he cultivated his passion for collecting period glass, furniture and art, primarily from the Art Nouveau period.

Dave Warmack ’70

Dave died on July 6, 2017, after a long battle with cancer. He was 69 years old. He attended K as a member of the class of 1970 and played football for the Hornets. He later returned to K as a coach of the football Hornets (1990-97). He also coached at Connecticut State University and three high schools in Michigan before retiring in 2009. His coaching highlights included a state championship (1988) and runner-up finish (1985) when he was the head coach at Grand Junction (Mich.) High School. He is survived by his wife, their two sons and two grandchildren.

Peggy (Wacha) Cauchy, Office Coordinator (retired)

Peggy died on August 3, 2017, following a two-year battle with cancer. She was 69 years old. For 25 years Peggy served as the office coordinator for the physics, mathematics and computer science departments at Kalamazoo College. She and her husband, Robert, were graduates of Michigan State University. They were married for 41 years until Robert’s death in 2011. Peggy loved reading, walking, gardening, and feeding and watching the birds. She cared for and loved many pets over the years. She is survived by her son, Zachary.

Douglas Peterson, Former Professor of Education and Dean of Academic Affairs

Douglas died on July 10, 2017. He was 91 years old. He was born and reared in Minnesota. He served in the Army Air Force during World War II. After the war he earned his B.A. at the University of Minnesota and his M.A. at Yale. Douglas worked at Kalamazoo College from 1957 to 1972, first as a professor of education and later as dean of academic affairs. He left K to earn a J.D. from the University of Michigan. He returned to Kalamazoo and started his own law firm. He practiced in the areas of corporate law, and jurisprudence surrounding public education, higher education and labor relations. In 1992 he became a partner at Gemrich, Bowser, Fette, and he remained at that law firm until his 1997 retirement. Douglas served on the Kalamazoo County School Board and other community organizations, including the American Cancer Society. He moved to Le Claire, Iowa, in 1998, and was active there in community service and city politics. He returned to Kalamazoo in 2015 to be closer to family. During his life he enjoyed tennis, traveling, reading, music and being outdoors.

Ione Ambrose

Ione, wife of the late Haydn Ambrose, died on August 25, 2017. She was known and beloved by many at the College, where her husband served in several positions during his 21-year career at K, including assistant to the president for church relations, dean of admission and financial aid, associate director and vice president for development.