Rolla Anderson, namesake of the Rolla L. Anderson Athletic Center on Kalamazoo College’s campus, died April 25, 2018. He was 97.
Anderson came to K in 1953 and was director of men’s athletics until his retirement in 1985. In 1962, he led the Hornets to an undefeated football season and was named Michigan Coach of the Year in news media balloting. Under him, the team again won the MIAA championship in 1963. He also led teams to championships as a coach in tennis, golf and cross country, and he coached basketball. Anderson was a longtime director of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Boys’ 18 & 16 National Championships.
“Generations of Kalamazoo College student-athletes benefited from Rolla’s guidance and leadership,” said President Jorge G. Gonzalez. “He was well known for tirelessly stressing the importance of sound physical education in the liberal arts.”
Named a professor of physical education in 1965, Anderson continued to be an active and enthusiastic supporter of the College in retirement and was a leader in Kalamazoo civic organizations and the USTA.
Anderson Athletic Center was dedicated in his name in 1981, and he was inducted into the Kalamazoo College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1992. In 1997, he received the Kalamazoo College Alumni Association’s Weimer K. Hicks Award, which recognizes employees who have made exceptional long-term contributions to the College.
A 1944 graduate of Western Michigan University, he was a star in basketball and football there and was inducted into the university’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1982. He also is in the hall of fame at Southeast Missouri State University, where he was a member of a championship basketball team before transferring to Western.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Patricia, in 2010.
Anderson’s family has asked memorial gifts be made to the Rolla and Pat Anderson Athletic Endowment at Kalamazoo College, a fund that will support the Hornets in perpetuity.
Walter “Wally” Sikes, 95, of Yellow Springs, Ohio, died Feb. 28, 2018. An expert on group dynamics and organizational development, he was former director of work-study at Kalamazoo College. Born in Gallatin, Tennessee, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and a master’s and Ph.D. from Purdue University. A Merchant Marine veteran of World War II, he was a faculty member at Antioch College in Yellow Springs from 1949 to 1953, then worked as personnel director at Morris Bean and Co. before working at Kalamazoo College. He then returned to Antioch, where he became dean of students. In 1965 he did post-doctoral training at National Training Laboratories (NTL) Institute in Bethel, Maine. Subsequently he was director of programs in higher education at NTL in Washington, D.C. He taught organization behavior and group process at Antioch University, American University, George Washington University, Wright State University and other institiutions. He was the principal researcher on a five-year project funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health called Training Teams for Campus Change that focused on the use of groups as change agents. He co-wrote “Renewing Higher Education from Within” and edited “The Emerging Practice of Organizational Development.” He wrote a number of articles about groups, personal development and organizations. For 25 years he had a successful consulting practice with a wide range of nonprofit and for-profit organizations in this country and abroad. Devoted to Yellow Springs and Antioch College, he was gratified to have been involved with Antioch’s resurgence. He was also particularly proud to have been a key initiator and manager of the Yellow Springs Endowment for Education and the Village Mediation Program. He served on a number of other boards, including YS Home Inc. and the Mills Lawn After School Program. He was involved in many Yellow Springs school levy campaigns over the years. He and his wife were members of a Yellow Springs club called CASH that started out as an investment club in the early 1950s and evolved into a group of friends who met monthly for social (and educational) purposes. The couple spent summer vacations at Crystal Lake in Michigan. In addition to Sikes’ wife of 70 years, Evelyn, survivors include daughters Linda Sikes, Becky Sikes and Debby Newsome; six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Jewel (Starkweather) Robinson-Cook, 98, died Dec. 6, 2017, in Hemet West, California. A native of Detroit, she grew up in Plymouth, Michigan. She graduated magna cum laude from Kalamazoo College, where she won honors for her debating skills and other achievements. She also met her first husband Gil Robinson there. During his career as an FBI agent, they lived in Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Los Angeles, eventually settling in Pasadena, California, where they raised their three children. She worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory there for 24 years, retiring as security supervisor. The couple moved in 1981 to Hemet West, where they played golf and bridge and participated in various other activities. After her husband’s death, Robinson-Cook enjoyed international travel and was active in several Hemet West groups. She married Bill Cook in 1997. The couple played golf and shuffleboard and took annual cross-country trips in their travel trailer. In addition to her first husband, Robinson-Cook was preceded in death by her second husband, three sisters and a brother. Survivors include daughter Patricia Grant; sons Richard and David Robinson; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Donald E. Cloud, 89, died Feb. 2, 2018. A resident of Sarasota, Florida, and before that, of Wilmette, Illinois, he was an Eagle Scout and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of California Berkeley, where he taught for a time. He served two years in the Army, taught junior high for two years in Seattle and high school and junior college for three years in San Diego and was vice president of Cloud Corp. in Illinois until his retirement. He enjoyed playing tennis and many other sports. Survivors include his wife of 64 years, LaDonna; three sons; a daughter; and eight grandchildren.
Elaine (Clark) Cleven, 87, of Spring Lake, Michigan, died Feb. 22, 2018. A native of St. Joseph, Michigan, she received her bachelor’s in education from Kalamazoo College. She married Alfred “Bill” Evans and taught elementary school for several years. In 1962, she and her husband moved to Grand Haven, Michigan. After he died in 1973, she went to work for retail stores in Grand Haven and Muskegon, Michigan, becoming department manager for three locations. After she married Cleo Cleven, she became involved in community service, including on the Missions Commission with the Church of the Dunes in Grand Haven, the Salvation Army, Meals on Wheels, the children’s reading group HOSTS and the Ferrysburg Recreation Commission. She was instrumental in saving the Ferrysburg Nature Preserve behind her home and in other dunes preservation projects, and received numerous awards and certificates in recognition of her work. She was a lifetime member of the Tri-Cities Garden Club, serving as vice president, co-vice president and membership chairwoman, and served in leadership roles in connection with flower shows. She was also a charitable donor and a member of several nonprofit organizations. In addition to Evans, she was preceded in death by her friend and former husband, Cleven, and her brother, David Clark. Survivors include a daughter, Elizabeth Ayres, and a son, Thomas Evans.
Sharon (Davis) Bolton Leakey, 80, died Jan. 12, 2018. She was a member of Unity Phoenix in Arizona and a retired nurse. She was preceded in death by ex-spouses George Bolton and Reginald Leakey. Survivors include daughters Diane Bolton and Susan McElroy; sons Michael and James Bolton; and six grandchildren.
David C. Macleod, 79, died Dec. 10, 2017. A New York City native, he moved to Kalamazoo with his parents in 1941 and later enrolled at Kalamazoo College. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, where he later earned his master’s. Between his studies at Kalamazoo College and the University of Michigan, he served as a community ambassador for an exhibit titled “Kalamazoo and How it Grew,” traveling around Great Britain. He started his working career at the Kalamazoo city planner’s office, then taught at Boston State College in Massachusetts. Later he moved to Valparaiso University in Indiana, where his children were both born; Marquette, Michigan, where he worked at Northern Michigan University; and Escanaba and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, working with the Boy Scouts of America and as a real estate agent. He returned to Kalamazoo as a real estate agent, then worked at Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y., Lake Michigan Community College in Benton Harbor, Michigan, and at Western Michigan University. He also founded MacHandyman, a handyman service he and his wife Mary ran together until his retirement. His lifelong loves included the outdoors, exercise, walking, running, writing and tinkering with a 1926 Ford he and his brother George bought as teenagers. He was very active with the formation of the Swords into Plowshares Peace Center at Western Michigan University, considering its founding the fruition of a lifelong dream. Always a peace activist, he worked toward establishing a world free of the threat of war and dedicated to inclusiveness and justice for all. In addition to his wife and brother, survivors include a son, Eric; a daughter, Laura Vaughn; two more brothers, Garrard and Robert; and four grandchildren.
Douglas C. Magill, 80, died Feb. 14, 2018, in Thomasville, Georgia. A native of Little Rock, Arkansas, he married Betty Grace Wright on Sept. 22, 1956, in Allegan, Michigan, while serving in the U.S. Army. He graduated from Grand Rapids Bible College in Michigan and moved to Thomasville, where he taught at Rose City Christian and Aucilla Christian schools; he also worked for various utility companies for 19 years before retiring in 2006. He was a member of Northside Baptist Church and Gideons International. He was preceded in death by his wife. Survivors include son Timothy C. Magill and daughter Kathleen G. Haydel, both of Thomasville; siblings Gregory H. Magill of Plano, Texas, and Sharon L. Cook of Milwaukee; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Carol (Richardson) Sanic, 77, of Kalamazoo, died Dec. 26, 2017. A native of Kalamazoo, she taught elementary school for a year in Gull Lake, Michigan, and for 36 years at Parchment (Michigan) North Elementary School. She loved reading, eating out, traveling, shell collecting, shopping (especially at Talbots) and her grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband of 55 years, Ernest. Survivors include her daughter Melanie Sanic-Burke of Kalamazoo; son Ronald of Richland, Michigan; brother John Richardson of San Diego; and three grandchildren.
Linda (Baker) Fradin, 71, died March 21, 2018 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. A retired teacher, her experiences included being a VISTA worker during the civil rights movement in Georgia, traveling the unpaved Alaska Highway in a Volkswagen Beetle and driving an ice cream truck in the summers in the ’70s. Known for her active spirit and her love of nature, she felt at home in her Sunfish sailboat, on a kayak trip down the Platte River, in her garden and riding her lawnmower. She was preceded in death by her husband, Steven. Survivors include daughters Nora and Sara Fradin and sisters Karen Allerio and Kathleen Baker.
David W. Kent, 69, died Feb. 6, 2018, in Springfield, Missouri. A native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, he was a student at Kalamazoo College when a diving accident left him a quadriplegic. However, he was determined to resume his studies, graduating from K and going on to Michigan State University, where he earned his medical degree. For more than 30 years, he was a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist, practicing in Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and Missouri. He was able to help his patients overcome their physical challenges through his own example, skills and leadership. He was preceded in death by his wife, Sondra Rhone-Kent. Survivors include his sister, Nancy Kent-Koenig.
Joanne (Boyce) Steward, 89, of Gun Lake, Michigan, died Feb. 3, 2018, in Port Charlotte, Florida, near her winter home in Punta Gorda, Florida. Born in Kalamazoo, she was raised on a farm near Martin, Michigan, one of nine children. She attended Kalamazoo College and, after raising her children in Gun Lake, received her degree in elementary education from Western Michigan University, teaching in Otsego, Michigan, until her retirement. She was a longtime member of Martin United Methodist Church and First United Methodist Church of Punta Gorda. She was preceded in death by her husband, Donald Steward; another husband, Jerome Norton; son John Kahllo; and grandson Christian Kahllo. She is survived by son James Kahllo; daughter Gail Aten; stepdaughters Leslie Pichette and Grace Norton; five siblings; three granddaughters; and three step-grandsons.
Douglas Mount Deer, 66, died Feb. 27, 2018, after a battle with heart disease. The son of an American Baptist minister, he began life in Southington, Connecticut. The family moved frequently, as required by Deer’s father’s ministry, and they were living in Manchester, New York, when he graduated as valedictorian from Red Jacket High School in 1969. A scholarship student at Kalamazoo College, he began as a physics major and switched to religion. His time at K included working with the Sioux YMCA on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota and studying abroad in Vichy Clermont-Ferrand, France. Following his graduation, he attended Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School and met his future wife, Susan Elizabeth Beardsley, whom he married in 1975. With a new son, David Douglas Deer ’98, the family moved in 1976 to Geary and Watonga, Oklahoma, where Douglas and Susan Deer became missionaries. A daughter, Katherine Shanera Deer, was born in 1978. In 1981, Douglas Mount Deer returned to New York as pastor of First Baptist Church in Franklinville. Other ministries followed in McGraw and Cooperstown, New York, before he retired in 2014 and moved to Cortland, New York, where he and his wife continued to serve as substitute ministers. Deer also developed an interest in model trains, and became a volunteer at the Central New York Living History Museum, building a train layout there. He received a pacemaker in 2017, and was able to visit with family and friends throughout the United States and Canada before a downturn in his health required him to be airlifted to a Boston hospital, where he died. In addition to his wife, son and daughter, survivors include three grandchildren.
Michael Don Oviatt, 66, died Jan. 14, 2018. A native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, he began exploring the natural world at an early age. He reveled in hiking, skiing, biking, kayaking, swimming and camping in the wilderness, especially the great national forests of the West. At Kalamazoo College, he majored in sociology and studied abroad in Sierra Leone, whose people’s generosity and love of life instilled in him enduring humility and appreciation for the good that is proliferated through sharing authentic gifts, however meager. A student of Carl Jung, he pursued an understanding of the unconscious and worked daily to cultivate self-knowledge. He was a campaign aide for a minority candidate in inner-city Philadelphia in the 1970s; a “ski bum” in Montana; a dancer, taxicab driver and fitness instructor in New York City; a massage therapist in Vail, Colorado; a carpenter in Santa Fe, New Mexico; a freelance writer, technical writer and training facilitator in Tennessee; and, after earning a master’s degree in counseling at Northern Arizona University at age 56, he had been a behavioral therapist for the last decade. A dream also led him to become a skilled guitarist and singer, and he enjoyed performing at small venues around Flagstaff, Arizona. Haunted by Civil War battlefields in Tennessee, he became interested in and read extensively about the era, and was inspired to work on a historical novel about Confederate Gen. John Hood. Over the last 25 years, he was dedicated to the Mankind Project. His experiences and relationships there increased the strength, discipline and heart with which he approached his work as a therapist, empowering clients to recognize their “shadows” and find a clearer path to realize their dreams. He was preceded in death by his brother, Tim. Survivors include his wife, Margo.
Diana Vogelsong, 66, of Derwood, Maryland, died June 23, 2017, after a two-year struggle with ovarian cancer. She graduated cum laude from Kalamazoo College with a major in French and a minor in history. She studied abroad in Caen, France, where she lived with Andre and Yvonne Dubosq and their grandsons in their home on the Orne River. During her year abroad she traveled widely, getting to know the people and cultures of Italy, Germany, Spain, Austria, Belgium and England. She earned master’s degrees in library and information science at the University of Maryland in 1976 and art history at American University in 1981. She was a librarian at American University for 36 years, establishing the library’s media services department, served as a judge at the American Film and Video Festival and worked during several sabbatical summers at the National Gallery of Art Library, where she published a guide to that institution’s specialized microform collections. She also completed the “Landscape Architecture Sourcebook” in 1997. She loved plants, gardening and dance and enjoyed biking and the ocean. Above all, she valued time spent with her family and was known for her empathy. Survivors include her husband of 41 years, Wallace Duncan ’73; son Matthew; daughter Andrea; and three grandchildren. A fourth grandchild was born five months after Vogelsong’s death.
Barbara (Piotrowski) Northam, 65, died April 2, 2018, in Scotts, Michigan. She was a native of Berwyn, Illinois. Survivors include her husband, Jim; son Matthew; daughter Angeline Anderton; sisters Sandra Chereshkoff and Debra Kieras; and four grandchildren.
Gordon Gennrich, 60, died April 3, 2018, in Milton, Vermont. He graduated from Douglas MacArthur High School in his native Saginaw, Michigan, then majored in pre-medicine at Kalamazoo College before receiving his dentistry degree from the University of Detroit–Mercy School of Dentistry. One of his passions was music, and he played drums with local bands throughout his college years. He also loved nature, and moved to state of Vermont to open his dental practice and start a family. He began his practice in Milton in 1984 and provided dental services until his recent retirement. He cared deeply about his patients and enjoyed making them smile with his unique sense of humor. He was preceded in death by his sister, Wendy Ann Gennrich. Survivors include his son, Jesse; daughters Kayla Rivard and Alisa Bushey; sisters Nancy Nelson and Diane Tilman; and a grandson.