Julia (Dean) Kellar ’54, 85, of West Lafayette, Indiana, died May 19, 2018. After graduating from Kalamazoo College, she received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan and taught school in Dowagiac, Michigan. After raising her five children, she returned to teaching at Indiana University Northwest. Her lifelong passions were art and nature and she was an amateur ornithologist and botanist. She was preceded in death by her brother, Maurice Dean. Survivors include children Dr. Daniel Kellar ’81 of Terre Haute, Indiana, Randy Kellar of Snohomish, Washington, Jennifer Knowles of West Lafayette, Douglas Kellar ’90 of Rogers, Minnesota, and Laura Mull of York Springs, Pennsylvania; 25 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Contributions may be made to the Diebold Fellowship Fund c/o Kalamazoo College, 1200 Academy Street, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49006.
Paul Greff was promoted to CIO of the $99.6 billion Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS). He had been deputy CIO. He will lead a staff of 55 in the OPERS investment division, implementing the annual investment plan and long-term investment strategy. Greff joined OPERS in 2009 as a senior portfolio manager to oversee the internal global bonds and securities teams, and was promoted to deputy CIO in 2015. Before joining OPERS, Greff was senior managing director of global fixed income at State Street Global Advisors. Greff, who has a bachelor’s in political science from K and an MBA from the University of Detroit Mercy, has “proven he’s a skilled investment manager, and his impressive track record will help us strengthen our asset base and implement investment policy,” said OPERS Executive Director Karen Carraher. Greff is the brother of Matt Greff ’89 (see next listing).
Jane Steadman is a lawyer in the Seattle office of Kanji & Katzen PLLC, a law firm that specializes in issues involving Native American tribes. In June 2018, 21 tribes, for which she is part of the coordinating legal team, won a U.S. Supreme Court ruling requiring the State of Washington to re-engineer hundreds of culverts that block salmon from swimming upstream to spawn. It was the culmination of a fight that began the year she graduated from Kalamazoo College. She joined the firm in 2011 and was co-author of the winning brief before the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. That 2016 ruling was automatically upheld when the Supreme Court voted 4-4 on the state’s appeal. The tribal challenge was based on 1850s treaties in which the tribes forever reserved the right to fish as they had since time immemorial. Salmon stocks have fallen drastically since the treaties were signed, and biologists have determined that the culverts are a major factor. Steadman, who earned a cum laude B.A. in biology at K with minors in anthropology and environmental studies, worked as a campaign organizer for Save Our Wild Salmon in the Pacific Northwest’s Columbia and Snake river basins before receiving her law degree at Lewis & Clark Law School, where she co-wrote a law review article about the culverts case with one of her professors. Before joining Kanji & Katzen, she was a legal analyst at the Wilderness Society’s National Forest Action Center and remains active in environmental causes.
Nancy West Mann ’57 died Nov. 20, 2018. She graduated from K with a degree in English and earned her master’s degree in the discipline from Cornell University. While at Cornell, she met her husband, Michael Mann, while marching at a peace rally in support of the civil rights movement. They were married six months later. Upon graduating, they moved to Newton, Massachusetts, where Mike accepted a job as a professor at Boston College. Nancy was very involved in local politics and served as the chairperson of the Newton School Committee for eight years. She was actively involved in the METCO Program, which is a voluntary program intended to expand educational opportunities, increase diversity and reduce racial isolation by permitting students in certain cities to attend public schools in other communities.
Upon Mike’s death in 1985, Nancy worked as an arbitrator for the Industrial Accident Board in Boston. Her desire was to help people who had been hurt on their jobs obtain financial compensation from their employers. She deeply believed in equality and fairness. Nancy’s hobbies were reading, church and politics. Nancy is survived by her two children and two grandchildren.
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.
Colonel Edward Allen Van Dyke ’42, USAF, Retired, died July 3, 2019, at 98 years old. While stationed at Randolph Field in San Antonio, Texas, Ed had a blind date with Marjorie for dinner and an evening of bingo. They were married 7 months later and were married for almost 74 years. Ed graduated from Kalamazoo High School and attended Kalamazoo College for two years before he applied to become an Army Air Corps Flying Cadet. He qualified as an instructor for the Martin B-26 in 1942. So began a 30-year career in the military that took him all over the world. He was on Iwo Jima when the first atomic bomb was dropped, on Okinawa when the second bomb was dropped, and in Manila, Philippines, on VJ Day. During his years in the Air Force, Ed graduated from the Armed Services Command College and had numerous assignments in command of air wings and bases in the U.S. and abroad. He served in Germany during the Berlin airlift and later as senior Strategic Air Command representative to the commander, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Paris, France. He was cited for his services as the American commander of a Royal Air Force Base at Brize Norton, England, for having the best Anglo-American relations of all U.S. Air Force units in the United Kingdom, and he also commanded a wing of 20 B-47s during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He was twice awarded the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious conduct. Ed earned a Bachelor of Business Administration at the University of Michigan and a Master of Business Administration at Western New England University in Westfield, Massachusetts. Upon retirement from the military, Ed worked in hospital administration for many years and later in consulting in Massachusetts. He was a United Way board member and president. He also received the Thomas F. Clooney and Gladys Allen Brigham awards for community volunteerism. Ed and Marjorie kept up with their traveling while retired, visiting Greece, Malta, Scandinavia, France, Monaco, Vienna, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, to name a few. He had a season ski pass to Jiminy Peak well into his eighties. Ed and Marjorie have four children, 10 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and four great great-grandchildren.
Ruth Eleanor Smith Blackmer ’44 passed away on April 20, 2018, in Monroe, New Jersey. Ruth attended K and received an associate degree from Mercer County Community College with a major in Library Science. She was active and served as an officer in many community organizations including Head Start, Youth Employment Service, Girl Scouts, PTA, church-related committees and various historical societies. During WWII, Ruth worked at the Kodak factory in Rochester. Most of her career was spent as a market research analyst with several companies in New Jersey and Connecticut. She was preceded in death by two children (including her son Richard Blackmer ’65) and her beloved husband, Lewis Milo Blackmer Jr., who passed away a month and a half before their 75th wedding anniversary. She is survived by two daughters, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Cynthia A. Turner ’69 passed away after a courageous battle with cancer on October 16, 2019. Cynthia (Cyn) graduated from K in 1969 with her lifelong friends, the Pleasure Palace Group. After graduation, Cynthia embarked on many adventures and had an interesting career path. Some of her occupations included being an au pair in France, an employee of the Michigan Department of Social Services, an employee of Friend of the Court, a management instructor at Lansing Community College and an antique dealer. She became a camera expert and eventually retired from the Altria Group. Cyn was active and enjoyed doing “the three Bs”: bridge, bowling and bingo. She was inducted into the Traverse City Bowling Hall of Fame in 2011. Cyn was the beloved wife of Glen Miller, of Traverse City, whom she married on Valentine’s Day 1981. Cyn and Glen traveled through all but four of the 50 states, mostly by motorcycle. They made friends with ease no matter where they went and shared 44 wonderful years together. Cyn was stepmother to two sons and was grandma to five grandchildren.
Helene experienced a crazy year in 2013. First she sold two young adult contemporary books, the first of which, These Gentle Wounds, was published by Flux on May 8 of this year. Then, in December 2013, she and her husband, John, brought their daughter Keira home from Bulgaria. Helene still lives in Nashville, works in marketing, and assumes that 2014 will probably be just at frantic.
Claire has a new job. She is a graduate teaching assistant at Ohio University (Athens, Ohio).