Erick Smith ’67

Erick died on September 3, 2014. He came to K from Addison, Mich., majored in mathematics, and studied abroad in Erlangen, Germany. He later earned a Master’s degree in math from Michigan State University. He served as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War. His life pursuits alternated between his academic interests and farming. He purchased a farm in Brooktondale, N.Y., where he and his family grew strawberries for 17 years. He returned to academia at Cornell University, earning a Master’s degree in agricultural economics and a Ph.D. in mathematics education. He then moved to Chicago and taught math education at the University of Illinois-Chicago. But he missed the rural life and returned to his farm in Brooktondale and taught briefly at Cornell and Ithaca College. He began farming full time with Cayuga Pure Organics, a farm he developed and grew that was committed to locally produced, sustainable, organic food.

Benjamin Drier ’43

Ben died on January 2, 2015. He matriculated to K from Three Oaks, Michigan, and earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry. He served in the United States Army during World War II, working in a field hospital in central Europe. When he returned to Three Oaks he met and married Norma Petruske, and they raised their family there. Ben was the owner of Drier Insurance and Real Estate, where he worked with his brother for five decades. After retirement, Ben and Norma enjoyed traveling throughout Europe (he was proficient in French and German). He was happiest when he was with family.

Chuck Bender ’66

Chuck was named 2014 Master Gardener of the Year by Lakelands Master Gardeners Inc. Chuck averages about six hours a day tending his spring and summer garden. Lakelands Master Gardeners Inc. is a nonprofit, service-based corporation in South Carolina with a mission to extend public research-based education, horticultural programs and activities that benefit the community. Chuck lives in Cross Hill (S.C.) with his wife, Carol. He earned his degree at K in economics and business and studied abroad in Muenster, Germany. He retired after a long career in financial operations. Chuck serves on the Lander University Arboretum Committee and volunteers with Greenwood Performing Arts youth outreach programs.

Bill Atkinson ’63

Class (1963) Agent Don Schneider reports that Bill is battling cancer of the neck that has affected his vocal chords as well as other areas of the throat and surrounding vasculature. Bill and his wife Linda made a recent trip to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Treatment Center to explore surgery as an option, but unfortunately that course of action was ruled out. Bill and Linda had hoped otherwise. Bill is working with physicians to determine a course of chemotherapy in an effort to control the cancer. If the cancer fails to respond to treatment, Bill and his physicians may choose to try experimental drugs.

David Kyvig ’66

David died unexpectedly on June 22, 2015, from complications of diabetes. David was a Distinguished Research Professor of History at Northern Illinois University (DeKalb). He was a prominent and prolific scholar of 20th century U.S. history who wrote nearly a dozen books and numerous journal articles, several book chapters, and countless encyclopedia entries.

He came to Kalamazoo College from Muskegon, Michigan, and cited the lasting influence on his life and career of several key professors: Wen Chao Chen (who also served as his faculty advisor), John Peterson (whose specialty was African history), and Ivor Spencer (U.S. history). David spent his career service quarter working in the office of Michigan Senator Philip Hart during the middle of the debate on the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He studied abroad in Muenster, Germany, and used that opportunity to study and listen to what Germans found noteworthy and intriguing about American history. His Senior Individualized Project (which focused on the U.S. Senate during the “100 Day Session” of President Franklin Roosevelt’s first term) immersed him into primary historical research, and he loved it.

After graduating with his B.A. in history (cum laude), David earned a Ph.D. in American history from Northwestern University. He spent a year in Washington, D.C., as an archivist in the Office of Presidential Libraries at the National Archives. He began his college teaching career in 1971 at the University of Akron. In 1999 he joined the faculty at Northern Illinois. He also taught as a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Tromso in Norway (1987-88) and was a resident fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

The majority of David’s research and writing focused on the U.S. constitutional amendment process. His book Explicit and Authentic Acts: Amending the U.S. Constitution, 1976-1995 earned the Bancroft Prize, the most prestigious book-publishing accolade for American history. More recently he published the highly regarded book The Age of Impeachment: American Constitutional Culture Since 1960.

David was the subject of a LuxEsto story (Spring 2002) in which he cited the fundamental importance of history, “how looking at the past can be useful in coming to terms with contemporary moments, particularly moments of crisis.” He attributed his appreciation for that insight to his experiences at Kalamazoo College. “K,” he said, “took a provincial kid from West Michigan and exposed him to the possibilities of life. Working in Washington, D.C., going abroad, being surrounded by so many bright people, new ideas, new ways of looking at things—and discovering that I could hold my own in that environment—instilled a confidence in me that I could handle new experiences.”

David is survived by his wife, Christine Worobec. David was instrumental in establishing at Kalamazoo College the Wen Chao Chen Endowed Professorship of East Asian Social Sciences. Christine has established an endowed scholarship at K to honor David. It is called the “Dr. David Kyvig ’66 Memorial Scholarship for the Study of History,” to which alumni, classmates and friends are invited to contribute.

Stephaine (Parrish) Taylor ’74

Stephaine died on November 21, 2015. She was born and raised in Pittsburgh. At K she majored in philosophy and studied abroad in Nairobi, Kenya. After graduation she settled in Portland, Oregon, where she became a distinguished state and national leader in vocational rehabilitation. Her work created opportunities for people with disabilities, including psychiatric disabilities, to live and work independently. She also was an award-winning quilter. She designed, sewed by hand and exhibited many of her beautiful creations. She loved to travel and had visited India, Egypt and China among other countries. She also loved to cook and preserve her family’s history. When she died she was in the process of completing a family cookbook titled Food is Memory.

C. Conrad Browne Sr. ’43

Conrad, a retired Baptist minister and missionary who dedicated his life to the pursuit of justice and peace for all people, died on January 26, 2016. He attended Kalamazoo College and later received his divinity degree from the University of Chicago Divinity School. He continued his post-graduate studies at the Interdenominational Divinity School (Atlanta), Harvard Divinity School (Cambridge, Mass.), and at the Episcopal Theological School (Cambridge, Mass.).  Conrad was a Conscientious Objector during World War II and entered into military alternative service with several organizations, including the YMCA and the National Forest Service. For 54 years he served the American Baptist Churches USA in many capacities. He retired from the ministry in 1994. He was married for 50 years to Ora Helen (Smith) Browne until her death in 1995. He is survived by his wife, Catherine. Conrad’s family includes five children, 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Carrie VanDerZee ’05

arrieTroyerCarrie and Adam Troyer ’05 got married in Punta Cana (the Dominican Republic) in January. They were thrilled to have a number of fellow Hornets attend. Pictured are (l-r) Liz Okey ’07, Nate Troyer ’02, Sara (Kellogg) Troyer ’03, Garrett Weatherhead ’03, Lindsay (Basler) Weatherhead ’05, Adam and Carrie, Anny Price ’05, Ed Thomas ’05 and Bridgett Blough ’08.

Alexandra Foley Altman ’97

lexandraAltmanAlexandra joined classmates, friends and their families for a summer picnic in Battle Creek, Michigan. Adults (l-r) included: Michael Ejercito, Karen Reed ’97, Miguel Aguirre, April Riker ’97, Alexandra, Chris Altman ’97, Angela Pratt Geffre ’97, Dan Geffre, and Paula Feddor Frantz ’97. The kids (l-r) included: Felicity, Dante and Sierra Ejercito; Santiago and Felix Aguirre; Maeve Altman; Connor Geffre; and Ryan and Max Frantz.

David Rector ’66

David died on September 16, 2014. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in physics and studied abroad in Erlangen, Germany. David worked for the State of Michigan for 30 years. He enjoyed photography, woodworking, crossword puzzles, and music, and he loved visiting Torch Lake and traveling. David was very active in class of 1966 activities (rarely, if ever, missing a reunion or other opportunity to gather with classmates) and he loved his alma mater.