Willard (Bill) Hess ’52

Bill died on February 26, 2015. He matriculated to K from Buchanan, Michigan, and earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry. He served in the United States Marine Corps and enjoyed a 36-year career as a chemist with The Upjohn Company. A former high school football star, Bill loved many other sports. He excelled in table tennis and was a nationally ranked player who earned a silver medal in the Senior Olympics. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Donna, their three children, and 12 grandchildren.

Carl Finch ’58

Carl died at home after a very short illness on January 30, 2015.  At K, he earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics. He received a master’s degree (mathematics) from the University of Wisconsin (1961) and a second master’s degree (counseling psychology) from Santa Clara University (1988). He retired from IBM in 1987 after working there for 26 years. Carl valued his time as a volunteer for the organization Suicide and Crisis in Santa Clara County, and in 1984 he won an achievement award for his work there from the Volunteer Center of Santa Clara County. He also spent many hours as a volunteer counselor working with both the victim and perpetrator of sexual abuse cases. Carl and his wife, Patricia (Cooper) Finch ’58, moved to Oregon in 2002. He very much enjoyed spending time with his family and working outdoors on his 25 acres of land.

Ruth (Schlobohm) Anderson ’36

A memorial service for Ruth and her husband Donald Anderson ’33 was held in Richland, Michigan, on May 24, 2015. Don graduated from University of Michigan Law School in 1936 and practiced law in Kalamazoo, where he also served as Probate and Circuit Court Judge. He lived to be almost 101, and Ruth lived to be almost 100. They were married 75 years. They met in the Kalamazoo College Library in 1932, and were kicked out of the library for playing music with a rubber band on a book.

Richard J. Miller ’59

Richard died on November 5, 2015. He matriculated to K from Benton Harbor, Michigan, and he majored in chemistry. He was employed at Modern Plastics his entire career, where he served as director of quality assurance. Richard and his wife, Jeannine, were married for 56 years. They moved from St. Joseph to Grand Rapids in 2013. They were avid rock hounds, specializing in crystals and minerals, and were very active in the Blossomland Gem and Mineral Society. Richard was involved in community events and chaired numerous organizations, including Twin City Players, Venetian Festival and others. He held leadership roles in his international professional organization, Society of Plastics Engineers, and received numerous awards.

Michael Nelson ’73

Michael died on December 27, 2015. He majored in history at K and studied abroad in Clermont-Ferrand, France. He then earned two master’s degrees: one in history from Montana State University and the second in library science from the University of Washington in Seattle. He served as a librarian for Montana State University and Montana Tech in Butte. In 1984, Michael moved to Laramie to work for the University of Wyoming as a reference librarian. He was working as a collection and development librarian at the time of his death. Michael married Joyce Collum in 1991 and they had two sons together, Matthew and Mark. Michael and Joyce later divorced but remained very close friends. Michael volunteered for Big Brothers and Sisters in Laramie. He loved the outdoors, walking, hiking and cross-country skiing. He loved trains and shared his love of railroading with his son Mark. He often took his son to the footbridge over the tracks to watch the trains. His greatest joy in life was being a father and a grandfather to his grandson Benjamin Matthew.

Walter Edmund Ash Jr. ’61

Walter died on August 5, 2015. He matriculated to K from Vicksburg (Mich.) High School. He earned his degree in biology and was deeply involved in theatre productions on campus. After graduation he attended Yale School of Drama for a year. On June 2, 1963, he married Lela Davis in Vicksburg. Walter followed his love of theatre as a freelance theatre director his entire career. He directed more than 100 plays in his lifetime and acted in many as well. He also was a founding member of the Festival Playhouse at Kalamazoo College. He was a true liberal arts spirit with many varied interests. He was a member of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors and the American Conifer Society. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather blessed with a very curious mind and insatiable love of the arts. Walter is survived by Lela, his wife of 52 years, their three children and two grandchildren.

Malia Johnson ’07 and William Sbach ’07

Malia and William were married on July 26, 2014. Malia works as a curatorial assistant at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and as a baker for Albemarle Baking Company. William is working on his doctorate in political theory at the University of Virginia. Malia earned her bachelor’s degree in American history; she studied abroad in Rome, Italy. William earned his bachelor’s degree in political science, and he also studied abroad in Rome. He earned a master’s degree from the University of Toronto. Malia and William live in Charlottesville, Virginia.