Archives

Robert E. Heerens ’38, M.D.

Robert died on October 19, 2014. He earned his bachelor’s degree at K in chemistry and after graduation attended medical school at the University of Alabama and Northwestern University. He earned his medical degree from Northwestern Medical School in 1944. He served as a physician in the U.S. Navy assigned to the first Marine Division in the Pacific theater. He married Martha Lysne, August 21, 1943, in Batavia, Illinois. She predeceased him on May 15, 1996. Robert was a family physician in private practice for 44 years in Rockford, Illinois, during which time he delivered 3,000 babies. He was a member of Christ Church Unity of Rockford. A highly civic-minded man, Robert received many awards for his service, and he was a member of the board of directors of many organizations. He was president of the Illinois Academy of General Practitioners, vice president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, and president of the Winnebago County Public Health System. He also served as president of the Chamber of Commerce and president of the N.W. Area Agency on Aging. He was on the initial committee that started the Center for Learning in Retirement 20 years ago. Robert was a curious, funny, avid learner and a compassionate, unfettered soul with a keen interest in cosmology, body and mind medicine, religion, and spirituality. He made personal connections with his patients that lasted well after his retirement.

Harriet Plasterer Lindsey ’36

Harriett died on February 2, 2015, at the age of 99. She began her studies at Kalamazoo College in January of 1933. She majored in English and became president of her sorority, Alpha Sigma Delta. During 1935 and 1936 she was editor of The Index. She earned straight As, completing her degree in three years. Harriett worked as a newspaper reporter on The Ionia Sentinel, then edited for the textbook division of Harcourt, Brace & Company in Chicago before moving to Hollywood, California, where she met and married Ben Lindsey. Subsequently, she wrote articles for The East Whittier Review and became active in church and community affairs.

David Torresen ’87

David moved to Portland, Maine, in January 2015 after 25 years in Washington, D.C., where he worked for 11 years at the Center for Advancing Health, a nonprofit organization focused on patient engagement, and 12 years at the Washington Blade, a weekly LGBT newspaper. In Portland he works as senior operations associate for the Maine office of AARP. He continues to serve as editor for the official website of singer Peggy Lee, and earlier this year he served as co-producer and contributed liner notes for the two-CD Peggy Lee set “At Last: The Lost Radio Recordings.” He welcomes the chance to meet other K alums in Maine and can be reached at peggyfan@earthlink.net

Carlos Bousoño, Professor of Spanish Literature in Kalamazoo College’s Program at the International Institute in Madrid

Professor Bousoño died in Madrid on October 24, 2015. He was 92 years old. Bousoño was an award-winning poet, literary critic and theoretician, master teacher, member of the Royal Academy of Spain for 35 years, a leading figure in Spain’s postwar literary circles and for many years professor of Spanish literature in Kalamazoo’s program at the International Institute in Madrid.

Among his many honors he was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize in letters in 1995, one of Spain’s most important literary awards. He was also a recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of Turin and a member of the Hispanic Society of America. During his tenure as professor at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid he was repeatedly voted best lecturer by the students. In addition to his volumes of poetry, he wrote a number of publications and was widely regarded as Spain’s most important literary theoretician. Bousoño was also a close friend of the Nobel Laureate Vincente Aleixandre and the executor of his literary estate.

Kalamazoo College was fortunate to have him on our faculty at the Institute because of his friendship with our former director there, Dr. José Vidal. Bousoño is survived by his wife, Ruth, and two sons. (Obituary by Joe Fugate, professor emeritus of German, director emeritus of foreign study)

Patricia Johnson ’71

Patricia  died on February 25, 2016. She was 66 years old. At K she earned her degree in German and studied abroad in Bonn, Germany. After graduating she enjoyed a 43-year career in the Portage (Mich.) Public Schools, where she taught German, history and social studies. She retired in 2015. Pat enjoyed knitting and was an avid sports fan. She loved the “Mike and Mike” television/radio program and would record it every day to watch when she got home. She was a strong supporter of Kalamazoo College and a former student and dear friend of Joe Fugate, professor emeritus of German and former director of the foreign study program.

Wendy Oslund-Morrow ’83

Wendy died on March 11, 2016. At K she earned her B.A. in psychology and studied abroad in Hannover, Germany. She completed a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Western Michigan University in 1985. Wendy was employed as a counselor for many years with the Center for Life Management in Derry, N.H., and was most recently employed with the Counseling Center of Nashua, N.H. She loved hiking and was a member of the Appalachian Mountain Club. She also enjoyed reading and Contra dancing and was an active member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Manchester N.H. Wendy is survived by her son and daughter and granddaughter. She was predeceased by her husband in 2008.

Rosemary (Tucker) Decker ’68

Rosemary died on June 24, 2016, from injuries sustained in a horse riding accident while on vacation with her family. Rosemary grew up in Casper, Wyoming, and matriculated to Kalamazoo College from Natrona County High School, where she was seventh in her class of 783 students. At K she majored in English, studied abroad in Aix en Provence, France, and did her career service quarter in Washington, D.C., working for U.S. Senator Milward Simpson. She wrote her Senior Individualized Project on the 18th-century poet Alexander Pope. One month after graduating in June 1968 she married her college sweetheart and the love of her life, Harold J. Decker ’67. Rosemary died one month shy of what would have been the couple’s 48th wedding anniversary. Rosemary earned a Master of Library Science degree from UCLA and worked in the Whittier (Calif.) Public Library as a children’s librarian. She and Harold returned to Kalamazoo in 1980. They raised three beautiful daughters. Rosemary was active in many civic and fundraising organizations, including, among others, Newcomers, Junior League, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra League, and the Kalamazoo College Alumni Association Executive Board. She was an avid reader, gardener and skier. Above all, she loved family and friends. She is survived by her husband, their three daughters and three granddaughters, two sisters, as well as several nieces and nephews and their children.

James Hightower ’58

Jim died on October 3, 2016. He was the son of Raymond Hightower, who was a professor of sociology and dean at Kalamazoo College and a Kalamazoo City Commissioner and Mayor. Jim’s mother, Jeanne Matthews Hightower, was an elementary school teacher and reading specialist. Academics were central in the family that included three boys, all of whom graduated from K.

At K Jim majored in economics. He met his future wife, Sharon Wiley ’59, the first day of classes. They married in 1957 and moved to California in 1959. Both Jim and Sharon received degrees from Claremont Graduate University. Jim earned a Master’s degree and Ph.D. in economics. He taught at the University of Richmond for three years and, in 1969, began his 35-year career in the California State University system, which included teaching and administrative positions at CSU-Fullerton and in the CSU Chancellor’s Office. He is survived by Sharon, his wife of 59 years, their son, daughter-in-law and grandaughter, among other family members.

James Morrell ’53

Jim died on February 28, 2017. He was 86 years old. Jim grew up in Kalamazoo and during his four years a K was deeply involved in many activities. He was elected Freshman Class President and was a member of Pi Kappa Delta (president) and Century Forum. He served in the Student Senate and as editor of the Index. He participated in Forensics, Bridge Club and the WJMD radio station, and he earned a letter on the varsity Golf Team. “Kalamazoo College was a landmark in my life. It completely changed me,” he said. Jim graduated with a degree in history and speech. He served in the U.S. Army for two years following graduation. In 1955 he began a 31-year career with the Saga Corporation, a tenure that included two years (1955-57) managing the food service program at Kalamazoo College and various positions at the district, regional and corporate levels. He retired in 1986 as vice chariman. Jim served on the College’s board of trustees from 1985 to 2000. He and his wife, Marylyn (Eck) Morrell ’56, first met on campus in the fall of 1952. “The Kalamazoo College learning experience prepares the student not just to enter one field,” he said, “but to enter any field. That’s power.” Through his entire life Jim remained committed to the educational excellence of his alma mater.