Archives

Jollie Allen ’38

Jollie died on January 11, 2015. He earned his bachelor’s degree at K in sociology and was captain of the College’s men’s tennis team all four years he played. After leaving K he followed his dream to fly by enrolling in the Boeing School of Aeronautics. After graduating from BSA he worked for Pan Am Airlines as a meteorologist in Trinidad and Miami. He returned to Kalamazoo to work for Globe Construction Company. He married Susan Jean Hicks in 1958, and they raised five children.

David Kimball ’55

David died on March 13, 2015. He earned his bachelor’s degree at K in psychology. He did graduate work in astronomy and literature at the University of Illinois in Springfield. For 38 years he worked for Illinois Bell, serving as district manager of operator services in the Chicago area and downstate Illinois. He was very civic minded and served on the board of the Better Business Bureau of Peoria County and the Board of Goodwill of Sangamon County. He loved astronomy, photography, and nature.

Robert Herman ’45

Bob died on August 21, 2015. He earned his bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics at K, and he earned a master’s degree in physics from the University of Michigan. In 1947, he began his career in various research and management positions at the U.S. Naval Ordinance Test Station in China Lake, California. In 1959, Bob made the decision to use the computer and engineering skills he developed while working for the Navy to create his unique, high speed magnetic core computer. He made the decision to resign from his civil-service position and moved his family to Orange County. He formed Orange County’s first home grown computer company, Decision Control, Inc. of Newport Beach. His highly successful company merged with Varian Associates, Inc. Bob left Varian to launch numerous other high-tech companies. He enjoyed skiing, sailing, flying, hiking and traveling with his family. He is survived by his wife, children, and grandchildren.

Bill Atkinson ’63

Bill died on November 22, 2015, after a long battle with cancer. Bill majored in biology at K and was a member of the Hornet cross-country team. Following graduation he worked as a high school math and biology teacher. He then joined The Upjohn Company and worked in the pharmaceutical company’s research, clinical research, and regulatory affairs divisions. He was awarded the company’s prestigious Upjohn Award. Bill enjoyed singing, working with golden retrievers, traveling and summers by Lake Michigan.

Joan (Carter) Cofer ’46

Joan died peacefully at home on December 26, 2015, in Sparks, Nevada, after coping with the progressive decline of Alzheimer’s disease. She is survived by her husband of 68 years, Emmett Ray Cofer, who attended Kalamazoo College as part of the U.S. Army’s Specialized Training Program in 1943-1944, and two sons. In her 50th Reunion Yearbook (1996) Joan wrote, “I credit the good life we and our family have always enjoyed to the years I spent at Kalamazoo College.” At K she earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology.

Robert John VanderVeen ’55

John died on April 28, 2016. He matriculated to Kalamazoo College from Schoolcraft (Mich.) Community Schools. At K he played football and basketball until he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served as a water specialist, purifying water for the military hospital during the Korean War. John graduated from Western Michigan University (1958) and earned a master’s degree from Michigan State University (1968). He had a long career in teaching and coaching in the Michigan communities of Eau Clair, Haslett and Hastings. John was a devoted family man. He and his wife Alice, who survives, have two sons, many grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Don Croysdale

Don died on July 31, 2016. He attended K and graduated from the University of Michigan. During a business career that spanned 38 years Don worked as an investment analyst/manager and was subsequently the president of his own management company specializing in benefits administration and association management. Don received national recognition for his management and state legislative achievements from the American Subcontractors Association. He was an avid golfer and bridge player.

Terry Nelson, former assistant professor of psychology

Terry died on November 14, 2016. He grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota and earned his B.A. from Hamline University. He earned his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Minnesota (1968) and then taught in the psychology department at K from 1968 to 1972. Terry returned to the Twin Cities where he began a private practice in psychology. He is survived by his wife, Connie, four sons and nine grandchildren.