Barb is a University of Michigan political science professor who recently published a book with Cambridge University Press titled, The Continent of International Law: Explaining Agreement Design. In news related to her family, Barb’s delighted that her nine-year-old daughter, Selene, loves acting! Barb, her husband, George, and Selene normally live in Ann Arbor, but they are residing in South Bend for the year while Barb serves as a visiting fellow at the Kellogg Institute and Notre Dame’s law school.
Jim died on January 15, 2017, unexpectedly while cross-country skiing. At K Jim majored in mathematics and studied abroad in Muenster, Germany. He also played football for the Hornets. Jim earned master’s degrees in divinity and guidance counseling. He worked as a school counselor and as the pastor to many churches. He enjoyed cross country skiing, hunting, fishing, writing and spending time with family and friends.
Finneas Johnson ’20 died on December 4, 2016, shortly after his first full term at Kalamazoo College. At K he focused his considerable academic acumen in science and his athletic prowess on playing soccer for the men’s Hornet team (he started every game in his first year). Finn was passionate about soccer, science, family and friends. Finn delighted in the mental and physical aspects of soccer and thrived on its competitive nature. Most of all he loved being part of a team and treasured the relationships he formed with teammates and coaches. Finn had an intense work ethic, set high expectations for himself, and was driven to succeed in all of his undertakings. A 2016 graduate of Kalamazoo Central High School and the Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center (KAMSC), Finn earned many academic honors. He completed his first semester at K with a 4.0 GPA. He had hoped to eventually earn a doctorate in microbiology and pursue a career as a research scientist. Finn had a bright, inquisitive and quirky mind. He asked questions others might not and was often reluctant to settle for answers he found incomplete. His not-so-secret ambition was to become the first person to achieve photosynthesis, hence his nickname, “Photo Finn”. In every pursuit, Finn’s greatest achievement was his ability to connect with people. Only 18 years old when he died, Finn nevertheless knew that life was best lived in community. He is remembered for his sly wit, charming smile, and budding sartorial style. Above all, he was loved for his generous spirit, humility and kindness. Finn struck an imposing physical presence and yet had a tender inner spirit that was evident to all who knew him. His mom, Jennifer Hall (an alumna of the class of 1993), often compared Finn to the classic children’s literature character, Ferdinand the Bull: a gentle giant who often wanted to sit just quietly and smell the flowers. Finn’s father is Bruce “Frisbee” Johnson, an alumnus of the class of 1976.
Owen died on June 1, 2017. He was the third of five children of famed National Geographic photographer and writer (and K alumnus, class of 1910) Maynard Owen Williams. At K Owen majored in history and trained in the U.S. Marine Corps ROTC. He later earned a master’s degree from George Washington University. During World War II Owen enlisted in the Navy and served in the Pacific from 1944 to 1945. After the war he returned to Kalamazoo and graduated from K in 1948. He began a long career in mapping, charting, geodesy and terrestrial sciences during which he served all four military branches and the department of defense. His work, in concert with the effort of scientists around the world, culminated in the deployment of the Global Positioning System (GPS). In 1981 he was awarded the Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award. Owen had a special talent for building international scientific partnerships that overcame barriers through research and development. These teams increased humankind’s understanding of the earth’s geodesy, gravity and geophysics. After retirement, Owen and his wife of 65 years, Betty Lou Williams, enjoyed connecting with family that included their five children and many grandkids and great-grandkids.
Heather submitted a class note and photo that explained the somewhat delayed timing of her latest publication. “About five years ago, I signed a contract for my second book on librarianship for teens,” Heather wrote. “Shortly thereafter, we learned we were expecting our second child. Only one of the projects could be put on hold, so at long last, The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services has been published by ALA Editions. This collection of essays and instructions on teen librarianship is a part of ALA’s long standing and well respected ‘Whole Library Handbook’ series. The project that could not be put on hold, Thora Violet, is now four-and-a-half years old, made of pure joy, and a great friend to her elder sister Julia, who is six. Also this spring, Paul and I bought our forever home, and are enjoying the sense of community here in Westmont, Illinois.” Thora Violet and her mom are pictured with mom’s new book.
Sarah is engaged to Caleb Kline ’13. The couple will wed in September of this year. You can reach Caleb at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jerry died on April 7, 2015, at his home in Sanford, Florida. A proud member of the Kalamazoo College community, his “I Bleed Orange and Black” bumper sticker was no doubt mystifying to his Florida neighbors. The Battle Creek, Michigan, native earned his bachelor’s degree at K in political science. Shortly thereafter he married his high school sweetheart, Joanne French, a knot that would remain tied for 63 years. In 1958 they moved their young family to what was then the barely settled frontier of southwest Florida. There he worked for many years as a superintendent in the construction industry. In later years, after relocating to the Orlando area, he worked in guest relations at Walt Disney’s EPCOT Center. Jerry and Joanne were avid travelers who took dozens of cruises to many parts of the world. They remained in close touch with several of their friends from college and high school days, and they enjoyed attending several Kalamazoo College reunions. In addition to his wife, Joanne, he leaves behind daughter Sue Skambis, of Orlando; son Doug Adrianson, of Ojai, California; sister Marilyn Simmons, of Grand Rapids; brother Tom, of Naperville, Illinois; and an assortment of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Donna died on July 14, 2015, surrounded by family and friends. She matriculated to Kalamazoo College from Beverly Hills, Michigan, and graduated with a degree in English. She did her career service at the Otter Lake Conservation School (Greenfield, New Hampshire) and studied abroad in Erlangen, Germany. After graduating from K she earned a master’s degree in education at the University of Michigan and worked as an elementary school teacher and reading consultant in the Anchor Bay school district for more than a decade. In 1986 she and Scott Ritchie married, and they were together for nearly 29 years. Their daughter, Emma Elizabeth, was born in 1988. Donna retired from teaching to devote more of her time to raise Emma Elizabeth and to help Scott run the family business. Donna was an avid and passionate reader. She also enjoyed gardening, music, travel, being outdoors and visits with her daughter. Throughout the years she kept up a lively correspondence with fellow English major classmates. She continued to write these beautiful letters almost until the time of her death.
Cy died on October 7, 2015. He attended Kalamazoo College and was freshman class president until he left the College to enter the service during World War ll. Cy was stationed in Hawaii and Guam as a meteorologist and was discharged in 1946 as a captain in the Army Air Force. After the war Cy returned to Kalamazoo College and graduated in 1948 with a degree in physics and mathematics. He met his future wife, Marilee Thorpe, in music theory class. After graduation Cy attended Cornell University, where he received a master’s degree in physics. He and Marilee married in 1950. Cy received a doctorate in physics at Ohio State University. He taught physics at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, for 26 years. He chaired the department for many of those years. He also worked at Oak Ridge and Argonne National Laboratories during sabbaticals. During his professional career, Cy was the Barton S. Pauley Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Physics and the W.F. Johnson Professor of Physics from 1958 to 1984. He was a member of the Optical Society of America, American Physical Society, American Association of Physics Teachers, American Meteorological Society, History of Science Society, Society for the History of Technology and the Double Reed Society. After his retirement, Cy and Marilee moved to Ocala, Florida, in 1985 and joined First Methodist Church of Ocala. Cy played oboe for 10 years in the Gainesville Community Band and the Central Florida Symphony.
Claude died on December 11, 2015. He was 95. He grew up in Linden, Michigan, and earned his bachelor’s degree at K in history and later earned a master’s degree from the University of Michigan. He married Verna L. Wheeler on June 11, 1941; she preceded him in death on April 1, 2014. Claude retired from Linden Schools in 1979 with 38 years of service. He was one of four people who were the initial inductees into the Linden High School Athletic Hall of Fame. He was also a member of the Genesee County Coaches and Officials Association. He was very active in local and state athletics.