Anne (Whitfield) Nordhus ’48

Anne died on September 27, 2016, at her home in Chico, California. She earned her B.A. in English at K and then earned a Master’s degree in the subject from Breadloaf College (Middlebury, Vermont). In 1952 she took a three-year teaching job at Robert College in Istanbul. While sailing to Turkey she met her husband, Philip Nordhus. They dated in Turkey, married in London and honeymooned in Europe. In 1957 they settled in Chico, and both worked at Chico State University. Anne taught in the departments of English and education and worked in administration. News of her passing reached BeLight from Anne’s friend and classmate Jackie Mallinson. “Annie was one of the stars in our class,” wrote Jackie, “very friendly and outgoing, and loved by all. We were in college during the ‘Big Band’ era. One of our classmates, Jack Dentler, started ‘broadcasting’ Big Band records from his room in Hoben South to the girls then living in Hoben North. This was during the height of World War II, and our freshman year there were only 35 men on campus, and they lived in Hoben South. The ‘overflow’ of freshman women were housed on Hoben North for a few semesters before the return of the WWII vets. (Of course, there was a wall dividing the two halves of Hoben.)

“Jack’s ‘broadcasting’ led to the birth of the campus radio station, WJMD, the call letters coming from his initials–John M. Dentler. I’m sharing this because it is my understanding that Annie died quietly while Big Band music was playing in the background. And her love of it began as a freshman in Hoben North. Not a bad way to go.”

Mary (Mertz) Covert ’55

Mary  died on April 2, 2017. She graduated from K with a B.A. in art. She also played tennis and participated in College Singers, the French Club and the Bach Festival Chorus. She continued her education at Colgate Rochester Divinity School, where she graduated (1958) with a Master of Divinity degree.  She married Richard Covert on August 6, 1961, and they have three children. She is survived by her husband and children and six grandchildren. Over the years, Mary enjoyed a career in making and teaching art, focusing particularly in ceramics, textile design and quilting. She was particularly known for her exploration of different art techniques and the sharing of her experiences and knowledge with other artists. Her work has been exhibited and sold at various art shows. She also was active in churches throughout her adult life, including singing in the choirs and being on committees.

Ruth L. Collins

Kalamazoo College old-timers remember a lot of things about former Registrar Ruth L. Collins: her dedication to students, her expertise, her avid sports fandom—and her cookies.Ruth L. Collins

A renowned home baker, she frequently offered them at the registrar’s office, especially at the end of term when grades were due. Students could help themselves, but faculty were denied the tasty treats unless they turned in their grades—on time. As one emeritus professor remarked, never while Collins was registrar did he turn in his grades late.

Collins, 91, died Nov. 14, 2017. A graduate of Coe College and the University of Wisconsin, where she received a master’s in education, Collins became registrar in 1974 after the death of her husband, Professor Paul E. Collins, who had held that post.

Collins, a former high school teacher, assistant professor of education at Ball State University and instructor at Western Michigan University, continued as K’s official keeper of student records until her retirement at the end of 1989, once writing in response to a question on a faculty survey that “I mind the store.”

A faculty tribute written upon her retirement noted that  “for 15 years …se ran this complex and complicated operation with great efficiency, patience and good humor. …She never forgot that the College exists to serve the students, and she believed that the best way she could do that was by being informed, honest, clear, consistent and considerate.”

An avid and knowledgeable sports fan, Collins enthusiastically supported the College’s athletic teams and lived long enough to see her beloved Chicago Cubs claim the 2016 World Series, ending a 108-year championship drought. A skillful bridge player, she continued to play with three longtime friends and former colleagues until shortly before her death.

As per her wish, Collins was cremated and there was no service. She is survived by her children, David and Kathy, of Kalamazoo.


William Klein ’73

William Klein ’73, 65, of Portland, Oregon, died May 11, 2017, from pancreatic cancer. A native of Akron, Ohio, who went to high school in St. Joseph, Michigan, he earned his bachelor’s degree inWilliam Klein political science from Kalamazoo College before completing a master’s in public affairs, and a master’s of business administration and a Ph.D. in organizational theory, at Indiana University. While a student at Indiana University, he was an urban planner for the City of Indianapolis. Later, he was a professor at Penn State University for seven years, then joined the private sector, working for Dean Runyan Associates, a research, planning and analysis firm in Portland, where he was responsible for the development and design of state travel impact studies. He was an avid bicycle commuter, jazz fan, bokashi composter, woodworker, antique restorer, hiker and environmentalist. He was preceded in death by his brother, John. Survivors include his wife, Mary; sons John, Thomas and Cyril; and two granddaughters.

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.

E. Hunter Wright Jr. ’44

Hunter died on December 16, 2014. At K he was a member of Century Forum, and it was at K that he met and married Betty Zick. Soon after their marriage (1942) Hunter enlisted in the United States Army Signal Corps and served in New Guinea, Australia, and the Philippines during World War II as a cryptographic technician. Hunter worked in the insurance business in St. Joseph, Michigan, for 30 years. He and Betty were blessed with 72 years of marriage and three children. Hunter enjoyed sports, loved photography, and served as a hospital volunteer.

John Grandin ’63

On a recent trip to Florida from Rhode Island, John and his wife, Carol, stopped in Atlanta and had a great two-day visit with Dick Compans ’63 and his wife, Marian. John is professor emeritus of German and director emeritus of the International Engineering Program at the University of Rhode Island. Dick is professor of microbiology and immunology in the Emory University School of Medicine. He also directs the Influenza Pathogenesis & Immunology Research Center.


Theresa (Horn) Horowitz ’05

Theresa received her bachelor’s degree in psychology at K and her M.S.W. from Washington University in St. Louis. She is a Social Work Clinical Leader at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago. Theresa became certified as a Treatment Specialist in Diverse Populations and works with the most complex cases within the hospital. She has 10 years of experience in direct practice with mental health and health care, and she has expertise in crisis management, solution-focused therapy, severe mental illnesses, diverse populations and trauma. Theresa has presented at national conferences and webinars discussing innovative social work models for healthcare, and recently she published an article in the journal Collaborative Case Management that introduces a new team-based model for managing difficult cases within a hospital setting. In addition to her social work practice, she has taught undergraduate psychology courses for five years as an adjunct professor. Theresa and Justin Horowitz have been together for 14 years. They have been married for more than five years. They are expecting their first child this fall.

Carol (Spiro) Barger ’68

Carol died on June 28, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio, following a brief illness. She earned her B.A. at K in religion and studied abroad in Caen, France. She had recently retired from a 30-year career teaching first grade at Rosehill Elementary School in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. She is survived by her two sons, Kyle and Kurt, and their spouses, Tayah and Christianne, respectively.