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.

William (Bill) Western ’59

Bill died on April 13, 2017. He matriculated to K from Watervliet, Michigan, and earned his B.A. in sociology. At K he played on the Hornet golf team and was a member of Century Forum and the K Club. He also earned his way through school by working for Saga Food Service. After graduation he served in the U.S. Army and then worked for 20 years for Saga before starting his own company, Western Food Services. He met his wife, Sue Montague, at K, and they married in 1962. Bill had a lifelong passion for golf. He was a member of the Board of Governors of Kalamazoo Country Club and was a member of the Golf Association of Michigan. He was a member of the Florida State Golf Association and a member of the Society of Seniors, an association formed to provide strong competition for the finest senior amateurs. He was also a member of the Mid-Amateur Committee for the United States Golf Association for more than 20 years.

Gerald Rothman ’59, E.D.D.

Gerald died on February 24, 2017. At K he earned his B.A. in psychology. He earned advanced degrees from the University of Michigan, Kent State University and the University of Pacific. He spent his life working, studying and discussing his passions, which included helping others, ensuring a caring government and political system, Judaism, science, art, and music.  He was a lifelong avid reader and thinker. During the course of his career Jerry worked with the poor, with psychiatric outpatients, with elderly, and as a professor of social work at California State University, Sacramento.  He spent time on Boards of Planned Parenthood, Stockton Emergency Food Bank, Temple Israel, and the San Joaquin Commission on Aging. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Sue, two children and five grandchildren.

Barb Turner DeRose

Barb sent a photo of members of Kalamazoo College’s class of 1979 who had gathered in Grand Haven to celebrate their 60th birthdays. Pictured are (l-r): front row– Rollin Marquis, Mary Seaberg King, Carla Farthing Sykora; second row–Daulat Oppusunggu, Ruth Blackburn, Mary Whittaker Duncan, Dan Duncan, Barb Turner DeRose, Chris DeRose; back row–Chris and Jeannine Morris, David Blackburn, John O’Brien, Ken King, Leslie and Don Chinick and Bob Sykora. Also attending but not pictured was Nancy Nelson. “Ruth Blackburn, Jeannine Morris and Leslie Chinick are spouses of K-79ers,” wrote Barb, “and we include them in the Hornet ‘family’.” Congratulations, all.

Eleanore (Helfen) Miller ’60

Eleanore (Helfen) Miller ’60, 78, died Sept. 15, 2017, from complications of a Parkinson’s-like disease. She had recently celebrated her 56th anniversary with her husband, Gary ’61, a former Kalamazoo College trustee whose business career took them to various locations around the country before they settled in 1997 in in Corrales, N.M. An interest in Spanish that began in high school inspired a career in teaching, including conducting English-as-a-second-language classes for children of Hispanic, Chinese, Kurdish, Russian and other nationalities and ethnicities. She was a volunteer reading teacher at Corrales-area schools and served on the board of trustees of the Corrales Cultural Arts Council. In addition to her husband, survivors include their children, Sara Miller Jobe of Ohio and Leon Miller of Texas; sister Erna Stiller of New Hampshire; brother Richard Helfen of Indiana; and two grandchildren.

Carol (Richardson) Sanic ’62

Carol (Richardson) Sanic, 77, of Kalamazoo, died Dec. 26, 2017. A native of Kalamazoo, she taught elementary school for a year in Gull Lake, Michigan, and for 36 years at Parchment (Michigan) North Elementary School. She loved reading, eating out, traveling, shell collecting, shopping (especially at Talbots) and her grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband of 55 years, Ernest. Survivors include her daughter Melanie Sanic-Burke of Kalamazoo; son Ronald of Richland, Michigan; brother John Richardson of San Diego; and three grandchildren.