Richard J. Miller ’59

Richard died on November 5, 2015. He matriculated to K from Benton Harbor, Michigan, and he majored in chemistry. He was employed at Modern Plastics his entire career, where he served as director of quality assurance. Richard and his wife, Jeannine, were married for 56 years. They moved from St. Joseph to Grand Rapids in 2013. They were avid rock hounds, specializing in crystals and minerals, and were very active in the Blossomland Gem and Mineral Society. Richard was involved in community events and chaired numerous organizations, including Twin City Players, Venetian Festival and others. He held leadership roles in his international professional organization, Society of Plastics Engineers, and received numerous awards.

Michael Nelson ’73

Michael died on December 27, 2015. He majored in history at K and studied abroad in Clermont-Ferrand, France. He then earned two master’s degrees: one in history from Montana State University and the second in library science from the University of Washington in Seattle. He served as a librarian for Montana State University and Montana Tech in Butte. In 1984, Michael moved to Laramie to work for the University of Wyoming as a reference librarian. He was working as a collection and development librarian at the time of his death. Michael married Joyce Collum in 1991 and they had two sons together, Matthew and Mark. Michael and Joyce later divorced but remained very close friends. Michael volunteered for Big Brothers and Sisters in Laramie. He loved the outdoors, walking, hiking and cross-country skiing. He loved trains and shared his love of railroading with his son Mark. He often took his son to the footbridge over the tracks to watch the trains. His greatest joy in life was being a father and a grandfather to his grandson Benjamin Matthew.

Walter Edmund Ash Jr. ’61

Walter died on August 5, 2015. He matriculated to K from Vicksburg (Mich.) High School. He earned his degree in biology and was deeply involved in theatre productions on campus. After graduation he attended Yale School of Drama for a year. On June 2, 1963, he married Lela Davis in Vicksburg. Walter followed his love of theatre as a freelance theatre director his entire career. He directed more than 100 plays in his lifetime and acted in many as well. He also was a founding member of the Festival Playhouse at Kalamazoo College. He was a true liberal arts spirit with many varied interests. He was a member of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors and the American Conifer Society. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather blessed with a very curious mind and insatiable love of the arts. Walter is survived by Lela, his wife of 52 years, their three children and two grandchildren.

William Bos Jr. ’50

Bill died on June 8, 2016, at the age of 89. He was a talented basketball player and tennis player in high school (Muskegon, Michigan) and he played tennis for the Hornets at K. He was a lifelong tennis instructor, who worked for Wilson Sporting Goods, the U.S. Naval Academy, and the Dallas Country Club, where he often taught tennis to local sports celebrities from the city’s professional sports franchises (Mavericks, Rangers, and Cowboys), including Hall of Fame Dallas Cowboy football coach Tom Landry, who called Bill “Coach.”

Mary Jane (Faugust) Thomason ’56

Mary Jane died on September 22, 2016. She attended K and graduated from the University of Michigan with a nursing degree. She worked at the infirmaries at University of California-Irvine and Irvine Valley College. She was an avid traveler, tennis player, backpacker and skier who loved the Sierras and the desert. She and her husband, Robert, were married 60 years and have four children and eight grandchildren.

Virginia Jean (Johnson) Stone ’47

Mrs. Stone passed away quietly on February 26, 2017.  She was a long-time resident of Kalamazoo, the widow of Wayne R. Stone ’47, and an active member of the Kalamazoo College community.  She served on K’s board of trustees from 1977 to 1982 and co-chaired the Special Gifts Committee of the College’s annual fund in 1978. She also served as a board member of the Kalamazoo College Women’s Council; as Secretary-Treasurer of the Kalamazoo College Alumni Club; and as President of the Alumni Association from 1974-1976.  In 1963, she chaired the Kalamazoo College Alumni Fair.

Prior to leaving Kalamazoo in 2003 to be closer to family, Mrs. Stone served as a board member of the First United Methodist Church of Kalamazoo; the United Methodist Women; Child Guidance Clinic; Family and Children Services Agency; Ladies Library Association; and St. Agnes Board. She also was president and board member of the YMCA.  She is survived by her son, Dave Stone ’76; daughter-in-law Marty (Staff) Stone ’76; and daughter Patricia (Stone) Hulon, as well as by six grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  Condolences may be sent to the family c/o Dave Stone at

Dan Gwyn ’50

Dan died on April 12, 2017. Dan graduated from Flint (Mich.) Northern High School in 1945 and then served in the U.S. Navy. At K he earned his B.A. in mathematics and participated on the Hornet track and field team. After graduation he joined his father’s sign painting business in Flint, eventually expanding it into Gwyn Truck Equipment, which he sold to Scientific Brake in the 1960s. Dan started a second career in accounting for small businesses and corporations through the franchise General Business Services, first in the Flint area and then in 1975 in the Traverse City area. He later formed his own company, Business Management Services, from which he retired at the age of 83.

Peggy (Wacha) Cauchy, Office Coordinator (retired)

Peggy died on August 3, 2017, following a two-year battle with cancer. She was 69 years old. For 25 years Peggy served as the office coordinator for the physics, mathematics and computer science departments at Kalamazoo College. She and her husband, Robert, were graduates of Michigan State University. They were married for 41 years until Robert’s death in 2011. Peggy loved reading, walking, gardening, and feeding and watching the birds. She cared for and loved many pets over the years. She is survived by her son, Zachary.

Malia Johnson ’07 and William Sbach ’07

Malia and William were married on July 26, 2014. Malia works as a curatorial assistant at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and as a baker for Albemarle Baking Company. William is working on his doctorate in political theory at the University of Virginia. Malia earned her bachelor’s degree in American history; she studied abroad in Rome, Italy. William earned his bachelor’s degree in political science, and he also studied abroad in Rome. He earned a master’s degree from the University of Toronto. Malia and William live in Charlottesville, Virginia.