Margaret, who went by the name of Ranny, died on April 7, 2014 at the age of 80. She was granddaughter of the founder of the Dow Chemical Company. Ranny received an honorary degree from Kalamazoo College in 2009, and her family foundation was a major benefactor to the College. She earned a B.A. degree from Carleton College (Northfield, Minn.) and was awarded honorary doctorates from many institutions of higher education. For 51 years Ranny served as a trustee for the Herbert H. and Grace A. Down Foundation, and she led the foundation as its president since 2000. She also served as a trustee of the Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation since 1962. Ranny was active in many important local, state, and national causes and strong believer in philanthropic collaboration.
Gary was elected to a three-year term on the board of directors of the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan (CDAM). CDAM is one of the leading nonprofit organizations in the criminal justice system in the state. In addition to serving on the board, Gary represents criminal defense attorneys in a district that covers the entire shoreline of Lake Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, and includes Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Big Rapids, Hart, Ludington, Traverse City, and Marquette. “I am really honored to be a part of such a dedicated group of professionals,” said Gary. “CDAM members are committed to defending the accused in Michigan and supporting and defending our Constitution. They serve a critical role in the criminal justice system and provide a tremendous service to the public.” Gary has dedicated his entire career to the justice system, first as a F.B.I. special agent and then as a criminal defense attorney. “I get asked about that transition a lot,” Gary said, “and I tell people that my belief in the criminal justice system is common to both efforts. I worked hard as an agent to enforce the law and defend our Constitution, and now I work just as hard on the other side to defend our Constitution and the accused. No matter how zealously I defend my clients, the system is designed to produce a just result. And most of the time it works.” Gary is a partner at the criminal defense law firm of Springstead & Bartish Law, P.L.L.C., in Grand Rapids and Fremont, Michigan.
Allison is working on applying to law school and eventually pursuing a career in advocacy. In the meantime she works as a legislative intern for Michigan State Senator Steve Bieda. She is also a teaching assistant at Grand Ledge (Mich.) Public Schools, and she does some freelance editing as well.
Brittany earned her B.A. degree in anthropology and sociology with a concentration in public policy and urban affairs.
Sarah manages the Klamath Bird Observatory’s bird monitoring work on the Trinity River Restoration Program in northwestern California. Body temperature and blood work-ups provide indicators of human health; in a somewhat similar way birds are indicators of a functional river ecosystem. Sarah manages research looking into how changes in habitat structure associated with river restoration are related to bird abundance, diversity and demography. Results shape and assess river restoration activities. Sarah joined KBO in 2013 after earning her Ph.D. at the University of Maryland and the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center. She studied the ecology of the endangered Kirtland’s Warbler. At K, she majored in biology with a concentration in environmental studies. She studied abroad in Ecuador. KBO is a scientific non-profit organization that achieves bird conservation in the Pacific Northwest and throughout the migratory ranges of the birds that frequent the ruggedly beautiful and wildlife-rich Klamath-Siskiyou bioregion of southern Oregon and northern California. KBO emphasizes high caliber science and the role of birds as indicators of the health of the land, and the organization specializes in cost-effective bird monitoring and research projects that improve natural resource management. It nurtures a conservation ethic in local communities through outreach and educational programs.
Jack died on May 1, 2016. He was 83 years old. Jack was able to attend K because of a scholarship, and he loved the school. He met his wife Beverly (Nunn) Price ’57 on campus, and he served his alma mater throughout his life, both as an alumni trustee on the board and an enthusiastic admission volunteer with prospective students. In 2009 Jack received the Emeritus Club Citation of Merit Award, which honors those who have demonstrated affection for the College by their loyalty and involvement in its activities and programs. “K was dad’s only hope for a college education,” wrote his daughter, Julie. “He was brilliant but grew up during the depression, and his parents were very poor. The scholarship to K made his becoming a doctor possible.” Jack conveyed his love of K to his kids. Julie and her brother Andy are graduates, members of the classes of 1991 and 1983, respectively. Andy majored in economics and philosophy, and Julie majored in health sciences. Their older brother Ed also attended K (class of 1980) before leaving to pursue his degree in aeronautical engineering. At K Jack majored in biology and chemistry and earned a minor in philosophy. He was active in numerous student groups and co-curricular opportunities, including Phi Lambda, Phil Glee Club, Men’s Double Quartet, track, football and intramural sports. After graduating from K he earned his medical degree at Wayne State School of Medicine and trained at Grace Hospital in Detroit. Jack was an obstetrician/gynecologist at McLaren Hospital in Flint for 40 years; he served as Chairman of the OB/GYN Department of McLaren Hospital for more than 13 years. He was an assistant clinical professor at the Michigan State University College of Medicine. Jack served as the longtime medical director for Planned Parenthood in Flint, and he was an active member of the Michigan State Medical Society and the Genesee County Medical Society. He received many awards and honors, and volunteered for several hospital and community committees. He also helped establish the Wellness HIV- AIDS group for outreach to the HIV/AIDS community. Jack was an avid fisherman, stamp collector, choir singer, golfer and movie aficionado.
Marigene was one of five women recognized by YWCA Kalamazoo with a 2017 Women of Achievement Award. Since her retirement Marigene has been active as a member of the Hispanic American Council’s board of directors. She was cited for her appreciation of diversity, culture, empowerment and social justice. Marigene’s fluency in Spanish allows her to work as an advocate bringing stability to families facing a variety of obstacles, from domestic violence and child custody to deportation. Her oversight of events, initiatives and collaborations continues to be a part of the Hispanic American Council’s vision of creating a better future for the Hispanic/Latino community. “This was a wonderful recognition for the work Marigene has been doing for our Hispanic community,” said President Jorge G. Gonzalez. “It is great to see that our emeriti faculty continue to be fully engaged with our community.”
Nancy died on January 24, 2014, at the age of 82. She was a former Kalamazoo College trustee (1978-1986) and a generous benefactor of the College. She and her husband, Tom, who survives, were ardent supporters of K, and the Woodworth Baseball Field honors their many gifts to that program, among others. Nancy was the daughter of Dr. E. Gifford and Love (Barnett) Upjohn and the granddaughter of Dr. Lawrence and Gratia (Clough) Upjohn. She earned her bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Michigan and received a degree in management training from Harvard-Radcliffe College. Nancy and Tom were married on June 26, 1954. Nancy spent the early years of her marriage teaching 3rd grade at Washington Elementary in the Kalamazoo Public School System. She was a devoted mother who organized the activities of her busy children while making time to serve her community. In addition to her service on the Kalamazoo College Board of Trustees, she was active in Girl Scouts, The Kalamazoo Service Club, and the Visiting Nurses Association. She was an enthusiastic hockey mom who attended most of her four sons’ games with bell in hand to announce their teams’ goals. After Tom retired from Graff Trucking, Tom and Nancy moved to Sanibel Island, Florida, where she was a volunteer docent at the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum. She also supported the Sanibel Playhouse, and became a member of the Captiva Island Yacht Club. Nancy was happiest at the bridge table or on the tennis court. These remained life-long interests for her both at Gull Lake and at her home on Sanibel.
Michael was named mayor of Sterling Heights, Michigan, on December 3. He will serve the remainder of former Mayor Richard Notte’s term. Notte died in October of pancreatic cancer. During Notte’s absence due to his illness, Taylor had been chairing City Council meetings and carrying out the duties of mayor as mayor pro tem. He was sworn in as mayor by the City Council on December 16. Michael earned his bachelor’s degree in economics and studied abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico. He earned his J.D. from Wayne State University Law School, after which he moved to Sterling Heights. He is a senior attorney at the firm of Davis Burket Savage Listman Brennan (Mount Clemens, Mich.). He and his wife Christina have a daughter and a son.
Britta is a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kyrgyzstan. “I thought of LuxEsto last month,” she wrote in January, “when my new host brother was born. His name, Nurbolot, means ’There will be light’ in Kyrgyz.” Winters are pretty cold in Kyrgyzstan: “I spend much of my day huddled around my space heater,” added Britta. Britta wrote an article about her experiences that appears in the this issue of BeLight.