Diane died on January 26, 2014. She was born in Blue Island, Illinois, and lived there until after she graduated from Kalamazoo College. At K she majored in mathematics and studied abroad in Munster, Germany. After college she lived in Washington, D.C., Santa Monica (Calif.) and Austin (Texas) before returning to Plainfield, Illinois in early 2013. She earned her M.A. in educational technology from Pepperdine University. In 1973-1974 she lived in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), Vietnam, teaching transportation planning models to Vietnamese students and public employees. During her career she generated computerized models for traffic and civic planning organizations, and served as a project manager for nationwide traffic engineering and civic planning research studies. She also served as manager of forecasting for Mattel Toys for ten years. She taught computer use to grade school students and retired seniors. She traveled around the world, served as president of historical and heritage societies, and become a certified master naturalist. She has been a sports car race worker, a fine art collector, an avid skier, a garden railroader, a rescuer of Golden Retrievers, and an equestrian. She also learned the art of bonsai and was deeply involved in parent and teacher organizations throughout her son’s education. Among family members who survive are her husband of 44 years, Browne, and her son, Daniel.
Katy spent several weeks in Ecuador coaching a refugee youth rock climbing team and teaching English classes for Colombian refugees soon to be resettled in the United States and Canada. She has returned to the United States and is in the process of applying to graduate schools to earn a master’s degree in public policy or public affairs. The picture shows her in Ecuador on the Imbabura Volcano. She earned her bachelor’s degree in international and area studies, and she studied abroad in Dakar, Senegal.
Professor Bousoño died in Madrid on October 24, 2015. He was 92 years old. Bousoño was an award-winning poet, literary critic and theoretician, master teacher, member of the Royal Academy of Spain for 35 years, a leading figure in Spain’s postwar literary circles and for many years professor of Spanish literature in Kalamazoo’s program at the International Institute in Madrid.
Among his many honors he was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize in letters in 1995, one of Spain’s most important literary awards. He was also a recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of Turin and a member of the Hispanic Society of America. During his tenure as professor at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid he was repeatedly voted best lecturer by the students. In addition to his volumes of poetry, he wrote a number of publications and was widely regarded as Spain’s most important literary theoretician. Bousoño was also a close friend of the Nobel Laureate Vincente Aleixandre and the executor of his literary estate.
Kalamazoo College was fortunate to have him on our faculty at the Institute because of his friendship with our former director there, Dr. José Vidal. Bousoño is survived by his wife, Ruth, and two sons. (Obituary by Joe Fugate, professor emeritus of German, director emeritus of foreign study)
Ann died on May 27, 2013. She died peacefully of complications from leukemia with her family by her side. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English and studied abroad in Clermont-Ferrand, France. She also met the love of her life at K, Steve Bosma ’65, and married him after graduation. She received her master’s degree from Occidental College (Los Angeles, Calif.).
Ann and Steve raised their two children in south Torrance, where Ann volunteered as a class aide and president of the Riviera Elementary PTA. She and other Riviera moms began a Friday breakfast tradition that has continued for 30 years. Ann was a big watcher of sports and was her children’s number one fan, going to all of their games. Fortunately for Steve, she also liked to follow college and pro basketball and other sports, even if while watching at home she was multi-tasking on a needlepoint or cross stitch project.
Ann was an athlete herself, finding her passion on the dance floor, first as a student and then an instructor of aerobic dancing. She taught for more than 25 years and had a very loyal group of students, many of whom became good friends. After classes they would get coffee and trade books, feeding her voracious reading habit. As an only child, Ann cherished these relationships with her lifelong friends, her cousins, and Steve’s siblings and their spouses. She also enjoyed music and traveling. She played in the hand bell choir at church and on her piano at home, and frequently had playlists running on her iPod at home and in her car.
For travel, Ann and Steve often visited Michigan. After their 29th wedding anniversary they also made yearly trips outside the US, with Europe a favorite destination.
Ann died one month before she and Steve would have celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary. She was preceded in death by her son Michael. She is survived by Steve and their daughter Rachel.
by Jane (Hudson) Knuth ’80 and Ellen Knuth
Letting go of her daughter, Ellen, was a 6,000-mile proposition for alumna Jane Knuth. Ellen, a recent college graduate and eager to get a grip on the adventure of life, was on her way to a remote part of Japan to teach English.
It wasn’t so much that Jane was afraid of the long distance. She feared more that her daughter might hit a bump or two in her life path, perhaps even a crisis, and not have a Christian church nearby. Jane’s faith is important to her, and she had worked lifelong to share and cultivate that importance in her daughter. The nearest Christian church was two hours away from Ellen’s new residence. Ellen wasn’t worried. Her concerns centered more on her new job and life in another country than the one in which she had been raised.
Love Will Steer Me True: A Mother and Daughter’s Conversations on Life, Love, and God is a collaborative book by Jane and Ellen. It is Jane’s third book and Ellen’s first. (Thrift Stone Saints: Meeting Jesus 25 Cents at a Time and Thrift Store Graces: Finding God’s Gifts in the Midst of a Mess are collections of stories from Jane’s volunteer work in a Kalamazoo thrift store.) Chapters lean heavily to Ellen’s story, with Jane mostly writing in response to her daughter’s musings.
The two keep in touch often by calling each other over the Internet, using Skype. “I’ll call you in your morning,” becomes their mantra. They trade stories of teaching, because Jane finds herself teaching eighth-graders in Kalamazoo, an unexpected job. Ellen’s work with Japanese children teaches her cultural differences and common universalities among children.
When Ellen writes of religion, she explores the beliefs she finds in Japan. She discovers a statue near the school where she teaches, nearly obscured by trash and weeds. It is a jizo, a Japanese figure of divinity, offering protection in the Buddhist tradition. This one appears to be a protector of children, and during the months Ellen teaches at the school, she tends the jizo, cleaning the statue and filling its offering cup with water (rather than the traditional sake, since alcohol is not allowed on school grounds). While her faith remains important to her, she expresses it effortlessly through a variety of other faiths.
The shared story takes an unexpected turn in 2011, when a tsunami crashes against the shores of Japan, leaving a path of destruction. In the tsunami’s wake follows a nuclear disaster, and while Jane at home prays for her daughter’s protection, Ellen joins a group of volunteers and heads into the fray.
Love Will Steer Me True is less a conversation than a daughter’s story reflected on her mother’s heart. Both reach a higher level of respect for the other in the process. Both gain new facets to their individual journeys of faith. Both learn to let go, and in letting go, strengthen their bonds.
Guardian angels and jizos work side by side, it appears. During parental visits to Japan, mother and daughter meet as equals, and in Jane’s willingness to abide by local culture and faith traditions, the reader becomes witness to the blending of two worlds. Jane gives a string of a thousand folded cranes to the Japanese she meets, their symbol of hope.
After five years of teaching in Japan, Ellen has returned to the United States. She works as a manager for a company in Clinton Township, Michigan, that specializes in study abroad and international internships. Jane lives with her husband, alumnus Dean Knuth ’78, in Portage, Michigan, and continues to volunteer at the thrift store as well as write a monthly column for The Good News, the newspaper of the Diocese of Kalamazoo. (Reviewed by Zinta Aistars)
George died on November 18, 2015. He was 95 years old. George majored in English at K. He was a member of the 1940 Men’s Tennis Team, which was elected to the Kalamazoo College Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007. George also received a Citation of Merit Award (2002) from the College’s Emeritus Club. He earned a master’s degree from George Washington University and worked briefly for Fairchild Aircraft (Hagerstown, Md.) before beginning a long and distinguished career in international higher education. He moved to Istanbul, Turkey, in 1942 where he taught and worked in administration at Robert College. He also worked at colleges in Libya, Washington, D.C., and Monterey, Calif. While at Robert College he traveled extensively throughout the Middle East and also drove through Europe many times on family vacations. He remained active in athletics–swimming and basketball as well as tennis–and oftentimes swam from Europe to Asia and back again across the Bosphorus. He was married for 71 years to Mary (Hosford) Williams, class of 1943, who survives. They have two children. Their daughter, Janice Kies, is a member of the class of 1972. George also is survived by his brother Owen (class of 1948) and his sister Mary Danielson (class of 1950).
David is on Fulbright Fellowship this spring during which time he is affiliated with the Malaysia National Higher Education Research Institute in Penang. During this fellowship he gave an invited presentation–“Widely Recognized Problems, Controversial Solutions: Issues and Strategies for Higher Education Development in East Asia”–to faculty and students at the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) in Kuala Lumpur. David is a professor in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development. During his fellowship in Malaysia he represented the university in signing a memorandum of understanding with IIUM that may eventually lead to faculty exchanges, joint internship programs, and other collaborative educational projects.
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.
Josef, a visiting international student from Germany during the 1972-73 academic year, took a stroll around the K campus with his wife, Dorothea, last October 25. Now living in Marloffstein, Germany, Josef and Dorothea also visited Rob ’76 and Val ’76 Van Patten in Grand Rapids, Carolyn Sevin ’74 in St. Clair Shores, Patricia Harrington ’76 in Cary, Ill., Heidi Gregori-Gahan ’76 in Evansville, Ind., and Jeffrey Barbour ’75 in Titusville, Fla. Josef encourages K pals from yesteryear to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marc died on April 8, 2015. He matriculated to K from Mt. Pleasant (Mich.) High School and majored in French and physics. He studied abroad in Caen, France, and graduated from K summa cum laude. After graduation he returned to France to teach English and do translation work. He returned to the United States to attend graduate school at Princeton University, where he earned a master’s degree in French literature. He interrupted his work on his doctorate to return to France in 1989. He was a journalist for Slate.com and other online media, and he also worked as a talk radio host for a local Paris LGBT program. He was deeply involved with work with the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) as a volunteer, former board member, and member of the site selection committee. “We have lost a special person,” said FGG Co-President Kurt Dahl. “His passion and dedication to the FGG was limitless.” He is survived by his partner, Jimmy Masserson, his sister, an aunt and uncle, and several cousins.