Mary Kate “Katie” Reeder Brandon Fraley ’58 passed away on November 1, 2022 in Taylorville, Illinois. Born in Dewitt, Illinois in 1936, Katie was a dynamic elementary school teacher who influenced countless students over four decades in the classroom. She received her bachelor’s degree in education from Illinois Wesleyan University and was a member of Sigma Kappa. As part of her lasting legacy, her grandson Samuel also graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in history and secondary education. You can read Katie’s full obituary here.
Dick Hewitt ’46 died after a long life and short illness in April, 2020. Late in his sophomore year, he enlisted in the Army – IWU granted all the new GIs a “complete” for their classes for this semester – and eventually shipped out to Europe, where he fought in major battles of WWII, D-Day, Operation Market Garden and the Battle of the Bulge. He finished his education at Northwestern and Columbia, where he earned his first of two Master’s degrees. He spent his career in education, as a college counselor, a high school teacher and subsequently a high school administrator, principally in Northbrook, IL. In retirement, he and his wife Joyce traveled extensively and took advantage of the musical bounty of Chicago. He played piano and sang until he was in his late 80s, and never forgot his happy time at Wesleyan and the delight of being a part of the music department. His survivors include three children and five grandchildren, and he leaves a legacy of many laughter-filled times spent in his company.
Rhea Fae (Truxell) Kerkera ’54 passed away on February 22, 2021. She was born on February 2, 1932 in Edinburg, Illinois. Rhea was a member of Sheridan First United Methodist Church, and did volunteer work for almost fifty years. She is survived by her son, daughter, and many friends.
Harlan Dalluge ’58 recently shared memories of his time at Illinois Wesleyan in a letter. “I was so sad to get your most recent Class Newsletter that noted the death of Jim Wasem, Karl Tauber, and Bob Cushman,” he writes. “All three were teammates of mine over those four years when we won various titles and many baseball games. Jim Wasem and Bob Cushman were dependable infielders. Karl Tauber was an outstanding catcher….all were exceptionally talented, capable, and personable.”
Harlan also shared “a couple of old (very old)” newspaper clippings:
Jack K. Stephens ’57 of Monmouth, IL. passed away Monday, July 11, 2022. Jack was born May 30, 1931 in Joplin, MO, the son of Lyman Kenneth and Lola Margaret (Perry) Stephens. He was raised and educated in Normal, IL, graduating from Normal High School in 1949. He graduated with a Bachelor of Music Education from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1957 and later his Master of Music degree in 1961. Jack married Joy Ruth Fairchild ’62 in Heyworth, IL on August 10, 1961. Ruth passed away on July 12, 2022. View the full obituary here.
Joseph Roderick Myshrall graduated from IWU in 1952 and was a member of the baseball team. His son, John Myshrall, has recently written a book about his WWII service and other aspects of his life, including his time at IWU. The book is entitled Thunderbird Has Done It Again: Ernie Pyle & General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Favorite WWII Story – Part 2 and can be found on Amazon Books.
Robert “Bob” Levine, M.D. ’48 passed away on June 21, 2022. Bob was born in Chicago, IL on July 20, 1929. He attended Hyde Park High School in Chicago and graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1948 with a Bachelor of Science. After graduating from medical school in 1953, Bob served as a flight surgeon in the United States Air Force. In 1963, Bob and his wife moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan where Bob became a partner in a private surgical practice. After retiring from surgery, Bob maintained his interest in improving and supporting the health care system. View the full obituary here.
Stanley Barnes ’58 of Zionsville, Indiana, died May 2, 2022. He was 85. Stan played basketball and was active in Sigma Chi at Illinois Wesleyan. He began his professional career at National Distillers and Chemical Company in Tuscola, Illinois. He later accepted a job with the company in New York City that allowed him to travel the world. After 16 years in New York, he made a career change and purchased TransCity Terminal Warehouse and Transfer Trucking, Inc.; he served as owner and president of the company for 10 years before retiring in 1993. Stan loved to play golf and was a member at clubs in Indianapolis and Scottsdale, Arizona. He enjoyed sports, reading and spending time with family. He is survived by his wife, four children, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Norman Erickson ’50 died May 17, 2022. He was 95. Norm served in the U.S. Navy during World War II before attending Illinois Wesleyan, where he was active in Tau Kappa Epsilon. He later earned a master’s degree at Roosevelt University. Norm taught physical education and coached basketball for 36 years at Deer Path Junior High School in Lake Forest, Illinois; his legacy there is honored by way of the annual Norm Erickson Invitational Tournament. Norm also remained connected to athletics as an Illinois High School Association basketball and football official. Norm served for 19 years as a Libertyville (Ill.) Township trustee, and as waterfront director, camp director and owner of Camp Mishawaka in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Norm loved the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Cubs. He loved his friends and family even more. He is survived by three sons, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. You can read his full obituary here.
Patricia (Hartman) Yoder ’53 of Bloomington, Illinois, died May 13, 2022. She was 91. Pat majored in elementary education and was active in Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority at Illinois Wesleyan. She met her late husband, John Yoder ’49, the older brother of her roommate, during her time as an IWU student. Illinois Wesleyan played an important role in the Yoders’ lives; they were dedicated fans of the Titans their entire lives and returned to campus regularly. Pat taught at Jefferson School in Bloomington before she and John started their family. She was a fun, creative mom who loved to cook and entertain, especially when hosting family gatherings. Pat was a member of the Bloomington-Normal Symphony Orchestra Guild, where she held a variety of leadership positions. She and John also loved spending time at their second home in Cambria, California, where she also enjoyed hosting family and friends. She is survived by five children, including John Yoder ’78, 12 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. You can read her full obituary here.