On August 18, 2000 Don Norwood ‘50 with Jerry Magliano embarked on a mission to establish Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science. They spent 5,500 hours promoting the concept of an early entry to college program and encouraging the Kansas Legislature to establish Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science. Hundreds of students have benefited from their vision and many more will benefit in the future.
Ardith E. (Coultas) Stewardson ‘59, died Sept. 11, 2020. After graduating from Illinois Wesleyan University with a degree in Business Administration, she worked as a secretary at EB Films, and for several years as secretary to the registrar at Northwestern University. After accompanying her husband for study in Germany and Switzerland, she worked part-time at Adrian College in the alumni office and home economics department while she raised her two children Andrea and Curtis. You may read her full obituary here.
Robert Reilly ’57 of Fayetteville, Arkansas, died Aug. 3, 2020. He was 84. Bob majored in music and formed a small jazz group called the “King’s Men” at Illinois Wesleyan. He was also a member of the Bloomington-Normal Symphony Orchestra along with another IWU music major, Mary Anne (Cubin) Reilly ’58, a cellist who later became his wife. Bob was a member of Phi Mu Alpha and the Blue Key Honor Society. After graduation, Bob began teaching in Homer, Illinois. He later took part in a three-year graduate fellowship program offered through the National Defense Education Act to pursue master’s and doctoral degrees in the psychology of classroom learning. His career as a college professor started at the State University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh, in the educational psychology department. He later taught at the State University of New York in Oswego, Shippensburg State College and, eventually, the University of Arkansas, where he worked for 30 years. Bob often presented and published his work, including an educational psychology textbook. He stayed connected to music throughout his life, playing clarinet and saxophone in bands in all the places he lived. He and Mary Anne also enjoyed hiking, camping and visiting national parks. He is survived by his wife, two children, 11 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and three siblings.
John “Jack” Poust ’54 of Silvis, Illinois, died Oct. 12, 2020. He was 89. Jack majored in business administration and met his future wife Nancy (Roberts) Poust ’54 at Illinois Wesleyan. Jack was a longtime member of Orion (Ill.) United Methodist Church, where he served as chair of the board, a trustee, and on the memorial committee. He also attended Riverside United Methodist Church. Jack served on the Orion athletic booster club and was honored in its sports hall of fame. He was a member of the Blackhawk Shrine, Coal Valley Sunrise Rotary and Western Township Library Board. Jack and his wife enjoyed playing cards, camping, traveling, and visiting family and friends. Jack was preceded in death by his wife. He is survived by two sons, three grandsons, two step-grandchildren and many nephews, nieces and other relatives. You may find his full obituary here.
Rev. James William “Bill” Jones ’51 of North Fort Myers, Florida, died July 20, 2020. He was 90. Bill dedicated his life to Christ at a summer church camp in 1945 and became the youngest preacher in the Central Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church. He was a recognized leader as president of both his high school class and Illinois Wesleyan’s student union. He later graduated from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary while serving as a student pastor. Bill was an inspiring preacher who served on many UMC boards and agencies, and was a delegate to the Jurisdictional Conference and the World Methodist Council on Evangelism. He served congregations big and small, and touched countless lives through his ministry. He loved traveling and frequently led mission trips. He is survived by his wife Anne (Snyder) Jones ’53, three daughters, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Donald Hildebrand ’50 died April 14, 2020, in Nashville, Tennessee. He was 91. Don majored in history at Illinois Wesleyan before pursuing a law degree at Vanderbilt University. He entered the U.S. Army after his second year of law school but returned to Vanderbilt after an honorable discharge and earned his law degree in 1955. He was employed by State Farm for several years before founding the law firm Lester, Hildebrand, Nolan Porter and Mondelli. Don was a man of many interests and talents. He was active in American Legion, Shriners, Masons and the Eisenhower Foundation “People to People.” He hosted legal talk shows. He was a lifelong lover of music who performed in a lawyers’ orchestra and another group known as “The Established.” He ran for the Tennessee Supreme Court, and was a colonel in the Tennessee State Guard and the State Guard judge advocate, then the adjutant general, and finally the State Guard inspector general. He was also a published author who wrote The Community House about growing up in Emden, Illinois. Don was a longtime member of Belmont United Methodist Church in Nashville, where he served in the choir, as a Sunday school teacher, class president, and member of the administrative board. He also attended services at Belle Meade Methodist Church in Nashville. Of his time at Illinois Wesleyan, Don said, “When I reflect on the values and education that directed me in my career, I credit Wesleyan for providing me a strong and lasting foundation in both of these areas, along with many other wonderful experiences. Proudly, I credit Wesleyan for preparing me for a very successful career.” Don was preceded in death by his first wife. He is survived by his second wife, stepdaughter, two brothers, including Robert “Bob” Hildebrand ’52, and three nephews.
What a challenge this pandemic has presented! I have followed all the campus news as our grandson, Samuel Soto, graduated with the class of 2020. Congratulations to the class and to the faculty for their classy virtual graduation. I am thankful for my 53 years in the education field(both in the classroom & on my district’s school. board). My best to all presently working to provide the best possible education.
Mary Kate (Katie) Reeder Fraley, Class of 1958
John Edwards passed away on Aprl 17, 2020 in New Holland, PA. He was married 58 years to Margaret Edwards, and earned a Ph. D. at the University of Illinois in Chicago. He was a member of Phi Kappa, Sigma XI, American Chemical Society, American Society of Biological Chemistry, and was listed in Marquis’ Who’s Who in American and Who’s Who in Science and Engineering. He is survived by his wife, children, and grandchildren. Read the full obituary here.
John Edwards ’59 died April 17, 2020, in New Holland, Pennsylvania. He was 83. John earned a Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Chicago and conducted two years of postdoctoral research at Tufts University. He taught biochemistry at Villanova University for 38 years and served as department chair for 10 years. John was a member of Phi Kappa, Sigma Xi, American Chemical Society, American Society of Biological Chemistry, and was listed in Marquis’ Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in Science and Engineering. He enjoyed camping, hiking, orienteering and distance running. He ran two marathons and many trail runs and half-marathons. He also served as an assistant Boy Scout leader. His hobbies included making wine, silver jewelry, Danish pastries, gardening and bird-carving. John moved to Garden Spot Village in retirement, where he engaged in hobbies and various groups and volunteer efforts. He is survived by his wife Peg (Smith) Edwards ’61, three children and five grandsons.