William E. Friberg ‘51

William E. Friberg ‘51, age 94, passed away peacefully at his home in Elmhurst, Illinois on July 4, 2023.

Born to the late Einar and Thorborg Friberg (nee Swanson). William graduated from Amundsen High School in Chicago, Illinois, followed by receiving his bachelor’s degree from Illinois Wesleyan University, and his master’s degree from Northwestern University. For over 30 years, William enjoyed his time as a teacher, coach, athletic director, and administrator for the Leyden High School district. After retiring from Leyden, he began BEAR Awards, a successful trophy and awards business. William was a longtime active member of Epiphany Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Epiphany Men in Mission organization, as well as offering his time as an Alderman for the Elmhurst City Council. He was also a loyal Bears and Cubs fan.

William was married to his late wife, Mary Ann Friberg (nee Anich) for 64 wonderful years. He is survived by his children, Michael Friberg and Michelene (Michael) Peterson; grandchildren Michael Mellinghausen, Nathanael (Tehani) Haggard, Benjamin Haggard, Grace Barrus (Stephen,) Lillie Haggard, Joel Haggard, and Samuel Haggard; and great-grandchildren Amelia Barrus and Noah Barrus. He had many interests, but he will be remembered most as being a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend to many. William’s full obituary can be read here.

Mary Ann (Hagmeyer) Guenzler ‘53

Mary Ann (Hagmeyer) Guenzler ‘53, age 91, a resident of Aurora, IL and a former longtime resident of Palos Heights, IL, and Joliet, IL, passed away peacefully on August 5, 2023, at the Brookdale Lisle Skilled Nursing Center in Lisle, IL. She was born on October 8, 1931 in Quincy, IL.

Mary Ann was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 68 years, Robert Guenzler and she is survived by her loving daughters, Susan (Herb) Getz, Marsha (Randy Stevens) Guenzler-Stevens, and Pamela (Wayne) DeBoer; her cherished grandchildren, Allison (Dave) Caldwell, Ashley (John) Boumgarden, A.J. (Leeza Papalanis) Getz, Katherine Getz, Amy DeBoer, Matthew (Whitney) DeBoer; and great-grandchildren, Helena and Ingrid Boumgarden, and Margot Caldwell. She was preceded in death by her parents, Richard and Hazel Hagmeyer.

Mary Ann received her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from IWU in 1953. She and her husband, Robert Guenzler, also an IWU graduate, were awarded the Alumni Loyalty Award in 1998 for their continued involvement with the University. Mary Ann also served on the Council for IWU Women and was instrumental in its early days. Her deep love for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren meant countless visits to sporting events, concerts, school events, and family celebrations and dinners. Her deep kindness for all she met endeared her to so many. Mary Ann’s full obituary can be read here.

Joseph Tolson ’56

Joseph W. Tolson ‘56, of Syracuse, Ind., passed away at noon Monday (July 17, 2023). He was born March 12, 1934, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Kankakee, the son of Joseph John Tolson and Isabel Mae Erzinger Tolson. His parents preceded him in death. Also preceding him in death were a brother, William Erzinger Tolson; and a cousin, George Tolson Searls. Joseph graduated from Kankakee High School in 1952. He graduated from Culver Military Academy Summer Naval School in 1952. Joseph graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington in 1956, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history and was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. He graduated from the Illinois Savings & Loan Institute in 1962. Joseph served our country in the U.S. Navy as a Yeoman 3rd Class from 1956 to 1962 and served active duty two years aboard the USS Edmonds Destroyer Escort 406. He worked as a loan officer for 1st Federal Savings & Loan in Des Plaines, from 1959 to 1965. Joseph was Vice President and Director of State Savings & Loan in Kankakee, from 1965 to 1974. Then, he was President and Director of Kankakee County Title & Trust in Kankakee, from 1974 to 1984. Joseph was an instructor with the Illinois Savings & Loan Institute’s Kankakee Chapter. He was Director of City National Bank. Joseph was also owner of Court House Title Service in Kankakee, from 1984 to 1996. 

He was also the owner of First Title Service in Kankakee, from 1986 to 1996. Joseph married Patricia Macy Tolson on Aug. 23, 1958, at the Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago. Surviving are his wife, Patricia Macy Tolson, of Syracuse, Ind. Joe and Pat met at IWU and would’ve been married for 65 years on August 23, 2023.; daughter, Barbara Elisabeth Tolson, of Sarasota, Fla.; son, David Joseph Tolson, of Tucson, Ariz.; and nieces, Julianne Tolson Flores, of San Francisco, Calif., and Sarah Tolson Kim, of San Francisco, Calif. Joseph was a member of the United Methodist Church. He had been chairman of the Kankakee County Board. Joseph was the past president of Rotary International, Kankakee. While a member for 38 years, he had perfect attendance. He was also a member of the Elks; The Round Table Club; a life member of Sigma Chi Fraternity; a member the Blue Key National Honor Society; a member of the Union League Club of Chicago for 50 years; chairman of Riverside Medical Center Samaritans for three years; and chairman of the United Way of Kankakee budget committee.

Carol M. Williams ’57

Carol M. Williams ’57, 86, of Mahomet, IL passed away Monday, June 26, 2023 at Carle Hospital in Urbana, IL. Carol was born July 11, 1936 to Floyd and Jessie (Dean) Rench in Peoria, IL. In her early school years, she attended a one-room schoolhouse with her mother as the teacher before going on to graduate from Chillicothe High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree in music education from Illinois Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in music education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She spent her entire teaching career in the Champaign School District, finishing at Champaign Centennial High School, where she built a strong choir program. She married Carl W. Williams on November 18, 1962. They met while both were teaching at Edison Middle School (then Edison Junior High). They had two children: Kate (Mark) Smith and Joe (Pam) Williams. Carol is survived by her children and their spouses, all of Mahomet, and her four beloved grandchildren: Molly Smith of Washington, DC, Nate Smith of Denver, Anna Williams of Mahomet, and Ben (Susan Fox) Williams of Urbana. Carol delighted in her grandchildren and their friends and was a well-known figure at all of their events for soccer, band, choir, and theatre during their years in the Mahomet-Seymour school system. You can read more here.

Oliver Lee Jackson 58

Paintings by famed artist Oliver Lee Jackson ’58 are on display in the Stanley Museum of Art at University of Iowa, where he attended graduate school after earning his BFA in art at Illinois Wesleyan. You can read more here. Congratulations Oliver!

Jerry Philpott ’59

Jerry Philpott ’59 passed away on June 19, 2023. Jerry was born March 8, 1937, in Springfield, IL, to Les and Jean Philpott. He is survived by his wife, Kathy, who he married November 11, 1983 in Bloomington, IL. He is also survived by three daughters: Elizabeth Wilmeth (Lee), Marcia Philpott, Amy LaMarra Sawyer (Will); and three grandchildren: Grace Wilmeth, Emma Wilmeth and Woods Sawyer. He was very proud of his children and grandchildren and all their accomplishments. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Dick Philpott.

Jerry graduated from Illinois Wesleyan in 1959, where he was a proud member of Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity. Over the years, he kept his fraternity brothers in touch with each other and encouraged the younger brothers to do the same. He was an active alum, receiving IWU’s Loyalty Award in 2010, and a citation for Distinguished and Exceptional Service from Phi Gamma Delta National in 2010. You can read more about Jerry here.

Arthur Leach ‘42

Arthur Leach ‘42 was featured in the Illinois Farmer Today where he shared about his time in World War II. Arthur began his time serving as a Navy Pilot just two days after he graduated from Illinois Wesleyan. Leach remained in the service for 14 years, leaving as a senior lieutenant in 1956. He was due to become a lieutenant commander but chose to return to civilian life in Illinois. During his time in the war, Leach earned two Air Medals and a Distinguished Flying Cross. Today, at 103 years old, he shares his story at the Livingston County War Museum in Pontiac, IL. You can read more about Arthur’s story here. Congratulations Arthur!