May 312021

We are sorry to share that Susan Jean Vanek Mackoway ’69 died March 28, 2021 in Peoria, Illinois. Susan was 73. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing at Illinois Wesleyan, where she was an active member of Alpha Tau Delta. Susan worked in pediatrics at Methodist Medical Center in Peoria. She was a member of St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Washington, Il. In retirement she enjoyed spending time with her family . She is survived by three children, including Debra Mackoway Bluestein ’94, and eight grandchildren.

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May 212021

James Proctor Brown III ’62 passed away on Monday, January 4, 2021 at the age of 80 in Norfolk, Virginia. Born in Reedsburg, WI, Jim was a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University and Indiana University. He served in the Peace Corps, teaching in Nigeria (1962-1964) and was a History Professor at Norfolk State University for 40 years (1968-2008) where he taught African and world history. Everything was an educational opportunity in Jim’s eyes, and he spent his life sharing his experiences. He believed that we are all connected, and that we should support and respect each other. Jim will be dearly missed, but his life and legacy continues with his family, friends, and all the students he met along the way. See full obituary here.

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May 202021

Bob Ward ’60 was showcased as one of three local artists who who seized the opportunity to reach within themselves and use their talents to create artwork. His work was featured in the Union Museum of Art and History exhibit, titled Art in the Time of Coronavirus.  It showed the work of artists who created these pieces exclusively during the 2020 Pandemic.  See more here.

May 172021
Stanley Cade ’67 died March 23, 2021, in Herrin, Illinois. He was 75. Stanley earned a bachelor’s degree in music at Illinois Wesleyan and a master’s degree in education from Northern Illinois University. He taught music for over 40 years, including concert, marching and jazz bands, and choral music, in the Illinois communities of Toluca, Morris, St. Anne, Mooseheart and Chicago Heights, as well as Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He also taught private lessons for many years and played trombone with the Batavia (Ill.) Community Band. He is survived by a fiancé, son, grandson, two siblings, and many nephews and nieces. Full obituary can be found here.
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Apr 302021

William Tolson ’62 of San Francisco died April 13, 2021. He was 80. Bill was active in Sigma Chi at Illinois Wesleyan. He enjoyed a successful banking career that allowed him to retire early and spend time with his family, which included a two-month trip around the world. He made many lifelong friendships through memberships in Rotary Club and The Family. He celebrated life as a longtime San Francisco resident hosting dinner parties, rooting for the Giants and the 49ers, and taking in the view of Alcatraz and the San Francisco Bay from his home on Russian Hill. He enjoyed time spent with his wife, was a devoted father to his children, and cherished time with his grandchildren. He is survived by his wife, five children, two granddaughters, and a brother, Joseph Tolson ’56. Find the full obituary here.

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Apr 282021

Elizabeth Holmes ’62 of Austin, Texas, died March 28, 2021. She was 81. Elizabeth earned bachelor’s degrees in English and speech at Illinois Wesleyan, where she graduated as salutatorian and was active in many campus groups and organizations. After her time at IWU, she pursued graduate studies at the University of Chicago and University of Texas before ultimately earning a master’s degree in library and information services from the University of Rhode Island. She was a high school English teacher in Illinois, taught graduate level courses in New Hampshire, owned a bookstore in Texas, and worked as a librarian for over four decades. She enjoyed writing and published a book of haikus. She employed her storytelling ability to bring children and literature together. She loved people, books, conversation and her family. She is survived by three children, five grandchildren, a brother, the father of her children, Warren Townsend ’63, and many cousins, including Anne Foster Nott ’65.

Family invite friends to share memories of Ms. Holmes on a tribute wall set up through

Apr 132021

Sharon (McIntyre) Keene ’61 of Sierra Vista, Arizona, died March 22, 2021. She was 81. Sharon studied sacred music at Illinois Wesleyan and taught high school choral music in Harvard, Illinois, for 25 of her 30 years in teaching. Under her leadership, Harvard High School’s music department won eight state championships. Upon retirement, she and her husband moved to Sierra Vista, where she volunteered as director of the Sierra Vista Community Chorus and served as choir director at Faith Presbyterian Church. She had previously served as choir director for 30 years at First Presbyterian Church in Harvard. Music was always an important part of Sharon’s life, second only to her family. She is survived by her husband Edwin Keene ’61, four children, including Christopher Keene ’91, six grandchildren, and three foreign exchange children.

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