Dianne (Smith) Williamson ’62 of Bloomington, Illinois, died Oct. 16, 2020. She was 80. Dianne majored in theatre at Illinois Wesleyan. She worked as publisher and editor of Bloomington-Normal Magazine, was a copywriter for WJBC and WBNQ radio stations, and retired from Illinois State University as events coordinator. Dianne was honored as the League of Women Voters of McLean County’s “Leaguer of the Year,” was named McLean County United Way “Volunteer of the Year” and was a McLean County YWCA Women of Distinction nominee. She was active in all three organizations for many years. Dianne and her husband had a passion for travel that began when they lived in Ireland for a year. Dianne was many things to many people, but a friend to all. She is survived by her husband, two daughters, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. You will find her full obituary here.
Judith (Gilmore) Kirby ’62 of Frankfort, Illinois, died Aug. 7, 2020. She was 80. Judy earned a bachelor’s degree in music education at Illinois Wesleyan, where she was also active in Sigma Kappa, Delta Omicron and other musical groups. She went on to a 35-year career as a music teacher at Western Avenue Elementary School in Flossmoor, Illinois, where she led musicals, Christmas concerts and variety shows. She also directed choir at Flossmoor Community Church. In her final days at a care facility, her former students sang for her — mostly through virtual means, over cell phones and laptop computers — from outside her window. Judy’s former students’ tribute to their elementary school teacher was featured in a segment on Chicago’s WGN Evening News.
Gayle Bruch Rein, BA IWU 1962 and MA in Expository Writing from U. Iowa. After retiring from teaching composition and literature for 30 years at Geneseo High School and Black Hawk College, she began a new career researching, writing, and giving Power Point programs about local history. In 2004 she wrote a chapter in the history book Grand Excursions on the Upper Mississippi River (U of Iowa Press) about 19th century logging in Wisconsin and the rafting of logs to Upper Mississippi River sawmills.
In 2020, she (age 80) published Artist Edwin Willard Deming, A Biography (1860–1942 : From Childhood a Passion to Paint Native American Traditions. Growing up on a Geneseo, IL prairie farm, he became acquainted with Winnebago children, whose families in the winter came down from Wisconsin to hunt and fish near the Deming farm. This experience influenced him to dedicate his life to capturing in his art Native American Indian traditions. In addition to the Sioux, Crow, and Blackfeet, his friends included artist Fredrick Remington and President Theodore Roosevelt.
Wayne Grove ’62 of Morris, Illinois, died Aug. 8, 2019. He was 79. Wayne was a member of Phi Gamma Delta at Illinois Wesleyan, where he also played football and baseball. Wayne taught in Cleveland and Le Roy, Illinois, prior to a banking career. He was an elder at the Presbyterian Church in Princeton, Illinois, and later a deacon at First Presbyterian Church of Morris. He served in the Army National Guard of Illinois, from 1966-68, and the U.S. Army Reserve, from 1968-72. He was a 50-year member of the AF & AM Lodge 534, Valley of Bloomington Scottish Rite and Mohammed Shrine of Peoria, Illinois. He was an avid supporter of his grandchildren’s athletic endeavors and took pleasure in hunting and fishing. He is survived by his wife Linda (Wilson) Grove ’65, two daughters, including Jennifer (Grove) Heinsius ’89, three grandsons and four siblings.
A memorial service for (Peter) Bryan Olofson ’66 will be held Sunday, June 30th at Wesley United Methodist Church at 2:00 p.m. in Bloomington, IL.
Quita Verban Shier ’60 will present on selected individuals from the 140 Native Americans she researched for her book Warriors in Mr. Lincoln’s Army: Native American Soldiers Who Fought in the Civil War on Monday, Feb. 11 at The Ames Library’s Beckman Auditorium from 6 p.m. until 7 p.m.
Redbird A and C, Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, 201 Broadway Ave., Normal
$35 registration fee for non-IWU alumni guests
You may register here or you may call 888-498-2586.
All alumni from the classes from the 1930’s – 1967 are welcome.
Dr. David L. Gearhart ’67 and Legacy Graduate, granddaughter Ms. Hannah A. Sage ’18
Howard Fricke ’60 and Sharon (Linton) Fricke ’60 and their Legacy Graduate, grandson Brandon Fricke ’18
Please help us identify some of your classmates. Please send corrections by clicking in the comments in the upper right hand corner of the post if we have anyone incorrectly labeled:
Front row left to right: Carol (Coons) Hayner ’66, Unknown Woman in brown geometric print top and glasses, Carol (Gray) Beaman ‘66
Second row left to right: Janice (Stackhouse) Clark ’66, Fran (Olson) Rouzee ’66, Judith (Elbert) Favell ’66, Marjorie (Ticknor) Hazelton ‘66, Mary Jo( Catlin) Loder ’66, Connie (Leach) Larson ’66
Third Row left to right: Candace (Martin) Hunter ’66, Mary (Wade) Baker ‘66, Denny Matthews ’66, Kathryn (Shouse) Tornquist ’66, Larry Bross ’66, Dick Healy ’66, Gayle Rathbun ‘66
Fourth Row: Dick Muirhead ’66, James Gresham ’66, William Larson ’66, Tom Burmeister ’66, Robert Whitley ’66, Dr. Georgia (Griffith) Whitley ‘66