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.
Denny Matthews ’66 returned to the broadcast booth after a year of calling games remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here (subsciption required).
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.
Constance “Connie” (Popovich) Pavich ’60 died Jan. 28. 2021. She was 84. Connie studied art at Illinois Wesleyan and became a junior high art teacher. She painted and participated in art shows, and she sold many of her works over the years. Connie met her future husband at a Serbian basketball tournament in Milwaukee. They soon married and started a family. Connie was a dedicated homemaker who regularly hosted dinner parties where Serbian music was always playing in the background. She was a highly regarded cook who enjoyed sharing recipes. She liked working with her hands and was known by the many employees at her local Ace Hardware store. She also enjoyed technology; after buying her first computer in the late 1970s, she took computer courses and conducted video calls with family before they became commonplace. Connie read two newspapers and completed the crossword, jumble and word search puzzles in both every day. She was a dedicated fan of the Chicago Cubs and took great pleasure in the team’s World Series victory in 2016. Connie most enjoyed spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren, with whom she spent many hours doing art projects.
Ole Pace ’63 died June 2, 2020. He was 81. Ole began his collegiate studies at Dartmouth College but left after two years to join the U.S. Army, where he earned the rank of captain. He later returned to the Midwest to attend Illinois Wesleyan, where he met his future wife, Sheryl (Snow) Pace ‘63. Ole earned his law degree at the University of Illinois Law School and practiced in Sterling, Illinois at Ward, Murray, Pace, and Johnson, P.C. He was four-time chairman of the Allerton House Conference on Improving the System of Justice, and he was the 1989 winner of the Board of Governors Award. He served as a special assistant attorney general for two Illinois attorney generals and was law clerk to a highly regarded appellate court justice. A highlight of his career was the presidency of the Illinois State Bar Association. Ole valued family above else. His children and grandchildren were loved unconditionally, challenged, supported and celebrated. He is survived by his wife, three children, seven grandchildren, sister, and many extended family members and friends.
Martha “Marti” Perry ’62 of Phoenix died June 1, 2020. She was 79. Marti earned a bachelor’s degree at Illinois Wesleyan and later a Master’s degree fat Wayne State University. She has a long career in social work. Marti was a member of Cross in the Desert United Methodist Church in Phoenix, where she sang in the choir. She loved music, art, and animals. She sponsored children from other countries. She is survived by two nieces, three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
Jeannette (Cramer) Hills ’62 of Jacksonville, Illinois, died August 28, 2020. She was 79. Jeannette studied at Cottey College before transferring to Illinois Wesleyan, where she met future husband Steven Hills ’61. Jeannette taught in South Jacksonville, Illinois, before starting her family. After her children were raised, she attended and graduated from Passavant Hospital’s licensed and practical nurse program. Jeannette was a member of Centenary United Methodist Church and participated in the handbell choir at Central Christian Women’s Club Bible Study. She also volunteered at Barton W. Stone Christian Home. She enjoyed travelling and spending time with friends and family. She was preceded in death by her husband. She is survived by two children.
Barbara (Pinks) Dalton ’62 of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, died July 12, 2020. She was 79. Barbara studied history at Illinois Wesleyan and later earned a Master’s degree in library science from the University of Illinois where she met her husband. Barbara worked as a membership secretary for Westminster Presbyterian Church, and she was later a member and financial secretary for Bethany Presbyterian Church. She enjoyed helping others, baking for her grandchildren, and travelling to Paris with her husband. She is survived by her husband, son, two grandchildren, and a brother.
John Brownfield ’62 of Redlands, California, died April 28, 2020. He was 79. John studied art and was active in Theta Chi at Illinois Wesleyan. He subsequently earned a master’s degree at the School of Fine Arts of Chicago before a nearly 40-year teaching career at University of Redlands. He is survived by two daughters, three grandchildren and a sister, Margaret (Brownfield) Galivan ’65.
Robert Hix ’60 of Pine Grove, California, died June 5, 2020. He was 87. Bob’s college studies were interrupted by the Korean War as he served in the U.S. Army’s 36th Engineers Group. He earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Illinois Wesleyan upon his return, and, later, a master’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado. Bob and his wife were teachers at an elementary school at Roanoke-Benson (Ill.) for 31 years. He served his community as a volunteer firefighter, a Boy Scouts scoutmaster, and in civil defense and emergency services. He was also a tenor in his church choir. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, and two grandchildren.