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.
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 https://austinnaturalfunerals.
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.
James Hartley, ’67 or St Charles, Illinois died February 8, 2021. He was 77. Jim studied history, earning a bachelor’s degree at Illinois Wesleyan and a master’s degree at Northern Illinois University. Jim founded and managed his own home remodeling business. He previously worked in a variety of roles related to the construction and sale of solar energy systems. Jim enjoyed woodworking, playing guitar, and helping his friends build websites for their own businesses. He was known for his wry sense of humor, quick wit, and seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of many fields. He is survived by two sons, five grandchildren, a sister, Susan (Hartley) Raeder ’63, a niece and a nephew.
Anne (Loyd) Kovalcik died July 21, 2020 in Decatur, Illinois. She was 73. Anne majored in religion at Illinois Wesleyan, where she met and married Rev. John Kovalcik ’70. Anne and John served United Methodist Church congregations in many churches in central Illinois. She was the co-founder of Epworth Spring Athletic Camp and was the principal architect of its organization. The Kovalciks moved to Eureka Springs, Arkansas in 1983 where they built the Kairos Retreat Center. She loved her family and enjoyed reading and cross-stitch. Anne was preceded in death by her husband. She is survived by two sons, four grandchildren and two siblings.
William Rickert ’68 of Bellbrook, Ohio, died June 3, 2020. He was 73. Bill was a member of TKE and graduated from Illinois Wesleyan. He earned a graduate degree at Central Michigan University. Bill served in the US Army before earning a doctorate at University of Michigan. He then moved to Ohio and began a 45 year career at Wright State University where he served as acting dean, associate dean, and associate provost. He was known by family, friends, and coworkers for his objectiveness, patience, honesty, humility and kind heart. He is survived by his wife, four children, 11 grandchildren and a brother.
Robert Fred Kern ’67 died August 14, 2020. He was 75. Fred was a renowned music educator, scholar, composer and author. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Illinois State University and master’s degrees at Illinois Wesleyan and Northwestern Universities as well as a doctorate from Northern Colorado University. Fred was a professor of music and a specialist in piano education at the University of North Texas for over 30 years. In 2014 he was inducted into the Illinois State University Woonsok Kim College of Fine Arts Hall of Fame. He is survived by many cousins, an uncle, many friends and his beloved dog.
Wayne Dohrmann ’66 of Manson, Iowa, died August 25, 2020. He was 83. Wayne earned a bachelor’s degree at Wartburg College and a master’s degree at Illinois Wesleyan. He taught and was a long-time junior sponsor at Manson Community Schools. He became an agent with Farm Bureau Insurance of Iowa and advanced to agency manager at five Farm Bureau offices. He later owned and operated his own insurance and realty office. Wayne served in the Iowa National Guard, on the Mason Community School Board, and the church council at St Paul Lutheran in Manson. He was a member of St Paul for almost 60 years. Wayne was an avid musician who enjoyed singing and playing guitar. He is survived by his wife, two sons, three grandchildren and a brother.
Michael Daubs ’66 of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin died July 29, 2020. He was 77. Michael earned a bachelor’s degree at Illinois Wesleyan and a master’s degree at Illinois State University. He started his career as an analyst and commercial mortgage officer for Country Companies in Bloomington, Illinois. He later joined Lutheran Mutual Life in Waverly, Iowa, where he became senior vice president of investments. He was one of the founders of Members Capital Advisors where he served as president. He was later named chief investment officer and senior vice president of investments for CUNA Mutual Group. When he wasn’t playing tennis or golf, Michael could be found in nature hunting, fishing or birdwatching. He was an avid fan of the St Louis Cardinals, Chicago Bears and Chicago Bulls. He is survived by his wife, three children, four siblings and 15 grandchildren.