Paula Gentry ’81 officially retired from her teaching and her church work, and moved back to Oklahoma in August!
Doug Thomas ’84 of Phoenix died Aug. 10, 2021. He was 59. Doug was a member of the Illinois Wesleyan basketball team and Sigma Chi fraternity. After his time at IWU, he earned a Juris Doctor from Washington University in St. Louis, and he practiced law in Phoenix for 26 years. He also served on the Phoenix Union High School District Governing Board for 12 years. His passions included fly fishing, music, travel, theatre, family and his German shepherds. He is survived by two stepchildren and many extended family members and friends.
A catastrophic personal injury led Sam Porritt ’84 to start the Falling Forward Foundation, a nonprofit allowing individuals to continue rehab after insurance stops paying. You can read the full article here.
With the start of the new 2021-22 school year, it is official: Jody Munsterman has retired after 39 years of teaching. As a senior at Illinois Wesleyan University, she completed 18 weeks of student teaching at Bent School in the fall of 1981. She was originally assigned to student teach with Nancy Malcolm , a third-grade teacher, but two weeks before she reported back to campus, she was informed by Mrs. Malcolm she had been assigned a combination class of third and fourth graders. “Little did I know, I would begin my teaching experience and conclude my career with a combination classroom,” Mrs. M said, as her last class was a combination of fourth and fifth grade students. Read the full article on her retirement here.
Richard Whitlock ’89 of rural Clinton, Illinois, died July 15, 2021. He was 54. Rich studied economics at Illinois Wesleyan and most recently worked as a claims adjuster for COUNTRY Financial. He also served as fire chief of Ellsworth (Ill.) Fire Department. Rich was a member of the Living Hope Christian Church in Downs, Illinois, where he helped in the construction of the permanent building. His hobbies included horsemanship, woodworking and pheasant hunting. He is survived by two daughters, his loving companion and her four children, his mother and a brother.
Cynthia Ann Reynolds ’80 passed away on August 10, 2021. She attended Illinois Wesleyan University and then moved to NYC to sing. And sing she did, with Amato Opera, Vineyard Opera, NY Gilbert & Sullivan Players and other companies. She married a tenor she often sang with, Richard Slade, and they had two children: Merlin and Julian. Cynthia made a bold career change, becoming a school teacher, and found her happiest place in Peekskill, teaching elementary music and strings, and directing the middle school musicals. Even when stricken with Glioblastoma she maintained her high standard of achievement, impressing all the therapists with her progress and her determination. She leaves behind grieving family and an immense array of friends and colleagues — and so, so many children whose lives she changed. You can read the full obituary here.
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Mike Wall ’84 of Freeport, IL; John Dalton ’84 of Oak Park, IL; Todd Vohland ’84 (freshman year at IWU, grad of eastern Illinois) of Decatur; and Tim Brophy ’84 of Joliet, IL
Hosted by Mike and Keri Wall in their Freeport, IL home.
Associate Professor of Nursing Brenda Lessen Knoll ’89 conducted a PIOMI Training Webinar for a group of Neonatal Physicians and Speech Pathologists at National Children’s Hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam. Dr. Lessen Knoll has been conducting live training webinars for Neonatal Providers across the globe to implement her Premature Infant Oral Motor Intervention as the standard of care for neonatal therapy. www.piomi.com
Nashville journalist and former longtime WSMV anchor Demetria Kalodimos ’81 has been appointed communication professional-in-residence in Lipscomb University’s School of Communication.
Carol (Gentry) Burns ’85 has been named secretary of the Alma College Board of Trustees. Read more here. Congrats, Carol!