Their Light Lives On

Edmund Jones

Edmund Jones ’39

Edmund, a military veteran, lawyer, bank founder, and public official, died Sept. 14, 2019.

A Swarthmore resident for almost nine decades, Edmund served in numerous elected roles, including mayor, state representative, and Delaware County Council member.

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Johanna Davies Freiler

Johanna Davies Freiler ’45

Johanna, whose career included secretarial positions in law, government, and corporate research, died Aug. 2, 2019.

“Jon” left Swarthmore to assist with the war effort as a secretary in New York and later earned a degree from the University of Connecticut. Her interests included history, world and national news, cats, and family, and she learned to dance as a child in a studio run by Gene Kelly.

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Patricia Montenyohl Bostian ’46

Patricia, a scientific librarian who dedicated much of her time to serving others, died April 27, 2018.

A Spanish major at Swarthmore, Patricia later worked at the Forrestal Research Center, drawn by her love of reading. An avid traveler and gardener, Patricia also enjoyed volunteering with the Junior League, Meals on Wheels, and other groups, through which she typed braille, taught English, testing hearing, and repaired hymnals and prayer books. 

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Nancy Fitts Donaldson ’46

A longtime Quaker school educator and mentor known to Swarthmore friends as “Fittsy,” Nancy died Sept. 26, 2019.

Nancy began her career as a fourth-grade teacher and later took on administrative roles in Philadelphia-area Quaker schools, including Lansdowne Friends, Abington Friends, and the Shipley School.

A proud supporter of the Chester Children’s Chorus, she also supervised student-teachers in Swarthmore’s Educational Studies Department.

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Volkert Veeder ’47

A Navy veteran of World War II who ultimately graduated from Rutgers, Volkert died Aug. 23, 2019.

Volkert taught physics at Admiral Farragut Academy in New Jersey and then worked for Poultrymen’s Service Corp. for many years. He was also a Life Master of the Master American Contract Bridge League and an avid Philadelphia Eagles fan, with the distinction of being the longest season-ticket holder.

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Dale Shoup Mayer

Dale Shoup Mayer ’47

Dale, an economics major and entrepreneur committed to bettering her community, died Oct. 2, 2019.

Dale received a master of international affairs degree from Columbia and worked as an economic analyst for Standard Oil before opening the independent bookstore Paperbacks Plus in Riverdale, N.Y. She also co-founded a mail-order clothing craft business, served two terms as selectman of Sandwich, N.H., and took part in numerous civic committees.

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Virginia Butts Cryer ’48

A homemaker, psychometrician, and mother of three, Virginia died Sept. 3, 2019.

Ginny was a psychology major at Swarthmore, where she met husband Richard ’49, and had served as class treasurer and class agent.

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Michael Fabrikant

Michael Fabrikant ’49

A political science major who received an MBA from Columbia, Michael died July 27, 2019.

Michael was drafted into World War II during his sophomore year at Swarthmore and stationed in Panama to guard the canal. He spent the majority of his career at IBM and was an avid bike rider, often seen tackling tough hills on Martha’s Vineyard on his yellow bicycle.

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Kathryn Wolfe Roether ’49

Kathryn, an English literature major who went on to receive a master of education from Temple, died Oct. 28, 2019.

A mother of two, Kathryn was one-half of a Quaker matchbox marriage to Hermann Roether ’50, who died in 1999.

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Heinz Valtin

Heinz Valtin ’49

Heinz, a revered professor emeritus of physiology who had long, stellar career in academic medicine, died Oct. 11, 2019.

Born in Germany, Heinz fled the Nazis with his mother and two brothers (including Rolf ’48) just before Kristallnacht in 1938. He majored in biology at Swarthmore, where for many years he held the Garnet pole vault record. As a faculty member at Dartmouth Medical School, which he joined in 1957, Heinz made pioneering kidney observations and wrote three highly influential textbooks on renal function that were translated into several languages.

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Warren Geary ’50

Warren, a Navy commander who served during World War II and in the reserves, died Feb. 28, 2018.

An avid ham radio operator, Warren received a chemistry degree from Rutgers University.

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Wallace Francis

Wallace Francis ’51

Wallace, who had a long career at the U.S. State Department heading the Information Systems Office, died Sept. 3, 2019.

Wally served in the Navy as an ensign and earned a master’s from Columbia University Graduate School. In his later years, he brought wit, intelligence, and hard work to bear on many projects in New Hampshire, chief among them the conservation of forested land to protect the state’s watershed.

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Ariel Hyun

Ariel Hollinshead Hyun ’51

Ariel, a pioneering cancer scientist and professor emerita of medicine at George Washington University, died Sept. 10, 2019.

A former national president of Graduate Women in Science, Ariel carried out groundbreaking clinical research on tumor antigens, cancer vaccines, and immunotherapy, much of which is of ongoing foundational significance today. Among many honors, she was named the USA Bicentennial Medical Woman of the Year in 1976 by the Joint Board of Medical Colleges.

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Jared Darlington ’54

A computer scientist and logician with a keen wit and skill for writing, Jared died Oct. 25, 2019.

After receiving a Ph.D. from Yale in 1957, Jared taught philosophy at Connecticut College and Wellesley before eventually moving to Bonn, Germany, where he spent 33 years as a computer science researcher. Jared enjoyed scenic drives in the German countryside, fine cuisine, classical music, and books from his large and varied library, and his Quaker upbringing instilled in him a strong sense of justice.

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Dolores Clark

Dolores Webster Clark ’54

Dolores, an English teacher who lived life with joy, exuberance, and gratitude, died June 28, 2019.

An athlete at Swarthmore, where she met her husband of 64 years, Steve ’52, “Dee” later coached the girls’ lacrosse and field hockey teams at Severn School in Maryland. She loved to snow ski, especially in Breckinridge, Colo., and enjoyed traveling, dancing, and playing tennis and bridge.

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David Rubinstein

David Rubinstein ’54

A social historian who wrote on education, housing, the labor movement, and women’s history, David died July 28, 2019.

Born in Ohio, David completed a Ph.D. at the London School of Economics, and became a British citizen in 1964. While teaching at Hull University, David was also active with the walkers’-rights organization the Ramblers, serving on its executive committee from 1967 to 1988 and pioneering the route of the Wolds Way national trail.

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Nancy Burleson

Nancy Sturtevant Burleson ’55

A freelance editor and development director for the Wardlaw-Hartridge School in New Jersey, Nancy died Sept. 6, 2019.

Nancy was committed to supporting nonprofits, serving on the boards of Wardlaw-Hartridge, the Skidompha Public Library, the Genesis Community Loan Fund, and the Inn Along the Way. She was a lay leader in the Methodist Church and enjoyed opera, classical, and sacred music.

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Jane Woodbridge Sieverts ’55

Jane, whose professional career took her into editing and publishing, bookselling, and nursing, died July 23, 2019.

A lifelong reader with wide-ranging interests, including history, archeology, and geology, Jane earned a degree in history from Swarthmore and in nursing from American University. Writes daughter Lisa: “She was known for her unending intellectual curiosities, her Christmas cookies, her passion for dance, music, theater, and the arts, her devotion to her family, and the joy she took in being a grandmother. … She drew added enjoyment from her travels, as they went in tandem with her intellectual passions, visiting the cave paintings in Lascoux, archaeological digs in Italy and France, and the Vasa ship in Stockholm, Sweden.”

Elizabeth von Frankenberg

Elizabeth Murphey von Frankenberg ’55

Elizabeth, a social worker who gave her time to numerous social service organizations, died Oct. 18, 2019.

A psychology major at Swarthmore, “Bettie” received a master of social work in psychiatric casework from Bryn Mawr and worked for numerous agencies in Philadelphia, Ithaca, N.Y., and Delaware. She was an active member of the New Castle County Master Gardeners, the Newark Area Welfare Committee, the Arthritis Foundation, and other groups, and in 1993 received the University of Delaware Women’s Club Woman of the Year Award.

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Craig Ash

Craig Ash ’56

A literature lover who taught English for more than 35 years, Craig died Oct. 11, 2019.

Craig, who spent most of his career at Adelphi University, also had a passion for music, playing piano and organ for almost his entire life. An avid train enthusiast, he enjoyed building model railroads and visiting any location that had a steam engine, subway car, or trolley.

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Wesley Argo

Wesley Argo ’57

Wesley, a recipient of Swarthmore’s McCabe Achievement Award who later chaired its selection committee for 31 years, died Aug. 11, 2019.    

Employed by Scott Paper Co. his entire professional career, Wes rose to become vice president of international affiliate services, which combined his passion for engineering with his love of travel. He later formed two engineering and research consulting ventures and pursued his lifelong hobby of genealogical research.

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Donald Tucker ’60

A retired economist who worked for the Federal Reserve Board and Congress, Donald died Aug. 28, 2019.

Don received an economics Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and, after working at the Fed, served as chief economist of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Consumer and Monetary Affairs until 1994. 

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Katharine Nicely Emsden ’61

Katharine, an educator, adventurer, and advocate for many, died Nov. 25, 2018.

Writes daughter Pamela: “Though I knew she was always busy, I did not know she read at the poetry reading each month, that she had poster-making nights at her house for fracking protests, that she would host a Quaker meeting and a traveling Buddhist and Latter-day Saints at her house all within two days, that she helped dig a trail system, that she volunteered each week to take out the trash for the local gallery, that she wrote articles for the paper, that she tutored some of the most challenging students, and on and on—each one of equal importance to her.”

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Eleanor Wehmiller Fernald ’61

Eleanor, a former teacher who lived her life as an art form, died July 19, 2019.

A psychology major, Ellie received a master’s in education from Harvard and taught in Swarthmore public schools and at the School in Rose Valley in Pennsylvania. Though she enjoyed many rewarding years of teaching, she would come to feel that her greatest love was using her hands “to make stuff,” including pottery, papier maché, ceramics, and paintings, which she created in her own studio in Seattle.

John Oglesby

John Oglesby II ’62

John, a pioneer in interventional radiology and co-inventor of the Wills-Oglesby Percutaneous Gastrostomy Set, died Oct. 3, 2019.

A graduate of Temple Medical School, “Tom” was part of the Berry Plan as an inactive lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve. He was elected a fellow of the American College of Radiology in 1990, and retired in 1999 from the Medical Center of Delaware, where he had served as section chief of the Vascular and Interventional Radiology Department since 1975.

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Palin Spruance III ’63

Palin, a certified public accountant and financial planner, died Aug. 13, 2019. 

A psychology major and football player at Swarthmore, “Terry” went on to receive a master’s in medieval English history from the University of Delaware before studying accounting at UNC–Asheville. He enjoyed chess, bridge, and sports, and completed at least one Sudoku puzzle a day.

Martin Weitzman

Martin Weitzman ’63

A lauded economist who warned of the threats of climate change, Martin died Aug. 27, 2019.

Martin taught at Yale and MIT before joining Harvard in 1989 as a professor of economics. He published widely, was elected as a fellow of the Econometric Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, served as a Faculty Fellow at the Harvard Environmental Economics Program (HEEP), and for more than 25 years co-hosted the Harvard Seminar in Environmental Economics and Policy.

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Edwenna Werner

Edwenna Rosser Werner ’63

Edwenna, a wife, mother, grandma, and friend, died Sept. 11, 2019.

“She lived a full life of family, music, friendship, and service to her community,” her obituary reads. “All of us who were lucky enough to know her miss her terribly. We will never forget how she touched our lives, and how she brought us together.”

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Richard Laquer

Richard Laquer ’69

A passionate lawyer who lived by the motto “Nothing in moderation,” Richard died Jan. 2, 2019. 

Richard finished his undergrad at Temple University, then received a joint J.D. and MBA from the University of Oklahoma. He practiced law in Oklahoma City for almost 40 years as both a prosecutor and defense attorney, where one of his proudest accomplishments was the litigation of a class action lawsuit that benefited thousands who’d had their driver’s licenses unfairly suspended.

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Alexandra O’Karma ’70

Alexandra, an actress who appeared in plays across the U.S., Canada, and Britain, died Sept. 6, 2019.

An English literature major at Swarthmore, Alexandra could also be seen in films such as Terms of Endearment and Refuge. “She was a woman of rare beauty, wit, and intellectual curiosity,” her loved ones wrote, “and bore a long illness with unimaginable courage.”

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Rick Reitze

Rick Reitze ’71

Rick, a successful inventor and entrepreneur, died Aug. 24, 2019.

A biology major at Swarthmore, Rick served in the U.S. Army and participated in several archaeological digs in England. He was also an avid book collector and a bicycling enthusiast.

Elisha Atkins

Elisha Atkins ’71

Elisha, a physician whose commitment to social causes led him to primary care and community medicine, died Aug. 7, 2019.

A history major and conscientious objector to the draft during his time at Swarthmore, “Skip” later earned a medical degree from the University of Connecticut and a master of public health from Harvard. Proficient in five languages, Skip was a fierce advocate for immigrant and refugee patients at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Chelsea Healthcare Center, where he spent most of his career. In 2009, he received a Partners in Excellence Award for Outstanding Performance and Commitment to Excellence.

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Donald Roberson ’74

Donald, a political science and engineering major at Swarthmore, died Nov. 29, 2018.

Margaret Redmon

Margaret Thomas Redmon ’79

A Quaker who served as director at Friends School of Louisville, Ky., Margaret died Aug. 22, 2019.

Margie received a master’s in business from the University of Louisville and was well-known for her work with numerous local organizations, including the Lincoln Foundation and Peace Education Program, on whose boards she served. A loving mother and doting grandmother, Margie was also an avid ballroom dancer. “She touched the lives of many with her generosity and compassion,” loved ones wrote, “and will be remembered for her easy friendship and giving spirit.”

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William Wright

William Wright NV

William, a veteran and surgeon who enjoyed golfing, skiing, and sailing, died July 26, 2019.

A Penn grad, William received an M.D. from Temple Medical School and later earned a Ph.D. for his work with the development of an early heart-lung machine. He was also a single-engine, multi-engine, and instrument-rated pilot, and spent many enjoyable hours flying.

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