Obituaries

Joseph McCall, ’34, on May 16, 2008. He lived in East Lansing. He attended Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism. He was a reporter, assistant editor, and business manager for the Mount Pleasant Time-News from 1934 to 1941. He later purchased the Holly Herald in Oakland County and the Holly Advertiser, merging the two weekly newspapers. In 1962 he sold the Herald-Advertiser and moved to Lansing, where he served as the public information director for the Michigan Department of Mental Health until his retirement in 1981. He later established McCall Communications, a firm providing consultants and editors for publications. Joseph was a lecturer on journalism and public relations at Michigan State University, Wayne State University, and Syracuse University. A charter member and past president of the National Association of Mental Health Information Officers, he was the first person named to the association’s Hall of Fame. Joseph is survived by five children and five grandchildren.

Betty Langley Berger, ’36, on Feb. 27, 2008 in Venice, FL, where she had lived since 1981. She was previously a long-time resident of Centerville, OH. In Centerville, Betty was active with the Normandy United Methodist Church, the Centerville Historical Society, and the Grandview Hospital Auxiliary. She is survived by two sons, a brother, and four sisters, Miriam Langley Abbott, ’35, Ruth Langley Shuter, ’43, Patricia Langley Read, ’45, and Jean Langley McNutt, ’49.

Ann Huckle Bignell, ’37, on June 9, 2008 in Livingston, CO. She was a graduate of Northwestern University. She and her husband, Frank, purchased radio station WHMI in Howell in 1961. She assumed control of the station in 1972 when Frank died, adding WHMI-FM and overseeing the construction of a new broadcast facility. Ann was active in several community charities and organizations. In 1983 she was the first woman named Citizen of the Year by the Howell Chamber of Commerce. She served as director of LACASA, Livingston County’s agency for survivors of domestic violence. Ann is survived by two children, four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Charles Gildart, ’40, on June 3, 2008. A Midland resident, he worked at Dow Chemical Co. for 36 years, retiring from the corporate purchasing department in 1981. Trained as a chemist, he previously worked at DuPont and Buick. He was a former member of the Caro Exchange Club, the Midland Optimist Club, and the Midland Jaycees. He was an elder in the Memorial Presbyterian Church. Charles was named Midland’s Young Man of the Year in 1952. He was a life member of the Men of Music. He is survived by a daughter. 

Martha Donnelly Mueller, ’44, on May 16, 2008. Martha lived in Dansville. She was one of the first women admitted to Stanford University. She earned her master’s degree from Michigan State University. Early in her career, she was an editor for the Associated Press in Detroit. She later helped manage the family agriculture business. Martha was a member of Congregation Shaarey Zedek. She began the first children’s nursery school at First Presbyterian Church in Mason. Martha was an animal lover, rescuing and raising more than 20 cats and dogs. She is survived by her husband of 63 years, Warren, two children, and two grandchildren.

Carolyn Coye Schroeder, ’45, on March 18, 2007. She lived in Salisbury, NC. After earning her master’s from Prince School of Retailing in Boston, MA, she worked for Halle Brothers Department Store in Cleveland, OH, as a buyer from 1946 to 1951. Carolyn later earned her early childhood education certificate from Montgomery College in Rockville, MD, and taught nursery school for 12 years in Bethesda, MD. She also taught at Denton Child Development Center in Denton, MD, for 15 years. A member of the Denton Women’s Club and the Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, Carolyn was a member of First Methodist Church. She is survived by four children, including Eric Schroeder, ’72, and five grandchildren.

Robert Wickham, ’45, on June 13, 2008 in Lake Forest, IL. After serving as an officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he worked for more than 40 years in the automotive industry. Robert retired from the BASF Group as vice president and executive director of the Automotive Coatings Division. He was the former president of the Automotive Paint Association and president of the Huron River Hunting and Fishing Club. He is survived by two children, including Steve Wickham, ’72, and eight grandchildren.

Robert Murch, ’46, on Aug. 30, 2007 in Columbus, NC. He earned a bachelor’s degree from University of Michigan, a master’s degree from Penn State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. Robert was a veteran of World War II, serving in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1946 in the Pacific theater. He was a research chemist with Dow Corning and W.R. Grace. He was involved with Habitat for Humanity, Homework Study Center, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Polk County Democratic Party, and the Second Wind Hall of Fame. He was also a member of the Thermal Belt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. Robert is survived by his wife of 56 years, Luella, four children, and six grandchildren.

Ruth Helzer Eichstadt, ’47, on July 15, 2008. Ruth lived in Redford. She taught math at Flint and Monroe middle schools. She is survived by a brother.

Jack Blanchard, ’49, on June 13, 2008 in Lansing. He was in the U.S. Air Corps, becoming a pilot and captain during World War II. He was an insurance agent, operating his own agency, J.R. Blanchard and Associates in Southfield. He later joined Northland Agency in Whitehall. He was a Mason and a lifelong Kiwanis member. He was also a Rotarian, and was named a Paul Harris Fellow. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy, three children, and six grandchildren.

John “Jack” Curtiss, ’49, on May 8, 2008 in St. Joseph. He worked for Clark Equipment Co. as a project engineer for 32 years, retiring in 1986. He and his family lived in Belgium and France during his working career. He served with the Navy during World War II aboard the USS Crosby. Jack later joined the Naval Reserve and reached the rank of lieutenant commander before retiring. He was commander of the Benton Harbor Naval Reserve for three years. He is survived by five children, 12 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

{mosimage}Stanley Jones, ’49, passed away on July 24, 2008. He was a U.S. Air Force veteran of World War II. A trustee for Albion College for 27 years, he received an honorary doctor of laws degree from the College. He was involved in fundraising on Albion’s behalf throughout his time as a trustee, and he chaired the Campaign for Albion College. In memorializing Stan, former Albion president Melvin Vulgamore noted, “He was a man of many loves and deep loyalties, his family being the bedrock of everything else he cared about. And there was the church, which he served completely as a loyal parsonage son and a committed Christian.” Stan was a vice president of Burroughs Corp. (now Unisys) from 1965 to 1986. He later spent five years on the staff at Wayne State University School of Medicine. He was a board member of First United Methodist Church in Birmingham and served as chairman of the Board of Trustees of Methodist Retirement Homes. He was a resident of Bloomfield Hills. Stan is survived by his wife of 59 years, Frances, two children, including Jeffrey Jones, ’76, and four grandchildren.

Robert Gordon, ’50, on July 21, 2008. A resident of Tompkins Center, he was a veterinarian for 47 years, earning his D.V.M. degree from Michigan State University. He spent over four years in the Air Force during World War II. Robert is survived by three children and four grandchildren.

Max Toy, ’50, on June 11, 2008. Max lived in Lansing. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy as a sonar operator for the destroyer escort USS Silverstein in the Pacific theater. He worked for the Michigan Employment Security Commission. He had an intimate knowledge of Great Lakes lighthouses.

Doyle “Doc” Hoopingarner, ’52, on July 5, 2008. He lived in Jenison. He was a graduate of The Chicago School of Osteopathy. Doc worked in the emergency room at Metropolitan Hospital in Grand Rapids for 16 years. Before that he had a private practice in Ironwood. He was a Rotarian for more than 50 years. Doc was a member of Fair Haven Reformed Church, where he sang in the choir and taught Sunday school. He also was a member of the Gideons and the Great Lakes Barbershop Chorus. He is survived by his wife, Elaine, seven children, two stepsons, and 18 grandchildren.

Shanna Collins Gilbert, ’54, on April 11, 2008 in Southfield. She taught for eight years in the lower school at Detroit Country Day School. She was a member of Delta Gamma sorority. Shanna is survived by her husband of 54 years, John Gilbert, ’54, four children, including Daniel Gilbert, ’78, and Thomas Gilbert, ’80, and 12 grandchildren.

Frank Smith, ’55, on June 7, 2008 in Port Hope. A graduate of Michigan State University, he was a farmer, working on the family farm which began in 1851. Frank was a veteran of the Korean conflict, serving in the U.S. Army. He was a member of Port Hope United Methodist Church. Frank was also a volunteer for the Port Hope Fire Department for more than 45 years. He was a member of the Harbor Beach Rotary Club and was a Paul Harris Fellow. Frank is survived by two sons and eight grandchildren.

James Ballard, ’56, on July 4, 2008. James lived in Naples, FL. He earned his M.B.A. from Wayne State University. He worked at Clarke Floor Machine, retiring after running systems and data processing for 20 years. James received a real estate broker’s license in Florida and Michigan and was employed at Max Green Realtors in Muskegon and Downing-Frye Real Estate in Naples. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church. James is survived by two children and two grandchildren.

Judith Hoenle Mussel, ’65, on July 28, 2007. She lived in Inman, SC. A graduate of University of Michigan, Judith earned a master’s degree form Wayne State University. She and her husband moved to Spartanburg, SC, in 1979, where she established JM Graphics, a marketing consulting firm. She founded FunSpecs Inc. in 1994, a wholesaler of lively patterned eyeglasses that supplied about 350 businesses in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Judith was also an advocate for women’s rights. She was recognized by the Rape Crisis Center in Spartanburg with an award from the Council on Sexual Assault. She is survived by her husband, Fred.

John Murphy, ’69, on June 9, 2008. John was a resident of Fort Gratiot Township. He received his medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine in 1974 and served his obstetrics and gynecology residency at the Detroit Medical Center. John was a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and of the American College of Surgeons. He began his practice in Port Huron in 1978 and delivered almost 7,000 babies during his career. He was a former member of the Port Huron Hospital Board of Trustees and served as chief of the obstetrics and gynecology department. John was a member of the Port Huron Golf Club and Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. He is survived by his wife, Ann Cleland Murphy, ’70; four children, including Todd Murphy, ’97, Katharine “Katie” Murphy, ’02, and Megan Murphy, ’06; and a grandson.

Dave Berry, ’70, on June 28, 2008 in Novi. A graduate of University of Detroit Law School, he was one of Michigan’s best known eminent domain and land use attorneys. He was a longtime shareholder of the Butzel Long law firm, and more recently founded Berry, Reynolds & Rogowski PC in Farmington Hills. Dave coached boys’ and girls’ baseball and soccer. He was on the board of Crossroads for Youth, a non-profit organization in Oxford devoted to assisting at-risk children. He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Janie Butt Berry, ’70, three children, and a grandson.

Marsha Gentry-Pointer, ’73, on June 20, 2008 in St. Louis, MO. She was a tutor and ran an online travel agency. She worked in the Denver, CO, public school system from 1979 to 2005, including the last five years as principal of Manual Leadership High School. She earned a master’s in recreation at Michigan State University. Marsha was an active volunteer for Albion College. She is survived by her mother and three siblings.

Sherry Lee, ’73, on May 30, 2008. Sherry was a resident of Detroit. In 1987 she became the first African-American woman to become certified at the state’s highest level, Level 4, in the field of assessment administration, awarded by the Michigan State Assessors Board. Sherry was appointed chief assessor for the City of Detroit in 1989. After retiring from the City of Detroit in 2000, she filled the position of city assessor for the City of Birmingham. In 2004, Gov. Jennifer Granholm appointed her as a judge of the Michigan Tax Tribunal in Lansing. Sherry’s final post was chief assessor for the City of Southfield. She was the first woman to receive the professional designation of certified assessor evaluator (CAE). Sherry was also a licensed certified real estate appraiser. She earned a master’s degree from Baker College.

Ken Klos, ’74, on July 20, 2008. A resident of St. Joseph, Ken was a gifted artist, musician, and innovative entrepreneur. He earned a degree from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. He later developed a successful landscape and welding business. Ken was a volunteer art teacher for 25 years at the Berrien Springs Juvenile Detention Center. He was an active member of the Berrien Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. He is survived by his parents, one brother, and four sisters.

Robbie Allen, ’82, on April 17, 2008. A resident of South Haven, she did volunteer work in the Kalamazoo area. Robbie was a member of Emmanuel Community Church in South Haven. She is survived by a brother and two sisters.

Thomas “Tom” Jackson, ’89, on May 6, 2008 in Einhausen, Germany. He worked for General Motors Corp. as a financial analyst. Tom was later promoted to lead the revitalization of the Opel car line in Russelsheim, Germany. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University in 1995. Tom also earned his M.B.A. from Indiana University in 1997. He is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and a son.