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Winter 2011, Vol. 14, No. 2
Class Notes - In Memoriam



Lydia Maurine (Minor) Barnhouse (’29), of Marceline, Mo., died Aug. 12, 2010. A retired school teacher, she had taught at Aledo, Ill.; Plevna, Mo.; and East Park in Moberly, Mo.


Florence (Cassity) Miller (’32), of Arlington, Va., died June 14, 2010. Following college, she lived in Kirksville and worked for the Rationing Office, part of the Federal Office of Public Assistance during World War II. Her next position was as the administrator of the Kirksville Osteopathic Hospital for several years before taking the same position at the Osteopathic Hospital in Davenport, Iowa. Following the death of her husband, Karl Miller, she moved to Washington, D.C., and after completing a short course in hotel management, she became the resident manager of Capital Park Apartments. She ended her working career in 1980 as the bookkeeper for the United States Capitol Historical Society. During her assignment, she volunteered in the White House Correspondence Office for the Reagan Administration.

Vera Marie Newcum (’33), of Newport News, Va., died July 31, 2010. She worked for the USO, entertaining troops and organizing activities following World War II and during the Korean War. She traveled all over the world and received several commendations from her former military groups, including Syngman Rhee, former president of South Korea, and many from Ft. Jackson, Columbia, S.C. She retired from the USO and worked for Girl Scouts of America and the YWCA, then volunteered at the Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News and for Hospice.


Lola Mae (Riddle) Bono (’41), died July 17, 2010. She taught in a one-room school in rural Missouri while attending the University and spent her full senior year as a regular student on campus. After graduation came Pearl Harbor, prompting her to go to Washington, D.C., to do her part for the war effort. There she worked at Marine Headquarters in the Pentagon. She later moved to New York where she raised her family and was an active volunteer. She worked at Lord and Burnham Corporation for many years.

Margaret “Peggy” (Cochran) Cline (’41), of Columbia, Mo., died Aug. 4, 2010. She began her career in education teaching in rural schools in Randolph County from 1935 to 1941. She taught one and one-half years in Kansas City Public Schools and 17 years in Columbia Public Schools. At the request of Columbia Public Schools, she became certified for counseling elementary children and developed the elementary counseling program for the Columbia School District; she was the coordinator of the program until she retired in 1978.

Ercil Ewing (’48) died Jan. 2, 2010, in La Mirada, Calif. He had taught briefly before relocating to southern California and was a school principal for 25 years in Whittier, Calif. Following early retirement, he became active in selling and managing real estate in California.

Ellen (Terhune) Miller (’44), of Chillicothe, Mo., died Oct. 6, 2010. She retired from the Chillicothe School District.

Stanley Rudy Sadich (’49), of Columbia, Mo., died Aug. 22, 2010. He was a U.S. Navy veteran serving during World War II. He was recruited and played semi-pro baseball for three years for the St. Louis Browns. Afterward, he began teaching in the public school system in Illinois, where he was instrumental in establishing the Little League baseball program in Lawrenceville, Ill. Stan continued in education and retired from the Columbia Public School System, where he taught for more than 20 years, ending his career at Hickman High School as the COE instructor. He also owned Columbia Driving School and taught countless students to drive.


Charles B. “Buzz” Adams (’57), of Aventura, Fla., died Oct. 4, 2010. While attending Truman, he had his education interrupted to serve in the United States Army from March 3, 1953 to May 25, 1956. After serving in the Army, he returned to Truman and graduated in 1957. He then enrolled in law school at the University of Missouri and graduated in 1962. He returned to Kirksville to practice law until his retirement in 2004. While practicing law, he served as the Adair County prosecuting attorney and Kirksville city attorney. After his retirement, he moved to Florida.

Carmen Leslie Barber ('56, ’71), of Quincy, Ill., died Jan. 9, 2010. She taught high school English and art at ACCHS in Effingham for 17 years. After moving to Canton, Mo., she taught at the junior high school in Quincy, Ill.

Chester L. Boren (’54), of Centralia, Mo., died June 22, 2010. He served as superintendent of Centralia R-VI schools from 1963 to 1986. He received the Missouri Association of School Administrators Award of Merit for Outstanding Leadership in 1983. He served as president of the Northeast District Teacher’s Association and served as an assessor for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Leadership Academy. He received the Outstanding CTA/MSTA School Administrator Award for the 1985-1986 school year. Upon his retirement from the Centralia R-VI school district, he received a resolution from the Missouri State Senate. In 1986, Centralia Middle School was renamed Chester Boren Middle School in his honor.

H. Ronald Huber (’51), of Laguna Woods, Calif., died May 8, 2010. He served in the Army during the Korean War. A long-time resident of Riverside, he was retired from A.M. Lewis and was active in the community.

Bertha B. McClaskey (’53, ’57), of Milan, Mo., died May 31, 2010. Throughout her life, she was a strong advocate for public education. She taught English and business in Bloomfield, Iowa, and Hannibal, Unionville and Trenton, Mo., public schools for 15 years. In 1967 she began work at the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as director of school data, living in Jefferson City for 23 years until retirement. In this role she worked tirelessly to improve public education in Missouri and was proudest of her role in supporting legislation that created base teacher salaries and the teacher retirement system. At the time she was promoted to director at DESE, there were few other women at that level, and she consistently championed women’s rights and issues in the workplace. She also worked on numerous federal projects and task forces for the U.S. Department of Education. Upon retiring in 1990, she moved back to Milan, and during the last 20 years, she worked diligently as a community volunteer, including roles on the Public Housing Board, Health Board, PEO, Milan Public Schools, Old Timers Reunion and countless other initiatives.

James Wesley "Wes” Sanders (’55), of Sedalia, Mo., died May 4, 2010. Excelling in several sports, he was chosen as one of the top 20 best basketball players in the USA and signed a professional baseball contract in 1950 with the St. Louis Cardinals. He enjoyed 34 years of teaching and 23 years of athletic coaching along with many years as a referee. He retired from the Sedalia School District in 1988.

Russell Columbus Vannoy Jr. (’55) died July 30, 2010, in Buffalo, N.Y. He began teaching philosophy at Buffalo State College in 1960 and retired in 1994.

William Leroy Walker (’54), of Winona Lake, Ind., died Dec. 14, 2010. He served a one-year internship in Orville, Ohio, at the community Osteopathic Hospital and relocated with his family to Rittman, Ohio, where he practiced as a family physician and enjoyed functioning as the team doctor for athletic teams. From August 1969 to June 1971, he and his family moved to the Central African Republic where he served as a missionary doctor with the Grace Brethren Church. He decided to become a full-time medical missionary and moved his stateside residence to Winona Lake, Ind., where he shared a home with another physician–alternating two-year missionary terms and trading homes so as to supply medical care on the field at all times. After retiring from missionary work in the early 1990s, he continued his private practice in Warsaw. He served as chief of staff at Kosciusko Community Hospital in the 1990s. Semi-retired, he helped Med-Stat become a useful part of the medical system, serving as a physician there.

Gene Walter Weber (’54, ’57), of Valencia, Calif., died April 12, 2010. He was a member of the Hannibal, Mo., National Guard and taught music in small schools in Missouri before becoming superintendent of schools in Lone Jack and Pleasant Hill, Mo. He was an educator for 40 years, culminating by serving as vice president of Phillips County Community College in Helena, Ark.


Margaret Evelyn Lucille (Jackson) Boyer (’63), of rural Gorin, Mo., died Sept. 4, 2010. She began her teaching career at South Liberty School in Scotland County, Mo., and started a 4-H Club. She taught for five years at her home grade school and later for many years at Gorin Community Schools. At age 101, she was inducted into the Missouri 4-H Hall of Fame.

Patti Leach (’68), of Fort Madison, Iowa, died Aug. 29, 2010. She lived in Lansing, Ill., for 40 years and taught for 37 years at Lansing School District 158, retiring in 2005. She was elected to Lan-Oak Park District in 1973, serving for 20 years and served as president, vice-president and commissioner. She served on the Lansing Village Planning and Zoning Board and won a seat as a village trustee where she served as chairman of the Aviation Committee and was appointed chairman of the Lansing Youth Center in December 1996. She spearheaded renovation of a vacant building for a safe-haven for the communities' graduating fifth- through eighth-grade students. In 1975, she co-founded the Lansing Girls' Softball Organization. She served on the school board in Lansing following retirement. 

Lois Verene McClanahan (’69), of Columbia, Mo., died April 24, 2010. She taught for the Ft. Scott Bible School in Ft. Scott, Kan., for two years and for the Shawnee Mission School District in Overland Park, Kan., for 14 years. She was a life member of the National Education Association, the Alumni Association of Northeast Missouri State University, and the Kansas City College and Bible Alumni Association. Lois lived many years in Overland Park, Kan. In her retirement years, she lived in Arizona until her health necessitated her moving closer to family members. For the past five years, she lived in Columbia.

Helen Janell (Turner) Mundell (’69), of Brookfield, Mo., died April 27, 2010. She had worked for the Brookfield R-3 School System and Clawson Trucking.

Jean Elizabeth (Phillabaum) Ponder (’68), died Nov. 10, 2010. After high school graduation, she worked as a file clerk at ALCOA before joining the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) during World War II, where she became a medical nursing aide. Later on, she worked in the Kirksville District Superintendent’s Office for years. She also worked with the USDA Soil Conservation Service and Farm Bureau.

Jerry Dale Reece (’61), Normal, Ill., died Dec. 13, 2010. He was a staff sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, assigned to Tactical Air Command. He served in England during the Korean War and continued to stay active in the Air Force Reserve after the war. He was recalled to active duty during the Berlin Wall crisis and was stationed at Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base during that time. He was a flight instructor for many years. He was the owner/operator of an industrial sharpening business and retired in 1998. He then became an active volunteer at BroMenn Regional Medical Center, serving as a patient escort and tour guide.

Gordon Glenn Roxberg (’63), of Denmark, Iowa, died Feb. 10, 2010. He was a teacher and an administrator for the Fort Madison Community School System. He was the vice principal at Fort Madison High School for 16 years and the principal at Fort Madison Middle School until he retired in 1999. He was currently driving a bus for Trailways and enjoyed farming.

Neil Francis Sheldon (’66), of Marshalltown, Iowa, died Aug. 23, 2010. After receiving his undergraduate degree, he served in the United States Army during Vietnam from July 1968 to February 1970. After his service, Neil returned to college and received his master’s, then taught school for a short time before working as a sky marshal for the United States Customs. From 1975 until 2006, Neil worked with the USDA until his retirement.

Ron Villars (’66), of St. Louis, Mo., died Aug. 9, 2010. He was a former coach and teacher at Soldan High, University City High, and Cardinal Ritter College Prep.


Virginia Louise (Coder) Carlstead (’72), of Palmyra, Mo., died Sept. 21, 2010. She taught in the Palmyra public schools for many years and retired in 1990. She was an active member of several civic and professional organizations, especially the Hannibal Regional Hospital Auxiliary.

Frederick Tannehill Curry (’73), of Winchester, Kan., died Feb. 9, 2010. After 20 years of service, Frederick retired from the U.S. Army as a major. He continued to serve our country, working with the African Union and the United Nations, training Peacekeepers for Humanitarian Assistance in Africa.

Janis A. Ewens (’74), of Center, Mo., died July 4, 2010. She taught in the Ralls County R-II School District at Center Elementary for 25 years, teaching the last few months from her wheelchair, until health problems forced her to retire.

Dennis Ray Helm (’76), of Louisiana, Mo., died Oct. 21, 2010. He spent several years in the mortgage and personal banking industry in Albuquerque, N.M., St. Louis and Pleasant Hill, Ill. He spent the last 24 years of his career as the manager of the Pike Shop in Bowling Green. He also served in the National Guard.

Linda Ivah (Christy) Miller (’70), of Kansas City, Mo., died Jan. 8, 2010. She taught at a Christian academy in Kansas City for a time and was employed with the IRS.

Thomas Nicholas Walsh (’76), of Hannibal, Mo., died March 17, 2010. Throughout high school and college, he was a successful competitive long-distance runner. He loved music and played drums in several groups, most recently with Sonny Settles in Quincy, Ill.


Monique Schooler (’85), of Gardner, Kan., died Aug. 25, 2010, at her home. She was a graduate of Princeton (Mo.) High School and earned a certificate in graphic arts at Northeast Missouri State University/Truman State University. She attended NMSU with her sister, Jane Schooler (’87).  Monique worked at Stouse Incorporated in Gardner, Kan., for more than 20 years.

Faculty and Staff

Elaine Doak died Oct. 17, 2010. Since 1993, she was a librarian and archivist at Truman State University. At the time of her death, she was head of Special Collections and Archives and acting curator of the University’s museums.

Arnold W. Preussner, of Kirksville, Mo., died June 2, 2010, after a long battle with cancer. He served in the U.S. Army in Germany during the Vietnam War. During his long career as a college professor, he taught at Yankton College in South Dakota, Washburn University, and the University of Kansas before coming to Truman State University in 1988. While at Truman, he taught in the Missouri London Program in England. In May 2010, he retired from the faculty and was awarded emeritus status. He was a dedicated scholar and teacher who published many academic articles, including reviews of theatre performances and scholarly texts. His book, Replaying the Renaissance, was published in 2010 by Naciketas Press. He received a Lilly Foundation Fellowship to study individualized learning systems in Puerto Rico and also was awarded NEH Fellowships for study at Brown University and the University of Southern California.  In addition to his many academic achievements, he was a gifted musician and a classically-trained pianist who also played rock and folk tunes, played the guitar and sang.


Travis Welker Freeman, a philanthropist, volunteer, and businessman/investor of Brashear Mo., died July 30, 2010. Travis lived in Tulsa, Okla., for 47 years, Santa Fe, N.M., for nine years and Brashear, Mo., for five years. He was active in and contributed to the success of each community in which he lived. He was a generous person with various interests which he pursued not only through his financial support, but also with his gifts of time and enthusiasm. After the death of his wife Lucia, Travis relocated from Santa Fe to Brashear to be near his daughter Teri and her family. He took particular interest in both Truman State and A.T. Still University, the Adair County Public Library and the Brashear School District. He served as platoon commander and executive officer LCI of the Underwater Demolition Team for the United States Navy. His Naval experience peaked his interest in the world, and his inquisitive nature inspired him to visit all 50 states and more than 100 countries on all seven continents.

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