Memorial Wall: Classes of 1955, 1956 & 1957
We are pleased to share memorial messages from alumni and friends.
You can create your message using this form, and we will include it in the next update. We will continue to display and periodically update these messages. Memorial messages will be posted through June 30, 2021.
Thank you for remembering those who are no longer with us.
Ron and I combined on a variety of projects, from time spent freshman year doing lighting for dances and playing in the band for football games to in later college years being involved, usually with Fred Cohen, in operations at WOBC We often found ways to keep the time outside of classes, labs and the library interesting. There were also a variety of enjoyable gatherings in the years after college when he was working as a chemist.
Mel McKeachie remembering Ron Rabenold ’57
Gabe came to Oberlin well prepared. I wasn’t. Eventually, I grew to appreciate his abilities and he survived four years of rooming with me in Oberlin dorms despite our often differing interests. His work ethic and intellectual curiosity became a valued example. Gabe was a longtime member of the psychology faculty at Indiana University and was a lifelong friend as is his wife, Sara Hoskinson Frommer ’58.
Mel McKeachie remembering Gabe Frommer ’57
Remembering all of you who died so bravely during the AIDS epidemic. Missing you and wishing you were still with us. I was privileged to make the Oberlin panel for the AIDS quilt in your honor.
Bobbi Russell Keppel remembering Those who died of AIDS ’55
Jerry Nelson died last year. He was a close friend at Oberlin. Our friendship continued over the years. He was a dynamic leader at Oberlin in many ways- Student Council. Men's Board, Jazz Club, and 1956 Mock Convention Cabinet. He had a wonderful radio voice, doing sports play-by-play at WOBC and a weekly DJ show at WEOL in Elyria. After Harvard Law School he served as JAG lawyer, attorney for federal agencies and finally as an Administrative Law Judge. For many years he was an adjunct law professor at more than one law school in the DC area.
Nick Robfogel ’56 remembering Jerome Nelson ’56
Rilla was wickedly funny, strongly opinionated, a skilled musician and the kind of person who lit up the room with her smile. We could pick up the phone and resume our conversation after a decade and not miss a beat.
C J Wright Lipfert remembering Ril Handrick Christen ’56
Annie was a gifted concert pianist, a devoted mother and a good friend who always won at Scrabble. We shared a few tears but lots of laughs.
C J Wright Lipfert remembering Ann Brainerd Nadeau-Britton ’56
I honor the memory of Mike Horowitz as one of the two (with Kent Sidon) Oberlinians who brought Pete Seeger to do his first concert at Oberlin in April 1954. A truly important event in Pete’s career as well as in Oberlin's (and my own) developing appreciation of folk music.
Joe Hickerson remembering Mike Horowitz ’55
I too honor the memory of Steve Taller. He was my friend and mentor/guru on all things having to do with the Co-ops and folk music. I was blessed to be best man at the June 1956 wedding of Steve and Dee.
Joe Hickerson remembering Stephen Lee Taller ’55
Mike and I were lab partners in Zoology 101 freshman year, when I had to cut up his frog for him. :-) Later, we kept running into each other when we both lived in the New York area. Eventually he became a potter, and displayed his wares at various craft shows that my late husband, Michael Weiner ’58 and I attended. His glazes always were a distinctive cobalt blue, and his shapes lovely. I have a big covered jar and a vase of his in my collection - they help decorate my kitchen, always reminding me of him.
Betsy Shaw Weiner remembering Michael Kasdan ’56
Sherry Speeth was always interesting, creative, and stimulating. I regret I lost touch with him after graduation. He had a big influence on my life after I became a subject for his innovative undergraduate experiments in ESP, These indirectly led me to an interest in physiological psychology, then in medicine (neurology) , although i wound up as a medical geneticist. I miss him greatly, and was stunned to learn he died so early, at age 57, in 1995. He was gifted in many areas, most of all he had a knack as an inventor, and indeed worked out a method to distinguish seismographs records of nuclear explosions from earthquakes. Tragically, he did not survive to do so much more.
Ernie Hook remembering Sheridan Speeth ’57
I caught up again with George when I moved from Albany NY to the Bay Area in 1987. He was in Santa Cruz and we stayed in close touch for the next 30 years. George was always stimulating and it was an intellectual treat to discuss varied mutual interests, and to share experiences. He was always quick to respond at length to queries and musings, and with personal traveller’s guide & recommendations to any of the over 100 countries he knew so well. He left a void in many lives when he died of a stroke five years ago. Noreen and I miss him greatly.
Ernie Hook remembering George Von der Muhll ’56
Pete had an infectious enthusiasm for liberal politics and a conviction that action makes a difference. He believed you have a moral obligation to write and talk to your elected representatives (extrapolate to email and personally contact) because you CAN make a difference. And if they're good, to work for their election and re-election. I've kept that infection all my life - and still believe it's worth the effort.
AG Stokey morrison remembering Peter C. Robertson ’57
I sang at her Wedding. The next day Duffy and Bob embarked on a ship to Turkey to start their life as Missionaries. Bob did graduate work in Philadelphia while my husband, Paul Hoh, was in seminary there, so we would get together. Many years later we also were able to visit them in Turkey. We saw them in their last home in Brattleboro, Vt. two years ago. Duffy's mind was always alert and asking ”what are you reading?” I treasure my Oberlin life long friendships!
Mary Kate Hoh (Houseman) remembering Dorothy '"Duffy" Birdge Keller ’55
Such good memories! I sang at her Wedding in St. Louis.. We went to Yellowstone and worked between our sophomore and junior year in the summer of 1953. What a fantastic adventure! She later married several times, lived in Virginia and Alaska and on a sail boat. We visited her at her last residence on the Virginia shore near Accomac, where she continued in her profession and counseled women in need. We were life long friends!
Mary Kate Hoh (Houseman) remembering Mary Martha "Mimi*Kristenmacher Smart ’55
Would you remember with us our dear friend Chuck Herron? He was one of our group of eight “P.E. Majors” in the class of 1957. I knew Chuck through swimming and soccer. How unusual it was for a Physical Educator to go on to medical school. But that was Chuck, a guy with purpose. He befriended me especially by taking me under his wing and teaching me how to study. I credit him for my succeeding at Oberlin College. His passing came far too early.
Dick and Chitie Edgett remembering Dr. Chuck Herron ’57
Daryle Faith Wolfers Seil, wife, mother, grandmother, talented artist and writer, teacher of gifted children and aspiring performers, champion of environmental causes. Her imprint remains inspirational for all who knew her, as she lives in our memories.
Fredrick J. Seil, MD remembering Daryle Faith Wolfers Seil ’56
Judy was a special friend and a fellow K-P major. We lived at Fairchild our senior year and stayed in touch for many years after graduation. As a perfect “small world story,” her younger sister is now living with me at our Life Care Community in Palm City, FL. She and her husband moved here from PA; Curt and I moved here from upstate NY. She attended our wedding in Fairchild chapel with her family the day after Judy’s and my graduation!!
Jane Gray Coutts remembering Judy Fuess Johnston ’57
Much as I miss my ’57 classmates who are no longer with us, I would like to memorialize Peg who was a J.C. at May Cottage my freshman year there. We became lifelong friends, vacationing for 17 summers as families at her beloved Silver Bay, NY. She died with complications from Alzheimers in Jan. 2019, too close to my husband Curt’s (’58) death in Dec. 2018. Peg was a rainbow in anyone’s cloud!
Jane Gray Coutts remembering Peg Yocom Atwater ’55
Remembering Steve (’55). He was active at the Grey Gables Co-op, where I met him. He was instrumental in encouraging interest in folk music at Oberlin: with “Your Folk Song Festival“ on WOBC, helping bring Pete Seeger to Oberlin, and selling folk records, “See Steve and Save.”
He was a beloved internist at the Oakland Kaiser Hospital for 30 years. I was blessed to have been married to him 42 years.
Dolores Shedroff Taller ’56 remembering Stephen Lee Taller ’55
Jane Cauffiel, harpist, for her kind and generous manner. I visited her Oberlin home at our 50th reunion. She drove me to Elyria for lunch and spoke of her large organ donation to Old First Church. Mary Jane Caldwell, my freshman roommate, taught me the importance of avoiding “passive verbs” versus “active” verbs for my English comp. classes.
Judith Girton Phillips remembering Jane Cauffiel ’56 and Mary Jane Caldwell ’56
Chris Huntley was captain of the cross country team at Oberlin. He was my beloved brother. Died several years ago.
Sylvia Huntley Horowitz remembering Christopher Huntley ’55
Michael and I were married in September after graduation from Oberlin. We made it through 63 years of marriage. He died in November 2018. He was an excellent anthropologist, loved field work and teaching, and practically single-handedly founded the sub-field, Development Anthropology. Three children, three grandchildren, and one great-grandchild on the way.
Sylvia Huntley Horowitz remembering Michael Horowitz ’55
John Chivily, Dale Johnson, Dick Wigley and I were close friends all through the Oberlin experience. We lived together for most of the time until Dale and I were married. Remember them as fellow room mates, football players and students. Now they are gone, but not forgotten.
Chuck Robison remembering John Chivily ’57, Dale Johnson ’57, and Dick Wigley ’57
We shared Noah & Burton and many long discussions. Gabe was always a source of many interesting ideas. I looked forward to the 5 year anniversary, reunions with Gabe and his wife Sarah and catching up with life. He will be missed at the 65th.
Fred Cohen remembering Gabe Fromer ’57
Ron and I shared WOBC, Mummers and Chemistry senior research as well as adjacent rooms at Noah & Burton. Also practical jokes with each other (his toothbrush had a 90 degree bend and my comb was a spiral). We also shared New Years for many wonderful reunions in PA. He will be missed at this Zoom reunion.
Fred Cohen remembering Ron Rabenold ’57
John Picken was a founder of Kendal At Home, presently available in Ohio and Massachusetts and a founder of Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra Columbus.
Mary Sawyer Picken remembering John James Picken MD
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