Memorial Wall: 50th Reunion
We are pleased to share memorial messages from alumni and friends.
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Thank you for remembering those who are no longer with us.
AL Wellington was a stand-up guy. I can’t think of anyone from my Oberlin years that I admire more......He was a helping spirit and a good though sometimes a bit gruff friend to everyone he contacted. When he refereed our intramural bball games, he’d tease and joke with me on the court, “Hey, Johnson pass the ball, quit hogging it!” I can still hear his voice. And I, among his and the 1969-1970 Oberlin College bball Ohio Confernece Championship Team fans followed Al and his team faithfully from from game to game throughout the season and through the final tournament. Al was the Team Captain. And later he returned to work with students and adminsitration to try to help both sides understand and work with the other. Bravo! Al Wellington was a stand-up guy. R.I.P. Mr. Al Wellington!
Scott Johnson remembering Al Wellington ’70
Bob Sheridan and Jennie were my special, “off-campus friends” as they lived in an apartment above Bud's bar and Grill downtown, and I was in dorms my sophomore and Junior years. We would cross paths in Tappan or at the student union and they may have been Harkness members as I was. Bob was such a caring, loving guy under what might have seemed to some to be a rougher image. We shared many a story and remark and joke and somehow a strong bond that I know he felt , too. And Jennie was always there...smiling and nodding and wishing folks well. Just before my senior year, Bob and Jennie turned the keys to their beloved upstairs, off-campus apartment over to me and Will Jordan and I shared it during all of 1970-1971. Please contact me at email@example.com (Jennie). I would love to have a copy of Bob’s CD. I'll never forget kind, smart Bob Sheridan.
Scott Johnson remembering Bob Sheridan ’70
Hi Jenny, and other long-lost friends of that era. I lost contact with Bob around 1990, and have avoided the Obie alumni orbit generally (never graduated, actually).
I was saddened to learn a few years ago that he had died so young. I remember well the spirit if not the details of our times together — including his commitment to the theater. I recall watching his audition for or performance of a Horowitz play — maybe “The Indian Wants The Bronx,” or “The Line.”
But nothing as much as our struggle together on Oct. 27, 1967. It was a good fight. Here’s my favorite photo, the two of us arms locked.
Keep Hope Alive.
Eric Frumin, Brooklyn, NY
Eric Frumin remembering Bob Sheridan ’70
Dear Lynette, As a sometime bassoonist, I treasure the several performanes in which I played second to you - particularly Beethoven 9 (I got the first two notes of the slow movement!), and Brahms d minor concerto - where we both asphyxiated in the 2nd movement (God, that’s cruel!). I sent you puppy-love messages to Fairchild - but you remained the unattainable goddess. I loved you then and I love you still!
Gregory Allen remembering Lynette Diers Cohen ’70
I welcome this opportunity to say a few words in celebration of the life of Vera Carter Mitchell, who passed in 2012. Vera received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 1970. She was a founding member of the Oberlin College Alliance of Black Culture (OCABC) and Afro-House. She was known to pull all-nighters—no, not solely for studying but often to listen and provide counseling for classmates working through the stresses of college life. It is no surprise then that in her profession as a librarian at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, she counseled and assisted scholars in their research She was honored by the University as a recipient of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Staff Award. Vera volunteered with organizations including Habitat for Humanity and A woman’s Fund (a local shelter for women and children.) The many students who achieved undergraduate, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees represent a piece of Vera’s legacy, as do those who moved forward in life after living in a shelter.
Her talented and spiritual daughter and son, and their children, are living embodiments of her legacy. Vera's advocacy, her friendship, her spirit—are missed.
Cynthia Gibbs Wilson remembering Vera Carter Mitchell ’70
Professor McQueen was kind and patient: he was such an important stalwart for many students, especially those of African/African-American heritage. With experience, I now have some, at least a bit, of understanding of how challenging his situation must have been. At that time, there were few to no African-American professors at most non-HBCUs. I have always remembered how warmly Prof McQueen spoke with my father (Odell R Reuben OC STM 1947) when my father visited me during my freshman year. As immature and unknowledgeable as I was then, I could see that they enjoyed their talk with one another. As an economics major, I never took a class with Prof McQueen, but I expect to always remember his presence as reassuring.
Lucy J Reuben remembering Dr Albert McQueen
Lolo Beckwith was both alluring and elusive and I was fascinated by her when I first spotted her in Dascomb freshman year. Frizzy red hair flying, draped in a dark wool cape, she seemed everything I was not. I was stunned to read her obituary in our Alumni Magazine several years ago and was able to reach out to her husband in New Zealand where they had dreamed of living. I wrote an essay entitled The Lolo in Me. If anyone is interested to read it, I am happy to send. An ethereal sprite, she left the earth too soon.
Diane Katzenberg Braun remembering Lolo Beckwith ’71
Eve Dearborn was my roommate at Keep. She was beautiful inside and out. Very athletic and graceful she was a big participant when Twyla Tharp spent a semester at Oberlin. Eve was a strong achiever but unfortunately died mountain climbing years later. I met with her family thereafter and they held a memorial. Rest in peace Eve. So many admired you and miss you.
Ricki Simon remembering Eve Dearborn ’71
It was a beautiful friendship. I can’t exactly recall how or when we met. I knew that he was very involved in the campus anti-war movement and, like myself from Chicago. I guess initially we moved in different circles but eventually overtime those circles overlapped. By the time we graduated we had become true friends and bonded over our passion for jazz and blues music. In the early seventies I visited him and his beloved Jenny at their “Cloud Mountain” in California. For several years afterward we had somehow lost contact. But one morning in the early eighties while I was walking to work I heard someone call out my name. Of course it was Bob; he had returned to Chicago. Over the next thirty years we would get together and “hang” to go hear music. I’ll always treasure the time and memories of him and thank Oberlin for bringing us together.
Arthur Wheatley remembering Bob Sheridan ’70
Several years ago I wrote an essay about my memories of Lolo, nee Leah, Beckwith whose death shook me when I read about it in the Oberlin Alumni Magazine. As a freshman in Dascomb I was fascinated by her when I first saw her, swathed in a navy blue cape, curly red hair blazing. Through the Alumni Office I was able to track down her husband in New Zealand where they had moved in her last few years. If anyone is interested in my memoir essay, I would be happy to share it. Suffice to say, Lolo was unique...and she awakened in me something free and unbounded.
Diane Katzenberg Braun remembering Lolo Beckwith ’71
Rick was one of the first people I met as a lost and daunted freshman, standing in line to register for courses in September 1967. But small world that it is, it turned out that our fathers had met two years earlier when my parents, circumnavigating the globe for business and pleasure, stopped in New Delhi, India, where Rick's father headed up the Ford Foundation activities. The two spoke about emerging global needs for inexpensive and effective birth control initiatives! Rick and I went on to become inseparable until our paths diverged after sophomore year, when he transferred to Sarah Lawrence to complete his bachelor's, and I left for a year at the University of Nairobi before returning to an upside down Oberlin for senior year. We reconnected again after Oberlin when Rick, then going by Morgan, joined the Merce Cunningham Dance Company in NY and was working part-time as a journalist under the nom de plume, Morgan Gray. A beautiful dancer and man, with a sharp and wicked wit, Rick/Morgan's life was sadly cut short by the early scourge that became the AIDS epidemic. He is forever loved and missed by many.
Julia Howe (Rowland) remembering Richard Morgan Ensminger ’71
Holly and I roomed together in South Hall sophomore year (I think I borrowed her clothes more than she borrowed mine.) She was always up for adventures. We spent most of Christmas break at her home in Rochester and skiing in Vermont. On the way home we were caught in a blizzard and followed a snowplow to a tiny motel, where we got the last room, edging out a lot of folks who had to sleep on the lobby floor. On the bus back to Oberlin from Rochester, Holly got everyone to sing the Stars and Stripes Forever - she whistled the piccolo part. The next year, we spent the first semester at the University of Victoria, sharing a tiny apartment and hitchhiking to campus because there was a bus strike. We also hitchhiked from Oberlin to DC, not quite as safe a situation. At one point we had to run across the highway median to get away from a trucker with ... ideas... After graduation, Holly headed out west to be a ski instructor for a few years, before marrying and going to med school. Sadly, she died just before completing her pediatric residency.
Heather Partridge Oppenheimer remembering Holly Raines ’71
Robert, aka Bob or Bobby back then, became a friend for life from freshman year on. He was always up for an adventure, such as loading four of us (Robin and Gretchen, Bob and Jenny, the love of his life) and a cat in his tiny yellow Triumph and taking it for a spin to Chance Creek, bottoming out several times along the way, to his great amusement. He was a songwriter and playwright, having penned a musical about Lenny Bruce that, unfortunately, never was performed at Oberlin due to the Kent State tragedy. He was the best man at our wedding in December 1968 at Fairchild Chapel. Not too long before he died in Glenview, Illinois, he completed a long-held goal of recording an album of original tunes. Its title is “Late in the Day,” and Robert sings and plays guitar, as well as being the producer and composer. If you want a cd, let Jenny know. We miss him dearly.
Robin Nicholoff & Gretchen Rivard Nicholoff remembering Robert Michael Sheridan ’70
Adrian Tyler was a beloved friend. From our college days throughout all the years thereafter until his death in December 2018, we shared many great times together. He was a brilliant and multi-talented man. A gifted pianist, he loved all types of music and art. He loved literature and was a long time member of his book club in San Francisco. After a long career as an executive at PacBell, he retired and started a new career as an executive for a major non-profit serving San Francisco’s black community with a health care focus. Adrian fought a valiant battle against cancer and left us too soon. We who loved him, and there were many, will treasure our memories of him forever. R.I.P. AT.
Wendell P. Russell, Jr. remembering Adrian M. Tyler ’71
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