In Memoriam Spring 2013


Harriet (Wood) Green ’32 (Winona) passed away on January 18 at the age of 101. She earned her two-year and bachelor’s degrees at Winona State and went on to teach in several southeast Minnesota school districts. She also taught in Juneau, Alaska, and Carson City, Nev. Harriet supervised student teachers and was named the Honor Teacher in Grade One by Winona State. She retired in 1975 and volunteered for 20 years working with elementary reading students.


Carol Kelm ’40 (St. Croix Falls, Wis.) passed away on September 14, 2012. She taught for several years before serving her country in three wars with the U.S. Army Women’s Medical Corps, specializing in physical therapy. She retired in 1966 and devoted much of her leisure time to fishing, which she loved.

Aileen (Nelson) Rice ’43 (Winona) passed away on January 26 at the age of 92. Using a $300 loan from her aunt, she earned her teaching certificate at Winona State and went on to teach in several school districts. She received her BS in 1951 and lived a full life, serving her church and community along with managing a political campaign for a candidate for the Minnesota State Legislature.


Frances (Kvam) Fischer ’50 (Winona) passed away on January 21. She taught social studies, first in Culver City, Calif., and then for 27 years in Bloomington, Minn.

Helen Halloran Wheeler ’51 (Chatfield, Minn.) passed away on April 5. While living in Park Rapids, Minn., she was Lake Emma Township supervisor and an active volunteer. She relocated to southeast Minnesota and volunteered for many community and church organizations and events, including working as resident manager for Ronald McDonald House.

Lily Safe ’55 (Owatonna, Minn.) passed away on December 5, 2012. She taught in Minnesota and Oregon before retiring in 1951. She enjoyed bowling, golf, cards, and had a special place in her heart for her cats.

Blanche Schneider ’55 (Alma, Wis.) passed away on April 30, 2012 at the age of 91. Blanche earned her master’s at Winona State and taught at the Buffalo County Teachers College and later the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. She then began a long and successful career as a school principal, retiring in the early 1980s. She returned to her hometown and was an active member of the community, volunteering her time with several organizations.

Helen (Norvet) Small ’55 (St. Charles, Minn.) passed away on December 8, 2012 at the age of 97.

LaVern  Nelson ’57 (Lakeville, Minn.) died on February 18.

George Pehler ’59 (Eau Claire, Wis.) passed away on September 13, 2012. He attended Winona State after serving in the U.S. Army, earning degrees in education. He was a teacher and later a principal for 26 years in the Chippewa Falls School District, for twenty-six years, retiring in 1994. After retirement, he served on the Eau Claire County Board for five years.


Charles Gaulke ’60 (Wixom, Mich.) passed away on December 20, 2012, after a long illness. He worked in public education from 1960 to 1995 as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, athletic director, and principal. He was also in the U.S. Army and Army Reserves and, for 35 years, the U.S. Naval Reserves.

Elmer B. Mitchell ’60 (Portage Wis.) passed away on November 7, 2012. He earned his master’s at Winona State and doctorate at North Dakota State University. He began his career in a one-room schoolhouse and ended as an administrator with the Portage Community School District.

David Roth ’60 (Sandstone, Minn.) passed away on November 21, 2012.

DeWayne Tobias ’62 (Benicia, Calif.) passed away on Nov. 14, 2012. He began his career in California as a junior high and high school science teacher after graduating from Winona State. He went on to administrative positions before leaving for a management position at Lockheed Martin Corp. He retired in 2003. “Tobe” loved flying and held both commercial and private pilot licenses.

Fred Brensel ’63 (Onalaska, Wis.) passed way on December 2, 2012. He taught choir at Onalaska High School from 1986 to 1992 and also formed his own dance band, Trio Brio.

Ralph Rydman ’63 (Ripon, Calif.) passed away on Feburary 21. He worked in cancer treatment in Rochester before earning his doctorate in radiologic health physics and doing further research on cancer.

Larry D. Thompson ’63 (Hernando, Fla.) passed away on November 3, 2012. He received degrees in education, biology, and accounting at Winona State. Larry was a biology and math teacher for 30 years, working in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Texas.

Roger Warren Olson ‘64 (Winona) passed away on January 14. He served in Vietnam with the U.S. Army and afterwards worked with Foresters Meats, later beginning a career as an over-the-road truck driver.

Everett Austin ’65 (Caledonia, Minn.) passed away on January 6 after a lifelong struggle with heart complications due to rheumatic fever as a child. He taught industrial arts, first in Jefferson, Wis., and then for 30 years in Caledonia. He greatly enjoyed hunting and fishing, owning Austin’s Antique Firearms where he repaired antique rifles for people all over the U.S.

Charles Santelman ’65 (Las Vegas, Nev.) passed away on February 25, 2012 after a courageous battle with lupus. He received his master’s from Northern Arizona University and had a distinguished career with the Clark County School District for 40 years as a teacher, curriculum developer, and elementary principal and then mentor to new principals. He touched the lives of thousands of children with his innovative teaching, kind and nurturing manner, and dedication to children and teachers.

James Schultz ’65 (Houston, Minn.) passed away on October 24, 2012. He graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School after earning his degree at Winona State. Throughout his life, he was active in his community, helping to create the dike system and bike trail in Houston and the Houston Ambulance Service. He was also previously part-owner of the Valley High Golf Course.

Pauline Utzinger ’66 (Rochester, Minn.) died on September 30, 2012. She earned her MS in counseling at WSU and was counselor at Winona Senior High School for 10 years before returning to Rochester to work for the public library there for 16 years. Pauline was very active in the community, including serving on the board of the Olmsted County Historical Society and as its president from 1987 to 1989.

Joanne (Kleist) Lanik ’68 (Winona) passed away on November 20, 2012. She was accounting director at Winona State for 32 years before retiring in 2008. She was an enthusiastic patron of the arts, volunteering for the Winona Beethoven Festival and proudly supporting the creative endeavors of her daughter and son-in-law.

John Ross ’68 (Schaumburg, Ill.) passed away on February 28, 2013. He earned his accounting degree at WSU and was a member of Phi Sigma Epsilon fraternity and student body president his senior year. Memorials should be directed to the WSU Alumni Association.

Judith (Iten) Johnson ’69 (St. Paul, Minn.) passed away on October 21, 2013.


Virginia O’Brien ’72 (Winona) passed away on November 7, 2012. She earned her teaching degree later in life, beginning to share her lifelong love of learning. She worked in the Winona Area Catholic Schools until the age of 70 and then continued to work as a realtor until retiring at the age of 87.

Nels Jacobson ’73 (Peterson, Minn.) passed away on April 8. He received his degree in industrial arts education and was employed at Peterson Sawmill, Hiawatha Tire, and many jobs as a handyman and carpenter.

Ramona Mueller ’74 (Mound, Minn.) passed away on February 2. She was a realtor and appraiser for 30 years and was active in the Lions Club.

Ruth Sherwood ’74 (La Crescent, Wis.) age 93, passed away on March 28. She taught at La Crescent Elementary School for many years and was active in her church and community.


Carol Wallace ’82 (Rochester, Minn.) passed away on December 12, 2012. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at WSU after a long nursing career, going on to work as co-owner of an antique business and owner of Creative Learning Institute and Customized Bus Tours. In 1986 Carol established the Carol Ann Wallace Distinguished Lectureship in Human Values at Winona State University.

Larry Garnatz ’84 (Zumbrota, Minn.) passed away on November 9, 2012. After earning his BS in sociology and criminal justice, he worked in the Rochester, Cannon Falls, and Zumbrota area. He enjoyed woodworking, gardening, and deer hunting with his family.

James Ruben ’85 (Menomonee Falls, Wis.) passed away on September 2, 2012. He earned his accounting degree at WSU and later his CPA. Jim loved to read, watch and attend sporting events, and sing in the church choir.

Susan (DeMarco) Vander Heyden ’87 (Afton, Minn.) died on October 27, 2012.

Craig Stoxen ’88 (Rock Hill, S.C.) passed away on February 5. Following graduation from WSU, he worked for Lutheran Volunteer Services and later Lutheran Social Services and Planned Parenthood before joining the South Carolina Autism Society as its president. He also received an MA in religion from the Lutheran Theological Seminary.

Kathryn Daniel ’89 (Rochester, Minn.) passed away on July 15, 2012.


Corey Lundholm ’90 (Mankato, Minn.) passed away on April 16, 2012. Corey worked at Koch Refinery and Xcel Energy and loved music and singing, travel, roller coasters, fishing, and spending time with his family.

Della (Ellinghuysen) Rupprecht ’92 (Lewiston, Minn.) passed away on November 29, 2012 at her home. She entered the College of St. Teresa at age 52, and when it closed, transferred to WSU to earn her BS in social work. She was employed by the Women’s Resource Center of Winona until 2010 and was a strong advocate for women.

Theodore Conway ’95 (Houston, Texas) passed away on December 18, 2012. He played basketball at Winona State and earned a criminal justice degree. He worked for the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Rochester, Seattle, and Houston and continued his career as a U.S. Air Marshall, working in various capacities.

Stacey Nelson ’96 (Faribault, Minn.) passed away on October 21, 2012 following a battle with colon cancer. She taught at Faribault Lutheran School and also served as a soccer, volleyball, and basketball coach and co-athletic director at the school.


Kaitlin (Smith) Bakker ’07 (Minnesota City, Minn.) died on October 16, 2012. She completed her BSN at Winona State and was just short of completing her master’s at the time of her death. Kaitlin worked at Mayo Clinic and enjoyed a variety of outdoor activities.

Faculty, Staff, Friends

Mary Ann Wilma Boyd passed away on November 21, 2012. She worked for 24 years as a laboratory technician at WSU. On her retirement, she received member emeritus from the WSU Chemistry Department.

Grace Nascak (Winona) passed away on February 4. She worked in the Theatre and Music Departments at Winona State.

Hosea Perry (Goodview, Minn.) passed away on January 21 in Winona. He joined the Winona State faculty in 1969 where he taught in sociology, social work, and criminal justice and helped create the social work major. He retired as professor emeritus in 1992. He was an active participant in the civil rights movement and was advisor to numerous campus and community organizations while at Winona State.

Art Tulius (Winona) passed away on January 27. He worked in the physical plant at Winona State.

Leo Voelker (Winona) passed away on August 8, 2012. He worked as a boiler operator and in maintenance at Winona State.


About Winona State University

Founded in 1858, Winona State University is a comprehensive public university with more than 8,500 students. The oldest member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, Winona State offers 80 undergraduate, pre-professional, licensure, graduate, and doctorate programs on its three campuses: the original Main Campus in Winona, the West Campus in Winona, and Winona State University-Rochester.

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