In Memoriam

In This Section:

Publications and Resources

Compiled by Editor Peter Szatmary

Berna Brown Allred (Brigham Young University), 82, kept a song in her heart. The soprano performed as a soloist, in operas and musicals, and with her husband in her Utah community. For many years she was in the Ralph Woodward Chorale and the Florence Madsen Memorial Choir. And as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Allred served as ward music coordinator and pianist in its relief society. When not striking up a tune she was picking up the thread as an expert seamstress. Preceded in death by her husband of 44 years, brother, son, and grandson, the Brigham Young University alumna passed away at her home on June 19, 2011, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. Survivors include two sons and daughters-in-law, two daughters and sons-in-law, 20 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and three married siblings.

Ray C. Anderson (Georgia Institute of Technology), 77, wore the term “radical industrialist” as a badge of honor. After spending 14 years learning the carpet trade at Deering-Milliken and Callaway Mills, he founded Interface, Inc., in 1973 and turned it into the world’s largest manufacturer of modular carpet. In 1994, Anderson challenged his billion-dollar company to be profitable while practicing sustainability, and hundreds of corporate citizenship awards resulted. For example, in 2007, Time magazine named him a Hero of the Environment and included him in its list of Top 15 Green Business Leaders. Three documentary films and numerous major newspapers profiled his efforts to reduce Interface’s carbon footprint while reaping robust returns. The visionary captain of industry also served as co-chair of the President’s Council on Sustainable Development during the Clinton administration and on the Presidential Climate Action Plan in 2008. Anderson gave more than 1,500 talks on eco issues and published two books about his radical industrialism. He was a graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology, recipient of eight honorary doctorates, and board member of universities, foundations and councils. Anderson died at his home in Atlanta, Ga., surrounded by his family, on Aug. 8, 2011, after a 20-month battle with cancer. Survivors include his wife, two daughters and sons-in-law, stepson and step-daughter-in-law, seven grandchildren, and great-grandchild.

Ivan C. Atkinson (North Carolina State University), 94, won the Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award and two awards of the Legion of Merit over three decades in the military. Assignments included lead researcher of nuclear weapons technology at Andrews Air Force Base, the position he retired from as a colonel in 1971; researcher of thermal radiation and propulsion systems for nuclear missiles at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base; and investigator of UFO sightings. Atkinson also was a fighter pilot in the Panama Canal Zone in World War II. Before joining the Army Air Forces, he worked at steel and chemical plants. Atkinson earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Case Western Reserve University and a master’s degree in nuclear engineering from North Carolina State University. He died on Aug. 4, 2011, at a nursing home in Fort Belvoir, Va. Survivors include his second wife of 37 years, daughter and son-in-law, three stepsons and their wives, and many (step-) grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren. He married his first wife in 1939; they divorced four years later; they remarried in 1945; she died in 1973.

Gordon Lawrence Bender (Arizona State University), 92, was a zoology professor specializing in entomology and desert ecology. He taught at Arizona State University from 1953 until his retirement in 1981, serving as department chair and director of a summer institute in desert biology funded by the National Science Foundation. Bender once instructed biology to high school teachers in India and twice worked on an agricultural project in the Sahara Desert through the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Employed at numerous universities over his long career, he served as president of the regional division of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the Arizona Academy of Science. Bender also edited the Reference Handbook on the Deserts of North America. He earned degrees from Iowa State University (bachelor’s), University of Wisconsin-Madison (master’s), and University of Illinois (doctorate). It would follow that Bender was an outdoorsman and environmentalist; it may be surprising that he enjoyed trains, classical music and military bands and collected jackets and radios along with boats and cameras. Bender served in the Boy Scouts for more than 25 years and belonged to the Kiwanis Club service organization and Ducks Unlimited wetlands and waterfowl conservationist group. He died on June 14, 2011. Survivors include his wife of 65 years, four daughters, 11 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren.

Martha Biddle (Indianapolis Alumni), 93, lifted spirits and lent a helping hand. She volunteered as organist and choir director at her Presbyterian church in Remington, Ind., for 50 years and was instrumental in moving a local philanthropic sorority to state affiliation with Kappa Kappa Kappa, subsequently serving as president of her Zeta Xi Tri Kappa chapter. Biddle also was president of the ladies’ auxiliary of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies and of its Indiana affiliate. She earned undergraduate degrees in home economics from Butler University in 1940 and music from St. Joseph’s College in 1967. Preceded in death by her husband of 51 years, four brothers and a sister, Biddle passed away on July 20, 2011. Survivors include two daughters and sons-in-law, two step-grandsons and their wives, a step-granddaughter and her husband, four step-great-grandchildren, and a brother and sister-in-law.

Walter A. Binasiewicz (Drexel University), 80, was a certified public accountant with eclectic interests that didn’t all line up in a row. His diverse pursuits included charter membership in the St. Robert Bellarmine Parish in Warrington, Pa., and founding membership in the Philadelphia Wine Tasting Society as well as, perhaps inevitably, wine (and beer) making, not to mention painting, woodworking, investment analysis, and the Philadelphia Flyers. Raised at St. Mary’s Home in Ambler, Pa., he graduated from Drexel University with a degree in business administration and was a sergeant in the Army during the Korean War. Binasiewicz died on July 11, 2011. Survivors include his wife, two daughters and sons-in-law, and four grandchildren.

Donald J. Conway (University of Maryland), a retired lieutenant colonel in the Army, died on Oct. 6, 2010. He was an active Phi Kappa Phi member for decades. Conway was preceded in death by a grandson. Survivors include his wife, married son and daughter, 11 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. Interment occurred at Arlington National Cemetery. It was encouraged that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the National Museum of the U.S. Army.

Luanne Mount Cutchins (Auburn University), 69, led a colorful life. The visual design major created logos for Camp Marannook in Lafayette, Ala., and the Retirement Systems of Alabama and was a partner at Reid & Mount Advertising. Cutchins earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Auburn University. At age 19 she was Miss Albany, Ga. Cutchins died of breast cancer on June 23, 2011. Survivors include her husband of 11 years, his three children and their spouses, seven grandchildren, an older brother and family, among others.

Don Robert Dickson (University of Utah), 85, defended his country and taught the next generation. The World War II veteran served in the Army Air Corps and earned three Bronze Campaign Stars, two Purple Hearts, the Air Medal, and the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal Ribbon. The educator taught in the Meteorology Department at his alma mater University of Utah for 30 years and was department chair for nine. Earlier in his career, Dickson taught at University of New Mexico and Oklahoma State University and was a physicist with the U.S. Geological Survey. He held many positions with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was married in its Salt Lake Temple. Preceded in death by a daughter and great-grandson, he passed away on March 2, 2011. Survivors include his wife of 57 years, four daughters and their spouses, two sons, 20 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and numerous siblings and their families.

Roberta L. “Bobbi” Frey (Ohio University), 60, loved Ohio University. How could she not, what with earning bachelor’s degrees in psychology and sociology from the school, working there as an administrative assistant to the dean of students and retiring as assistant director of career planning and placement. Frey also enjoyed cats, dogs and gardening. She died on Nov. 19, 2011, at her home. Survivors include her husband of 36 years, daughter, two sisters, brother, three nieces, and two nephews.

Frances Sandra Greer Christensen (Pittsburg State University), 73, epitomized edification. She taught in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the College of Education at Pittsburg State University (PSU) from 1971 to 2002, specializing in reading difficulties, children’s literature and elementary education, and chairing her department from 1988 until retirement. Greer, as she was known professionally, came to the field prepared, having taught fourth and fifth graders, in classrooms of at least 40 students, from 1960 to 1966 in Doraville and Buford, Ga. She collected children’s books, of course, and was a book club devotee. A travel enthusiast, Greer visited five continents, 33 countries and all U.S. states except South Dakota; she also liked cooking and collecting cookbooks and antiques. Greer earned degrees from Mercer University (B.A. in English) and University of Georgia (M. Ed. and Ed.D.). Preceded in death by a son, she died on June 17, 2011, of complications from metastatic melanoma, at her home surrounded by family. Survivors include her husband of 38 years, whom she had married at Timmons Chapel at PSU, daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter, among many other kin.

Arthur E. Hougland (East Tennessee State University), 76, served soldiers and students. He was a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, logging 36 years mostly in the surgical research unit at Fort Sam Houston, and spent 25 years at East Tennessee State University, College of Public and Allied Health, retiring in 1998. Hougland earned degrees from University of Iowa, Brigham Young University and University of South Dakota, from which he received his doctorate. Hougland died on Aug. 10, 2011, at his residence. Survivors include his wife of 50 years, daughter and son-in-law, two sons, and two grandchildren.

Jack Long (Purdue University), 90, loved his country, university, and honor society. The award-winning professor specialized in poultry science at what’s now called Purdue University College of Agriculture from 1955 to 1986. Other campus roles: assistant and then associate dean of agriculture; adviser to numerous student organizations; and faculty fellow in student resident halls. Further, he helped found the school’s Phi Kappa Phi chapter. Long earned degrees from Oklahoma State University (B.S.) and Cornell University (M.S. and Ph.D.). The Army veteran served in Europe in 1945 as a second lieutenant in the 65th Infantry Division and was recalled during the Korean War, earning a Bronze Star as an operations officer in the 40th Division Intelligence Section. He was in the Army Reserve for 25 years, retiring as a colonel. Long died on July 6, 2011. Survivors include his wife of 65 years, two daughters, son, six grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, plus other relations.

George Hamley Odell (University of Tulsa chapter past president), 69, won numerous honors in archaeology. They include the Fryxell Award for Interdisciplinary Research and the Award for Excellence in Archaeological Analysis from the Society for American Archaeology (SAA); the Citation of Merit for Preservation of Oklahoma’s Heritage from the Oklahoma State Historic Preservation Office (twice); and the inaugural Excellence in Research Award from the Henry Kendall College of Arts and Sciences at University of Tulsa, at which he had taught since 1984. Odell primarily conducted surveys and excavations in the North American midcontinent and focused on stone tools. He wrote three books and many articles, reports and chapters, was a former treasurer of SAA, and held numerous other professional affiliations. In his spare time Odell sang in two church choirs and was a member of the Tulsa Oratorio Chorus. He earned degrees from Yale (B.A., American history; M.A.T) and Havard (Ph.D., anthropology/archaeology). Odell died on Oct. 14, 2011, at his home. Survivors include his wife, also an archeologist, and two brothers.

Hartley Owen (Michigan State University), 83, ranked high among innovators in the oil industry in refinery process development, fluidized solids and fluid catalytic cracking. The Michigan State University chemical engineering major was author or coauthor of more than 280 U.S. patents, mostly in oil refining technology, chemicals and synthetic fuels. In fact, Mobil, at which he worked for 31 years before retiring in 1992, recognized him as the inventor with the most patents with the company. Owen earlier spent 10 years with Esso. He enlisted in the Navy before finishing high school, serving as a gunner’s mate first class on the USS LST 587 in the Pacific in the mid-1940s. Owen was a founding member, elder and trustee of one Presbyterian church and sang in the choir of another. He also enjoyed sailing, skiing, and gardening. Preceded in death by his first wife, Owen passed away on July 15, 2011; survivors include his second wife of 14 years, five daughters, son, 14 grandchildren, two brothers, and two Bernese mountain dogs.

Howard E. Parker (University of Michigan), 96, was chief pharmacist at the health center of University of Michigan, his alma mater, from 1965 until his retirement in 1983. He graduated from its College Of Pharmacy in 1940 and was a member of numerous other honor societies and fraternities including Rho Chi (pharmacy) and Alpha Chi Sigma (chemistry). Other employers included Parke, Davis & Co.; Paul B. Elder Co.; and Hoechst Pharmaceutical Co. Preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, he passed away on July 6, 2011. Survivors include a son and daughter, three grandsons, granddaughter, and brother.

James W. Reddoch (Louisiana State University), 86, worked at Louisiana State University (LSU) for 39 years. He began as an instructor in the College of Business Administration in 1950, rose to professor in 1963 and retired as vice chancellor emeritus in 1989. Other positions included assistant to the dean of his college; head of his department; assistant to the president of the university; dean and vice chancellor for student affairs; and vice chancellor for administrative services. Reddoch earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Mississippi State University and a doctorate from LSU and received a Ford Foundation grant for summer postdoctoral study at Harvard Business School. A veteran of the Army Air Corps in the European theater during World War II, he was active in the Lions Club International, American Red Cross and other civic organizations and served in numerous capacities at his Baptist church. Reddoch died on June 14, 2011, at his home. Survivors include his wife of 64 years, daughter, three sisters, seven nieces, nephew, and six great-nephews.

Charles A. Saunders (University of Houston), 89, specialized in corporate, trust and estate law for Fulbright & Jaworski for 65 years; upon retirement in 1988, he continued as an attorney for charitable causes. Saunders supported his alma mater, University of Houston, from which he earned a B.A, by serving on its board of governors, being general counsel for its friends of the library, serving as a trustee of its Moores School of Music, and awarding a graduating athlete with a gold medal for excellence in scholarship, leadership and sportsmanship. He was former president of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, an academician of the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law, and general counsel for the American Lung Association and the English-Speaking Union of the United States. Further, Saunders raised money and awareness for Houston public broadcasting and was legal counsel to local music organizations. He received an L.L.B. from University of Texas School of Law, studied at Oxford and Cambridge, and won distinguished alumnus awards and law commendations. A globetrotter, Saunders and his wife visited 138 countries across all seven continents. He died on Sept. 10, 2011, at his home in Houston. Survivors include his wife of more than 64 years, three daughters and sons-in-law, son, 11 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and sister.

Frederick O. Smetana (North Carolina State University), 82, spent the bulk of his career on the faculty of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at North Carolina State University (NCSU), from which he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He received a doctorate from University of Southern California. Before pursuing a master’s degree, Smetana worked for Douglas Aircraft Company; before pursuing a Ph.D., he was an Air Force flight test engineer. During his NCSU tenure from 1961 to 1994, Smetana authored several textbooks; he wrote several more as professor emeritus. Smetana enjoyed roses, classical music (especially opera), history, traveling, Jeopardy!, and U.S. presidential trivia. Preceded in death by his first wife of 52 years, he passed away on May 27, 2011, at his home. Survivors include three sons, daughter, four grandchildren, numerous in-laws, his second wife of four years, her three children and their families.

Paul Traver (University of Maryland), 80, amassed so many classical musical credits in the ivory tower and on the concert stage that in 1989 he received the Phi Kappa Phi Artist Award. Professor Emeritus at University of Maryland (UM), at which he had taught and performed for more than 40 years, Traver was founding director of its chorus, plus artistic director of the Maryland Handel Festival. His repertoire ranged from the 9th through 20th centuries; the school chorus, chamber singers and collegium musicum appeared throughout Europe and released several recordings. Traver also conducted with the National, Richmond, and Annapolis symphony orchestras and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Smithsonian Chamber Players and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra of Canada. He studied piano at Catholic University of America and earned a doctorate in conducting from Stanford University. Other honors include the inaugural UM chancellor’s medal, the highest honor the College Park campus confers. Traver died on March 27, 2011, on his birthday. Survivors include his wife of 50 years, daughter and son-in-law, son and daughter-in-law, another son, seven grandchildren, and sister.

Jesse Lee Wallace (New Mexico Highlands University), 74, was retired from the Air Force. He graduated from New Mexico Highlands University and was so proud of being a life member of Phi Kappa Phi that he purchased a dozen keepsakes over the years. Preceded in death by four brothers and one sister, Wallace died on Oct. 27, 2011. Survivors include his wife, three sons, two daughters, three stepdaughters, two stepsons, two brothers, three grandchildren, 11 step-grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren.

Lois Irene Hazelton Widvey (South Dakota State University former chapter president), 77, taught at every level during her 49-year career: from elementary school through higher education. She spent 33 years at South Dakota State University (SDSU): arriving at the College of Education and Counseling in 1973; rising from assistant to distinguished professor; and retiring first in 1998 and then, after returning in 2000, a second time in 2008. Widvey conducted hundreds of workshops locally, regionally and nationally. She was adviser for school chapters of Kappa Delta Pi, the international honor society in education, and the South Dakota Education Association student program, winning numerous awards for such efforts. Other plaudits: giving the 1987 SDSU commencement address; receiving several SDSU Teacher of the Year awards; being named Distinguished Professor Emeritus in Education and Counseling by the South Dakota Board of Regents; and having April 29, 1998, declared by the governor as Professor Lois Widvey Day in South Dakota. An early indication of later accolades: she was 1951 valedictorian of Lily (S.D.) High School. Widvey majored in English, history and business education at what’s now called Northern State University and earned an Ed.D. in secondary education from University of Nebraska. She loved to shop, attend auctions and nurse houseplants. Widvey died on July 9, 2011. Survivors include her husband of 53 years, brother and sister and their spouses and children.

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi