In Memoriam

In This Section:

Publications and Resources

Margaret Timmins Bailey (University of Utah), 90, focused her energies on social work, her family, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Utah native, who earned a bachelor’s degree from Utah and a master of social work from University of Southern California, worked during World War II at Hill Air Force Base and afterwards for Latter-day Saints social services. Bailey then spent almost 20 years raising four children. Subsequently, she became a supervisor of child protective services for the family welfare department of Los Angeles, Calif. Her marriage was sealed in the Salt Lake Temple; a lifelong church member, she held almost every calling open to a woman, and in retirement, she and her husband served four missions in the U.S. and abroad. Preceded in death by two brothers, a granddaughter, and a great-granddaughter, Bailey passed away at her home in Provo on July 4, 2012. Survivors include her husband of 69 years, three sons and daughters-in-law, daughter and son-in-law, brother, sister, two sister-in-laws, and more than a dozen grandchildren and two score of great-grandchildren.

James Brooks Breeden, Jr. (The Ohio State University), 71, taught landscape architecture at Ohio State for 31 years. Before retiring in 2005, he advanced the use of computer-assisted instruction in the field and published often. Early in his career, Breeden was on the faculty of University of Georgia, from which he earned a master’s degree. The native of Fayetteville, N.C., attended North Carolina State University as an undergraduate. A professional landscape architect and a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architecture, he died of cancer on Oct. 22, 2012, at his home in Springfield, Va. Survivors include his wife of 48 years, two sisters-in-law, three nieces, and a nephew, among other kin.

Dave Brubeck (University of the Pacific), 91, helped popularize jazz “at a time when younger listeners had been trained to the sonic dimensions of the three-minute pop single,” observed Ben Ratliff in an obituary for The New York Times. The pianist and composer’s fusion of “odd time signatures, improvised counterpoint, and a distinctive harmonic approach resulted in a unique style,” added a remembrance from the National Endowment for the Arts, which named him a Jazz Master in 1999. Blending experimentation and accessibility, Brubeck was the first to sell a million copies of a jazz single, with his quartet’s 1959 recording of “Take Five.” Other smashes included the song and album “Time Out” and the album “Jazz Goes to College.” He performed for eight U.S. presidents, was inducted into the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and received the National Medal of Arts. Brubeck graduated from Pacific, which houses his archives. After earning a degree in music, he enlisted in the Army during World War II, entertaining troops in the U.S. and abroad. Preceded in death by a son, Brubeck passed away on Dec. 5, 2012. Survivors include his wife of some 70 years, four sons (all musicians, who played with him), daughter, 10 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Agatha Louise Huepenbecker Burnet (former Society regional vice president and Iowa State University chapter president and secretary/treasurer), 81, taught textiles and clothing at Iowa State from 1956 until retirement in 1993, headed the department for two decades, and won numerous school honors. The native of Fort Wayne, Ind., earlier taught high school vocational home economics in Valparaiso. Burnet was an associate of the Smithsonian Institution and president of what’s now the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, which presented her with its distinguished service award. Other influential positions included serving on the governing boards of the Iowa State foundation and its alumni association and being board president of the Mary Greeley Medical Center Foundation. She earned degrees in textiles and clothing from Indiana University (B.S.) and Iowa State (M.S.) and a Ph.D. in home economics education from The Ohio State University. Burnet also received Ohio State’s distinguished alumnus award and a commendation from the Ames (Iowa) Chamber of Commerce. Preceded in death by a sister and brother, she passed away on Aug. 23, 2012, at a hospice after battling colon cancer. Survivors include her husband of more than 16 years, six stepchildren, upwards of a dozen step-grandchildren, and many other kin.

Allen K. Clark (Old Dominion University), 78, spent his career at Old Dominion. He began as an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry in 1960, rose to full professor in 1966, served as department chair from 1968 to 1972, held positions in the provost’s office for the rest of the 1970s, was deputy vice president for academic affairs in the early 1980s, and became professor emeritus in 1998. Clark advised campus clubs (such as premed and the American Chemical Society chapter), worked on university committees, and was university marshal. It follows that he received the school’s faculty award. Community outreach spanned serving on the advisory council of the Norfolk General Hospital nursing school, chairing his Boy Scouts district, being president of the Norfolk Kiwanis Club (garnering its highest honor), and teaching Sunday school for more than 40 years. He earned degrees from Catawba College (B.A.), winning the medal for top student, and University of North Carolina (Ph.D.) Preceded in death by his sister, Clark passed away on March 7, 2012. Survivors include his wife of 54 years, two sons and daughters-in-law, two granddaughters, and two step great-grandsons.

Ronald Barry Dokell (University of Texas at Austin), 79 or 80, led a Renaissance life. The Chicago native at age 8 was one of the first “Quiz Kids” on the national radio answer program of the same name. He attended University of Illinois at Navy Pier, where he boxed, then transferred to Texas A&M University to finish an undergraduate degree in business. Dokell studied at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University for a year until commissioned into the Navy as a lieutenant junior grade, commanding a staff of more than 200 at the Norfolk (Va.) Navy Exchange. In 1957, he joined his uncle’s Olshan Lumber Co., in Houston, Texas, and over the next several decades helped expand it into Olshan Enterprises by adding foundation repair, waste disposal, and demolition services. A leader in the last field, he was a charter member of the National Demolition Association (which bestowed him with its lifetime achievement award), wrote the original safety regulations adopted by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, served as a delegate to the European Demolition Association, was frequently called upon as an expert witness, and taught demolition-based programs at Purdue University and Texas A&M. Dokell served as president of his B’nai B’rith chapter, supported the Houston Zoo, traveled worldwide, and liked to dance, listen to jazz, go to the theater, and attend Houston professional sports. Preceded in death by his younger brother, he passed away on Sept. 3, 2012. Survivors include his wife of 16 years, his two sons and daughters-in-law, daughter and son-in-law, and seven grandchildren.

Charles Alfred Henderson (University of Florida), 85, taught a wide variety of students. Early on, he was a high school band director and a principal. Henderson then spent 21 years as a professor in the curriculum, teaching, and teacher education program at UF. After retirement in 1985, he taught part-time until 1998. Leadership roles included first president of the Florida Association for Staff Development (of school-related personnel), president of the UF chapter of Phi Delta Kappa International (association for educators), and member of multiple commissions of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which gave him an award. The Florida native also was chairperson of a CAMPUS USA Credit Union branch, charter president of a Rotary Club, and a Methodist church official. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Florida State University and a doctorate from UF. Henderson, who served in the Navy in the Pacific theater during World War II, died on July 13, 2012, at his home in Jacksonville, Fla. Survivors include his wife of 61 years and many nieces and nephews.

Marianne Hirschberg (San Diego State University), 60, contained multitudes: contemporary artist, piano player, rigorous exerciser, avid reader, and dog owner (of two pugs). The Los Angeles native earned a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State and later was a student of real estate and homeopathic medicine. Hirschberg died after battling cancer on Sept. 2, 2012. Survivors include her daughter, mother, brother and sister-in-law, and two nephews.

John “Darin” Loftis (University of Wyoming), 44, died on Feb. 25, 2012, while participating in Operation Enduring Freedom in Kabul, Afghanistan. Assigned to the 866th Air Expeditionary Squadron, Air Force Lt. Col. Darin was killed from wounds received during an attack at the Interior Ministry; the Taliban claimed responsibility. Especially skilled at languages, he had been part of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Hands program, a cadre of experts specializing in Afghan and Pakistani culture and language, and “was deeply interested in the Afghan people and their culture, learning the poetry of Rahman Baba and reciting it at a poetry reading in Zabul,” according to a tribute in The New York Times last March. Loftis, who worked with the Afghan National Police, earned the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, and Army Achievement Medal and was posthumously awarded the Air Force Combat Action Medal and Purple Heart. He joined the Air Force in 1996 and was a space and missile officer who studied to become a regional affairs strategist. Loftis pursued engineering and Vanderbilt University and earned three master’s degrees. In the early 1990s, he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Papua New Guinea with the Duna Tribe, serving with his wife Holly, who wrote in an email that Loftis was honored to be a Phi Kappa Phi member. Other survivors include two daughters, his mother and stepfather, father and stepmother, paternal grandmother, and maternal grandfather.

Blanche A. Magnuson (Colorado State University), 98, believed in education, patriotism, and outreach. She taught high school English, math, science, and French in numerous states; her last assignment before retirement in 1981 spanned 20 years at Fort Collins (Colo.) High School as an English teacher and guidance counselor. Magnuson joined the American Red Cross in 1944, serving abroad in numerous countries. Valedictorian of Marion (N.D.) High School, she earned degrees from Jamestown College (bachelor’s) and Colorado State (master’s). Magnuson held leadership positions in the Soroptomist International women’s betterment organization and other civic-minded societies and was the Fort Collins Community Builder of the Year. She also was a deacon and elder at her Presbyterian church. Preceded in death by her husband and a brother, Magnuson passed away on Feb. 11, 2012. Survivors include her son and daughter-in-law and brother and sister-in-law.

Seba Breedlove Sheavly (Old Dominion University), 59, “was one of the foremost experts in the world on marine debris and ocean issues,” wrote her husband, Bill. “She consulted with organizations as varied as the United Nations and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, had a long relationship with Jean-Michel Cousteau and his Ocean Futures Society, and was a founder of Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup.” Sheavly worked for the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, Virginia Space Grant Consortium, and Center for Marine Conservation. In 2007, she established an environmental consulting firm on ocean conservation. Winner of numerous honors, Sheavly served on the boards of Clean Virginia Waterways, Blue Ocean Sciences, and Hull Springs Farm at Longwood University, from which she earned an undergraduate degree. Sheavly taught public school for nine years before earning a master’s degree in biology from Old Dominion. Preceded in death by her sister, the Virginia Beach, Va., resident passed away on June 1, 2012, of complications from cancer. Besides her husband of 34 years, survivors include numerous in-laws, cousins, nephews, and nieces. “Seba was a loyal supporter of Phi Kappa Phi,” Bill added.

David M. Vess (Samford University), 86, taught history at Samford for four decades and headed the department for 15 years. Other accomplishments, wrote son John and daughter-in-law Jennifer, “included ending the salary inequality for women in the department, recruiting outstanding female faculty for his department, launching a departmental newsletter for alumni, creating a career-guidance program for history majors, and building a scholarship program for majors,” plus administering Samford’s faculty research funds program. Vess was a noted scholar of the French Revolution; his many works include the book Medical Revolution in France, 1789-1796. He served as treasurer of Pi Gamma Mu, the international honor society in social sciences, executive secretary-treasurer of the Consortium on Revolutionary Europe, and president of the Alabama Association of Historians and of the Social Studies Council of Alabama. Vess earned degrees from what’s now Samford (B.A.), Vanderbilt University (M.A.), and University of Alabama (Ph.D.) He also won a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship for doctoral study at Harvard University. Vess served in the U.S. Naval Air Corps after high school, fighting in the Pacific theater in WWII. He was recognized by the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention for religious teaching and held numerous other roles in churches. Preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Vess passed away at his home in Hoover, Ala., on June 13, 2012.

Philip S. Wells (Northern Illinois University former chapter secretary/treasurer), 81, devoted his career to art. Early on, he taught at Dobbs Ferry (N.Y.) High School and then headed the art department at Niskayuna, N.Y., public schools for nearly a decade. Wells joined the art faculty at Northern Illinois in 1968 and retired 22 years later; administrative positions included assistant dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts and associate dean of the subsequent College of Visual and Performing Arts. Wells also held numerous one-man and group art shows over the decades. He earned degrees from what’s now Massachusetts College of Art and Design (undergraduate) and Teachers College, Columbia University (M.A. and Ed.D.). The Army veteran served in Germany during the Korean War. A music lover, he performed in many Light Opera Company shows in Niskayuna as a young man and supported the Lakes Region Symphony Orchestra in retirement. Preceded in death by three brothers and a sister, he passed away on Sept. 5, 2011, at his summer home in Laconia, N.H. Survivors include his wife of 51 years, three sons and daughters-in-law, daughter, eight grandchildren, sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, 19 nieces and nephews, 20 grandnieces and nephews, and five great-grandnieces and nephews.

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi