Class Notes

Decoration Graphic

Horizons - Winter 2018

December 17, 2018


William F. (Bill) Barlow ’75 and John Davis, Atlanta, Georgia, July 26, 2016.

Jay and Lani Hefel ’08 Craig, Grimes, Iowa, Dec. 14, 2016.

Shane ’06 and Marilyn Everett, Houston, Texas, Nov. 19, 2017.

Joe ’10 and Nichelle Closson ’10 Oxley, Independence, Missouri, Oct. 21, 2016.



James ’48 and Ardis Everett, Independence, Missouri, celebrated their 65th anniversary in August 2017.

Lonnie and Carol Mair ’67 Knittle, celebrated their 51st anniversary on Dec. 18, 2017.

Larry and Dorcas Hentz ’64 Wilkinson, Cascade, Colorado, celebrated their 50th anniversary on Dec. 30, 2017.



Jacob ’05 and Rachel Goodson ’06 Blakesley, Pensacola, Florida, Clara Faye Blakesley, born Dec. 22, 2015.

Jay and Lani Hefel ’08 Craig, Grimes, Iowa, Alana Frances, born Aug. 30, 2017.

Michael and Elizabeth Ferrara ’07 Dorner, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Eliza, born Oct. 28, 2016.

Tyler ’05 and Kelsey Combs ’05 Hosie, Lamoni, Iowa, Eva Claire, born Jan. 19, 2018.

Michael ’08 and Lauren Seaman ’08 Hutchinson, Litton, Massachusetts, Brody Muir, born July 21, 2017.

Greg ’10 and Emily Phillips ’10 Irr, Lee’s Summit, Missouri, Perry Joseph, born Nov. 26, 2014, and Sawyer Anne, born June 2, 2017.

Tyson ’08 and Sara Klockau ’09 Meierotto, Iowa City, Iowa, Teagan Nora, born April 13, 2015.

Jeremy ’03 and Rachel Duke ’03 Yeamans, Olathe, Kansas, Lucy, born Oct. 20, 2017.



Lois Burwell ’46 Anderson, Independence, Missouri, Jan. 18, 2018.

Ann Voltmann ’45 Beyer, Penney Farms, Florida, Oct. 24, 2017.

Gail Woodson ’56 Biller, Encendido, California, Dec. 25, 2017.

Clyde Blakely ’96, Sutherlin, Oregon, Aug. 31, 2015.

Hugh Boswell ’56, Sun City, Arizona, Feb. 2, 2018.

Donald Bowman ’64, Whitehall, Montana, Jan. 25, 2018.

Dorothy Flack ’44 Buck, Ukiah, California, Feb. 5, 2018.

Brad Carr ’91, Allendale, Missouri, Jan. 28, 2018.

Robert Carver ’50, Independence, Missouri, Nov. 23, 2017.

Donald Cash ’50, Independence, Missouri, Dec. 5, 2017.

Frank Church ’55, New London, Connecticut, Feb. 3, 2018.

Mel Kauila Clark ’68, Kapolei, Hawaii, Dec. 24, 2017.

Elizabeth Baller ’69 Clarke, Independence, Missouri, Feb. 10, 2018.

Sharon Hetrick ’59 Clothier, Independence, Missouri, Jan. 22, 2018.

Ken Cochran ’52, Joplin, Missouri, Nov. 19, 2017.

Russell DeSalvo ’63, Pueblo, Colorado, Jan. 30, 2018.

Ken Ensley ’60, Kansas City, Kansas, Dec. 27, 2017.

Bert Feske ’69, Denham Springs, Louisiana, Jan. 21, 2013.

David Freeland ’53, Largo, Florida, Oct. 29, 2017.

Jenifer Friend ’16, Blue Springs, Missouri, Jan. 30, 2018.

Bonnie Minthorn ’52 Graham, Missoula, Montana, April 9, 2016.

Jennifer Hagerty ’07, Beardstown, Illinois, Nov. 11, 2015.

Shirley Hall ’42, Normal, Illinois, Jan. 15, 2018.

Margaret Mussell ’57 Piepergerdes Hansen, Leawood, Kansas, Nov. 11, 2017.

Linda Smith ’63 Hellman, Keller, Texas, Aug. 17, 2016.

William Herod ’51, Irving, Texas, Feb. 12, 2018.

Bernie Fleeharty ’45 Holmes, Kansas City, Missouri, Dec. 8, 2017.

Lenora McPherson ’45 Horst, Ocala, Florida, Dec. 10, 2017.

Judith Millard ’61 Howard, Cameron, Missouri, Feb.11, 2018.

Minnetta Isaacks ’72, Independence, Missouri, Feb. 17, 2018.

Marsha Robbins ’77 Jackel, Lamoni, Iowa, Dec. 26, 2017.

Maxine Johnson ’49 Jenson, Woodbine, Iowa, Feb. 10, 2018.

Harry Johnson ’48, Independence, Missouri, Nov. 24, 2014.

Venna Stevens ’45 Johnson, Independence, Missouri, June 17, 2016.

Barbara Wyatt ’59 Kaminski, Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, Jan. 30, 2017.

Don Kasmerchek ’73, Independence, Missouri, Jan. 22, 2018.

Harold Keairnes ’52, Independence, Missouri, Jan. 25, 2018.

George Knotts ’52, Lamoni, Iowa, Feb. 13, 2018.

Ardyce Mellendorf ’54 Koonce, Independence, Missouri, Oct. 22, 2017.

Beverly Johnston ’48 Koshatka, Iowa City, Iowa, Jan. 2, 2018.

Sharon Seaver ’63 Lasswell, Carthage, Illinois, Oct. 20, 2017.

Bob Laudie ’40, Iowa City, Iowa, Dec. 24, 2017.

Shirley McClain, Independence, Missouri, Oct. 30, 2017.

Betty Norwood ’50 Mesley, Kansas City, Missouri, Feb. 2, 2018.

Dean Miller ’48, Fort Collins, Colorado, Oct. 23, 2017.

Ruth Fishel ’48 Miller, Milford, Ohio, Dec. 2, 2017.

Chris Osborn ’85, Eugene, Oregon, Oct. 8, 2017.

Richard Porter ’48, Onset, Massachusetts, Jan. 22, 2018.

Lynda Propst ’68 Rolfe, Lamoni, Iowa, Jan. 13, 2018.

Marvin Scranton ’50, Geneseo, Illinois, Dec. 3, 2017.

James R. “Jim” Shaw, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Jan. 3, 2018.

June Short Jr. ’46, Independence, Missouri, Feb. 7, 2018.

Darton Simons ’92, Lee’s Summit, Missouri, Nov. 1, 2017.

Louise Pualani Victor ’45 Simpson, Independence, Missouri, Nov. 20, 2017.

Jerri Metcalf ’48 Smith, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Oct. 16, 2015.

Erma Ehlers ’44 Snyder, Lawson, Missouri, July 8, 2017.

Joseph “Jerry” Tisler ’60, Lawrence Township, New Jersey, Nov. 23, 2017.

Cynthia Frick ’63 Torrie, Boise, Idaho, Dec. 8, 2017.

James Ulrich ’46, Falcon, Colorado, July 8, 2009.

Nelda Bridges ’49 Von Horton, Kansas City, Missouri, Jan. 12, 2018.

Marjorie Muir ’46 Wilcox, Flushing,  Michigan, Oct. 27, 2017.

Carol Elliott ’74 Wilcoxson, Creston, Iowa, Jan. 31, 2018.

Marian Mussell ’47 Wildermuth, Independence, Missouri, Feb. 11, 2018.

Eileen Wilson ’52, Osborne, Kansas, Nov. 22, 2017.

Jann Hartwig ’62 Wolf, Clare, Michigan, Oct. 25, 2017.

John Wolf ’61, Clare, Michigan, Dec. 31, 2017.


Nichelle Closson ’10 Oxley works for Humphrey, Farrington & McClain law firm, where seven of 18 attorneys are Graceland graduates. In 2017, Oxley was selected by the National Trial Lawyers as a “Top 40 Under 40” lawyer for the state of Missouri.

Oxley is a new member of Graceland’s Alumni Board of Directors and continues to be very connected to the Graceland family.


Brown’s composition was featured during the opening ceremony.

(Photo: Andy Miah, flickr |
Donald G. Brown ’87 received notification from NBC-TV Broadcasting Editorial that two of the Music-Episode Compositions he composed last year as part of a five-person Olympic music project would be included during the coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony from South Korea. His work was featured during the first five minutes of introduction music and just prior to the lighting of the Olympic Flame/Cauldron.

Joe Madaffari ’81 is in his 22nd year as the athletic director at Brien McMahon High School. He is one of eight finalists for the National High School Athletic Coaches Association’s Athletic Director of the Year award. Congratulations, Joe!


Mary Ellen `75 Kimball was an art major at Graceland. Her paintings and prints were featured in the film The Waiting Room, which was recently celebrated by Fleur Cinema and Iowa Public Television’s Film Lounge. She serves on the KSOI-91.9 FM Board and is a community advisor and arts host.


Mel Kauila Clark ’68 passed away on Dec. 24, 2017. His life was committed to sharing with others the principle elements of Native Hawaiian values, Aloha and physical well-being.

Kauila grew up in Wahiawa and graduated from Leilehua High School in 1963. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in drawing and painting from Graceland College in 1968 and later earned his master’s degree in clay and sculpture at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.

A certified traditional native Hawaiian health practitioner, Kauila was an artist, a master potter, educator and lecturer. His artwork, internationally acclaimed, has been exhibited in 53 countries and museums such as the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Professor Clark taught design, drawing, painting, ceramics, art history and art appreciation at Graceland from 1971-83. Several of his pieces are included in Graceland’s fine art collection, and a large collaborative work adorns the Shaw Center lobby. Kauila’s legendary influence on students of all disciplines continues.


Marcia L. Kemp ’59 Lloyd received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Dance Education Organization’s (NDEO) national conference in San Antonio, Texas, Nov. 12, 2017.

Marcia married Arthur Lloyd, from Independence, Missouri, in 1960. They continued their journey together teaching in higher education institutions — counselor education for Arthur and dance education for Marcia. Over the years, they have resided in Laramie, Wyoming; Bozeman, Montana; Springfield, Massachusetts; and Pocatello, Idaho.

Both retired from Idaho State University, and they now travel most of the year to Seattle (visiting their two grandsons), Malaysia, London and Honolulu.

Kenneth Cochran, Graceland University Hall of Fame inductee (1989), passed away Nov. 19, 2017, at the age of 84 — one month shy of his 85th birthday. Cochran ’52 received
an Associate of Arts degree from Graceland with physical education as his major. He was a Gimper and played on the men’s basketball team and the club baseball team.

In 1956, Cochran served as the starting catcher on the Olympic Baseball Team. Cochran’s coaching career spanned a quarter of a century, and when he left coaching at the age of 48 after suffering a heart attack, he remained involved with basketball. He invented the widely popular Pop-A-Shot game and was longtime director of the Heart of America Basketball Camps and Clinics in Salina, Kansas.

Cochran was inducted into six halls of fame — NAIA, Kansas Sports, Kansas Basketball Coaches Association, Kansas Wesleyan, Graceland University and Joplin, Missouri. He established the Graceland University Ken Cochran Endowed Scholarship to assist tennis and men’s and women’s basketball players.

Ken Cooper ’51 received an Associate of Arts degree from Graceland with music education as his major. He received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Kansas State College in Pittsburg, Kansas, in 1953 and continued to receive his master’s in music composition in 1965.

Cooper returned to Graceland to teach music of every sort from 1971-83. He taught music theory, woodwinds, brass, percussion, instrumental and choral arranging, conducting and piano. He was the composer for the Adventureland and Boblo Island amusement park shows featuring Graceland students and founded The Music Company tour programs. Graceland’s music department still uses Cooper’s musical arrangement for the alma mater.

In addition to writing and arranging music, Cooper spent many years as a church organist and choir director. His performance activities included classical music and playing in many jazz groups. He has more than 150 published compositions for instrumental and choral ensembles. Cooper’s commissioned composition, “A Star,” had its premiere performance in December 2000 by the Kansas City Symphony.

Cooper died June 18, 2017, at age 85 in Papillion, Nebraska, after struggling 12 years with Parkinson’s disease. His ashes were placed in Graceland Park Cemetery in Omaha, Nebraska. A tree was planted in his honor by the Arbor Society in the Chippewa National Forest (Minnesota), and a bench was dedicated at Graceland University.


Kenneth ’47 and Joyce Beitz ’49 Swails, O’Fallon, Missouri, were both honored by their children with a 90th birthday surprise card shower. Over 100 cards were sent from family and friends from all over the country.

Left to right: Brothers Neal, Keith and Dale Zimmerman spent time together in Port Charles, Florida (November 2015).

Zimmerman Brothers Remember Their Time at Graceland

Keith Zimmerman ’44 fondly recalls his time at Graceland and that he was able to attend his freshman year because he gave the registrar $100 from working all summer on the farm. He took accounting and business classes and went on to work in the lumber and hardware business. Neal ’47 was at Graceland with his brothers, and when Horizons asked him, “What did you study?” Neal’s response was, “mostly girls!” Current students might be honest and say, “Guess some things haven’t changed in 70 years!”

The youngest brother, Dale ‘47, will turn 90 in May, and he was at Graceland in the accounting classes with Keith. When the professor would ask Mr. Zimmerman for an answer, they flipped a coin to see who would answer.

Charles (Bob) Laudie ’40 passed away Dec. 24, 2017, in Iowa City, Iowa. Laudie graduated from William Chrisman High School in Independence, Missouri, and was offered a job in facilities at Graceland. He “worked hard shoveling coal and snow, earning two cents an hour toward the next year’s expenses.” With the year’s earnings on the books, he became a student the next fall and two years later received an Associate of Arts degree from Graceland. He wrote his memoirs about his time at Graceland and shared them as a view into student life on “the Hill.”

He was employed by Lockheed before entering the Army AirCorp Aviation school in January 1942. During WWII, Bob was a B26 navigator/bombardier flying out of England. He flew over 73 missions including two over Utah Beach on D-day. Laudie received his BA from San Jose State University and MA from Stanford with postgraduate work at University of California, Berkeley. Laudie was principal of large California elementary schools for over 33 years.

His interests included HAM radio, and he helped build the Community of Christ church building in Walnut Creek. He also worked on the Happy Valley church campground and rejuvenated the Cloverdale Historical Society.

Decoration Graphic

Related Posts

Learn More

Horizons - Winter 2018

The hive is alive.

December 17, 2018

Yellowjacket success is widespread, as many of our athletes competed at the national level.

Learn More
Learn More

Horizons - Winter 2018

We are Graceland – In the Middle of Everywhere

December 17, 2018

Horizons recently used Facebook to learn the scope of the Graceland network. The participation was incredible, and we loved reading so many testimonies of how the Graceland values have spread.

Learn More
Learn More

Horizons - Winter 2018

Setting the Stage

December 17, 2018

In January, theatre major Haley Johnson ’19 placed first out of participants from 315 teams from seven states at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Region V Conference in Des Moines, Iowa.

Learn More
Learn More

Horizons - Winter 2018

Working Toward Wholeness.

December 17, 2018

This is a celebration. Who wouldn’t be proud of the accomplishments of the Graceland graduates featured here? And what I find even more exciting is that this is only the beginning of what we predict for their future.

Learn More
Learn More

Horizons - Winter 2018

Graceland graduates make the world a better place

December 17, 2018

Graceland’s principles still ignite change in the world — in ways both big and small — by preparing graduates to live rewarding and meaningful lives.

Learn More
Learn More

Horizons - Winter 2018

Forward Thinking

December 17, 2018

One of the challenges that Graceland has faced courageously...

Learn More
Decoration Graphic