In Memoriam

In Memoriam Header

These Wichita State graduates, former students (fs), honorary alumni (hn) and university friends leave lasting legacies, including WSU emerita professor of anthropology Dorothy K. Billings; Grammy-winning operatic baritone James H. Billings ’54; Don Brinton ’52, an award-winning advertising creative and executive; Jamie Coulter ’63, Wichita-based businessman; Dave Lewis ’73, a survivor of the 1970 Wichita State football plane crash; Arneatha K. Martin ’75/80; and Franklin D. Robinson fs ’59, aeronautical engineer who founded the Robinson Helicopter Co. in 1973.

Ruth M. (Wood) Anderson ’81, former first lady of Wichita whose husband, William Anderson, served as mayor in 1968-1969, Dec. 7, 2021, Wichita. As the mayor’s wife, she was the official hostess of numerous events, including the 1969 dedication of Century II, the city’s performing arts and convention center built to commemorate Wichita’s centennial in 1970 and the 1969 inauguration in Wichita of Gov. Robert Docking. Wife, mother of four, piano teacher, arts patron and inventory manager at IFR Systems, Anderson proudly earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Wichita State in 1981.

Orlin E. “Bill” Ard ’64, psychology graduate and businessman who, along with business partner Steve Clark, founded the company that became Security Self Storage, March 27, 2022, Wichita. Christine S. Bailey ’93, Brotherhood of Teamsters director of political and legislative action and special assistant to general president James P. Hoffa, the son of Jimmy Hoffa, Washington, D.C., May 27, 2022, Wichita. An adviser and leader in the U.S. Labor Movement, Bailey played key roles that helped lead to a number of political and legislative victories for working families, including the passage of the Butch Lewis Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act.

Dorothy “Dotty” K. Billings, WSU emerita professor of anthropology, Aug. 12, 2022, Wichita. Billings taught anthropology at Wichita State for 44 years. She studied under Margaret Mead at Columbia University and earned her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Sydney (Australia). Her research featured field work on the islands of New Hanover and New Ireland, and culminated in Cargo Cult as Theater: Political Performance in the Pacific. She authored over 30 articles and delivered papers in some 18 countries. A civil rights advocate, Billings participated in the Freedom Rides of the 1960s and later served on the boards of the local ACLU, the Black Historical Society, and the Global Learning Center of Wichita. She served as precinct committee woman in the Democratic party for 34 years.

James H. Billings ’54: Buffo Baritone, Librettist, Stage Director James Billings was a Grammy-winning operatic buffo baritone, librettist and stage director. His National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Grammy Award came to him in 1986 as principal soloist with the New York City Opera (NYCO) for Best Opera Recording for Leonard Bernstein’s Candide.
Billings graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Wichita and went on to earn a master’s degree in music from Boston University. He began his professional career singing under the tutelage of conductor Sarah Caldwell at the Opera Company of Boston during the company’s first season in 1958. In 1972, he was engaged by the NYCO, which remained his artistic home for the next 26 years.
Performing with many of the most renowned singers (including Beverly Sills, Placido Domingo, Marilyn Horne, Mirella Freni), conductors (Erich Leinsdorf, Julius Rudel, Ermerson Buckley, Michael Tilson Thomas) and stage directors (Frank Casaro, Tito Capobianco, Peter Sellars, Harold Prince) of his generation, Billings took on more than 150 roles in productions staged throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. His guest artist appearances included performances with the orchestras of Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, and Cleveland. He made his debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Benoit in La bohéme in 1964, for example, and shared the stage with Beverly Sills in a production of Ariadne and Naxos with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1969. He later performed with Sills often at the NYCO during the 1970s, and notably served as the majordomo for Sills’ final performance, Beverly! Her Farewell Performance, in 1981.
As a lyricist/librettist, Billings won ASCAP honors for Children’s Theater. His published works, with composer Dennis Arlan include The Ballad of the Bremen Band, Meanwhile, Back at Cinderella’s, and The Daughter of the Double-Duke of Dingle, which was later released as a children’s book with illustrations by Eugene Green. He also wrote a book of musical humor, The Nutley Papers, which inspired Nutley Papers, the Musical, with a score by Herbert Kaplan. After retiring to his native state of Missouri, Billings served as managing artistic director of the Springfield Regional Opera (1990-1996) and later joined the music faculty of the University of Arkansas, at the invitation of Sarah Caldwell. He continued to sing and direct productions for a number of opera companies, notably Tosca for the Fort Worth Opera and HMS Pinafore for NYCO, and he continued to write, coach and teach private voice in his home studio.
Several times over the course of his career, Billings played the comic relief role of Ko-Ko in NYCO productions of The Mikado, earning him the descriptor of “buffo,” which simple means a character is intrinsically comic. “Comedy has been something that I love,” he told a Springfield News-Leader reporter in 2019. “I want people to laugh. I want people to be happy. I enjoyed doing what I did.”
James Hopkins Billings died Feb. 3, 2022 in Springfield.

Richard “Dick” A. Bixler ’61, mathematics graduate who was active in Men of Webster, Pershing Rifles and Scabbard and Blade during his student years at the University of Wichita, Jan. 28, 2022, Topeka, Kan. Bixler worked as a regional marketing representative and a systems engineer at IBM in Chicago and then Topeka.

Donald “Don” Merritt Brinton ’52: Creative Visions Don Brinton, a successful graphic designer and advertising executive with agency offices in Wichita and Scottsdale, Ariz., was one of four (at least) Shocker graduates who had a hand in WuShock’s earliest graphic design forms.
WuShock was born in 1948, when the Kappa Pi honorary art society set up a competition for students to design a character that would typify the spirit of the school. Before that, Brinton once recalled, the university just used a nameless shock of wheat as its symbol. Wilbur Elsea ’50, a junior graphic design major at the University of Wichita in 1948, was of the opinion that “the school needed a mascot who gave a tough impression, with a serious, no-nonsense scowl.” Although details are sketchy and timelines iffy, Elsea is credited with winning Kappa Pi’s contest and, thus, creating WuShock. But almost immediately, WuShock’s form changed. Revised in November 1948 by Harold Kemper ’50, WuShock was used as a cartoon figure to illustrate campus characters and student characteristics in the Sunflower. Inside the 1950 Parnassus, John Jolly redesigned the character for illustrations on the yearbook’s divider pages.
And Brinton refined WuShock’s look further in the design of a decal that was sold in WU’s bookstore. When compared to a number of other logo character designs, Brinton explained in 2019 that his WuShock was “not weaker, no, but maybe more peaceful.”
Brinton grew up during the Great Depression on Maple Avenue in west Wichita. He was always drawn to artistic endeavors, and went on to graduate from WU with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design. He then launched into a long and successful career as an award-winning creative director and advertising design executive who helmed a number of Wichita-based agencies through the years, including Briton Advertising and Art for Living (AFL), the latter of which expanded into Scottsdale with offices under the name of Art for Living West. Among the many corporate logos that originated from AFL are those for Cessna Avionics, Ryan Aviation, Growth Properties Inc., Fidelity Savings, and Coleman.
In 1952, Brinton joined the U.S. Air Force and served as first lieutenant tribunal solicitor during the Korean War.
Don Brinton died March 14, 2022 in Wichita.

Patsy “Pat” A. Butterworth, university friend, homemaker, entrepreneur and realtor, July 6, 2022, Wichita.

Danny “Dan” E. Close ’81/93, Elliott School of Communication associate professor who began teaching at Wichita State in 1990, May 28, 2022, Wichita. A vocal supporter of a free press and of student journalism, Close advised The Sunflower, WSU’s student newspaper for 16 years. He was active in several professional organizations, including the Society for Professional Journalists, Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government and Kansas Collegiate Media, and he helped organize a number of state and national writing workshops. Before teaching at WSU, Close worked as a reporter and editor at the Wichita Eagle and other newspapers for 14 years. In addition, he did professional work in radio broadcasting, public relations, photography, advertising and design. He also was a contributing writer to The Shocker alumni magazine through the years: “Training for the Tone” and “The Fastest Quad Racer in the Land” are two examples.

Jamie B. Coulter ’63: Wichita Entrepreneur Jamie Coulter, chairman and CEO of Coulter Enterprises and founder of the Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon franchise, got his start in a 46-year career in the food retail and restaurant industry as a Pizza Hut franchisee. Never a one-industry investor, he also had extensive oil, gas and commercial real estate holdings.
It was after graduating from the University of Wichita with a bachelor’s degree in business management and starting his post-college career working for a beer distributor that Coulter reached out to Dan ’53 and Frank Carney, co-founders of Pizza Hut, to ask about becoming a franchisee. He enlisted the help of two friends, Bob Geist ’64 and Ken Wagnon, and the three formed CWG Enterprises, which opened the first Pizza Hut east of St. Louis, in Greensboro, N.C., in 1965. It was the 65th Pizza Hut in the country.
Eventually, CWG became the largest U.S. franchisee of Pizza Hut restaurants. Within 15 years, CWG opened more than 170 Pizza Hut units in 16 states and also developed sizable holdings in the Kentucky Fried Chicken chain. CWG was disbanded in 1980, and Coulter put together his own private investment firm, Coulter Enterprises, which began with 42 Pizza Hut units and expanded over the next decade into a 12-state chain of 100 Pizza Hut units.
Coulter’s next business growth venture was with Creative Culinary Concepts, which in 1989 had opened the first Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon prototype in Winston-Salem, N.C. In 1991, Coulter signed an agreement with the company to develop four Lone Star units, and within seven months he had opened four restaurant that featured a limited menu of mesquite-grilled steaks, chicken, grilled fish, baby-back ribs, and a Texas roadhouse ambiance.
Coulter incorporated Lone Star in January 1992, becoming the president, CEO, and chairman of the board. He completed Lone Star’s initial public offering of stock on March 12, 1992. When the $91 million public offering was final, the company had eight restaurants in operation, each averaging $2.5 million in sales per year. An aggressive expansion campaign came next. In 1993, Forbes magazine selected the company as the best small company in the country, a distinction it would claim two more times, in 1994 and 1995. In 1994, the company was the highest-ranked restaurant company on Fortune magazine’s list of the 100 fastest-growing companies in the United States, placing sixth overall. By the end of 1995, Lone Star had 182 restaurants in operation and annual sales of $340 million. And in 1996, Coulter himself was named chief executive of the year by Restaurants and Institutions.
At its operational maximum, Lone Star had 267 units, but problems with market saturation, rising food and labor costs, and other issues in the late 1990s curtailed the company’s growth, and in 2006, the chain’s shareholders voted to accept an offer to take the company private. With Coulter having years earlier moved on to other business dealings, Lone Star filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2017.
Effective May 17, 2017, Coulter began serving on the board of directors for GeoPark Limited, a Santiago, Chile-based oil and gas company with operations in Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, and Peru. He brought with him to the GeoPark board both operating and investment experience in the oil and gas business, including the founding of Sunburst Exploration, a U.S. oil and gas company he built throughout the 1980s and sold in 1994.
While a student at the University of Wichita, Coulter was a member of the university’s chapter of Phi Delta Theta. Among his fraternity brothers are Dean Hargrove ’60, Dick Honeyman ’61, and Gino Paluzzi ’62. Through the years, Coulter maintained active connections with his fraternity and his alma mater. He served, for example, on the advisory board for the WSU Center for Entrepreneurship.
On a mid-1960s WSU Alumni Association survey questionnaire, Coulter responded to two questions of note: If you were to repeat college today, would you again choose this university? What is the main reason for your answer?
He answered:
“I was able to obtain a good education and support myself in this community.”
Jamie Bennett Coulter — entrepreneur, investor, fraternity brother, brother, husband, friend, son, and father — died June 24, 2022 in Wichita.

Joan Marie “Gigi” Fromm ’58, sociology graduate, avid Wichita State Shockers basketball fan, wife, mother, and 1959 Miss Wichita, Aug. 16, 2022, Wichita.

Judy (Dold) Higdon, university friend, wife, mother, painter, teacher, Oct. 18, 2022, Wichita. A lifelong resident of Wichita, she attended the University of Arizona, Wichita State, and the University of Kansas, from which she earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She was a painter and taught art both at the Wichita Center for the Arts (now MARK Arts) and at Wichita State. She and her husband, Al ’61, were actively involved in a wide array of Shocker activities, advisory groups and projects at WSU.

Merlyn L. Hatcher ’57, business administration graduate and retired personnel director for a number of companies and organizations, including Cessna Aircraft and the city of Wichita, former president and owner of Hatcher Distributing Co. Inc., South Hutchinson, Kan., former owner and manager of Norrell Temporary Services, Wichita, Dec. 12, 2021, Beaver, Okla. Hatcher was a Kansas record-setting athlete in javelin and discus while attending Hutchinson High School and then Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kan. A veteran of the Korean War, he served in the U.S. Navy as a petty officer second class and radarman and played for a time on the Amphibious Pacific Fleet football team.

Max J. Huffman ’66, U.S. Army Security Agency veteran who served a 28-month tour of duty from 1954 to 1957 in Tokyo, Japan; retired educator and administrator whose career included positions as a special education, physical education and classroom teacher in Wichita Public Schools, and as a principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent at a number of schools in Kansas, including Garden Plain and Andale, Feb. 20, 2022, Wichita.
David “Dave” W. Lewis ’73: Healing’s Long Road
Dave Lewis , a 6-foot-5, 240-pound defensive lineman, was one of eight Wichita State football players to survive the Oct. 2, 1970 plane crash in the Colorado Rockies that killed 31 people. Donnie Christian — a defensive back and Lewis’ best friend since the two grew up together in Duncan, Okla., near Oklahoma City — was one of 15 players to die from injuries in the crash. “He was a catcher and I was a pitcher on the Little League baseball team,” Lewis explained in a Wichita Eagle article that ran 35 years after the crash, on Oct. 1, 2005. “We hit it off and became best buds, together from sunup to sundown.”
A stalwart on WSU’s defensive line, Lewis started 10 games during his sophomore season with the Shockers. Pro scouts told him he had the talent to play in the NFL. But the crash crushed his knee. He attempted to play football the next season, but the pain proved insurmountable. He remained in school, studying business administration, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1973.
He then went to work for the oil field service company Halliburton in west Texas before changing careers. He moved to Overland Park, Kan., where he entered the real estate business — and met his wife of 36 years, Kathy Harding.
On the 50th anniversary of the plane crash, Lewis joined two other 1970 teammates and crash survivors, Mike Bruce ’72 and Rick Stephens ’71/86/96, at the Memorial ’70 monument, located near WSU’s 18th Street and Hillside campus entrance, to see an addition to the site: a freestanding sculpture inscribed with the names of the eight players who survived: Mike Bruce, Dave Lewis, Rick Stephens, John Hoheisel, Randy Jackson, Glenn Kostal, Keith Morrison, and Bob Renner.
Dave Lewis died June 19, 2022 in Overland Park.

“The 50th Memorial ’70”

Arneatha K. Martin ’75/80: Healing Power Occasionally, one person’s vision harbors the power to spark an entire community to action. True examples may be disappointingly rare. But Arneatha Martin’s vision to build a community health center in northeast Wichita stands as one of them.
Her vision was founded on a harsh reality. Born in Arkansas, she grew up in northeast Wichita. As a teenager, she experienced the frustrations and indignities many uninsured, underserved people encounter when they seek medical care. She never forgot her first, difficult forays into the healthcare arena. Later, as a healthcare professional, she vowed to change the status quo by creating a health center that would provide improved access to medical care, focus on education and prevention, and offer affordable state-of-the-art treatment options. It was in the 1990s that she seriously began gathering support for her community health initiative.
She knew she couldn’t do it alone. So she set out to find the people who would help her realize her dream. At first, she drew from the contacts she’d made while working in the medical community. She had earned her credentials as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) through a program at the Wichita Vocational School of Practical Nursing in 1964 and worked full time until 1971, when she moved to part-time work so that she could begin nursing classes at Wichita State. She earned her undergraduate degree in 1975 and followed that up with a master’s degree in 1980, also from WSU.
As a nurse, she’d learned the inside workings of the health care system through service in drug treatment centers, intensive psychiatric care units and as a medical center nursing supervisor. She had also taught nursing at WSU and at the St. Francis School of Nursing and served as director for the Department of Education and Research at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center / Via Christi Regional Medical Center (1987-1996). In 1990, while serving as education and research director, she was called up with the U.S. Army Reserve’s 410th Evacuation Hospital unit during Desert Storm. She returned safe and sound to her husband, two daughters and three grandchildren after her 180-day tour of duty. In July 1996, she took up the role of director of development for the Center for Health and Wellness at Via Christi Health System.
It was in 1994 that Martin pulled together a core group of concerned volunteers to help her further her vision. They compiled a detailed business plan for the development of the health center and completed a number of surveys, including ones that assessed community members’ perceptions of their own healthcare needs. “The challenge,” Martin said at the time, “is to empower the community to identify its own problems, utilize its own power to develop strategies, and ensure community ownership of the intervention.” In 1997, that group of supporters had coalesced into a 32-member board dedicated to the development of the Center for Health and Wellness.
The Center for Health and Wellness, Martin stressed, was to be a unique partnership venture between city and county governments, the northeast community, businesses, medical centers and Wichita State. After raising some $2 million in local support, she and her many partners in the enterprise opened the Center for Health and Wellness on July 20, 1998. The center is located at the corner of 21st Street and Erie — just a hop, skip and jump west down 21st from WSU’s Koch Arena. For years after its opening, Martin was often the first to arrive and the last to leave. She retired as the clinic’s CEO in 2006.
The recipient of numerous accolades and awards, including the 1998 WSU Alumni Achievement Award, Martin was one of 10 national honorees of the 2001 Robert Wood Johnson Community Health Leadership Program Award, an honor that came with $100,000 in recognition of “work in helping to solve some of the most complex health and social service problems plaguing their communities.” She was a founding member of the Wichita Black Nurses Association (2003), recipient of the A. Price Woodard Award (2002), and was nominated by Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as a member of the Kansas Health Policy Authority (2005).
Through the years, Martin was active in many projects and programs at Wichita State. Among her involvements was serving on the WSU President’s Search Committee in 1998 and on the College of Health Professions Strategic Planning Council in 1999. In 1991, she was a founding member of the university’s first professional society to be chartered by the WSU Alumni Association, the WSU Nursing Alumni Society. A decade later, she was a 2001 WSU Commencement speaker. And she is honored in the WSU Plaza of Heroines (2000). Arneatha Martin died Aug. 27, 2022 in Jacksonville, Fla.

H. JoAnn “Jo” McKinley ’50, biological sciences graduate whose father Lloyd served as chair of the university’s chemistry department and was the namesake of McKinley Hall; U.S. Army veteran who served as a physical therapist at military hospitals around the world, including in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive, July 23, 2020, Bothell, Wash. McKinley retired from the Army as a lieutenant colonel in 1975 and returned to Wichita. During her years of military service, she was awarded an Army Commendation Medal, a Meritorious Service Medal, and the Legion of Merit. She later relocated to Seattle, Wash., and earned both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in art history, and a master’s degree in comparative literature from the University of Washington. She was a practicing physical therapist until 1996, and shared her love of art and learning as a docent at the Seattle Art Museum and the Museum of History and Industry.

Milton B. “Bud” Moore, Jr. ’73/83, U.S. Navy veteran, former WSU Shockers football player, former teacher and football coach in Rose Hill, Kan., former principal at Medicine Lodge High School in Medicine Lodge, Kan., and retired special education professional with the South Central Kansas Special Education Cooperative, Feb. 22, 2022, Medicine Lodge. After returning from military service and at the urging of his younger brother, Steve, a starting linebacker on Wichita State’s 1970 football team, Bud was a walk-on quarterback for the Shockers. Describing his brother’s football prowess, Bud told the Derby Informer in 2017: “He was a striker. He was a hitter. He played tenacious football, and he was that way at Wichita State.” Steve Moore was one of 31 players, coaches, boosters and team staff who lost their lives in the Oct. 2, 1970 plane crash in Colorado.

F. Keith Morrison ’72, a survivor of the 1970 WSU football team plane crash and a financial adviser who worked for Payne Webber, E.F. Hutton, Rausher Pierece Refness and retired from Investment Professionals Inc. after 41 years of experience in the industry, Jan. 31, 2022, San Antonio, Texas.

M. Elizabeth (Dickinson) Nash ’47, biological sciences graduate who retired in 1992 after working over four decades as a clinical laboratory scientist and nearly 28 years as lab technician and supervisor at the hematology lab at St. Catherine Hospital in Garden City, Kan., and homemaker who especially enjoyed gardening and stargazing, May 2, 2021, Newton, Kan.

Robert R. Pugh ’64/67, retired engineer who held a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Wichita State and worked as an engineer and methods analyst at Boeing in Wichita, as senior assistant industrial engineer at Collins Radio, and was an instructor of industrial engineering at Wichita State, Sept. 14, 2022, Clearwater, Kan.

John T. Rhoads ’79, ordained minister who served a number of churches in Kansas, high school photography teacher who retired from Wichita Public Schools after nearly 25 years of teaching, July 24, 2021, Wichita.

Franklin D. Robinson fs ’59: Helicopter Aficionado and Visionary Engineer Frank Robinson, who studied aeronautical engineering as a graduate student at the University of Wichita in the late 1950s, went on to work in engineering at Cessna Aircraft, McCulloch Motor, Kaman Aircraft, Bell Helicopter and Hughes Helicopter. In 1973, he founded the Robinson Helicopter Co., which challenged the aviation industry’s conviction that no market for civilian helicopters existed.
Robinson’s low-cost helicopters changed the industry by opening up a previously untapped market for private ownership. His company offered some of the most popular consumer helicopter models worldwide, including his signature R22, a two-seat, piston-powered helicopter that won FAA approval in 1979, and the four-seat piston-powered R44, which hit the market in 1993. He also developed a specialized newscopter and police helicopter. He served as president of the Torrance, Calif.-based company until he retired in 2010 at age 80, when he passed control of the company to his son. Today, the company employs over 1,000 employees at its Torrance headquarters and has delivered more than 13,000 helicopters.
Robinson’s many accolades feature induction into the California Aviation Hall of Fame, induction into the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and a Lifetime Aviation Engineering Award from the Living Legends of Aviation.
This helicopter aficionado and visionary engineer died Nov. 12, 2022 in Rolling Hills, Calif.

Mary H. (Young) Roembach ’53, elementary education graduate, homemaker, city librarian, community activist involved with the local school board, the Rainbow Girls and the Girl Scouts, among other organizations, Jan. 7, 2022, in Cheney, Kan.

N. Keith Sanborn ’49, the longest-serving county and district attorney for Sedgwick County, who, after graduating from Washburn Law School in Topeka, Kan., and passing the Bar in 1950, first went to work for the Ratner Law Firm and then joined Warner Moore at the Sedgwick County attorney’s office and was elected county attorney at age 36 in 1958, going on to hold the offices of county and district attorney for seven terms and ending his distinguished law career as an 18th District judge, Aug. 1, 2022, in Wichita. The Hon. Sanborn, who as a prosecutor and judge handled such high-profile cases as the BTK killer and the Holiday Inn sniper, was a World War II U.S. Navy combat veteran who attended the Municipal University of Wichita on the GI Bill; he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science. In a 1977 Wichita Eagle article, Sanborn had this to say about his 18 years as a district attorney: “My office was never involved in merely an adversary contest. The quality of performance is one thing. But it’s not the same thing as a won-lost record. The law is not a game. If you start governing your conduct as if you were figuring your batting average, then you’ve lost sight of what you’re there for — to find the truth and see that justice is served.”

Wayne C. Sellers ’71, accountancy graduate, U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps veteran, businessman who began his own CPA firm in Kansas City, Mo., and later opened two additional offices, one in Washington, D.C., and the other in Wichita, Oct. 6, 2021, in Kansas City, Mo.

Sandra “Sandi” L. (Smith) Simon ’82, social work graduate, homemaker, Jan. 9, 2022, Wichita.

Richard A. Songer ’64, graphic design graduate who set up the commercial design firm Songer Design Associates in 1974 and an avid fan of all things Wichita State, Nov. 18, 2022, Wichita.

John E. Straka ’73, an accountancy graduate who played football at Wichita State; retired CPA, Sept. 23, 2021, McMurray, Pa.

Mary K. (Jones) Thelman ’43, homemaker, secondary education graduate and retired Wichita public schools teacher, Nov. 19, 2020, Newton, Kan.

Charles D. Williams ’57/68, petroleum geologist who served in the U.S. Army, the Army Reserve and the National Guard, Sept. 4, 2019, Parker, Colo. As a geologist, Williams served as a district geologist, district manager, division manager and vice president for six different companies in five different locations. In 2007 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his graduation from the University of Wichita, he reminisced that professionally his most memorable experience was “in Alaska,” adding that “from 1996 to present, I have been a self-employed consultant working in the Rocky Mountain area.”

Carol E. Wilson, university friend, arts advocate, entrepreneur, family woman and indefatigable promoter and fan of Wichita and all that the city has to offer, Jan. 17, 2022, Wichita. A lifelong Wichitan, Wilson volunteered her enthusiastic support for scores of arts, community and educational organizations, including the WSU Foundation and WSU’s Ulrich Museum of Art.

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