George Beverly Shea '32
Portrait by John Howard Sanden
Grammy Award-winning singer, George Beverly Shea '32 went to be with his Lord on April 16, 2013, in Asheville, N.C., after a brief illness. He was 104 years old.
Born in Winchester, Ontario, in 1909, to evangelist Adam J. Shea and his wife Maude Whitney Shea, “Bev” (as he is known to friends and family) was eight years old when his family moved to Houghton, N.Y., in 1917. During his childhood years in Houghton, he lived next door to President James S. Luckey.
Shea enrolled at Houghton College in the fall of 1928, and though he left for financial reasons in 1929, maintained a close tie to Houghton throughout his career with evangelist Billy Graham, routinely coming back to campus to visit family members still in the area. In 1956 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree; in ’73, he was named “Alumnus of the Year;” and during Houghton’s Centennial celebration in 1983, he was recognized as one of the “Houghton Hundred,” outstanding individuals of Houghton’s first century.
Shea is survived by his wife, Karlene; his son and daughter-in-law, Ronald and Kathy Shea; his daughter, Elaine Anderson; and his granddaughter, Tamara Anderson. In addition, he is survived by Karlene’s children and their spouses, Steve and Fran Aceto and Nanci and Jack Edwards; her grandchildren and their spouses, Ben and Tiffany Aceto; as well as their children, Kylie Aceto and Knox Hampton Aceto; Bill and Sallie Aceto; Matheson and Jeff White; and Ellis Edwards. He is also survived his brother, Alton J. Shea ’36; and sister, Ruth (Shea ’41) Willett; and many nieces and nephews who attended Houghton, including Sally (Shea ’66) Syme, David W. Robinson ’63, Eunice (Robinson ’66) Sitzer, A. Jonathan Shea ’63, Eila Shea ’66, Paul W. Shea ’69, Nancy (Wright ’70) Tucker, Thomas L. Willett ’68, Christine Ruth (Willett ’73) Greenwald, Brock W. Baker ’74, and Tod H. Baker ’82.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Erma Shea; his parents, the Reverend A.J. Shea and Maude Whitney Shea; and siblings, Pauline Lusk , J. Whitney Shea ’33, Mary (Shea ’23) Robinson, Lois (Shea ’38) Wright and Grace Baker.
Elizabeth (Carlson) Ortlip went to be with her Lord on Tuesday, January 22, 2013, in her home. Elizabeth taught K-12 music at Theresa, N.Y., and was a missionary in China and Haiti. She also ministered to Native Americans at the Seneca Cattaraugus Reservation. Survivors include daughter, Dr. Karen (Ortlip ’69) Daugherty and her husband, Dr. David Daugherty ’69; sons David W. Ortlip ’75, Jonathan H. and wife Ruthie (Rothenbuhler ’83) Ortlip ’81; and Daniel P. Ortlip ’86 and wife, Fran; 10 grandchildren including: Nathan ’04, Sean ’06, Shannon ’11, and Lauren ’14 Daugherty; and Jonathan Ortlip ’11, and one great-grandson; and many nieces and nephews with Houghton connections. She was preceded in death by husband, W. Henry Ortlip ’40.
Robert “Bob” J. Oehrig, 90, passed away October 16, 2012. Dr. Oehrig graduated from Cornell Medical School in 1948 and served in both World War II and Korea. During the Korean War, he served as a medical doctor, earning the Purple Heart and the bronze star. Professionally, Dr. Oehrig served as the medical director at Home Life Insurance Company in Manhattan for more than 30 years. He is survived by three children, Kathleen (Oehrig ’72) Mason and husband Paul Mason ’71; Robert Oehrig ’75 and wife Donna (Coddington ’75) Oehrig; James Oehrig ’83 and wife Rebecca (Thorn ’83) Oehrig; 13 grandchildren and 8 greatgrandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Marion (Hagen ’48) Oehrig.
Artist (Lawson) Wilcox, 87, died on Tuesday, December 4, 2012, at her home in West Palm Beach, Fla. Wilcox founded Operation Concern Inc., with her husband, the late Rev. Linford C. Wilcox ’46. She was also an accomplished painter, stained glass artist, and gardener. A scholarship has been set up in her name at Houghton College: the Artist Wilcox Art Scholarship. She is survived by her daughter, Sharon Hendrix Gibson; son, Scott Wilcox; two grandsons; a nephew; and caregiver, Laverne Cahoon.
Robert Underwood passed away peacefully on Thanksgiving morning, November 22, 2012. Bob served from 1943 to 1945 in the U.S. Air Force. He received his masters’ from the University of Kentucky and his doctorate from the University of Northern Colorado. Professionally, he taught at Cedarville College, Bethel College, and at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Bob is survived by his wife of 65 years, Shirley; two children, Steve Underwood and Jo Anne Frawley; four grandchildren; five step-grandchildren; and 15 greatgrandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents and brother, Richard.
Willis C. Moore, 89, passed away Tuesday, November 20, 2012. Moore was a veteran, serving in World War II with the U.S. Army. He graduated from Simmons School of Mortuary Science, and was owner of Willis C. Moore Funeral Home in Naples, N.Y. He is survived by his wife, Julia; three daughters, Mary Saunders, Linda Moore ’85, and Amy (Moore ’91) Kimsey; three sons, David Moore ’76, Stephen Moore and Alan Moore; one stepdaughter and three stepsons; eight grandchildren, including Joseph Moore ’05, Samuel Moore ’08, and Elizabeth Moore ’12; one great-grandchild; and two nephews. He was predeceased by his first wife, Betty Jean Lawrence Moore; his son, Robert Moore; and his brother, Clarence Moore.
Franklin G. Horst, 82, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on January 21, 2013, surrounded by his family. Rev. Horst attended Dallas Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1958. In his years of ministry, he pastored churches in New York, Michigan and Illinois. He also served as regional director of four southwestern states for American Missionary Fellowship in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, until retiring in 1998. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Colleen (Williams) Horst; four children: Steve Horst ’77, Kevin Horst, Gregg Horst, and Kara Horst-Alderman ’91; seven grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and one sister.
Gerard B. Pollock, 80, went to be with the Lord on January 16, 2013. An ordained pastor in the United Methodist Church, he pastored churches in Hillsdale, N.Y., Arkport, N.Y., followed by 22 years in Lakeville, Conn. Other churches where he ministered include Pawling, Poquague and Mannsville, N.Y. He is survived by wife of 58 years, Emma Ruth Pollock ’55; daughters Nancy Williams and husband Dennis; Dr. Susan (Pollock ’78) May and husband Dr. Chris May ’78; Heidi (Pollock ’82) Versland and husband Dr. Mark Versland ’81; and son Christopher Pollock ’92 and wife Chrissie (Lamos ’92) Pollock; and eight grandchildren.
John S. Reist Jr., 76, passed away November 1, 2012. Dr. Reist served in the U.S. Army from 1959 to 1960 in France, and in 2001, received the Cold War Certificate of Recognition from the U.S. government. He was ordained as a pastor in 1963, followed by service in several denominations. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and went on to teach at several institutions. In 1985, he helped found the Christian studies department at Hillsdale College, serving as director of Christian studies, and later vice-president of academic affairs, until his retirement. Dr. Reist is survived by his wife, Marilyn; daughters, Beth Foor and Jennifer Azar; three grandchildren; a sister, Kathryn Leonard; and twin brother, Irwin Reist ’57.
Marcella (Frisbie) Thomas, 76, passed away January 22, 2013. Marcella received the Master of Music degree in applied voice from the School of Music, Texas Tech University in 1976 and spent six years at Sias International University in Xinzheng, China, where she taught oral English, voice, music literature and art history. In addition, she was a sacred music composer and was a charter member of Lubbock Choral and the area Singing Women of West Texas. She was preceded in death by infant daughter, Bernita Ruth Thomas, her parents, two sisters and a brother. She is survived by husband of 50 years, Orlan E. Thomas; son, Marlan Paul Thomas; twin daughters, Anita Cranford and Jolita Holasek; a brother; and ten grandchildren.
Howard B. Warriner Jr, 77, passed away Monday, October 8, 2012. Rev. Warriner graduated from Colgate-Rochester Divinity School and served the United Methodist Church as a pastor in New York and Arizona for 46 years. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Arnet Bertch Warriner, two daughters, two sons, five grandchildren, five step-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, a sister, and a brother.
Carol (Graham) Childs, 63, passed away September 12, 2012, following complications stemming from a sudden stroke. Carol was an early-childhood educator for more than 30 years, and enjoyed spending time on the lake, traveling, learning, and gardening. She is survived by her husband of 41 years William Childs ’71; sister, Marilyn Liddle, brother, Philip Graham ’68; daughter Christi Smith; sons, Brent Childs and Bryan Childs; and 5 grandchildren.
Soft spoken and wise; welcoming, generous and kind; loving husband, faithful steward, and friend; famous maker of pancakes and connoisseur of Perry’s Ice Cream. Ken Nielsen, former vice president for finance, died on January, 21 2013. He was 81 years old.
For 36 years, Ken Nielsen worked largely out of view of the students managing the business of Houghton College, but his impact and influence can be seen everywhere on campus.
If you ever …
…ate a meal family-style in the basement dining facilities of East Hall;
…braved the “Pamper Pole” or the other high elements on the ropes course;
…cheered for the Highlanders at a home basketball game in the gym;
…hung out at Big Al’s over milkshakes and chicken wings;
…lived in Rothenbuhler (South Hall), Lambein (Brookside) or the Townhouses;
…took a ski lesson on Houghton’s ski slope;
…walked from the campus center to get to a class;
…visited the President’s home on Centerville Road;
…spent time in West Seneca at the Lambein Learning Center;
…took a horsemanship class at the College Farm;
…had your own space to work in Stevens Art Studios;
…went on the Highlander Adventure;
If you remember the day they moved Fancher;
Then you have experienced the legacy of Ken Nielsen.
Long-time close friend and colleague, Dr. Dan Chamberlain, gave Ken’s eulogy: “He was a totally remarkable man, and one that we miss terribly,” said the former Houghton College president. “The world is a better, brighter place because he walked this way.”
Ken is survived by his wife of over 57 years, Doris “Mabel” (Garrett ’71) Nielsen, children, Marla (Nielsen ’83) and Dr. Daniel Omdal ’84; Dorislee (Nielsen ’86) and Maher Dandan; Timothy Nielsen ’90 and Adina Nielsen; and grandchildren, including current students Carly Omdal ’16 and Jens Omdal ’16. He was preceded in death by his son, Dale.
Kathleen (Clawson) Kemp, 62, went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, July 17, 2012, following a courageous battle with cancer. Kathleen held a master’s degree in special education from the College of Saint Rose, Albany N.Y., and served in the South Burlington and Burlington school districts in Vermont. She is survived by sons, Daryll and Timothy Kemp; father, Tunis Clawson and stepmother, Elaine Clawson; sisters, Brenda Bryson and Laurel Leaf; several nieces, nephews, great-nieces and greatnephews. She was predeceased by her mother, Margaret Walford Clawson.
Valerie (Mills) Daly, 57, concluded her struggle with cancer on December 22, 2012, surrounded by her family. Valerie had an insatiable hunger for learning, and the ability to make those around her feel valued and loved. She worked with her husband, Jim, running United Methodist camps in New York and Pennsylvania, and in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where Jim managed Camp Michigamme. Valerie is survived by Jim; her children, Nathaniel Thach, Christina Thach, Rebecca Lindamood, Jessamine Daly-Griffen, and Luke Daly; her parents, Earl and Dawn Mills; one brother and two sisters; 10 grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
Janet Crawford, 54, passed away on Sunday, December 11, 2011, after a long battle with cancer. She was a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary and worked for Olan Mills and Chase Manhattan Bank. Friend Wendy (Gregory ’80) Begin remembers that “Janet had a rare single-mindedness even when we were young women in our twenties and in college together…she loved her Lord and wanted others to love Him, too.” Janet was preceded in death by her parents, and leaves behind her siblings, niece and nephew, and a loving church family.
Silas R. Molyneaux
Col. Silas R. Molyneaux '36, U.S.A.F. Ret., passed away on Saturday, October 27, 2012, in Eastern Niagara Hospital, Lockport, N.Y.
Col. Molyneaux was born in Houghton, N.Y., in 1916, just south of the village on a road named for his family. He graduated from Houghton Seminary in 1932. After college he received his M.A. from Columbia University
and taught in area high schools before joining the U.S. Air Force. His military career led to the rank of colonel and included faculty service at West Point and the Air Force Academy.
In 1960 he was assigned to the Pentagon as chief, research and analysis division, in the office of the Secretary of the Air Force, where he wrote the preamble to the Air Force’s plan for putting a man on the moon. He spent four years there in longrange planning and received the Legion of Merit Award from President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964.
Col. Molyneaux gave the convocation address and received an honorary doctorate at Founders’ Day in 1984. Molyneaux always appreciated his Houghton education, citing in the address that his experience in the original college choir under director Wilfred Bain prepared him for the discipline of the military. He was the Alumni Board president from 1972 through 1983.
Molyneaux is survived by his wife, Marilyn Brauer Molyneaux; son, Joel Molyneaux ; daughter, Leslie Furzak; four grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by brothers Glenn, Max, Evan (’29) and Charles Molyneaux ’36; sister, Roberta (Molyneaux ’29) Grange; and his first wife, Eleanor Kaltenborn Molyneaux.
Robert C. Matson, age 53, died unexpectedly on Tuesday, November 13, 2012, at his home. Bob worked for The Suburban Press in Orchard Park, N.Y., and for the Messenger Post Media in Canandaigua, N.Y., where he concluded his journalism career as executive editor. In 2008, Bob began working at Finger Lakes Community College as the director of community affairs relations. He also was a former adjunct professor of journalism at Monroe Community College and Syracuse University Newhouse School of Public Communications. He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Tammy (Marshall ’83) Matson; three children, Meredith, Mitchell ’13 and Carter Matson; two grandchildren; his mother, one sister, two brothers and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Robert B. Matson. 1995
Lisa (Becker) Bailey, 38, lost her brief battle with cancer on January 24, 2013. Lisa was an accomplished musician, performing on both piano and organ for numerous church congregations and military presentations. Her memorial service was held on February 5, 2013, in Syracuse, N.Y., and many Houghton friends were in attendance. Tammy (Cummins ’94) Holmes, Brad Saltzman ’95, Jackie (Sentz ’95) Kuhlkin, and Gloria (Anderson ’92) Hudson participated in the service. Lisa is survived by her husband of 15 years, Jonathen Bailey; five children: Josiah, Judah, Jonah, Violette and Virtue; her mother Gloria White Becker; and six sisters: Sharon, Rita, India, Danita, Michelle, and Sharissa Becker. Her father, Larry Becker, and her grandparents preceded her in death.
Timothy Rourke, 46, passed away on Monday, January 21, 2013, after a three-year struggle with sarcoma. Tim had a master’s degree in education from Western Washington University and served as principal of Ocean Cliff Elementary School in Surrey, B.C. He is survived by his wife, Leigh-Anne (Carmichael); sons, Brendan and Taylor; his parents; a sister and a brother.
Elizabeth Rose Wilson, 31, went to be with the Lord on February 20, 2013, in Niagara Falls, N.Y. Elizabeth was employed by Notable Corp in Buffalo, N.Y., as a research and development supervisor and ran her own graphic design business. She is survived by her parents, Phillip and Deborah Wilson; two brothers, Daniel Wilson and Matthew Wilson ’98; six nieces; two nephews; and many aunts, uncles and friends.
Reigna L. Shearer passed away unexpectedly on December 1, 2012, at Corning Hospital in Corning, N.Y., due to complications stemming from a tonsillectomy. She was 24. Reigna was working as a teacher’s aide at the Erwin Child and Family Center and planned to attend Corning Community College in the fall to pursue a nursing degree. She loved animals and was an accomplished horsewoman. Reigna is survived by her parents, Eric Sr. and Celeste Shearer; her brother, Eric Shearer Jr. and his wife, Caitlin; nieces Anabell and Olivia; extended family members; and close friends from Houghton Kristen Ailport ’10 and Annemarie Herzing ’11. Also surviving is her sister, Marie Gerstenberg. She was predeceased by her brother, Robert Gertstenberg in 2007.
Gregory Young, 21, died on February 23, 2013. Greg was a junior from High Point, N.C., with a double major in religion and philosophy and a minor in political science. Well known for his unique sense of humor and his capacity for deep thinking and authentic conversations, Greg was full of life and delighted friends and faculty alike with his “lop-sided grin” and his deep love and compassion for others. He is survived by his parents, Richard and Judy Young.
Muriel Nolan Babbitt, 88, passed away on February 3, 2013, after complications from Sjogren’s Syndrome. Muriel served in the financial aid office and the development office at Houghton in the ’70s. Muriel is survived by her husband of 68 years, John S. Babbitt; sons John S. Babbitt II ’68 and Stephen J. Babbitt ’71; daughter Susan (Babbitt ’74) De Jong; eight grandchildren, including Jeffrey Babbitt ’96 and Kari (Babbitt ’00) Cowell; and 15 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by two brothers.
Alma Foss died Friday, February 22, 2013, in Loretto- Cunningham Nursing Home in Syracuse, N.Y. She was 82 years old. Alma attended Houghton Seminary and lived most of her life in or near Houghton. She spent her 35-year career at Houghton College serving in various positions from laundry to food service. Alma is survived by her three sisters, Alta Jean (Foss ’55) Pelkey, Pauline (Foss ’58) Buck and Judy Foss ’66; as well as seven nieces and nephews and 23 grand-nieces and nephews.
Roberta (Sommerville) Hunting, 93, died October 15, 2012. Roberta served as secretary to Houghton College President Dr. Stephen W. Paine from 1945 to 1947. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ward M. Hunting ’46, seven siblings and a daughter, Rebecca Gray. She is survived by son Timothy, five grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, a sister, many nephews and nieces and her sister-in-law Fay (Hunting ’46) Bennett.
Arland B. Rees ’50, former associate professor of history, passed away on January 19, 2013, at Buffalo General Hospital. He was 90 years old. Dr. Rees served in the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy during WWII, and after graduating from Houghton, went on to receive his doctorate from Buffalo State College. During his career he worked in Christian education and served in several churches in the Wesleyan Methodist and United Methodist denominations. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Louise; son, John Rees; daughter Carol Ensell; and several grandchildren.
Charles Randall Wilson, 93, professor of Bible and theology from 1959 to 1965, passed away on Monday, July 2, 2012. Dr. Wilson was an ordained Wesleyan minister, and in addition to teaching at the college, he also served as assistant pastor of Houghton Wesleyan Church. He is survived by his four children: Phillip Wilson, Mark Wilson, Deborah Nesmith and Priscilla Clancy; 10 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; brother, John Wilson; and sister, Eleanor Buckman. He was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years, Loretta; a brother and a sister.