In Memoriam

These are the alumni death notices received by the College from May 21 to Aug. 19, 2017. To report a death notice, email

portrait of Isabel Durkee Warner '41

Isabel Durkee Warner '41

Isabel Durkee Warner '41, who worked for a predecessor of the CIA during wartime and as a high school librarian later in life, died July 4, 2017.

A master knitter and creator of spectacular rock gardens, Isabel adored reading, traveling, bridge, and spending time with her children and grandchildren.

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portrait of Elizabeth Letts Metcalf '42

Elizabeth Letts Metcalf '42

Elizabeth Letts Metcalf '42, an esteemed psychologist and longtime member of the League of Women Voters, died June 23, 2017. 

A former member of the Florida House of Representatives who was a tireless advocate for underrepresented members of her community, Betty was known for her warmth and wisdom.

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Halcyon portrait of Theresa Votaw Harman '43

Theresa Votaw Harman '43

Theresa Votaw Harman '43, an art teacher and Quaker who exemplified the Friends’ ideals, died May 22, 2017.

Born in Kansas City, Kan., Terry taught at Haddonfield Friends in New Jersey, attended Haddonfield and Moorestown meetings, and was devoted to her family.

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portrait of Katherine Flint Shadek '44

Katherine Flint Shadek '44

Katherine Flint Shadek '44, a world traveler and one of the few women to graduate in her Columbia Law School class, died Dec. 22, 2016.

A voracious reader who loved language, Katherine managed her family’s impressive stock portfolio with vision and verve for more than 60 years, choosing to donate a portion of their earnings to Franklin & Marshall College, Columbia University, Barnard College, and Stevens Institute of Technology.

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portrait of Eugene S. Lindstrom '44

Eugene Lindstrom '44

Eugene Lindstrom '44, a World War II veteran who took part in the “American Raiders” effort to retrieve German aviation technology, died July 14, 2017.

A longtime faculty member at Pennsylvania State University, Gene retired in 1988 as professor emeritus of bacteriology and delighted in his hobby of amateur radio operation as well as in community service.

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portrait of Verdenal Hoag Johnson '45

Verdenal Hoag Johnson '45

Verdenal Hoag Johnson '45, a colorful, vivacious English teacher, quilt maker, and—along with matchbox husband Edward Johnson ’46—pillar of the Swarthmore College Bulletin’s Class Notes, died Aug. 9, 2017.

Aside from her love of teaching, Verdi owned an art gallery, wrote a column for the Newark Star Ledger, and founded the Association for Encouragement of Correct Punctuation, Spelling and Usage in Public.

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portrait of Elizabeth Bressler Bunting '45

Elizabeth Bressler Bunting '45

Elizabeth Bressler Bunting '45, a beloved educator, counselor, wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, died Aug. 3, 2017.

A concert harpist, published author, museum docent, genealogist, gardener, and painter, Betty was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Willistown Meeting of the Society of Friends in Pennsylvania.

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portrait of Jane Wells Harder ’46

Jane Wells Harder ’46

Jane Wells Harder ’46, a bibliophile and entrepreneur whose lovely life force left an impression on all who met her, died Dec. 29, 2016.

Best known as a community pillar for her work as the manager of Breakwater Books, Jane took her greatest pleasure from sharing her love of books, particularly with children. She was proud to have participated in the genre’s boom.

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Mary Ellen Yardley

Mary Ellen Yardley ’47, a mathematics major at Swarthmore, died July 13, 2017.

We welcome remembrances of Mary Ellen at


Gordon Douglas '47

Gordon Douglas '47, a World War II Army vet and sales engineer, died June 7, 2017.

A scoutmaster who was proud that his four sons became Eagle Scouts, Gordon loved spending time with his family and participating in projects that enriched the community, including coaching baseball and serving as a member of the Session of the Princeton (N.J.) Presbyterian Church.

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portrait of Katherine Burt Anderson ’49

Katherine Burt Anderson ’49

Katherine Burt Anderson ’49, a gifted mathematics teacher, died June 17, 2017.

Beginning her career as a Navy cryptographer, Katherine was proud of her students, her family, and her world-class talents for cooking and gardening.

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portrait of Barbara Aeschliman '49

Barbara Aeschliman '49

Barbara Aeschliman '49, a psychiatrist with a curious mind, died Aug. 7, 2015.

Born in China and a member of the Southeast Massachusetts Psychiatric Society, NAACP–Hyannis, the South Congregational Church, and various knitting and book clubs, Barri was a lifelong learner who enjoyed taking classes at Cape Cod Community College and Harvard Medical School. 

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portrait of Robert Paton, Jr. '50

Robert Paton Jr. '50

Robert Paton Jr. '50, an Army veteran and Fulbright Scholar who shared his artistic gifts with others, died July 2, 2017.

A published poet and author, Robert was also the founder and owner of the Theatre of Dreams in Manhattan, an improvisational troupe that toured the world, with a special emphasis on empowering children through theatrical expression.

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portrait of Margaret Hench Underwood '50

Margaret Hench Underwood '50

Margaret Hench Underwood '50, a four-time Virginia state tennis champion and homemaker, died June 26, 2017.

A longtime board member of the Good Shepherd Hospice of Auburndale, the Ridge Art Association, the American Red Cross, and the Junior League of Winter Haven, Fla., Margy loved tending her vegetable garden, spending time with her family, and hiking.

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Joseph Rutledge '50

Joseph Rutledge '50, an influential research mathematician with a quiet nature, cheerful outlook, and deep convictions, died Oct. 3, 2016.

Building a life full of adventure, service, and family, Joe was treasurer of Chappaqua Friends Meeting in New York and avidly mountaineered, backpacked, canoed, jogged, and paraglided.

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portrait of Edmund L. Jones, Jr. ’50

Edmund Jones ’50

Edmund Jones ’50, a successful real estate and insurance professional, died May 24, 2017.

After beginning his career serving in the Marine Corps in World War II aboard the USS Topeka in the South Pacific Theater, “Buck” returned to the States to build a happy and full life with a large family and an active presence in church and community affairs.

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portrait of Sandra Lord Detwiler ’52

Sandra Lord Detwiler ’52

Sandra Detwiler ’52, a distinguished Marine colonel who helped countless students as a guidance counselor, died Sept. 2, 2016.

Known for her “glowing personality,” Sandy was a gentle intellectual with a sense of honor, justice, and loyalty as well as a passion for rock-hounding, camping, fishing, hiking, and traveling with family and friends.

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portrait of Robert M. Bailey '52

Robert Bailey '52

Robert Bailey '52, who served in the JAG corps in Germany with the U.S. Army, then returned to Chicago, where he spent his career as a corporate lawyer, died May 16, 2017.

Passionate about travel, Bob visited all seven continents and delighted his family and friends with his varied hobbies: carpentry, kite-flying, linguistics, and photography.

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portrait of Justo Fabio Sanchez '52

Justo Sanchez '52

Justo Sanchez '52, an engineer and businessman descended from a significant military figure in Cuban independence, died July 1, 2017.

An avid reader and jazz enthusiast known for his quiet manner and easy smile, Justo was devoted to his family, traveling, and helping to make the world a better place.

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portrait of Harold J. Swartout '52

Harold Swartout '52

Harold Swartout '52, a licensed mechanical engineer who built a long career at Eastman Kodak, died June 26, 2017.

President of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity his senior year at Swarthmore, Harold remained active in community outreach his entire life, becoming a 10-gallon Red Cross blood donor and serving as a trustee of the First Congregational Church and Thompson Hospital in Canandaigua, N.Y.

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portrait of J. Bennett Hill, Jr. '52

Bennett Hill Jr. '52

Bennett Hill Jr. '52, a popular Latin and history teacher who touched the lives of countless students, died June 21, 2017.

A member of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont, Pa., for more than 50 years as well as a founding member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Bridgeport, Pa., he also served as president of the Radnor Historical Society for 10 years and gave tours in period clothing at Historic Waynesborough in Paoli.

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John Gray '53

John Gray '53, a pianist, traveler, and mathematician of note, died May 17, 2017.

Hardworking and patient, John helped advance the art of his chosen field, including versions of the lambda calculus, and saw his doctoral thesis on contact structures cited hundreds of times.

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Garrett Forsythe Jr. '53

Garrett Forsythe Jr. '53, who flew dozens of missions as a naval aviator in the Korean War and held several patents, died May 21, 2017.

A member of Media (Pa.) Monthly Meeting and its treasurer for many years, Garrett loved repairing electronics, gardening, music, sailing, and family summer weekends at the Elk River in Maryland.

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Carolyn Martin Miller ’53

Carolyn Martin Miller ’53 died June 26, 2017 at Buckingham's Choice Retirement Community in Maryland.

Daughter, sister, mother, grandmother: She will be missed.

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Carol Holbrook Baldi '53

Carol Holbrook Baldi '53, who shattered glass ceilings in finance, died June 18, 2017.

Beginning her Wall Street career in the 1950s as a trainee, Carol rose through the ranks to become vice president of the U.S. Trust and then to open her own investment company, devoting a portion of her time and earnings to giving back, including serving as president of the investment committee of the YWCA Retirement Fund.

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portrait of Roger Abrahams ’55

Roger Abrahams ’55

Roger Abrahams ’55, one of the first folklorists to study the language and performance styles of black Americans as reflected in songs, proverbs, and riddles both old and new, died June 20, 2017.

Described as “probably the most celebrated living preservationist of African-American secular oral traditions,” Roger concluded his teaching career at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was named inaugural director of its Center for Folklore and Ethnography.

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portrait of I. Robert Fenichel '55

Robert Fenichel '55

Robert Fenichel '55, a doctor who studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, died Oct. 11, 2013.

We welcome remembrances of Robert at

portrait of Thomas O. Maher '57

Thomas Maher '57

Thomas Maher '57, a beloved father, husband, and friend who worked for the President's Office of Emergency Preparedness and the Environmental Protection Agency, died June 13, 2017.

A Red Cross volunteer and member of the Philadelphia Union League and Cartersville (Ga.) Retired Men's Club, Tom was active in his church and fascinated by Tennessee history, family Civil War history, and model trains. 

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portrait of Stephen H. Pitkin '57

Stephen Pitkin '57

Stephen Pitkin '57, an Army and National Guard veteran, Eagle Scout, and professor who built a distinguished 40-year career devoted to effective local government and community engagement, died Aug. 7, 2017.

Steve had a lifelong love for tennis, exploring new cities, classical music, and birding, with a lifetime count of 200 birds.

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portrait of Clifford J. Earle, Jr. '57

Clifford Earle Jr. '57

Clifford Earle Jr. '57, a generous and caring mentor to younger mathematicians and a kind and honorable colleague, died June 12, 2017.

A Guggenheim Fellow and Cornell math professor whose research on complex analysis, especially Riemann surfaces, quasiconformal mappings, and Teichmuller spaces, took him around the world, Cliff was an active musician who loved the Beach Boys, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Sudoku.

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Peter Aizupitis '61

Peter Aizupitis '61, a radio broadcaster who reported on current events in Latvian for Voice of America, died May 28, 2017.

At age 4, Peter was forced to leave his native Latvia with his family; they arrived in the U.S. in 1952 after spending time in a displaced-persons camp in Germany. An avid soccer player and coach for daughter Klara ’14, Peter called Swarthmore “the best years of his life.” 

portrait of Thomas Evans '62

Thomas Evans '62

Thomas Evans '62, who was very active in the local, conference, and national church of the United Church of Christ, died June 23, 2017.

Completing his professional career as pastor of the Congregational UCC in Melrose, Mass., Thomas enjoyed classical music and was an avid reader, with a special love for spy/espionage novels and murder mysteries.

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portrait of John E. Tannehill '62

John Tannehill '62

John Tannehill '62, a political science professor at Millersville University who did extensive research and documentation on blacksmith tools made in Lancaster County, Pa., died June 25, 2017.

Known as “the professor with the camera” at auctions, John was an antique dealer, avid tool collector, historian, and genealogist.

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portrait of Susannah Stone Eldridge '63

Susannah Stone Eldridge '63

Susannah Stone Eldridge '63, an exceptional, empathetic teacher with a deep understanding of child development, died July 28, 2017.

A voracious reader, enthusiastic traveler, and loving family member and friend, “Sukey” will long be remembered for her sweet kindness, her love of theater, and her wonderful sense of humor and skill as a storyteller.

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portrait of Robert Tinker ’63

Robert Tinker ’63

Robert Tinker ’63, a legendary pioneer in constructivist uses of educational technology in science, died June 21, 2017.

Co-creator of the Concord Consortium, the National Geographic Kids Network, and the first virtual high school, Bob dedicated his life to realizing his dream of a scientific educational revolution that empowers all students.

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Arnold Griffith '64

Arnold Griffith '64, a computer systems analyst with a doctorate from MIT, died April 25, 2017.

We welcome remembrances of Arnold at

portrait of Warren “Tuck” Forsythe '65

Warren Forsythe '65

Warren Forsythe '65, a nature lover who brought joy to all who knew him, died June 1, 2017.

A lifelong hiker and explorer who earned a doctorate in forest ecology, “Tuck” adored traveling, anthropology, languages, number theory, botany, genealogy, and sharing all his adventures with his beloved family.

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portrait of Michael Edward Miller '81

Michael Miller '81

Michael Miller '81, an esteemed and admired figure in the fields of environmental chemistry and bioremediation, died April 9, 2017.

In addition to his science work, Mike was a dancer and organizer for nationwide gender-role-free contra dance, an eloquent LGBT activist, a professional-grade chef, an amateur botanist, a naturalist, and an astronomer. 

portrait of Eric Otha Mealy '97

Eric Mealy '97

Eric Mealy '97, a gentle, gifted musician, writer, and comic book connoisseur, died July 25, 2017.

Beloved for his generosity and compassion, Eric was a student of history, politics, and civil rights who organized local history programs, ran an online bookstore, and adored spending time with his family and giving back to his community.

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portrait of Bunn Buraparat ’20

Bunn Buraparat ’20

Bunn Buraparat ’20, a kind, curious, and thoughtful student, died July 25, 2017.

Bunn possessed an infectious sense of humor that brought light and joy to those around him.

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