In his career as a guidance counselor at Newburgh Free Academy, Thomas Hill ’96 helps students identify their interests, set reasonable goals, and plan actions to reach those goals. The 2013 first-place winner of Tour de Syracuse and the New York State Bicycle Racing Association Championship (both category 4) uses the same strategies in his pursuit of victory in cycle racing.
Four years ago, Hill was content to enjoy cycling as a way to socialize with friends. “When I bought my first road bike, I thought I’d never race it. Then the competitive side of me took over, and I decided to train for an event,” he said. Now, he’s on the road for approximately 150 miles a week. On a recent outing, he completed 6,000 feet of climbing over a 45-mile stretch.
“Basically, we just climbed four mountains that day,” Hill said. “I go out with the goal of torturing myself.” By pushing beyond the limits of the previous training session, Hill builds strength and endurance. As a positive side benefit, he has lost 50 to 60 pounds and gained stamina.
“Racing is a great motivation to get in shape,” Hill said. “Every pound on your body, you carry with you on every cycling session. Having that race goal in my mind, reaching for the win, helps me focus on my health and fitness.”
As NYSBRA champion, category 4, Hill could have been content to maintain the status quo. But, instead, he has continued to train hard and compete aggressively. By conquering his own best times and adding wins, he has moved to category 3. The upgrade to a more competitive category has made a big change in Hill’s goals and expectations, and he focuses now on improving his time rather than on winning each race he enters.
Hill and his wife, Sandra, a school nurse teacher, live in Walden with their six-year-old son, Thomas, who spends a lot of time riding his BMX bike.
Hill says he is proud to be part of an “Oswego Family.” His mother, Deborah Dixson Hill ’66 and father, Paul Hill ’66, met in Symphonic Choir when Dr. Maurice Boyd was the director. Before retirement, Paul taught chemistry at Newburgh Free Academy, and Deborah was a reading specialist at the elementary level. Both work part-time in college-level education programs.
“My parents were careful not to influence me in my college decision,” Hill said. “I had a few choices in mind, but when I visited the campus, that clinched it for me.” He majored in Zoology and Spanish at Oswego, and earned a master’s of science degree at Fordham University.
Hill’s mother is not surprised that he has excelled at road racing. “Tom was always a good athlete,” she said, “and he loves moving fast.” Still, it is the slower, more serene moments at his alma mater that stay with him today.
“I’ll always be grateful for the years I spent at Oswego,” Hill said. “Some of my fondest memories are those of just relaxing at the shore with friends.”
—Linda Loomis ’90 M’97
Landing a job in Los Angeles after graduation, Michelle Rene Garcia ’06 continues to work for a cause she values. At The Advocate, a gay rights magazine, she began as a temporary hire and advanced to commentary editor.
“We’re on the front line of history,” she says. “In the seven years I’ve been here, I’ve witnessed a massive sea change in the way Americans view gay rights.” She notes the milestones of justice: a president who supports the freedom to marry and still gets re-elected; positive representations in the media, a dozen states legalizing marriage equality, and LGBT people, including celebrities and athletes, coming out to their families, friends and coworkers.
“Equality isn’t just an issue of the gay agenda or some lobbying group, a faceless ‘they.’ Now, it’s about someone’s son, or sister or best friend. It’s personal, and people are remembering that personal is political again.”
After graduation, Garcia, who was active on the Oswegonian and worked as a resident assistant, and her husband, Adam Campbell-Schmitt ’06, headed to L. A., where Adam, a broadcast major, works as a stage director and comedy writer.
“We met at Oswego, doing improv. ‘Cause that’s what the cool kids do.”
Garcia, who majored in Journalism with minors in Political Science and Women’s Studies, says all her interests, education and experience have come together in her career and in the screenwriting she’s doing on the side.
“Thirty years from now, I can look back at this time and say: I was there. I was part of history.”
—Linda Loomis ’90 M ’97
We call it “serendipity” when dreams come true. Nicole Castro Pursel ’09 says she’s had a brush with that unexplainable good fortune in her career. After completing an internship at Time Warner Sports and earning her degree in journalism, she accepted an administrative assistant position at Wegmans in her hometown of Rochester.
One lucky day, she was asked to help out with the monthly “Wegmans Cooks” segment on Bridge Street, a Syracuse-based morning television show, where Chris Brandolino ’96 is one of the hosts. Pursel says all her experiences and education kicked in once she was suited up and on the set.
“My Oswego experience as an on-air talent for WTOP and my journalism background in gathering and presenting information clearly and accurately really helped.”
Inspired by her experience on Bridge Street, Pursel applied for a transfer from desk to kitchen, and she’s now an administrative cook for the Rochester-based retail grocer, working in the Liverpool store. With the head chef, she oversees food preparation, organizes ordering and helps train food workers.
“I love my job,” she says. “It’s a dream come true.” As for that cooking show of her own. Well, someday, perhaps. But for now, she and her husband, Robert Pursel, a teacher at West Carthage Elementary School, enjoy their Central Square home and reap the benefits of Pursel’s passion for preparing wholesome delicious food.
— Linda Loomis ’90 M ’97
She buys. She sells. She rolls. She rocks. ABC Creative Group account manager/media supervisor by day and Port City Roller Derby’s J-Rock-It by night, Jamie Stack Leszczynski ’04 traces it all back to Oswego, where she fell in love with marketing—and her husband—and now lives in town with her family. Jamie launched her career at Oswego County National Bank, where an internship turned into a job as marketing manager.
“I absolutely loved my time as a student,” she says. “I did everything I could . . .
to build my portfolio from being the sales manager at the Oswegonian to doing as
many internships as possible.”
1) One good marketing tip anyone can use:
Life is like an apple. When you’re green you’re growing. When you’re ripe, you rot. You have to stay fresh all the time!
2) One bad idea everyone should avoid:
Trying to eat Ramen noodles while driving.
3) One good reason to see a roller derby bout:
Women of all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life, confronting each other on the rink and having a smile on their faces afterward!
4) One good reason to give back to Oswego:
Many people don’t know this, but when they were students, alumni were donating to the college, and they personally benefited from their donation—whether in the form of lowered tuition, improvements to dorms and classrooms, or updated technology. We all need to pay it forward!
5) Proudest achievement:
I have a ton—my kids, my husband and probably one of my biggest would be my work as co-chair for the Oswego County SAVE chapter (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education). I co-chair a walk on campus every year that draws in more than 500 students and community members. Another thing I was able to cross off my bucket list was establishing a scholarship in my brother’s name.
6) Greatest Oswego moment:
I would have to say the first week of classes and meeting my husband.
7) Toughest Oswego class:
OMG. Psychology 101.
8) Easiest decision:
Staying in Oswego and helping my husband with his business (Dynamic Sound & Security) and raising a
family. We just fell in love with the community.
9) Coolest car accessory:
Sirius radio! Especially with my commute in the morning—oh and a cup holder for my morning Joe!
10) Nicest on-campus place to visit:
Definitely the Campus Center and going to a hockey game!
While in the Peace Corps, Linehan taught eighth and ninth-grade English, established a secure and functioning community preschool and created a Parent-Teacher Association. She also coordinated a pen-pal exchange project with an eighth-grade classroom in Zambia and a school in northern California where students were encouraged to practice their writing skills and exchange cultural perspectives.
She planned and held weekly sessions of Girls Leading Our World (G.L.O.W.) club, an empowerment organization focusing on leadership, confidence and decision making. Linehan wrote and received a grant to fund a weeklong session of Camp G.L.O.W.
Linehan says she found inspiration at Oswego after involving herself with the alternative spring and winter break program through the Office of Service Learning and Community Service.
“I feel like I owe so much of my starting point to these programs at Oswego,” Linehan said.
-Brittany Hoffmann ’14
Edward Dexter ’35 of Sykesville, Md. passed away Feb. 8, 2013.
Esther King Hawthorne ’37 of Liverpool died May 10, 2013. She was also a graduate of Syracuse University. She had been a teacher in the Ithaca and Syracuse City School Districts, retiring after 37 years. Esther is survived by a sister, and nieces and nephews.
Margaret Mullen Madey ’36 of Phoenix died Feb. 18, 2013. She taught in the Mexico Central School District. Together with her husband, Mitchell, they ran Madey Grocery in Oswego. Upon her return to Phoenix, she was a substitute teacher in the Phoenix School District.
Dorothy Laurentine Blanchard ’37 of Martville passed away Dec. 28, 2012. She taught for more than 20 years, first in one-room schoolhouses, then at Cato-Meridian Central School. Dorothy is survived by two daughters, one son, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
John Corso ’42 of Mexico passed away April 25, 2013. He served with the U.S. Army during WWII. John taught at Pennsylvania State University for 10 years, and was chair of the psychology department at SUNY Cortland for 20 years. He is survived by his wife, Linda; three children; five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Donald Henry ’43 of Bradenton, Fla. passed away July 16, 2011. He taught industrial arts in the Ithaca School District for 34 years. Surviving are his wife, Genevieve Walker ’42; four sons; a daughter; 14 grandchildren; and 6 great-grandchildren.
Betty Slade Buchanan Lowe ’43 of Phoenix passed away May 4, 2013. She was an art teacher in the Phoenix Central School District for many years. Betty is survived by her son; James Buchanan; three grandchildren; a great-grandson; and a great-great-granddaughter.
Marian Hudson Fanning ’44 of Volney passed away April 29, 2013. Marian taught for 34 years, first in Port Byron, then at the Moses DeWitt Elementary School in Dewitt. She is survived by her husband, Fay; children, Fred ’93, and Mary Ellen Guyette; five grandchildren; and a great-grandson.
Ethel Crumb Buell ’47 of Casper, Wyo. passed away March 8, 2009.
Helen Longhway Kaiser ’47 of Gulf Breeze, Fla. died Feb. 4, 2013. She taught in Mexico and at Kingsford Park Elementary School in Oswego. She was predeceased by her husband, Robert ’48. Helen is survived by four daughters; 11 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and her sister, Annamae Donovan ’42.
Arlene Fix Stenuf ’47 of Skaneateles passed away Jan. 17, 2013. She earned her master’s degree at Syracuse University. Arlene taught in Fairmount and in Virginia. She is survived by a daughter, a son; and four grandchildren.
Doris Turner Brown Beach ’48 of Sackets Harbor died Jan. 25, 2013. Doris taught kindergarten, first in Holland Patent, then in Sackets Harbor until her retirement. Surviving are seven children, 20 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren.
Carol Baldwin ’49 of Farmingdale, NY died Feb. 19, 2013. Before retiring, Carol taught in the North Bellmore School District.
John Day ’49 of Green Valley, Ariz. died Jan. 28, 2013. He served with the U.S. Army Air Corp during WWII. John taught industrial arts in Fairfield and Westport for 34 years. Surviving are his wife, Evelyn; four children; and eight grandchildren.
Elaine Doyle Stratton ’49 of Los Alamos, N.M. died March 5, 2013. She earned a master’s degree at New York University. Elaine is survived by her husband, Thomas; and two daughters.
Edward Vanca ’49 of Binghamton passed away Jan. 25, 2009. He served with the Army Air Corps during WWII. Edward earned a master’s degree from Columbia University in 1953. He retired after teaching cabinet making for 32 years at Binghamton North High School. He is survived by his wife, Amy ’49; a son, two daughters; and four grandchildren.
Harold Cloud ’50 of Claremont, N.H. passed away Jan. 22, 2013. “Dusty” served with the U.S. Army during WWII. He earned master’s degrees in secondary education and guidance. He worked for many years at West Babylon Junior High School. Dusty is survived by his wife, Donna; a daughter; six grandchildren; one great-grandson; two stepsons; and two step-grandchildren.
Lucile Smith Easterbrook ’50 of Oxford, Miss. passed away Feb. 13, 2013. She taught in the Elmira-Corning area. Lucile was predeceased by her husband, Charles ’49, and is survived by two sons and four granddaughters.
Rita Gunshor Wax ’50 of Miami passed away Dec. 22, 2012. She had been a teacher and administrator in the Miami-Dade County public school system. Rita is survived by her husband, Ira ’49; two children; and two grandchildren.
Thomas Carpenter, M ’51 of Bend, Oregon died Feb. 24, 2013. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Hamilton College in 1942. He served with the U.S. Navy during WWII. Tom taught English in Overbrook, Pa., Port Leyden, and Boonville, retiring in 1980. Surviving are two sons, a stepson, two grandchildren, and two great-grandchidren.
Katherine Farnsworth Loope ’51 of Manlius died April 30, 2013. She earned her master’s degree at Syracuse University. Katherine taught kindergarten for 25 years in the Fayetteville-Manlius School District. She is survived by a daughter, a son; and two grandsons.
David O’Leary ’51 of Jensen Beach, Fla. died May 23, 2012. David served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He taught in the Scotia Glenville Central School District and the Burnt-Hills Ballston Lake Central School District, retiring in 1984. He was an instructor for Easy Method Driving School from 1988 until 2000. He was predeceased by his wife, Florence Boyce ’51 and sisters, Ursula Kingston ’46 and Rosemary Knight ‘52. David is survived by a daughter, Khris Hodgson.
William Rosenberg ’51 of Miami passed away April 11, 2013. He served with the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He earned his master’s degree in 1960 at Hofstra University. William had a long career in teaching with the Miami-Dade County Public Schools as a teacher and administrator. He served as principal at James L. Bright Elementary School in Hialeah until his retirement in 1992. He is survived by his wife, Floraine Unger ’53; a son; a daughter; and five grandchildren.
Adrian Meister ’52 of State College, Penn. died Jan. 27, 2013. He served with the U.S. Navy during WWII. Adrian taught industrial arts at Baldwinsville High School, then was an artisan for General Electric for 30 years. He is survived by a daughter, two sons, seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Jeanne Marie Powell O’Brien ’52 of Constableville, N.Y. passed away Jan. 2, 2013. She began her teaching career at Boonville Central School, and taught for 30 years at Constableville Central School, retiring in 1991. She was predeceased by her husband, Stuart and her daughter.
Gloria Rankell Rudolph ’53 of Delray Beach, Fla. died Jan. 10, 2010.
Maureen Doyle Baer ’54 of Redlands, Calif. passed away Jan. 4, 2013. She is survived by her son, Robert.
Donald Jones ’54 of Mohawk, died Feb. 22, 2013. He taught industrial arts at Little Falls Central School. Don is survived by his wife, Ann; five sons; 13 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
Mary Etman Rucci ’54 of Suffern, N.Y. passed away Nov. 28, 2012. Mary retired from the Ramapo Central School District after teaching for 27 years. She is survived by her husband, Alphonso; two sons; a daughter; five grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.
David Star ’55 of Maale Adumim, Israel, formerly of Schenectady died Jan. 19, 2012. He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy. David was a teacher in the Schenectady City School District for almost 30 years. Surviving are his wife, Rita; three daughters; a son; 23 adoring grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.
Barbara Gour Gauding ’56 of Spring Hill, Fla. died Feb. 14, 2011. She was a retired real estate agent with Beck Builders in Spring Hill, and taught second grade in Kenmore and Baldwinsville, NY. She is survived by her husband, Donald ’58; a daughter; three sons; and nine grandchildren.
Thomas Schrader ’56 of Latham, N.Y. died Nov. 26, 2009. He retired in 1986 after a 30-year career teaching industrial arts in Laurens Central School District and East Greenbush Central School District. Surviving are his wife, Barbara; three children; and four grandchildren.
Ann Westover Johnson ’57 of North Syracuse died March 1, 2013. Prior to her retirement, she was a teacher in the Liverpool School District for 28 years. Ann is survived by her husband, Bruce; three children; two step-children; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Frank Galetti ’78 of North Baldwin, N.Y. passed away Nov. 12, 2012. He is survived by his wife, Marcia Jacobs ’58, and two children
Audrey Naughton VanBrocklin ’58 of Bristol, Conn. died June 28, 2012. She earned her master’s degree at Columbia University Teachers College. Prior to retirement in 1997, she taught mathematics in Levittown, NY and West Hartford, Conn. She is survived by her husband, Owen ’57, two sons; and four grandsons.
Lee Carey ’59 of Centerville, Mass. died June 14, 2012. He was a professor at Bergen Community College prior to his retirement.
Raymond Reisenger ’59 of Schenectady died Dec. 13, 2012. He served in the U.S. Air Forces in the Pacific Theater during WWII. Raymond earned his master’s degree at SUNY Albany and his doctorate at Ohio State. He taught in Binghamton, Amsterdam and Schenectady. During the mid-1960s he was an associate professor at SUNY Oswego, serving as the Albany regional director of 24 counties for the teacher training programs. He then served as the NYS research associate at the new Ohio State Center for Vocational Technical Education in Columbus, Ohio. Upon his return to New York, he worked for the NYS Department of Education, then as director of education for the NYS Department of Corrections until his retirement in 1975. In retirement, he worked as a consultant and taught at community colleges and universities. Raymond is survived by his wife, Betty; two sons; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Judy Fry Maihofer ’61 of Baldwinsville passed away Dec. 24, 2012. She was also a graduate of Columbia University Teachers College. Judy taught in the Peekskill and Ossining school districts and for the Southern Westchester BOCES. She is survived by her husband, Walter ’60; a son; a daughter; and two grandsons.
Jane Garono Domon ’64 of Mayville, passed away Jan. 23, 2013. Surviving are her husband, Robert; three sons; and seven grandchildren.
Patricia Russell Secrest ’64 of Silver Lake, Ohio passed away Dec. 21, 2012. She taught in Syracuse and later in Washington, D.C. Patty is survived by her husband, Don; her children, Jennifer and Ryan; and two grandchildren. Contributions for a memorial bench on the SUNY Oswego campus may be made to the Oswego College Foundation, 215 Sheldon Hall, Oswego, NY 13126.
Carolyn Zumbrun ’64 of New Hartford passed away Dec. 28, 2012. She was also a graduate of Syracuse University. Carolyn taught in the Suffern and Oriskany School Districts, at the Crane Hill School in Marcy, and at the Mohawk Valley Psychiatric Center in Pinefield for over 30 years. She is survived by a brother, a sister, and many nieces and nephews.
William Vale ’65 of Oriskany, died Dec. 28, 2012. Prior to his retirement in 1998, he taught in the Whitesboro School District at Deerfield Elementary for 33 years.
Timothy Morell ’69 of Leesburg, Fla. passed away Jan. 21, 2013. He is survived by his parents, Eugene and Angelina; his wife, Marguerite; two children and four grandchildren.
Thomas Jackson ’70 of Syracuse passed away May 20, 2013. He taught sixth grade in the Chittenango School District for 32 years. Tom is survived by his wife, Linda Calver ’69; two children; his mother; and four brothers, including Daniel ’75.
Barbara Hoebeler Diffendale ’73 of Malverne, N.Y. passed away Aug. 19, 2012. Prior to retiring, she taught math at Long Beach Middle School. Surviving are her husband, William; three children; and six grandchildren.
Steven Forman ’73 of Camillus passed away Nov. 15, 2012. He was a graduate of the University of Milan, Italy, Medical School and the LeMoyne College Physician Assistant Program. Steven was most recently employed at Syracuse Community Health Center. He was an Eagle Scout. Steven is survived by his wife, Donna Coloton ‘73; and a daughter.
Denise Palumbo ’73 of Ballston Spa passed away Feb. 13, 2013. She worked for General Electric Power Turbine Division as a technical instructor prior to retiring. Denise is survived by her life partner, Bernadine Peterson; her mother; and a son.
Paul Stockmyer ’73 of Scipio Center, died June 18, 2011. He was a pastor at Scott Methodist Church. Paul is survived by his wife, Kathleen; two sons; and five grandchildren.
Peter Hartin ’75 of Virginia Beach passed away May 14, 2013. He worked in telecommunication sales for 34 years, first with Motorola, then with Nextel and Sprint. He was recently hired at Gately Communications. Peter is survived by his wife, Bobbi Collins ’74; and three sons.
Larry Fleischer ’76 of Bennington, N.H. died July 6, 2012. He had worked as a social worker for 30 years. Larry is survived by his wife, Christine; and a daughter.
Gary Ingersoll ’76 of Camillus passed away May 26, 2013. He retired recently as vice president of Edward Joy Electric Company. Surviving are his wife, Susan Higgins ’69; a son, Gary; a daughter, Megan Walters ’04; a stepson, Ryan Meehan; and three grandchildren.
Thomas Lenihan ’76 of St. Peterburg, Fla. and Skaneateles passed away on March 20, 2013. He earned his MBA at the Mason School of Business at the College of William and Mary. Tom worked for MetLife for 30 years, retiring in 2009. He was the chair of the Oswego College Foundation’s Investment Committee. Tom is survived by his wife, Lynn Van Order ’76; a son, Brian; and a daughter, Colleen. Contributions in Tom’s memory can be made to the Oswego College Foundation, 215 Sheldon Hall, Oswego, NY 13126.
Joyce Cambareri Trogdon ’76 of Darlington, S.C. died Feb. 10, 2013. She is survived by her husband, John; four children; and two grandchildren.
Gary Illingworth ’79 of Oswego died March 26, 2013. He was a 20-year veteran of the New York Air National Guard. Surviving are his wife, Janet Hampton ’65; and two daughters, Heather ’05 and Sarah.
Howard Seigel ’79 of Clearwater, Fla. died Feb. 2, 2013. He earned his DPM from New York College of Podiatric Medicine. Howard is survived by two sons.
Gordon “Jim” Van Liew ’80 of Greenville, N.C. died Jan. 23, 2013.
Dale Davis ’81 of Oswego passed away Jan. 28, 2013. He was a self-employed contractor. “Chip” is survived by his father, Dale; a daughter, Sarah; a son, Kyle ’07; three sisters, Deborah Sprague ’90; Laurie Yule ’85; and Kimberlee Buskey; and two step-siblings.
Judy Letvak ’83, of New York City, passed away June 23, 2013. She was a member of the Oswego Alumni Association Board of Directors since 2009 and was active as a mentor to Oswego students and graduates. Judy was previously the manager of Madison Square Gardens Human Management Systems. She was a volunteer for and supporter of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She is survived by her parents, two brothers, a sister, nieces and nephews and a large circle of Oswego friends. Gifts in Judy’s memory may be sent to the Oswego College Foundation, 215 Sheldon Hall, State University of New York, Oswego, N.Y. 13126.
Lois Roccato ’87 of Albuquerque, died Jan. 28, 2013.
Lisa Sweazey Topoleski ’89 of Freeville, passed away Feb. 12, 2013. She received her master’s degree from San Diego State. She taught in the South Seneca School District and the Lansing Central School District. Surviving are her husband, Daniel; and three daughters.
Lori Bresnahan ’91 of Liverpool died March 14, 2013. She earned her master’s degree at Syracuse University. Lori was a school librarian in the Liverpool School District and had previously worked in the Oswego and Syracuse City School Districts. She is survived by her daughter and her mother.
Margaret Reilly Harrigan ’91 M ’96 of Syracuse passed away April 22, 2013. She was a graduate of Central City Business Institute and Onondaga Community College. She began her teaching career at Bellevue Heights Nursery School. After completing her bachelor’s degree, Peggy taught at John T. Roberts Elementary School until her retirement in 2012. Surviving are two sons, a daughter; and eight grandchildren.
Sue Fulkerson ’92, M ’97 of Adams, passed away Feb. 8, 2013. She earned an associate’s degree from Jefferson Community College. Sue was the proprietor of Business Help Accounting & Tax Preparations until her retirement in 2005. Surviving are her husband, Roy; two children; and four grandchildren.
Joseph Cahill ’94 of Boulder, Colo. died April 28, 2013. He was a lighting designer in the music industry. Surviving are his mother, Regina; a daughter, Cassidy; three brothers; and two sisters.
Angela Bellardini ’95 of Washington, D.C. died May 18, 2013. She earned her master’s degree at Catholic University and was a librarian at the College of Nursing and Science at Catholic University. Surviving are her parents, Ernest and Mary; and four brothers, including Christopher ’85.
Patrick McGarry ’97 of Glenville, passed away Oct. 20, 2011. He received his master’s degree from the College of St. Rose. Pat taught at Zoller Elementary School in Schenectady. He had previously taught at Woodlawn Elementary School and at the International Charter School of Schenectady. Surviving are his parents, Greg and June; two brothers and a sister.
Lisa Teifke Domicolo ’00 M ’06 of Mexico passed away March 14, 2013. She was a first grade teacher at New Haven Elementary School. Surviving are her husband, Michael; a daughter; and a son.
Matthew Leonardo ’05 of Penfield passed away March 17, 2013. He is survived by his parents, Joseph and Marcelline; a brother; and three sisters.
Joseph Kendrick ’10 of Liverpool passed away April 30, 2013. He was the owner and operator of Custom Cleanout Champs in Auburn. Surviving are a sister and four brothers.
Ian Cuthill, former Visiting Professor in the School of Business passed away April 21, 2013. He was a graduate of the Royal Institute of Chemistry in London, earned an MBA at the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. from Syracuse University. Surviving are his wife, Jean; four children; and nine grandchildren.
John Schluep, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics passed away Feb. 2, 2013. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Hartwick College and a master’s degree at Columbia University. John served with the U.S. Navy in WWII. He co-authored several books, including a series of math textbooks for elementary schools. Surviving are his wife, Betty; three children; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Kara Hopkins Pederson ’07, M ’09 and Jason Pederson ’07 were married October 13, 2012 at Bay Shore Grove in Oswego. Pictured in the front row from the left are alumni Don Neels ’70, Bethany Zehr ’07 M’09, Erin Frederick ’07, M’09, Keely Duffany ’08, Katherine Ralston ’07, Diana Major ’08, Chris Hill ’09, and Keri Kissane ’09. Pictured in the back row are Joel Ralston ’06, Eric Romano ’07, M’09, and Mike Hagadorn ’08, M’09. Kara and Jason live in Albany.
Joseph Miner ’09 and Heather Elizabeth Berkley of Watertown were married on Oct. 13 at the Watertown Elks Lodge. Joseph graduated from Oswego with a bachelor’s degree in childhood education. He is an applied behavior analyst therapist for Three Tier Consulting in Watertown.
Jessica Miller ’05 and Greg Brewster ’05 were married on Sept. 8, 2012 in Boston, Mass. Pictured from the left, Patrick Tobiasson ’07, Kathleen Dolan Tobiasson ’06, Fred Vigeant ’02, Michele Joyner Vigeant ’04, Chris VerSchneider ’10, Chris Cherkis ’05, Matthew Lystad ’06, Matthew Gabriel ’04, Whitney Lash Marshall ’06, Jenny Hawley ’06, and Nancy Zielinski ’06. Jessica is a commercial property manager, and Greg is the electronics specialist for SUNY Oswego’s theatre department.
Brenda Grossi ’06 and Adam Tabolt ’05 M ’06 were married October 13, 2012 at The Radisson Hotel in Utica, NY. Alumni in attendance included front row from left, are: Laura Pavlus ’09, Kristen Karwowski ’06, bride, Shauna Pauli Korn ‘05, Carissa Titus Rockwell ’05 M ‘06, Douglas Raineri ‘08, Julia Hodnett ’05 M ‘09. Picture back row from left: Mary Schiraldi Lee ’06, Johannah Harp Brown ’06, Scott Brown ’06, Henre Hamblin ‘05, bridegroom, Andrew Barton ‘05, Russel Korn ‘05, Jason Rockwell ’05, Jason Barton ‘05, Dan Steere ‘07, and Christina Donlan Raineri ’08. The couple resides in Liverpool.
Justine Vehrs ’07, M ’08 and Carl Nylen ’07, M ’11 were married July 15, 2011 at First United Methodist Church in Liverpool. A reception was held in the grand ballroom of the DoubleTree Hotel in Syracuse and the couple honeymooned on back-to-back cruises. Justine and Carl began dating in high school and both lived in Funnelle Hall throughout their undergraduate years. Justine is an English teacher at Fulton High School and Carl teaches Chemistry at Pulaski High School. They have both been teaching for five years. The couple makes their home in Fulton.
(This excerpt from Someone, a work of fiction, is set in the aftermath of World War II. In this chapter, author Alice McDermott ’75 writes about a returned airman telling his near-death story and explaining his miraculous reprieve. McDermott’s lyrical novel examines an ordinary woman’s life as it is lived day by day in an Irish-American Brooklyn neighborhood.)
His parachute training, Tom said, had been short and perfunctory, and after a few easy missions, he’d stopped even imagining himself jumping out of a plane. When the order came, the plane shuddering—like a subway car going over cobblestones, he said—he gripped the door. He seriously considered just hanging on. Going down with the ship. But then he felt a push from behind and then he dropped into the worst nightmare anybody ever had: cloud, smoke, the thick smell of the fuel. A dream’s endless falling.
He laughed telling it, as if it were a joke and the joke was on him.
He said he only remembered after he had pulled the parachute cord—touching his forehead in a comic gesture of despair—that he was supposed to count to ten before he pulled it, not after. And then he counted anyway, a second too late.
And then out of the noise of the worst and loudest sound he had ever heard and hoped never to hear again he fell into dead silence. Nothing at all, he said—and held out his hands and made his eyes wide to replicate his astonishment.
So suddenly quiet that he thought his ears were blown out for good. He saw the air was now blue and there was a serene patchwork world beneath him. Even children running across a churchyard, into a field, and he thought—“I kid you not” he said in his the-joke’s-on-me way—“now, this isn’t so bad. I could get used to this.”
The children were the first to reach him when he fell, tumbling back to the hard earth, busting up his shoulder, breaking his wrist.
“But those kids,” he said, “That was the luck of the Irish, it turned out.”
Because, he said, the next thing he knew a mad old Kraut was pointing a Luger at his head, so close that he could smell the hot metal. “He was in a tizzy,” Tom said. “Mad as hell,” and he apologized to my mother for his language. “I couldn’t understand anything he said but ‘kinder,’ waving the goddamn gun”—he apologized again—“and telling me, I guess, that he’d like to blow my brains out except for the kids who were there, all around us.
He even tried to chase them away, but they were having too much fun, throwing little handfuls of mud in my direction, yelling their heads off. So much excitement. You know how kids are.” He laughed and touched his fingers to the teacup. “The crazy old Kraut had enough decency not to want to shoot me in front of them.”
My mother put her hands to her lips and said, “Glory be.”
Tom gave a self-deprecating wave of his hand. “Well,” he said. “To make a long story short, a German officer showed up—officer hell, he looked all of eighteen—and gave the old man Hail Columbia in German, and then told me in English to get out of the harness and follow him—mach schnell—if I wanted to live. It took me a few minutes to get it. I thought I was already dead.”
He laughed again. He was enjoying our attention. He was a man who loved to talk.
“This fellow grabbed me under the arm. I was still wobbly-kneed, shaking like a leaf. He told me the old man was crazy, crazy with grief. He’d learned just the day before that his son, his only child, a German airman, had been killed by the Allies. So he was out for revenge. He would have put a bullet in my head if those kids hadn’t been there.”
“An eye for an eye,” my brother said.
Tom sat forward. He shook his head. “But here’s the thing.” He was smiling oddly, with less mirth than before. “Here’s the way I looked at it. If the old guy had shot me, then and there, it wouldn’t have been the same. It wouldn’t have been equal.”
He turned to my mother, as if she alone needed an explanation. “I was an orphan, you see,” he told her. “A Foundling Home kid. I had no father to grieve me. So it wouldn’t have evened out, if he’d shot me right then and there. There would have been no counterpart, no American counterpart, so to speak, to match that poor old Kraut and his grief. There still would have been more pain on his side of it. The pain of a father losing a child. There wouldn’t have been any pain like that on my side, since I had no father.
So it wouldn’t have been equal.”
There was an awkward silence. And then my brother said softly, “We’re all of equal value in the eyes of God.”
Tom turned to him with some admiration. “Well, that’s a nicer way to think of it,” he said. He said, “That’s a good point,” and smiled again before he added, “But that don’t mean some of us won’t leave this world without anyone much taking notice.”
It’s a favorite of his wife of 60 years, Marilee,
and it stands near a print by Professor Emeritus of Art Tom Seawell, “American Album —Missouri.” The memories come flooding back.
“Tom and I started at Oswego together, around 1962,” Iorizzo recalls. And he vividly remembers his first office—in the barracks of Splinter Village, shared with the late Raymond Wedlake, History department and Music Professors Dr. Anthony Crain, Dr. Marilynn Smiley and the late Dr. James Soluri, who got Iorizzo to play bass for “The Fantastiks” and “Once Upon a Mattress” in Oswego’s summer theatre.
But for the founder and first chair of Oswego’s public justice department, the sweetest memories are those of his students. Iorizzo reminisces about Celia Sgroi ’70, who would follow in his footsteps as chair of public justice; Kathy McHale Mantaro ’65 M ’70, who retired as a successful librarian, and Robert Bruce McBride ’69 M ’72, who made a name for himself in the criminal justice field, as well as a host of other students who inspire his pride.
“It’s so nice to see them develop from green freshman to confident senior. That’s what makes it worthwhile—to see young people develop,” he says.
He and Marilee both served as advisers to Greek groups—Alpha Delta Eta and Alpha Sigma Chi, and former sisters still get in touch.
The Korean War veteran earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School. When he joined the Oswego faculty in 1962, history was part of the social sciences department, and Iorizzo taught alongside scholars in economics, sociology, and other disciplines, before history became its own department in 1966. He taught courses in the history of the U. S., New York state and the labor movement. He developed a popular course in immigration history, which led to one on organized crime, and the two topics became the lifelong focus of his scholarly research. One of Iorizzo’s seven books — most focused on immigration, especially that of Italian-Americans — was a life of Al Capone, later published in China and Korea.
Several of his writing credits came during retirement, and his latest, a chapter in the book Immigrant Struggles, Immigrant Gifts, was published earlier this year.
But retirement is not all work and no play for this Renaissance man. An avid golfer, he also enjoys playing his bass in an impromptu jazz band of fellow emeritus faculty members and the New Horizons Band of retirees.
Family is a big focus for the Iorizzos. The walls of their home are adorned with photos of their five children, 12 grandchildren, and two great grandchildren, and the doorjamb into the kitchen bears pencil marks noting their growth.
Besides the books, music and family, Iorizzo’s legacy includes a scholarship in his name founded by a grateful former student. Although he does not choose the recipients, Iorizzo is thrilled to meet them each year, and he is thankful that the fund in his name can help them, just as he was helped as a student. “It’s recognition of their productivity, their excellent performance,” he said. “I hope it is an inspiration to them, and keeps them going.” He also hopes when they graduate and become successful they will be similarly inspired to pass on the help to generations to come, creating their own Oswego legacy.
ALL OSWEGO ALUMNI receive a discount on professional development programs offered by SUNY Oswego at the Metro Center in downtown Syracuse (pictured) and the Phoenix Center in Oswego County’s Industrial Park just off Route 481. Current program offerings include LEAN Six Sigma Project Management, Grant Management, Event Planning, a Women’s Empowerment quarterly program, notary public workshops and GMAT/GRE cram courses, as well as training courses offered in conjunction with the American Management Association. Learn more and check out the current programs at oswego.edu/professionaldevelopment