The following citations were created for the College’s Annual Remembrance Day program.
Mark was born in Saddle Brook, New Jersey. He grew up in northern New Jersey, moving from Bergenfield to Closter and joined Ramapo as a faculty member in the School of Social Science and Human Services. He was always very active in the campus and surrounding community.
Mark and his family took many vacations when he was a child. Often boating on the Hudson and Hackensack Rivers, Mark developed a love of the outdoors and shared this passion with his father, friends, and his students. Mark took his appreciation of the outdoors and, along with his partner Lori and a few Ramapo College students, formed the Bergen Save the Watershed Action Network, known as Bergen SWAN. For 26 years Mark served as co-director to Bergen SWAN and achieved huge gains in water protection.
Under his leadership, Bergen SWAN’s primary focus has been on the preservation of the natural lands surrounding the drinking water supply reservoirs in Bergen and Rockland counties. To date, SWAN has been a major force in saving over 3,300 acres from residential and commercial development. Despite his achievements, Mark was a very humble person, never boasting about the importance of his work. Many people close to him may not have even known that he often traveled to underdeveloped countries to help those less fortunate.
Mark had a great love for education and knowledge. He earned his GED and in his 30’s went on to earn his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He is remembered fondly for his toughness, persistence, kindness, intelligence, dedication, and “being an awesome person.” His family proudly sees him in his great niece and nephews—thoughtful, compassionate individuals who share Mark’s love of music, knowledge, and service for others.
Tim Palmer, author of The Wild and Scenic Rivers of America, wrote “When we save a river, we save a major part of an ecosystem, and we save ourselves as well because of our dependence–physical, economic, spiritual,–on the water and its community of life.”
Henry was born in Queens, New York. Henry graduated from Chaminade High School, Georgetown University and the University of Chicago where he received his Ph.D. in American History.
Before becoming a founding faculty member of Ramapo College in 1971, Henry taught at Canisius High School in Buffalo, NY and at St. Peter’s College in Jersey City, NJ where he co-founded the Urban Studies program.
He was a member of the Ramapo College faculty for twenty-five years and retired as professor emeritus of history. The Ramapo College award for excellence in teaching bears his name.
Even in his retirement, Henry was “omnipresent” on campus. Henry co-authored From Pioneer Settlement to Suburb: A History of Mahwah. He also authored Innovations and Realities: A History of Ramapo College of New Jersey.
His presence was always felt. The first thing you noticed about Henry was his remarkably bright eyes. The lights were always on. He was interested in what was happening around him.
Henry had a long affiliation with The Hermitage, the Revolutionary War site and National Historic Landmark in Ho-Ho-Kus. He was both a benefactor and its historian.
He lectured, trained docents and wrote three books about the old stone house, including “Revolutionary Relationship,” the story of Aaron Burr and the widow Theodosia Prevost, who were married there in 1782.
Speaking of marriage and family. Henry’s family was a source of great joy. His wife Pam wrote “Henry was enormously proud that his two daughters had chosen careers in education and had earlier offered service to those less privileged.”
She added, “Traveling widely was Henry’s passion. It was something he did often with our immediate family and his much loved sister, Kathe Gorman. And, a wonderful blessing in very recent years was his loving relationship with his two granddaughters, Iliana and Melina Deftereos.”
ANITA BRANDOLINI (1956 – 2012)
Anita was born in Chester, Pennsylvania and last resided in Hillsborough, New Jersey. Anita was also known as “Dr. B” and taught Chemistry at Ramapo College. Prior to joining Ramapo College in 2007, Anita was a lecturer at Fairleigh Dickinson University. She graduated from Drexel University with a B.S. in Chemistry and earned her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Delaware in Physical Chemistry. Anita had an interest in explaining science to children and the public, working with organizations such as the North Jersey Section: American Chemical Society and Liberty Science Center. She authored many scientific publications and even wrote a children’s book, Fizz, Bubble, and Flash! Elementary Explorations and Atom Adventures. Anita devoted much of her life to the furthering of scientific discovery and to the mentoring and education of future scientists. Anita’s work outside of the classroom included serving as advisor to the Chemistry Club and co-teaching Insane Chemistry to families of all ages as part of Ramapo’s annual Family Day festivities. She was honored at the Third Annual Gift of Mentoring Event by the Metro Women Chemists Committee for her commitment to mentoring. In her spare time, Anita enjoyed traveling, photography, and making jewelry. Anita is survived by her brother, Vincent Brandolini; her sister-in-law, Nancy Brandolini; her niece, Isabel Brandolini; and her great nephew, Christopher Brandolini.
JOHN G. BREEN 1920 – 2008
John Breen was born on April 22, 1920 in upstate New York. John was one of Ramapo’s first employees, who developed the Key Shop and Carpentry Shop here on campus. He began his career at Ramapo in 1971 and retired in January 1993. He is survived by his wife, Angelina and daughter,Anna Marie, who is also employed by Ramapo College. John received a Purple Heart in the Army/Air Force, a Bronze Star and a Distinguished Service Medal for ground operations duringWorldWar II in the Asiatic PacificTheater of Operations. His hobbies included gardening, wood making, reading and golf.
JOHN J. BYRNES 1928 – 2008
John Byrnes was born on July 31, 1928 in the Bronx borough of NewYork City. John obtained employment at Ramapo College as a Security Officer following the closing of Cornell Children’sWear store where he was general manager. He is survived by his wife, Eileen, his children, Kevin, Colleen, DeDe and Maureen and his grandchildren. He attended Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx and served in Korea with an honorable discharge as a 1st Lt. John enjoyed the Yankees so much he never missed a game.
Eileen was born in Queens, New York. She and her late husband, John who also worked at Ramapo College in the Department of Public Safety, had four children and seven grandchildren.
Spending time with them is what she enjoyed most in life.
In 1998, twenty years after answering an employment ad in the newspaper, Eileen retired from Ramapo College.
Phyllis Diller described a smile as a curve that sets everything straight. Eileen’s smile did just that. A lover of the arts, Eileen found her home in the School of Contemporary Arts and often volunteered at the Ramapo performances, handing out programs and always greeting guests with her warm and pleasant smile.
Kari Womack, alumni class of 1993, shared that “Living away from home was a new experience for me, and Eileen always provided great advice…she was my true home-away-from-home Mom.”
Before retiring, Eileen met her closest friend, Eileen Morley, at Ramapo. The two Eileens enjoyed many good times together, as well as supporting each other through life’s difficult times.
Eileen was very active in the women’s bowling league and also enjoyed knitting and needlepoint. She is remembered fondly as a very patient and caring person.
Eileen is survived by her four children Colleen, Kevin, Deirdre, and Maureen and her seven grandchildren Jamie, Tara, Katie, Michael, Mary, Kristin, and Allison.
JOHN ROBERT CASSIDY (1934 – 2013)
John Robert Cassidy was born in the Bronx, New York. After spending a short time in Jackson Heights, Queens, as a child, he moved to Garden City, Long Island, where he graduated from Chaminade High School. He went on to fulfill his parents’ wishes by majoring in Business at Villanova University and then continued on to a doctorate degree in Philosophy, his lifelong passion. Prior to joining Ramapo College in 1971, Dr. Cassidy was an Assistant Professor at Temple University. He then went on to serve as Dean at Temple’s newly-founded Ambler Campus in 1965. Once he was hired by Ramapo, Dr. Cassidy was excited to take part in Ramapo’s new vision of interdisciplinary studies of the humanities. He was hired as Dean and became Ramapo’s first Vice President of Academic Affairs in 1973. He stepped down from administrative service in 1981 and returned to the faculty as Professor of Philosophy until his retirement in 2005, at which time he was bestowed the distinction of Professor Emeritus. Dr. Cassidy’s love for education, the humanities, people, and the mind, was evident in his life’s work, whether it was teaching or advising students or being an administrator or friend to the faculty. He would profess to his friends and colleagues time and time again, that “teaching is just love.” Among Dr. Cassidy’s achievements are a 10-year Vice Presidency with the College, and the creation and successful implementation of Ramapo’s Law and Society Program with colleague Dr. Ira Spar. But his fondest memories at Ramapo were those of nurturing the minds of its students. Among his peers Dr. Cassidy affectionately called himself the “Queen Bee” (as advisor to students) and the “One-man Honors Program.” It brought Dr. Cassidy great joy that several of his students pursued careers in the professoriate at Ramapo and elsewhere. Outside academics Dr. Cassidy enjoyed visits with his children and grandchildren, completing his New York Times crossword puzzles, travel, and especially music—his love for which is now seen in the musical talents and careers of his children. Dr. Cassidy is survived by his brother, Fr. Ted Cassidy, SM; sister, Estelle Peck; former wife, Mary Ann; five children, Robert, Matthew, Paul, Elizabeth, and Kate; and eight grandchildren.
VINCENT E. CATAPANO (1948 – 2013)
Vinnie was born in Brooklyn, New York and last resided in northern New Jersey. Prior to joining Ramapo College in 2002, Vinnie worked for Benedict Miller, a steel factory in Kenilworth, New Jersey, for 20 years as a heat treater and steel fabricator. Vinnie was informed of an open position at Ramapo from one of his teachers at Bergen County Technical. He applied and was hired on the spot as Mechanical Equipment Specialist. At Ramapo, Vinnie enjoyed laughing with his co-workers, the staff and the students. So many of his fond memories of Ramapo emanated from the great friendships he made while at the College. Vinnie really enjoyed fishing and often talked about his plans to one day go on a fishing trip to Alaska with his colleagues. He also enjoyed building car, ship, and plane models, collecting coins, learning about the latest electronic gadgets, and spending time with his grandson. Vinnie was described as a “funny, happy, and wonderful person that was loved by everyone.” Vinnie is survived by his wife, Donna; daughters, Jessica, Kimberly and Erika; son-in-law, Erik; grandson, Jeremy; one sister and her family.
MARILYN COMESKEY 1925 – 2009
Marilyn was born in Belleville, New Jersey on July 23 1925, she applied for a position in 1987 just as Ramapo College was beginning a phase of tremendous growth and being recognized in the tri-state area. Prior to her employment at Ramapo College, Marilyn raised her family of five children and then entered the workforce starting with secretarial positions and eventually worked within Wyckoff’sTownship Administration. She enjoyed her coworkers and always had funny stories to tell. She especially enjoyed working with former President, Dr. Robert Scott. She frequently talked about how much she loved working in the Mansion and how much she appreciated the building’s architecture. It was her wish for her grandson, Patrick, to attend Ramapo College, and he is currently here and majoring in criminal justice. Marilyn was an avid reader and especially enjoyed novels depicting the Old South and the Wyckoff and Midland Park libraries would often hold these novels for her. Marilyn was predeceased by her husband in 1985. She is survived by her five children and six grandchildren and one great-grandchild, who currently reside throughout the United States from New Jersey to California.
Joseph was born in Killona, Louisiana in 1938. He earned his bachelors of science from Southern University, his master’s from the University of Illinois, and his Ph.D. in Plant Science from Rutgers University.
Joseph was a professor at Kansas State University when he started considering a permanent move to the east coast. He had been offered positions at both Ramapo College and Cornell University. He ultimately chose Ramapo because the plant science program was then in its infancy.
As a Professor of Biology, Joseph was able to develop and implement the plant biology- science curriculum. He was instrumental in having the greenhouse built and it was done to his specifications for the purpose of research.
In addition to his focus on plant sciences, Joseph initiated the Study Abroad Program at Ramapo College.
Joseph secured research grants from International Paper and Nabisco, providing his students with the opportunity to engage in undergraduate research.
He also implemented, directed and worked many acres of vegetable garden variety trials. This afforded his students the opportunity for applied research and provided area gardeners with valuable information.
Joseph taught all methods of propagation, specializing in the techniques of budding, also known as bud grafting.
He was a well-respected and published researcher and was often asked to be an expert witness or consultant.
He worked with companies such as the George Bell Seed Company; the Netherlands Flower Bulb Institute; Yoder Brothers; the Pennsylvania Mushroom Growers Society; W.R. Grace & Company; and the Shepard Seed Company-to name a few.
In 1978, the Bergen Record ran a feature article in its Lifestyle section which focused on Joseph’s three acres of “All America Selection” flowers and the vegetable display garden he planted and opened to the public.
Joseph also served as judge for the New Jersey Flower and Garden Show; was a feature garden writer for the North Bergen Review; served on the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Botanical Gardens; and was appointed curator of the New Jersey Herbal and Trial Gardens in Ramsey.
He received a Distinguished Service Award from Kappa Alpha Psi, and was named its Kappa Man of the Year in 1990. He and his work were also featured in Ebony magazine in 1986.
A Renaissance Man, Joseph had a vast array of interests and talents. He enjoyed winemaking, dancing, camping, hunting, gardening, fishing, jazz, rhythm and blues, reading, and photography.
Most recently he and his wife, Susanne, opened Firehouse Tango, where they would teach tango dancing and have organized milonga trips to Argentina.
Joseph is survived by his wife Susanne; daughter Janice; sons David (and wife Kim) and Marc; stepdaughters Jeanette and Lisa; and grandchildren Jarred and Kyle.
“It was in Ballroom Dancing I, that I first met Professor Joe Dallon and continued learning step patterns and technique in Ballroom Dancing II. During these dance classes Professor Dallon introduced his students, including myself, to a whole new world of Ballroom Dancing. Also, the first ever Ramapo College Ballroom Dancing Club was created during this time. Through this experience friendships were forged, many students, myself and dancing friends have had their social and dancing lives greatly enhanced,” said Rose Marie Mark, alumni class of 2005.
o “A very talented man and extremely inquisitive researcher who taught his subject, plant biology, with passion motivating his students and elevating their interest in plants and plant science,” said his son David.
o “Joe was instrumental in creating the greenhouse and worked very hard to maintain it. The greenhouse supplied plant material for a wide range of biology courses which benefited many of our students that went on to study plant sciences in graduate school,” said Eddie Saiff, Dean of the School of Theoretical and Applied Sciences.
JOHN “JACK” T. DAWSON (1930-2010)
Dawson was born in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey. He was the youngest of ten siblings. Before joining Ramapo College, he owned a landscaping business where he was a respected employer. After replying to an advertisement in the classifieds, he came to Ramapo College as a grounds worker. He felt it was the perfect job for someone with a green thumb who loved plants. Jack was quite fond of Ramapo College and enjoyed being on campus. His job was deeply enriched by the beautiful forest landscape. He had a great love of the trees on campus and felt very proud of the College.Apart from landscaping, he liked to fish and shoot skeet. His wife, Veronica, remembers him as a gentleman who was well mannered and intelligent. His grandson, Rob, recalls how comfortable Jack was in his own skin. Coworkers say he had a can-do attitude and a quick wit, making him a wonderful colleague and consummate professional. Jack is remembered as a good friend, a great husband and, a devoted father and stepfather.
BONNIE DRISKILL FRANKLIN 1947 – 2008
Bonnie Driskill Franklin, most beloved wife,mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, and friend lost her battle with cancer on July 24, 2008. She was 61 years old. Bonnie is survived by her husband, John B. Franklin; two children, Chloe Driskill Franklin Millea and Joshua John Franklin; granddaughter, Nadia Millea; parents,Virginia Estelle and Frank Edward Driskill of Melbourne, FL.; and four siblings. Bonnie was the AssistantVice President of Communications and Public Affairs at Ramapo College of New Jersey. She was also an active member of the League of WomenVoters,Women in Communications in N.J., her book group, and the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship. She will be remembered by all for her quiet elegance, strong character, motherly instincts, love of reading, theater, movies, gardening and unmatched selflessness
KENT PAQUIN ELDRIDGE (1934-2010)
Kent Eldridge was born in North Dakota. He was a hard worker with skilled hands and an admirable work ethic. He served in the Army during the Korean War. Following his service, he worked in the oil fields of Montana and Oklahoma and on ranches in Montana. He was always outside, whether at work or in his free time. He had several hobbies that defined his life, including boating and fishing. During his employment at Ramapo, he was an operating engineer and a member of the International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers. Kent will be remembered for his dedication to his work.
KATHLEEN “KAY” FOWLER (1948 – 2012)
Kay was born in Concord, New Hampshire and last resided in Ramsey, New Jersey. Prior to joining Ramapo College, Kay served as a job analyst for the City of New York and then as a job developer for the City’s State Aid to Vocational Education Program. Subsequently, she joined Montclair State University as a job developer for its co-op education program. Kay taught a writing course at Montclair and took part in the writing program at New York University (NYU). She went on to graduate with honors from Connecticut College, and earned an M.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania. After joining the faculty of Ramapo in 1987, she completed her Ph.D. in English and American Literature, graduating with distinction from NYU in 1992. Kay taught a wide variety of courses during her 25-year career at Ramapo, the more recent focus of her teaching was Thanatology and Gender Studies. What she liked most was teaching and mentoring students of all sorts, at all levels, and, of course, learning new things to teach them. Kay received the Jack Richardson Award, served two terms as Faculty Assembly President, and was founding co-chair of the Diversity Action Committee. A peer of Kay’s described her as “a great soul with a high I.Q., a high E.Q., and the gift not to take herself or anyone else too seriously.” She is survived by her husband, Bob Dilly; son, Dr. Geoffrey Dilly; brother, Charlie; sister, Elaine; 12 nephews and nieces; four grandnephews; and a grandniece. She is predeceased by her sisters, Mary Grace, a meteorologist and Lockheed executive; Gini, an environmental engineer and mother of four; best friend, Anne, a cognitive psychologist; brother-in-law, Michael Schmidt, a particle physicist; and brother, George
HENRY “HANK” FRUNDT (1940-2010)
Hank Frundt was born in Minnesota. He was an advocate of peace and worked hard to promote human rights. Prior to his years at Ramapo, he studied at a Jesuit seminary. He taught Sociology at Wisconsin State University and received his Ph.D. from Rutgers University. He was a devoted husband to his wife, Bette, and a father of six. Hank’s true passion was working with students. He spoke highly of Ramapo’s multi-disciplinary units, and was a professor of Urban Sociology and Human Services. During the years of 1989 to 1993, he was dean of this unit. He has said that Ramapo was a great work environment, and that it had dedicated faculty.
Hank had a strong sense of social responsibility and environmental consciousness. It led him to become United Nations commissioner of Disarmament and Peace Education, as well as the special expert at the United Nations Commission of Sustainable Development. In addition to these active roles in the United Nations, he tried to educate the world on such principles through his texts and teachings. Hank published numerous articles in professional journals and had several books that pertained to trade conditions, labor rights and the business of agriculture. He was presented with awards by the Fulbright Association, Fulbright Fellowship, Middle Atlantic Council of Latin American Studies, the New Jersey Peace Action and the Organization of American States. One recognition he was most proud of was the Fred and Florence Thomases Award for Excellence in Teaching, Scholarship and Service. Other joys in his life came from being the secretary of the Labor Studies section of the Latin American Studies Association and from the experience he had as president, past president and council delegate of AFT Local 2274.
MARY FUHRMAN (1929 – 2013)
Mary was born in Coplay, Pennsylvania and last resided in Nanuet, New York. Prior to joining Ramapo College, Mary was the head of the Fuhrman Family Household where she managed the household finances and raised her six children. After encouraging her children for years to get their college degrees, Mary decided to turn some attention back to her own needs and desires and, in her mid-fifties, she decided to pursue her own undergraduate education. Mary graduated from Ramapo College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies. After graduation, because of her love of books and keen interest in education and government, she applied for a position in the George T. Potter Library and was hired immediately. Mary drew much satisfaction from guiding students through the Library’s many resources. Mary enjoyed the camaraderie of the College and often spoke of how much she enjoyed lunchtime gatherings with her co-workers. Mary retired from Ramapo College in 1994. Outside of work, she was passionate about gardening and caring for animals. Mary’s family describes her as “a beautiful, caring, hardworking individual, who stood up for what she believed in and gave her all to whom and what she was passionate about.” Mary is survived by her husband, Edward; her children, Edward Jr., Maria, Frank, Heidi, Greg, and Karen and their families.
MILTON MACK GITTENS (1944-2010)
Milton Gittens lived in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York City for the majority of his life. He studied at Howard University and then at New York University for his master’s and Ph.D. Milton had two major passions in his life – teaching and family. His love of teaching and family came together when he raised his son, Granville. He was tremendously committed to raising Granville, and the flexible schedule of a college professor enabled him to play a leading role in his son’s life. He held tightly to his family roots, both his mother’s North American side, and his father’s Barbadian side. He made frequent visits to Barbados to stay connected. He took great care to see all his family, and to map out his family history. He immersed himself and others in diverse cultures. Milton would take his Barbadian visitors to Lady Liberty, the Empire State Building and Radio City Music Hall. In Barbados, he would teach his son about the culture and agriculture there, since his son was accustomed only to shopping markets in New York and not acquainted with the actual farming process. He taught as an associate professor in Public Administration and was an honorary hember of the Society of Business Administration. He has said his most notable achievement was raising his son to become a man.
VIOLET HALTER (1920 – 2012)
Violet was born in Union City, New Jersey, but lived most of her life in West New York and Ramsey, New Jersey prior to moving south to Manchester Township in 1991. Violet began her career at Ramapo College during the year of the College’s founding. As one of the pioneering members of the College staff, she was hired as a Senior Clerk Typist and quickly promoted to Principal Clerk Typist. A few years later, she became the Head Clerk Bookkeeper before retiring in 1984. Violet is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Barbara and Frederick Schrekinger of Colorado; niece, Jacqueline O’Connor and her husband Paul; her nephew, the Honorable Ronald Spoehel, his wife, Debbie, and their children, Elizabeth and Jap Spoehel. She is predeceased by her parents, Edwin and Clara Spoehel; husband, William S. Halter; son, William D. Halter; and brother, Edwin H. Spoehel, Jr.
GEORGE F. HEISE 1934-2008
George was born in Murphysboro, IL on July 30, 1934. From 1961 to 1969 he was employed by the State of Illinois atWestern Illinois University as a regional coordinator of small public libraries and as a faculty member. From 1967 to 1982 he worked as associate director of indexing services for H.W.Wilson Publishing Company. In 1983 George was the business manager for the Morris County Library. He began his employment at Ramapo College in the Library in 1986. George is survived by his wife, Barbara and his children, Gary ofWest Milford; HollyW. Peters of Hubert, N.C.; Hayley J. Nichols of Port Monmouth, N.J. and two grandchildren. George obtained a BA and MA from Southern Illinois University; an MLS from George Peabody College forTeachers and a 6thYear Certificate in Information Science at Rutgers University. One of George’s most notable achievements was writing and obtaining a grant to establish the Electronic Learning Center for the George Potter Library at Ramapo College. George spent more than 3 years after his retirement completing genealogy for both the Heise and Mosley families. He was extremely active in his community and had served on various boards and committees.
LENWOOD HENRY 1934 – 2008
Len Henry passed away on March 14, 2008. He was born in Hackensack to Ernest and Eleanor Henry on December 16, 1934; the third child in a family of 12. He attended the Hackensack School System from elementary through high school. A veteran of the United States Army, Len was a lover of music and a member of a doo-wop group called the Bobba Links. Len was especially fond of Latin music and played the conga. In 1960 Len met the love of his life Betty Grace Crenshaw and they married in 1961.Together they had three children;Alexandria, Brian and Curtis Henry all of Paterson. Len was a member of his grandfather’s (Reverend Harry O. Henry) Little Bethel United Holiness Church.An avid sports fan, and a supporter of the Hackensack School sports, Len coached the Hackensack Junior Football League, for which his sons played, and attended all of his daughter’s sporting events. Len was assistant supervisor of housekeeping at Ramapo College for the past 22 years. He was a devoted family man and a father figure to so many people. Predeceasing him are his loving brothers, Oscar,Vern and Nathaniel. Len is survived by his loving wife of 46 years, Betty Grace; his daughter,Alexandria and his two sons, Brian L. and Curtis D. of Paterson; 4 grandchildren; 4 brothers; 4 sisters; 1 brother-in-law and a host of uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, cousins, relatives and friends.
KERREN ALDORA HENRY 1969 – 2009
Kerren was born in St.Ann, Jamaica on April 9, 1969. She joined Ramapo through the recommendation of her niecein-law, Stella “Johnnie” Burton-James. Prior to joining Ramapo College, Kerren attended Durham College in Kingston, Jamaica where she majored in Business Administration. After completing her associates degree, she worked at Home Electrics Jamaica Limited for four years and from there she went on to work at National Commercial Bank (formerly Mutual Security Bank Limited) up until her immigration to America in the Fall of 2000. She went on to receive her Bachelor of Arts degree from Ramapo College in May of 2007. Kerren particularly enjoyed helping others and she derived great satisfaction from working with the College’s work-study students. Colleagues of Kerren’s describe her as an extraordinary person with an infectious smile, who was very skilled at making people feel good about themselves and about the work they were doing. She was always the first to offer help to anyone who needed it and always had a positive attitude. What many remember most is her strong faith and how it gave her tremendous strength, courage and wisdom. Her family describes her as very kind, loving, giving and thoughtful—she always thought about other’s needs before thinking of herself. Kerren enjoyed spending time with her children and family outside of work. She attended church on a regular basis and was involved with many church activities. She spent much time planning family barbecues and parties for her children, nieces and nephews. Kerren was predeceased by her mother,Tonie Henry, her father Noel Henry and older brother, Sylvester. She is survived by her two daughters, Kourtney and Khristina Cassanova, four sisters, two brothers, 17 nephews, six nieces, 14 grand-nephews, seven grand-nieces, and aunts, uncles and cousins.
BARBARA K. KEELER (1936 – 2011)
Barbara was born in Bronx, New York. Prior to joining Ramapo College, Barbara worked in the medical field at Good Samaritan Hospital and in a private physician’s practice. She expressed an interest in working at the College to a neighbor who worked here, who then told her about an available position, and in February 1980 Barbara was hired in Business Services as Senior Clerk Bookkeeper. Barbara truly enjoyed working with the students and professors at the College; she was noted throughout her career for her thoughtful approach to her work, attention to detail, and warm, inviting persona. Barbara was promoted to Senior Data Entry Machine Operator and to Principal Audit Account Clerk. Barbara was known by her colleagues, friends and family as a sweet and thoughtful woman and a talented cook and baker. Her deep devotion to her family and friends was noticed by all who came in contact with her. In her free time, she loved to take walks in parks. She thoroughly enjoyed young children and babies. Barbara retired from Ramapo in 1994. She is survived by her sister Peggy Kiss, her sons, Kenneth and Richard, and her daughters, Karen and Patricia. Her constant companion, Jack Cieslak, predeceased her many years ago.
Gary Kettlitz – 1955 – 2009
Gary was Assistant Professor of Management appointed on September 1, 1996. He received tenure on September 1, 2001. Gary was a conscientious educator; one of his students once commented, “He cares more about my education than I do.” Gary was the Faculty Advisor for the Management Club and for the Ski and Snowboard Club. He was also the faculty sponsor for the Society of HR Management. In 2000, Delta Mu Delta honored Gary by bestowing upon him the award of “OutstandingTeacher of theYear.” Prior to joining Ramapo College, Gary was an Assistant Professor at Eastern New Mexico University, EastTennessee State University, and at Northwest Missouri State University. He holds a Ph.D. in Personnel and Industrial Relations from the University of NorthTexas. He also has an M.H.A. in Health and Hospital Administration and a B.S. in Nutrition from New Mexico State University. While studying at the University of NorthTexas he was a Lecturer andTeaching Fellow. Gary possessed a wonderful array of tradesman skills, and he applied them to the maintenance and expansion of his home. He enjoyed operating heavy equipment, which he used to make major changes to the landscaping of his property. He spent his spare time on social welfare issues and fundraising for numerous charitable organizations to help those less fortunate. Gary was also an excellent marksman. He used clay pigeons as targets and could hit as many as 50 in a row. Gary was also a very fine tennis player, and he played with a group of Ramapo faculty regularly on Friday afternoons for many years. Although Gary had no family of his own he did have a dog that he loved dearly. Gary was predeceased by his parents. He is survived by three sisters and a brother who miss him dearly – Carol Ann Lee, Barbara Hall, SandyToscano and Robert Kettlitz.
John N. Kreps 1933 – 2008
John was born on December 25, 1933 in Sussex, N.J. In the 50’s and 60’s he worked as an Apprentice Plumber, Pipefitter and Steamfitter for various companies andWilliam Paterson College until he began his employment at Ramapo College in 1971 as Engineer in Charge. He retired from Ramapo in 1990 and is survived by his wife, Dolores to whom he was married for 55 years; his daughter and son-in-law, Jody and Joe Cavagnaro and his grandson, Jonathan, who live in Lewisville,Texas. John attended Pompton Lakes High School and was in the U.S. Navy with his tour of duty including the KoreanWar. Notable accomplishments included working on X15 rocket engines and moon landing rockets. He loved to travel and spent winters in Arizona and toured most of the United States by car. He loved to read and was always willing to help others.
BETTY LISS (1926 – 2013)
Betty was born in Chicago, Illinois and last resided in Oakland, New Jersey. Prior to joining Ramapo, Betty was a stay at home mother, raised five children, and took up tailoring and making specialty high school cheerleading uniforms. When Betty’s youngest child began kindergarten, she decided to start her professional career. She applied for a File Clerk I position at Ramapo College in 1971 and was immediately hired. Betty enjoyed the proximity of the College to her home and the variety of people she met. She loved working with students and professors and her colleagues noted her enthusiasm and commitment and she was swiftly promoted to Academic Advisor. Betty was very creative and her hobbies kept her busy–whether she was quilting, knitting, or being a master bridge player. Betty’s family describes her being a “tough, no-nonsense, black and white person” prior to joining Ramapo, adding that, while at Ramapo, she became so open-minded and welcoming of new ideas and people. Her family said, “She was a completely new person!” Betty is survived by her children, Barbara, Jude, Kenneth, Greg, Laura and ten grandchildren.
FRANCINE “FRAN” COPPOLA LIVRERI (1948 – 2011)
Francine was born in Brooklyn, New York. Fran’s husband, Gerry, obtained his Bachelor’s degree from Ramapo College and, shortly thereafter, Fran decided it was her turn and enrolled the very next semester. While a computer science student, Fran was offered a part-time job in the data center at Ramapo. Immediately after her graduation in 1989, that part-time job developed into a full-time career at Ramapo that spanned the next 17 years. Fondly remembered for her equanimity and technical skill as a computer programmer, Fran faced the challenges of the Student Information System and soon became the “go-to” on all SIS matters. This was a real change from her Administrative Assistant job for Donaldson Lufkin & Jenerette on Wall Street, where she managed high profile client accounts. Fran left DLJ to join Ramapo, a career that allowed her to spend more time raising her daughter, Kerynne. Fran really loved the atmosphere of the College campus. Some of her favorite memories were of the quilting club. Many of her colleagues became dear friends who she lovingly called the Rama-pals. In addition to quilting, Fran sewed and made many of her own outfits. She also was a renowned baker and made cookies for all occasions. She loved to travel and she and Gerry went to many concerts and Broadway performances over the 47 years they spent together. But, of all of her accomplishments and talents, the one thing she was most proud of was her daughter, Kerynne. She would be very happy to see how Kerynne has evolved as a pediatric physical therapist, wife, and mother. Fran’s beautifulgranddaughter, Alivia Francine, was born six weeks after Fran left us. Fran is survived by her devoted husband, Gerry; daughter, Kerynne, and son-in law Mario; granddaughter, Alivia Francine; sister, Valerie; brother, Jim; and her mother, Barbara, who will celebrate her 88th birthday this week.
Lillian was born in Queens, New York. She and her husband Thomas had four children and four grandchildren.
Lillian worked at Ramapo College, along with her husband Tom, son Phillip, daughter Erin, and nieces and nephews. The McPhillips family was as much a part of the Ramapo family as Ramapo was a part of their family.
Lillian started at Ramapo as a Payroll Clerk. Her professionalism and dedication were widely admired and she was promoted to Benefits Manager. In that role, Lillian truly touched many lives. At her retirement party there were countless testimonials about how much she helped employees during difficult times, illness, or death of a spouse.
Lillian had a wealth of knowledge about all facets of her position which was often complex and sensitive in nature. Her intellect and her warm heart made her a vital resource and expert in her field. She was often called upon by her peers at the other state institutions for advice and counsel.
Lillian was a caring and generous wife, mother, and co-worker, always going above and beyond to help others. She was a volunteer at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church and a member of the Junior Guild at Good Samaritan Hospital.
o “I worked with Lillian from 1989 to 1997 and she was a really great boss and all around nice person,” said Bonnie Caruso of School of Humanities and Global Studies.
o Johnie Burton shared that she is reminded of Lillian’s friendship and kindness every Christmas when she decorates her family’s tree with the handmade ceramic ornaments Lillian gave her.
THOMAS MCPHILLIPS 1931 – 2009 (PHOTO NOT AVAILABLE)
Tom worked at Ramapo College from October 1974 until his retirement in January 1995. Tom held a series of positions over the years, including: Senior Building MaintenanceWorker; Stores Clerk;Athletics Equipment Coordinator; MotorVehicle Operator (he drove the “big green machine” – old school bus) for many years; Repairer; and Plumber/Steamfitter. A colleague recalls a trip to Six Flags/Great Adventure in the fall of 1980, whenTom drove a group of students in the “big green machine.” He had a great rapport with students and even though the bus wasn’t air-conditioned the students were happy to get off campus and have a “field day.” When trees were felled in the early 1990s to make way for the last miles of I-287, there were no storm drains in place and heavy spring rains began coursing downhill to the Student Center loading dock. Tom called to report that the loading dock “was a swimming pool” and the water “was about to crest over the dock itself, making its way into the Student Center’s kitchen.” It appeared to be a losing battle with the rain; however,Tom and his crew got the pumps up and running, and averted a major first-floor flood scenario. His family has a strong connection to Ramapo College (his wife Lillian worked here for many years, as did their son, Patrick, who recently retired, and daughter Erin); another son graduated from Ramapo. Thomas and Lillian were married for 50 years and after retirement they enjoyed many years as snowbirds in Jensen Beach, Florida. Thomas is a veteran of the US Navy and served during the KoreanWar. He is survived by his four children, Lillian, Patrick, Kevin and Erin and his four grandchildren,Tyler and Samantha Swingel and Lindsey and Stephanie Zuidervliet.
WILLIAM MURNION (NO IMAGE)
William was born in New York City, New York. Prior to working at Ramapo, William was a priest in the New York Diocese.
William also taught at Boston College, Newton College of the Sacred Heart, and Duquesne University prior to joining Ramapo in 1972.
William taught philosophy and religious studies until 2001. A strong advocate for a liberal arts education, William endeavored to establish a philosophy major at the College.
William was the Director of the National Endowment of the Humanities summer seminars in 1992 and 1995; and an active member of the American Philosophical Association, American Catholic Philosophical Association, and Federation Christian Ministries.
William was an esteemed author, lecturer, mentor, and founder of PhilosophyWorks. His lecture “Aquinas on Faith and Reason” has several thousand hits on YouTube.
He was the author of Aquinas’s Theory of the Act of Understanding and over fifty journal articles.
His main research interests were Aquinas, particularly his philosophy of mind; Bernard Lonergan, on transcendental method and systematic theology, and the infrastructure of modern philosophy.
In addition to his scholarly endeavors, William was a lifelong Yankee fan, avid jogger, and gardener.
William is survived by his wife, Deborah; sons Gregory and Cary; daughters-in-law Annie and Antoinette; grandson Teddy; and sister, Rose Mary Gerdes.
FREDERICK “FRED” POWELL (1928 – 2011)
Fred was born and raised in Suffern, New York. He served in the United States Army from 1955 to 1958 as a Ranger with the 82nd and 101st Airbourne Divisions. On New Year’s Eve in 1961, Fred married Judy Morgan Powell. The couple, fondly remembered as devoted to one another, celebrated their 49th anniversary in December 2010. Fred was a skilled craftsman in many ways. He thoroughly enjoyed working with his hands. He thrived on the challenge and reward that came with tinkering and refurbishing antique trucks and vans. Proud of his Native American heritage, Fred often wore ornate, handmade turquoise jewelry. Fred brought his artistry and talents to Ramapo as a Senior Building Maintenance Worker and was quickly promoted to Repairer and, later, to Carpenter/Craftsman. He retired in 1995 after 25 years of admirable service. He is remembered as a skilled craftsman who took great pride in his work and was particular about doing things right. His colleagues recall that he was always fun to be with, often laughing and lending a helping hand. Friends recall him fondly as “Snoozie,” noting his penchant for humorous and dynamic storytelling, adding that there was never a dull moment when he was around. He was predeceased by brother Wayne Powell of Hillburn and sisters Sheila VanDunk of Hillburn and Mary Ellen VanDunk of Middletown. Fred is survived by his wife Judy; son Frederick of Lyndhurst; daughter Tanya of St. Augustine, Florida; sisters Evelyn DeFreese of Hillburn, Phyllis Jackson of Washingtonville, and Marva Woods of Newburgh; brother William Powell of Hillburn; and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
HOWARD RADEST (NO IMAGE)
Howard was born in Brooklyn, New York. He served in the Army during the Korean War and was promoted to rank of Corporal. Howard served his tour in Paris as a member of the Army’s Medical/Psychology staff. In 1971, Howard was hired as a Professor of Philosophy at Ramapo College.
Howard had a passion for ethics, philosophy, and religion. He founded and held senior leadership roles in countless organizations; published nine books and numerous articles.
Decades after defending his doctoral dissertation at Columbia University which was about the educational philosophy of the founder of Ethical Culture, Mr. Felix Adler, Howard was awarded the Felix Adler Lifetime Achievement Award.
Howard lived a life of Humanism and was actively involved with the Ethical Culture Movement for over seven decades. He became the founding Leader of the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County from 1956-1963 and was later the Executive Director of the American Ethical Union, the national federation of Ethical Societies, and one of the Presidents of the International Humanist and Ethical Union.
During his tenure as Executive Director his first book, Toward Common Ground: The Story of the Ethical Societies in the United States, was published.
He continued to write several books and articles on humanism, ethics, and Ethical Culture.
The American Ethical Union commented on Howard’s contributions, “Perhaps no other person has made a greater contribution to building and sustaining institutions within Ethical Culture and the Humanist world over the past half-century. All of us who cherish Ethical Culture are incalculably in his debt.”
Howard had many interests outside of academics. He had a love of cars, purchasing a MG, a Firebird, a Rover, and a Fiat Spider. A true Roadrunner, Howard and his wife, Rita, had a goal to visit at least one country from every continent, including Antarctica. Happily, they achieved their goal.
Howard is survived by his wife, Rita; two sons, Robert (and his wife Nora) and Michael (and his wife Karen); and five grandchildren, Joseph, Emma, Brendan, Kara, and Colin.
o “Howard was very active with the Ethical Culture Society and brought to the College that devotion to high ethical standards,” remembers Eddie Saiff, Dean of the School of Theoretical and Applied Sciences.
MICHAEL “MIKE” JOHN RICCIARDI `79 (1957-2010)
Mike Ricciardi was born in Hoboken, New Jersey. Mike was the first and only child in his family to obtain an undergraduate and master’s degree. His family was proud of his determination and accomplishments. He graduated from Ramapo College in 1979 and initiated the intramural sports programs under Rick Myrlak. He spoke most highly of Rick Myrlak and Gene Marshall, saying that they had taught him a great deal. At Ramapo, he rose to the position of director of Athletics, which was his life-long ambition. While at Ramapo’s gym, he was coordinator and organizer of the games and events. He believed he owed something back to the school and everyday his work was a way of thanking Ramapo. In sports and in life, Mike was a person who believed in doing things first class and being thorough in preparations. Those who knew Mike recalled that he was tireless and steadfast in his support of student athletes. He seemed happiest when he was coaching, meeting informally with students or simply sitting in the stands cheering. His other happiness came from raising his two children with his wife, Anna. Some of his favorite memories came from the Spring Fundraiser Carnivals in which he participated. His loyalty was without question. For 25 years, he volunteered with Catholic Youth Programs in Union City. Throughout his life, he devoted time for Cub and Boy Scouts and Girl’s Amateur Athletic Basketball. Additionally, he refereed and coached basketball and softball and organized and commissioned the volleyball conference for the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III. It is this same loyalty and hard work that led Mike to receive the Faculty and Staff Award at Ramapo. Mike is remembered as a dedicated and caring administrator, colleague, family man and sports enthusiast.
DEBORAH RIOS( NO IMAGE)
Deborah was born in White Plains, New York. She was passionate about education and was regarded by many as environmentally conscientious. Working at the College’s Meadowlands Environmental Center let her combine her two passions, education and the environment.
Deborah received great joy from teaching young children about the environment and the many ways to preserve it.
She often spoke warmly of the joy on the children’s faces while exploring and discovering the site and the many natural beauties of the environment.
Deborah was an integral part of a team of educators who developed, implemented, and field tested programs for people with disabilities that were so successful that they became national models.
Deborah enjoyed reading, traveling, and spending time with family and close friends. None of this though gave her as much joy as her own two children, Christine and Daniel. She was passionate about her family, for whom she had much love and devotion.
Deborah is predeceased by her mother Joan Brett Coup. She is survived by her husband Angel; children Christine Brett and Daniel Thomas; father Walter; siblings Deirdre, Amy, Clare, Kevin, Brendan, and Timothy.
Environmentalist Rachel Carson said, “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature—the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
ELEANOR HELEN ROES (1921 – 2011)
Eleanor was born in Jersey City, New Jersey. She raised four children, and during that time she worked part-time at the Educational Reading Service in Mahwah and was active in the community. She heard about the exciting new College coming to Mahwah and actively pursued employment with Ramapo. She was elated when she was hired as Senior Mail Clerk in 1973 and later promoted to Senior Clerk Typist. Eleanor thoroughly enjoyed her co-workers, the faculty, and the students. She loved the youthful energy of the College, the buzz of the mailroom and print shop, and participating in College activities. She especially enjoyed her walk from the parking lot to the top of the hill and talking to everyone she knew along the way. During her tenure with Ramapo, Eleanor’s leadership was evident and she was asked to serve on several committees. She brought this leadership to the community as well. She served as a County Committeewoman for 30 years and was involved in The Mahwah Women’s Club, The Republican Club, and the Mahwah Senior Citizens Club, but she enjoyed shopping most of all. Eleanor retired from the College after 20 years of service in 1993. She is predeceased by her husband, Henry Rose. Eleanor is survived by her four children, Gerri Venino, Robert Royce, Carolyn Hopper, and Pamela Roes; her eight grandchildren; and four great-granddaughters. Her granddaughter, Patty Royce, will graduate from the College in May 2012.
ROBERT RUSSELL (1953 – 2012)
Robert began his career at Ramapo College in 1987 and retired in 2008 as a Senior Building Maintenance Worker. During his time at Ramapo, he supervised the College Park Apartments, and was later responsible for the care and maintenance of the Auxiliary Gym in the Bill Bradley Sports and Recreation Center. He is remembered for his consistent assistance and set-up service to faculty, students, staff, and all guests of the College.
MARILYN SACCHI (1943 – 2011)
Marilyn was born in Portsmouth, Virginia. Her family relocated to New Jersey where her father was a United States Postal Worker and her mother owned a beauty salon in Manhattan called “Antoinettes.” Marilyn had served as Bookkeeper for the Hackensack Welfare Board before joining the College in 1971. She quickly became an integral member of the Payroll and Benefits offices and was recognized for her attention to detail and dedication, steadily earning promotions to supervisor of Accounts and, later, Director of Payroll and Benefits. She enjoyed her colleagues and sharing her many interests with them. Many people knew Marilyn as the “cat lady” since she had a fondness for the stray cats on campus and did her best to keep them fed. Marilyn retired after 20 years of service to the College in 1991 and relocated to North Carolina with her family. She is remembered as a valued contributor to the operations and the spirit of the College. Outside of work, Marilyn enjoyed gardening, shopping, reading, adventure television, and perusing flea markets. She is survived by her husband, Joe, who retired from IBM and currently resides in North Carolina; and her brother, John, a Wal-Mart employee in North Carolina
MERRILEE “LEE” SCOTT (1945 – 2012)
Lee was born in New York City, New York and last resided in Mahwah, New Jersey. Prior to joining Ramapo, she had a few part-time jobs and was a full-time mom to three children. Lee was hired as temporary staff in the mid 1990’s, but her diligence and capacity were quickly noted and she was soon promoted to a full-time position. She worked for many years in the EOF program and the Center Health and Counseling, where she was beloved by students, faculty and staff alike for her incredible sense of humor, inspirational outlook and surprising rebellious streak. She loved the commkerunity at Ramapo and the friendships she developed during her time here. Lee was a self-proclaimed “flitter,” jumping from hobby to hobby over the years. In her spare time, she enjoyed cross-stitch, knitting, sign-language, line-dancing, Scrabble, jigsaw puzzles, and Sudoku. Lee’s family describe her as a “strong, smart, compassionate, funny, loyal, and true” individual. Lee is survived by her three children, Ian Scott and his wife Stephanie Scott; Kieran Viola and her husband Matthew Viola; and Erin Scott; five grandchildren, Peyton, MacKinley and Ava Scott and Brady and William Viola; and one adopted grandchild, Roxy Menhaji.
REV. RONALD “RON” STANLEY, O.P. (1940 – 2012)
Father Ron was born in New York City, New York and last resided in Midland Park, New Jersey. Prior to joining Ramapo, Father Ron was ordained a Dominican Priest in June of 1967 and for 20 years, he lived and worked in South Bronx, New York. He also worked with youth groups and leadership training programs and traveled through much of Latin American, including trips to the Dominican Republic. After 20 years, he decided he was ready for a change and became a Campus Minister at Rutgers University before becoming the Catholic Campus Minister at Ramapo College. Before his ordination as a priest, he earned an M.A. in Philosophy and a license in Sacred Theology. In 1970, he received an M.S. in Social Work from Columbia University. Father Ron enjoyed working with college students. During breaks in January and May, he organized yearly trips to the mountains of the Dominican Republic and accompanied college students to perform community service there, where for two weeks the students lived and worked with poor farming families. Father Ron always looked forward to planning outings with the college students and hoped to instill in them an enthusiasm to join him on one of his trips to the Dominican Republic. “Father Ron took me on my first service trip to the Dominican Republic. If it weren’t for him, I would not have thrown myself into service work after graduate school. He helped change the course of my life,” said a former student. In 2006, he was awarded “The Russ Berrie Award for Making A Difference,” which included $35,000 that he used to continue his work in the Dominican Republic. Father Ron was described as a “loving priest – always available to counsel those who were in need, and guiding college students to ‘give back’ and do good work by helping those who had less than them.” He is survived by his two sisters, Carol Saccio and Diane Squassoni; and nephew, Jonathan Lopez. He is predeceased by his parents, James Stanley and Jennie Masciale Stanley.
SARAH BERNHARDT STULIK (1937 – 2011)
Sarah was born in Canton, Ohio. Prior to joining Ramapo, Sarah was an adjunct professor at Montclair State University and taught Theater Arts at Mamaroneck High School. She went on to graduate from Emerson College with a B.A. and M.A. in Speech and Theater Arts, delivering her thesis on “Readers Theater.” Sarah directed and acted in many community theater projects and performed various roles in one woman shows. She was a stage manager for a Summer Stock Musical Theater in Brunswick, Maine and, at West Side Presbyterian Church, she wrote, acted, and directed plays and musicals. Sarah was a member of Actors Equity and still holds the name Sarah Bernhardt. Sarah taught Effective Speech, Fundamentals of Speech, and Public Speaking at Ramapo. Sarah is remembered as being a mentor to and a fan of her students. Sara Gordon, a student in Sarah’s public speaking class, remembers her as “one of those professors who you could tell sincerely cared about her students. On the day of the final, Sarah said something unique to each student as they handed in their exams. She told me, “Keep working hard, because you are going to do amazing things one day. Those were the last words she would ever say to me and I am forever grateful for them.” Sarah is survived by her husband Lincoln Stulik; her daughter, Jessica Stulik Molnar; and her granddaughter, Katelyn Molnar.
KATHERINE TALBIRD (1930-2011)
Katherine joined Ramapo College in 1977 after having spent much of her career in the private sector working in New York and northern New Jersey. She joined Business Services as Senior Clerk Typist and over the course of her tenure with Ramapo she emerged as a leader. Her acute skills were quickly recognized by the College and over the next year she was promoted to Senior Clerk Stenographer, and then Principal Clerk Stenographer. Katherine often challenged herself with new tasks at Ramapo and is remembered for collaborating with her peers. In 1980, she was promoted to Statistician. Her attention to detail and analytical skills were observed by her then supervisors and shortly thereafter she assumed the role of Administrative Assistant in Business Services, and two years later as Assistant to the Vice President. A few years later, her business acumen and initiative were again recognized by the College and Katherine was promoted to Associate Vice President. She fulfilled this role for more than a decade until she retired in 1999. Katherine was also a member of the Ramapo College Foundation Honor Roll multiple times, having contributed her time and gifts to the Capital Campaign, the Berrie Center, endowments and special projects.
STEPHEN “STEVE” WARREN(1948 – 2011)
Stephen was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After a national search in 2006, Steve was selected to fill the role of Comptroller of The Ramapo College Foundation and the College’s Division of Institutional Advancement. Prior to joining Ramapo, Steve was the Chief Fiscal Officer of the Medical Campus at the University of Arkansas, the Deputy Comptroller at Tulane University, and a Senior Accountant at Temple University. Steve enjoyed his interaction with faculty and staff members and members of the Board of Governors. He will be remembered for being a caring, competent person, who always got the job done, and was always interested in fostering academic achievement in others. Steve had a special interest in national politics, finding unique pleasure in its absurdities, and often sharing these musings with friends and colleagues. He was incredibly well-read and held a tremendous knowledge of American and European history. He also enjoyed studying Astronomy. Steve is survived by his wife of 23 years, Donna, who has moved back to New Orleans— the city of her birth; his brother, Gary, who resides in Florida; and his mother, Zelda, of Philadelphia.
JOSEPH “JOE” WEDRAL (1932 – 2011)
Joe was born in Hackensack, New Jersey. Prior to joining Ramapo as Crew Supervisor in Building Management, he had his own Volkswagen auto repair business and then worked as a mechanic for the town of Allendale. At Ramapo, he enjoyed fixing things and building friendships with his coworkers. He enjoyed escorting Andy Rogers to the elevators to fix them; they became great friends and sailing buddies. Outside of work, he enjoyed being a private pilot, riding motorcycles, building and flying model airplanes, crafting homemade kites during Christmas time out of wrapping paper, rescuing and rehabilitating orphaned and injured animals, and dismantling anything he got his hands on in order to put it back together. Joe was described as a “great dad” and friends noted that “everyone loved him.” Joe is survived by his daughters, Kathleen and Mary-Jo Wedral; brother, Otto Wedral; and sister, Margaret Carley. He is predeceased by his wife, Mary Wedral; brother, Leonard Coyman; and his parents.
LORNE WEEMS (NO IMAGE)
Lorne was a lifelong resident of the Bronx, New York. Lorne started working at Ramapo College in 1996 where his commitment to the students in the Educational Opportunity Fund Program was indisputable.
Lorne was always available to students, both current and former, to offer advice and guidance. He is remembered by many as a man with a depth of talent and wisdom, wise beyond his years.
Lorne took great pride in mentoring Ramapo’s students and in their accomplishments.
Lorne did have favorites though. Those would be his two children, Nichelle and Quaseem. Nichelle, a Ramapo College alumnus, and Quaseem, a Lehman College graduate were his two proudest accomplishments.
He is remembered by his children as a loving and lovable character and an excellent Dad.
Even with the infinite hours Lorne dedicated to the students of Ramapo and the EOF Program, he did find time for hobbies.
He was an avid golfer, participating in tournaments. He also loved travel, photography, and just enjoyed learning from people.
Lorne is predeceased by his father, Walter James Weems Jr. and his brother Richard Quentin Weems.
He is survived by his mother, Shirley M. Weems; siblings Walter J. Weems, III, Sharon M. White, and LaSaundra Haynes; and children, Nichelle L. Weems and Quaseem M. Weems.
o “Something I will for always cherish is a picture and video I have of him meeting my daughter for the first time, a few weeks before his calling back home. He was my favorite man and I miss him dearly. Rest in peace Lorne,” said Gerilee Rosado, class of 2013.
o “I remember the first time I mentioned that I had just returned from vacation in Litchfield Beach, SC, Lorne smiled from ear to ear. He told me excitedly that it was one of his favorite golf destinations,” said Laura Plessner, professional staff.
o “Mr. Weemes’ dedication to Psi Sigma Phi ZETA Chapter helped us succeed on campus through various programs. In addition to campus involvement his personal guidance enabled us to transition into respectable young men and contributors to society post- graduation,” said former student Ramon Daniel.
(Harold Katz of the School of Theoretical and Applied Science performed a song he wrote about Lorne.)
DavidWelch joined the Ramapo faculty in the fall of 1972. Throughout his tenure at the college he taught courses in world music,American music, music of Africa, the African diaspora, as well as musical theater. He also composed the Ramapo College Alma Mater. He was born and raised in Portland, Oregon and received his PhD in Ethnomusicology at Northwestern University based on field work he had done in Nigeria in the late 1960s. He continued research in this area and published his book Voice of Thunder/Eyes of Fire: In Search of Shango in the African Diaspora in 2001. He was an active member of the Society for Ethnomusicology. David had a parallel career as a composer and musical director of a number of musicals and reviews that were produced in a variety of venues including several Off-Broadway theaters.
JULIA YSORDIA (1933-2010)
Julia Ysordia was born in New York City. She lived life to the fullest, had a very big heart and was open to the world around her. She traveled often and approached life enthusiastically. Before coming to Ramapo, she worked at a small construction company as a bookkeeper. She answered an advertisement in The Bergen Record for employment at Ramapo College. She soon joined the College and became principal operator auto type. She fit well into the Ramapo culture, and particularly enjoyed her time in the Communications Workers of America union. She considered many coworkers close friends, and cared for them just as she did her family. They even spent time together outside of work. They would travel to her favorite place, the Casino Boat, in Atlantic City. As much as Julia traveled, her time was made more memorable by sharing it with others, especially her husband, Arthur.