1940s Featured Legacies Legacies

James Robertson Ward (BSJ44)

James R. Ward, 98,  resident of Glen Ellyn for 63 years, passed away on January 24, 2020 at Wynscape Health & Rehabilitation, Wheaton. Ward was born August 12, 1921 in Aurora, Illinois to Rev. Elias and Genevieve (Robertson) Ward. Although his home base was Aurora, he lived in and attended elementary schools in Plattville, Sheridan, Paw Paw and Hampshire; he graduated from Plainfield High School in 1938.

At Northwestern University he joined the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and became a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and the Deru Society; he served as editor of the Daily Northwestern in 1941. WWII interrupted his senior year studies as he worked in the Office of Civilian Defense-Youth Division as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s staff. In 1942 he then graduated from Northwestern and also received a commission as a Navy officer.

Ward served as an aviation specialist stateside and later in the South Pacific as lieutenant fight director on the USS Bataan (CVL-29) until 1945. Following the war, he returned to Northwestern to complete his Master of Science in journalism in 1949; his first job was writing news for CBS in Chicago. He transitioned to work as special assistant to the president of Hotpoint and later was with R. H Donnelly/Donnelly Marketing’s (Oakbrook) as Midwest sales manager for 32 years. Following “retirement” in 1986, he purchased Hinsdale Travel which he continued to own until 1996. He then shifted to selling farm real estate with Coleman Land Company (St. Charles) from which he fully retired in 2007 at the age of 86.

Ward married Mary Lorena (Marilo) Lotts (Mendota & Ottawa) in 1947; they were together 41 years until her death in 1988. JoAnn (Hickey) Williams (Glen Ellyn) and Jim were married in 1989 until her death in 2009.

He had many interests and supported many organizations through his active participation. These included: founding the Lake Ellyn Yacht Club, First Methodist Church of Glen Ellyn, Wheaton Community Radio Amateurs (call sign W9DHX), Boy Scouts of America, American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), Skål International travel, Clan Donnachaidh Society (Scottish heritage), Sheridan Historical Society, Northwestern University’s John Evans Club, and The Chicago Farmers for which he was international travel coordinator for many years.
Jim is survived by his special friend Jeannine Warkow of Winfield, Illinois. Additional survivors include two sons, Jeffrey Ward (Dr. Julie Bjoraker) of Dover, Minnesota and Dr. Robertson Ward (Diane) of Provo, Utah. He is also survived by three grandchildren, Caryn Ward Lantz (Charles) of Burnsville, Minnesota, Brandon Ward (Cielle) of Parker, Colorado, and Shane Ward (Carly) of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and six great-grandchildren. Jim is also survived by a much-loved extended family.

Ward was also preceded in death by his parents, one stepbrother, and three stepsisters.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Medill School of Journalism, c/o Northwestern University, Alumni Relations and Development, 1201 Davis St, Evanston, Illinois 60208 or the Sheridan Historical Society Museum, 185 N. Robinson St., Sheridan, Illinois, 60551.

Photo: Jim Ward at the Daily Northwestern. Tribute and photo provided by Jeff Ward. 

1940s Legacies

Noel C. Peltier, (BSJ47, MSJ48)

Noel Charles Peltier died December 29, 2019. Noel was born and raised in the City of Chicago. He proudly served in the Military Police during World War II, then graduated from Medill with two degrees in journalism. Noel married Lois Olsen in 1947.

For years, Peltier’s first job out of college was working as a police reporter for the City News Bureau. He then moved into corporate marketing where he developed specialized in pharmaceuticals for Mead Johnson and Abbott Labs. His crowning career achievement, however, was 20 years of teaching at Barat College, which friends and family said he enjoyed so much that he tried to keep his age a secret so he wouldn’t be forced to retire.

Peltier’s wife, Lois, died in March, 2019, a few months after the couple’s 71st wedding anniversary. The couple are survived by their children, Noel and Patrice, and niece Patricia Peltier.

1940s Legacies

Kenneth Loss (MSJ49)

Kenneth D. Loss, born November 11, 1924 in Penns Creek, Penn., passed away peacefully at RiverWoods Nursing Care Center on Feb. 29, 2020. He was 95 years old.

After graduating from Mifflinburg High School in 1942, Loss went on to Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove. He enlisted and served a short stint in the Army Air Corps toward the end of World War II.

After earning his masters from Medill he went to work for The Grit newspaper where he spent 32 years, working his way up in the company to eventually become the managing editor.

At the age of 58, he left The Grit to pursue his original course and went in to the ministry for the United Methodist Church. He served parishes in Loganton, Osceola Mills, and South Williamsport before finally retiring for good at the age of 75. But during the course of his Grit tenure, he also served as a lay supply minister for various parishes around central Pennsylvania when the need arose.

He never lost his interest in current events and sports, reading the newspaper, cover-to-cover, every day until just before his death.
e was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, L. Geraldine Loss, in December 2012, and his youngest daughter, Karen E. Loss, in June 2019.

He is survived by three children, Douglas R. Loss (Ruby) of Maryville, Tenn., Jo A. Saltzman (Ron) of Coatesville, and Susan D. Laidacker (Dave) of Danville; four grandchildren, Timothy Fargus (Jocelyn), Jonathan Laidacker (Andra), Laura Moore, and Stefanos Loss; and seven great-grandchildren, Watson, Vivian, Frederick and Harold Fargus, Cecilia and Oliver Laidacker, and Jameson Moore.

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Murray Olderman (MSJ47)

Murray Olderman, an author and journalist who for more than six decades chronicled the sports world with his nationally syndicated cartoons in addition to writing features and columns, died on Wednesday in Rancho Mirage, Calif. He was 98.

Olderman was inducted into Medill’s Hall of Achievement in 2015. He traveled to Chicago to receive his award.

Olderman graduated as a journalism major from the University of Missouri. He received another bachelor’s degree from Stanford, where he studied French in a World War II Army program and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. After the war, he obtained his master’s from Medill.

From Mickey Mantle to Joe Namath and Bear Bryant to Tiger Woods, Olderman  covered them all. For 35 years he was a syndicated columnist and cartoonist whose work was distributed by Newspaper Enterprise Association to 650 daily newspapers. After serving as executive editor of NEA, he retired from the syndicate but remains active as a writer and artist.

One of the leading national authorities on pro football, Olderman was a past president of the Football Writers Association of America and the founder of the Jim Thorpe Trophy (for the NFL’s most valuable player) and the Maurice Podoloff Trophy (for the NBA’s MVP). His football murals hang in the Pro Football Hall of Fame at Canton, Ohio. He was inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame, the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, and is in the writers’ wing of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

In 2013, he published a personal account of his time in the war. “A year apart…Letters from War-Torn Europe,” featured his letters to his wife written from Europe at the end of World War II with added insight into his experience abroad and his family.

He is survived by his daughter Lorraine and another daughter, Marcia Linn; a son, Mark; a sister, Diane Morton; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. His wife, Nancy (Calhoun) Olderman, died in 2011.

Photo: Taya Lynn Gray/The Desert Sun

1940s Legacies

Annie-Kate Carpenter (BSJ45)

Annie-Kate Carpenter, 96, passed away Wednesday, October 14, 2020. Born in Tampa, Florida, on May 31, 1924, she was the daughter of John Selby Brengle and Mary Margaret Monroe Brengle. She graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 1945.

After working with the Associated Press and the Chicago Tribune, she returned to Tampa to teach elementary school, high school and college students. She attended Hyde Park Presbyterian Church and was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, DAR, the St. Andrew’s Society, the Florida Genealogical Society and the Huguenot Society of Florida. 

Annie-Kate was preceded in death by her parents and by her daughter, Mary-Phyllis Dolcimascolo Harvey. She is survived by her son, Samuel B. Dolcimascolo (Mary Margaret); son-in-law, John W. Harvey; grandchildren, Paul S. Dolcimascolo (Jessica), Mollie Dolcimascolo, Caroline Elizabeth Harvey, and Mary Kate Harvey; and three great-grandchildren.

1940s Featured Legacies Legacies

John H. Worthington (MSJ48)

John Henry Worthington, a navigator and proud WWII veteran, died Oct. 16, 2019. He was 97. He graduated from Temple University and earned his master’s degree from Medill in 1948. He lived in Evanston and worked for the Chicago Sun Times, before moving to Michigan, where he worked for The Detroit News for eight years. He completed his career as an editor and publisher of the D.A.C. News . After his wife’s death, Worthington moved to Foxboro, Mass., where he took up golf, gardened, went on walks with his beloved pet, Diva, and enjoyed a leisurely retirement.

Worthington is survived by his children, grandchildren, and brother.

1940s Legacies

Billie M. Jones (MSJ48)

Billie M. Jones (MSJ48), a reporter, editor and teacher, died Sept. 18, 2019 at the age of 95. She and her husband, Hugh N. Jones, were married for 71 years. Jones, born from generations of coal mining interest developers in Cherokee and Crawford counties, was herself a member of the Miners Hall and Museum in Franklin and contributed to the Miners Park in Pittsburg.

After finishing high school in 1942, she worked on a production line, first making detonators for WWII 150mm anti-aircraft shells and then as an administrative clerk compiling reports from production lines. She later attended the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas and graduated in 1947. During summer vacations, she worked as a reporter for the Pittsburg Headlight and Pittsburg Sun.

In 1948 she received a master’s degree from Medill in and for the next two years was a reporter for the Metropolitan Section of the Chicago Tribune. In 1950 she retired to raise a family but she continued to do freelance writing and editing. From 1966 to 1968 she worked as Associate Editor of the Scarsdale Inquirer, a weekly New York newspaper, and from 1969 to 1971 was a Public Information Officer for the Center for Urban Education in New York City. After receiving teaching and supervising credentials from the City College of New York she began her 25 years of work as a teacher and administrator for the New York City public schools.

Besides her husband, survivors include her children, grandchildren, and nieces and nephews.

1940s Featured Legacies Legacies

Marilynn Bruder Alsdorf (BS46)

Marilynn Bruder Alsdorf, a lifelong Chicagoan and philanthropist known as the “queen of Chicago’s arts community,” died Aug 1, 2019. She was 94.  Alsdorf and her late husband were passionate art collectors and devoted patrons of the arts, and their contributions of art collections and funding enriched some of Chicago’s most valued art institutions.

In 2006, her contributions to the Art Institute of Chicago endowed a museum curatorial position and art history professorship and made possible a renovation of the galleries for Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Art, which opened in 2009.

Hundreds of pieces from the Alsdorf Collection are on display in the galleries, which are designed by Renzo Piano.

Art Institute President James Rondeau told the Chicago Tribune: “Marilynn was a true connoisseur. With true and wide ranging curiosity and knowledge, an exquisite eye, and commitment to bringing the best to Chicago, she elevated the collections of institutions around the city.”

Alsdorf also gave generously to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art, according to Ed Horner Jr., a former executive vice president of the Art Institute who spoke with the Tribune

Alsdorf was born and raised on the Far North Side of Chicago. She graduated from Medill in 1946, and married Joseph Alsdorf not long after. Before the couple began collecting art, she worked briefly as a model for commercial and fashion photographers.

The Alsdorfs bought their first painting (by Amedeo Modigliani) at a Chicago auction, and began a collection known among collectors for its diversity and quality.

“She and her husband traveled the world back in the 1950s and 1960s when others were not going to Southeast Asia and places like that,” Suzanne McCullagh, former chairman of the Art Institute’s Department of Prints and Drawings, told the Tribune.

The Alsdorfs amassed an “extraordinary” and “encyclopedic” collection of Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian art, according to Horner. He added that although Alsdorf’s collections were diverse and eclectic, she could curate the objects so they would speak to each other.

Alsdorf also had a “great eye and great knowledge” when collecting contemporary and modern art, McCullagh told the Tribune.

Alsdorf and her husband were always eager to learn about art and artists from across the globe. After Mr. Alsdorf’s death in 1990, she remained an active collector, adding works by Mark Rothko, René Magritte, Wassily Kandinsky, Frida Kahlo and Fernand Léger, among others.

“Her vision and philanthropy can be experienced every day in the Art Institute’s Alsdorf Galleries,” Rondeau told the Tribune.

She is survived by her son Jeffrey, her daughter Lynne, and six grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren.

1940s Featured Legacies Legacies

Edith Van Tuyle Phelan (BSJ46)

Edith Van Tuyle Phelan, a great-great-grandmother and lifelong volunteer, died June 19, 2019, at the age of 94. She was born in rural lllinois, but graduated from high school in Winchester in 1942.

She was active in the women’s athletic association, a sports reporter for the student newspaper and a member of the Chi Omega sorority.

Phelan was a member of Northwestern women’s rifle team, which was nicknamed the “Pistol Packin’ Mamas.” Before graduating, Phelan married Dick Phelan, a graduate of Northwestern’s engineering program, in 1945, and had four children.

As president of the Northwestern Alumnae Association she was honored with an award for her service in 1981, and in 1996 she served as co-chairman of her class’s 50th reunion celebration.

She volunteered for the Children’s Home and Aid Society of Illinois, and was recognized by the Chicago State Street Council for her efforts. She served as a librarian for the First Presbyterian Church of Evanston and for fifty-four years as a judge for Cook County elections.

She was a member of the Chicago North Shore Chi Omega Alumnae group, the Evanston Woman’s Athletic Club, the North Shore Senior Center and the Winnetka Genealogy Writers Group.

She is survived by her husband of 74 years, Richard A. Phelan; two daughters, Carolyn Arra and Peggy; two sons, Robert and James; one granddaughter, seven grandsons, one great-granddaughter, three great-grandsons and one great-great-grandson.