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Granville Cooley (BSJ56)

Granville C. Cooley age 86 of Paris, died Friday, August 6, 2021, at his home following a short battle with cancer.

Granville loved dancing and singing and the many friends he made doing so, especially his dear friends at the Friday Night Blues.

Born August 31,1934, in Tulare, CA, he was the son of the late Buford Cooley and the late Flossie Burkett Cooley.

He graduated high school in Blytheville, Arkansas, and went on to study journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.

He worked for United Press Chicago, Herald-Palladium of Benton Harbor, Michigan, and The Journal-Standard of Freeport, IL.

He was married for six years to the former Mary Elizabeth Street, who survives of Flippin, AR, and is survived by their two children, Mark Cooley and Carmen (Mark) Watkins, both of Paris; grandchildren, Jason Rabey and Jessica (Parke) Homesley; and seven great-grandchildren: Levi, Finley, Josh, Harlie, Ezra, Lily and Ruby.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 19 years, Donna Gail Rhodes Caldwell Cooley, with whom he shared a love for travel and a love for their church, First United Methodist of Paris.

Source: Published by the Paris Post-Intelligencer

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Marjorie Brumitt (BSJ51)

Marjorie F. Brumitt, 92, died peacefully on September 11, 2021. She was born in Canton, Ohio to Lois Isabel Pence and John Edward Fick. 

Marge attended Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, where she was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority and an active participant in and fan of all NU sports prior to and after her graduation. She returned to Evanston after graduation to work at Kemper Insurance Company, and met and married her late husband of 61 years, Robert W. Brumitt. She was a volunteer with Evanston Hospital, the Kappa House Board, the Junior League of Evanston, Girl Scouts and most recently the First Presbyterian Church of Wilmette. There she served as an Elder, Trustee, Treasurer, Sunday School Teacher and was pleased to be a charter member of the Chancel Bell Choir. She was a devoted daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother and was happiest spending time with her family. She is survived by her children Jane, William (Yvana), Ellen (Robert) Brown, and Nan (Edward) Scott, her grandchildren, Haley, Stuart (Verity) and Connor Brown, Ella Brumitt, Cullen, Brennan and Maeve Scott, great-grandson, Hugo Brown, her brother John (Carole) Fick, her cousin Norman Jackson, brother in law Roland (Vicki) Brumitt and many nieces and nephews. In addition to her husband and parents, she is preceded in death by her sister Virginia (late John) Fellows, brothers in law Richard (Barbara) and Raymond Brumitt, and sister in law, Janice Brumitt. 

The family wishes to thank the staff at Emerald Place for their care and kindness these past few years. 

Source: Published by Chicago Tribune on Sep. 15, 2021.


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Donald Shanor (BSJ51)

Donald Read Shanor of Edgartown and Chappaquiddick, foreign correspondent, author, and former Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism professor, died on August 31, 2021, at his Edgartown home after a brief illness. He was 94. 

He and his late wife, Constance (Collier) Shanor, first came to Martha’s Vineyard in the early 1970s, and became year-round residents in 1993. Their Pierce Lane home was once an icehouse on Sheriff’s Meadow Pond, and was moved to its present site in the 1920s. To be closer to the ocean in the summer, the Shanors built, with their own hands, a getaway on Chappaquiddick.

Don was born on July 11, 1927, in Ann Arbor, Mich., a son of William and Katherine (Read) Shanor. He was a graduate of Comstock Park High School in Comstock Park, Mich., and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., in 1951. In 1965 he received an M.S. degree from Columbia University

In 1945–46, Don served in the U.S. Naval Reserve in the Pacific. A lifelong animal lover (devoted especially to Chesapeake Bay retrievers), he frequently regaled his children about the time he adopted a monkey on a Pacific island stop and taught it how to type.

It was at Medill that he met Connie Collier, who would be his wife for the next 66 years. In the early 1950s, the young couple took a freight boat to England to find work as journalists. They lived abroad for several years — for a time, on a houseboat on the Thames River in London — when Don worked for United Press International. Later, as a foreign correspondent for the Chicago Daily News, covering Germany and Eastern Europe, the Shanors lived in Bonn, Germany, and Vienna, Austria. They also lived in Beijing, China, where Don taught journalism at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Don was on the faculty of the Journalism School at Columbia University from 1970 to 1993, where he headed the international division for foreign students. He was present at the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9, 1989. In the days that followed, he walked the entire 29-mile length of the barrier that divided East and West Berlin to interview Germans who had lived with the wall since 1961. Along the way, he collected small pieces of concrete rubble to bring home to his children. 

He was the author of five books, including “Soviet Europe,” and co-author, with his wife, of “China Today.” At the time of his death, Don was completing his late wife’s biography about Isabel Barrows, America’s first female ophthalmologist.

If he was not writing, chopping wood, or listening to classical music, Don Shanor was likely to be found with a hammer and nails building something. Once, he decided to build his own catboat. It was never sailed, however, though his granddaughter, Zoe Shanor, a frequent companion of his on outdoor adventures, is planning to get it — at last — into the water.

Even in his 80s, he was indefatigable. He looked forward to the Land Bank’s annual cross-Island hike, and enjoyed long rides on his Chinese bicycle, the Flying Pigeon. But there was nothing as wonderful as ice skating with Zoe on Sheriff’s Meadow Pond.

Don is survived by his sister, Alice Marsh of Grand Rapids, Mich..; two daughters, Rebecca Shanor of New York City and Lisa Shanor of Oak Bluffs; and a granddaughter, Zoe Shanor of Oak Bluffs. In addition to his wife, he was predeceased by a son, Donald Jr.; a brother, Richard; and a sister, Katherine Baum. A private celebration of life will be held.

Contributions in his memory may be made to the Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation, Box 1088, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.

Source: Published on The Martha’s Vineyard Times

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Richard Hill (BSJ52, MSJ53)

Richard Albert Hill, 90, of Naperville, IL died peacefully on October 17, 2021. “Dick” was the son of Swedish immigrants Albert and Anna Hill and is survived by his loving wife of 61 years Nancy Hill (Parkinson), his two children Janet Hill of Chicago and Steven (Laura) Hill of Westerville OH, and two grandchildren Erica Hill and Kelly Hill. Born March 5, 1931, in Chicago, IL Dick was raised in Oak Brook and attended Northwestern University where he received BS and MS degrees in Journalism from the Medill School of Journalism. Dick remained a loyal, but frustrated, Northwestern football fan for life. 

After a short stint in the Army, Dick began his career as a writer for United Press International in North Dakota and often told many weather stories about how cold it was there. He met his future wife Nancy, while working in North Dakota. A job with Illinois Bell brought Dick back to the Chicago area where he and Nancy lived and raised their two children. They remained in Naperville for over 50 yrs. Dick enjoyed a 35-year career with AT&T, Illinois Bell, and Ameritech working in Public Relations, Media Relations and Corporate Communications, often being the voice of the company to report telephone news to the public. 

During his career, Dick developed a passion for sailing on Lake Michigan. Many family adventures were had sailing into the ports in Michigan and Wisconsin. Dick was a man of good humor and his stories and jokes always entertained friends and family. He will be greatly missed, but his family is grateful for their warm memories of this tall, gentle, humble, good-natured man.

Source: Published by Naperville Sun on Oct. 24, 2021.

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Lawrence Dickerson (BSJ58)

Lawrence Edwin Dickerson, Jr., 90, a retired Lockheed Martin manager and Marine Corps Reserve colonel, died October 26, 2021.  

Lawrence was born July 31, 1931 in Oak Hill, West Virginia, the son of Lawrence Edwin, Sr. and Gertrude McQuade Dickerson.  He graduated from Oak Hill High School, where he played football, was a member of the track team and editor of the school newspaper, in 1950.  After graduation, unable to afford college, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps.  He served as a staff sergeant during the Korean War before returning to the U.S. to attend the Marine Corps Officers Candidate Screening Course.  He was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1952 and subsequently served as a platoon leader in the 2nd Marine Division and as a company commander and instructor in the Marine Corps Infantry School at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. 

After release from active duty, Dickerson enrolled at Northwestern University and graduated in 1958 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism.  At Northwestern he was president of the Alpha Delta Phi social fraternity and Pi Alpha Mu professional fraternity.  While still a student, he married Charlotte Griffiths of Canton, Ohio.  

Dickerson remained in the Marine Corps Reserve, serving as Executive Officer of 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines and a regimental staff officer in the 15th Staff Group.  He and three other members of Mobilization Training Unit IL-2 were awarded a Meritorious Unit Commendation from the Secretary of the Navy.  Other military awards included the Organized Marine Corps Medal with two bronze stars, the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, the Korean Service Medal with a bronze battle star, and the United Nations Service Medal.  He retired in 1981 as a colonel after 30 years of service.  

Lawrence and his family lived in Arlington Heights, Illinois and Yardley, Pennsylvania before moving to Burke, Virginia.  In Virginia, he was employed by GE Aerospace, which through merger with Martin Marietta and Lockheed became Lockheed Martin Corporation.  He won a GE Systems Operation Award of Excellence in 1987 and Lockheed Martin President’s Award in 1997.  

While living in Illinois, he was a trustee of the Arlington Heights Memorial Library; President of the Chicago Chapter, Marine Corps Reserve Officers Association; a coach in the Arlington Heights Boys Football League and a Boy Scout leader.  

Dickerson participated in more than 1500 road races and track events, running in all 50 states and was a USA Track and Field Masters All American.  He ran on GE, Martin Marietta and Lockheed Martin track teams in corporate competition, winning several national championships as well as running the Chicago, Boston, Penn Relays, Prevention, and Marine Corps Marathons. He was also president of the Mount Vernon Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, a Director of the Potomac Valley Track Club, a docent at the National Museum of the Marine Corps and a USA Track and Field official.  

Dickerson authored Running All the Way:  A Marine, a Runner, a Journey through Life, a memoir.  Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Charlotte Griffiths Dickerson of Burke, Virginia; three children Catherine Dickerson Scott of Carmel, Indiana; Andrew and Erin Brady Dickerson of Evanston, Illinois; Steven and Susan Dickerson Vinisky of Crozet, Virginia; four grandchildren, William (Bill) Scott, Andy and Amy Scott Knueven, Madeline Dickerson, and Charlotte Dickerson; and great grandchildren, Adam Knueven and Anna Knueven.

Source: Obituary on Tribute Archive

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Carol Bringham (BSJ52)

Carol Hope Larsen Bringham, 91, of North Andover, MA and formerly of Alexandria, VA and Mission Viejo, CA, passed away peacefully on Saturday, November 6, 2021 at Lawrence General Hospital of cardiac arrest. Carol was born in Ogden, Utah on October 9, 1930 to Boyd and Verda (McLean) Larsen. She grew up in Ogden, Utah, Yellowstone National Park, WY (she loved to tell of her and her siblings acting as pseudo Jr. Park Rangers and giving tourists tours around the park), Rawlings, Powell and Cody, WY, and Landover Hills, MD (near Washington D.C.) and graduated from Western High School in Washington, D.C. She also worked for the Washington Post part time during WWII fostering her love of Journalism while working with war correspondents. 

She attended Northwestern University in Evanston, IL for two years as a Journalism Major. She would tell you that while there, Northwestern (a generally non-football school) went to the Rose Bowl with Ara Parsegian (future Notre Dame great) as coach. 

Her college and Journalism career got sidelined however, when on a visit to Japan to see her parents, who were living there (her father was assigned there for the CIA working on budgeting-so the story goes) she met and then married a young soldier by the name of William (Bill) Neale Bringham. When Bill told people he was getting married and was in Japan everyone assumed it was to a Japanese girl but no, somehow he found one of the only American girls in the country. She was a devoted Army wife and mother to four children. She and Bill moved around the world as Bill rose to the rank of Lt. Col. in 27 years of service, They lived in Fukioka, Japan (where son Bill Jr. was born), Tacoma, WA (where son Rick was born), Fairbanks, AK (where daughter Peggy was born in the middle of winter-oh my!), Baltimore, MD, Ft. Leavenworth, KS, Omaha, NE, Alexandria, VA (where son Jim was born while her husband was in Vietnam), Monterey, CA, Stuttgart, Germany, and Mons, Belgium. 

After Bill retired from the Army they had to decide where to live between Southern CA where Bill grew up and the Washington D.C. area where Carol grew up (mostly). CA won and, still being nomadic, they lived in Santa Monica, San Marino, Fullerton, Walnut Creek, CA and finally in Mission Viejo, CA where they lived for many years. Carol said that she was an expert mover after having moved over 30 times (because in the Army you move even within an assigned area as you get better housing assignments). Her husband Bill died in 2006 after they had been married for 55 years. Shortly thereafter her beloved younger sister Lois Walker, also widowed, asked her to move in together in Alexandria, VA and she said (being from Washington, D.C) heck yes. Thus began the legendary duo dubbed “Thelma and Louise” as they traveled all over the country in Lois’ Prius. Carol loved the camaraderie and political environment she found near Washington D.C. for many years. Unfortunately, a tragic end took Lois from us early in 2013 (she was 10 years younger than Carol) and Carol decided to come live with her son Rick and his wife Erin in North Andover, MA where she has lived the past seven years. 

Carol was a voracious reader, sometimes going through four to five books in a week. She had an intellectual curiosity about a wide range of topics including technical or esoteric things such as fractals in nature, DNA research and Apple cell phone design history. Carol was a wonderful and prolific quilter and made many beautiful quilts for all those close to her. 

Carol was predeceased by her husband Bill, by her sisters, Nancy Turner of Alexandria, VA and Lois Walker and her husband John of Alexandria, VA and is survived by her brothers, Joel Larsen and his wife Judy of Shelburne, VT and Gary Larsen and his wife Sharon, of Stamford, CT. Carol is survived by her four children: Bill Bringham, Jr. of Santa Ana, CA; Rick Bringham and his wife Erin of North Andover, MA; Peggy Henson of Boerne, TX and Jim Bringham and his wife Elizabeth of Maitland, FL. She is survived by five grandchildren: Nicole Zak and her husband Jay of Benton, AR; Danielle Hamilton and her husband Clayton of Cholchester, VT; Chris Henson and his wife Maggie of San Antonio, TX; Grace Bringham and Gianna Bringham of Maitland, FL. She is survived by four great-grandchildren: Jazmin Zak and Nathan Zak of Benton, AR, and Emma Henson and Juniper Henson of San Antonio, TX. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews She was also blessed by the constant communication and support she received, even though they didn’t live close by, from her brother Gary Larsen, her niece Donna James and her friend Marian Van Landingham. 

Source: Published by The Washington Post on Nov. 18, 2021.

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Jack Botts (MSJ50)

Jack C. Botts, 97, died Thursday January 6th in Lincoln. He was born in Ludden, ND, to Dwight and Velcie Botts. He Attended schools in Ludden and Oakes, ND, and entered the Army Air Forces in 1943. He flew 51 missions in Europe as a radio operator in a B-17 crew based in Italy.

He enrolled in the University of Nebraska after the war and studied journalism while working at the Lincoln Journal. He was awarded membership to Sigma Delta Chi fraternity for outstanding achievement, and graduated in 1949. He then entered Northwestern University on a scholarship, where he received a master’s degree in 1950.

He married Dorris Everhart of Des Moines, IA, in 1950 and returned to the Lincoln Journal where he held several editorial positions until 1966, when he accepted a position as assistant professor at the University of Nebraska School of Journalism. He taught both writing and editing courses during his 24 years at UN-L. He became an associate professor in 1968 and a sequence head in 1969. He was made full professor in 1973 and a member of the graduate faculty in 1975. He managed and taught the Midwest division of an editing internship program for the Newspaper Fund from 1968 to 1976.

He received the Bereuter Distinguished Teaching Award in 1984, and became a member of the UN-L Teaching Council. In 1979 he was made chairman of the News-Editorial Department. He was a member of the University’s Task Force on Undergraduate Education, the Writing Coordinating Committee, the Honorary Degree Committee and the Scholarships Committee. In 1987 he was appointed a Distinguished College Professor and was named the Fred and Gladys Seaton Professor of journalism. In 1987 he was named the Distinguished Journalist of the year by the Kappa Tau Alpha scholarship society. He retired from the university in 1990.

He authored six books after retiring: 2 autobiographies, 3 novels, and a handbook for news editors. He was a humanist, a Democrat and a conservationist, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Delta Chi, Kappa Tau Alpha, the Associated Press Managing Editors and the Nebraska Writers Guild.

He is survived by three children and their spouses: Chris and Alana Botts, Terry and Melanie Menzie and Mike and René Botts, all of Lincoln; two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. A son, Jeff died in 2010, and a brother, John, died in 2012. His wife, Dorris, died in April, 2017. A granddaughter, Teresa, died in 2018.

1950s Legacies

Yale Roe (BSJ50, G52)

ale Roe, age 92, passed away peacefully in his home in New York City on July 12, 2021. Born in Oak Park, IL, he attended Northwestern University where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a Master’s degree in Political Science. He was active in local politics, working with the late Senator Charles Percy and later running for congress on a strong anti- Vietnam War platform. He worked in all facets of the television industry beginning the 1950’s in San Francisco, New York and Chicago before he moved with his family to Jerusalem, Israel in 1972 where he lived until 1986.

In Israel, Yale produced documentary and industrial films for distribution in the United States. Upon his return to New York he established Yale Roe Films and produced award winning documentaries for television. He is also the author of three books. He is predeceased by his beloved wife of 35 years, Anita Kaskel Roe and his daughter Riki Roe. He is survived by his daughters Laura (David) Torres and Devorah (Ilan) Nov, son David (Ornit) Roe, his stepchildren Ken (Lan) Blum, Bruce (Susan) Blum and Nancy Feinglass as well as 20 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

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Richard “Dick” Stolley (BSJ52, MSJ53)

Alumnus Dick Stolley Dies at 92

Stolley is remembered as a magazine industry legend and founder of PEOPLE magazine

Watch a video of Dick Stolley talking about his Medill experience. 

Richard “Dick” Stolley (BSJ52, MSJ53) died peacefully in Evanston, Illinois, on June 16 with his family at his side. He was 92. Stolley was a member of the inaugural class of the Medill Hall of Achievement of 1997 and a member of Medill’s Board of Advisers since its first meeting in 1984.

Stolley is remembered for his many historic career endeavors in magazine publishing and editing. At Medill, he is revered as a true friend and dedicated alumnus who was always willing to talk to and mentor students and alumni.

“Dick was not only a towering figure in 20th century journalism, he was a tremendous friend and supporter of Medill,” said Medill Dean Charles Whitaker. “The talks he gave to students about his legendary career were riveting. He generously lent his time and talent to every Medill dean who called upon him. He will be sorely missed.”

Dick Stolley talking to Cherubs
Stolley speaking to the Medill Cherubs on July 23, 2015. Photo credit: Sarahmaria Gomez

Stolley was the founding editor of PEOPLE magazine and a longtime writer and editor for Time Inc.

In a statement provided by Dan Wakeford, editor in chief of People, Wakeford said:

“Dick Stolley was a legendary editor whose vision and execution established the most successful magazine of all time that America fell in love with. He was an amazing journalist whose work and magazine craft we still refer to every day at PEOPLE as it’s still so relevant. He wrote in his first editor’s letter in 1974, ‘PEOPLE will focus entirely on the active personalities of our time-in all fields. On the headliners, the stars, the important doers, the comers, and on plenty of ordinary men and women caught up in extraordinary situations.’ And that is what we still do nearly 50 years later — we tell stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things and extraordinary people doing ordinary things. I’m indebted to Dick for creating a magazine with heart that is a force for good and continues to change millions of lives.”

Stolley is also remembered for his work for Life magazine, where he pushed boundaries in his coverage of the fight for Civil Rights in the South and, most historically, for his success in obtaining the Abraham Zapruder footage of the assassination of JFK in Dallas in 1963.

Stolley described his first interaction with Zapruder in an article in Time magazine in 2013. Stolley explained that he located Zapruder by finding his listed number in the Dallas phone book.

“He politely explained that he was exhausted and overcome by what he had witnessed,” Stolley wrote. “The decision I made next turned out to be quite possibly the most important of my career. In the news business, sometimes you push people hard, unsympathetically, without obvious remorse (even while you may be squirming inside). Sometimes, you don’t. This, I felt intuitively, was one of those times you don’t push. I reminded myself: This man had watched a murder. I said I understood. Clearly relieved, Zapruder asked me to come to his office at 9 the next morning.”

Eventually, he was able to secure Zapruder’s footage for Life magazine for $50,000. That amount was bumped to $150,000 a week later to add additional rights for the magazine’s use of the film.

Stolley helped create PEOPLE magazine in 1973.  A test issue with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton gracing the cover “flew off the newsstands,” Stolley said in a 2015 interview, and the magazine launched in March 1974 with Stolley as editor.

“The one thing that I’ve always wanted to say, when we started, I said, this is not a celebrity magazine. This is personality journalism,” he said. “And we will be doing stories all over the world, which we did and still do, and it will be on all people in all walks of life. Some will be well known, some will not. Our motto was, ‘extraordinary people doing ordinary things, and ordinary people doing extraordinary things.’ And the formula worked then and still does.”

“Richard Stolley was a giant among journalists, one of the Medill School’s most accomplished alumni of all time,” said Roger Boye, associate professor emeritus-in-service. “His coverage of the John F. Kennedy assassination in 1963 for Life magazine, as well as of the civil rights movement in the South during the 1960s, will serve as models of initiative and professionalism for generations of journalists to come.  His entrepreneurial vision helped to bring about the founding of People magazine in 1974, with Dick as the magazine’s first managing editor.  He championed great story telling in journalism but only with meticulous attention to detail and total factual accuracy.  That is perhaps his greatest legacy.”

In addition to his roles at People magazine, Stolley was assistant managing editor and managing editor of Life magazine, as well as director of special projects for Time Inc.

Source: Medill and 6/17/2021

The family requests that gifts in memory of Dick Stolley be directed to the Medill School. Gifts may be made online or mailed to:

Northwestern University
Alumni Relations and Development, Gift Services
1201 Davis Street – Suite 1-400
Evanston, IL 60208-4410

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Linda Saran Remembers her Father, Medill Alumnus Sam Saran (BSJ50, MSJ50)

My Father was a complex man.  Unlike most of us, who try to conceal our flaws, he wore them prominently and proudly on his sleeve.  Who you saw was who you got.

He was a professional’s professional.  In the journalism world, he was the logistics reporter for any story he covered, never wavering in the chaos.  In the corporate world, he was the eye of the storm in a crisis.  He never shied from making decisions and doling orders.  The many accomplishments throughout his colorful career are summarized in his obituary.

Here, I will focus on, and celebrate, “Sam the Family Man”.  He and my dear mother Dena provided support to four generations.  As the children of immigrants, they gave to the best of their ability.  They always looked for needs and tried to fill them.

My Father showed, and stepped, up in any number of ways:  chief copy editor, career counselor, math tutor, 4th of July bike decorator, and letter writer on birthdays, holidays and during college years.

And then there were the fun and funny moments.

One Easter we opened what looked like a wooden toolbox, only to find a white poodle puppy, Si-Bon.  When we were little, we got airplane and horseback rides or, we got carried through the house while he called out something silly.

We had the blessing of watching him do the same with his grandchildren Thomas, Effie, Marina & Dena.  He loved to get down on the floor and give them horseback rides, build all kinds of architectural buildings, including the Acropolis, churches, libraries, the Arlington Race Track and whole little communities.  He loved practicing golf with them on the putting mat and looked forward to the annual fishing outing at Luther Village in Arlington Heights.  If my sister Laurie was in town, she had the dubious honor of preparing the hooks!  He taught the grandchildren the Greek alphabet, numbers, and many words.

One of my fondest memories is Saturday mornings in Sauganash.  Each Saturday, Dad would record his financial program from our den.  Laurie and I would beg to come in and he would let us, provided we were quiet.  Each Saturday, all it would take was one look, one mouthing of some provocatory sentence or one poke and the giggles would set in, uncontrollably.  Of course, they started silent, then rumbled through our bodies until they gasped out into the air.  We got a few “takes” and eventually, were dismissed.  Until next Saturday.  I’ve no idea how much time our shenanigans added to his process, but it sure was fun!

Another fond memory is of the Winter hockey playoffs.  Dad, my brother Don and I would follow the Chicago Black Hawks.  We had our own playoff on the tabletop game set up on the oversized marble coffee table in the den.  It was very competitive!  My parents were way ahead of their time in not limiting any one of us by gender.  So, I leaned in and played my little heart out and nobody let me win.  Yet, sometimes I did!  As I look back, that was a great training ground for many of the corporate antics I would later encounter throughout my career.  Dad supported Don’s hockey sport, which he took up.  Sometimes, they would skate at the park together.

They also shared a passion for music, particularly jazz.  All three of us took piano lessons, but Don was the gifted pianist.  Dad put on album after album and Don could start playing the piece by ear.  Mom played the piano, too.  Although Dad early dabbled at the guitar, he had always wanted to learn to play piano.

Dad always took an interest in Laurie’s and my musical ventures, our church and other choral groups, Laurie’s musicals and theatrical performances, and my CD’s recorded for Roy.  He also supported my artwork endeavors.  Laurie and Dad enjoyed watching all kinds of sports together, and once attended the Western Open Golf tournament.

As Greeks, we were all about our food, food, food!  Sunday after church meals at restaurants with our cousins and family friends.  Lockwood Castle sparklers for our birthdays.  Lou Malnati’s pizza.  Biasetti’s hamburgers.  Greek lamb wrapped in white paper at Easter, with the best feta and bread.  Coffeecake for Sunday breakfast.  Homemade Greek delicacies.  The funniest holiday tradition was at the Thanksgiving table, which was packed with our cousins and a few of my college friends who couldn’t get home.  We would take turns telling jokes just as a friend was taking a bite of the Kourabiedes…and wait for the powdered sugar to fly!  Tough crowd…

Our family saw much of the U.S.A, sometimes in a Chevrolet and other cars, and by plane.  Many vacations spent in Estes Park with our cousins and other family friends…California, the East Coast and others.  Among our most memorable in the early ‘60’s:  I was about five when we flew to New York.  Our sedan rental ended up being a mustang, which barely accommodated the five of us and our luggage.  It was unbelievably hot with no air conditioning.  Bodies and bags filled every square inch of that sports car.  It was on that trip that I developed my love of red MGs.  Back in the day of non-hovercraft parents, mine let cousin Zoe and her boyfriend, Tony, “adopt” me for the week, taking me to the beach, for subs and the carnival all in…you guessed it…Tony’s red MG.  We Sarans are all about our cars.  Dad purchased his last one in January 2020 and drove it to pick up his Mariano’s groceries just months before his passing.

One of our most memorable family vacations almost didn’t happen.  In 1984, I had tickets to join my parents in Greece, where they were celebrating their anniversary.  I got the idea to have Don and Laurie come as a surprise.  We hustled to make it happen.  I remember Don and I scrambling downtown to get his passport.  We barely made it in time for the flight, where Laurie was waiting for us.  Not to sound archaic, but that pre-dated cell phones so all of this drama happened with out communication or updates!  I asked my parents to meet me outside their hotel.  I remember walking toward them and, just as we met, Don and Laurie casually stepped out from behind a tree into our path.  They were shocked!  Of course, it never occurred to us we could give one of them a heart attack!

Among my fondest memories are of watching my parents dance, which they did any chance they got.  They could cut a rug with the best of them and lit up the dance floor!  They would both beam as they moved in synch with ease.  Now that Dad also has received his “angel” wings they’re doing a different kind of dance.

Godspeed, Dad…

Linda Saran 2021
Northwestern University B.A./M.S.C.