1960s Featured Legacies Legacies

George Owen Yost (MSJ68)

Owen Yost, 77, passed away at his home in Denton, Texas on July 17th.

Born January 1945 he spent his childhood near Chicago, in Kenilworth Illinois. He attended New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois and attended college at University of Missouri (Bachelor of Journalism ’67), Northwestern University (Master of Journalism ’68), and University of Texas Arlington (Master of Landscape Architecture ’82) and served in the U.S. Army.

The son of Llyod Morgan Yost and Winogene Springer, and brother to Elyn Mulder, Karyl Thorsen, Chari Binstadt. Owen leaves behind his beloved partner Nancy Collins, his son Creighton Yost, and grandchildren Carson Yost, Asher Yost, Collin Whisenhunt, Lauren Whisenhunt, and their families.

A lifelong athlete, he played baseball and football as a child and was well known for his swimming, setting records in high school and winning medals at the Texas Senior Games. He was a regular at the Texas Woman’s University pool and gym and deeply enjoyed the kindness and comradery of his TWU swimming friends and the University staff.  

He enjoyed nature in its natural wild state throughout his life. A favorite memory was his canoe trips with friends in college to boundary lakes in Canada for fishing and exploring. Always interested in geography and vocabulary he was quick to share what he learned about scientific names of trees and birds and worked throughout his life to conserve natural spaces to ensure their future.

An accomplished writer, writing advertising copy in Chicago in his early years, and later an accomplished landscape architect, guest lecturing at University of North Texas, writing a landscaping column for the Denton Record-Chronical newspaper, and working for Denton as a city planner. He designed the landscape for many Denton street plantings, and the Benny Simpson Garden on the TWU campus, leaving his lasting mark on his community.

To plant Memorial Trees in memory of George Owen Yost, please click here to visit our Sympathy Store.

1960s Featured Legacies

Henry DeZutter (MSJ65)

He had the street-smarts of a newsman, the whimsey of a jazz-loving poet, and a reformer’s distaste for all things unjust. Hank DeZutter, 80, died July 14 of a brain bleed after a fall days earlier in the Lincoln Park apartment he shared with wife Barbara.

Hank covered protests and political unrest during the late 60s for the Chicago Daily News, winning awards including one for exposing FBI spying on activists at the U. of Illinois. He helped launch the Chicago Journalism Review in response to the overly pro-police slant editors gave to violence during the ’68 Democratic Convention.

Hank went on to teach writing and journalism at city colleges and Columbia in the South Loop. There he helped found Community Media Workshop, a program to help neighborhood groups get better press. Meantime, he wrote for the Chicago Reader on neighborhood issues, including a 1995 front-pager on a then-unknown Barack Obama. In spare time, he wrote books, spun poetry for the Chicago Journal, played boogie piano, and made impossibly long golf putts.

Surviving are wife Barbara Belletini Fields; her daughters Jayne Mattson and Ana Boyer Davis; sons Max (Sarah), Chris, and daughter Amanda Kotlyar (Simon); stepson Agward “Eddie” Turner; sisters Joyce (Ronnie) Mooneyham and Wendy (Steve) Callahan; and five grandchildren. Predeceased by mother Evelyn (née Dammer) and father Henri DeZutter. Memorial gathering in planning. Gifts to Courage to Fight Gun Violence, Box 51196, Wash., DC 20091, or

Published in Chicago Tribune.

1960s Featured Legacies Legacies

Gail Harwell (BSJ62)

Gail Petersen Harwell, 81, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, April 26, 2022, at RiverView Care Center in Crookston, where she had been a resident since October of 2021.

She was born October 7, 1940, to Norma and Jerry Petersen at Minette’s Maternity Home in Fertile, where she also attended school, first grade through 12th. From early years, she had a curiosity for the world and would stand on the front porch and say, “Just wait for me world, I’ll get there.”

To achieve that goal, Gail was a determined high achiever in high school, which led to a full scholarship at Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism. After earning her Bachelor of Science in 1962, she launched a career as an advertising writer in Chicago. She was named a Vice President of J. Walter Thompson Company-Chicago in 1969, where she worked primarily in television, writing for such accounts as Sears dishwashers, Kraft Foods, Sunbeam, and Jovan fragrances. In 1977, she moved to Boston and Arnold & Company; in 1979 to Manhattan and JWT New York; in 1983 to Los Angeles and Evans Advertising; and in 1993 to Marin County in the Bay Area.

Gail met her husband Richard Sterling Harwell in 1971 at Great Lakes, IL, at the end of a sailing race. They were separated by geography and circumstances, but fate brought them together again 20 years later, and they were married in 1993 at Concordia Lutheran Church in Fertile.

In 1995, Gail changed careers, becoming an independent editorial consultant in the engineering-construction field. She often worked alongside Sterling; writing, editing, formatting, and producing proposals, feasibility studies, and marketing materials for multibillion-dollar construction projects. She worked in Asia, Europe, Australia, and Central America, as well as across the U.S., continuing until her final retirement at the age of 73. From that time, Gail and Sterling enjoyed a life of tennis, travel, volunteering, and relaxation overlooking San Francisco Bay. They were members of the Belvedere Tennis Club and the San Francisco Yacht Club. Gail was an avid reader, and she belonged to a local book club for 10 years.

Friends will remember her for her meticulous planning and orchestration of many wonderful birthday parties, club gatherings and class reunions.

Both Gail and Sterling will be remembered by family for initiating and maintaining the “Petersen-Harwell Perpetual Ping Pong Tournament,” complete with engraved trophy. Gail made sure the results with photos were posted in the Fertile Journal.

Family and friends recall her kindness, generosity, acute sense of humor, infectious laugh, courage, and fierce determination. She had a certain “twinkle in her eyes,” and she will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved her.

Gail was preceded in death by her husband, R. Sterling Harwell, by her older sister, and best friend, Marlys Ozga, and by an infant nephew. She is survived by brothers, Harold (Candy) of Brookline, MA, and Michael (Carol) of Fertile, and brother-in-law, Edward Ozga of Plymouth, MN, nine nieces and nephews, a host of grandnieces and grandnephews, and one great-grandniece.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Parkinson’s disease research or Hospice of the Red River Valley.

Source: Eriksen-Vik-Ganje Funeral Homes

1960s Featured Legacies Legacies

David Searl (BSJ62)

David Searl, the author of expat Bible ‘You & The Law in Spain’ which provides a step-by-step guide to all aspects of legal matters in Spain, has died at the age of 82.

Born in Ashtabula, Ohio, on the shores of Lake Erie, he studied at the Medill School of Journalism at the prestigious Northwestern University, which is where he met his wife Janet Mendel.

They both worked in Chicago’s newspapers before deciding in 1966 to take a year off to live in Spain. It was a chance encounter in a Chicago bar that led them to decide on Mijas, then a quiet hillside village above the Costa del Sol.

“We were thinking about Spain, and then one night in a bar, we heard some people speaking Spanish on the table next to us. It was an American man chatting to some visiting flamenco performers and he raved about this place Mijas where he had spent some time in Spain,” Janet recalls.

“Based on that conversation, the very next day we decided that Mijas was our destination,” she told the Olive Press by telephone.

The pair took a freighter across the Atlantic to Casablanca, then a rickety bus to Tangiers before crossing over the Straits of Gibraltar from Morocco to Spain’s Algeciras. “We arrived in Mijas by taxi where we lived pretty well on our savings. We had intended on only staying for a year, but well, things didn’t turn out like that.”

After a year-long stint teaching at an American school in Switzerland, the pair returned to Mijas and made it their permanent home, buying a plot of land and building their home, where Janet still lives.

It was here that they raised their two boys, Daniel and Benjamin, and forged writing careers, with Janet focusing on Spanish food and David on legal issues affecting the expat community as well as freelancing as a foreign correspondent.

He was sent down the coast to Palomares to report on an incident that saw American nuclear bombs dropped accidentally from a B-52 in 1966 as well as by a Canadian newspaper to follow up on a rumour that then Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau was holidaying with a mistress in Spain.

David and Janet separated in the mid-1980s but both stayed in Mijas where David met artist Mary Eisman, who became his partner for the rest of his life.

He also went on to write 24 editions of what became the expat must-read on all legal matters, a book that appears on the bookcases of expats across Spain.

“He was an impish character with a whimsical sense of humour,” recalls former colleague and Costa del Sol journalist David Baird. “As I understand it, he began contributing to Lookout, which at that time was required reading for expats here in the 70s.”

“The editor, Ken Brown, asked him to answer some of the queries received relating to Spanish law that affected expats. Thanks to his investigations and consultations with lawyers, gestores and tax advisors on the Costa, his knowledge grew until he was something of an expert. He began writing a regular column in Lookout answering readers’ queries about everything from residence requirements to driving licenses.”

“In 1985 with his accumulated knowledge, he compiled the book ‘You & the Law in Spain,’ published by Santana Books. This became what the Times declared was ‘the Bible for foreigners in Spain,'” said Baird.

Another former colleague and foreign correspondent Edward Owen remembered: “David happily advised foreign journalists in Spain who were often covering gruesome stories involving their own countrymen who were caught up in property scams, home seizures and expensive legal tangles.”

“David was a charming and amiable colleague who did not seek to hugely profit from his valuable work. He enjoyed helping others and beating the oft-changing system. At Lookout’s famous lunches in Fuengirola, he would often regale the throng with tales of woe – and how he had helped yet another Brit get out of jail or regain ownership of his villa.”

Searl had the ability to write about complex Spanish legal matters in plain English that was easy to understand, and his work was also translated into French, German and Russian.

Up until his death, Searl was working on the 25th edition, which was to be published later this year.

He was also an active member of his community and regular guest on local radio as well as advising the Foreign Residents’ Department at Mijas Town Hall and other local community groups.

He died on March 18 at the age of 82 and leaves behind Mary, his two sons and three grandchildren.

Source: Olive Press

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Linda Bennett (MA64)

Linda J. Bennett of Saddle Brook NJ and formerly of Ringwood NJ passed away peacefully on September 12th, 2021.

She is preceded in death by her parents William and Claire (nee Friedman) Reichenfeld and husband Alan J. Bennett, and survived by her sister Marilyn (Larry) Owens. She was a loving mother to children Joshua (Susan) Bennett, Samantha (Mark) Stankiewicz, and Matthew Bennett. She was a proud and doting grandmother to Carolyn Bennett, Cayla Stankiewicz and Anya Stankiewicz. 

Linda was born in New York City in 1942 and moved to Plainfield, NJ where in high school she met her future husband, Alan Bennett. She went on to earn a BA at Montclair State College and MA at Northwestern University with degrees in Journalism. 

She worked for the Bergen Record as a reporter, then as a technical editor for publisher Prentice Hall and later for the American Management Association, among others. After retirement, she enjoyed working at the Bergen Ethical Culture Society for 11 years where she developed wonderful friendships and camaraderie. Visitation with the family will be held at the C.C. Van Emburgh Funeral Home, 306 E. Ridgewood Ave, Ridgewood NJ on Saturday, September 18th at 10:00 AM and at 2:00 PM. To celebrate Linda’s tireless advocacy for the disabled, please consider a small donation to Bancroft Neurohealth at

Source: Published by C.C. Van Emburgh – Ridgewood on Sep. 13, 2021.

1960s Featured Legacies Legacies

David Otto (MSJ62)

David M “Dave” Otto, 83, passed away peacefully, November 26, 2021, at a local hospital in Green Bay, Wisc. Born February 18, 1938, to Carl and Helen (Williams) Otto in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. Graduated from Lincoln High School in 1956 and Ripon College in 1960 with a BA degree in Political Science. Dave was Phi Beta Kappa and earned an MSJ from Medill in 1962.

Dave enlisted in the Army reserve and served for 6 years.

He joined the Green Bay Press-Gazette on January 1, 1962, the beginning of a 40-year career as a reporter. He covered the courthouse for 5 years, twice earning Gavel Awards from the American Bar Association. He was the only Press-Gazette writer to win this award. The rest of his career was as the Press-Gazette Outdoors Writer. His weekly column, Plugs & Slugs, was very popular, as was his annual Report from the Lake. Among his many awards were the Scripps Howard Award for conservation writing, and the Gordon MacQuarrie Award from the Wisconsin Academy of Arts and Sciences.He was a co-founder and past president of the Wisconsin Outdoor Communications Association. He also wrote numerous free-lance stories for magazines like Wisconsin Sportsman and Outdoor Life.

He was a member of First United Methodist Church for over 50 years, volunteering in many ways. He was a co-founder of the church’s Food Pantry, now called the Goodwill Place. After retiring in 1998, he volunteered for 15 years at Howe School, working with 4th and 5th graders on their reading and writing. He was known by students and staff alike as Mister Dave.

He married Karen Van Epps in 1962 in Weyauwega, WI. He married Barbara O’Leary on May 23, 1987 on the shores of Green Bay at Peninsula State Park in Door County.

He is survived by his wife and his 3 children – Jon (Laurie) Otto of Lake Mills, WI; Christine (Brian) Frye of Federal Way, WI; and Kathryn (Douglas) McLeod of Middleton, WI; and grandsons Logan and Davis Otto, David Frye, and Jon (JJ) McLeod.

A memorial service is being planned for the spring of 2022 and will be announced by the family. Memorials in David’s name may be directed to First United Methodist Church Goodwill Food Pantry.

Reprinted from the Green Bay Press-Gazette

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Margaret “Margo” Gordon (BSJ61, MSJ62)

Alumna and former Medill faculty member Margaret “Margo” Gordon died peacefully on April 1, 2021 in Seattle.

Gordon was born in Dixon, Ill. While in high school, she attended the Medill Cherubs summer program. After graduation from Aurora High School, she was awarded a scholarship to attend Northwestern and would go on to have a lifelong affiliation with the University. She earned undergraduate and master’s degrees from Medill and then a Ph.D. in sociology, also at Northwestern. She later served as a professor at Medill and, from 1980 to 1988, as director of the Center for Urban Affairs.

Between her various degrees, she spent three years in Nsukka, Nigeria with her first husband, Halfdan Johnson. While there, Margo helped students at the University of Nigeria start a student-run newspaper, the “Nsukka Record,” the first of its kind. It is still published today as “The Record,” a major national Nigerian newspaper. She also lived for a year in Aarhus, Denmark and worked as a reporter and editor for the Chattanooga Times and the St. Petersburg Times before returning to Evanston to complete her Ph.D.

In one of her classes, she met Andy Gordon. They married soon after and both went on to spend nearly 20 years as professors and, in Margo’s case, as a university administrator, at Northwestern. During that time, Margo authored or co-authored several books, including the widely acclaimed “The Female Fear” and “The Journalism of Outrage: Investigative Reporting and Agenda Building in America.”

In 1989, Margo and Andy were recruited to the University of Washington. Margo became Dean of the Graduate School of Public Affairs (now known as the Evans School), which she directed until she retired. She was inducted into the Medill Hall of Achievement inaugural class in 1997.

Margo will be remembered for bringing out the best in people and figuring out how to support them as a friend, professor, university administrator, dean or family member.

“She left no doubt with her friends and family how much she cared about them and was always her authentic caring self,” says Andy. “Margo really did have a twinkle in her eye and an enthusiasm that was infectious. She was also tenacious and fought fiercely on behalf of journalistic values, including at the Center, where an interdisciplinary team she pulled together co-authored a book on investigative reporting,” he adds.

“From the time of my recruitment until Margo left Northwestern, she was a mentor, colleague, co-author and role model for me,” says Medill Emeritus Professor Donna Leff. “She brought me in to the Center for Urban Affairs and led a communications research group there that produced coauthored work in journalism and policy—media influence in setting social and policy agendas. Margo’s seminal early work identified the connection between media coverage of rape and the way victims of sexual violence were treated by the criminal justice system and by society more generally.” Leff adds, “Her husband Andy is right—everyone liked the always smiling Margo.”

Medill Associate Professor Emeritus George Harmon was on the full-time faculty with Gordon from 1980 to when she left for Washington. “Anyone who met Margo knew instantly that hers was an incisive and inquisitive mind, interested in nearly everything,” Harmon says. “She was a delightful, supportive colleague on the faculty. Perhaps best of all, she was constantly cheerful.”

Medill Professor Jack Doppelt marvels that Margo and Andy lived inspiring lives – “companion scholars in related fields, both revered on campus, who left indelible impressions; Margo with her uplifting nature, Andy with his robust laugh.”

Margo is survived by her husband Andy, children Sarah (Scott) and Seth (Bootsy), brother Joe (Barbara), grandchildren Carenna and Drake, and many wonderful friends and family members. Her family is grateful that they were able to be with her in her final days despite COVID-19.

1960s Featured Legacies Legacies

Jerry Rossow (BSJ61)

Jerry Rossow passed away at Lakeland Community Hospital in Michigan on Friday, December 6, 2019 with his family by his side. He was 80.

After graduating from Buchanan High School, class of 1957, Rossow then attended Northwestern University and later received his MBA from Indiana University. He served in the U. S. Army and was honorably discharged in 1965. He married Edna Jaracz, who passed in 1978, and to that union was born a daughter, Elizabeth. On July 31, 1982 he married Kathryn Strayer at a ceremony in Niles; together they then raised their children, Peter and Sarah.

After a long career with Clark Equipment Company, he became Chief Financial Officer for Towne Air Freight, Inc. of South Bend, and the former Electro-Voice Company in Buchanan. He served in various boards and volunteering capacities. He was the co-founder of the Buchanan Fine Arts Council, served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Berrien and Cass as well as President of the Buchanan School Board.

He took full advantage of his retirement and was able to enjoy many of his passions. He enjoyed opportunities to watch his grandchildren excel at sports and loved to watch Northwestern football games. He and Kathy were also long-time University of Michigan Football season ticket holders. When Michigan weather cooperated he would spend time outdoors working in his garden or traveling to Glen Lake, Mich., during the summers to enjoy the scenery and friends and family who would visit. He particularly enjoyed his time Up North grilling out, fishing, and spending time in Glen Arbor, Mich., with his grandchildren.

Preceding Rossow are his parents, Carl and Waunita Rossow and his first wife, Edna Jaracz.

1960s Legacies

Daniel Harrison (BSJ64)

Daniel S. Harrison died on April 28 at 76. He was a resident of Westchester County, New York, for most of his life. He graduated from Edgemont High School in 1960 and from Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism in 1964.

Harrison was a reporter on the White Plains Dispatch and City Editor of the Yonkers Herald Statesman. Both later owned by Gannett newspapers.jhe also worked in Public Relations with General Foods. He later wrote for trade publications Chain Store Age Executive and Frozen Food Age. He was an avid reader of biography, history and politics.

In his retirement, he volunteered as editor and writer for the Astronomy Newsletter of New York City and for the Friends of Music Newsletter in Westchester.

He was predeceased by his wife Mollie Cohen in 1997 and by his parents Molly and Neil Harrison formerly of Hartsdale. His sister Abby Eller of Ithaca survives him and his niece and nephew Anne and Joshua Eller also of Ithaca.

1960s Featured Legacies Legacies

Ann Valerie Freemon (BSJ63)

Ann V. Fremon (nee Adams), 78, died peacefully on Tuesday, May 13, 2020. She was born on November 17, 1941 in Denver, Colorado and lived an extraordinary life full of travel and exploration with her loving husband of 55 years, Mike Fremon.

Fremom received her bachelor’s degree from the prestigious Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and she was also a sister of the Delta Delta Delta sorority. She traveled throughout Europe after college and returned to Chicago to work as a copywriter for Sears, Roebuck and Co.

After meeting Mike through mutual friends, they were soon married and moved to Ohio, eventually planting roots in Richfield, Ohio. While balancing raising her three sons, Ann was the longtime editor of the Richfield and Bath Community News and Calendar publications. These formed the foundation of some current community papers in the area.

She was also elected Richfield Township Clerk during a transformative time in Richfield’s history, including the time when The Coliseum was built. She also started and managed several successful small businesses.

In 2018, Mike, Ann and their two American Samoyed dogs Winter and Wonder, drove to the Arctic Circle. The 12,000-mile expedition took them through Alaska and all western provinces of Canada. Ann and Mike also found a special connection with Newfoundland and Labrador, the furthest east Canadian province, a location so remote it has its own time zone.

Fremon celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary with her family in Bonaire in 2014, going back with them again in 2019. Ann’s smile and heart touched a lot of people in her life. As one person put it, “she was the cool mom that always seemed to give us enough space to be adventurous, stood by while we did stupid things, letting us find our way, and somehow managing to keep us safe at the same time.”

She is survived by her sons, Sean (Michelle) Fremon, Matt (Lindsey) Fremon and Ward (Tracy) Fremon and her cherished grandchildren, Megan, Lauren, Erica, Cole, Tyler, Johnathon, Alexander and Zachary.