1980s Featured Legacies Legacies

Kari Howard (MSJ85)

Visit the tribute site created by her friends and colleagues.

LA Times Obit

Kari Howard (MSJ85) a longtime Los Angeles Times editor who championed ambitious narrative journalism and helped edit the 2015 Pulitzer Prize-winning series on California’s drought, died January 10, 2022, of cancer. She was 59.

Howard, a lover of music and writing who frequently quoted favorite songs and story sentences, worked as assistant foreign editor before becoming editor of Column One, the newspaper’s front-page narrative showcase. She sent out weekly emails in which she riffed on the musical associations of recent stories. A 2015 story about the effect of drought on giant sequoias, for example, reminded her of Jake Bugg’s “Pine Trees.”

“She exuded a love of language and had an incredible ability to help writers tell the stories they wanted to tell,” Times managing editor Scott Kraft said. “Writers loved working with her because she made them so much better. She loved stories and she had an innate sense of how to turn a draft of a story into something that was truly special.”

Howard was one of the editors for Diana Marcum’s series on the human consequences of California’s protracted drought, which won the Pulitzer for feature writing the following year.

“We were like one brain with that series,” Marcum said. “We would finish each other’s sentences. She never saw those stories as being about the drought. She saw those stories as being about people showing hope and resilience and character during a hard time.”

For Christmas that year, she bought Marcum a first edition of John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath,” one of many books she gave her.

“She did everything with this sense of passion and integrity and whimsy,” Marcum said. “She had such a mix of steely resolve and whimsy.”

At The Times, Howard met her future husband, journalist Geoffrey Kelly, who died unexpectedly of a heart attack in Hong Kong in 2007.

Reporters sought out Howard to help them elevate their work and coach them through complicated stories. When she was honored with a Times editorial award in 2015, the judges noted “she sprinkled her pixie dust on more than 100 Column Ones, displaying talents that had writers throughout the building knocking on her door with ideas or simply seeking her advice about storytelling.”

When she left The Times in 2015, Howard wrote a farewell note to the staff, saying: “For those of you who don’t know why I’m leaving, I bought a farmhouse in a town called Liberty six years ago, and it’s time I finally started a new life, and new adventure, in Maine.”

She chopped her own firewood, took pleasure in renovating the farmhouse, and posted frequent rhapsodies to the area on Instagram, with images of wild lilies, lighthouses and the Oldest Shoe Store in America.

In one post, she ran a photo of her home office with vibrant foliage visible through the windows: “Globe. Books. Typewriter. Cat. Foliage. What else do you need?”

Howard went on to edit Storyboard, the narrative website of the Nieman Foundation, and in early 2018 became the London-based storytelling editor at the Reuters news service. She described her journalism mantra as “Examine closely. Connect with people. Don’t rush.”

Her new home inspired characteristic enthusiasm. “I’m about to bore everyone on Instagram with my new obsession: the signage, shutters and shiny doors of Spitalfields,” she wrote. “I live in this little pocket of early 18th century Georgian homes, and it’s like a movie set. (Apparently it literally is, because period movies like anything Austen are filmed here.)”

Howard was born in Manchester, N.H., and her father’s work as a telecommunications engineer took her from Arkansas to Scotland as a girl. She studied engineering herself briefly at Clemson University in South Carolina.

“She realized after a semester that wasn’t her calling,” said her sister, Alison Howard, a Seattle attorney.

Howard studied literature at the University of North Carolina, Asheville, and journalism at Medill. She worked as a copy editor at the Houston Chronicle and the Abilene Reporter-News before joining The Times in 1992.

Howard was diagnosed with cancer in 2018, with the disease already in an advanced stage. She returned to Maine from London late last year and continued working for Reuters until recent weeks.

“As you can tell from my Instagram, I’m not focused on the illness,” she wrote recently to a friend. “I’m trying to find joy in the smallest things. And it’s everywhere, isn’t it? I’m amazed by the world, and I’m so lucky and grateful for it all.”

Along with her sister, Howard is survived by her mother, Diane, of Phoenix.

1950s Featured Legacies Legacies

Roy Wiley (BSJ56)

Roy Wiley worked in advertising and public relations for more than four decades after starting out in journalism and for many years was the chief spokesman for Navistar, the truck and engine manufacturer.

“He was a very positive, energizing kind of person, and he would hang around often times people half his age, but he had more energy than they did,” said Dan Ustian, a retired chairman and CEO of Navistar. “He knew everybody.”

Wiley, 87, died April 4 at Northwestern Memorial Hospital while recovering from hip surgery, said his wife of 33 years, Bobbie Huskey. He had been a Loop resident.

Born in Chicago and raised on the Northwest Side, Wiley was the son of Charles L. Wiley, who ran unsuccessfully in the 1932 GOP primary for a Northwest Side congressional district.

Wiley attended Onarga Military Academy in downstate Onarga for high school, then attended Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism for two years.

In 1952, while at Northwestern, Wiley was hired as an apprentice copy clerk at the Chicago Sun-Times. He was promoted to full-time general assignment reporter two years later, and later was the paper’s auto editor, a marketing and stock market columnist and finally, the paper’s assistant financial editor, overseeing a staff of 10.

“As a metro reporter in Chicago, back in the day, he’d witnessed some harsh things, but he nonetheless loved the city deeply despite its flaws,” said former Tribune reporter James P. Miller, a longtime friend. “Roy also loved newspapering — the action and the deadlines.”

In the early 1960s, Wiley also was editor of Glenview-based Automotive Fleet magazine, a publication devoted exclusively to passenger car fleets owned or leased by industry and government.

In 1968, Wiley left the Sun-Times to take a job in public relations as a vice president at the Financial Relations Board, a financial communications agency. Wiley remained there until 1972, when he and a colleague cofounded OSLA Communications, a public relations firm that was an offshoot of Olympic Savings & Loan Association.

Wiley later was director of communications at advertising agency Weber, Cohn and Riley before signing on with the Ogilvy & Mather public relations firm in 1982.

In the early 1990s, Wiley managed media relations for clients involved in hostile merger-and-acquisition activity. Miller, then a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, recalled Wiley’s forthrightness and graciousness amid at-times contentious dealings between companies.

“M&A … isn’t rocket science, but it is precision work because a lot of money is riding on the outcome, and tiny signals can swing the price of the target company’s shares, and both sides can be tempted to sling mud at the other,” Miller said. “Not Roy Wiley, though, ever, in my experience, over decades of interactions with the guy. In a hardball business, he was old-school — somebody whose word was always, always good.”

In 1996, Wiley joined public relations firm Hill & Knowlton.

“You could always count on Roy to have that skeptical journalist’s eye on things,” said Hud Englehart, who worked with Wiley at Hill & Knowlton. “He always knew what questions to ask or what the most insightful questions were that got us to a core insight into the community and as well into clients.”

In 1998, Navistar hired Wiley as director of communications. At Navistar, he was known for insisting on only using the stairs in the company’s Warrenville headquarters, as a way to stay fit.

“We had five floors there, and one meeting might be on the first floor and the next meeting would be on the fifth floor, and some of the people would be going to both meetings, and Roy would say, ‘Let’s walk,’ ” Ustian said. “So Roy would walk up five flights of stairs, and the young guys (with him) would be the ones that were tired.”

Wiley retired from Navistar in 2011, at age 76.

Wiley and his wife renovated a vintage home in Lakeview before moving to a Loop high-rise, where their neighbors included former TV reporter and Better Government Association Executive Director Andy Shaw.

“My first thought was that this is one fashionable octogenarian,” Shaw recalled. “He was still as stylish, sophisticated and urbane as he had been throughout his distinguished career — a true boulevardier.”

Two marriages ended in divorce. In addition to his wife, Wiley is survived by a son, Roy; a daughter, Cindy Wiley Hindel; nine grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Another son, Todd, died in 2018.

Source: 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

1970s Featured Legacies Legacies

Sheryl Jedlinski (BSJ75)

Sheryl Lynn Jedlinski, age 68, passed peacefully on March 12, 2022, following a seven-year battle with cancer. Sheryl bravely fought Parkinson’s Disease for 24 years, writing a book and popular blog about her journey. She traveled the country, coaching and helping others fighting chronic and progressive illnesses. Born December 12, 1953 in the Bronx, Sheryl was the daughter of the late Leonard Applebaum & Lorraine Gilbert. She is survived by her devoted husband Tony; her sons Jason (Jay) and Steven (Megan); her beloved granddaughters, Parker and Kendall; her brother David (Diane) and their children: Jeremy, Sarah and Jenny.


1990s Featured Legacies Featured Legacies Home Home Legacies

Kurt Paul Stocker (IMC faculty)

Kurt Paul Stocker passed away on February 11th, after a 10-month fight following complications from heart valve surgery. He was 84. Kurt was our patriarch and didn’t leave much on the table. He rounded Cape Horn, he dove from an airplane at 82 years old. He left an indelible impression on all of us. He was a huge contributor in the lives of his family. Beyond the professional accomplishments, Kurt was an artist, a skilled printmaker and filled much of his retirement time in his Corrales studio, porch side with his friends or in a catboat in Florida.

A long time public relations, public affairs and corporate governance professional, Kurt served as Chairman of the NYSE Individual Investor Advisory Board, as a Director of NYSE Regulation Inc. As a member of the Advisory Committee of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and as a member of the Board of Governors of Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc (formerly, NASD).

Kurt was a Senior Executive with Continental Bank Corporation, United Airlines, Allstate and Hill & Knowlton companies.

Other professional organizations included serving as a past President of The Arthur W. Page Society, as well as being inducted into their Hall of Fame. Kurt was a past Commodore of The Chicago Yacht Club. He was a visiting lecturer and Assistant Professor in Medill IMC in the ’90s and served on advisory boards for PR Newswire, Journal of Integrated Marketing and San Isabel Land Protection Trust.

Kurt and his wife of 62 years, Kathleen attended Marietta College where they met and wed. Kurt is survived by his son Peter and daughter Jennifer and 4 grandchildren, Cate, Graham, Emma and Ian.

Tribute provided by Peter and Jennifer Stocker. 

1970s Featured Legacies Legacies

Ernie Torriero (MSJ77)

Ernie Torriero (MSJ77)

As war approached in Baghdad, most U.S. journalists evacuated. Not Ernie Torriero, a reporter for a major U.S. newspaper. He was one of the few American journalists who remained on the ground during the war that felled the Saddam Hussein government.

Torriero covered some of the world’s major conflicts of the early 21st Century, working in the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Israel for the Chicago Tribune.

By 2010, he brought what colleagues call “his energy and enthusiasm” to Voice of America. Tuesday, February 15, VOA leadership announced Torriero passed away in the early morning.

“I am personally devastated by Ernie’s passing and my deepest thoughts and sympathies are with his entire family and his many friends,” said Acting VOA Director Yolanda López. “Since 2010 when Ernie first joined VOA, he proved himself to be a talented and incredibly versatile journalist, working across nearly every division on some of our highest profile stories and issues. Ernie was an extraordinary colleague who represented the very best of VOA and his loss will be felt across our entire organization.”

Torriero most recently served as Digital Managing Editor in English to Africa where he was working to create a news website and upgrade social media coverage.

“It is so hard to say goodbye to Ernie. He was a terrific colleague, always sharing great insights and ideas, and his energy and enthusiasm kept us all moving forward,” said Sonya Laurence Green who was his last supervisor as former chief of the English to Africa service. “He was also a terrific friend, telling many jokes and stories from his years as a journalist in almost every corner of the world.”

Previously at VOA, Torriero served as chief of the China Branch, managing editor of the Extremism Watch Desk, Middle East editor in VOA’s Central News Division and executive producer for, the agency’s lead English web site.

Torriero won awards from the Overseas Press Club, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Scripps Howard Foundation and the Florida Press Club. He was winner of the Paul Hansell Award in 1995, the top merit for a Florida journalist for a year’s body of work.

He earned an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Science from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, where he lectured as an adjunct professor.

Green said Torriero was known among his friends as being “a bit of a gourmand, cooking up wonderful dishes in his spare time” who could also “commiserate about the absurdities of life and work.”

During the past two years, Ernie oversaw digital news coverage of Africa’s 54 countries, significantly driving social media traffic to VOA Africa platforms. The website Ernie and his staff were building,, is expected to go online in April, about the same time its editor would have turned 68.

Ernie is survived by his loving wife Antje Torriero, who serves as a Craft Video Editor in VOA Central Production Services, and their two 15-year-old twin sons, Andreas and Julius.

Source: VOA

1980s Featured Legacies Featured Legacies Home Legacies

Valerie Boyd (BSJ85)

Photo: Valerie Boyd, the author of a critically acclaimed biography of Zora Neale Hurston, appears at a reading in D.C. in 2009. (Susan Biddle/The Washington Post)

By Emily Langer, Washington Post

Valerie Boyd, a journalist who chronicled the life of Zora Neale Hurston in a critically acclaimed biography and edited a forthcoming compilation of the journals of Alice Walker, thus illuminating African American women of letters from the Harlem Renaissance to the present day, died Feb. 12 at a hospital in Atlanta. She was 58.

The cause was pancreatic cancer, said her friend and power of attorney, Veta Goler.

Ms. Boyd spent nearly two decades as a reporter and arts editor at her hometown newspaper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, training the journalistic eye that she would turn on Hurston in the biography that became her first major literary achievement of her own.

“Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston,” published in 2003, was the result of nearly five years of research. Ms. Boyd charted Hurston’s life from her birth in 1891 in Notasulga, Ala., to her upbringing in the all-Black town of Eatonville, Fla., through her literary activity during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s and her anthropological exploration of African American folklore, to the circumstances that led to her death in penury in 1960 in Florida, where she was buried in an unmarked grave.

“Because I am a Black Southern woman, I felt very close to Zora, as if I could paint a picture of her life almost from the inside out,” Ms. Boyd told an interviewer for the online magazine In Motion. “I wanted to give readers a sense of what it was like to be Zora, to walk in her shoes, to live inside her skin.”

Ms. Boyd’s 2003 biography of writer Zora Neale Hurston. (Scribner)
Ms. Boyd was an undergraduate at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., when she first read Hurston’s best-known work, the 1937 novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” a coming-of-age story about a Black woman named Janie Crawford.

“I was just amazed,” Ms. Boyd said, “that a book published in 1937 could speak to me so clearly and so resonantly through the decades.”

Years later, she became a regular attendee of the annual festival held in honor of Hurston in Eatonville. In 1994, she said, she attended a speech there by Robert E. Hemenway, the author of a 1977 biography of the writer.

By Ms. Boyd’s account, Hemenway surveyed the shortcomings that he said were inherent in his book as a work about a Black woman written by a White man. According to Ms. Boyd, he said that Hurston was owed a new biography, by an African American woman.

“When I heard those words, I felt it was my calling,” Ms. Boyd told an interviewer with Northwestern. “But even though it felt like something I would do, the thought of doing it was just frightening.”

She put off the task, judging herself not ready. Less than two years later, a literary agent called to ask if she might be interested in writing a biography of Hurston. “I felt like fate was calling me — and that Zora herself was calling me,” Ms. Boyd said.

Hurston had complicated the job of any future biographer, Ms. Boyd wrote, by disguising “many truths of her life in a confounding but crackable code.” In order to obtain schooling at a Baltimore high school, she reported her age as 16 when she was in fact 26. Her 1942 autobiography, “Dust Tracks on a Road,” however skillfully written, proved an unreliable account of the facts of her life.

With the passage of time, more dust, as it were, had clouded the story of Hurston’s life. It had been partially cleared by Hemenway’s book and by volumes including “Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters” collected and edited by Carla Kaplan (2002). But in “Wrapped in Rainbows,” reviewer Jake Lamar wrote in The Washington Post, Ms. Boyd produced a “scrupulously researched, gracefully written” work that will “most likely remain the definitive Hurston biography for many years to come.”

Ms. Boyd’s project was a journalistic odyssey, in which she located the few living acquaintances of Hurston and scoured the archival records of her life. But it was also an “intuitive, spiritual process,” she said.

“Sometimes,” she told the Northwestern interviewer, “it seemed as if Zora would look at me in a very approving way, and sometimes she seemed to be looking at me like, ‘Oh, please.’ And I would dutifully press delete.”

Ms. Boyd often reflected on the sisterhood of African American writers, observing that “Zora’s, Alice’s and my generations are holding hands.” Alice was Alice Walker, the author of the 1982 novel “The Color Purple,” which received the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for fiction and was adapted into a 1985 film starring Whoopi Goldberg. Walker had helped reawaken interest in Hurston with an article, “In Search of Zora Neale Hurston,” published in Ms. magazine in 1975.

Ms. Boyd happened to meet Walker during her research for the biography and said that Walker, upon learning of her work, touched her face and said, “Bless you, my child.” Some years after the publication of the Hurston biography, when Walker set out to publish her journals from the years 1965 to 2000, she selected Ms. Boyd as her partner in the endeavor.

“Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals of Alice Walker,” edited by Ms. Boyd, is slated to be published April 12, according to the publishing house Simon and Schuster.

“Valerie Boyd was one of the best people ever to live, which she did as a free being,” Walker said in a statement provided by the Joy Harris Literary Agency. “Even though illness was stalking her the past several years, she accompanied me in gathering, transcribing, and editing my journals. … This was a major feat, a huge act of love and solidarity, of sisterhood, of soul generosity and shared joy, for which she will be remembered.”

Valerie Jean Boyd was born in Atlanta on Dec. 11, 1963. Her father ran a gas station and tire shop, and her mother was a homemaker.

Ms. Boyd received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern in 1985 and a master of fine arts in creative nonfiction writing from Goucher College in Towson, Md., in 1999.

In addition to her work at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ms. Boyd freelanced over the years for publications including The Washington Post. She was a senior editor at the publication the Bitter Southerner. In recent years, she was a writer in residence and professor at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia

At the time of her death, according to Simon and Schuster, Ms. Boyd was at work on an anthology titled “Bigger Than Bravery: Black Resilience and Reclamation in a Time of Pandemic.” Her survivors include two brothers.

Ms. Boyd noted that, in deference to her subject, she had visited Hurston’s grave in Fort Pierce, Fla., before embarking on the biography.

“I wanted to make a connection with Zora,” Ms. Boyd told the Journal-Constitution, “so I took an offering of Florida oranges, which she loved, and some money — she never had enough money in her life — and a pack of Pall Malls.”

Just as she was leaving, she saw a black crow similar to the one that had circled over the inaugural Hurston festival in 1990. Attendees had named it “Zora.” Ms. Boyd took the sign as permission to proceed.

“I believe that it was something that I was put here to do,” she told the Orlando Sentinel in 2003. “My destiny led me to Zora.”

1950s Featured Legacies Featured Legacies Home Home Legacies

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

1950s Featured Legacies Featured Legacies Home Home Legacies

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.