Wooster Memories Database
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|Submitted By||First Name||Last Name||Class Year or Relationship to Wooster||Wooster Memory|
|Mark Fulcomer||Jerry||Fischer||1965||As sad as it is to note his recent passing that was so close to our Class of 1965 50th Reunion, I am also honored to have known Jerry Fischer since I first met him in the fall of 1961. He presented so many outstanding qualities that it’s difficult to know where to begin – loving husband and parent, friend, fellow classmate, student, musician, lover of the arts, speaker, philanthropic executive, impresario, and countless others. I was always impressed by how he brought his elegant humbleness and interested inclusiveness into his communications with others. Because he had led the planting of our Class of 1965 Tree at our 25th Reunion in 1990, I was hoping that he would again be able to lead the dedication of our Class of 1965 Memorial Garden. In his absence at this year’s reunion, I hope that all of us will take a few moments to remember our remarkable and inspiring classmate.|
|Dan Cryer||Martin||Galloway||1965||Martin Galloway and I – along with Rick Pieters, Vicky Siegel and Nick Pantel -- had been classmates at Middletown (Ohio) High School before heading to Wooster in the fall of 1961. During our first semester, Marty, Rick and I shared a triple in Douglass Hall. Those two were such fun-loving dudes and so averse to studying that I decided to move to Mann House on Beall Avenue in order to concentrate on the books. (Oddly enough, Marty joined the Mann House gang the following year.)
In my high school yearbook, Marty had written about our upcoming freshman year with his customary gusto: “I can teach you all the vices while you can teach me about my courses … We’ll run that school.” Signed: “Maddog.”
I think of Marty as a happy-go-lucky guy who was compensating, in part, for the misfortune of following a supremely talented older brother. Russ Galloway was a brilliant student and basketball star who later became a law professor. Or maybe, because Marty was a minister’s son, as I was, he had chosen the role of rebel over dutiful nice boy. Of course, any rebellion was low-key and harmless. Marty was nothing if not a joyous lover of life, a genuine sweetheart.
The great irony of Marty’s short life is that during his sophomore year he had started to turn things around. More mature, disciplined and focused – he had decided on a history major – he was ready to chart his course into adulthood. And then he developed lymphoma.
|Mark Fulcomer||Dave||Guldin||1965||From my perspective as a classmate who scrimmaged against him almost daily during my freshman experience, there was a lot to admire about Dave Gulden as a member of the Scots basketball teams. Although I didn’t get to many games in his junior and senior years after I had transferred to Oho State, I believe he started every game during his college career and also set Wooster’s rebounding record, both of which are very noteworthy accomplishments for any college athlete. He was especially respected as an unselfish, hardworking, and great team player. However, more than remembering him solely for his successes on the basketball court, Dave to me epitomized what we mean when we speak of great “student-athletes”, as he was equally solid as a student in addition to being a genuinely fine individual. While always considerate but perhaps seeming to be shy, he was a keen, albeit soft-spoken observer with a nice sense of humor and always a joy to be around. Because of his work as a graduate resident counselor at Ohio State, Dave and I would frequently catch up while we were both working on our Ph.D.’s there, something that we would subsequently also do when he returned to Wooster as a faculty member. I will cherish our friendship forever.|
|Grant Sherwood||David||Guldin||1965||I am honored to remember my dear friend Dave Guldin 65’ as our class reunites for our 50th reunion. We met during a game of basketball in the summer of 1961 in a gym at Wooster High School. We both had recently changed our original college choices to attend the College of Wooster. We became roommates, teammates, and most importantly life-long friends. Dave was a big influence in my life, particularly during my first two years on the campus. We shared common interests, values and a faith. He was like a brother I never had. We participated in each other’s weddings and amazingly, two daughters and a son were born to both of these marriages.
I was very proud as Dave went on to become a Professor of Sociology at Wooster. I know his influence both inside and outside the classroom made a lasting impression on many students and colleagues. Unfortunately, cancer ended his life way too early. I give thanks for the gift he brought to my life.
|Mark Fulcomer||Wayne||Hinger||1965||As I prepare some memories for inclusion in a collection assembled in conjunction with our Class of 1965 50th Reunion, I feel compelled to start with Wayne Hinger. In February of 1962 and while returning to campus after a 6th Section Post Hell Week Party, Wayne was killed in a head-on crash involving a drunk driver and sadly was the first member of our class to pass away. He was a lot of fun – at the dedication of the Class of 1965 25th Reunion Tree, we all chuckled at Dave Guldin’s recollection of Wayne doing the “chicken dance” at one of our early 1961 class socials at the Taylor Hall parking lot. Later that fall, those of us on the basketball team witnessed his persistence and preparation for the upcoming 1962 track season. He was going to run the half-mile, one of track’s most grueling events. Every afternoon as we practiced on the basketball court in Severance Gymnasium, we would marvel at how long and hard he was running on the track above. When he died, we were saddened that he would never have the opportunity to run a race for Wooster or realize other of his dreams. While Wayne’s time with us was too short, he was well-liked and will be long remembered – four buses of Wooster students skipped classes to attend his funeral in Pittsburgh as a testament to him.|
|Brian O'Riordan||Bill||Kalb||1965||The fabric that was Bill Kalb had begun to form well before I first met him during freshman orientation at the College of Wooster just over fifty years ago. It was then somewhat course, but had threads in it that would soon begin to give it a color, strength, and versatility that would define him in years to come. I am not sure any of us ever recognized who we really were and what was in store for us, but retrospective allows liberties, and I would like to share with you some of the threads that I saw as the cloth was woven.
The College had placed seven freshmen men on the top floor of Kenarden’s Second Section - overflow from a bumper crop of acceptances in 1961. Bill had a single, and the rest of us were split between two triples. Bill came to Wooster from Valley Forge Military Academy, and in that respect he started out being an unusual person. He was more organized, more self sufficient, and had a work ethic long before the rest of us, which in itself made the College’s decision to put him in the single a good one. His bed was made, his dresser orderly, things had a place to be. Aside from living in close proximity, Bill and I were both chemistry majors, and were in many of the same classes - not just chemistry, but all the required electives. We were all caught up in the excitement of this new environment, this new freedom, but Bill seemed to really relish it.
I have to admit that I had no idea of what it meant to be from a military academy, but it had clearly given to Bill a focus and discipline. He was a hard worker, set upon accomplishing things. This was a thread that was never lost nor diminished.
Bill was an explorer. By sophomore year he had found his way into the steam tunnels that ran from the power plant to all the campus buildings. He had a car by then (which was very rare at Wooster) - he knew where Rubbermaid’s off spec dump was. He knew where AT&T kept their wooden 8' diameter cable spools. He knew of an old water powered apple press and grist mill outside of town. He got things done. He could scrounge anything that was needed, and build whatever was required - for whatever nefarious or noble purpose. He once made the mistake of telling several of us about the upper floors of Hoover Cottage - a burned out former women’s dorm that still housed the bookstore and a dining hall. There were, he said, two old cast iron bathtubs up there. Thereupon was hatched a plan to liberate both of them, convert them to racers, and roll them down Beall Street. (The fundamental insanity of this idea - unfortunately - could not be attributed to alcohol. Wooster was dry. We had no excuse except it sounded like a good idea at the time!) The first attempt failed when our rope broke and three hundred pounds of cast iron fell three stories, cracked the cement it landed on, broke into numerous small and two large pieces, and made a sound we felt certain would alarm every studying or sleeping student in the library fifty feet away. But it didn’t - we cleaned up the evidence, and were back the next night to successfully liberate the second tub. We were eventually found out, which provided a great deal of mirth and merriment to the police sergeant who questioned us; and a corresponding degree of abject frustration to the administration. This story was retold - in detail - by Bill several years ago in our class newsletter..... But it was one of those adventures that defined what Wooster was to him - and to me - a place where we challenged our limits, and overcame them, or lived with consequences that were instructive.
Bill challenged far more than the College’s rules - geography was an opportunity, not a barrier. He knew not only the campus, but most of the surrounding communities. His car was not just a luxury, but a tool to satisfy this ever present curiosity. And when JFK was assassinated, four Woosterites watched the funeral procession from perches just outside the Treasury Building after an all night drive in Bill’s ‘55 Ford. This sense of participation, of adventure, of the value of exploration, of refusal to be bounded by convention or even convenience was also a thread in the fabric.
Bill got his Ph.D. in 1970, worked for the Ohio Geologic Survey for a year, and then started his own business - TraDet, which offered onsite testing of stack gases and effluent. Less you form an image of white lab coats and pristine labs, this business was more about climbing 150 foot stacks or wading in muck to collect samples. It was not an easy beginning. But eventually it led him to Wheeling and a focus on clean coal.
Over the years Bill accumulated information and turned this into expertise. His ability to solve problems - make things work - took him to China, Russia, Australia, Kazakhstan, Europe, and all over North America. He was a respected guest in all these countries, and often opened his home to clients when they came to the US. He was generous, affable, and capable...... These threads filled out the fabric that was Bill.
If Bill liked to learn, he liked to teach more. I always enjoyed his descriptions - and they were descriptions, not musings or speculations. He concentrated on how things worked, never detached theory. In this regard he was more the engineer than the scientist - tinkering with the stuff in front of him to make it do something it needed to do..... His descriptions were detailed and thorough and - to me always interesting, whether they were about coal, his business, or the many places he had visited. He wrote a long description of the Hutterites, a farming and religious community in Saskatchewan that hauled the coal to and from the dryer he was working on. He had used free time to get to know them. His family history was also something that was very important - and Bill documented it in a manner that can only be called thorough.
But most of you know that..... . I’m not sure I have a unique perspective, but over time I enjoyed the privilege of being a friend, and fifty years is a lot of privilege. I not only worked with him, but saw him on vacation, not working (which was rare, very rare). And I have seen his eccentricities - a nice word for things that Bill did that no one else would do. “Bill being Bill.” Bill and Gloria came to the Bitterroot Valley in Montana for the wedding of our son Mark. It was a fun time. We rode horses, drove up into the mountains, had a great time. Some of you may have seen the six foot wooden bear in their back yard - Bill had it shipped from Missoula (at a cost far greater than that of the bear....) That was Bill being Bill - he wanted that souvenir (in this case a bear cut from a log by a chainsaw) and cost was not a consideration. After the wedding we all went off in different directions. My wife and I were headed through Glacier and then up to Lake Louise. Bill, who had worked on coal driers in the area suggested that we take an alternate route that allowed us to see the Frank Slide ( a place where half a mountain came down on a town, killing 70 people), and then take a back road up toward Calgary. The Frank Slide was interesting. But the road was fifty miles of gravel, dust, logging trucks, and nothing else. When we opened the trunk to get our luggage out, there was dust not only in the trunk, but in the luggage. Only Bill could think that was a better route - who would avoid an opportunity to drive a new road? Dust? What dust? Bill being Bill.
There was a picture of Bill in one of the Wooster Yearbooks. He is peering out over a wooden board covered with Christmas Tree lights (a pledge week contrivance), and has the beginnings of that “Bill being Bill” look. I saw that look many times over those fifty years. It shows up when Bill is caught off guard being..... um... eccentric. Why steam tunnels? Why Rubbermaid’s dump? How did he happen to find out about the bathtubs - which were inside a locked building, in a burned out and condemned area. Why did he choose to build a business that required him to scale smokestacks? Often there was no quick answer as Bill tried to figure out why it wasn’t just obvious. But there always was a reason, and it made sense, if only we could think like Bill thought. It was just “Bill being Bill”.
The fabric was unique, it was original, it was likeable, it was valuable to every one it touched.
I will miss Bill profoundly. “Bill being Bill” was about as immutable a force in the Universe as gravity. But I fully expect to see him again, probably barreling down some remote gravel road in a Suburban, explaining to me that Heaven has a tremendous amount of coal and hasn’t yet figured out how to clean it and dry it. But he has been working on it.........
Thank you Bill. Fifty years wasn’t long enough.......
Postscript: Bill was laid to rest on October 12, 2011 on a hilltop, in Wheeling, West Virginia. The Wooster pipes were there - "The Flowers in the Forest" at the beginning, and "Amazing Grace" fading into silence at the end.
No eulogy or obituary can capture the full role that Wooster played in Bill's life. For Bill's own words on that read his posting to the January 2007 Newsletter.
|Mark Fulcomer||Stuart||Ling||Although my days as a performing amateur musician, mostly in marching bands and drum and bugle corps, had started well before my arrival at Wooster and have continued until the present, Stuart Ling certainly influenced my later musical activities. Because in 1956 Mrs. Rose Howard, my piano teacher in Canfield, had already begun encouraging my musical interests, I quickly went from being rather humble on the trombone and to a pretty decent tuba player, that in turn led to exposures to drum and bugle corps, first and Ohio and later nationally. As a result, during my last two years in my high school band I was writing and teaching the marching programs and even did some drumming. By the time I sat down with Dr. Ling to discuss my participation in the Scot Band, he convinced me to fill a “hole” (what we call a “blank” in drum and bugle corps) and play tenor drum. I later suspected that he had hoped my marching experience would be beneficial to the drumline – observing drummers who are not schooled in the finer points of M&M (marching and maneuvering) move around on a football field is a bit like watching cats being herded.
Stuart Ling was a legendary band director as well as one of the most gracious people I have ever met. Coming to Wooster in the late 1940’s, he transformed the Scot Band into the best small-college band in the US, a feat that we all proudly know has continued well beyond his passing in 2008. It required the skills of a master magician, along with someone blessed with a great wit and the patience of Job, to assemble a large band when many of the students (myself included) often had schedule conflicts with demanding courses and labs. Clearly, Dr. Ling was successful in overcoming the various challenges confronting him. Of course, his being a first-class arranger (and composer to boot!) was his ace-in-the-hole, leading to musical programs that were always fun to perform. Given the wonderful colors and pageantry associated with a kilted band, it was hardly surprising that we performed at so many other colleges’ homecomings. His ability to anticipate how he could get the most out of a group in the limited amount of time he had available was absolutely awesome.
On top of all his skills, Stuart Ling brought an infectious enthusiasm to the band and was able to share that with its thousands of its members over the years. He remembered all of us when we would come back to football games in the fall, where he would be in attendance sporting his plaid jacket. As best I could, I attempted to emulate his managerial (and other) approaches in my many years spent in leadership positions in drum corps organizations since 1974 – such jobs become less difficult once you first see them performed by a master such as Dr. Ling.
|Mark Fulcomer||Howard||Lowry||1923||During the time Howard Lowry was the President of the College of Wooster, every student from that era would have at least one favorite anecdote about him. These observations might arise out of his many wonderful chapel speeches before captive audiences (i.e., when attendance at those four-time-a-week morning rituals was required and closely monitored), while others may have resulted from chance encounters with him in his walks around the campus. Of course, every Wooster student I ever knew from his tenure realized that as President of the College he was breaking away from some more traditional approaches to liberal arts education, (somewhat akin to “to make an omelet, you have to break a few eggs”).
So, my favorite recollection of Howard Lowry followed his appearance to deliver the sermon for my father’s congregation at the Canfield Presbyterian Church on the Sunday of Thanksgiving Weekend of 1961. Afterwards and with Art (the College bus driver and chauffeur) at the wheel, my sister Judy and I thoroughly enjoyed our time with Dr. Lowry on the drive back to Wooster. When we arrived at Wagner Hall, a scheme was concocted in which President Lowry would distract the “house mother” while Judy quickly whisked her pet turtles (I believe their names were “Pomp” and “Circumstance” and such pets were then forbidden by the rules of the administration) back to her room. Naturally, the plan was carried out flawlessly. Knowing the Dr. Lowry had been a fellow member of 3rd Section in his own college days at Wooster, I’m sure that was not the first time that he had managed to at least “bend” (if not indeed break) some rules. What a presence and great personality Howard Lowry brought to the College of Wooster!!!
|Mark Fulcomer||By||Morris||Employee||In December of 1960 when I came to the Admissions Office for an interview, By Morris was the first staff member I met at the College. Like many other employees who attended major events at the College, By got to know all of the members of the Class of 1965 pretty well and spoke highly of us as a group. He was fun to talk with and always had a lot of stories about Wooster personalities, students and faculty alike. Years later, I brought my cousin Tom Hynson out to visit Wooster from Delaware and sat in on his admission interview. When Tom responded “ten” to the question of how many brothers and sisters he had, By didn’t skip a beat and said “Well, I guess we better talk about financial aid”. I always made a point of catching up with him whenever I came back to the campus, sometimes while he was in the middle of announcing a football game. By Morris was a “fixture” at the College of Wooster and will long be remembered and appreciated by the many students he befriended.|
|Mark Fulcomer||William and Clare Adel||Schreiber||Employee / Honorary Degree '85||I will always appreciate and remember the profoundly positive influences that Dr. William Schreiber and his wife, Clare Adel Schreiber, had on my academic and personal development. Beginning with his German classes in my first year at Wooster, Herr Schreiber’s teaching style, marvelous voice, and sense of humor inspired me to enjoy the study of topics I would perhaps not otherwise have even considered pursuing. However, it was my summer of 1962 participation in the 10-week Wooster-In-Vienna program, which they had initiated in 1960, that was the most vivid and academically transformative experience of my college days. The program augmented the study of German and Art History in Vienna with enjoyable travel and inspirational cultural experiences, all shared with some wonderful fellow students and giving me the first chance to take myself seriously as a student. But it was the opportunity to benefit first-hand from the loving nurturance and insights of the Schreiber’s that became my most enduring memories of that magical time. [It was also nice to enjoy the program with their sons James and Stephen; Ralph, who I knew from the basketball team, did not make that trip.] While allowing each of us considerable independence in our respective explorations, they both provided informative perspectives on many aspects throughout the entire program. I still recall Herr Schreiber describing the significance of the Bridge at Remagen as we passed under it on our cruise down the Rhine - years afterwards those 1962 comments came back to me as a close musician friend of mine revealed that he had been among the small group of American soldiers who had raced across and secured the bridge, thereby shortening the war. Subsequent to the 1962 Wooster-In-Vienna experience, I would enjoy catching up with one or both of the Schreiber’s on campus or at one of the mini-reunion get-togethers they would host at their home.|
|Mark Fulcomer||Viola||Startzman Robertson||1935||Viola Startzman Robertson was one of the most incredibly noble persons I have ever had the privilege off knowing. Because she was the “chief medical officer” of the College of Wooster, all of the students got to know her. My first experience with her medical prowess was a 1961 elbowing accident in an 8 AM freshman basketball practice that initiated a sting of events, starting with a huge “shiner” and a fierce headache, that involved my substitution (by Dave Mortinson) in the Scot Band and an overnight stay in Hygeia – she stopped by twice to check up on my condition. Many of us can attest to her compassionate professionalism, including at least one instance in which her incredible acumen led her to make an emergency referral for special observation and possibly an operation that ultimately saved the student’s life. She also demonstrated considerable knowledge about public health and her courage in a chapel speech (1963?) that introduced, for the first time, the issue of unintended pregnancies to the entire college community. She left an incredible legacy for future generations to follow.|
|Mark Fulcomer||Ted||Williams||Employee||I never took a Chemistry course with Ted Williams, but instead got to know him as 3rd Section’s faculty adviser. With his smile and humorous style, it quickly became apparent that he was interested in engaging students and was always available for a conversation. When coming back to campus, it was especially easy to find him – he would be the one faculty member sitting in the Lowry Center surrounded by a group of present or former students. On one occasion I was surprised to see him crossing at a traffic light in downtown Philadelphia - what happened after I shouted out to him and pulled out of traffic was that we immediately spent the next fifteen minutes catching up. I was saddened to learn of his passing, but always vividly remember his smile and wonderful laugh.|