In Memoriam

Below are the people SPA has lost over the past year. For previous obituaries and In Memoriam entries, please see past issue of SPA Magazine.

To notify the school of a recent passing, please contact Chris Jenkyns, Director of Alumni/ae Programs.

View the In Memoriam Archive.

Caroline Baillon Bowersox ‘77

Caroline Baillon Bowersox of St. Mary’s Point, MN passed away on May 23, 2017. 

Caroline was a devoted mother and a dedicated professional, spending over 40 years as an accountant for the Baillon Company. Her kind nature and loving heart endeared her to everyone in her life, and she will be deeply missed.

Caroline was preceded in death by her father Austin (John) ’46. She is survived by her husband Scott, children Blake, Chase, Reid, Genevieve and Grant, granddaughter Charlotte, mother Caroline ’53 and siblings Paul (Jean) ’78, Peter ’81, Catherine Freesmeier (Joe), Alexandra Luloff (Gary) and Frances, and many nieces and nephews.

Robert 'Bob' Bratnober ’46

Robert H. "Bob" Bratnober entered eternal life with his Lord and Savior March 8, 2017 at the age of 89.

Bob was born January 11, 1928, and lived a life of service to God by serving others in a family business, at Hope Church Richfield, on the boards of Goodwill Industries, Presbyterian Homes, the Union Gospel Mission, United Hospital and more.

Bob was preceded in death by wife Susan, and his sister Ellie Joyce ’50. Bob is survived by sister, Carol Thrush; children Laura (Michael) Taylor, Justin ’75 (Pat); grandchildren Jonathan (Lisa) Taylor, Jessica (Ben Schmit) Taylor, Jenna (Jeff) Anderson, Gretchen (Tony) Kjorstad, Karl (Jamie) Bratnober; 14 great grandchildren.

James P. Brown '47

James P. Brown passed away March 8, 2017 at the Miller Healthcare Center in Kankakee.

Jim was born in St. Paul on June 8, 1929 to parents Cyrus P. and Dorothy E. Brown. While a student at SPA, Jim played football, hockey and baseball, and exercised an interest in athletics as the Sports Editor of the Now and Then. He later earned his B.A. from Williams College and also attended Harvard University.

Jim served as a captain and platoon leader in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1951 to 1953 during the Korean Conflict. He was a member of Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity; Kankakee Lions Club, where he was president twice; Boy Scouts of America, where he was past district chairman; Rainbow Council, where he was vice president and treasurer; and New Horizons Band, where he enjoyed playing the trumpet.

As an adult Jim had a very fruitful career, working as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Roper Corporation, and later as a financial consultant for Shearson, Smith Barney and Cambridge Investments. In his spare time, Jim followed sports. He was an avid tennis player with a wicked serve, a fly fisherman and occasional golfer.

The real joy in Jim’s life came from his wife, Eve, friends and family. The moment Jim laid eyes on Eve, he knew she was the one and only. After their marriage in Chicago and honeymoon in New Orleans, the rest is history. Family meant everything to Jim. There never was a phone call or visit that didn't end with "I love you" and his special third-finger salute. From travel adventures (including Caribbean cruises, Europe, Hawaii and Mexico), cheering on his girls and grandchildren in their sporting endeavors, 60-second morning Word Jumble, daily breakfast outings with Eve, his "not often enough" trips to Minnesota to visit family and pals, and everything he did in between, Jim never wasted a minute of living a full life.

Although he will not physically be a part of the family's future adventures, he will be in their hearts sharing every single moment.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Barb; and brother, Cy (Shirley) Brown. He is survived by his beloved wife,; daughters, Elizabeth (Sergio) Murer and Jennifer (Paul) St. Clair, and his four grandchildren Alex, Molly, Rachael and Ryan, who lovingly referred to him as “Papa Jim;” his nieces, Kathie Brown, Leslie (Ed) O’Donnell ; and great-nephew, Curtis (Keri) Olufson.

Until Jim's very last breath, he lived by the famous words of Winston Churchill, "Never, never, never give up." You were a fighter, Jim, and your spirit will live on in all of us, his family and friends said.

Ellen Sell Brynteson ’74

Ellen Sell Brynteson ’74 passed away on March 1, 2017 while vacationing with her husband Richard Brynteson '73 in Mexico.

Ellen was an amazing wife and mother, grandmother, wonderful daughter, and aunt. Ellen had a golden, vibrant heart that lost its beat too soon. Her radiance lit up every room, Ellen would go above, beyond, and the extra mile for her friends, neighbors, and family.

Ellen was a graduate of the St. Paul Academy and Summit School, studied at Ohio Wesleyan University and the University of Minnesota, where she earned her bachelor's degree in social work. Ellen shared her many talents in a career that spanned the country from San Francisco to New York to Washington D.C. She was an active member of the Century Club, past member of the league, and a former trustee of her alma mater, St. Paul Academy and Summit School.

Ellen was preceded in death by father, Donald Miller Sell. She is survived by husband, Richard ’73, step-children, Jeshua (Talia) Livstrom and Illana Livstrom (Dennis Walsh); grand children, Anika, Selena, and Leo Livstrom; mother, Estelle; brothers, Mark, John ’70, and Matthew Sell (Gwen Leifeld); sister, Susan Sell ’75 (Doug Abrahms); nephews and nieces, David, Max, Emily, and Rebecca Sell, Nicholas and Timothy Abrahms; mother-in-law, Pat Brynteson, and many other relatives and friends.

Ellen’s memorial service will be held Friday, March 10 at 1 p.m. at St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church, 60 Kent St. St. Paul. Memorials preferred to the Ellen Sell Memorial, St. Paul Academy and Summit School.

Elizabeth “Liz” Douglis (Friedman) ‘54

Liz Douglis passed away on February 6, 2017 in Phoenix following a lengthy illness.

Liz was born in St. Paul in 1936 to parents, Ferne and Dr. Louis Friedman. After graduating from Summit School she attended Boston University and Bank Street College.

Liz was a long-time advocate for women's reproductive freedom, and formerly worked for several health clinics in the Philadelphia area. She moved to Arizona in 1992, where she was a docent at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, and was appointed to the Foster Care Review Board in Maricopa County.

She is survived by her husband of 56 years, Philip; and son Tom Douglis (Brenda) of Denver; daughters Emily Whooley (Kevin) of Ipswich, Massachusetts, and Sarah Douglis (Marc Yaggi) of Pound Ridge, New York; as well as five adored grandchildren: Connor, Sean and Delaney Whooley, Jack and Summer Yaggi. She is also survived by her sister, Cynthia Sutton ‘57, of Cazenovia NY. Her ashes will be scattered by her family in Pound Ridge, New York, at a later date. Liz’s friends and family ask that you eat a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup in her memory and you can visit for condolences.

David Goins '64

David Goins passed away on May 13, 2017. Born November 11, 1946, David was a graduate of St. Paul Academy and attended Harvard University.

David attended SPA for 3 years.  In his senior year he was co-captain of the football team and won the MISL Heavyweight Wrestling Championship. David went on to live in San Diego, CA and became the manager of one of San Diego’s drug rehabilitation programs, Cal Works.

David is survived by his brother James ’63 and his sister Claire (Meyer) ’69.

Richard "Dick" Harris ’50

At the age of 85, Richard “Dick” Harris ‘50 passed away peacefully on March 15, 2017.

Dick was a graduate of SPA and Yale University. He had a great passion for golf and jazz, and always enjoyed a good martini. He loved painting & writing, authoring 4 books. He spent many years in the family business, B.W. Harris Manufacturing. Upon retiring, he created a golf catalogue of unique gift items. Dick served on numerous boards; USGA Museum Committee, was the President of the MN Golf Association, Outward Bound, and he was a rotary member. His only regret was he never had a hole-in-one!

Dick is preceded in death by his parents Charlie & Sylvia. He is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Dee Dee; his sister, Jane Wilmer; his children, Wendy (James) Shapiro, Richie (Jack Palmquist), Danny ’77 (Ann), Todd ’81 (Laura); his dog, Louie; and his 6 grandchildren.

Reverend Mary Allison (Bigelow) McMillan ’37

Reverend Mary Allison Bigelow “Molly” McMillan, born July 30, 1919, died peacefully February 16, 2017, in her apartment at the EagleCrest Presbyterian Home in Roseville.

Baptized at the House of Hope Presbyterian Church, Molly grew up in a family that cared deeply about church and community. She attended Summit School and Vassar College, graduating in 1941 with a degree in physics. She met her future husband while singing in the choir at House of Hope. She and Dick were married June 26, 1943 and raised five children, Rick ’62, Charlie ’63, Doug ’68, Allison ’70 and Anne ’74. Music remained an important part of family life for Dick, Molly and their children. When Dick died in 1995, Molly commissioned Minnesota composer Stephen Paulus to create an opera, The Three Hermits, as a memorial. (Paulus, in turn, dedicated the opera's most memorable chorus, "The Pilgrims' Hymn," to Molly.)

Molly was deeply involved in her community. She became president of the St. Paul Junior League in 1957 and served as regional director of the Association of Junior Leagues of America from 1959-1961. In 1962 she received a mayoral appointment to the Ramsey County Welfare Board, and she was a member of the St. Paul Health and Welfare Planning Committee during the 1960s. She was the first woman elected a trustee of the Wilder Foundation and served as a trustee of the F.R. Bigelow Foundation. In the early 1970s she enrolled at United Seminary, receiving her divinity degree and, in 1978, becoming one of the half-dozen earliest women to be ordained as a Presbyterian minister in the Twin Cities. Her work at House of Hope and Central Presbyterian Church yielded scores of thoughtful sermons. The Bigelow Chapel at United Seminary stands as a tribute to her commitment to the school, which she served as interim president, president, and board chair. She received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in 1989, after her service as board chair. She served on the boards of the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research and the Presbyterian Homes Foundation.

She was the recipient of five community awards, including two from the United Way as well as the YWCA award for Leadership in Community Service, the Distinguished Alumna Award from Saint Paul Academy and Summit School, and the Sisterhood Award for Humanitarian Service from the National Conference of Christians and Jews. In 2007, at the age of 88, Molly was chosen Fund Raiser of the Year for the state of Minnesota for her leadership in the People Incorporated capital campaign, and she still found the time to teach two bible classes at EagleCrest.

Funeral services will be held at The House of Hope at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, February 25, 2017.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Allison Bigelow and Charles Henry Bigelow, and her husband Richard McMillan. She is survived by her five children Richard ’62 (Barbara), Charles ’63 (Ronni), Douglas ’68 (Ann), Allison ’70 (Mark) and Anne ’74 (Edward), fifteen grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.

Harry Talbot Neimeyer '57

Age 77 Of St. Paul Harry Talbot Neimeyer passed away peacefully on May 23, 2017. He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert "Harry" and Patricia (Shea) Neimeyer, and brother, Peter Neimeyer. Harry is survived by his sister, Julia (Richard) Moe; daughter, Sarah Neimeyer (Joseph Warren), sons, Slater (Cindy) Tai and Charlie (Jane) Neimeyer; five grandchildren, and former wife, Helene "Lenie" Smith. Born on May 25, 1939, Harry was raised in Duluth, Minnesota. He graduated from St. Paul Academy (1957), Amherst College (1961), and the University of Minnesota Law School (1964). Harry practiced law at Stringer & Rohleder in St. Paul for more than 40 years, and served as the mayor of Afton, Minnesota while living there in the early 1970s. Harry was an avid tennis and hockey player, who enjoyed long walks along the St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers. His lifelong loves were Duluth and Lake Superior, where he was happiest skipping stones and watching the ore boats. A celebration of Harry's life will be held on Saturday, June 17, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at 317 on Rice Park (formerly the Minnesota Club) at 317 Washington Street, St. Paul, 55102. Valet provided. Harry's family wishes to thank those who cared for him at Rakhma during his last years. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Harry's honor to Rakhma Homes, 4953 Aldrich Ave. S., Minneapolis, 55419. 

Stephen Olson ’69

Stephen Olson ’69, passed away on Friday, July 21, 2017.

Stephen was born November 20, 1951, in Empire Township, Minnesota. He attended St. Paul Academy. After graduation, he enrolled at Middlebury College where he was the editor-in-chief of The Middlebury Campus.

Despite his love of the slopes and rock of Vermont, the prairies called. He returned home to continue his education at the University of Minnesota. Despite his heavy course load, his dedication to the printed word and exposition of truth kept him busy as an investigative reporter at a Minneapolis newspaper.

In 1978, Stephen moved to Maine, the state he had fallen in love with while working at the Maine Times in 1972 between school years. The rest is history — Stephen developed into the hard-hitting, swashbuckling, joke-loving "Steve from Belfast". He was by far the most Mainer-man to ever come out of a farm on the prairies. It wasn't too long before he met and married Julia Misner; together they raised two children, Skyler and Clare.

He sailed as a captain on traditional schooners and large tonnage vessels, as well as an engineer on tugboats. He was a bluewater merchant mariner, steamship bosun, and owner/captain of the Balmy Days.

When not on the high seas, Stephen worked as a marine surveyor for the self-named Olson Marine Service, surveying yachts, fishing vessels, workboats and many of the Maine schooner fleet.

As a freelance journalist, he wrote feature articles for Small Boat Journal, National Fisherman, Professional Boatbuilder, WoodenBoat Magazine, and the local papers. He was also an author of a children's book based on a bedtime story he created for his son and daughter.

He was a devoted husband, father, friend, community and school board member. He was a teacher, an original thinker, a lover of ideas.

His parents, Robert Frederick Olson and Janine DeCoster, and his three siblings, Maren (Olson) Mitchell, Evelyn Olson, and Robert Olson Jr., predeceased him. He is survived by his wife Julia Olson, children Skyler and Clare, step-sister Tara Butler, sister-in-law Torie Olson, 10 nieces and nephews, and 12 grandnieces and nephews.

Thomas Walvood Osborn ’50

Thomas Walvoord Osborn, 84, passed away Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at his home in Laguna Beach, California.

Tom was born July 19, 1932 to Stephen and Lillian Osborn, the younger of two brothers. He graduated from St. Paul Academy in 1950 and Northwestern University in 1958.

Tom served in the Army as a member of the Army Jazz band, stationed in the US and Germany. Later he worked for Ecolab, launching their still popular Finish dishwasher detergent and was also an entrepreneur, marketing consultant, and Vice President of Marketing at the American Management Association. He also volunteered for several different causes including assisting small businesses with business planning. He continued to play music until his death and was an accomplished painter.

Tom is survived by his wife, Valerie Osborn; along with four children Edward and Masami Osborn of Houston: Texas, Nicholas Osborn of Chicago, Illinois, Benjamin Osborn of Minneapolis Minnesota, and Gillian Osborn of New Orleans, Louisiana; four stepchildren, Vanessa Sinclair, Toby Bonner-Davies, Richard Bonner-Davies and Bronwen Hunter; 16 Grandchildren; and one brother, Merritt Osborn ’46 of Cleveland, Ohio. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Penelope Francis Osborn.
Memorial Services will be held on Wednesday, April 5th at Laguna Presbyterian Church at 1pm with Reverend Dr. Kathy Sizer presiding over the service. A second service will be scheduled at a future date in St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Amy Tobin ’87

At the age of 47, Amy Tobin died after a long and valiant battle with breast cancer on January 14, 2017. She leaves behind her beloved son, Liam Tobin; parents, John and Marie Tobin; sister, Lisa Tobin ’78; nephew, Ian Tennant; and many wonderful relatives and countless friends. She was pre-deceased by her much-loved brother, James ’77, and her grandparents.

Amy's unique gifts were discovered early, she read the paper with Papa at age 3 and sat down at the piano and began playing shortly thereafter. As she developed her musical talent she discovered her true joy was the violin. Amy was a graduate of St. Paul Academy & Summit School and Boston University. She often noted the key people who influenced her musical development, including the inspirational influence of Mrs. Reher, Doug Overland, Mary West and Roman Tottenberg. Her musical interests and abilities were eclectic and she has collaborated with many gifted musicians. She served as the concertmaster of the St. Paul Civic Symphony and played with the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra. She will be missed by her tango group. Those that have heard Amy perform have been moved and inspired and are grateful to her for making the world a more harmonious place in which to live. After the unexpected death of her favorite brother, James, she chose to embark on a new course of study and graduated summa cum laude as a medical technician and has thoroughly enjoyed her team at Allina Health Systems.

Living with an incurable disease like cancer is challenging at best. Amy did it with style, grace, a ready smile and kindness toward others even when she was losing her battle. Her greatest joy has been watching her son grow and realize his own personal gifts and talents. He has begun his own musical journey on both the cello and French horn. A heartfelt thank you to all who have cared for her, especially the Oncology team on 2W at Unity and Dr. King of Minnesota Oncology.

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