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.
Harold Baker Jr. passed away on Sept. 17, 2017 at the age of 86. Born Sept. 7, 1931, Harold was preceded in death by his parents Harold & Dora Baker and brother Larry Baker ’61. Survived by his wife of 62 years, Janet; children Harold (Lauren) Baker III, Bill (Janet) Baker, Betsy (John) DuBay, Bruce (Jane) Baker; 7 granddaughters and 8 great grandchildren. Harold grew up in St Paul and graduated from St Paul Academy and the University of Minnesota. He served his country for 2 years during the Korean War. He was a proud member of AA for 29 years. A private burial with military honors took place at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.
Cindy Werner of White Bear Lake passed away unexpectedly on September 8, 2017. Preceded in death by parents Richard and Faerie Werner, sister-in-law Suelin Werner, and nephew Rick Senkler. Cindy was the youngest of five children and was much loved by siblings: Jay Werner, Philip Werner (Linda), Jeanine Johnson ’68 (Kurt), Pam Senkler ’71 (Bob), nieces and nephews. Of utmost importance in her life was love of her family and many friends who were extended family.
Cindy graduated from Saint Paul Academy and Summit School, attended Wheaton College (Massachusetts), received her undergrad degree at Colorado State University and her MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management. She loved Hawaii and spent two years teaching on Maui after completing her MBA. She then worked in marketing and sales for Medtronic and as a marketing director for Duracell. In 1986 she became a realtor with Coldwell Banker Burnet and spent 31 years as a beloved and highly successful realtor in Minnesota. Cindy was an inspiration and best friend to many through her work with the St. Paul Junior League, MN Governor's Residence Council, Como Zoo, St. Paul Academy and Summit School, Jeremiah Program and White Bear Arts Council.
She was an amazing sister, aunt and great-aunt who took pleasure in spoiling all. She enjoyed traveling and had just completed a trip to France days before she passed. Many describe her as one who brought wonder and humor into their lives. She was a devoted patron of the arts, an advocate for the advancement of women, adored the royal family, and was an excellent hula dancer. Cindy gave generously to the community and will be remembered for her energy, kindness, elegance, joyful spirit, hard work, and her incredible, witty, sense of humor.
Andy Bowen, 80, of Oak Park Heights, formerly of Minneapolis, died peacefully on September 9, 2017, of Alexander Disease. She was preceded in death by a daughter, Hilary Bowen, brother Edgar Russell Jr., and sisters Margaret Russell and Marcia Berkley, and is survived by her husband, Robert, and their daughter, Sarah.
Andy attended Summit School in St. Paul and Wellesley College where she majored in music (violin, piano). Upon graduation, Andy sought out employment which would expand her knowledge, such as working for a paleo-entomologist, and after a stint in the Harvard admissions office, serving as managing editor of Behavioral Science in Ann Arbor, Michigan. While in Ann Arbor, Andy earned an MA in English literature. She spent a year and a half in England, working in the records department of a hospital in Cambridge.
Andy loved adventure. She canoed rivers from the Yukon in Canada to the Zambezi in Zambia. She rafted the Colorado, and went on sailing trips in the Alaskan inland waterway. She and Bob went on a number of hiking trips in Great Britain, Ireland, and France. Andy loved choral music, and while in England, sang in the King's College Choir in Cambridge. She was also a member of madrigal groups, both in England and in Ann Arbor. Andy and Bob both sang in the Bach Society and were charter members of the Minnesota Chorale. Andy's creative talents extended beyond music to photography and watercolor painting. Andy was also a superb cook; she rarely followed a recipe, improvising as she went, and the results were glorious.
Andy and Bob were married almost 49 years and lived in Minneapolis for most of them, spending summers on the St. Croix. In 2013 they moved to a retirement community, Boutwells Landing, in Oak Park Heights. The family thanks the staff at The Gables for the care given Andy during her stay. Andy's sweet nature and sense of humor were irresistible.
Josephine (Nicky) Benz Carpenter born on June 29, 1935, to George W. and Louise Bremer Benz, in St. Paul, Minnesota, passed away peacefully on August 14, 2017, in Plymouth, Minnesota. Nicky graduated from Summit School in 1953, Vassar College in 1957 and attended the University of Munich and Goethe Institute in Germany. She married Thomas K. Carpenter on January 23, 1970. She was preceded in death by her parents, George and Louise Bremer Benz ’25; husband, Tom and sons, James K. and George T. Carpenter. Nicky is survived by her daughter, Virginia E. Carpenter; daughters-in-law, Janet E. Carpenter and Joan M. Carpenter (Sheridan, WY); grandchildren, Susan E. Jara (Diego), Theresa M. Carson (Donovan), Josephine G. Carpenter (Bellevue, WA), Thomas K. Carpenter II, William J. Carpenter (Sheridan, WY) and Catherine H. Carpenter, as well as a sister, Louise B. Plank ’56, of Buffalo, WY, and brother, George B. Benz ’58 (Karen) of Scottsdale, Arizona.
Recently retired from her Educational Consulting business (since 1977 in Wayzata) Nicky assisted students with their college admissions process. Along with her love of helping students, she was active in many local and national professional associations. Her background includes positions as Associate Dean of Admissions at Barnard and Pembroke Colleges, Brown University and the Villa Merced in Florence, Italy. Nicky joined the Minnesota Orchestra Board in 1977 and co-chaired the Symphony Ball in 1978. She served multiple terms before being elected a Life Director in 1999. Her Board positions included Secretary (1981-85), Vice President (1985-89 and 1998-99) and Chair (1990-95). She was a committed volunteer and a staunch supporter of the Minnesota Orchestra, carrying on a long-standing Carpenter family tradition. Nicky served as a Regent at Saint John's University in Collegeville, MN (1984 to 1993). She also served on the University's Capital Campaign Committee. In 1994 she began her service on the Board of the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library (HMML) at Saint John's University. After serving as Board Chair (1994-2005) she became a life time board member emeritus.
In 1994 Nicky embraced an exciting new project at Saint John's Abbey encompassing all the things Nicky believed were necessary for living an enriched life; art, faith, beauty and culture. She was an early donor and proponent of the project and worked tirelessly to bring The Saint John's Bible to new and diverse audiences. A stalwart for her alma mater, Vassar College, she served nine years on the AAVC Board and six years as a Vassar Trustee. Nicky used her wide range of volunteer experiences on Vassar's Trustee Development Committee and Chair of the Annual Fund Advisory Council during the recently completed Vassar 150 World Changing Campaign, setting a new fund-raising record. Her community service centered around education and music; including Board positions at Macalester College, Twin Cities Public Television, Minnesota Opera, University of Minnesota Foundation, MacPhail Center for the Arts, Minnesota International Center, League of American Orchestras, Minnesota Education Radio Inc. (MPR), and St. Thomas Academy. In 2007 Nicky received the Twin Cities Outstanding Individual Philanthropist of the Year Award. Nicky was on the Board of the Holy Family Hospital Foundation of Bethlehem and a Dame of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
Nancy Mairs Gephart ’45, passed away peacefully on September 2, 2017, at age 90. Preceded in death by her loving parents Jean McLeod Mairs; Louise Ritchie ’21 and George Alexander Mairs, Jr.; and brothers George III ’46 and Angus Mairs ’51 (Marge), and sister Jean McLean ’48 (Albert). Survived by her loving husband of 66 years, George Wesley Gephart; sons George Jr. (Elizabeth), Angus (Mary Stuart) and John; grandchildren Nolan Mangan (Greg), Nancy, Elizabeth, Alexander (Maura) and Charles Gephart; and great-grandchild Edward Mangan. Also survived by her loving brother Robert Mairs ’45 (Helen) and sister Louise Frankenbach ’47; 16 nieces and nephews, and their children; and a lifetime of wonderful friends.
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 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 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 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.
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 http://www.hansenmortuary.com for condolences.
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.
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 “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.
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, 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 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.
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.