Class notes & obits
The deadlines to submit entries for the Earlhamite are:
Submissions may be edited for length or other editorial considerations.
Need to get in touch with your class chair? Find them on the class chair page. The chairs serve as goodwill ambassadors and are encouraged to help organize class reunions and other alumni gatherings in their communities.
Alumni Council message
Over the last couple of years, Alumni Council has undertaken the important, but laborious work of reviewing (and ultimately rewriting) our group’s constitution, committee structure and organizational goals. Every member of Council was involved in the process and we now have a more nimble organization for moving forward.
Our current areas of focus:
- Facilitation of alumni-to-alumni engagement through on campus and remote events.
- Alumni-to-campus engagement focused around support for recruitment activities, career development, and general support for the well-being of College employees.
- An increased and dedicated effort to be, both as individual members and as an organization, deliberately supportive of ways we can be more inclusive.
Alumni Council is seeking new members who have passion for support of Earlham College, and want to lend their time and talent toward these efforts. If you want to get involved, please visit the Alumni Council web page at earlham.edu/ac to learn more, and complete the nomination form. We look forward to seeing new Earlhamites get involved with the work of Alumni Council!
For more information about Alumni Council, visit https://earlham.edu/alumni/get-involved/alumni-council/. Email us at [email protected].
|Alum name||Class year||Earlhamite issue||Note||Note includes||Obituary type||Attached photos||id||Details|
|Chania Whitaker||2018||Spring 2023 issue||I recently received my doctorate in Chiropractic from Parker University.||General update||644||More details|
|Kayla Trevino||2018||Winter 2022 issue||I started the master's of science psychology program at Arizona State University in August. I'm on the fast track expect to graduate next summer. I will be getting married in March of 2022!||General update||777||More details|
|Chisama Ku Penn||2016||Winter 2022 issue||In 2019, Chisama Ku Penn started Custom Tradition, a black-owned, fair-trade project based in Mexico that supports indigenous women artisans by working with them directly and providing them with access to a global market to promote their handicrafts. She is currently raising money to support this project so that she can continue to positively impact the women she works with in more ways than one. If you would like to support her, please take a moment to donate by visiting www.CustomTradition.com.||General update||912||More details|
|Chris Angell||2015||Winter 2022 issue||This year I have two exciting announcements! First, in May, I earned my doctorate in biology at the University of Ottawa, where I studied aging in wild flies in beautiful (and mosquito-ridden) Algonquin Provincial Park. Second, after a long time away, I've returned to Earlham this fall as the biology lab and stockroom manager. I'm grateful to be back in my old department, but now on the "other side!"||General update||929||More details|
|Arielle Webb||2014||Spring 2023 issue||Since graduating from Earlham in 2014 and returning from Central America in 2015, Arielle held several jobs in the mental health and social service fields before earning a master's degree in clinical mental health and rehabilitation counseling from The Pennsylvania State University in 2020. Since then, Arielle has been working as a Licensed Mental health Counselor at a non-profit community clinic in rural eastern Washington serving mostly children, adolescents, and families. More recently, Arielle has been an active member of several professional counseling associations including presenting at national conferences. Arielle finds joy and restoration through backpacking, snowboarding, mountain biking, and, most recently, mountaineering.||General update||582||More details|
|Elliot Kramer||2014||Spring 2023 issue||Elliot Kramer and his family have had an exciting year. In June, Elliot successfully defended his PhD thesis. Right around then he and his wife, Laura, moved back to Buffalo, New York so that he could return to medical school and round out the last two years of his MD-PhD. Then in August, Laura and Elliot welcomed their son to the world. Simon has lit up their lives in so many ways, and everyone is looking forward to all the joys this next year will bring!||Birth, General update||583||More details|
|Holly McDonald||2014||Spring 2023 issue||I am currently living in Sydney, Australia with my partner and fellow Earlhamite Salvador Rivas '14. We are getting married in January 2023 and are looking forward to sharing the EC love with our friends and family on the day. Happy to meet up with any Earlhamites visiting Australia!||Marriage, General update||588||More details|
|Charlie Boyd||2014||Fall 2022 issue||Charlie received his Masters in Nursing from the University of San Francisco in December after a career change and was recently accepted in the Nurse Residency Program at University of California San Francisco in their general surgery department. He loves living in the bay, continues to enjoy the outdoors through running and bird watching, and is always open to Earlhamite visitors! Reach out to say hello.||General update||675||More details|
|Justin Garlitz||2014||Fall 2022 issue||I am currently living in Manhattan, Illinois and working on a FEMA response team based in Chicago. Outside my day-to-day role of personnel management, I've gotten involved in climate adaptation/resilience and national service alumni groups at FEMA. Brian Forman '14, Elliot Kramer '14, and I are still going on outdoor adventures, with the latest being to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan last summer. In my free time I've been cross-country skiing, kayaking, and competing in bar trivia with friends.||General update||676||More details|
|Anja Kresojevic Kordic||2014||Fall 2022 issue||I'm working as a university counselor at United World College - Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina.||General update||677||More details|
|Angelica DeSimio||2014||Fall 2022 issue||My wife Hannah (Scout) and I are happily expecting a new addition to our family this fall! Baby DeSimio is expected to make her appearance in late September. Chicken the dog and Rao the cat will be great big sisters, and we're excited for the adventures that await us. If you're ever passing through Kansas City, let me know!||Birth, General update||678||More details|
|Ellen St. Romain||2014||Fall 2022 issue||Hey everyone! I'm living in Austin, Texas with my husband, our dog, and 5 chickens. I recently started working for Texas Parks and Wildlife as a GIS Analyst. The job is great, life is good, and I get to do a lot of gardening and yoga in my free time. Living the dream. Reach out if you're ever in the area!||General update||679||More details|
|Emily Bell-Hoerth||2014||Fall 2022 issue||Emily has spent the past two years recovering from multiple traumatic brain injuries, which have caused her to leave her job as a Camp Director and teacher. In happier news, she married Nicky Sontag '16 in December of 2021.||Marriage, General update||680||More details|
|Natalie Reitz||2014||Fall 2022 issue||Natalie will be attending Temple University in Philadelphia in the fall to pursue a master’s in Media Studies and Production. She hopes to use her degree to tackle issues around fake news and to better educate the public on how to think critically about the media they consume. If you’re an Earlhamite working in the film industry, she’d love to connect with you about upcoming projects!||General update||681||More details|
|Taylor Jeromos||2014||Fall 2022 issue||The last six months have seen much change in my life, with one of the happiest being my marriage to Lauren Haskins! We also bought a house in Buffalo, New York, so if you find yourself in the area, please reach out. Sending all Earlhamites good vibes.||General update||682||More details|
|Arielle Webb||2014||Winter 2022 issue||Arielle Webb, M.Ed., LMHC continues to pursue her career in mental health as a Youth and Family Mental Health Counselor at a 503(c) non-profit in the inland Northwest, United States. Arielle provides in-person and virtual individual, family and group therapy primarily to adolescents and children from underserved and marginalized rural communities. Providing a courageous and confidential space for youth to heal and prosper is important to Arielle; it is the "why" that fuels her commitment, despite the increased demands and challenges exacerbated by the global pandemic. To offset the demands, Arielle has found no shortage of hobbies to enjoy during her personal time. From the Cascade Mountains to the rolling hills of the Palouse, Arielle fully indulges the diverse terrain of the Northwest through mountain biking, backpacking, hiking and outdoor rock climbing. With snow on the horizon, Arielle looks forward to shredding the mountains on her snowboard! Although the global pandemic has posed both personal and professional challenges, Arielle is grateful for the unconditional support of her family, close friends, partner and beloved animal companion, Waffles, an 80 lb. brindle-colored French Bullmastiff. Sadly, Waffles passed away in May 2021 from bone cancer. Arielle looks forward to spending the winter holidays with her and her partner's family on the east and west coast (United States), respectfully.||General update||781||More details|
|Maya Reisman||2014||Winter 2022 issue||I am currently living in Washington, D.C., where I graduated from American University Washington College of Law. I graduated with honors and received an award for my work in fighting the criminal system. I also had a couple of articles published in The Criminal Law Practitioner and the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law Journal on Social Justice. For those interested, the articles are titled: (1) "Eternal Punishment: The Cruel and Unusual Practice of Deporting Noncitizen Juvenile Offenders"; and (2) "A New Idea for the Education System in Maryland Juvenile Correctional Facilities."
In November, I found out that I passed the bar exam and began working as a trial attorney for the D.C. Public Defender Service (PDS). Working at PDS is not a dream come true, because it is better than any job I ever dreamed of. People living in poverty in the United States are faced with a number of indignities; not the least of which is the lack of control over their fate in the criminal system. In a system designed to further dehumanize and forever penalize poor people, the inability to choose who will defend you is an added affliction. As a public defender, I work to preserve my clients’ dignity and autonomy in a system that seeks to strip them of the few entitlements they have left.
I am committed to fighting the U.S. government every day for the rest of my career. I owe my grit and determination to the education I received at Earlham College. I will never be able to repay the professors and classmates who taught me the importance of being a catalyst for good.
|General update||799||More details|
|Tom Webb||2014||Spring 2024 issue||I am pleased (and slightly bewildered) to announce that; after five years of serving Baltimore Yearly Meeting (including two years as the clerk of the Young Adult Friends), I have been nominated and confirmed as the new Clerk of the Interim Meeting.||General update||1623||More details|
|Mary Williams||2013||Spring 2023 issue||On June 4, 2022 Dylan Kyriacopoulos '13 and I were married in a Quaker(ish) ceremony in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains outside Shenandoah National Park. We gathered with our community for a weekend among the trees and celebrated in the presence of many of our Earlham Friends and family (including 3 generations of Earlham alumni)!||General update||602||More details|
|Elizabeth Denny||2013||Winter 2022 issue||Lizzy Denny graduated from the master's program at Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena, California (another Quaker Institution) with a master's in advocacy and social justice with a global distinction. She was the only student earning the Global Distinction in all the College for the past two years. She is the state program specialist for Impact Justice in California.||General update||747||More details|
|Mary Thomforde||2013||Fall 2023 issue||Mary Thomforde is currently living in Philadelphia with her partner and dog. She is currently working for a fintech startup called Philanthropi as a Marketing Manager. It is a position in which she finds herself thinking of Earlham and her classmates often, as it creates avenues for the everyday philanthropist to do good in the world. When she isn’t working you will find her in the local ceramic studio, taking hikes with her dog in nearby state parks, or training for her next marathon. She is looking forward to Homecoming 2023!||General update||1512||More details|
|Norah Doss||2012||Winter 2022 issue||Norah Doss is living in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her partner and her dog. She began teaching high school humanities at an independent school, and has even had current Earlham professor of English and convener of the Honors Program, Nate Eastman, meet with her students virtually! She remains an adjunct professor at Central New Mexico Community College. She spends her time knitting sweaters, hiking in the mountains and singing in local musical groups.||General update||802||More details|
|Laura Gerritsen||2012||Fall 2023 issue||Laura married her husband, Josh, in July 2021 at a farm on the island of North Haven, Maine. They have since welcomed the birth of their first child, William, who was born September 2022 and named after Laura's late father. Laura works for epocrates, a division of athenahealth, where she does sales strategy.||General update||1544||More details|
|Eli Bobrowich||2011||Fall 2022 issue||Eli is living in Boston and working full time as an RN for Massachusetts General Hospital's Transgender Health program. Being a nurse in a pandemic has been challenging, but rewarding. He is finishing up his master's in nursing and hopes to be working as an FNP in primary care. He and his partner Maxie are enjoying the challenges of feline negotiations as their cats start to tolerate one another.||General update||715||More details|
|Donnie Smith||2011||Winter 2022 issue||Hi Class of 2011,
It has been awhile since I have submitted a class update. I'm still on the West Coast living in Oakland, California and missing my days on the Heart. I have been here for 3 years and absolutely love the weather, people and the community that I have found. I'm still working in education and so happy to be in a community that is doing some amazing work. If any alums are in the Bay or Los Angeles areas please let me know because I would love to connect.
Missing you all and can't to see you all in 2026 for our 15 year reunion.
|General update||766||More details|
|Hannah Leifheit||2011||Winter 2022 issue||In May, Hannah Leifheit began managing a food pantry outside of Philadelphia. She is very thankful to be a part of a dedicated team of people doing community-level, food access work guided by the needs of those the pantry serves. Give a holler if you're passing through!||General update||779||More details|
|Archer Bunner||2011||Winter 2022 issue||I am teaching at Richmond High School in Indiana, where I have been for 8 years now! I enjoyed visiting with folks for an off-campus "reunion" this past fall. Please, reach out if you are coming to Richmond and would like to hangout!||General update||793||More details|
|Megan Holthaus||2011||Winter 2022 issue||I recently moved to Canaan Valley, West Virginia, to help start and run a ski resort – Timberline Mountain – with some of my friends. We're surrounded by plenty of rock climbing, hiking, camping, kayaking, snowboarding, cross-country skiing and other spaces for outdoor adventures. I would love to host any friends from the Earlham community that would like to visit the area!||General update||801||More details|
|Stevie Scheurich||2010||Spring 2023 issue||After 4 years in Ohio studying queer-feminist witches, I am happy to be back home again in Indiana. I finished my dissertation in June and officially graduated with my PhD in American Culture Studies on my birthday in August. I recently moved to Fort Wayne to start my job as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Women's Studies at Purdue University Fort Wayne. I'm enjoying my days spent riding my bike along the river back and forth to work and asking students if they care to "unpack that statement" or if they can "speak a bit more from that space."||General update||594||More details|
|Hannah Reed||2010||Spring 2023 issue||Hi class of 2010! Life is good! I live and work as an Associate Dean of College Counseling and House Advisor at Cranbrook Schools in the Detroit suburbs. Nora Woods '11 married me and my husband Loren in September 2021, and we welcomed our daughter Freya in July 2022! I would love to see you all if you’re ever in the Detroit area.||General update||625||More details|
|Katy Buda||2010||Spring 2023 issue||Katy is currently living in South Bend, Indiana with her beautiful six year old son, Tuvia, and 11 year old dog Bella Ann. She's in her 9th year as a high school counselor at South Bend Clay High School, always fighting for the underdogs in public education. She also spends her days with her loving partner, Joanna and her two sons, traveling to Lake Michigan, cooking vegan food, and absorbing unbelievable amounts of non-fiction books, true crime documentaries, and famous pitbulls on social media.||General update||626||More details|
|Adam Tobin||2010||Winter 2022 issue||After two reschedules and a year of waiting, I married my wife, Nora Conklin, on Aug. 29 in Baltimore. It was a dream come true and we were very lucky to have friends and family in attendance including Gabriel and Mariah Torres and Eric Holman '09. We are living in Chevy Chase, Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C. Happy to host or meet up with any Earlhamites passing through or in the area!||Marriage, General update||761||More details|
|Max Crumley-Effinger||2010||Winter 2022 issue||I am currently living in Blacksburg, Virginia and working with international students at Virginia Tech. I'm in the final stages of completing a Ph.D. in international education at Loyola University Chicago, where I am also a member of the adjunct faculty in the School of Education. I am looking forward to gathering in-person with EC friends at a future Homecoming, and hope that can happen soon.||General update||819||More details|
|Anina Estrem||2010||Fall 2023 issue||Anina currently manages FISH of Vancouver Food Pantry, the largest food pantry in Vancouver, Washington with an emphasis on abundance and client dignity. She also writes the food justice and food banking blog 'Who Deserves to Eat' at whodeservestoeat.com. Anina is engaged to Kern Herron and together they live in Portland, Oregon.||General update||1497||More details|
|Josh Friedberg||2010||Fall 2023 issue||In 2022 I worked at two colleges as a writing tutor with my master's degree in English, and I am hopefully passing on what I learned at Earlham to new generations of college students. I also got my first peer-reviewed journal article published at James Baldwin Review, as well as online articles published at PopMatters, Good Men Project, and The Daring. I'm running a subscription blog, Spectrum Sounds, at joshfrmusic.substack.com. I would love to hear from other Earlhamites via email at [email protected]!||General update||1543||More details|
|Alexandra Hagerty||2007||Fall 2022 issue||I am currently the Ship Captain aboard the Hospital Ship Africa Mercy with over 70 nationalities onboard. We are preparing to bring doctors, nurses and teachers to Africa to provide free life changing surgeries for those in need. You can follow us on www.mercyships.org
Or donate to my non profit:
Come join us as a volunteer ! We need people from all backgrounds!
|General update||https://earlhamite.earlham.edu/wp-content/uploads/gravity_forms/16-c1cefcf79de5381f582327d68c1b860c/2023/03/0E708554-94EE-4EF5-B48E-D7744023C524.jpeg||740||More details|
|Adam Putnam||2007||Winter 2022 issue||Sara Bohall Putnam '08 and I welcomed Charlotte "Lottie" Louise Putnam to the world on Valentine's Day 2021. I'm a psychology professor at Furman University in South Carolina, and Sara works for the biostatistics department at the University of Minnesota (remotely of course).||Birth||776||More details|
|Sara Howell||2007||Spring 2024 issue||Sara Elizabeth Howell '07, 38, of Bloomington, Indiana, passed away on Thursday, July 13. She was born on July 8, 1985 in Bloomington. Sara was a graduate of Bloomington High School North and Earlham College. She was an exceptional athlete, setting high school and college records in the 400-meter dash. Sara displayed the same drive during her career. First as a Client Service Manager at Quotient Technology and most recently as co-owner and manager of T&T Pet Food and Supply in Bloomington. Sara was a dedicated animal lover, fostering and rescuing countless dogs and cats before adopting them into loving homes. Sara’s primary calling was as a totally devoted and loving mother of her six-year-old daughter Stella, who survives.
In addition to Stella, Sara is survived by her mother, Barbara Howell, and father, John Howell, both of Bloomington, and beloved friend and business partner Terry Hays. Sara is also survived by her brothers Justin Howell (Laura Sargent) and Brett Howell of Bloomington, and Wesley Howell (Leslie Chang) of San Rafael, California; two nephews, Harold Sargent-Howell and Everson Chang-Howell; and countless aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
|Obituary||Obituary for alum||1616||More details|
|Katrina McQuail||2006||Fall 2022 issue||It's been another quiet year with no travel. Our family is fortunate in that we live on the same property with my parents, Fran (Fuson) '74 and Tony McQuail. Which has been great in general, but extra wonderful with the arrival of our second pandemic baby in mid-summer 2021. I am still farming full time and working for Elections Canada and Ontario when elections are called. We keep up with other friends and family by video and phone calls. We're looking forward to when we can gather together again.||Birth, General update||743||More details|
|Lydia Hamilton||2006||Winter 2022 issue||I recently completed my doctorate in health behavior from the Indiana University-School of Public Health, where my research focused on human milk bank donation. I chat daily with my best friend and fellow Mountain Wilderness 2002 alum Shannon Effler, and am in frequent contact with Emily Steele, Hannah Swihart, and Kim Shipley '07.||General update||786||More details|
|Nora Wightman Gilstrap||2005||Spring 2023 issue||Nora Wightman Gilstrap was born April 26, 1983, and died Oct. 20, 2022, after suffering cardiac arrest, perhaps due to Long QT Syndrome. She is survived by her husband, Matt, and their 11 month old daughter, Piper; her parents, Kathy and Alec Wightman; her sister, Emily (Cameron) O’Reilly and their children, Gavin and Charlie; and a multitude of family and friends who loved her dearly.
Nora graduated from Columbus School for Girls in 2001 and Earlham College in 2005, and she received her Masters in Social Work from The Ohio State University. We will remember her as a kind and loving young girl and woman with a passion for helping others, which led to a career as a therapist. She also had a passion for music, especially all things Phish, Ekoostic Hookah and Ani DiFranco. She enjoyed family vacations, including skiing, swimming, hiking and “spa-ing.” Nora was a yoga enthusiast and championed many forms of self-help, educating all of us along the way. Although not part of a formal religion, she was spiritual and embraced people equally, with love and without judgment. Her greatest joy was her daughter, Piper, now just 11 months old, who she leaves behind to be cherished by her dad and the rest of her family, making sure Piper knows her mom and benefits from Nora’s presence forever.
|Obituary||Obituary for alum||636||More details|
|John Spencer||2005||Fall 2022 issue||John T. “JT” Spencer IV, 39, of Greenwood, IN passed away Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. He was born Jan. 8, 1983 in Beech Grove, Indiana to John T. Spencer III and Tamara A. “Tammy” (Dukes) Spencer. He married Amy D. (Todd) Spencer on June 21, 2008 in Southport, Indiana, she survives.
JT was a 2001 graduate of Center Grove High School where he played on the football team. He continued and graduated from Earlham College where he played football and baseball.
He had been employed by Robards & Sons Lawn Care for several years.
JT had been a Center Grove Bantam Football coach and had served on the board of directors. He also had served on the Fair Oaks homeowners association and was involved in supporting Ducks Unlimited. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and spending time with his family.
Survivors include his wife Amy D. (Todd) Spencer of Greenwood, Indiana, a daughter Charlee L. Spencer and son Thomas J. Spencer, parents John T. Spencer III and Tamara A. “Tammy” (Dukes) Spencer of Greenwood, sister Kathleen Spencer (Andy) of Greenwood, a brother William Spencer (Jenn Sizelove) of Avon, Indiana and sister Jenna Spencer Schmitt (Jonathan) of Bargersville, Indiana, father-in-law and mother-in-law Jim and Jamie (Peters) Todd of Greenwood, sister-in-law Katy J. Holcomb (Jeff) of Indianapolis, brother-in-law and sister-in-law Evan and Emily Meredith of Indianapolis, a brother-in-law Morgan Meredith of Waveland, Mississippi, nephews Everett Spencer and Townes Holcomb, grandparents Leonard and Elsie (Henderson) Smith of Greenwood, Indiana.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents John T. Spencer and Angie (Alvey) Spencer, Bob and Norma J. (Davidson) Dukes, and mother-in-law Pamela L. (Smith) Todd.
|Obituary||Obituary for alum||722||More details|
|Annika Taylor||2005||Winter 2022 issue||Annika Taylor and her partner, Ross, welcomed a baby girl to the world on July 29, 2021. Eleanor Anne Whitmore-Taylor was born in Melbourne, Australia, and is looking forward to joining Earlham's class of 2043.||Birth||810||More details|
|Elaine Fleschner||2004||Spring 2023 issue||I spent 17 years working in retail pharmacy, getting increasingly burnt out and frustrated as the demands of the Covid pandemic put the squeeze on the industry. In July of 2022 I transitioned into a job as a night-shift pharmacist at Riverside Methodist Hospital here in Columbus, Ohio. So far I am really enjoying the work and learning lots of new things every day. The schedule is a change of pace. I work 7 nights in a row, then have 7 nights off, but as an unrepentant night owl, I rather enjoy getting to stay up all night and sleep all day. And this way, I'm able to spend more time with my kids, Amelia (11), Leo (8) and Isaac (5). Husband Alec and I just celebrated 15 years of marriage. As I come up on turning 40, just 3 weeks away as of this writing, I've been doing a lot of looking back and looking forward. I've been through a lot to get to this point and I'm really excited about what lies ahead.||General update||575||More details|
|Mandy Kelly||2004||Winter 2022 issue||Mandy Kelly was born to Clifford and Patricia Kelly on Dec. 7, 1980, in Richmond, Indiana. She graduated from Union County High School with the class of 1999 prior to attending Earlham College, where she received an undergraduate degree in psychology. Mandy furthered her education by receiving a master’s degree in divinity in 2010. Mandy enjoyed crocheting, needle point, writing and spending time with her family and friends. More than anything, she loved raising her two sons and reading them special stories before bedtime. Mandy will be remembered as a loving mother, a wonderful daughter, a caring sister and friend.
In addition to her parents, Mandy is survived by her fiancé, Aaron K. Swindill; sons, Drake and Zander; sister, Lindsey M. Kelly; aunts and uncles, Glenn and Misty Woosley, Chris Woosley, John and Kim Woosley; special cousins for whom she thought the world of, Michelle L. Woosley, Michael G. Woosley; many cousins and special friends.
Mandy is preceded in death by her paternal grandmother, Pinny Kelly, and maternal grandparents, Bobbie and Gladys Woosley.
|Obituary||Obituary for alum||839||More details|
|Matthew Emerson||2004||Fall 2023 issue||On March 5, 2022, the world lost the light of Matthew Scott Emerson, born in 1981. Matthew will be remembered for the joy and levity he brought to those around him. He embodied loving kindness, gentleness, patience and sincerity. He enjoyed a complicated puzzle, was an incredible artist and a true Lego connoisseur, and, above all, loved animals. Matt was on a first-name basis with every dog and cat he ever encountered. A natural green thumb, he coaxed lush, colorful perennial gardens out of sad patches of lawn. His gardens will continue to bloom, providing the haven for wildlife, birds and insects that he so loved. He leaves landscapes of beauty and life behind him.
Matthew was married to Abby, the love of his life, for 16 years. Together they shared a home in St. Albans, Vermont, with their beloved cats. They enjoyed nature museums, antique shopping, thrift stores, and time spent in the woods or swimming in the lake. Matt surrounded their home with gardens and filled their home with calm well-being.
Matthew leaves behind his parents, James and Karen Emerson, of Brandon, Vermont.; his older siblings, Jeff and Rebecca; many aunts, uncles and cousins; his wife, Abby, of St. Albans; and her family, Carol, Mary Alyssa and Adam.
Matt was born and spent his early years in Milton, Vermont. As a tender, playful spirit, he brought his puppets and stuffed toys to school way longer than most would expect. He transitioned to St. George for fifth through eighth grades, where he attended the Lake Champlain Waldorf School. Here he majored in his delightfully quirky, fun-loving activities, most notably as cocomposer of the song “Compost Is My Best Friend,” including harmonies and wonderful lyrics. At High Mowing School in Wilton, N.H., he was known for his caring ways, as well as his stint as “Plunger Boy," where he took a prank played on him with a plunger and turned it into a fun-loving totem. He was seen carrying a plunger on his belt for about a year. He acquired perhaps the largest and only known personal plunger collection known to man and even wore a plunger on his wedding day.
He moved on to volunteer for three years through AmeriCorps at Camphill Copake, a community devoted to supporting people with disabilities. Returning to Vermont, he cared for people with disabilities in Vermont for about nine years, during which time he married. For the past nine years, he worked at American Meadows spearheading its customer service training program.
One of his coworkers, upon learning of his passing, put into words what we know to be true of Matthew:
“This is a day when birds cannot sing; we have lost a dear member of our flock to unimaginable pain, grief and sorrow. We thought Matthew Emerson was here to teach us about good customer service, wildflowers, plants and Acumatica, which, of course, he was, but that was not the most important work he did. He was the department head of patience and kindness. He led by example with his thoughtful acts and words. And we are bereft with holes in our hearts and limping with the loss of a good man gone. But today — this sorrowful day — let’s join hands to help his legacy live on and vow in time ahead to acknowledge with our words and deeds the inspiring influence of a kindhearted man.”
We invite you to join us in creating a work of art for Matthew out of the remembrances we share. As family friend Joann Dennee said: “As our beloved ones across the threshold have no memories of themselves except the thoughts and recollections we offer up to them, the living memories we send to the deceased are like art. To the dead, this offering is experienced as beauty. 'Just as art for the living brings enchantment of the spiritual world to the physical world, our thoughts of love connect the deceased with our earthly world.'" (Rudolph Steiner)
|Obituary||Obituary for alum||1496||More details|
|Melissa Dawn Johnson||2003||Spring 2023 issue||Melissa "Mel" Dawn Johnson, age 41, of Richmond, Indiana, died Monday, July 18, 2022, at IU Health University Hospital surrounded by her family.
Born March 27, 1981, in Franklin, Indiana, a real-life "Wonder Woman", to Michael and Sally Roe Liffick, Mel had lived in Richmond for 23 years. She was a 1999 graduate of Whiteland Community High School in Whiteland, Indiana, and she received her bachelor's degree in biology and master's degree in education from Earlham College. Mel was a former teacher at Winchester Community High School and the head women's basketball coach and physical education instructor at Earlham College. Mel was a member of LifeSpring Church and the American Basketball Coaches Association. She enjoyed running, hiking, basketball, coaching, teaching and spoiling her cats.
Survivors include her husband, Nick Johnson '01, to whom she was married on June 25, 2005; children, Jayden and Jacob; parents; sister, Megan (John) Day of Indianapolis, Indiana; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Nathan '01 and Melanie Johnson '04 of Cincinnati, Ohio; sisters-in-law, Renee (Neal) Wattley of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Kyra (David) Gonzalez of San Tan Valley, Arizona; and many family members and friends.
She was preceded in death by one niece, Alaina Day.
|Obituary||Obituary for alum, Obituary for a former Earlham faculty or staff member||574||More details|
|Michelle Clark||2003||Fall 2023 issue||Michelle Clark age 41, born June 1, 1981, passed away Dec. 15, 2022. Michelle Madeleine Clark, PhD, MDiv, RN-BC, CNE was taken from this world too soon, her body giving into an aggressive brain cancer. However, her spirit, and her soul never stopped fighting and these finer points of a fine person will carry on in this realm through those who knew and loved her and in the next realm where she is at peace with her maker. Michelle is survived by her dear children Otis and Nathaniel (with Matthew Zuehlke), her beloved husband Daniel Sobel (and his family), her mother Gerry Sullivan-Clark, and her sister Donna Gettle (and her family). This in addition to the countless lives she touched as a mental-health nurse with the Cleveland Clinic, a professor of nursing at Cleveland State University, as a researcher, as a chaplain, and certainly as a friend. While there is a great sadness inherent in her tragic loss, inevitably Michelle would hope that her memory might inspire good works towards her fellow humans and animals, and most importantly laughter and song. Her beautiful sense of humor was evident through her last days.||Obituary||Obituary for alum||1541||More details|
|Sarah Egolf-Tarr||2002||Winter 2022 issue||I'm still loving working at Wildlands Restoration Volunteers (my tenth year!) and living in Broomfield, Colorado, with my husband, Andrew Tarr and rescue mutt, Mimi. I miss my Earlhamites and hope to cross paths with you soon. These days of change and disruption, I'm finding my EC education is coming in even more handy. I'm grateful to you for being a part of that.||General update||923||More details|
|Jason Karnezis||1997||Fall 2023 issue||Still up in the PNW focused on ecological preservation and restoration activities in the lower Columbia River estuary. Day by day trying to stick my head out of the weeds and reconnect more with folks. Created Earlham alums on Zwift for all you bike nerds. Would be up for hosting alum mountain bike rides if you’re in the general area. Hope you’re all well.||General update||1517||More details|