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Class of 59


Class Secretary

   Professor J. Kenneth Kuntz '59 B.D.


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Class Notes

Welcome to 1959's Class Notes page. Here you will find news from your classmates on what they've been doing since graduation.  Enjoy!

Moved? New job? Retired? Newly married? New grandchildren? Please submit your Class Notes to your Class Secretary or the Alumni Office by August 31, 2008, for publication in the next issue of Spectrum.



2010 Notes

You are reading this column several months subsequent to our 50th class reunion scheduled at Convocation (12-15 Oct. ’09). As I write, this event is slightly more than a month into the future. When asked by the Alumni Office to chair and gather a planning committee, I speedily agreed. In due course seven talented and dedicated classmates joined me to constitute the committee. I’m keen to thank Ralph Barlow, Bill Barnes, Tom Duggan, Peter Hodgson, Tom Johnston, Mary Nelson Keithahn, and Don Skinner for their generosity in devoting time to the cause and for their capacity to generate some brilliant reunion ideas. Since I felt it crucial to nudge as many classmates as possible into submitting prose for our 50th reunion class letter, I was less zealous in soliciting entries for Spectrum. Even so, 14 entries follow. Be aware that corresponding website entries are more detailed than this print version. Should you wish to be linked with any of our classmates mentioned below, please send me your e-mail or other address and I’ll convey it to the relevant person.  – Ken

Douglas Bailey ‘59 B.D., ’60 S.T.M. continues to serve as an annuitant visitor for the United Church of Christ Pension Board in his central southeast Ohio UCC association area.


Ralph Barlow ’59 B.D., ’64 S.T.M. views his life this past year as something of a culmination of a thirty-year commitment to writing a biography of Liston Pope. In response to an invitation to write a book chapter on the psychology of expectations, Ralph offered an interpretation of Pope’s addiction to alcohol. He sought to be faithful to what Pope taught us, by placing his addiction solidly within the social context of his time, which was our time as well.


Tom Dicken ’59 B.D. found the presidential election a fascinating drama. He reads in philosophy, religion, art, and fiction. Currently he is enjoying Richard Holmes’ The Age of Wonder, on science in the 1700s and 1800s. Once regarding yard work a nuisance, today he labors some ten hours weekly, generating a Zen-type mood of meditation. Seasoned travelers, Tom and Nancy have toured from Europe to Japan. In the future, they’ll stick with favorites—New York City, London, Paris.


Tom Duggan ’59 B.D. and Gail, residing at Pilgrim Place in CA, relish musical events at the five Claremont colleges and engaging lectures on topics ranging from the environment to America’s role in the world. Serving on the Napier Initiative (honoring Davie and Joy) has been most challenging as a million plus dollars is being raised for scholarships supporting students committed to global peace, the environment, and racial justice. Serving on the Alumni Board for six years, Tom was excited to witness how YDS has changed since the 1950s.


Rem Edwards ’59 B.D. has worked on values in Christianity for a decade, generating several books. He and two colleagues from the Hartman Institute developed the Christian Value Profile ranking two sets of 18 items from best to worst, based on the assumption that our values disclose our personalities and spiritual development. The results are available at Christianvalueprofile.com. Rem’s summer gardening was a success; in the fall he and Louise journey westward to Yellowstone, the Tetons, and elsewhere.


Bob Gartman ’59 S.T.M. and Patty, despite advancing age, have traveled not only in their state of Texas, but also to New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona. In Oct. 2008 a major trip targeted Warsaw, Krakow, Prague, Vienna, and Budapest—a strenuous yet most memorable adventure. They are blessed by many family members living nearby. They remain invested in issues raised by the presidential election, hopeful that some solutions to a vast array of social problems are within reach.


Jeff Hamilton ’59 B.D. is well aware that in recent months, healthcare reform making it affordable and available to all has taken center stage. The Interfaith Alliance of Oklahoma, of which Jeff is president, held a press conference at the State Capitol and issued a statement affirming that all major religions support healthcare as a right for all. The alliance was picketed by a group of some twenty opponents. Beyond politics, Jeff and Wanda enjoy their grandchildren.


Frank Helme ’59 B.D. and Pat helped two granddaughters celebrate their graduations—one from Metropolitan State College (Denver) and one from Paschal High School (Fort Worth). In their seventh summer in Fort Worth, they are still receiving a warm welcome (literally!). Earlier in the summer they attended a New York Philharmonic concert at Bethel Woods, where Woodstock happened 40 years ago.

Edgar Hiestand ’59 M.Div. states that being the bishop’s interreligious factotum has been a most satisfying outworking of his ordination call since retirement as a United Methodist pastor. As one resourcing the Northern Illinois Conference and its Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns, Ed is often in touch with diverse faith communities and ecumenical bodies. Well invested in Christian-Muslim dialogue, he and Nancy delighted in joining their bishop’s delegation to Turkey for intimate interfaith meetings.


Peter Hodgson ’59 B.D. and Eva participated in a Global Volunteers program in Hungry last fall where they taught English to school children. In the spring they visited Eva’s college roommate and husband in London, who guided them on a tour of Cornwall. Peter continues to work on Hegel’s philosophy of world history.


Mary Nelson Keithahn ’59 M.R.E. was enlisted by Midland Lutheran College as a “hymnwriter-in-residence.” At the Hymn Society in the US and Canada held at St. Olaf College she presented a sectional on “Engaging Children and Youth in Congregational Song.” She and her composer colleague, John Horman, held brief workshops at the Summer Church Music Institute at Virginia Wesleyan College. Mary also taught classes on “Congregational Song” in the lay theology program of the South Dakota Conference of the United Church of Christ.


Ken Kuntz ’59 B.D. taught an evening course on Psalms and Biblical Wisdom Literature at the University of Iowa and a short Senior College course on Psalms for retirees. On the YDS Alumni Board he serves as secretary. His out-of-print college textbook, The People of Ancient Israel, was recently published by Wipf and Stock. In summer 2009 he and Ruth attended a stimulating Darwin conference in Cambridge, UK, where they connected with friends they had made there earlier.


Alan McLean ’59 B.D. recalls that YDS provided him a critical transition from med school (where he intended to go following college) to a rich grounding in scripture, history, ethics, and introduction to the diverse duties of local church ministry where he found his niche for forty plus years. He feels especially indebted to three faculty members—Roland Bainton, H. Richard Niebuhr, and Browne Barr—whose insights accompanied him into active ministry.


Ed Poitras ’59 B.D. reports that the past year brought Genell and him their 50th wedding anniversary and separate trips to Korea. His was three months in North Korea monitoring food distribution; Genell’s was the 60th anniversary of a Christian community center where she was a board member during their 30 years of United Methodist missionary service in Seoul. They continue to translate Korean literature into English and volunteer in local service projects. Also Ed assists in pastoral care.