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In Memoriam: Spring/Summer 2020-21

We celebrate the lives of the following alumni and friends, whose deaths were recently shared with the school. We are thankful for their friendship.

Ann L. Gallagher '66

Ann Gallagher

Ann L. Gallagher ’66 passed away on June 2, 2021, leaving many friends and family members who will remember her vivacious personality, intellectual curiosity, love of reading, and willingness to listen with kindness and understanding.

She was born on July 3, 1948 in Rock Island, Illinois but spent most of her life in Milwaukee where her father was head of sales for Evinrude and Johnson Motors, a job that involved much domestic and foreign travel in which she was permitted to share.

After graduating from University School of Milwaukee in 1966, she received a B.A. in art history from Bucknell University and an M.A. in special education at Cardinal Stritch University. She worked as a teacher at the Gaenslen School for the Disabled, was a team manager of special education teachers for the Milwaukee Public Schools System, and was an instructor of special education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Ann’s legacy of leadership, philanthropy, community, and excellence endures at USM through all that she contributed during her lifetime of service as an alumna, parent, lifetime supporter, and volunteer extraordinaire. She enhanced the educational experience of a generation of students through her roles as Trustee, Parents’ Association President, USM Fund Co-Chair, and myriad other roles. She was recognized for her contributions of time, talent, and treasure in 2005 with USM’s Alumni Service Award.

She also served on the Boards of the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, the Junior League of Milwaukee, the North Shore Library, and the Children’s Service Society. She was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre.

She leaves behind her husband, Richard, and their two daughters, Elizabeth (Christopher) Gallagher Petree ’99 of Chapel Hill N.C. and Catherine (Jonathan) Gallagher Brown ’02 of Chicago; as well as four wonderful grandchildren, Olivia and Henry Petree and Teddy and Hannah Brown.

Douglas C. Kramlich MCDS'55

Douglas Kramlich

Douglas C. Kramlich MCDS’55 passed away on Jan. 30, 2021 in San Francisco. Born into a food chain family in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, he completed his early education at Milwaukee Country Day School, where he was honored with MCDS’s Motto Award: “Don’t Wait to be a Great Man, Be a Great Boy.” He emulated this principle his entire life.

Graduating from Northwestern University in 1959 and Harvard Business School in 1962, Kramlich began his professional career in the Investment Department at Connecticut General Life Insurance Company. While there he observed that many credit-worthy companies, including food retailers and wholesalers, were not taking advantage of optimal forms of long-term financing. He formed Krambo Corporation in 1966 to deploy financial structures that appealed to both institutional investors and companies. For over 40 years, Krambo’s financing transactions helped fuel the growth and success of both public and private companies.

Kramlich was devoted to his family and loved traveling around the world with them to expand their horizons. He is survived by his wife, Raymonde whom he married on St. Patrick’s Day in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City; their children Cameron (wife Carrie), Kendra, Christopher, and Kira; his brother, Dick MCDS’53 (wife Pam); and many nieces and nephews.

Fengchi Chen

Fengchi Chen visits her old classroom.

Fengchi Chen, who taught various science courses from 1963 to 1981, died peacefully at home on Feb. 23, surrounded by her family. She was preceded in death by her husband, Shao-Lin, and survived by their children, Dr. Leona Chen ’74 and Albert Chen ’78. She was 94.

Any alumni who had Fengchi Chen as a science teacher during her 18-year tenure at Milwaukee Downer Seminary (MDS) and USM might remember her as being detailed, exacting, demanding, and always in a lab coat. She was even described as “terse and to the point” in a January 1977 issue of the student newspaper. She expected her students to work hard, and she held them to a high standard, which is precisely why they loved her so much.

“Her reputation as a teacher was that she was exceptionally hard,” said her daughter, Dr. Leona Chen ’74. “But she wasn't just hard for the sake of being hard, she was also incredibly supportive. If students needed help, she would stay all hours after school to help, she would even have students come to our house if needed. She wanted her students to do well, but they had to earn it.”

And if her students had any doubt, Fengchi held herself to the same high standards. Against gender stereotypes of the time, she left her home in Shanghai in 1947 and traveled to New Jersey to get an undergraduate degree in chemistry. She went on to do biochemical research at Medical College of Wisconsin (then Marquette Medical School), but she had no prior teaching experience before coming to MDS. “She was a newbie teacher, and she was nervous about it,” said Leona. But she embraced the challenge, and in 1967 she won the C.P. Vogel faculty award for excellence in teaching. “She didn’t want to be just a good teacher,” said Leona. “She wanted to be an excellent teacher.” She continued her own education by receiving graduate degrees in both chemistry and physics.

During her tenure, she taught Upper School chemistry, Upper School physics, Chemistry Physics I, and AP Chemistry, and served as the first female chair of the Science Department. She also led a cooperative venture with the Lower School by teaching a weekly science class for 3rd grade students. She served on the Examination Committee for the American Chemical Society, writing the questions for the high school Advanced Placement exams.

Fengchi served as a role model for her female students during a time when science was a male-dominated field. Leona recalled a recent letter she received from one of her mother’s former students, which said, “Your mother was absolutely one of my favorite people in this world. She encouraged me and inspired me in her chemistry and physics classes, and helped get me a summer job as a lab assistant at the Milwaukee Medical College, which really helped me pay my way through college. I still have the pair of white leather gloves that she gave me when I graduated from USM, in 1967.” Another student wrote, “I keep thinking about her omni-present lab coat. I am determined to find one to give my granddaughters who already have a keen interest in science. I sincerely hope they have the good fortune to have a teacher as inspiring as Mrs. Chen someday.”

Many of Fengchi’s former students kept in contact after they left USM, writing to tell her how well prepared they were for their college-level science courses thanks to her teaching. She was proud that, even those who did not pursue science, learned not to be intimidated by academic challenges. “Chemistry invades all facets of life,” said Fengchi. “It teaches deductive and inductive reasoning, which is so essential in our decision-making process. It is knowledge that an educated person cannot ignore.”

In recognition of Fengchi Chen’s educational legacy, her family established the Fengchi Wu Chen Memorial Endowed Fund. If you would like to honor her memory through the endowed fund, please contact Leah Wabiszewski at 414.540.3328.

Geoffrey "Rip" Maclay Jr. '65

Geoffrey "Rip" Maclay Jr.

Geoffrey “Rip” Maclay Jr. ’65 passed away peacefully on March 1, 2021 and was followed shortly thereafter by his father, Geoff Maclay, who passed away on April 17, 2021. The Maclay family connection to University School of Milwaukee spans four generations and includes Geoff and Rip ’65

Maclay, Chrissie Lindemann ’68, Shelley Zucchi ’71, Tod Maclay ’77, Bevin Bonnell ’95, Kristen Wakefield ’99, and Kate ’25, Lilly ’25, and Penelope ’28 Bonnell.

Both Geoff and Rip played active roles in the USM community, and shared a love of hockey. Geoff played hockey at Dartmouth College (graduated in 1945) and was one of the original founders of the Milwaukee Winter Club. He led the effort to install the first artificial ice rink in the Milwaukee area

in 1961 and was elected to the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame in 1976. Rip also loved hockey, playing the sport at Dartmouth (graduating in 1969) after many years playing with the Milwaukee Winter Club and at USM. In addition, both Geoff and Rip served as presidents of USM’s Board of Trustees.

Land conservation was one of Geoff’s lifelong passions, and in 1974 he founded the Cedar Lakes Conservation Foundation (CLCF). CLCF is one of Wisconsin’s first land trusts, with a vision to sustain the natural beauty, clean water, and biodiversity of the region for generations to come. To date, CLCF has helped to protect over 2,500 acres in the Cedar Lakes region. Rip served as a CLCF committee member. Geoff was also a founding member of Gathering Waters Inc., Wisconsin’s alliance for land trusts, and in 2006 he was awarded its Harold “Bud” Jordahl Lifetime Achievement Award.

Rip, meanwhile, excelled at diverse and eclectic passions including running, skiing, sailing, reading, motorcycling, art, and photography, just to name a few. Rip’s passion for running led him to finish over 50 marathons, including 10 consecutive Boston Marathons. Rip was a photographer and artist, and had a true appreciation and love for music as well.

Don Fischer

Donald Fischer

Don Fischer, a member of USM’s transportation team and the father of Shelly Boreson, Athletics office manager, passed away on March 13, 2021. Don came to USM in 2013 after retiring from a long career in the Wauwatosa School District, and he continued to serve students as a bus driver on USM’s transportation team. In his more than seven years as a driver, Fischer transported hundreds of students to and from school, athletic contests, and field trips. “It was a pleasure to watch him greet his riders each day,” said Claudia Fritz, associate director of auxiliary services. “Don never missed a chance to make each rider feel special as they hopped on board. We will miss him.”

1940s

Helen (Gettelman) Mueller MUS’40 – April 23, 2021, Oshkosh, Wis.

Dorothy (Irvine) Fulton MDS’43 – April 20, 2017, Atlanta

Elizabeth (Shea) Slugg MDS’43 – Feb. 19, 2021, Mequon, Wis.

Alice (Newberry) Hall MDS’45 – March 14, 2021, Swampscott, Mass.

Richard E. Bayerlein MUS’46 – Feb. 27, 2021, Elm Grove, Wis.

Nancy (Chilson) Dice MDS’47 – March 22, 2010, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Paul W. Meyer MCDS’49 – Jan. 21, 2021, Milwaukee

1950s

Joan (Ruenzel) Colman MUS’50 – Feb. 8, 2021, Whitefish Bay, Wis.

Phillip B. Mayer MCDS’51 – Jan. 30, 2021, Madison, Wis.

Richard A. Bury MCDS’54 – Aug. 25, 2020, Grafton, Wis.

Katherine (Zentner) Paulsen MDS’54 – Jan. 15, 2021, Milwaukee

Ramona R. (Rechner) Tetzlaff MDS’54 – Dec. 15, 2020, Elm Grove, Wis.

Nancy (Knapp) Werner MDS’54 – Dec. 24, 2020, The Woodlands, Texas

Richard W. Kuepper MUS’55 – March 13, 2021, Shawano, Wis.

Pamela (Haberland) Jardine MDS’56 – April 28, 2021, Princeton, N.J.

Constance W. (Wegmann) Fox MDS’57 – Nov. 5, 2020, Waukesha, Wis.

Ann (Wigdale) Hauck MUS’57 – Dec. 18, 2020, Bonita Springs, Fla.

Susan (Madden) Samson MDS’57 – June 2, 2020, Little Compton, R.I.

Roger A. Son MCDS’58 – March 9, 2021, Port Washington, Wis.

1960s

Truman B. Marsh MCDS’60 – Nov. 12, 2020, Venice, Fla.

Richard A. Perkins MUS’61 – Jan. 30, 2021, Oconomowoc, Wis.

Friends

Nancy H. Balcer – Dec. 6, 2020, Whitefish Bay, Wis.
Mother of Marc Balcer ’92

Michael A. Bowen – Jan. 19, 2021, Fox Point, Wis.
Father of Rebecca Sigmon ’96, Christopher Bowen ’98, John Bowen ’07, and James Bowen ’11

Robert B. Bradley – Jan. 4, 2021, Milwaukee
Father of Susan Schouten ’73, Sarah Bradley ’74, and Carrie Raeder ’80

John D. Bryson – March 23, 2021, Milwaukee
Father of Nan Goulet ’71 and John Bryson ’77

Earl Charlton – April 12, 2021, Milwaukee
Father of Nichola Charlton ’76 and Guy Charlton ’80. Grandparent of Claire Prewitt ’11, Caitlin Prewitt ’13, and Keise Prewitt ’20

Virgil Dawson – Dec. 8, 2020, Hubertus, Wis.
Father of Hans Dawson ’97, Eric Dawson ’99, and Heidi Dawson ’03. Grandparent of Conner Dawson ’24, Amelia Dawson ’26, and Virgil Dawson ’29

Jacquie Groiss – Jan. 10, 2021, Charlottesville, Va.
Mother of Frederick Groiss ’74

Judith Heiligenstein – April 13, 2021, Tucson, Ariz.
Mother of Karen Grottke ’74 and Elizabeth Heiligenstein ’76

Richard G. Jacobus – Jan. 28, 2021, River Hills, Wis.
Father of Barbara Wells ’75, Kathy Tranter ’78, Richard Jacobus ’80, Marcy Coker ’83, and Susanna Jacobus ’83

Dr. Ashok K. V. Kumar – May 13, 2021, Milwaukee
Member, Board of Trustees, 1993–2000. Father of Maya Kumar ’96 and Justin Kumar ’98

Lee Lanier – Dec. 1, 2020, Milwaukee
Mother of Cassandra Lanier-Thompson ’81 and Kathryn Lanier-Leal ’88

Stephan J. Lesure – Feb. 12, 2021
Father of Ian Lesure ’31

W. S. Parsons – Jan. 10, 2021, Cedarburg, Wis.
Father of Sarah Wolf ’88

Ronald Perez – Dec. 16, 2020, Shorewood, Wis.
Father of Kennedy Perez ’20

James A. Schwertfeger – Dec. 20, 2020, Mequon, Wis.
Father of Andrew Schwertfeger ’95

Susan J. Sweet – Dec. 18, 2020, Whitefish Bay, Wis.
Mother of Laura Donahue ’95

Alfred J. Tector – Dec. 3, 2020, Milwaukee
Father of A. Joseph Tector ’83, Matthew Tector ’85, Leslie Tector ’87, and Kelly Migliero ’92. Grandfather of Kelly Schroeder ’19 and Jack Schroeder ’21

Selma “Sally” S. Williams – Sept. 23, 2020, Mequon, Wis.
Mother of Michael Williams ’70 and mother-in-law of Catherine Meyer Williams ’79. Grandmother of Matthew Williams ’10 and Colleen Williams ’12

 

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