November 2016


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Welcome to Rise

Welcome to the November 2016 edition of Rise Grand Island the alumni newsletter for Grand Island Senior High published every other month by the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation...

At the Top

Islander Richards-Kortum wins prestigious honor

Senior High alum Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Class of 1981, is a 2016 winner of a renowned MacArthur Foundation Fellowship...

Pushing On


Carroll Lucht, Class of 1960, died suddenly in July in Killingworth, Conn. Lucent was a nationally-known leader in immigration law...

I've Been Thinking

I'm impressed ... really impressed.

I write of Rebecca Richards-Kortum's recognition as a MacArthur Fellow and her award of its accompanying stipend, one of a few "genius grants" handed out each year...

A Distant Mirror

The Fecundity of the Heartland

Growing up in Nebraska in the 1950s and 1960s, I loved our state. I gave due respect to the Western Meadowlark and the Goldenrod, was very proud of our gorgeous Capitol in Lincoln, and worshipped the Cornhusker football teams...

Shaking the World

November brings #30DaysofTHANKS and #GivingTuesday

At the GIPS Foundation we are grateful, not just during the month of November, but all year round. However, since November is a time when this grateful spirit is top of mind for many in our midst, we thought we would share a story...

Your Legacy. Their Opportunity.

Lonny W. Willis Memorial Scholarship

Larry Willis, class of 1960 and his wife Ann (Bisbee), class of 1964, together with their children, created an endowed scholarship in memory of Larry's twin brother Lonny.

On the Island

Current news from the halls of Senior High

In Memoriam

September and October memorial list of GISH Alumni...




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Welcome to Rise

Welcome to the November 2016 edition of "Rise Grand Island" the alumni newsletter for Grand Island Senior High published every other month by the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation. "Rise" is where we connect with thousands of Islanders across the globe, keeping you and them up to date on what's happening in Purple and Gold land, and reminiscing a little bit as well.

This is the last "Rise" for 2016, closing the newsletter's first edition. Thanks for reading us and for your comments and support.

We really enjoy hearing from you, Islander alums who find "Rise" in their in-box every other month. Give us a shout, especially if you or a GISH alum you know has a done something new, newsy or newsworthy. You can reach us at .

The gifted Rebecca Richards-Kortum graces our "At the Top" feature this edition. The 1981 Senior High graduate was named a MacArthur Fellowship winner for her work in bioengineering and global health.

Also, be sure to check current news at Senior High as senior Erick Estevez, our GISH correspondent and student representative on the Grand Island Board of Education, updates us the latest from the halls of GISH in On the Island.

Our "Distant Mirror" correspondent, Mike Monk, Class of 1967, recounts a well-traveled life but an unerring appreciation for the Heartland.

Richards-Kortum and the story on Carroll Lucht (see below) remind me that values and character are critical to any success and Grand Island was and is a good place to learn them. Check out my "I've Been Thinking" column for more.

Our Milestone this edition features a tribute to Carroll Lucht, Class of 1960, who passed away last summer. Lucht was national leader in the fields of immigration law and a faculty member at Yale Law School at the time of his death.

Foundation Executive Director Traci Skalberg has a Legacy piece on Lonny W. Willis, Class of 1960 and a second article in her Shaking the World section on the Foundation's Thirty Days of Thanks and Giving Tuesday.

In Memoriam includes those classmates to whom we said goodbye in September and October.

Enjoy this "Rise," stay in touch, and keep pushing on.

George Ayoub, Class of 1968
Editor, Rise Grand Island 


At the Top

Islander Richards-Kortum wins prestigious honor

Senior High alum Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Class of 1981, is a 2016 winner of a renowned MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. She is the Malcolm Gillis University Professor in the Departments of Bioengineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice University in Houston.

She is the founder and director of the Rice 360 Institute of Global Health and co-founded Beyond Traditional Borders, "an undergraduate curriculum focused on translating classroom concepts into solutions for global health problems."

As one of 23 MacArthur Fellows, Richards-Kortum will receive a $625,000 grant. She said she will use the money to continue her work in Malawi and elsewhere to bring modern technology to "low resource areas" around the globe to improve the health and well-being of those living there.

Richards-Kortum received a B.S. (1985) from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and an M.S. (1987) and Ph.D. (1990) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. Mass. She is also the author of the textbook, "Biomedical Engineering for Global Health."

She was working at home when she got the call.

"I thought it was a telemarketer," she said. "I had a little idea because there had been film crews at work, but it was still a surprise."

Being named a MacArthur Fellow carries some serious clout, but for Richards-Kortum, the honor is more.

"It's two things really. First, (the Fellowship) is a big vote of confidence and approval of the new technology were using and it provides a completely unrestricted resource to work on more ideas."

Richard-Kortum said she felt well-prepared for UNL after she left high school. She also said the values in Grand Island also played a role in her journey toward this award.

"Growing up in Grand Island, I learned the value of working hard to achieve your goals. I learned from my parents, and I also worked in high school at McDonald's. It made me not afraid of hard work."

In addition to school and work, Richards-Kortum was a photographer on the Islander newspaper staff and ran track.

She remembers several Senior High staff members and classes as making a difference.

"Carol Milner was my counselor and an important mentor to me, helping me seek out challenges, to think bigger. I really enjoyed my science classes, too. I had Dr. Urwiller for computer science and Mr. Covault for chemistry. I also liked my calculus class with Mr. Harms."

You can read more and watch a video about the work of fellow Islander and 2016 MacArthur Fellow, Rebecca Richards-Kortum, at

Rebecca Richards-Kortum checking on an infant with colleages in Malawi

Rebecca Richards-Kortum with nurse in Malawi



Pushing On

Know an Islander who's reached a significant milestone? Email us at


Carroll Lucht, Class of 1960, died suddenly in July in Killingworth, Conn. Lucht was a nationally-known leader in immigration law. He was a faculty member at Yale Law School at the time of his death. His career and outstanding contribution to mankind was summed up in this article from the Yale Law School:


Clinical Professor Emeritus of Law and Professorial Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School, died on July 3, 2016. Over the course of his distinguished career, Professor Lucht has focused on disability law, poverty law, and refugee and asylum law. He received his B.A. and J.D. from the University of Nebraska and an M.S.W. from the University of Michigan.

Professor Lucht has worked with legal services organizations in Colorado, Nebraska, Georgia, and Iowa, where he was Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Iowa College of Law from 1981 until 1989, when he joined the Yale Law School faculty.

During his time at Yale Law School, he taught the Advanced Immigration Legal Services Clinic and the Community Lawyering Clinic. He also taught courses including, Advocacy for Detained Refugees, Advanced Community Lawyering, and Immigration Legal Service.

"Carroll was one of the pioneers of clinical education in America," said Dean Robert C. Post '77. "He cared deeply about his students, who in turn cared deeply about him. He used the law to make the world a better place."

In 2013, he won a joint Community Advocate Award with his colleague Professor Stephen Wizner for his dedication to serving New Haven's most vulnerable communities. The award was given by JUNTA for Progressive Action, a New Haven-based non-profit serving the Latino and Immigration communities.

In 2009, the Arthur Liman Public Interest Program honored Lucht and other clinical professors who helped build the clinical program at Yale Law School during its annual colloquium. At that time, former students and current colleagues remarked on his calm and steady manner, his passion and dedication for helping those in need, and his ability to challenge colleagues and students to rise to every occasion.




I've Been Thinking

I'm impressed ... really impressed.

Even though I could see this coming.

I write of Rebecca Richards-Kortum's recognition as a MacArthur Fellow and her award of its accompanying stipend, one of a few "genius grants" handed out each year to those at the very top or cutting edge of their fields. You can read more about her work and the MacArthur Fellowship in our "At the Top" section of this edition of Rise.

Scientist and world changer, Richards-Kortum, uses bioengineering to solve health problems in rural areas of countries lacking their own resources to do so. In short, she's working to leave the planet better than she found it.

Impressive ... very impressive.

But I have to tell you, it was no surprise when Richards-Kortum told me it was not simply the science and math classes and her teachers at GISH that set her on this stunning path. She said it was also the values of hard work she learned in Grand Island ... at home, at school and in the workplace.

Obviously, Richards-Kortum is exceptionally gifted but when you throw in a first-rate education and what we like to call the "Midwestern work ethic," you achieve things like MacArthur Fellowships and you get to make the world a better place.

Still, if you look at the track record of Islanders, you could see her success coming.

We have worked at the highest levels of government, won a Super Bowl and taught at a law school attended by two U.S presidents and 10 justices of the Supreme Court of the United States.

We show up on national television (for all the right reasons), write books, and change the future by teaching. We're doctors, lawyers and captains of industry.

Islanders serve others in need, create new ideas to solve problems and generally tend to the world — carrying with them the value of hard work and the preparation from a Senior High education.

Heck, we've even caught the Unabomber.

And now, we have a MacArthur Fellow in the fold.

Like I said ... impressive.

Sure, lots of high schools have famous alumni with noteworthy resumes. I'm not arguing that GISH is any better than another school.

What I am suggesting is that when you combine a quality education with the values of the place we were raised, the results can be dramatic and the consequences can impact the world.

So if I'm horn tooting in a humble zone, go ahead and flag me. Guilty as charged and guilty because that's the other thing I've noticed about successful Islanders: Rarely do they insist on the attention but rather take satisfaction in the work or the solution or the knowledge that they put in rather than take out.

The current phrase tacked onto Tweets and Facebook posts and letters and just about every other communication from Islander Nation is "Wear Purple, Be Gold." The motto underscores the virtue of representing your school by your actions.

And if you stop to think about it, thousands of Grand Island Senior High graduates have been doing exactly that for many many years.

So indulge me one last time.

Impressive ... very impressive. 




A Distant Mirror

The Fecundity of the Heartland

Growing up in Nebraska in the 1950s and 1960s, I loved our state. I gave due respect to the Western Meadowlark and the Goldenrod, was very proud of our gorgeous Capitol in Lincoln, and worshipped the Cornhusker football teams. I delighted when my Howard School Fifth Grade teacher, Lydia Severson, noted that Nebraskans lived longer than average. And Nebraskans were a steady, reliable, self reliant, considerate, smart, and loving group of people.

But down deep, I sensed that Nebraska was not a cool place. It was not one of the interesting states like New York or Massachusetts or California. We had no Statue of Liberty, no Yankee Stadium, no Old North Church, no Lexington and Concord, no Capital Mall, and no Disneyland. While we had Chimney Rock, it did not seem to measure up to a Yellowstone, a Yosemite, a Grand Canyon, or a Mount Rushmore.

In Grand Island, we grew up in a thriving community surrounded by gently rolling corn fields and nurtured by the agricultural industry. My friend and 1967 classmate Buzzy Wheeler could speak to the brisk economic climate for those serving this industry. But still, somehow, it was kind of embarrassing. Our vaunted football team was the "Cornhuskers." Rubes husking corn. The rural image did not seem particularly attractive to me. This identity seemed far more lame than the "Tigers," the "Spartans," the "Fighting Irish," the "Crimson Tide," or the "Cowboys."

When I was about 13, I worked a full summer detasseling corn and roguing milo. It was hot, itchy, tiring work, but what a thrill to get that first check, for two weeks of work, for about $30. I was rich! Still, the corn fields never struck me as having any beauty. Beauty was Niagara Falls. To be called a "farmer" was not a term of praise or respect. My Uncle Bud once severely reprimanded me for using the term in a negative way, and I never again used the term derisively.

After high school, I was off to Cambridge, Mass., for college, and then to Philadelphia for Law school. Then came marriage and two children. After two years in Brookline, Massachusetts, we moved to the Los Angeles area where we have lived since 1976. My family and I have had wonderful lives in California. We enjoyed the ridiculously perfect weather and cultural opportunities. We enjoyed the major league sport teams, world class restaurants, and the beauty of the California coast. We have seen concerts, Super Bowls, World Series games, the 1994 World Cup Soccer Finals, NBA Finals games, Rose Bowls, the Rose Parade, and the 1984 Olympics. We are regulars at the latest art house movies, we see terrific opera and theater, and have seen extraordinary art exhibits, from King Tut to David Hockney. We were blessed with good friends, excellent schools, and eventually saw our first two grandchildren born in California in 2010 and 2012.

Throughout this period of 40 years on the West Coast, we have always maintained roots in the Midwest, since most of my family remains in Nebraska, and my wife's family has had a cottage on Lake Okoboji in Northwest Iowa since 1961. I first came to the cottage in 1970. We have generally spent a week or more each summer enjoying what is as close to a "resort" as Iowa can claim.

About four years ago my wife and I began to spend nearly seven months of the year at the lake house, where I work remotely from my office on the cottage porch. Friend and 1966 GISH graduate David Rowland lives just a mile down the road. I will fly back to California two or three times a summer for business, but I am about half retired. Spending seven months in Iowa has the added advantage of being little more than 3 hours from Minneapolis, where our daughter and son-in-law and two grandchildren now live.

Over the last five years or so, I have had an increasingly strong sense of well being and comfort when I return to the Midwest. The once quiet streets of fashionable coastal Santa Monica have become much more crowded. The freeways more clogged. The general feeling of good will I have historically enjoyed in Santa Monica is being ever so slightly reduced by the more aggressive, less considerate behavior I see. I have thrived in the competitive California legal world and have no fear of dealing with adverse circumstances, but things seem less gentle and gracious than they did 20 years ago.

But when I return to the Midwest, the difference is now pronounced. Upon landing in Minneapolis, the courteous people, the more open spaces, and the welcoming Midwestern landscape provide an immediate comfort. There is a more considerate attitude, a more Midwestern tolerance.

A couple of years back, driving from Minneapolis to Lake Okoboji midst the ripe midsummer corn and soybean fields, I was overcome suddenly by how beautiful, bounteous, and miraculous this farmland really is. The gentle, sloping, green landscape stretched for miles, with a clear view of the horizon on all sides. Picturesque grain silos and small farms dotted the landscape, well maintained and prosperous in appearance. A gloriously blue sky was liberally scattered with fluffy cumulous clouds and created a gorgeous blue and white palette in the sky, as far as the eye could see.

What then struck me was the ever so obvious, but yet unfathomable immensity of the miracle of our lives. We live on a sphere hurtling through the cosmos, yet are blessed with a climate in which we can live, and an abundance of plants and crops that sustain us. As human beings we have the skills to manage and grow the food we need. The Midwest feeds much of the country, if not world. And this fecundity is simultaneously beautiful. This past August, while visiting my 1967 classmate and buddy Jeff Greenberger in Chicago, at the Art Institute, we saw some Edward Hopper paintings of Midwestern agricultural landscapes that brilliantly portrayed the beauty I now see.

In the spring, on this drive, I see the first barely visible buds of the corn and beans creating a light verdant landscape. In midsummer, the landscape is of mature green corn, and later in the fall, the green leaves are drying, yellowing, and nearly ready for harvest. And now in October, most of the corn and soybeans have been harvested, still leaving the brown rolling fields and the broad horizon. I enjoy the same calm, serenity, and incredible abundance.

I will always enjoy Santa Monica, but more and more I experience this strong euphoria just being back in a land where the openness creates for me a freedom, a security, and a comfort. The comparative ease of life in the Midwest always amazes me. Two years ago, I had to register the car I keep in Iowa with Iowa plates. My California DMV experiences involved waits of up to an hour or two, confusing lines for different purposes, and generally harried, humorless people with whom you are dealing. Not so the DMV office in Spirit Lake, Iowa. When I stepped into the office, there were four women working at desks behind a single counter. I was the only customer. As I walked in they all looked up and smiled at me. A very friendly lady came over to help me. All I had was the pink slip for the car. Within 15 minutes, she had given me my registration and actual plates, not even having seen the car, with no questions about insurance or smog. This was extraordinary.

My local bank in Okoboji Iowa is equally amazing. After having an account for a year or two, they now recognize me and will cash my checks without even looking at my ID. Never a traffic jam, never a parking problem, never a line at the post office. And this is 2016. I have slowly realized that I am most happy and content in the rural Midwest.

Maybe part of my newly founded appreciation for my agrarian roots stems from the fact that my late father-in-law owned and operated a large farm in Missouri, and when he passed away in 2008, my wife and I took over operation of the farm. I am now the very farmer that I did not appreciate as a child. But I saw my father-in-law's love for the land he farmed. In his failing years, his greatest pleasure was simply to be driven around the farm to see the progress of the crops. Yeah, I know, "The red earth of Tara!"

But I have now realized that my current fondness for the Midwest is not just a rebirth of the positive feelings in my youth, but rather a new, more mature, and far greater appreciation for life in the Heartland.



Shaking the World

November brings #30DaysofTHANKS and #GivingTuesday

At the GIPS Foundation we are grateful, not just during the month of November, but all year round. However, since November is a time when this grateful spirit is top of mind for many in our midst, we thought we would share a story each day on our social media pages of just how donors have invested in our students, staff, and school community this year. There are plenty of stories to choose from as your foundation touched the lives of approximately 6,000 students in one way or another last year. We are indeed grateful to the 2,195 donors that made this possible. With their help, we were able to make investments in individual students, classrooms of students, and entire programs or campuses!


Social Media

To follow our stories please like us on Facebook here or follow us on Twitter @GIPSFoundation.


You can also find the collection of stories as news articles on our website here. These will be posted daily.



Be #Unselfie ... click here to make your gift

You too can invest in our students! We will make it easy for you. The GIPS Foundation will be participating in the national #GivingTuesday #Unselfie Movement on the last Tuesday in November. You have heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, right? Perhaps many of you will be holiday shopping either in person or virtually on those days. We invite you to skip the lines, and shop opportunity on Tuesday, or any day this holiday season. When you make a gift to the GIPS Foundation, you give our Grand Island Public Schools Students incredible opportunities that are not available through school budget sources. You give experiences to groups of students like bringing in authors, going to live theater performances, working with professional musicians, producing a video news channel, community art projects, character programs, and school community book clubs. You give hope to individual students through grants that get them out of a difficult situation or grants that invest in an individual experience, or scholarship programs that pay for dual credit classes or post-secondary dreams. When you give to GIPS Foundation on Giving Tuesday, you give that tradition of excellence that you experienced in our schools. You give opportunity. We are counting on you... 

Your Legacy. Their Opportunity.

The Lonny W. Willis Memorial Scholarship, a family remembers...

Larry Willis, class of 1960 and his wife Ann (Bisbee), class of 1964, together with their children, created an endowed scholarship in memory of Larry's twin brother Lonny. Lonny Willis was a 1960 graduate of Grand Island High School. The day before the boys were to leave for college at UNL, Lonny was killed in a farming accident. He would have studied pharmacy at the University. Lonny played varsity football and basketball, was an avid reader. He was also the vice-president of the senior class.

For some time, Larry had wanted to do something in his hometown to honor Lonny's legacy. They started the Lonny W. Willis Memorial fund in 2007 with the first scholarship awarded in 2011. The scholarship is a one-year award. The value of the annual scholarship is determined by the income of the fund. The 2016 award was $700. Lonny's scholarship is intended for students who work hard and need additional support to pursue their education. Additionally qualifying students must be a graduate of Grand Island Senior High, have a high school GPA of 2.5 or better, rank in the top 33% of class, major in science field with intent to pursue medical field (pharmacy or medicine), and attend a University of Nebraska Campus (Kearney, Lincoln, or Omaha).


Left to Right: 2016 Lonny W. Willis Memorial Scholarship Winner Valery Juarez with Ann Willis, Larry Willis, and Willis grandchildren PJ and Easton.

Lonny W. Willis, Class of 1960             Lonny W. Willis, 1959 Forward Position Basketball  

On the Island

Current news from the halls of Senior High

  • Homecoming was an enjoyable week for all students ending with a dance. Spirit week is also a tradition of homecoming. This year the week consisted of Mismatch Day, Blackout Day, Neon Blacklight Day, School Pride Day, and Jersey Day. Friday night was the Homecoming game, where we heard bios of the candidates for homecoming royalty. It was another great "Friday Night Lights" with a great win for the Islanders. This year's Homecoming theme was "Neon/Black Light." Something a little different than years past was the photos, as this year the dance had a photobooth.

gips facebook album

Homecoming Friday Night

  • October is that time of the year, the scariest week of any student's life: Parent-Teacher conference. This year administrators handed out free hotdogs and chips to parents and students attending conferences. Families seemed to enjoy this great gesture especially those who had to travel from multiple schools, work or just didn't have a chance to eat. As a result of this great gesture, we had better attendance at conferences this year.
  • The Class of 2017 has decided on its themes: Lotus is the class flower. The colors are black, silver and purple. The class song is "Found a Way" by Drake Bell. The class motto is "Sometimes I'll start a sentence and don't know where it's going. I just hope I find it along the way." Lastly the prom theme is Hollywood/Grammys.
  • In Fine Arts the GISH marching band ended a flawless season, getting superior in each competition. GISH marching band performed the show "Jesus Christ Superstar." This show was dedicated to Tony Rischling, a beloved middle school band teacher, who passed away in June at the age of 36.

GIPS Facebook album

Harvest of Harmony 2016

  • Also in Fine Arts the GISH theater and music departments performed the Broadway musical, "In the Heights." The story is about a Dominican-American neighborhood of Washington Heights in New York where everyone is trying to get by everyday through struggles and romance. The musical was performed on October 27 through the 30 was a great success.

Gips Facebook Album

"In the Heights"

  • In Athletics the Islander football team made playoffs, but lost to rival Kearney in the first round. Longins Kouri placed 5th at State Cross Country. All fall sports had a great turnout this year. As fall sports comes to an end, winter sports -- basketball, wrestling, and swimming -- are ready to start.


In Memoriam

Williams "Bill" Overdorff, Jr., class of 1950, died July 22, 2016 in Brownsville, Ore. He lived in Lincoln City, Ore. He was 83.

Joseph Aldana, Jr., class of 1966, died August 19, 2016 in Las Vegas. He lived in Grand Island. He was 68. 

Joann (Hobson) Williams, class of 1955, died August 31, 2016 in Grand Island. She was 79.

Kaitlyn Worthington, class of 2011, died September 2, 2016 in Grand Island. She was 24. 

Edward "Sarg" Sargent, class of 1957, died September 7, 2016 in Grand Island. He was 77. 

Jac Reinhardt, class of 1993, died September 8, 2016 in Grand Island. He was 41. 

Marjorie (Sanderson) Smith, class of 1944, died September 10, 2016 in Aurora. She was 90. 

Richard Geist, Sr., class of 1949, died September 12, 2016 in Grand Island. He was 86.

Jack Zlomke, class of 1944, died September 12, 2016 in Grand Island. He was 89. 

Dawn Daly, former Grand Island Public Schools Teacher, died September 13, 2016 in Lincoln. She was 69. 

Irene (Vieth) Luebbe, class of 1941, died September 14, 2016 in Holdrege. She was 93. 

Roland "Ron" Hyde, class of 1953, died September 15, 2016 in Grand Island. He was 81. 

Soren "Sam" Jensen, class of 1953, died September 17, 2016 in Minniepolis, Minn. He was 80. 

Russell Andeson, class of 1967, died September 21, 2016 in Grand Island. He was 67. 

Judy (Helzer) Engel, class of 1960, died September 22, 2016 in Grand Island. She was 74. 

Eldon Muhs, class of 1946, died September 25, 2016 in Sterling, Neb. He lived in Grand Island. He was 88. 

Lila Hiller, former Grand Island Public School Teacher at Newell and West Lawn, died September 27, 2016 in Grand Island. She was 92. 

Jerry Anderson, class of 1949, died Setpember 28, 2016 in Kimball. He was 85. 

William "Bill" Kelly, class of 1966, died October 2, 2016 in Grand Island. He was 68. 

Vera (Nicholas) Petersen, class of 1944, died October 2, 2016 in Grand Island. She lived in St. Paul. She was 90. 

Betty (Miller) Hill, class of 1945, died October 4, 2016 in Grand Island. She was 89.

Karin (Sielaff) Sheen, class of 1978, died October 7, 2016 in Kearney. She was 56. 

Jo Jean Whetstone, class of 1961, died October 9, 2016 in St. Paul. She was 73. 

Eva Jean (Ross) Zlomke, class of 1941, died October 14, 2016 in San Tan Valley, Ariz. She was 93. 

Galen Loomis, class of 1967, died October 17, 2016 in Grand Island. He was 67. 

Marvin Henrichs, class of 1957, died October 19, 2016 in Grand Island. He lived in Alda. He was 77. 

Melinda (Dowty) Darling, class of 1989, died October 21, 2016 in Grand Island. She was 45. 

Merle McCoun, class of 1954, died October 28, 2016 in Grand Island. He was 81. 

Michael Snyder, class of 1984, died October 29, 2016 in Grand Island. He was 50. 

To report an alumni death since October 31, 2016, please send an email with first name, last name, class year and maiden name if applicable to