Biography is a very definite region bounded on the north by history, on the south by fiction, on the east by obituary, and on the west by tedium.
Thomas Jennings Diener
1933 - 2019
Thomas Jennings Diener was born to Ruben and Orene Kauffman Diener in Middlebury, Indiana on July 6, 1933. He died at his home in Louisville, Kentucky on March 10, 2019. His body was bequeathed to University of Louisville Medical School.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Carolyn Smith Diener. Survivors include daughters Julia Miller (David) of North Carolina, Kristin Diener (Martin) of New Mexico, Laura Pearce (Kevin) of North Carolina, and grandsons Jordan (Jessie) and Colin of North Carolina. He is also survived by a sister, DeVere Fulmer, niece Wendy See, great nephews Bradley and Parker of Arkansas and his in-laws Marian Yoder of California, John Smith (Joann) of Indiana, Eleanor Smith of Georgia, and Stan Smith (Rita) of Florida/Colorado. He is also survived by special family members Yan and Shan Chen and daughters Mia and Alex of Illinois and namesake Thomas Diener of Arthur, Illinois.
Services will be held at 2pm Friday, March 15 at Harvey Browne Memorial Presbyterian Church, 311 Browns Lane, Louisville KY 40207. Cave Hill Cemetery has a memorial stone marker for Tom.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Goshen College Development Office, Goshen College, 1700 South Main Street, Goshen IN 46526 or The Rotary Foundation Peace Scholar Fund, 14280 Collections Center Dr, Chicago IL 60693.
Thomas Jennings Diener grew up on a farm near Goshen, Indiana and attended Jefferson Township School, where he graduated in 1951. The first of his family to attend college, Tom enrolled in Goshen College where he graduated in 1955. While working full time to pay for his college education, Tom found time to be active in sports, music, debate, student government, and editor of the college paper.
After graduation, Tom enlisted in the army and served in Korea and Okinawa for two years.
In August of 1957 he married Carolyn Smith of Eureka, Illinois, who he had met at Goshen College. They lived in Bloomington, Indiana, where Tom earned a Masters degree in Guidance and Counseling in 1958. He began work as Assistant Dean of Students at Illinois Wesleyan University, where he was "Dean Diener". Daughter Julia was born in 1958 and Kristin in 1960.
The family moved to White Plains, New York in 1962. Tom began working on his PhD at Teachers College of Columbia University in New York City, where he was a Kellogg Fellow in the field of Higher Education Administration. Daughter Laura was born in 1963. While pursuing his degree, Tom was Assistant Director of Admissions for Columbia University Law School, and for 2 years was Assistant to the President of Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn.
In 1967, Tom accepted a position on the faculty of University of Georgia in Athens in Higher Education Administration. In 1970, Tom became Executive Director of The Institute for Higher Education Research and Service at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Active in professional organizations as well as the Tuscaloosa and Northport communities, Tom served as President of Tuscaloosans for International Understanding, was a founding member of The Kentuck Arts Festival, and President of Northport Chamber of Commerce. He was an elder at both University and Covenant Presbyterian Churches and was a Youth Advisor at both. He sang in The Tuscaloosa Community Chorus. The family served as hosts to many international students. Tom joined the Tuscaloosa Rotary Club and led a Group Study Exchange trip to Argentina.
In 1985 Tom accepted the position of Executive Director of Kentuckiana Metroversity, a consortium of seven area educational institutions. In Louisville, Tom was an elder and deacon at Harvey Browne Presbyterian Church. He was active in international activities, serving two terms as President of Louisville International Cultural Center, on the Board of The Crane House, and as host to many international visitors. He taught in China through The Crane House's program one summer. A gifted musician, Tom sang with the Bach Society for many years and was a member of their Board. Active as a Rotarian, Tom first joined the Downtown Club and then transferred to the East Louisville Club, which he served as President. He was District Governor for Rotary District 6710 and was active on many committees at the local and district levels. He attended numerous International Conferences and participated in a Rotary Polio Immunization in India. A member of Friendship Force, Tom also served as President of that group, hosting visitors, and participated in international travel.
Tom served as an adjunct faculty member and supervised student teachers for Indiana University Southeast. He greatly enjoyed his family, his home and pool, his yard, history, geography, politics, travel, music, keeping up with friends, and being involved in the community. When traveling, he visited many college and university campuses, and often said he always felt at home on a campus.
Tom's family is grateful to the healthcare providers at the VA and Hosparus.
Donald Lee Dykman
April 22, 1938 – June 21, 2019
Donald Lee Dykman, widower of Teresa Dykman, 81, passed away Friday, June 21, 2019. Don was a member of the Rotary Club of Frankfort in District 6710. Don served as District Governor in 2012-2013 during the “Peace Through Service” year.
Detailed arrangements are:
A Life Celebration for Don Dykman will be 5 -7 Pm Friday June 28 at Clark Legacy Center on Versailles Road Frankfort.
John B. Egan
1936 - 2019
John Bernard Egan passed away on May 5, 2019 in Lafayette, Indiana. He was born on May 25, 1936 in Lima, Ohio, the son of John and Laverna (Grote) Egan.
John was a graduate of St. Rose High School and valedictorian of the Class of 1953. He received his bachelor's degree in Music from the College Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati in 1956 and his Ph.D. from Indiana University in 1962. While at Indiana University he served as a graduate teaching assistant in Music Theory and Piano from 1956-1959.
John met Anne-Marie Egan (nee Summers) of Westminster, MD, who was also a graduate student at Indiana University. They were married on August 23, 1958.
John and Anne-Marie journeyed to St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada where John served as an Associate Professor of Music and Director of Music from 1959-1962.
In 1962, the Egans came to Saint Joseph's College in Rensselaer where John became a Professor of Music. Over the years, John served as Music Department chairman, Humanities Division coordinator, Core Director, Choir Director, Accompanist, Music Minister, and faculty sponsor of the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Faculty Fellows Program. John was a founding member and past chairman of the Council of Fellows and member of the Athletic Hall of Fame committee.
John was active in the local community and beyond. He was a music minister for St. Augustine Catholic Church in addition to many other churches over the years. John was also involved with the St. Augustine Parish Council, Knights of Columbus, Rensselaer Central Board of School Trustees, Indiana State School Board Association (past president), Rensselaer Park Board, Rotary (past district governor, past president, and Paul Harris Fellow), Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship Committee, Ancilla College Board of Trustees, Gibault Board of Trustees, Jasper Foundation, and Lafayette Symphony Orchestra. Former Indiana Governor Frank O'Bannon recognized him with the honor of Sagamore of the Wabash.
John and Anne-Marie shared their musical talents by performing many times, many ways for the community. They played numerous dedicatory piano and organ recitals and conducted choral festivals throughout the state. Hundreds of piano students studied privately with John over the years.
John didn't know a stranger and had a remarkable gift of connecting with people, brightening their day with his smile, a bear hug, booming bass voice, encouragement, generosity, and compassion. He kept the staff of Rensselaer's Post Office hopping with his daily piles of hand-written cards to be mailed to family, friends, and strangers - near and far - often with a newspaper clipping of interest.
John is survived by his wife, Anne-Marie, his children, Weldon (Jenny) Egan of Carmel, IN, Anne-Cecile Egan of Rensselaer, Stephen (Renee) Egan of Crown Point, Kathryn (Kevin) Geleott of Rensselaer, Sean Egan of Miller, IN, Brian (Judy) Egan of Rensselaer, and Maureen of Rensselaer; 15 grandchildren, Patrick Egan, Hillary Egan, Elizabeth Thorndyke, Kristine Thorndyke, Stephen B. Egan, Colleen Egan, Shannon Egan, Brendan Egan, Andrew Geleott, Aidan Geleott, Zachary Geleott, Aubrey Geleott, Sara (Daniel) Kinsell, Connor Egan, and Jacob Egan; and two great grandchildren, Henry Kinsell and Liam Kinsell. John was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Robert Egan.
Friends may call at the Jackson Funeral Chapel in Rensselaer on Friday, May 10, 2019 from 1:00 - 7:00 pm. Funeral Mass will be on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 10:00 am at St. Augustine Catholic Church with Fr. Don Davison, C.PP.S. officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Jasper-Newton Foundation, PO Box 295, Rensselaer, IN 47978 or to St. Augustine School, 318 N McKinley Ave, Rensselaer, IN 47978.
Donald G. Brackhahn
1937 - 2019
Donald Garland Brackhahn, of Rolla, passed away Monday, April 1, 2019 at the age of 82.
He was born in Kansas City, MO on November 2, 1936 to the late James and Mary (Garland) Brackhahn where he attended Paseo High School.
On February 24, 1961, he married Nancy Lee Dunbar and they were later blessed with two daughters.
Don was known for his service to others and his loud, booming voice which you could hear during services at Christ Episcopal Church or at sporting activities throughout the town of Rolla. During the Christmas season you could also find him in his red suit and beard at the top of the cherry picker during the Christmas parade or spreading cheer through the town.
Don earned a bachelors and a masters degree in history and government from UMKC. Later he earned a Post Masters Higher Education Administration degree from UMKC. He first taught history at Southwest High School in the Kansas City area.
In 1966, Don became Alumni Director for UMKC. In 1970 he was appointed Director of Alumni and Constituent Relations and Director of Development at UMKC. Starting in 1980 Don served two years as Special Assistant for Alumni Relations to the President of the University of Missouri. He later came to Missouri S&T where he served and retired as the Director of Alumni and Constituent Relations.
Don was very civic minded and served in many capacities for several organizations. He has been a member of American Society of Association Executives, Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Phi Delta Kappa, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Tau Kappa Epsilon.
In Kansas City he served as Metropolitan United Way Speakers Division chairman, President of the Johnson County United Community Services, President of Johnson County Friends of the Library, and President of the standing committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas. He was also a member of the Johnson County Kansas Library board of trustees, the Kansas City Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Kansas City Museum of History and Science board of trustees.
In Rolla he was a member of the Order of Golden Shillelagh Donor Society, on the Board of Directors for MRPC and member of Rolla Chamber Ambassadors. He was president and on the board of directors for the Phelps County Public Water Supply District II, on the Rolla United Fund board of directors. He was a Tau Kappa Epsilon campus advisor, advisor to Omicron Delta Kappa, and organizing president and on the board of directors of the Rolla Town Band. He was a lay reader at Christ Church and was elected as lay representative to the Cathedral Chapter of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri. He is also a founding member of the World’s Finest Rolla German Band and avid fan and supporter of the Rolla Bulldogs and S&T Miners.
Don has served as President of the Rolla Noon Rotary Club where he was recently recognized with 20 years of perfect attendance. He is a past District Governor (6080 2005-06) and past District Treasurer of Rotary International.
Recently he received the Volunteer of the Year Award from the Rolla Chamber of Commerce. He was also awarded the Paul Harris Rotarian Award, the UMKC Community Service Award and a University of Missouri Presidential Citation for Alumni Service.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one brother, Jim Brackhahn.
He will be greatly missed by his surviving family which includes his wife of 57 years, Nancy Brackhahn, of Rolla; two daughters, Dawn Sullivan and husband Steve, of Shawnee, KS and Diane Simon and husband David, of Rockford, IL; two brothers, Robert (Carol) Brackhahn and Thomas (Alice) Brackhahn, and sister-in-law Diana Brackhahn all of Shawnee Mission, KS; three grandchildren, Dana Simon, Erin Sullivan and Evan Sullivan; nieces, nephews, other extended family members and many dear friends.
A memorial service celebrating the life of Don Brackhahn will be held Saturday, April 6, 2019 at 3pm at Christ Episcopal Church in Rolla.
Memorial contributions may be made in Don’s memory to the Don and Nancy Brackhahn Scholarship Fund at Missouri S&T Alumni Office or the Rotary Foundation.
Kenneth 'Kenny' David Thompson, age 72, of Slidell, LA, passed away on Saturday, November 3, 2018. Beloved Husband of Paula Thomas Thompson. Father of Kathryn Elizabeth Thompson. Son of Billie Van Eman Thompson and the late Morris Thompson. Brother of Betty Thompson, Susan Thompson Jenkins, Dianne Thompson Quarles and Deborah Thompson Knight. Also survived by an uncle, Corky Van Eman, numerous nieces, nephews and special friends, John and Jan Sheilds.
He was a graduate of the University of Texas where he received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Michigan, where he received his Masters of Business Administration. Kenneth served in the U.S. Navy as a Lieutenant J.G. during the Vietnam Era. He retired from Exxon Mobil as a Petroleum Engineer after 20 years. After he retired, he became a Financial Advisor for Edward Jones.
A native of Texas and a resident of Slidell for over 30 years, he was active in the Rotary Club of Slidell, where he was currently the Governor for District 6840 and an Ambassador for Rotary International, traveling to Russia, Australia, New Zeland. Ken was very active in eradicating Polo from this world, by going on medical missions frequently to Mexico, inoculating children in remote villages. He championed the adoption of "Shelter Boxes" for disaster relief around the world thru Rotary.
He was an active member of Aldersgate United Methodist Church, serving in the choir, the Men's Club and also serving for years in the prison ministry. Additionally, Ken contributed to the cultural life of St. Tammany Parish by singing in the Northlake Performing Arts Society, being active in the Slidell Little Theatre as a board member and an actor.
Relatives and friends of the family are invited to attend the Memorial Services at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 360 Robert Blvd, Slidell, LA on Monday, November 12, 2018 at 12:00 O'clock Noon. Visitation at the church on Monday after 11:00 a.m. until funeral time. Donations to Shelter Box USA, 7359 Merchant Court, Lakewood Ranch, FL, 34240, www.shelterboxusa.org, preferred, in lieu of flowers.