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Obituaries and Memories

Past President Jim Smith (1969) passes away in Colorado
March 28, 2015

James SmithJJ Moylan - It is with deep regret that I inform you of the loss of our Chapter Brother, Jim Smith, Gamma Lambda '69 and past Chapter President. Jim succumbed to his battle with cancer and entered: "The Chapter Eternal," at 8:00 am, on Saturday, March 28, 2015. Jim is survived by his wife, Lila Greaves, and sons, Laine and Jesse. The Family desires privacy at this time of mourning, so please respect their wishes.
A Memorial Service to celebrate Jim's life, will be scheduled and I will keep you informed.
May Jim, rest in peace.

Randy Tuttle - I bought Jim's 1955 White Ford Fairlane, with the 354 cu in Thunderbird V8. I'm sure it made a hundred trips or more over Loveland Pass. I sold it to Don Wofford, and he tells me it went many times back and forth to Kansas City. It was never really mine, it was always Jim's Old Ford.
Whenever I think of that car, I think of him. Rest in Peace.

Greg Auger - Jim and I went to Europe together during the summer of 1968. It was the same summer as the Prague demonstrations in Czechoslovakia. The two of us had Euro-Rail passes and went to all kinds of exotic destinations from Norway (we met Brother Erling Olsen’s parents), through Amsterdam, down through France, Italy, Spain, Greece, and more. When we needed a hotel room if the youth hostels were full, we would go to the train station and take whatever train had bunks available, we would go to sleep and wake up wherever. It was quite a time. We even took an overnight freighter to Istanbul.
Later in the early 70’s, I was managing an English Pub when I got a call from Jim who was in DC for some kind of SDS demonstration … he told me that he got arrested!
We say in the Greek Church ... May his memory be eternal! Rest in Peace Brother Jim, Rest in Peace.


Jim Smith Memorial Service
  On Saturday, May 2,2015, Bob and Pam Wolper, Suki and Tim Schroeder and I attended the Memorial Service for our Gamma Lambda Chapter Brother and past Chapter President, Jim Smith at Evergreen Memorial Park in Evergreen, Colorado.
  Sharon Pearson was also there and did a lot to help out Lila and their sons, Jesse and Laine throughout the final days of Jim's illness and at the Memorial Service itself.
  Lila, Jesse and Laine are to be commended for a very moving and memorable Memorial Service for her Husband, their Father and our Brother, Jim.
  I did not know that Jim was actively engaged in scouting. Jim became an Eagle Scout at the age of 15 and remained active in Troop 456 with Jesse and Laine as they engaged in scouting. Jim attained membership in the Order of the Arrow, which is a very high honor indeed. The many awards Jim received in the scouting program were on display in the Chapel that had been converted from a barn on the grounds of the Memorial Park. Jim would have loved the setting. Members of Troop 456 opened and closed the Memorial Service in a very dignified and fitting fashion.
  Lila shared Jim's life with us from before they met through their 39 years of married life together. Jesse and Laine reflected upon life with their Father and told some fun stories. Jesse had also composed a song two days after Jim's passing: "Colorado Mountain Man," which he performed on his guitar at the Memorial Service. It moved us all.
  I also learned that in addition to Sharon's presence at the Smith home in Jim's final days, Brothers, Morris Bell, Bob Ellis, Craig Lebow and Hank Halstead, each flew into Denver to spend some time with Jim. Indeed, Morris Bell, a retired nurse, spent nearly two weeks at the Smiths' home helping Lila attend to Jim's hospice needs, shortly before Jim joined the Chapter Eternal. It was hugely supportive to the family to have Morris there. I think all this speaks volumes to the life-long bonds of friendship formed in the Brotherhood of Theta Chi Fraternity. Our Theta Chi Fraternity composite from 1968, was also on display in the Chapel, (we were a lot younger then) and we heard a few Theta Chi stories featuring Jim.
  One theme that permeated the Memorial Service was the old mining cabin that Jim restored and lived in, without plumbing or electricity, for many years. Following Jim's marriage to Lila, they moved back to Colorado from Chicago and lived in the cabin outside Idaho Springs for many years thereafter, as he built solar homes and condos in ski country. Before starting a family, he and Lila spent over six months traveling around the world. They then lived in Denver for a while and the cabin became the weekend retreat for the family.
  I could feel Jim's presence in that Chapel. Jim began to write his eulogy, but was too sick to complete it. Lila shared with us what Jim had written. I know he has to be so proud of Lila, Jesse and Laine, for fashioning that Memorial Service the way they did - it just reflected the Jim Smith we all knew.
Thank you, Lila, Jesse and Laine for all you did for all those present at Jim's Memorial Service. It was beautiful tribute to a good man. Jim will be missed.
James Edward Smith - (February 15, 1947- March 28, 2015 - Rest in Peace,)
JJ Moylan

Samuel L. Bruce (1964) passes away in Iowa
November 30, 2013 - The Hawk Eye

Samuel L. BruceSamuel L. Bruce, 71, of Keokuk, IA died at 10:55 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013 at Great River Hospice House in West Burlington.
  Born Nov. 21, 1942, in Decatur, IL, he was the son of Charles F. and Lucille L. Lehn Bruce. Mr. Bruce worked as a cost accountant at Hubinger/Roquette America until retiring in 1997. He was a Navy veteran that served in the late 1960s. He was an avid golfer.
  Survivors include two daughters, Wendy Bruce of North Andover, MA, and Tanya Wikoff of Bolton, MA; his stepmother, Darlene Bruce of Peoria, IL; and four grandchildren.
  He was preceded in death by his parents, and burial will be in Decatur, IL. Thielen Funeral Home and Crematory is in care of the arrangements.


Warren Welch - Brother Samuel L. Bruce (1964) passed away from congestive heart failure in Iowa last Sunday evening. Sam was the treasurer when I first joined Theta Chi in 1963 and was one of the brothers that was instrumental in rebuilding our chapter to what eventually was a "Great Run" for the remainder of the 1960s and into the early 1970s. Through the web site and Facebook I was able to keep in contact with Sam throughout the years and he will be greatly missed.

John P. Boelte (1964) passes away in New Jersey
April 23, 2012

 John P. Boelte, 69 of Little Egg Harbor, NJ passed away on Monday April 23, 2012 at Southern Ocean Medical Center, Manahawkin. Born in Port Chester, NY and raised in White Plains, NY, he lived in Valhalla, NY before retiring to Little Egg Harbor, NJ in 2005. He received his BS from the University of Denver and graduated Magna Cum Laude with an MBA from Pace University. He worked as a corporate officer for Pan-American World Airways, Chicago Business Jets, Babcock & Wilcox, and Metromedia.
   John was very involved in the purebred dog world for 35 years. He was President of the Sawmill River Kennel Club and Westchester Pet Products, Past Officer of the Westchester Kennel Club, and Past Board Member of the NY and CT Vizsla clubs.
   He enjoyed flying, traveling, boating, trap shooting, golf, and was a history enthusiast, serving as a Board Member of the Pan-American Historical Society.
   He is survived by his loving wife of 40 years Patricia Boelte of Little Egg Harbor, father-in-law Joseph S. Reho of Lakewood, NJ, sister-in-law Christine Jean Force and John Dustman of Oriental, NC and 3 nephews Sean, Justin and Kevin Force.
   The Funeral Service was held on Friday April 27, 2012 at 11:00am at the First United Methodist Church of Tuckerton 134 North Green Street Tuckerton, NJ 08087.

Death of Howard R. Alter, Jr.
Saturday, May 9, 2009

Howard R. Alter, Jr.ALTER - It is with great sadness that Theta Chi Fraternity announces the death of Brother Howard R. Alter, Jr. on May 9, 2009 at his home in Plum Borough, Pennsylvania.
   Brother Alter was a 1941 graduate of Pennsylvania State University, where he became a member of the Omega Chapter of Theta Chi Fraternity and served as chapter treasurer and president.
   Howard was appointed a Regional Counselor in 1955 and served in that capacity until his election to the Grand Chapter in 1960.  He was twice elected as National President (1962-1966).  Following his service on the Grand Chapter, he was appointed as Executive Director of Theta Chi Fraternity January 1, 1968.  Brother Alter retired in June of 1984, and was appointed Executive Director Emeritus.
   The Howard R. Alter, Jr. Award for Chapter Excellence was created by past Field Representatives to commemorate Brother Alter’s retirement as Executive Director.  The award is the highest honor bestowed on a chapter of Theta Chi Fraternity.  The Alter Award was first presented in 1985.
   Following his retirement Brother Alter continued his service to the Fraternity by serving on the National Board of Trustees from 1984 to 1994.  He also served on the boards of both foundations in our Fraternity — the Foundation Chapter and Theta Chi Funds for Leadership and Education, Inc.
   Brother Alter has been honored with every award in Theta Chi Fraternity, including the Distinguished Service Award, the Fraternity’s highest honor, and the “Theta Chi for Life” Award.  In 1993, the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) bestowed upon Brother Alter the NIC Gold Medal, the highest honor in the fraternity world, for his interfraternal service. That service included serving on the NIC Board of Directors from 1985 to 1993, and serving as president for the Fraternity Executives Association (1978-1979).
   His lifelong and selfless work on behalf of Theta Chi Fraternity and the interfraternity world serves now, and will continue to serve, as an example for all to follow.

Brother Joe Politi (1971) Passes Away in New Jersey
January 17, 2007

Joe PolitiPOLITI - Joseph on January 17, 2007 of Montvale, N.J. formerly of Fort Lee, NJ age 59. Beloved husband to Beth (nee Kukkonen). Devoted father to Andrew and Joseph Politi. Loving son to Maria Politi. Dear brother to Anthony Politi. Funeral from the A.K. Macagna Funeral Home 495 Anderson Avenue Cliffside Park, NJ on Friday, January 19, 2007 at 9:30 AM thence to St. Nicholas R.C. Church Palisades Park, NJ where a Funeral Mass will be offered at 10:30 AM. Interment Fairview Cemetery, Fairview, N.J. Visiting hours Thursday 2-4 and 7-9 PM.
Published in The Record and Herald News on 1/18/2007.


Dear Brothers and Friends of Theta Chi,
   It is with deep regret and a heavy heart that I sadly relate the news that our Brother, Joe Politi passed away last evening.
Joe's wife, Beth called me a little while ago and asked me to convey this sad news to the Brothers. As many of you know, due to kidney failure following a surgery some time ago, Joe was on dialysis. Related to that, Joe suffered a massive heart attack last night and joined the Chapter Eternal.
   As is our custom, we will purchase a memorial brick to be placed in Joe's memory in the Pathway of Brotherhood at the International Headquarters of Theta Chi Fraternity, Inc. in Indianapolis, Indiana. Suggested donation is $25.00. The brick and the rendering which we will present to Joe's family costs $150.00. Total donations above that amount will be contributed to the Fraternity's endowed, Leadership Fund in Joe's name and memory. The Leadership Fund is used to underwrite the cost of providing the Fraternity's educational and leadership programming activities to our undergraduate Brothers throughout the year, i.e.: The Deranian Presidents Conference, the Mid-Year Leadership Challenges, Chapter Leadership Conference and the School of Fraternity Practices. I think this is something Joe would want us to support in his memory.
   If you desire to contribute, please issue a check to: "Foundation Chapter of Theta Chi Fraternity, Inc.", and in the Memo section write: "Joe Politi-Memorial Brick." Please send the checks to me, and I will collect them and forward them on to the IHQ.
   Our thoughts and prayers are with Beth, their sons, Joe and Andy and the entire Politi family.
Thank you, Brothers and friends.
Fraternally and Sincerely,
Jim Moylan 

Margaret “Poogie” Dawes, Wife of Brother Steve Dawes
Saturday, April 15, 2006

‘Poogie' was a longtime volunteer and philanthropist

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs philanthropist and civic volunteer Margaret "Poogie" Dawes, 55, was found dead at her home Friday afternoon. The death is under investigation, but Steamboat Springs police Capt. Joel Rae said foul play is not suspected. Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg ordered an autopsy that will be performed today or Monday at the Jefferson County Coroner's Office. Dawes' husband, Steve, found his wife at their home on Redwoods Drive and called 911. Rae said the call was at about 3:40 p.m. The Dawes'  have two teenage sons, Jeff and Matt.
   "Steve and Poogie quietly go about making this community a better place," family friend John Kerst said. "So many will miss her so much. She was involved. She cared. She cared enough to make a difference."
   One of Dawes' sisters gave her the nickname "Poogie" after a character in a children's book. "No one calls me Mrs. Dawes," she once told a reporter. "I prefer ‘Poogie.' The children and adults are more comfortable with it."
   A native of New Jersey, Poogie moved to Steamboat in 1974 after graduating from the University of Arizona. She and Steve met and married in Steamboat. Throughout the years, the Dawes' have been involved in numerous philanthropic efforts, both as donors and fundraisers. They helped raise funds for Yampa Valley Medical Center and for the expansion of Howelsen Ice Arena. A self-proclaimed "hockey mom," Dawes volunteered countless hours for the Steamboat Springs Youth Hockey Association. She also was a longtime volunteer in the school district.
   "Poogie touched a lot of people's lives in this community," Kerst said. "My heart and my love go out to Steve and their boys.
By Scott Stanford From the Steamboat Pilot

Sherry Stoop Brinton, Wife of Brother Ron Brinton
Sunday, January 15, 2006

 CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Sherry Stoop Brinton, 60, died peacefully at her home in Chapel Hill after a courageous 21-month battle with brain cancer.
   Born in Shamokin on May 29, 1945, Sherry was the daughter of the late Jesse and Beatrice (Patrick) Stoop. She graduated from Shamokin High School in 1963, and from Goldey Beacom School of Business in 1965. She married W. Ronald Brinton Jr. on July 2, 1966, in Shamokin, and enjoyed 39 wonderful years of marriage. Sherry and Ron traveled widely and lived throughout the United States before retiring to Chapel Hill in 2002. Family was Sherry’s greatest love, and her grandchildren, in particular, brought her tremendous joy.
   She is survived by her husband, Ron; a father-in-law, W. Ronald Brinton Sr. of West Chester; a son and daughter-in-law, Ron and Teresa Brinton of Cary, N.C.; a daughter and son-in-law, Heather and John Parker of Falls Church, Va.; three granddaughters, Samantha Beatrice, Mara Brinton, and Hannah Parker; two sisters, Grace Hornberger and Mary Jane Kuhns, both of Shamokin; her “sister,” Cynthia Stoop of Farmingdale, N.J.; three brothers, Franklin Stoop of Houston, Texas, Richard Stoop of Pennington, N.J., and Jesse Stoop of Farmingdale, N.J.; a brother-in-law, Richard Hornberger; a sister-in-law, Barbara Stoop; and many nieces and nephews.

Brother Paul Wallace (1971) Passes Away in Orlando
January 29, 2003

Letter From JJ Moylan:
   It is with an extremely heavy heart that I forward the news from Brother Brad Condo that our Brother, Paul Wallace joined the Chapter Eternal last night. Those of you connected with Gamma Lambda receiving this e-mail, I am requesting that you forward this message on to your respective listservs, so the news is disseminated as widely and as quickly as possible.
   I am alerting Dave Westol, our Executive Director and El Ahlwardt, Director of Development and editor of "The Rattle" at the IHQ of Paul's passing as well. Dave will remember Paul's presentation at the Brotherhood event during the Orlando Convention, which many of the national volunteers still talk about. If Dave could forward this e-mail to the Official Family of Theta Chi Fraternity, I would appreciate it. El, this is for The Chapter Eternal write-up in the upcoming edition of "The Rattle". Perhaps, we could embellish it a bit by reference to Paul's Orlando Convention presentation.
   Brother Wallace is at rest. He will be sorely missed and fondly remembered.
Jim Moylan


Letter From Al Moll:
   My first trip to California was in 1968-69. Paul, Kevin Moylan and I set out in my Ford Torino to find Chris Reade in Carmel. I'm not sure if we were invited, Paul inspired the trip and got us going.
   We took the southern route, nearly drove off of the rim of the Grand Canyon the first night while trying to find a place to sleep. We didn't realize it 'til morning when we saw that the car was aimed directly toward the canyon, stopped about 25 feet from the edge. Paul was moved by my apparent disregard for life (especially his) and actually punched me! It didn't hurt and I forgive him.
   The next night we slept on the public beach in Santa Barbara (until we were chased by the local police at 2:30 AM who suspected that we'd started the huge driftwood fire nearby (we hadn't ... honest!). Kevin's famous line when awakened in the penetrating beach fog: "Officer, I feel like I've been sleeping inside of a huge rigatoni". We were lucky they didn't search him.
   We arrived in Carmel, water skied at Lake Naciamento - water temperature -22F - and saw the sights with Chris. The highlight was the trek through the redwoods up to Snow White's actual cabin at Big Sur, dropping in to each of the Seven Dwarfs' tree hollow homes along the way. Yes, we were under the influence of the California grass, but we would all swear to what we saw.
   Paul was a classy guy. We are lucky to have known him and should all be inspired by him. His life should serve as a reference point for all of us when we think things aren't going our way.
Rest in Peace, Paul. If you see Snow White, flash the Peace sign for me.


From the Orlando Sentinal:
, 53, of Orlando, passed away Jan. 29, 2003.
Paul Henry Wallace faced the world for the last 15 years as a ventilator-dependent quadriplegic. But this is not what defined him. He lived and died with a deep abiding faith in God and in his fellow man. He was a humorist and a lover of music; a patron of the arts and a world traveler. He was gentle and kind and quietly courageous. He deeply loved his extended family and friends. Talk to anyone who knew him, "He is such an inspiration..", "Its an honor to know him...". He had that effect on people. Born on September 20, 1949, in Manhattan, he grew up in Tenafly, NJ, under the watchful care of his wonderful parents, Henry B. and Ruth (Persson) Wallace. He was an avid skier, body surfer, a member of the church choir, and a gifted pianist. His favorite memories surround summers spent at "the shack" in Northport, Long Island, at the McFarland Ranch in Kallspell, Montana and in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. He went off to seek his fortune in Denver, Colorado where he graduated from Denver University with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Administration. During his years at Denver University, he was a member of the Theta Chi Fraternity. He also served in the Army National Guard. Paul was recruited straight out of Denver University by Walt Disney World who brought him to Orlando. It was to be his home for the next 31 years. Paul's career with Walt Disney World began with the opening team of the Magic Kingdom as a Food and Beverage Manager in 1971. He moved to Convention Sales in and onto Marketing in 1982. He traveled extensively as a member of the International Marketing team and he was the first Magic Music Day Marketing Representative. On his way to Paris for the Company, Paul stopped in Vail, CO for a few days of skiing. That was 15 years ago.... He never let his disabilities stop him. After extensive rehabilitation at Craig Hospital in Colorado, he returned to Walt Disney World where he continued to work five days each week until his death as the Walt Disney World Marketing guru approving collateral materials including logos, photos and copy for convention groups and meeting planners, among others. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 1, at 2PM, at the First Presbyterian Church, Reformation Chapel, on the corner of Magnolia Avenue and Church Street in downtown Orlando. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Paul H. Wallace Memorial, Craig Foundation, 3425 S. Clarkson, Englewood, CO 80110.
Published in the Orlando Sentinel on 1/31/2003.

Eric W. Ingvaldson (1973) dies in auto accident at age 47
Friday, March 5, 1999

Forty-seven-year-old Minneapolis attorney Eric W. Ingvaldson was driving his son to Madison, Wisconsin for a college visit in his 1995 Mitsubishi Montero, when, about 2:00 a.m., along a straight stretch of east-bound Interstate 90/94, he left the road at about 60 mph and drove into the median, rotating counter-clockwise, and rolled ending upside-down in the west-bound lane. Both the driver and the front seat passenger were wearing seat belts. The driver's side of the roof sustained multiple heavy impacts in the violent 3 1/2-roll accident. The driver died at the scene; the passenger also sustained head impact injuries, but was able to walk away from the accident and fully recovered.


Brad Condo - Eric graduated from Edina High Sshool in Minnesota in 1969, and enrolled at DU in the fall. He rushed Theta Chi only and pledged during fall rush. Eric attended DU for two years, but due to his dad's job change, he enrolled his junior year at the University of Minnesota. He graduated in the spring of 1973 and enrolled at the University of Minnesota law school. He graduated from law school three years later.
   My first job was in Minneapolis when Eric was a senior. We spent a lot of time together when he was a senior, but less so after he started law school.
   Eric first worked for a medium sized law firm, but he later left and started a new firm with a classmate, Bob Benett.
   Eric tragically died in a car accident as he was taking his son on a look around trip to the University of Wisconsin.

Brother Lee Maxfield (1969) dead at 47
Star Tribune: Newspaper of the Twin Cities (Minneapolis, MN)
Monday, August 8, 1994

    Lee Maxfield, 47, whose real estate research helped developers formulate and carry out some of the Twin Cities' largest housing projects, died Friday of complications from AIDS.
   Maxfield's passion for research also led him to look for and find his birth parents in the late 1970s, with the blessings of his mother and father, the late Ardella and Lyle Maxfield. He, his parents and birth parents - and nine younger brothers and sisters - maintained an ongoing relationship, and his birth parents, Leta and Lawrence Clemons of Waseca, were among several close friends and relatives at his side when he died.
   Maxfield founded Development Concept Corp. in 1974. The company soon evolved into Maxfield Research Group, which has counted among its clients Boisclair Development and the housing facilities at Riverplace in downtown Minneapolis and at Galtier Plaza in downtown St. Paul; Dunbar Development, which developed Laurel Village in downtown Minneapolis, many cities and several financial institutions and health-care groups.
   "We just wouldn't do anything in our company without the input of Lee's organization," said Frank Dunbar, a longtime Twin Cities developer who has worked with Maxfield's firm since 1976. "What I liked about Lee's reports and the way he conducted business was his professionalism and the ethics and integrity behind his reports."
   Tom Melchior, who has worked with Maxfield's firm for 11 years and has been a close friend of Maxfield for even longer, described him as a soft-spoken man with a calm demeanor. He worked with a variety of people - developers, city officials, professional associations - and with all of them, Melchior said, Maxfield's calmness and focus "allowed him to be a consensus builder."
   "Lee was a man with real vision," Melchior said. "He could look at a house and visualize right then what it could become."
   Besides his birth parents, Maxfield is survived by sisters, Debra Dunn, Susan Schafer, Jane Chase, Carol Hanson, Gale Clemons and Ellen Kubista and brothers, Kevin, Paul and John Clemons.
   A memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Thursday at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 12th St. and Nicollet Av., Minneapolis. Memorials are preferred to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and Open Arms of Minnesota, a meal program.

Memories of Timothy H. McCaughey (1966) (1944-1989)

Timothy H. McCaugheyWarren Welch - I first remember Tim when he was pledge president back in 1964. All the pledges kidnapped me and took me to some mining claim cabin in the mountains. Highly illegal now and then as well, but we were all young and didn't weigh the potential consequences. When I came back from the Army and a tour in Vietnam, it was Tim, then a graduate student, who welcomed me back to DU and Gamma Lambda with open arms. Who can ever forget watching Neil Armstrong land on the moon from Tim's living room. Tim was a one-of-a-kind Theta Chi that comes along very rarely.