Friends We Will Miss


Varkey Titus passed away September 3. Dr. Titus was Dean of the College of Business and Economics at LSSU from 2000 to 2002.

Paul Ennis Ripley, 91, came to Lake State in 1966, just as the institution was transitioning from the Sault Branch of the Michigan College of Mining and Technology to Lake Superior State College, a 4-year school in its own right. Paul served in several capacities – often concurrently - including Professor of journalism, Director of Information Services, Director of College Relations, Director of Alumni Relations and Director of Career Planning and Placement. He retired in 1987 after 22 years on Lake State’s campus.

Robert Gaertner, 76, business and economics professor passed away July 29.


David Appel '91, Rockford, Illinois, died earlier this year.

Catherine Margaret Ashley, Dandridge, Tenn., died July 9 at her home, surrounded by family. Cathey found her calling later in life, after raising three children. She devoted much of her life toward championing for the wellbeing of those in need of assistance while working as a social worker at the Tennessee Department of Health and Human Services. After retiring, Cathey refocused her attention on her grandchildren, whom she absolutely adored. The impression that she had on countless people will forever be seen in their compassionate actions going forward.

William Brotherton '50 of Hancock died in his home March 28. He taught for 37 years at Houghton High School, retiring as head of the math and science departments. He often attended class reunions to catch up with his former students. Brotherton was a Golden Graduate at LSSU, attending Commencements four times between 2008 and 2017. He is survived by his wife Mina (Fritz), who is also a Lake State alumna. They met on the campus of what was then the Sault Branch of the Michigan College of Mining and Technology.

Walter “Larry” Brumwell ’52 of Saginaw passed away August 23 at the age of 83. He served in the United States Army for two years; his career was in law enforcement, beginning with the Sault Police Department. Later he became an investigator with Naval Intelligencein Missouri. A job change took him to Chicago with the US Postal Inspection Service; wanting to return to Michigan, he transferred to Saginaw in 1975. After retiring Larry enjoyed a lifelong passion of fishing and hunting and anything outdoors.

Susan Dickison '55 of Palm Harbor, Fla. passed away January 20 at the age of 82. An avid reader, Susan had a keen interest in history throughout her life, particularly English history. She enjoyed taking trips and cruises to Europe and other foreign destinations of historical interest. She also loved her home state of Michigan, and often returned with her husband to their vacation home on Spectacle Lake in Bay Mills. She is survived by her husband, George, and children Deborah Shore, David Dickison and Dianne Nugent.

Steven Charles Dickson ’92 of Grand Ledge passed away August 6. Steven was born in California and went to college in Michigan. He lived in various cities in Michigan and in Texas, where he first started working after completing his finance and economics degree at LSSU in 1992.

Marilyn Gendzwill '74 of Sault Ste. Marie passed away August 7. Marilyn substitute taught in area schools, but her life's calling and last employment was as a counselor at Great Lakes Recovery Center's New Hope House for Women. She served on the Sault Housing Committsion and was a member of the Bay Mills-Brimley Historical Society and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. She also volunteered as a religious education teacher in various parishes in which she lived. Marilyn is survived by her children, Jeanne Verbrigghe, Theresa Solberg, Laura Scott, Matthew Gendzwill, Margaret Kipp, Andrew Gendzwill, Amy Heminway, and Tom Gendzwill.

Gale Harkonen '71 of St. Petersburg, Fla. passed away May 9, 2017 at the age of 64. He loved volunteering at the Dali Museum and St. Anthony's Hospital.

Theresa Louise Lewis '05 of Brimley passed away July 18 at the age of 53. She is survived by her father, Byron Lewis, and sons Juan and Carlos Chavez.

Raymond Matheson '54 of Tawas City passed away January 31 at the age of 82. he worked 40 years as a teacher for the Clintondale High and Warren Fitzgerald High Schools. He also worked as a certified drivers training instructor. Ray loved the outdoors, especially hunting and fishing, and became an accomplished wood carver in his retirement. He is survived by his wife, Carol, and children Mark Matheson, Molly Grundner and Michael Matheson.

Floyd Perry '07 of Sault Ste. Marie, passed away August 31 at the age of 76. He served in the US Army from 1959 to 1962 and worked at various times at car factories, being a student advisor at Bay Mills Community College and also coaching baseball. He is survived by his wife, Terry, and children, Faith Perry, Jamie Wallace, Jody Perry, Jacqueline Perry, Priscilla Grove, Roberta Perry, Nuhnedoo-Keezissons Perry and Helen Bouschor.

Marialice Rutledge '85 of Vale, N.C, passed away March 10 at the age of 57. A member of the Salvation Army Church in Hickory, Marialice had a pssion for helping others, no matter the trials she was dealing with herself. She loved her family and was always putting the needs of others before her own. She is survived by her husband of 31 years, Steve Rutledge.