Keeping Up

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Information posted here is provided by individuals via this submission form.  Items such as moving plans, serious illnesses and/or deaths, and your photo on a recent trip or visits with other Harper folks are especially appreciated! Please share your information to help keep everyone up to date.


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Important Events

From Bonnie Henry – My guess is that many of us have any number of memories about our former police chief, Kevin King.  I know I do.  I can still visualize him walking into my office to share some important news or stopping to talk in the hallway, or after retirement serving on the Board of HCAA or of driving a bus full of retirees to some event downtown.  I always felt Kevin was dedicated to the College, to providing the best service he and his officers could and to doing what he could to ensure that our environment was safe and secure.

Kevin has passed away.  He worked at Harper from July, 1978 through May, 2000.  Following is the obituary:

Visitation for Kevin Patrick King of Elgin, formerly of Streamwood will be held Tuesday, February 14, 2017 from1:00-9:00 PM at the Countryside Funeral Home and Crematory, 1640 Greenmeadows Blvd. (at Barrington Rd.) Streamwood/Schaumburg.  The funeral will be on Wednesday at 9:15 AM at St. John the Evangelist Church.  Mass is at 10:00 AM.  Interment is at St. Michael the Archangel.

Born September 25, 1941 in Chicago, Kevin died Monday February 6, 2017.

Retired Police Chief of Harper College, Kevin is also the Chairman of the Streamwood Fire and Police Commission.

He is the beloved husband of 50 years of Eileen Mary nee Hickey; loving father of Colleen (Erick) Bergquist, Dave (Dena) and Nancy (Derik) Kick; cherished grandfather of Keegan and Ashton Bergquist, Kate-Ann, Mary and Brandon King, Jesse, Alex and Adela Martinez; dear brother of Eileen (Bob) Styka. He will also be missed by his dog, Rubie. Call (630) 381-1697 or visit for more information.

Another of our wonderful faculty members has passed away — Dr. Marguerite Ewald. Those close to Marguerite knew that she had been gravely ill for some time and left this world on the day after Christmas.  Her obituary as found in the Daily Herald is below.  Truly, Marguerite was one of a kind.  An intelligent,  gracious,  and kind person, she gave of herself to those who knew her but in particular to her students and to community members who used her services.  Certainly, Harper College, as pioneered by Marguerite,  was one of the first community colleges to provide psychological services to students, helping them  find ways to be successful in school and in life.  As I reflect on today’s world, I often think of how the wisdom, knowledge, compassion and skills of a Marguerite Ewald are needed.  Not only was she as a person, a fine role model, but one as a professional as well.

From the Daily Herald:  ROLLING MEADOWS – Marguerite J. Ewald, age 90, passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016.  A visitation will be held at Matz Funeral Home iin Mt Prospect on Dec. 30, with a Mass at St. James Church in Arlington Heights on Saturday followed by burial at St. Adalbert Cemetery in Niles.  Marguerite was born in Detroit, MI on March 19, 1926 to Ronald J. and Mae O’Brien.  She graduated from Mercy College of Detroit and received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Loyola University-Chicago.  She married Donald George Ewald on Dec. 26, 1953 in Detroit.  She held a faculty appointment and worked as a counselor in the Counseling Center at Harper College until her retirement in 1988.  Marguerite was preceded in death by her husband Donald, MD, sisters Rita and Christine, brothers-in-law Charles Reid and Wally Hilker.  Marguerite is survived by her children Mark (Linda Breen), Paul (Gina DiPrima), Claudia and Colin Ewald (Deb Haugh-Ewald) and grandchildren Max, Dylan and Emma Haugh-Ewald.  In lieu of flowers, kindly make donations in Marguerite’s name to Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, 1140 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60607.  Further information:

We recently learned that Founding Faculty Member Rose Trunk passed away.  Member Audrey Inbody called the Clare Oaks Home in Bartlett where Rose resided with her husband Bill and was told that Rose had passed.  Upon learning this, we immediately reached out to learn more and discovered that Rose died on October 12, 2016.  She was born on February 19, 1926.  Member Bob Zilkowski found the following obituary notice for us:  He commented that messages in her honor can also be left at this site.

Rose began working at Harper on August 21, 1967 and retired on July 31, 1996.  Those of us who remember Rose remember her with great fondness and as a force to be reckoned with.  Rose’s name was one of the first I heard after arriving at Harper.  She was a powerhouse at the College but especially in the Business Department where she coordinated Accounting and Business Law programs, fought for students’ ability to transfer and worked tirelessly with students.  In retirement, I’ve heard members say they miss Rose and wish they could see her more.

I know that members have visited with her over the years:  Audrey, Bob, Mary Ann Jirak, Barb Radebaugh and perhaps others.   They have reported that she was always happy to see them.   Often, people impact others’ lives in ways they don’t realize.  I have to believe that many students were positively impacted as a result of their interactions with Rose and I am quite sure she made a lasting impression on the College, contributed to its wonderful reputation and growth and left a lasting impression on all of us who knew her.  Can any of us wish for more?

We regret to inform you that retired Harper Psychology Professor Charles Joly passed away peacefully on Nov 20, 2016.  He began work at Harper on Sept 8, 1969, and retired on Dec 31, 1991.  His daughter has provided his obituary that can be viewed here.

We are sure many of you have fond memories of one of the College’s favorite custodians–Kurt Karas who worked at the College from 1972-1995.  He passed away on September 13, 2016.  After Kurt retired from Harper, his sister Sharon was appointed as his legal guardian.  If you would like to send a card of condolence, you can mail it to:

Sharon Stanley
5728 Main Street
Downers Grove, IL 60515

Services will be held at Adams Winterfield Sullivan Funeral Home, 4343 Main Street, Downers Grove, IL 60515.  Visitation will be on September 20 from 3:00-8:00 PM. Funeral mass will be at the funeral home on September 21 at 10:30 AM. Learn more at

February 10th Harper 50th Anniversary Update:
Harper College celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2017. There will be special annuitant-oriented events, as well as other ways for our retirees to be involved.

  1. You can submit “Your Harper Story,” a brief memory or special moment/experience you had while working at Harper College. Forward your thoughts to: Trygve Thoreson at:
  2. There will be an Annuitants Reunion, most likely to coincide with the big Harper Alumni Reunion. Date and time to be announced. This event will include a special recognition of the founding faculty/administrators/staff from the years 1967 – 1977.
  3. A Foundation Paver project will raise funds for the Promise effort. Most likely, this program will be launched in the Fall of 2016 through the Harper College Foundation and offer Harper alumni, annuitants, faculty, administrators and staff an opportunity to have paver bricks with their names on them in a special area of the College (to be announced). Brick donations will probably cost approximately $150 to $300. More information will be shared when available.
  4. “A Year of Service” will be a part of the 50th Anniversary celebration. This volunteer/outreach effort will involve a series of community projects which will take place within the 22 communities Harper serves. Again, more information will be shared when available

Please realize that much of the year-long celebration is still in its developmental stage, so many details remain to be worked out. If you have questions or ideas, please direct them to Michael Nejman (, HCAA representative to the 50th Anniversary Steering Committee.

 January Letter from Tryg Thoreson Regarding 50-Year History of Harper College:
Dear Colleagues:

As some of you know, I’ve been working on a fifty-year history of Harper College, due to be published to coincide with the 50th Anniversary celebration coming up in 2017-18.  In addition to archival research, I’ve been interviewing folks with long associations with the college, people like Dave Williams, John Muchmore, Mary Jo Willis, Bonnie Henry, Maryanne Gasparaitis, Rich Geary, John Gelch, Roger Mussell, Tom McCabe, Dave Macaulay, Bob Tillotson, Rosemary Murray, Liz McKay—the list goes on and on.

Some of you may wonder, “Why not me?  I was here for x-number-of-years, too.  I could tell you a thing or two about this place!” Here’s why.  There are so many of you!  An embarrassment of riches, I like to say.  Don’t get me wrong—it’s a great problem for an author to have.  But space (in the book) and time are limited, and I won’t be able to get to all the likely suspects.

So here’s what I’d like to do.  If you have a story about Harper College that you think deserves to be included in its history—about events, memorable persons, behind-the-scenes rigmarole, whatever—please write it up and send it to me at  I can’t promise it will get in, but I’ll promise to consider it and will, with your permission, submit it for safekeeping to the Harper archives.  If it does get in the book, your contribution will be properly credited.

It’s fun to relive the past—go ahead and do it, if there’s something you’d like to share and that you think others will enjoy reading about.  If not, just enjoy the book when it comes out.

Thanks in advance,
Tryg Thoreson

nejman_book_coverRetiree Michael Nejman‘s new book, “Laughing at the Sun: The Story of a Man Who Changed His Spots,” is now available on in paperback and Kindle editions.  One reviewer said it’s “a hilarious mid-life coming of age story, told against the backdrop of a road trip that has gone very, very wrong.”  Another said, “…(it’s) engaging, funny and enlightening.”  Think “Sideways” meets “Tuesdays with Morrie.”  For further details, and to purchase the book, go to: .  (Please note: this story contains sexually explicit content.)

Best Seat in the House cover pic1Retiree Bruce Bohrer‘s book, “Best Seat in the House — Diary of a Wrigley Field Usher,” would make a GREAT gift for Cubs fans!  The book is about Bruce’s nine seasons working as an usher for the Chicago Cubs.  It’s filled with hundreds of stories about what takes place on the other side of the wall at Wrigley.  From humorous crowd-control episodes to poignant marriage proposals at the Cubs dugout, it’s a great read about the fans who come from all over the world to see the shrine called Wrigley Field.  Here’s a comment from a reviewer Mike Terson (former PA announcer for the Cubs) — “Bruce was immersed in what makes experiencing a major league baseball game at a venue such as Wrigley Field so fascinating.  I’m sure you will enjoy hearing these stories from his vantage point in the ‘Best Seat in the House’.”

For further details, and to purchase a copy, go to  or call 847.394.2797

Harper’s Jodie Olsen writes:  “I get some calls from retirees curious about our construction, and I’ll bet there are many who have no idea of all the changes here on campus.  I thought some may get a kick out of  the flicker link showing the construction goings-on.   Now you’ll have the answer if anyone asks ‘what’s up at Harper?’ “

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Current Employees

Find details about recent important events and view a Web gallery of current employee photos!

Important Events

Karen Lotz, Admissions Supervisor, passed away on Jan 15, 2016.  An employee at Harper klotzfor nearly two decades, Karen was pursuing a Masters degree in higher education administration at Robert Morris College.  She was killed by her husband in a domestic dispute. Karen is also survived by her 2 sons. Services will be held on Sunday, January 24, at St Anne’s Church in Barrington; wake at 1:30-3:30pm, and service at 3:30pm.

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