Health Professions - Class Notes

We Salute your Achievements

The KUMC Alumni Association welcomes the chance to inform your fellow graduates of the events and activities in your life. Publications, awards, marriages, retirements, moves, promotions, birth announcements—you're sure to come across news from someone you remember. Browse here by class to find news of your former classmates and take a moment to submit a note of your own.

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Health Professions


1939 – Nelda N. Bortz White

Nelda N. Bortz White passed away on Sunday, July 14, 2013. She was predeceased by her husband, Charles M. White, MD, and sisters, Pauline M Bortz Loftis, Wilma Bortz Mauldin, and Mary C Bortz. She is survived by her children, Judith (Gilbert) Hawkins, Rochester, NY; Sally (Patrick) Guilfoyle, DeSoto, KS; and Lou (Michael) Pusateri, Kansas City, MO; grandchildren, Eleanor (Alexander) Hawkins-Richter, Nathan (Rachel) Guilfoyle, Jacob Guilfoyle, John Pusateri, and Gina Pusateri; great- grandchildren Ryan and Owen Guilfoyle; and nieces and nephews. Nelda graduated in Bacteriology from the University of Kansas, trained as a medical technologist at KUMC, and immediately began work in that field. She remained a fervent Jayhawk fan throughout her life. She met her husband, Charles White, a medical student, while she was working at the University of Nebraska Medical School, and they married in August 1941. During WWII, she worked in hospitals in Carlisle, PA, Memphis, TN, and Portland, OR, while accompanying Charles on his Army postings, and worked in Kansas City after he left for the European theater. After the war, she and Charles had three children and moved from Kansas City to Wichita. Nelda's family and Charles' medical practice at the Wichita Clinic became the center of her life, and she developed many friends and ties in Wichita during their 47 years there. She was particularly interested in and supportive of the Wichita Symphony, the Wichita Art Museum, and served as a volunteer with the Wichita Red Cross. She and Charles returned to the Kansas City area in 1995 to be near their daughter and her family. In Kansas City, they took much pleasure in performances by the Kansas City Symphony. (Updated July 2013)


1946 – Ina Belle Zimmerman

Ina Belle Zimmerman passed away on Sunday, August 4, 2013. Ina Belle was born in Wichita, KS, to Levi E. and Hazel E. (Russell) Zimmerman. Ms. Zimmerman graduated from Kansas State University and did her internship at Kansas University Medical Center in Kansas City, KS. Ina Belle's career as a dietitian took her to a variety of work places including, Iowa State University, Oklahoma State University, a hospital, and for a while she owned and operated a tea room in Kansas and finally to Southern Illinois University at Carbondale where she worked for twenty years. Ina Belle was a member of the Godfrey First United Methodist Church where she was active with the United Methodist Women and the Care Team. When she resided in Carbondale, Ms. Zimmerman was a member of the First United Methodist Church, Carbondale, where she was part of the United Methodist Women, the choir, and many other various organizations. Ina Belle was active in the Carbondale Garden Study club, a volunteer at the hospital and with the Meals on Wheels. She was also a member of the AARP. Survivors include, a sister, Margaret Ann Zimmerman of Silver Springs, MD (updated October 2013).


1954 (Medical Technology) – Loretta R. Hinkle

Loretta received the Frances Hesselbein Award from Girl Scouts – Western Oklahoma for Outstanding Volunteer Services in 2013 (Updated June 2014).

1951 (Med. Tech.) – Mary A. Gosney-Lancaster (Carter)

Mary has been retired since 1990. She no longer travels, but she loves to play golf, read, and watch KU football and basketball (Updated November 2014). (Updated November 2014).

1958 (Dietetics & Nutrition) – Janan O'Keefe Swanson

Janan (Jana) O'Keefe Swanson, 79, passed away in Thousand Oaks, CA on September 3, 2014 after a year-long battle with cancer. She was born in Waterloo, Iowa on October 30, 1934 to Dr. Paul T. and Marian (Brouillard) O'Keefe.Jana attended West High School in Waterloo and graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in nutrition and dietetics. Following completion of her dietary internship at the University of Kansas Medical Center, she married David J Sabag and they had three fabulous children, Patti, Ricky and Cheryl. Ten years later, after her marriage was dissolved, she met and married John N. Swanson and became an instant mother to John's equally fabulous children, Jeff, Laura, and Randy. In her working career, Jana was the assistant dietitian at several hospitals in Iowa and Orange County, California. When Los Robles Regional Medical Center opened in Thousand Oaks in 1968, she was the head dietitian until her retirement in 1982.After John's retirement in 1993; they traveled in their RV about nine months a year for the next 20 years as they happily toured the U.S, Canada, and Mexico. In addition to savoring the RV lifestyle, Jana avidly pursued her hobbies of genealogy, quilting, and playing bridge. She was a member of the Conejo Valley Genealogical Society, the Escapees RV Club, and the American Dietetic Association. Survivors include husband John; children Patti Swanson Simpson, Jeff Swanson, Laura Swanson, Rick Sabag Swanson, Randy Swanson, and Cheryl Swanson McDonald; sister Patricia Fenno; niece Sharon Fenno, nephew Stephen Fenno; and Pancake, the cat (Updated October 2014). (Updated November 2014). (Updated October 2014).

1959 (Physical Therapy) – MAJ Martha S. Friedmeyer, USAF Ret

Major Friedmeyer retired from the United States Air Force and is currently volunteering at two care homes. She teaches exercises to the elderly and helps with yard care. She also makes handiwork for friends and charities. Major Friedmeyer is known as the neighborhood "cat rescuer" and has four cats of her own. She also supports her local Lutheran Church (Updated July 2014).


1964 – Judy Hawkins Kroeger

Judy is working 25 hours per week and loves working with the kiddos. She also just picked up 3 more hours at a local Pediatric clinic (Updated March 2014).

1964 – Barbara Bremer Henrichs

Following graduation from PT school at KUMC, Barbara worked at KUMC for a year before attending the University of Illinois, where she earned her Med in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling. She married Dean Henrichs, MD'65 in 1967. While in Guam from 1967-1970, Barbara worked for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the University of Guam. She and Dean were also able to travel throughout the Orient as well as to Australia and New Zealand. From 1970-1974, Barbara and Dean enjoyed living in England and traveling in Europe and Africa. From 1984 – 2008, Barbara and Dean lived in Winston-Salem, NC, where Barbara worked in home health, PRN in nursing homes and as a PT retiring from the Forsyth County School System in 2007. In 2008, they moved to Bermuda Village Retirement Community and are enjoying traveling, grandchildren and the many activities available in the Village and surrounding communities. Barbara is looking forward to her 50th Physical Therapy Reunion in October 2014 and hopes to be able to catch up with old friends (Updated March 2014).

1964 (PT) – Kay L. Christian

Kay worked in the St. Louis area as a home care physical therapist for 30 years for the BJC Healthcare System and never tired of serving patients. Kay and Jim have been married for 50 happy years. They are blessed to have a daughter, Connie (also a KU Occupational Therapy graduate) and two sons, Bob and Tom (who both played football at Northwestern University). Bob also played for three NFL teams for a total of eleven years. Kay and Jim now have ten grand-daughters and one grandson on the way! A great joy in their lives is going to Mexico each year with Joni and Friends/Wheels for the World. They give people with disabilities used, donated wheelchairs. Over the last nine years, their team has seated over 3,000 people, giving them the gift of mobility. They are always looking for physical therapists and occupational therapists to go on the outreach (Updated August 2014).

1967 (Medical Technology) – Sharon Blasdel Jordan

Sharon retired in May 2013 after working at Mitchell County Hospital Health Systems for 41 ½ years as a Clinical Lab Scientist and Infection Control Practitioner (Updated April 2014).


1973 - Carolyn L. Bloom

Carolyn proudly announces that she has 2 grandsons! (Updated May 2013)

1973 - Carolyn L. Bloom

Carolyn proudly announces that she has 2 grandsons! (Updated May 2013)

1974 – Douglas F. Ballentine

Douglas Ballentine passed away on Friday, September 6, 2013 (Updated September 2013).

1976 (Occupational Therapy) – Suzette Werner Jones

Suzette is the President/Owner of TherapyWorks, Inc. in Tulsa, OK, and stated that for over 30 years, TherapyWorks has been the leader in pediatric therapy in schools and in outpatient clinics in Oklahoma. She still loves treating and working wonders in children's lives! (Updated April 2014).

1977 (PT) – Nedra Mitchell

Nedra practiced Physical Therapy until 2005. She made a career change starting in 2004 and took the Certified Financial Planner course work at UMKC and started to work for Waddell & Reed that same year. Nedra has three grown children – two of which are married and a total of three grandchildren (Updated October 2014).

1978 (Emergency Medical Training) and 1979 (Emergency Mobile Intensive Care Technician) - Rick E. Marshall

Rick E. Marshall, 56, of Paola, KS, passed away on April 4, 2014 (Updated July 2014).

1979 – Catherine A. Armstrong

Catherine 'Cathy' Armstrong passed away February 18, 2013 after a 21 year battle with breast cancer. She leaves behind her husband of 34 years, Jeff Armstrong; her mother and father, Richard and Nancy Neal; her daughter, Meghan Armstrong; son Chris Armstrong, along with other family members. (Updated March 2013)

1979 – Christine Marie Sigler

Christine Zipf Sigler, Prairie Village, KS, passed away Thursday, December 5, 2013 at her home. Cris was born March 11, 1947, in St. Louis, MO, the daughter of James F and Gloria S Zipf. Cris attended grade school at Christ the King School in Kansas City, MO and she graduated from Bishop Miege High School in 1965. Cris met Bob Sigler at Donnelly College in Kansas City, KS. They married on April 18, 1970. Cris and Bob were business partners at both Sigler's Orchard from 1970 until 1981 and at Damage Control & Restoration Inc. from 1989 until her passing. They were traveling companions and adventure buddies, superstar grandparents and the parents of three children, Carmen, Ethan and Clare. Cris graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Kansas. She worked as a physical therapist at Shawnee Mission Medical Center for over 20 years until her retirement in 2001. Cris had a warm heart and immense talent. After her retirement she dedicated her free time to the service of others. She trained her poodle Sashi for therapy work, and together they volunteered with Pets for Life, The Delta Society and were staff volunteers at Children's Mercy Hospital. Cris and Sashi's visits to nursing homes, retirement homes and Children's Mercy brought joy and healing. Cris taught reading through Literacy KC and she was a volunteer at Crossroads Hospice. Her love of animals led her to volunteer at Halfy's Thrift Boutique which benefitted a local animal shelter, The Pet Connection. Cris had a special gift for connecting with people. Anyone who ever had the privilege of spending time with her was struck by the sense that she was interested and cared about them, and she genuinely did. Whether with friends or family, her compassion, generosity, kindness, curiosity and intelligence made those around her feel special, welcome and in good hands. She is survived by her sweetheart, Bob Sigler, her children, Carmen, Ethan and Clare, her son-in-law Aaron Benson, her grandchildren Evelyn and Lakota, her parents Jim and Gloria, and her brothers and sisters, Fran, Rita, John, Mark, Ellen, Teresa, and Robert. She was preceded in death by her brother Jim and numerous furry friends (Updated January 2014).

1979 (Emergency Med. Training) – Rick E. Marshall

Rick E. Marshall, 56, of Paola, KS, passed away on Friday, April 4, 2014 (Updated April 2014).


1982 – Jan C. Niles

Jan C. Niles passed away on Thursday, August 15, 2013, at her parents' North Newton Home (Updated August 2013).

1982 – COL William J. Howard III

I have been the Training Center Manager for Joint Base Lewis-McChord's Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Training Center since retirement from the Army in July 2009. Our daughter Lauren is a 2009 Bachelor of Fine Arts Graduate from KU! (Updated November 2013).

1986 – Marvalie Brown Foresman

Marvalie I. "Marv" Foresman passed away on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at Stormont Vail Hospital in Topeka. She was born on February 21, 1964 at Belleville, the daughter of Garald and Nadine Tibbs Brown. Marv graduated from Belleville High School with the class of 1982. Mrs. Foresman worked for USD 501 in Topeka for many years. She was a past board member and volunteer for Ballet Midwest of Topeka and served as both a Boy Scout and Girl Scout leader. Marv was a past member of the PTO and had served as president. She was preceded in death by her parents (Updated October 2013).

1989 – Carol Ann Nenninger

Carol passed away on December 07, 2012. (Updated January 2013)

1989 – Paul S. Bennetts, PhD

Congratulations to Dr. Bennetts for completing his PhD in May 2013! (Updated June 2013).


1995 – Jane M. Werntz

Jane Werntz, 60, of Overland Park, KS, passed away on November 12, 2013. Survived by son, Reed of Overland Park; brothers, David of Overland Park, Greg and Mark of Warrensburg (Updated December 2013).

1997 – Kerry E. Grigsby

Kerry passed away on Monday, May 6, 2013. He served our country faithfully as an Army officer. His overseas service included fighting in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. Among his many military citations, Kerry was awarded the Bronze Star during Operation Desert Storm. After retiring from the military, Kerry pursued a career in the health care industry and graduated from KUMC with a degree in Health Information Management. Kerry is survived by his wife, Maureen; his children, Joseph, Jill, Brett, Kayti, Laura and Dan; his mother, Josephine; his siblings, Carole Bozworth, Keith Grigsby, Claudia Gilstrap, Kyle Grigsby, Kelly Grigsby, Colleen Holcomb, Celia Laskowski; numerous nieces and nephews and his beloved grandchildren (Updated May 2013).

1998 – Andrea Renee Illausky

Andrea passed away on Thursday, June 6, 2013. After graduating from Eureka High School in 1991, she earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Kansas State University and a Medical Technology degree from the University of Kansas Medical Center in 1998. While at Kansas State University, Andrea met Mark, who she married on August 10, 2002 at her childhood church in Eureka, KS. Andrea was active with the children's ministry at Harvest Ridge Covenant Church in Shawnee, KS, and was also a member of the P.E.O. Andrea is survived by her husband, Mark; son, Alexander; parents, Patrick and Mary Ellen Forbes; brother, Michael and 2 nephews (Updated June 2013).

1998 – Gina L. Jennings

Gina L. Jennings, 39, of Salina, KS, died Wednesday, November 27, 2013. She was born February 19, 1974, in Colby, KS, the daughter of David and Donna (Schippers) Jennings. She worked as an occupational therapist for Central Kansas Cooperative in Education, USD 305. She was a graduate of Colby Community College and the University of Kansas. She was preceded in death by her parents and one brother, Jeff Jennings. Survivors include one brother, Josh (Julia) Jennings, of Salina; two nephews, Abram and Elias Jennings; one niece, Abigail Jennings, of Wichita; grandmother, Lucille Jennings, of Hays; sister-in-law, Angie Jennings, of Wichita; numerous aunts and uncles and extended family (Updated December 2013).


2000 (OT) – Cathy M. Kline

Cathy M. Kline died at KU Medical Center on July 7, 2014. She struggled for many years with a blood disorder but lived her life as if there was nothing wrong. She has left her husband Jim, her two wonderful pups, Scout and Putter, and many friends and family. Her family lives in the Midwest as Reno has been home for the last 15 years. She loved her job at Renown and especially loved her co-workers. They were her support and her friends. Every day she was grateful to have them and all the staff that cared for her in her battle. She grew so close to the people that took care of her and remembered them in her journal. Our thanks go out to everyone that loved her (Updated August 2014).

2002 (Dietetics & Nutrition) – Andrea Hacker Cullers

Andrea married Robert Cullers in September, 2014. Congratulations (Updated October 2014).

2007 (Clinical Laboratory Science) – Sean M. Tucker

Congratulations to Sean M. Tucker who was recognized by ASCP's Inaugural "40 Under 40" program. The program highlights 40 pathologists, pathology residents and laboratory professionals under age 40 who have made significant contributions to the profession and stand out as the future of laboratory leadership. (Updated October 2014).


2010 – Aimee Shane

Aimee is the Chief CRNA/Director of Anesthesia at OSF St. Luke Medical Center (appointed in 2011) in Kewanee, IL.

2012 (Occupational Therapy) – Bridget K. Glynn

Bridget is currently employed as a Pediatric Occupational Therapist in Fayetteville, AR (Updated June 2014).

2013 (Audiology) – Janna Sorensen

Soon after graduation, Janna moved back to the Kansas City area from her year-long internship in Sacramento, CA. Shortly before Christmas, Janna got engaged and her time is filled with continuing to learn her profession and planning a wedding! (Updated July 2014).

Last modified: Jun 01, 2015