St. Lawrence
welcomes submissions for
Final Thought
should be no more than 500 words long and should in some
way reflect upon the writer’s St. Lawrence experience and
what it has meant :
Hugh I. Biele
age 70, died on Octo-
ber 15, 2012. At St. Lawrence, he was a sociology
major and brother of Phi Sigma Kappa, as well as
an ROTC cadet and a member of the Laurentian
Singers and Singing Saints. He received his law
degree from the University of Utah and then en-
tered the Army’s JAG Corps, serving in Italy and
then Vietnam, where he also led troops in com-
bat, earning the Bronze Star. He was vice presi-
dent of First Interstate Bank from 1971 to1980,
after which he entered the private practice of law,
focusing on commercial law. He was active across
the Los Angles legal community and Bar Associa-
tion. Always remaining active with St. Lawrence,
he was involved in his local alumni organization.
In 2008 and 2009, he returned to St. Lawrence
and served as an adjunct faculty member in the
Gender Studies department, teaching a course
on Gender and the Law. President Emeritus Dan
Sullivan, a classmate and friend, said of his time
teaching at the University,“Hugh had suffered for
years with a host of physical ailments and was of-
ten in a great deal of pain, but he fought through
it all to be there for his St. Lawrence students. He
taught well, and he made a real impact.”
Paul R. Stier
of Charleston, S.C.,
passed away on August 19, 2012. He was a mem-
ber of AlphaTauOmega. After receiving his B.A. in
English, he graduated from Syracuse University’s
S.I. Newhouse School of Journalism with his M.A.
in journalism and communications. He worked as
a reporter, magazine writer, publisher and public
relations executive. He and his wife, Joyce, estab-
lished their own marketing firm in Boca Raton,
Fla. called United Communications, Inc.
Sandra Taylor “Sandy” Fletcher
passed away in Ashtabula, Ohio, on July 16,
She was a member of Alpha Delta Pi and
was involved in many campus activities. Her
passion, however, was for helping people in need.
After majoring in sociology at St. Lawrence, she
completed graduate coursework at both Case
Western Reserve University and Cleveland State
University to become a licensed social worker. She
was a program administrator for the Ashtabula
Ohio) County Department of Job and Family
Services from 1973 to 2006. She was active in a
host of community causes, advisory councils and
boards involving families, children, seniors and
mental health. She is survived by her husband
of 32 years, Paul, two grown daughters, a step-
daughter and two granddaughters.
Benjamin Olds
of Valdez, Alaska,
died on June 28, 2012. He attended St. Lawrence
as a George F. Baker Scholar. During the pipeline
boom in the 1970s, hemoved to Fairbanks, Alaska,
before settling in Valdez to become the owner of
Harbor Fuel. He finished his career working for the
Valdez City School District as facilities manager.
He is survived by his wife, mother, sister, two
brothers and one son. For more about Ben, see
the Class of ’72 column.
Kathleen “Kathy” Fitch Davis
Eden, N.C., passed away on August 23, 2012. She
graduated with honors in biology and was a sister
of Kappa Delta Sigma. She was National Board
Certified in biology and taught biology at Holmes
Middle School and Morehead High School in
Eden. Those fondly remembering her include her
husband, William“Bill”C. Davis ’75, and their three
children. For more, see the Class of ’77 report.
Robert “Rob” Van Etten Jr.
of Mon-
ticello, N.Y., died on August 28, 2012. While at
St. Lawrence, he played men’s soccer and cap-
tained the men’s Alpine ski team. He pledged
Sigma Alpha Epsilon and was a member of the
stage production crew. He made the Dean’s List
and received a B.S. in psychology. For more about
him, go the Class of ’80 column.
Eileen J. O’Brien
of Massena, N.Y.,
passed away on September 9, 2012. She gradu-
ated with honors in history and continued her
education at SUNY Albany, earning a Master of
Library Science in 1985. She had most recently
worked as a librarian and archivist at the Man-
chester Historical Association in Manchester,
N.H., taking on the herculean task of organizing
and preserving hundreds of thousands of docu-
ments and photographs in the MHA’s possession.
Eileen’s survivors include her sisters Mary O’Brien
Mulcahy ’79 and Ann O’Brien ’82.
Mark P. Cowen
of Charlottesville,
Va., died on September 10, 2012. After transfer-
ring from St. Lawrence, he graduated from Loyola
Marymount University. A noted documentary
producer and director, his career began at ZM
Productions, where he helped define the market-
ing genre of behind-the-scenes “making of” doc-
umentaries. His most recent credits include
Stand Alone Together: The Men of Easy Company
America’s Greatest Feud: Hatfields & McCoys
which are, respectively, companion documenta-
ries to HBO’s miniseries
Band of Brothers
and The
History Channel’s miniseries
Hatfields &McCoys
Jeffrey N. Haskins
passed away on
July 14, 2012, while vacationing in Mombasa,
Kenya. He lived in Nairobi, Kenya, managing the
office of Burness Communications for nine years.
As a student, he participated in St. Lawrence’s
Kenya Semester Program. He was a member of
the Black Student Union and received his B.A. in
sociology. He is survived by his wife, Meredith
Braden, who at the time of his death was expect-
ing their first child. For more, see the Class of ’02
We have also learned of the deaths of these Lau-
rentians; memorial notices may appear in future
Helen Thompson Seyfried ’38n
Aug. 18, 2012
Gordon H. Smith ’41
July 15, 2012
Ida Ross Yewell Haid ’46
Sept. 20, 2012
Jean Townsend Browning ’47
July 17, 2012
Agatha“Tommie”Thomas Flores ’48
Aug. 21, 2012
Lauren T.“Bud”Barnett ’50
Aug. 29, 2012
Robert A. Hoover ’50
July 24, 2012
Robert L. Krause ’50
August 30, 2012
Eleanor Bellinger Harwell M’51
Sept. 29, 2012
Edmund F. Shedd Jr. ’51
Sept. 22, 2012
Eugene M. Zuber ’51n
June 6, 2012
Audrey Stoeffler Cameron ’52
Aug. 4, 2012
Helene Legergren Lehr ’55n
June 27, 2012
B. Stuart Tolley ’54
Dec. 12, 2011
John R. Patterson ’55
Sept. 27, 2012
Norma M. Chase ’57
Aug. 20, 2012
Walter G. Olson ’61
Feb. 29, 2012
Janet Zigenfuss Stewart ’63
Aug. 15, 2012
Robert C. Johnson M’66
Sept. 13, 2012
In Memory Policy
We will publish in “In Memory” detailed
memorial notices of the passing of
Laurentians if we receive the information
from a family member or friend in the
form of a previously published notice
typically from a newspaper). Please send
such notices to Shayla Snyder Witherell
Advancement Services, St. Law-
rence University, Canton, NY 13617 or
We will provide
the name and, if available, date of death
of others of whose passing we learn, and
the complete list of recent deaths can be
found on the University’s Web site at
The designation “n”with class numer-
als indicates that the individual did not
graduate from St. Lawrence.
The designation “M”with class numerals
indicates that the individual earned a
master’s degree from
St. Lawrence in the year given.