Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity in
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Terry Wayne Sobania

Frater Terry Wayne Sobania, Gamma Sigma 179, left us on March 4th, 2017. He was 68. He spent most of his life in some form of the entertainment business, and also on the golf course. He got his Vocal Music Education from the University of Kentucky. His musical talents allowed him to write beautiful arrangements and orchestrations for beauty pageants. various musical groups and even traveled thousands of miles on cruise ships allowing him to see the world. He went from Kentucky, to Motown, Detroit, to the high seas and eventually to Branson, Missouri, which he called home. Terry was in advertising for some time and even a high school Choir Director in earlier years but found the entertainment/show club circuit was his world. Terry grew up in Downers Grove, Illinois and was the son of Marion (Walz) and Walter Sobania. He is survived by his brother, Neal (Elizabeth); his sister, Lynn Lyon; two nieces and one nephew.

Alumni Association Chartered by the International Fraternity

Ten years after its founding as an in dependant group of Fraters in Lexington, Gamma Sigma Alumni Association is one of two alumni associations to be chartered by the International fraternity in 2017.The announcement:

"Since the beginning of 2017, Tau Kappa Epsilon has established two new Alumni Associations. With the chartering of the Epsilon-Kappa (Loyola University Chicago) and Gamma-Sigma (University of Kentucky) Alumni Associations, the Fraternity now has 106 active Alumni Associations across TKE Nation. 

'I believe that every TKE chapter should have a team of alumni working to support an active collegiate group and to share events and news that is pertinent to their alumni. Every time we add another Alumni Association to the official TKE roster there is much excitement, but I will not rest until we achieve an active association for each chapter,' Todd Farmer, Senior Director of Alumni Engagement said." 

Richard Ivon Wohlstein

We have learned that Frater Richard Ivon Wohlstein, Gamma Sigma 2 has died.   Frater Wohlstein was a founding member of chapter in the colonizing pledge class of 23 men (1951).  His son Scott provided his obituary.

"Richard Ivon Wohlstein, 88 years old, passed away peacefully on Monday, April 25, 2016 in Bonita, California, after a long battle with Dementia.  He was born in Bronx, NY on July 25, 1927 to Mor and Sara Helen Wohlstein, a furrier and vocalist, resp. and had an older brother, Jerome Lazlo Wohlstein.   He attended the famous High School of Music and Art (NYC), and was deemed a prodigy in both voice and piano.

"He served in both the US Merchant Marines (from 1945 to 1948), and US Army (from 1951 to 1953) where he received advanced training at Radio School.  He attended NYU in 1951 before entering the service and played on their Intercollegiate Football Team which took the championship that year.  He graduated from the University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY) with a BS in Commerce and Marketing in 1953. While there, he was a founding member of the Gamma-Sigma chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE), serving as Secretary and Vice-President and serving on the Interfraternity Council. Additionally, he was a member of the Troupers, Varsity Fencing, Glee Club, Hillel Foundation, WBKY, UK Kernel, and also played football.

"After college, Richard joined Able-Stik Products starting his career in sales. After Able-Stik Products was purchased by Litton Industries, he rose to the level of GM/Operations, where he was often called to act as point person to locate, develop, staff, and operate manufacturing/distribution centers and sales offices which had him and his family moving every 2 years or so. He retired from the workforce in 1991 to enjoy his love of investing, music, and assisting with family business.

"Richard was a very active Franklin and Venango County, PA resident, supporting the local government and arts. He enjoyed his life-long love of music by playing piano and was a devoted chorister in the Oil City Chorus for many years. He was known for his melodic bird whistling, which he would do at any moment’s notice to everyone’s delight.

"His devoted wife of 53 years, Barbara (Cirin) Wohlstein, pre-deceased him in 2010.  He is survived by his children: Julie (Kinghorn) Wohlstein Kate (McGraw) Wohlstein and Scott Wohlstein.  A son in law, Craig Kinghorn, and a daughter in law, Francene Lord Wohlstein.  Grandchildren- Adam, Arielle, Andrew, Alexander, Austin, Abraham, Alliyah, Daniel, Karra, Tyler and Izak.  Greatgrandchildren- Camden, Chloe, Caleb, Colin, Zeke and Lakai.  He was one of the last great men, was greatly loved by his family, and will be missed by all who knew him."

Scott also provided his own connection with Tau Kappa Epsilon.  "I had a special connection with him regarding TKE. Due to his work when I was growing up, he and I didn't have a lot of time together, but when we did and I inquired about his past, he was very fond of his TKE days, regaling me of how much the camaraderie, brotherhood, and giving to others meant to him. Graduating early from high school in 1981, I found myself at Rochester Institute of Technology majoring in Physics at 17. When learning RIT had a TKE chapter (Xi-Upsilon), he was encouraging. I naturally gravitated to meeting the brothers and attending the parties and events. I rushed as a legacy, and served as Pledge Class President (actually living in the house) until 1 week prior to end of pledging, when I had to withdraw due to a school change mid-semester. To this day, it is but one of only a few things in my life that I regret not completing. Although I knew Dad was disappointed, he took it in stride, helped me get through the chaos, and was glad that I had the exposure I did- all as a great father (and brother) would do."

Bruce Bissmeyer

We regret that we have lost our Frater, Bruce Bissmeyer, Gamma Sigma 229 and Treasurer of our association. His obituary -

BISSMEYER Bruce Douglas, 63, husband of Jackie Runk Bissmeyer, passed away peacefully on May 7th, surrounded by his wife and children, due to complications from a brief battle with lung cancer. He was the son of Patricia Katz Bissmeyer and the late O.E. Bissmeyer, and the brother of Caron (Steve) Gastineau and the late Brete Bissmeyer. Born in Louisville, KY, he was a retired educator who dedicated his life to helping others, including the many students and teachers he worked with on his journey. He was a proud TKE fraternity brother, a music aficionado and a passionate sports fan who loved to cheer on his Reds, Bengals, and of course, the 'Cats. He was a cherished father to Melynda Bissmeyer and Jonathan (Hannah) Bissmeyer and grandfather ("Pappy") to Benjamin Gregory and Isaac Daniel Bissmeyer. He is survived by loving nieces and nephews, in-laws and life-long friends. A celebration of his life was held on Monday, May 11, with a visitation beginning at 4pm and a service following at 7pm at Clark Legacy Center, 601 E. Brannon Road, Nicholasville, KY. Donations may be made to Central Kentucky Radio Eye, Russell Cave Road, Lexington.

Board Of Directors Meeting and Board of Directors Meeting, October 25, 2014

Subject to notice, the membership met on the morning of October 25, 2014 for the ninth annual meeting of the Association at Homewood Suites. The Treasurer reported that the finances of the Association are healthy. The Social Chairman reviewed the 2014 social schedule - the Civil War Road Trip (June), the Branson road trip (also June), and the annual Homecoming celebration (October). Next year will also see two events, beginning with a road trip to the late Virginia battlefields (Petersburg and Appomattox (May), and the annual meeting and Homecoming festivities. The Homecoming social calendar this year included a house party hosted by Frater Don O. to allow older and (comparatively) younger Fraters to talk about the future. Fraters George Ewen and Jim Ramsey were fondly remembered by their Fraters. Archie A., Dave N., Bruce B., Bing E., Bob Kirk, Ted H., Mobes, and John W. were reelected to the Board. The annual Board of Directors meeting followed. Officers for the 2013 Board were reelected. Fraters may request copies of the minutes of both meetings.

George Ewen

George Ewen, Gamma Sigma 149, died on March 14, 2014, in Lexington. George was a supporter of  the University of Kentucky and Gamma Sigma Chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon in many ways over the years. George was born in Hazard, Kentucky in Perry County on October 9th, 1947 to Forrest D. and Grace Bingham Ewen. George graduated from Lafayette High School, and went on to graduate from the University of Kentucky with degrees in History and Education. We will miss and he will be remembered by his many frater friends and those he touched in the community.

He was an active member of the Catholic community, teaching and working with the faculty, staff, and students at Lexington Catholic High School as Director of Football Operations. George was a member of the Free and Accepted Masons in Buford Lodge 494 in Midway Kentucky.

As a member of the Patriot Guard, George participated in many veteran memorial activities. George was an active member of the William Sutherland Pipes and Drums, serving as Drum Major for many a Saint Patrick’s Day parade in Lexington.

He is survived by his wife Kimberley (NEE) Koestel of 44 years, daughter Andrea, his beloved pets Maggie Mae and Murphy, sister Betty Poe, brother Forrest B. Ewen, many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Visitation will be 5pm-8pm Tuesday, March 18, Milward-Southland, 391 Southland Drive. A memorial service will be held at Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary Church at 605 Hill N Dale Road, Lexington, KY, on Wednesday, March 19 at 10am. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the George Ewen Memorial Football Fund at Lexington Catholic High School, or the Lexington Humane Society.

Denzil James “Jim” Ramsey, Jr.

Denzil James “Jim” Ramsey, Jr., age 63, of Lilburn, GA, died Sunday, December 1, 2013. Mr. Ramsey is survived by his loving wife of 43 years, Dawn, sons, Denzil III and wife Lauren, David Ramsey and Stephen Ramsey, grandchildren, Natalie, Denzil IV, Emma and Amanda, Brother, Robert and his wife Debbie Ramsey and sister, Carolyn and her husband DuWayne Wilkins as well as several nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles.

Mr. Ramsey was a member of Mountain Park United Methodist Church for 16 years. He was a graduate of University of Kentucky, as well as an avid Kentucky fan. He was a partner of Pendergrass & Ramsey, LLC. He enjoyed spending time with his loving grandchildren.

A memorial service honoring the life of Jim Ramsey is planned for Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 4:00 P.M. at Mountain Park United Methodist Church. The family will receive friends Thursday, December 5, 2013 from 2:00 PM until 4:00 PM prior to the service at the Church.There will be an additional visitation on Saturday, December 7, 2013, from 1:00 PM until 3:00 PM at The Hebron Presbyterian Church at 4765 North Preston Highway, Shepherdsville, KY. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers that a donation is made to Mountain Park United Methodist Church, 1405 Rockbridge Road, Stone Mountain, GA 30087.

Condolences may be viewed or sent to www.wagesfuneralhome.com. Tom M. Wages Funeral Service, LLC, “A Family Company” Snellville Chapel 770-979-3200, has been entrusted with the funeral arrangements.

Board Of Directors Meeting and Board of Directors Meeting, November 2, 2013

Subject to notice, the membership met on the morning of November 2, 2013 for the eighth annual meeting of the Association at Homewood Suites. The Treasurer reported that the finances of the Association are healthy. The Social Chairman reviewed the 2013 social schedule - the Nashville Road Trip (May), the Lexington gathering (July), and the annual Homecoming celebration (November). Next year will also see three events, beginning with a road trip to Branson MO (late Spring), another road trip for Civil War enthusiasts to Shiloh (summer), and the annual meeting and Homecoming festivities. Frater John (Frog) Lawson was remembered and reminder that memorial contributions can be made to Wounded Warriors (please see our face book page.) All existing directors of the Board were reelected. The annual Board of Directors meeting followed. Officers for the 2012 Board were reelected. Fraters may request copies of the minutes of both meetings.

John Henry Lawson

John Henry Lawson, 67, passed away on Monday, August 26th, 2013 in Humble, Texas. He was born on November 6th, 1945 in Carlsbad, New Mexico to Mattie Bee Tidwell and Richard Marion Lawson. John served in the U.S. Army and received an Honorable Discharge for his service on October 13, 1968. He then served in the Army Reserves until November 1st, 1971, after which he was in the National Guard of Kentucky until October 1st, 1973.

John retired from the Department of Labor after a long and successful career. He was a great Grandpa who loved his family and did not judge others. He accepted all people with a loving heart.

John is survived by his wife Paula Lawson; 4 children: Edward & wife Joanna, Sarah, Joshua, and Alex; 3 grandchildren: Carley, Erin, and Andrew; 2 brothers: Edward and Donald; 1 sister: Patricia; as well as many other relatives and friends.

Memorial Services with Military Honors are pending at the Houston National Cemetery located at 10410 Veterans Memorial Drive, Houston, Texas, phone 281-447-8686.

John will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

Board Of Directors Meeting and Board of Directors Meeting, October 2012

Subject to notice, the membership met on the morning of October 20th, 2012 for the seventh annual meeting of the Association at Homewood Suites. The Treasurer reported that the finances of the Association are healthy. The Social Chairman reviewed the 2012 social schedule - the Charleston and Savannah Road Trip (May), the Lexington gathering (July), and the annual Homecoming celebration (October). Next year will also see three events, beginning with another Road Trip (Nashville), a summer event in Lexington, and the Homecoming festivities. All existing directors of the Board were reelected.

Larry Maurice Harley

Fraters are grieved to learn that Frater Harley, Gamma Sigma 246, died in Lexington on March 21, 2012. Larry became a TEKE on April 30, 1972.

Frater Harley's obituary is at http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/kentucky/obituary.aspx?n=larry-maurice-harley&pid=156633368&eid=sp_shareobit.

Board Of Directors Meeting and Board of Directors Meeting, October 2011

Subject to notice, the membership met on the morning of October 22nd, 2011 for the sixth annual meeting of the Association at Homewood Suites. The Treasurer reported that the finances of the Association have a substantial balance. The Social Chairman reviewed the 2011 social schedule - the Atlanta Road Trip (May), the Madison County Historical Expedition (August), and the annual Homecoming celebration (October). Next year will also see three events, beginning with another Road Trip (Charleston and Savannah are leading candidates), a summer event in Lexington, and the Homecoming festivities. All existing directors of the Board were reelected. In the afternoon, the new Board of Directors met at Homewood Suites. The 2012 budget was presented and approved. Final distribution of donated funds was directed to be made to the family of Hugh Reynolds. Finally, the present officers were reelected.

John W. "Jack" Forbes

John W. "Jack" Forbes Jr., father of Fraters Steve and Lee Forbes, passed away on February 5th. His obituary was printed in the Lousiville Courier-Journal.

Board Of Directors Meeting, January 2011

The new Board of Directors of the Alumni Association recently elected at the annual meeting met on the 15th of January in the meeting room of the Tate's Creek Branch of the Lexington Public Library. For the second year, a snowed-in board member attended by Skype. The President reported that a solicitation by the Association following the death of Frater Hugh Reynolds in August yielded contributions from the membership to help with his funeral expenses. The Treasurer's financial report was approved as was the budget for the 2011. The Association is in good financial condition. Much attention is being given the social program. The annual meeting and Homecoming celebration will be on October 22 vs. Jacksonville State. As is the Association's custom, Homewood Suites will serve as our "fraternity house." Reservation information will be posted soon. An informal summer gathering is being planned for Lexington, with a possible side trip outside the city. And, in view of the highly successful "road trip" to Gettysburg last year, another in scheduled for May. The probable destination is the Atlanta area, with its Civil War and other historical venues. If you would like a copy of the minutes for this meeting or any other annual or board meeting, please send an e-mail to this link.      

Annual Meeting of the Association, October 2011

As is the custom of the Alumni Association, the annual meeting was held on October 23rd, 2010 at the Homewood Suites in Lexington. All members of the Board of Directors (increased to nine at the last annual meeting) were reelected. The efforts of the International Fraternity to recolonize at the University and the possibility of affiliation of the alumni association with the International wear both reviewed. The financial report revealed that the Association is healthy. The social calendar for 2010 (two Lexington events and one road trip) provides a template for future planning. Fraters may request a copy of the annual meeting minutes by request at this address.

Hugh Reynolds

His Fraters from the mid-1960s mourn the passing of Hugh Reynolds, Gamma Sigma 146 (1965). Frater Reynolds died on August 16, 2010 in Lexington. His obituary was printed in the Lexington Herald-Leader.                                                  

Jeff Hartfield

With great sadness, we have learned of the death of Jeffrey Hartfield, Gamma Sigma 204 (1970). A brief obituary was printed in the Chicago Tribune. Fraters are exchanging tributes to Jeff on the Gamma Sigma e-mail network. To join the network, send us a message.

Article on the Big EventArticle on the Big Event

Ric Wasley, Gamma Sigma Frater in the late 1960s and mystery writer, has writer an article about his experience at the recent Big Event. Read "Can You Go Home Again?" on Ezine.