Passages

Fraters who have gone before

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THOMAS WAYNE WHITE


Frater Thomas White , Gamma Sigma 34, Spring class of 1952.  Frater White passed away early February 4, 2019 in Lexington, joining in death his sweetheart of 60 years, Frankie (Frances Thornbury White), where they are surely dancing the jitterbug. He will be missed dearly by his children, Scott White (Susan) and Marianne Mosley (Gary), and four grandchildren, Caroline and Nathanael White and Emily and Elizabeth Mosley. He was preceded in death by his siblings, Jon White and Mary (White) Bloxham. Born in 1933 in Plymouth, Indiana near South Bend, he grew up rooting for Notre Dame and the Chicago White Sox. However, following a Bear Bryant-led University of Kentucky Sugar Bowl championship in 1951 and Rupp Basketball championships, he traveled south to Lexington's greener pastures and the University of Kentucky to pursue his dream of becoming a sports writer. He pledged Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, was on the staff of the Kentucky Kernel where he was sports editor his senior year. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism.  In later life, he worked as a  sports writer and publicity, and, for a time, was an executive for the Red Mill in Lexington.  His complete obituary  in available online.  

HUGH DUNCAN


Hugh Duncan, Gamma Sigma 159, Fall class of 1966.  Soon after his death in 2019, Mary Hummel Bowman provided this sad news of the passing of our Frater Duncan. "Hugh, a friend of ours from the University of Kentucky who introduced my husband Doug to me, died May 19, Sun, at home {in Asheville, NC].  He had multiple myeloma and had recently entered home hospice. We visited Joan and him this past Wed and Thurs. We had good conversations. You will be missed, Hugh. Rest In Peace. Our love goes out to his wife Joan who cared for Hugh so diligently." 

THOMAS COOPER


Thomas Cooper, Gamma Sigma 56, Fall class of 1976.  Mike Child writes, "Tom “C” Cooper passed away last night he had been struggling with congestive heart failure for a few years! Great guy and a hell of a musician!!"  Posted 24 March 2019.

RICHARD IVON WOHLSTEIN

Richard Ivon Wohlstein, Gamma Sigma 2, Spring class of  1951. 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

Bruce Douglas Bissmeyer, Gamma Sigma 229, Spring class of 1971.  Bruce, 63, husband of Jackie Runk Bissmeyer, passed away peacefully on May 7 2015, 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. 

TERRY SOBANIA

 Frater Terry Wayne Sobania, Gamma Sigma 179,  Fall class of 1967 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. 

GEORGE EWEN

George Ewen, Gamma Sigma 149, Spring class of 1966.  George died on March 14, 2014, in Lexington. He 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. 

JAMES RAMSEY

Denzil James “Jim” Ramsey, Jr.,  Gamma Sigma 217, Spring class of 1971.  Jim, 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.

JOHN LAWSON

John Henry Lawson, Gamma Sigma 202, Spring class of 1964.  John, 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. 

LARRY MAURICE HARLEY

Larry Maurice Harvey, Gamma Sigma 246, Spring class of 1972, died on March 21, 2012.  

HUGN REYNOLDS

Hugh Reynolds, Gamma Sigma 146, Fall class of 1965.  Frater Reynolds died on August 16, 2010 in Lexington. 

JEFFREY HARTFIELD

Jeffrey Hartfield, Gamma Sigma 204, Spring class of 1970.  With great sadness, we have learned of Jeff's death in 2010 or perhaps before.  No other information is available. 

JAMES R. FARSON, JR.

James R. Farson, Jr.. Gamma Sigma 124, Fall class of 1963.  "Jarf" Farson died July 9 2006.  His obituary appeared in the Lexington Herald Leader.