« Alumni Notes | Main | Recent gift from SJMC alumnus' family to support students interested in community journalism »

In Memoriam

Keith Anderson (B.A. '50) passed away Nov. 12, 2008, due to complications following heart surgery. He was 81 years old. During his career, Anderson worked for Mankato Free Press, Rapid City (S.D.) Journal, St. Paul Pioneer Press and 3M Company's international division. He was the owner and publisher of the Lake Country Echo in Pequot Lakes, Minn., from 1980 to 1995 and was known for his popular editorial "Off the Top." Anderson was active in the Nisswa Lions, Pequot Lakes American Legion, Jenkins (Minn.) VFW and Brainerd Habitat for Humanity. He was a civic leader in Pequot Lakes and the founder of the Brainerd Area chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. He is survived by his wife, Martha; children, Michael Anderson (Barbara) of Cottage Grove, Minn., Paul Anderson of Texas, Erik Anderson (Jill) of Oregon, Linda Osborne (Bob) of Wyoming.; nine grandchildren and one great-granddaughter, and was preceded in death by his parents and son, Peter.

Robert C. Jensen (B.A. '48), member of the greatest generation, newspaperman, father and friend, passed away April 27, 2008, after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. His career first took him to New York, where he worked for the Associated Press. In 1953, he went to Washington, D.C. to work for The Washington Post. A few years later, he became the Washington correspondent for The Buffalo (N.Y.) Evening News, where he covered Congress, the Supreme Court, the White House and presidential campaigns. On Nov. 22, 1963, while meeting with Sen. Hubert Humphrey, he learned of President John Kennedy's assassination and left immediately to find Sen. Edward Kennedy, who was presiding over the Senate that day. He later joined Sen. Humphrey's staff as press secretary. From 1971 until his retirement in 1987, Jensen worked for the Los Angeles Times, where he oversaw the editorial page. He is survived by former wife, Catherine "Timmie" Jensen, of Washington, D.C., and Cobb Island, Md.; daughter, Maria Burrington; son-in-law, David Burrington; and granddaughters, Rachel and Ingrid. Memorials may be made to the School of Journalism & Mass Communication Mitchell V. Charnley Alumni Professorship fund.

Leslie Carole Johnson (B.A. '64) died on Jan. 17, 2009, after a battle with cancer. For 35 years, Johnson was the founder, editor and publisher of The Mississippi Rag, a Minnesota-based monthly publication with readers in all 50 states and 26 foreign countries. The Jazz Journalists Association honored her for her achievements in 2007, and the Twin Cities Hot Summer Jazz Festival followed suit in 2008. She was a founding board member, past president and longtime board member of the Twin Cities Jazz Society; served on the Minnesota State Arts Board; was active in a number of nonprofit charitable organizations; and was a member of St. Richard's Catholic Church, Richfield, Minn. Johnson drew praise from musicians, writers, photographers, educators and thousands of loyal subscribers worldwide. She is survived by her husband, Will Shapira, Minneapolis; children Tony Johnson, Minneapolis and Renee Burnett (Allen), Chicago; stepchildren Eve Roycraft (Tom), Little Canada, Minn., and Stephen Shapira (Cris), Vadnais Heights, Minn.; five stepgrandchildren and one brother and two sisters.

James W. Keeler (B.A. '48), a familiar figure in Twin Cities advertising and public relations circles for many years, died on Feb. 9, 2009. He was 89 years old. During his career, Keeler was an account executive for Erwin Wasey Agency in Minneapolis, advertising manager for the Schmidt Brewing Company in St. Paul, director of public relations and media for Minnesota Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and director of communications and education for the Minnesota State Bar Association. He served in the Army Air Corps from 1942 to '46 and was a long-serving member of a Twin Cities Army Reserve psychological operations unit, retiring in 1973 as a major. He was a charter member of the Minnesota Press Club, a longtime member of the Minneapolis Advertising Club and editor of the Edina Country Club newsletter for 22 years. He was active in St. Edward's Catholic Church, the University of Minnesota Alumni Association and American Legion Post #430. Keeler took particular delight in his membership in the "Wordos," an informal group watching over local use of the English language. He is survived by his wife, Jeanne, whom he married in 1947; four children, Terrie (Steven) Maas, Sally (Gary) Mays, Patricia Keeler, and James (Pam) Keeler Jr.; as well as seven grandchildren. Memorials may be made to the School of Journalism & Mass Communication.

Launa Q. Newman, chief executive officer and publisher of the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, the state's oldest African American publication founded in 1934, died on Feb. 3, 2009. She was 88 years old. In 1976, Newman took over leadership of the paper upon the death of her husband and founder of the publication, Cecil Newman. For the past 35 years, she helped to continue the Spokesman-Recorder's long-standing history as the state's voice of the black community. "Without her strength, perception and single-minded dedication," Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder senior editor Jerry Freeman wrote in a memorial edition, "(the paper) would very likely not exist today." Newman was active in the community, donating her time and energy to the Minneapolis Boys Club. She was one of the first African American members of the Woman's Club of Minneapolis. She is survived by her children, Norma Jean Williams and Wallace "Jack" Jackman.

Capt. Donald Howard Schmoldt (B.A. '57), U.S. Army Reserves (Ret.), passed away on March 8, 2009, in San Antonio. He was 77 years old. Upon completing his degree at the University of Minnesota, Schmoldt went on to earn a bachelor's degree of foreign trade from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, Phoenix, and a master's degree from the Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City. He proudly served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and retired as a captain with the Army Reserves. During a long and distinguished career as a writer and editor, Schmoldt wrote speeches for the commandant of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and edited books on military strategy for the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. During his retirement years, he enjoyed his work as a substitute teacher for the Comal Independent School District. He was preceded in death by his parents; first wife, Eleanor W. Schmoldt; and second wife, Nancy C. Schmoldt. He is survived by daughter, Linda Schmoldt; stepdaughter, Carol Mann; and two grandchildren.