Remembrances is a page to read memorials of Northwestern community members submitted by their family or peers. Visit In Memoriam to read featured obituaries of Northwestern alumni, faculty and staff. Please send obituaries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Linda Arlene Maxwell Paulson ’69 passed away on December 5, 2022, at home in Green Valley, California, just five months after she had been diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer.
After graduating from Northwestern with a BA in History in 1969, Linda began a master’s program at Boston University. On June 20, 1970, Linda married David Paulson who had also graduated from Northwestern with a BA in Sociology in 1969.
In the summer of 1970 Linda fulfilled a dream, one she had held since kindergarten, and became a teacher. She received her Ed.M. degree in Pupil Personnel Services from Boston University in June 1973. Between 1970 and 2009, she taught at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School in Acton, Massachusetts, Armijo High School in Fairfield, California, and at Crystal Middle School in Suisun City, California. She was selected as the Armijo High School “Teacher of the Year” for 1981, and the Crystal Middle School “Teacher of the Year” for 2003.
Linda and Dave lived in Napa from March 1973 until March 1993, when Dave was appointed District Attorney of Solano County. They have lived in Solano County since then.
Linda retired from teaching in June 2009, and in early 2010, she and Dave adopted Cooper, a Malagasy Coton de Tulear. Linda spent almost a year socializing and training him, and by early 2011, Cooper began working with Linda as the “reading buddy dog” at the Suisun Library. They were there almost every Wednesday afternoon until the library closed due to Covid in 2020. Over those nine years, hundreds of children read to Cooper, and many came back years later just to visit him. It was always a joy for Linda to see Cooper light up when he recognized a young adult who had read to him as a child years before.
Beginning in 2009, Linda and Dave began what they fondly called their “Disney Decade.” This included being founding members of the Walt Disney Family Museum on the Presidio in San Francisco, becoming the museum’s first Walt’s Circle members, and continuing to provide financial support to the museum.
Linda is survived by her husband of 52 years, Dave, son Brian, and his wife, Claire and grandchildren Sven and Margot, of Sun Valley, Idaho, and daughter, Karen and her husband, Daniel Gullberg, of Lund, Sweden.
Heaven welcomed a funny angel on October 7, 2022, when William “Bink” Sheldrick Conover II '50 passed away peacefully at the age of 94. Born in Richmond, Virginia in 1928, Bink received his bachelor of science degree from Northwestern University in 1950. Bink was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity, and met the love of his life Nancy Toel as cast members of the acclaimed Waa-Mu Show. He served as a lieutenant in the United States Navy. Bink’s civic-minded service continued, along with an interest in politics, with his school board position for Upper St. Clair Township in Pennsylvania. In April of 1972, he was elected to the 92nd Congress of the United States, and served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania’s 27th congressional district. Congressman Conover truly loved his country.
Bink’s career in the insurance business moved him from San Francisco in the late 1950’s to Pittsburgh, Penn., a city he came to love. In Pittsburgh, Bink started his own insurance agency, Conover & Associates, Inc., and was the owner and president for more than 50 years.
Dad liked golfing and bowling, playing bridge, cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers, traveling the world, and summer’s corn on the cob. Most of all, Dad/Uncle Bink/Papa enjoyed family, and instilled the value of family love and loyalty by hosting annual family reunions. In creating the unconditional and loving bonds of family, his reach positively exceeded his grasp. In addition, Dad/Papa instilled the value of education by supporting his children and grandchildren in pursuing their college education. His legacy will live on.
Mr. Conover is survived by his wife (Shirley Conover), four children, twelve grandchildren, and one great granddaughter. Dad was preceded in death by his first wife and mother of his children (Nancy Toel Conover), second wife (Jane Dolan Conover), and one child (Susan Limerick Conover).
George John Zahringer, Jr., known as Jack, passed away peacefully in his sleep on October 5, 2022, after a full and glorious life of 100 years. He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 71 years, Rosemary Duncan Zahringer. He is preceded in death by his father and mother, Mary Bernice (Croarkin) and George John Zahringer, Sr., and his sisters Lee Ann Stine, Mary Lou Mitchell, and Jean Burke.
Born July 18, 1922, in Naperville, Ill., Jack grew up in a well-known and respected family. Equally enthusiastic assisting at mass as an altar boy or leading his troop as an Eagle Scout, Jack’s youth presaged the qualities that would characterize his life—a life of energy, activity, centered on faith, family, friends, and civic duty.
Jack matriculated at Northwestern University as a member of the class of 1944. He would go on to bleed purple for the rest of his life. His collegiate experience was formative, and later in life he would happily recount in fondness to family and friends alike tales of his campus glory days, cheering on the Wildcats as freshman football manager in “dirty-white bucs,” the epitome of studied casualness. A diligent student, Jack earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. He would also serve as yearbook manager and pledge the Delta Tau Delta fraternity, a source of long-lasting friendships.
His undergraduate years were interrupted by World War II. Commissioned as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, Jack’s military service would see him sent to Georgia Tech for further education by the Army Corps of Engineers. After the war, Jack attended Harvard Business School, class of 1948, on the G.I. Bill, where he would earn a master’s in business administration and forge further friendships that spanned the decades.
Jack met his future beautiful wife Rosemary, whom he affectionately called Roso, in Chicago and they were wed in 1951 at St. Malachy in Creston, Iowa. His working life saw him in a long, successful career in chemical engineering. He would go on to start his own marketing firm. In his “retirement” career, he worked with Jed Dolce in real estate.
A celebrated Rye resident since 1966, Jack was a civic-minded citizen and selflessly gave his time and energy to the community. He was a loyal Lions Club and Rotary Club member, joined the Rye Board of Architectural Review, and would chair the Rye Landmarks Committee well into his 10th decade. A life-long student of history, he would work to protect Rye’s historical integrity, a task that included restoring Rye’s three Boston Post Road mile-markers, fixed by Benjamin Franklin himself in 1763. For his indefatigable efforts as protector of Rye’s history and recognizing his storehouse of local knowledge, Jack at age 98 received the Mayor John Carey Merit Award, presented to a Rye resident who has “made meaningful contributions to public life in the City of Rye for an extended period.”
In addition to his love of college football, Jack was an avid sports enthusiast himself. A past member of the Westchester Country Club and a current member of the American Yacht Club, he played golf, squash, and successfully drop-shotted his grandchildren on the tennis court into his late eighties.
The last of the Greatest Generation, in a life that bridged two centuries, Jack personified those values of personal responsibility, duty, honor, and faith that had been instilled in him from youth.
He was adored by his five children: George J. Zahringer III (Natalia), Martha Z. Jeffrey, James D. Zahringer (Madeleine), Charles J. Zahringer (Edmee), and Anne Z. Ogilvy.
He will be profoundly missed by all his family including his twenty-one grandchildren: George IV, Killian, Lauren, Alexander, and Christina Zahringer; William, John, and Christian Jeffrey; James Jr. (Ashlee), Charlotte, Dashiel, Kendall, and W. Kress Zahringer; Lucia (Fritz Coan), Charles Jr., Graham, Kylie, and Frederick Zahringer; Charlotte and Margaret Poler; and Melinda Ogilvy, and his four great-grandchildren: James III and Summer Isabelle Zahringer; and Schaefer and Heidi Coan.
A Mass of Christian Burial at the Church of the Resurrection, Rye, N.Y., will be announced at a future date.
Beverly Bainbridge Overmyer ’61 of Valparaiso, Ind., passed away July 11, 2022, at age 83. She was born March 4, 1939, in Chicago, beloved daughter of Francis and Marian (Erickson) Bainbridge. Overmyer received a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications and plied her trade locally as the nature columnist for the Vidette-Messenger. She was also a skilled textbook editor and received an elementary education degree, practicing those skills liberally on her own offspring. Any natural wildlife would immediately become the focus of her attention, especially the opportunity to birdwatch. Volunteering at the Independent Cat Society brought fulfilment to her soul, and attendance at Merrillville Community School orchestra concerts with her husband, Gary, brought joy to her heart, as her daughter was the director. She also brought joy to the musicians’ hearts, many of whom still harbor warm remembrances of her kind gestures.
On August 11, 1984, she married Richard “Gary” Overmyer, who survives along with her children, Marc Rosenthal (Angela Elbert) and Diane Rosenthal (Charley Harrison); and grandchildren, Benjamin, Rebecca, Robert and Eric.
William “Bill” Ward Ferguson ’55 DDS of Fort Collins, Colo., passed away June 6, 2022, at age 92. He was born Oct. 23, 1929, to Alice Louise Kjerner and William Wallace Ferguson in Des Moines, Iowa. Preceded in death by his wife, Ellen Louise Ferguson, whom he married in 1958, and son Douglas Ferguson. He is survived by his son Andrew Ferguson and dear friend and longtime special companion, Jean Messinger, whom he met in college and reconnected with later in his retirement. Bill enjoyed an early life of achievement that included being a prom king and Eagle Scout and working to pave his own way doing jobs such as a steel riveting assistant and bottling Blatz beer on the production line in Milwaukee. He graduated from Lawrence College in Appleton, Wis., and went on to obtain a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Northwestern University. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War and was always proud of his service while stationed in Morocco, later obtaining the rank of commander in the Naval Reserve. He had a successful career as a dentist in Fort Collins during his working years. Bill loved traveling with his family and the mountains of the western United States. He was a Kiwanis club member and helped many concerns including the local food bank and Boy Scouts. Bill was also a proud stockholder in the Green Bay Packers and was one of their biggest fans, cheese hat and all.
He lived a full and adventurous life and will be sorely missed by all the people who loved him.
Sally Elizabeth Shull Conner ’45, died June 6, 2022. She was just two months shy of her 100th birthday. She graduated with honors from Northwestern University in Evanston in 1945, with a bachelor of science degree in psychology. She was a member of the Upsilon chapter of Delta Delta Delta sorority.
After graduating, she worked as a psychometrist for the Sioux City (Iowa) Board of Education. In 1950 Sally married R. Dudley Conner in Sioux City, Iowa, and together they raised three children. She had a strong faith, profound dignity, a lifelong love of learning and reading, and a contagious laugh and sense of humor. She was highly intelligent and an "outside of the box" thinker.
She loved her years and classes at Northwestern University and spoke of them often.
John H. Stassen ’65, one of the leaders of the Northwestern Library Board of Governors and a devoted NU alumnus, died on March 19.
John joined the Libraries Board of Governors in 1996 and served as chair from 2004 to 2007. John was granted emeritus status in October 2014 and continued to support the Libraries. He generously established the Stassen Family Endowed Fund in 2000 to be used for areas of greatest need at Northwestern University Libraries. John also supported the Dance Marathon and Athletics department, and volunteered with Campaign Northwestern, the John Evans Club Board of Directors, his reunion committees and the NU Club of Chicago, before he later relocated to the Los Angeles area. During his time at NU as a student, he participated in Psi Upsilon and Model UN. John was a prominent senior partner of the law ﬁrm of Kirkland & Ellis and was the principal outside counsel to the Chicago Board of Trade. John’s widow Sara Gaw Stassen ’66, their son Dave Stassen ’99 and grandson Jack Stassen Soler ’23 are all part of the Northwestern family.
John was a truly dedicated, knowledgeable and congenial supporter of Northwestern and its Libraries, and we will miss him.