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SUU In View - Fall 2002 - We Will Remember | Alumni | SUU
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SUU In View (Alumni Magazine - Fall 2002)

We Will Remember


LaVerna Heaton Allen, '29, passed away Jan. 12 in St. George, Utah. LaVerna was born January 10, 1911, in Moccasin, Ariz. After graduating from BAC, she completed her certificate at the Flagstaff Teacher College and a master's in Education from Utah State University. After teaching for 35 years in the Logan community, she and her husband retired to Kanab.

Henry Wendall Jones, '33, passed away Jan. 15 from injuries sustained in an automobile accident in Cedar City. Wendall was born May 19, 1915, in Cedar City. While attending BAC, he played basketball. Wendall was a company commander in the 743rd Tank Battalion which launched the first assault on Omaha Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944. He was awarded the District Service Cross, Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart.

Ambrose C. Dalton, '33, passed away March 10 in Junction, Utah, due to complications from leukemia. Ambrose was born Aug. 8, 1917, in Salina, Utah.

Howard Mitchell Adams, '33, passed away April 6 in Peoria, Ariz., following a brief illness. Howard was born June 15, 1912, in Parowan, Utah.

J. Vurge Smith, '33, passed away on June 9 after a long and courageous battle with congestive heart failure. Vurge was born July 8, 1915, in Panguitch, Utah. He followed his father into the livestock and ranching business. He later began a 28-year career with the Utah State Department of Transportation in Cedar City and retired as the district office manager.

Bernice Thompson Haacke Robinson, '35, passed away Feb. 24 in Kanab, Utah. Bernice was born August 15, 1917, at Hamilton Fort, Utah. After graduating from BAC she went on to graduate from the nursing program at University of Utah. She worked at Kane County Hospital for more than 20 years, and also worked in several other southwestern states.

Frances Webster Betenson, '36, passed away Jan. 30 at Kolob Regional Care Center in Cedar City. Frances was born April 30, 1918, in Cedar City. After graduating from BAC, he went on to further his education at Utah State University and Pacific Coast Banking School, graduating with a bachelor's degree in accounting. Francis served the Cedar City community in various capacities. He also served in World War II as a B-17 pilot.

C. Merrill Howell, '39, passed away March 10 in Roy, Utah. Merrill was born October 3, 1920, in Fairview, Utah. While studying construction at BAC, Merrill met and married Carol Perry, ('39). After working at Hill Air Force Base, he entered the U.S. Navy where he was part of the Sea Bee Corps during World War II. After the War, he and Carol raised their children in Cedar City.

Samuel Earl Allen, '40, passed away Jan. 28 in Panguitch, Utah. Sam was born March 16, 1920, in Panguitch. He served his country during WWII in the Army Air Corps, on the institutional council of Southern Utah State College, and also a director at the Bank of Iron County in Parowan.

Ross Wayne Sargent, '42, passed away March 21 in Cedar City, Utah. Ross was born March 27, 1922 in Cedar City. While he attended BAC, he met and married Mary Maughan, ('42). He was deeply patriotic and served in the U.S. Navy during WWII. At age 44, he graduated from Central Washington State College and taught in the public school system.

Judith Ann Williams Kenney, '47, passed away March 2 in Cedar City from complications of a stroke. Judith was born April 14, 1927, in Greenville, Utah. She was active in the community serving as a judge of election and county delegate for several years.

Melvin T. Jepson, '48, passed away Feb. 4 in his home in Greenville, N.C. Mel was born Nov. 13, 1924, in Lynndyl, Utah. He served in the U.S. Navy during WWII and the Korean conflict. He was a foreign service officer with Voice of America for 25 years, serving throughout the world.

Rulan DeVur Woodbury, '48, passed away Feb. 15 at Desert Springs Hospital in Las Vegas, Nev. Rulan was born Sept. 6, 1923. He graduated from CSU with a bachelor's in education and from Brigham Young University with a master's in educational administration. He taught for a stint in the SUSC School of Education. He taught and served as principal in Cedar City schools for more than 33 years. Rulan also served in the Army National Guard for 34 years, and pitched for the minor leagues for a brief time.

Howard Hela Starr, '52, passed away April 28 in St. George, Utah. Howard was born Dec. 5, 1915, in St. George where he taught school for 23 years at West Elementary.

Margaret Ann Bradshaw, '66-'67, passed away Feb. 1 in her home in Beaver, Utah. Marge Ann was born March 14, 1948, in Cedar City. After attending SUU, she became a flight attendant. She was a great humanitarian having gone to many countries to help children.

Mary Catherine Ford, '76, passed away March 24 in St. George, Utah. Catherine was born April 4, 1953, in Cedar City. Before graduating from SUU, Catherine studied abroad in Europe. In 1996 and 1998 she was nominated to Who's Who Among American Teachers. She designed multiple community children's programs. Recently, the Utah Art Education Association established the Catherine Ford Art Scholarship in her honor.

David Lynn Gregerson, '86, passed away April 20 in his home. David was born Aug. 30, 1963, in Gunnison, Utah. He attended SUSC. By the age of 18, he had his real estate license and by 21, was owner/broker of Carte Blanche Real Estate in Brian Head and St. George.

Dawn Stormy Beardsly Adair, '99-'01, passed away April 28 in Cedar City. Dawn was born Sept. 5, 1976, in Downey, Calif. She was an excellent writer, an exceptional poet, loved social work and enjoyed helping others.

Kevin Scott Carpenter, '90, passed away April 13 due to a boating accident. Kevin was born Dec. 28, 1967, in Lander, Wyo. After attending SUSC, he attended Salt Lake Community College.

Jennifer Hughes LaSane, '91, passed away April 20 in her home in Cedar City. Jennifer was born Sept. 2, 1970, in Delta, Utah. She enjoyed serving the Iron County School District by working with handicapped children.

Brian J. Dial, '00, passed away March 5 in St. George, Utah. Brian was born July 17, 1951, in Pocatello, Idaho. He worked as a landscaper architect in St. George.

Malarie Hilton, current, passed away June 8 in a car accident in Salt Lake City. Malarie was a freshman English major from Taylorsville, Utah. She served as a Presidential Ambassador of SUU. We are thankful for the time we had with her. We miss her.


Kenneth Benson, '56, former director of student activities, passed away on August 1, after a long-time illness. Ken will always be a major part of the institution's history. He graduated from CSU in 1956. As a student-athlete, he lettered in track and field, football and wrestling. In 1980, he was given the Distinguished Alumni Award. In 2000, he received the Hepworth Thunderbird Award.
Ken is remembered for how profoundly he touched the lives of students. Anne Leavitt ('82 Language) writes in Southern Utah University: The First 100 Years, A Heritage History, "An actual description of his (Benson's) influence must extend to include the offering of encouragement to the discouraged, nourishment and healing of bruised student psyches, inspiration to the faltering and help to the helpless and the needy."
Upon Ken's retirement, then-Dean Sterling Church expressed the sentiment of so many who were part of Ken's life. "Like the giant trees that grace our campus, this giant of a man has weathered the storm and has come through standing tall."
Donations may be made to the R. Kenneth Benson Endowment scholarship by contacting Lori Blackner in SUU's advancement office, at (435) 586-7775.

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Last Update: Thursday, February 05, 2009