• Triton College Annuitants Association

    In Memoriam 

    Ray Oviyach, retired faculty member of the Triton Automotive Dept, passed away in Feb. 2018, after a fall on ice. He was 88 and had been living in Kingston,TX.

    Triton employee Missy Cabrera passed away at the age of 51. Missy was  a secretary in the Science Dept, and had been a secretary of the Cook County Teachers Union.

    Former Triton College Trustee and Board Chairman Merrill Becker passed away in Feb. 2018.

    Retired Triton employee Gene Westphal passed away in Feb. 2018. Gene had been the head of the Triton Library.

    Retired Triton employee Mary Patock passed away on Dec. 31, 2017, at the age of 90.  In her 25 years at Triton, Mary was the Admission Records Evaluator for the Nursing Programs, and before that, secretary to the VP of Human Resources.

    Retired Triton employee Jim Thomas passed away on Dec. 18, 2017. Jim worked as an electrician in the Triton Maintenance Dept.

    Triton employee John Sorce passed away on Dec. 21, 2017. John ran the Triton cafeteria for 12 years.

    Shirley Lehman of the Triton ADN faculty passed away in July, 2017.  She had originally been a member of the LPN faculty, later earned a Master's degree, and became a member of the ADN faculty.

    Joan Bondi, wife of retired Triton faculty member Tom Bondi, passed away in June, 2017, at the age of 80.

    Retired Triton employee Lou (Louise) Stuffelbeam passed away on Feb, 18, 2017, at the age of 84. Lou worked at Triton for many years in the Admissions Department, and later was in charge of scheduling. She retired in 2002. Her husband Don is also a retired Tritonite. They were married for 64 years.

    Former Triton Faculty member Arnold Wolfe passed away in Jan, 2017, at the age of 69. He had taught Communications and Journalism at Triton, and was the adviser for the Trident newspaper. He later also taught at Ill. State University.

    John Varga, husband of Pat Varga, passed away in late Dec. 2016, at the age of 73.

    Jerome Drosos of the Hospitality Industry Administration program passed away in December 2016, after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 63. Jerome was a former Triton student in the Hospitality Program in the 1970's, who went on to eventually become the Coordinator of the HIA program and a full time faculty member in that program.

    Triton retiree Robert Mazurek passed away in December, 2016. He was the father of Steve Mazurek, lead person from Maintenance.

    John Kuhns, retired Triton Chief Stationary Engineer, passed away on November 7, 2016.

    Kay Silva, wife of retired Triton faculty John Silva, passed away on Nov, 16, 2016, in Tucson AZ, after a lengthy illness. John plans to hold a "Celebration of Life" in the Midwest in the summer of 2017. For those who like to give a memorial gift, consider the Catherine and John Silva Liver Transplant and Research Fund at the University of Iowa Foundation. For more info about this gift, contact: allison-ingman@uiowa.edu

    Barbara Hodalski, wife of retired Triton faculty Frank Hodalski, passed away on Sept. 1, 2016. They were living in Sarasota, FL. Four days earlier, Frank's youngest son passed away of a terminal illness. A service will be held in Sarasota on Sept 30, 2016. For  more info, call 941-552-7546.

    James Gray, a full-time Automotive faculty member at Triton, passed away in July, 2016.

    Retired Triton employee Janet Jaback passed away in Feb. 2015, at the age of 69. Janet had taught in the Hospitality Program at Triton, and later was the Cooperative Education coordinator. Janet retired in early 2014.

    Retired Triton faculty member Robert Hlavin died in July 2015, at the age of 83, in Rockford, IL. Bob had been a Professor of English at Triton from when the college opened in 1964 until his retirement in 1992. He had also been a playwright and an independent Hemingway scholar. Bob had served in the US Army from 1953-55, and received a military burial in Sturgis, SD.

    Retired Triton English instructor Thomas Meehan passed away in June, 2015. Tom had been a cross country coach in the early years of Triton, and had formerly been an English teacher and Hall of Fame Track Coach at DePaul. He was an also an avid bicycle rider.

    Retired Triton employee Jean Powell passed away in Dec. 2014, at the age of 85. Jean had been an Academic Advisor at Triton and was a resident of Oak Park.

    Retired faculty member Alan Wade passed away in Nov. 2014. Alan had formerly been the Chairperson of the Triton Science dept. After his retirement, Alan and his wife Jan moved to Kuttawa, Kentucky.

    Retired Triton employee Margaret Bruzas passed away in July, 2014. She was 94 and had worked as a secretary in the Triton Athletic Department until her retirement. In 1991, she moved to Grand Rapids, MI, to live near her daughter.

    Hilda Virgien Clark passed away on December 13, 2013. Virg, as she was known, was a long time member of the A.D. Nursing Faculty. She was dedicated to the students with whom she worked and provided excellent instruction in critical care nursing. She was highly respected by the Nursing Faculty.

    Martin Ptacek passed away on Aug 13, 2014 at the age of 91. Martin had been a photo offset instructor at Triton and was a long-time resident of Elmhurst. He was also a WW2 veteran, a dedicated and ranked chess player, and a lifelong camera enthusiast.

    Retired Triton faculty member Jeff Austin passed away on Aug. 1, 2014, at the age of 81. Jeff had been in the P.E. Dept at Triton, and was living in Ludington, MI. His wife Susan passed away the following day. Jeff had for many years been the Director of the Triton Trouper Circus, and had been President of the United States Trampoline Association.

    Retired Triton employee John Rosenbrock passed away on July 16, 2014, of cancer at the age of 61. John had worked for Triton for 30 years, including being the Director of Media Services. John was also a Vietnam War veteran. His wife Diana is also a retired Triton employee.

    Retired Triton employee Bev Curry passed away in April, 2014, at the age of 77. Beverly was the coordinator of the Continuing Education for Health Careers Department at Triton, and also had worked at Oakton Community College.

    Retired Triton faculty member Martha Duchon passed away on January 12, 2014 at the age of 91. She retired from the A.D. Nursing program in 1988 after a long career in Nursing which included serving in the U.S. Army as a nurse during WWII in China, Burma and India. Martha was a highly regarded faculty member in the A.D. Nursing Department and was well liked by her students.

    Retired faculty member Raymond McNamee passed away on May 21, 2014, at the age of 82. He was a former chairman of the Mathematics Dept., and had also been a Korean War veteran.

    Professor Emeritus John Wager passed away in May, 2013. At Triton, he taught Philosophy and in the Interdisciplinary Studies Program. Dr. Wager had a PhD in Philosophy from Northwestern University. John was also a US Army Vietnam veteran and the author of "Quiet Year at War."

    A retired member of the Triton Nursing Careers Department, Vivien C. Wagner, died on April 11, 2013. She was an R.N. and worked as the supervisor of the Nursing Lab at Triton College for many years. She was 79 at the time of her death.

    Dr. Alex Lane passed away in early February, 2013. Dr. Lane was a faculty member in the Triton Science Dept. for 34 years until his retirement in 1999. Alex was born on a rural farm in Georgia, and from those beginnings rose to a full time faculty position at Triton College with a PhD in human anatomy from the U. of Illinois. Alex was one of the original Triton faculty members personally interviewed and hired by Triton’s founding president, Dr. Herbert Zeitlin, when the brand new community college was getting started in 1965. Alex taught anatomy, zoology, and biology and was the author of several books and papers in his field. He was voted Triton Faculty member of the year in 1995 by students and faculty.

    The following memories about Alex Lane were submitted by retired faculty member Bob Hlavin:
    Alex Lane in my mind remains the perfect gentleman and scholar. In his humble fashion, Alex kept me abreast of scholarly achievements over the years, all of which reflected considerable credit on Triton College and his peers. His invitation and participation in a seminar at Heidelberg, Germany was especially noteworthy. On a personal note, Alex came to my office and asked to borrow an English dictionary. Having more than one, I handed Alex an American Heritage edition. As my retirement neared, Bob Anthony of the Science Department offered me an American Heritage dictionary found in the science department area. "Your name is printed on the cover. Robert Hlavin." I was pleased to note that the dictionary showed wear... well spent.

    Till we meet again, Alex. - Bob Hlavin

    Gordon Simonsen passed away in early Feb. 2012, in Huntley, IL, at the age of 89. Mr. Simonsen was one of the founding members of Triton College in the 1960’s, and served as Executive Vice-President until his retirement in 1979. Mr. Simonsen also served in the US Army in WW2, including the 10th Armored Division during the Battle of the Bulge.

    Retired Triton administrator John Trebbe passed away in August, 2011, in Galesburg, IL, at the age of 87. Known as “Jack” Trebbe, he was the Dean of Continuing Education at Triton College from 1963 until his retirement in 1984. Earlier in his life, Jack served in the US Navy during WWII and the Korean War, and later was a Lt. Commander in the US Naval Reserve.

    Retired faculty member Russell Bruce passed away on July, 26, 2011, at the age of 78. Russell was the first Automotive Technology instructor at the newly formed Triton College in the 1960's. Later in his career, he served in the Business Dept. until his retirement from Triton.

    Retired faculty member Dorothy Libner passed away on Oct. 10, 2011, at the age of 85. Dorothy taught in the Business Department at Triton for 23 years, and was a former chair of the Secretarial Dept.

    Triton Webmaster Alan Dudak passed away on Aug. 25, 2010, of a brain tumor. Alan was 39 years old and was employed in Triton's Information Systems Department.

    Retired faculty member Algis Turner passed away in early April 2010. Al was hired in 1968 and was a full-time faculty member at Triton for 30 years, teaching primarily Tech Physics, until his retirement in the late 1990s.

    Dr. Herbert Zeitlin passed away on March 2, 2010, in Woodland Hills, Calif., at the age of 91. Dr. Zeitlin was the founding president of Triton College, hired in 1964 by the original board of trustees to organize and start up the first community college in the area. Dr. Zeitlin personally interviewed and hired many of the college's original faculty and administrators. Triton held its first classes in the fall of 1965 on the campus of West Leyden High School. Eventually land for a new permanent campus was acquired, and the college moved to its present River Grove location in 1968, adding buildings over the years. Under Dr. Zeitlin's leadership, Triton was named one of the country's outstanding community colleges by Time magazine in 1973. Dr. Zeitlin was Triton's president for 12 years until 1976, at which time he returned to California and served as a college president in that state. After his retirement, he continued to work in education as a consultant and author.

    Elmore Boeger, one of the original board members of Triton College, passed away in 2009 at the age of 95. When Triton College was being organized in 1964, many names were being considered for the brand new community college, but it was Mr. Boeger who suggested the name Triton College, a reflection of the three townships that the college district encompassed. Mr. Boeger will be remembered as "the man who named Triton College."