In Memoriam

February 8, 2022 (Volume 45, Number 11)

This space pays tribute to the people who helped shape Grand Valley

Catherine Frerichs, retired professor and founding director of FTLC

Catherine Frerichs, professor emeritus of writing and founding director of the Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center, died January 28, 2022. She was 76.

Frerichs joined Grand Valley's faculty in 1997 and retired in 2011. 

She was also a visiting professor at Divine Word University in Papua New Guinea. Frerichs taught at Albion College and directed the Anna Howard Shaw Women’s Center there. Her career in education began as an instructor in English at Glen Oaks Community College.

A celebration of life service will be held on May 7, at 2 p.m., at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 134 N. Division Ave. in Grand Rapids, with visitation at the church from 1-2 p.m.


Joan Boand, retired faculty member and coach

Joan Boand, retired faculty member and longtime Laker coach, died January 27, 2022, at her home. She was 88.

Boand, professor emeritus of physical education, arrived at Grand Valley in 1966 to teach swim classes. Blazing a trail for women in sports at Grand Valley, Boand was soon coaching softball, volleyball, basketball and track and field.

Read more about Boand in this GVNext article.


Previous posts

Paul Jorgensen, retired professor of computing

Paul Jorgensen, retired professor emeritus of computing, died December 15, 2021. He was 79.

Jorgensen retired in 2017 after 29 years of service at the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing. He authored nine software engineering textbooks.

More information about Jorgensen is online.


John Bettys, retired Facilities Services staff member

John Bettys, who retired from Grand Valley in 2014, died November 3 in Newaygo. He was 61.

Bettys worked as a hardware specialist in the key department of Facilities Services for 38 years.

Robert Daniels, retired assistant controller

Human Resources learned recently that Robert Daniels, retired assistant controller, died on February 15, 2021.

Daniels, who was 84, retired from Grand Valley in 1997 as assistant controller in the Accounting Office. He had served the university for 30 years.

Cheri Gerhart, AWRI instructor

Cheri Gerhart, an instructor on the W.G. Jackson, a water studies research vessel with the Annis Water Resources Institute in Muskegon, died on September 30, 2021.

Gerhart taught natural sciences at schools in Rockford, Illinois, and Flint as well as Muskegon Catholic Central, Orchard View High School and Muskegon High School. 

After retiring from teaching, she joined the AWRI Education and Outreach part-time staff, which is responsible for conducting educational programs, including seasonal programs aboard the research vessels as well as special events.

Steve Engel, affiliate statistics instructor

Steve Engel, an affiliate statistics instructor, died on September 24, 2021. He was 56.

Engel's career, which took him across the globe, started in packaging. He eventually decided to follow his passion and study statistics, which led to his position with Grand Valley. 

He was devoted to his students and was always striving to improve so they had the best experience, according to his obituary. "He wanted to make statistics less daunting and more enjoyable."


In Memoriam

This article was last edited on February 8, 2022 at 9:16 a.m.

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