Roll of Honor – Winter 2018

In Memoriam

Head Librarian Ann Turner retired in 1990 after nearly 30 years of service to Norwich University.

Ann Turner, Head Librarian Emerita
Intrepid for Knowledge
March 19, 1925 – July 13, 2017

When Norwich University Head Librarian Ann Turner announced that she would retire at the end of the 1990 academic year, she told the Northfield News, “My first reward will be a trip to Greece.” The intrepid Turner was learning Greek in preparation for the June trip, citing, “I want to be able to read the road signs.”

And on citing, she was unequaled.

Shortly after she joined the Norwich staff in 1961 as a reference librarian, Turner instituted a “program of bibliographic instruction for students—a new concept in the early 1960s,” wrote Paul Heller in the April 1990 Vermont Library Association News article, “Ann Turner Retires After Nearly 30 Years.” Heller continued that Turner had to fight to get that program instituted. She also insisted that rooks tour the library as part of their orientation week, saying, “It’s so important to get the freshmen into the library early in their first semester. With the demands of the rook system they need to be reminded that a strong emphasis on academics is paramount for success at Norwich.”

Head Librarian Ann Turner (left) with the late Dennis Ryan ’76 (center) and exiled Russian novelist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who visited the Norwich campus in 1975.

Originally from New York, Anna Josephine Bessarab graduated at age 19 from Skidmore College and went on to earn a Master of Library Science at Columbia University. She was working as a reference librarian at Dartmouth College when she met George Turner, a Navy veteran of World War II who was completing his studies in English literature at Dartmouth. The two married and began their honeymoon at Fenway Park. George went on to pursue advanced degrees in education; it was his professional path that brought their young family to Norwich University in 1959, when he joined the English department. The Turners were poised to become, as we say today, a power couple.

In her early years at the library, located in today’s White Chapel, Turner recalled that the members of the small, dedicated staff wore many hats. Hired to do reference work, she also processed interlibrary loans, checked in government documents, and supervised circulation.
“Research was her passion,” reads Turner’s obituary, “and her ability to identify and acquire resources contributed significantly to academic life at the university.” During her early tenure she was a driving force behind the creation of the Friends of the Norwich University Library, and under her leadership the organization grew to more than 300 members. In 1974, she was promoted to Head Librarian. She wrote extensively and testified before Congress in advocacy of college libraries, writing in the Journal of Academic Librarianship, “In a state as small as Vermont, each college must develop its own special collections and share them with its neighbors. In that way, students can live on small campuses, in close contact with their teachers, and still have a wealth of research material available.”

She would go on to receive the Board of Fellows Medallion alongside her husband in 1984, as well as an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Norwich. At the time of her 1990 retirement, plans were under way for today’s Kreitzberg Library, and she told Paul Heller that seemed like good timing for her retirement, saying, “I really did not want to plan a library that others would have to live with.” She became Librarian Emerita, a title she retained until her death at age 92. – Jacque E. Day


Roll of Honor

The following list reflects notifications of deceased Norwich family members received by the university from July 13, 2017, through Octover 23, 2017. Full obituaries, when available, can be viewed online at To inform the university of the passing of a member of the Norwich family, please contact the Alumni Office at 802-485-2100, or


1944 John H. Folger, 89, of Marblehead, Mass., 9/27/2012 – Brother of Philip M. Folger ’49

1947 Louis A. Rapa, 92, of Seneca Falls, N.Y., 8/25/2017

1949 Vincent E. Koravos, 95, of Lowell, Mass., 8/10/2017

1950 Charles E. Allen, 89, of Hobe Sound, Fla., 1/25/2014

1950 Charles L. Low, 89, of New York, N.Y., 9/18/2017

1952 Carlton E. Bausch, 87, of Baldwin, N.Y., 9/1/2017

1952 Joseph F. Comelli, 85, of Pompano Beach, Fla., 1/7/2016

1953 COL Michael J. Del Santo, USA (Ret.), 87, of Crofton, Md., 9/7/2017

1955 Adrian W. Grubs, 84, of Greenville, S.C., 8/22/2017

1955 Edward J. Meehan, 85, of Syosset, N.Y., 8/4/2017

1956 Orman A. Holden, 83, of Brattleboro, Vt., 7/6/2017

1956 MG John R. Greenway USA (Ret.), 82, of Northfield, Vt., 7/24/2017

1957 Arthur C. Johnson, 73, of Apex, N.C., 7/1/2007

1957 Joseph J. Kruetz, 82, of Sun City West, Ariz., 6/2/2017

1957 John F. Topham, 82, of Brookfield, Vt., 8/8/2017 – Husband to Carol S. Topham VC’56 and father of Karen E. Hamblin VC’79

1959 Earl C. Ekdahl, 79, of Locust Grove, Va., 6/26/2017

1959 Ronald T. Martin, 80, of Maple Valley, Mass., 11/23/2016

1961 LTC John C. Golden III, USA (Ret.), 77, of Hague, Va., 7/24/2017

1961 Frank T. Lamm, 78, of Brookfield, Wisc., 8/11/2017 – Husband of Bonnie Lamm VC’61

1961 Brian J. O’Connell, 77, of Pembroke, Mass., 9/10/2017

1961 Gordon R. Wilkinson, 78, of Craftsbury, Vt., 7/17/2017 – Uncle of Robert C. Maxham ’88

1963 Roger A. Ahrens, 75, of Hudson Falls, N.Y., 9/13/2017 – Brother-in-law to Ellen M. Ketchum ’78 and cousin of Norman J. Cardinal ’64

1965 Gerald E. Cloutier, 73, of East Hampton, Conn., 7/29/2017

1965 George L. Kozak, 75, of Brockton, Mass., 7/2/2017 – Uncle of Brett Anchukaitis ’16

1965 Victor V. Viering, 73, of Canton, Conn., 9/4/2017 – Brother of Warren W. Viering ’61

1966 LTC Jay T. Palmer USAR (Ret.), 73, of Shaftsbury, Vt., 10/8/2017

1967 Joseph L. DiBenedetto, 73, of Gansevoort, N.Y., 10/8/2017

1968 Donald H. Hartford Jr., 73, of Gilbertsville, Pa., 7/22/2017

1971 Francis T. Linder Jr., 67, of Danbury, Conn., 6/27/2016

1972 LTC Theodore J. Mandro III, USA (Ret.), 67, of Woodridge, Va., 9/7/2017

1972 John C. Newingham, 67, of Pepperell, Mass., 9/28/2017

1975 MAJ Michael J. Rosen, 64, of Holden, Mass., 8/29/2017 – Brother of Stephen N. Rosen ’77

1976 Rodney P. Bentley, 64, of Sherman, Conn., 9/12/2017

1984 (VC) Elise G. Harrison, 80, of Santa Cruz, Calif., 7/6/2017

1985 Michael W. Burns, 54, of Rochester, N.H., 9/30/2017

1987 (VC) Elsie E. Thomas, 94, of Hudson, Ohio, 7/21/2017

1999 (VC) Elizabeth T. Testa, 67, of Durango, Calif., 9/7/2017

2003 Jens A. Wiik, 36, of Rochester, N.H., 9/13/2017

M’06 Carl J. Ness, 39, of North Liberty, Iowa, 9/18/2017


Faculty, Staff & Friends

Miriam F. Bonnell, 71, of Winchester, Mass., 3/2/2017 – Wife of Bruce J. Bonnell ’63

Donald L. Faust, 87, of Boyertown, Pa., 9/15/2017 – Friend of the University

David C. Genaway, 80, of Charlotte, N.C., 8/28/2017 – Former Staff

Phyllis W. Harrington, 67, of North Pomfret, Vt., 7/30/2017 – Wife of CPT Robert S. Harrington, USA (Ret.) ’70

Roderick W. LaValley, 83, of Northfield, Vt., 7/10/2017 – Former Staff

Cindy L. Loefstedt, 55, of Bedford, N.H., 7/31/2017 – Wife of Paul C. Loefstedt ’82

H’01 Ann J. Turner, 92, of Randolph, Vt., 7/13/2017 – Librarian Emerita (served 1961–1990) and widow of George R. Turner, Professor Emeritus H’01

Catherine P. Wilkinson, 79, of Craftsbury, Vt., 5/10/2017 – Wife of the late Gordon R. Wilkinson ’61


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