In Memoriam

Like the world around us, the Wilkes community has suffered great loss since our last issue. Though we could not include each obituary on these pages, we honor all the colleagues, alumni and friends that we have lost. We send our sincere condolences and caring thoughts to all who are mourning.
  • BARBARA FARLEY ’50 headshot


    Barbara Medland Farley died on April 3, 2022. She attended Bucknell Junior College (now Wilkes University), where she met her husband, Robert Coates Farley, son of then college president Dr. Eugene S. Farley. She was a loyal supporter of Wilkes University, and could be seen at the many activities and events that Wilkes offered.

  • CHARLES JACKSON ’51 headshot


    Charles F. Jackson died on Feb. 28, 2022. Dr. Jackson graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education from Wilkes, where he excelled as an athlete, serving as captain on the soccer, baseball and basketball teams. He was inducted into the Wilkes University Athletics Hall of Fame for his basketball accomplishments, and served as its executive vice president to the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in Philadelphia. He was instrumental in establishing the Ancestral Colonel Awards at Wilkes University, which recognize those who embrace a simple philosophy of “creating lifelong friendships through participation in competitive athletics.”

  • RONALD A. RITTENMEYER ’72 headshot


    Ronald Rittenmeyer died on October 11, 2022. Ron, of Plano, Texas, lived a legacy of leadership at the helm of 15 companies across numerous industries. His distinguished career highlighted his exemplary track record of successful transformations, and was recognized as the “turnaround CEO.” Ron graduated with a bachelor of science degree in commerce and economics, and in 2013 received an honorary doctor of humane letters from Wilkes University. Ron cherished time with his wife, Hedy, and their family.

  • RANDALL MARK ’81 headshot


    Randall “Randy” Mark, alumnus and former trustee, died on July 8, 2022. He graduated from Wilkes with a bachelor of science degree in business administration, and was the president and owner of Pulverman, a global manufacturer of precision metal components. He served on the University’s Board of Trustees, and served on the academic environment, finance and trustee development committees. In September of 2018, Wilkes recognized the generosity and commitment of Randy and his wife, Robin, at the dedication of the Mark Engineering Center located in the Stark Learning Center. This occasion celebrated the completion of a 16-month, $8 million renovation to Wilkes’ engineering facilities in Stark Learning Center, creating a flexible lab and learning space for the nanotechnology, additive manufacturing and bioengineering disciplines.

Friends of Wilkes



    Esther “Essy” Davidowitz died on May 17, 2022. Mrs. Davidowitz’s service to the University’s Board of Trustees began in 1973 and continued until 2006, at which time she was given emerita status. During her tenure on the board, she served as treasurer and secretary, and was the chair of the academic program committee and executive board. In her role as co-editor of “Essays of an Educator” written by Eugene S. Farley, Davidowitz helped to ensure that the writings and ideals of Wilkes’ founding president lived on long after his presidency came to a close.

    In 2020, Mrs. Davidowitz was presented with the President’s Medal, which is bestowed annually on an individual whose personal and professional life reflects the highest aspirations of Wilkes University. Interim President Paul S. Adams had the honor of awarding her with the President’s Medal. He described her impact by saying, “Few people have preserved the history of Wilkes University in the detail and eloquence of Essy Davidowitz. She has been a force in our evolution, seeing us through one of the most formative moments in our history when Wilkes College became Wilkes University in 1990.”


    John Orehotsky, longtime faculty member in the College of Science and Engineering, died on March 23, 2022. During his tenure at Wilkes, he received two Fulbright Scholarships and numerous research fellowships.

  • JOHN G. REESE headshot


    John Reese, legendary Wilkes former wrestling coach, director of athletics and teacher, died on Feb. 28, 2022. Coach Reese served as Director of Athletics at Wilkes for 34 years (1958-1992) and as head wrestling coach for 42 years. From 1953 through 1995, Reese guided the Colonels to 39 consecutive winning seasons. Coach Reese will be remembered as one of the winningest coaches in NCAA wrestling history with 515 wins; he was only the second wrestling coach in the NCAA to top 500 wins. Under his leadership, the wrestling program gained national attention with 40 winning seasons, 14 Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) titles, the 1974 Division III National Championship
    and a nationally ranked Division I program.

    Coach Reese was also responsible for creating the Wilkes Open, often referred to as “The Rose Bowl of Wrestling” which is held annually during winter break. He has been inducted into ten sports Halls of Fame including the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. In 2015, Coach Reese’s lifelong commitment to Wilkes was celebrated when he was presented with the President’s Medal, the University’s most prestigious honor. His motto, “victory goes to those who are willing to pay the price,” has inspired decades of Wilkes student-athletes.

  • SANDY RIFKIN headshot


    Sandy Rifkin died on Sept. 11, 2021. Sandy and her husband, the late Arnold Rifkin, president of A. Rifkin Co., were dedicated supporters of Wilkes University. Together they donated Rifkin Hall, the lobby of Evans Hall and the Rifkin Cafe in the Henry Student Center.



    Harold Rosenn died on June 2, 2022. Rosenn initially partnered in the practice of law with his brother, the late Judge Max Rosenn, then went on to co-found Rosenn, Jenkins & Greenwald, now the largest law firm in northeastern Pa.

  • Eleanor Carle
    Eileen Carlin
    Matthew Connell
    Jane Dessoye
    Mary Gillespie
    Cornelius Huhn
    Robert Jabers
    Libby Jones
    Susan Jones
    Glenn Lupole
    Dr. Douglas Lynch
    Mark Poperowitz
    Paul Rodda
    Nancy Shafer
    Florence Sowa
    Timothy Stott
    Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Yuskovitz
  • 1943

    Irene Watkins

  • 1944

    Linda Rabets

  • 1947

    Albert Gelb

  • 1948

    Bernard Shucktis

  • 1952

    Earl Crispell MD
    Mary Morris
    Jeanne Jones
    Nancy Grogan RN

  • 1953

    Richard Williams
    Fay Berg

  • 1954

    Edward Gustitus
    Joseph Miozza
    William Mergo

  • 1955

    Howard Ennis, Jr.
    Ellen Furey
    A. Edward Greenwood, Jr., DDS

  • 1956

    Robert Gritsavage

  • 1957

    George Weaver

  • 1958

    Joseph Gregory
    Elizabeth Karosa
    Harold Shannon
    William Williams

  • 1959

    Elizabeth Bartle
    Leonard Dixon
    Robert Doran
    Michael Dydo
    Walter Glogowski
    John Harvey
    A. Jennie Hill
    Henry Kellar
    Elisabeth King
    Albert Kuchinskas CPA
    Sylvia Kully
    Robert Morgan
    Jane Norton Granitzki
    Robert Reese
    Warren Schmid
    Elmer Snyder

  • 1960

    Reverend Aaron Hastie Jr.
    Frank Mazzeo
    Carol Sapiego

  • 1961

    Louis Bierly
    Joseph Cardone
    Henry Greener
    David Lear

  • 1962

    Donald Bogert
    Yorath Evans

  • 1963

    Fred Crouse
    Leonard Insalaco
    Harold Rubin
    Stephen Selige
    William Space
    Robert Williams

  • 1964

    Major Leonard Adamitis
    John Farrell
    Jerome Shilanski

  • 1965

    Maryann Blessner
    John Uhl

  • 1966

    Beverly Copeland
    C. Robert Orner II

  • 1967

    Reverend John Bohush
    Barbara Chamberlain
    Dorothy Maciejczyk

  • 1968

    Allen Gillespie Jr.
    Charles Gregg
    Jeffrey Namey
    Charetta Mutarelli
    Linda Rabets
    John Sosinski

  • 1969

    Richard Chukonis
    Joseph Koterba
    James Pirino
    Doris Stevens
    Frank Wojcik

  • 1970

    Mary Bomboy
    William Heffron
    Joan Melberger
    Richard Mitarnowski
    Papademetriou PhD
    William Penna
    Leon Sobolefski

  • 1971

    John Halliday
    Valerie Hanewicz
    Carol Klinetob

  • 1972

    Cyrus Smith
    Michael Simon
    Donna Snelson
    Paul Suche
    Stewart Thomas
    Henry Walters
    Karen Willis

  • 1973

    Dr. Mary Clark
    Joel Fischman

  • 1974

    Attorney Gifford
    Cappellini II
    Richard Kutz

  • 1975

    Nicholas Ametrano
    Barbara Florek
    Delbert Keisling
    David Kowalek
    Wayne Marianelli

  • 1976

    Peter Lishnak
    Donna Petroski
    Raymond Tomaine

  • 1977

    Mary Flood
    Craig Gorton
    Karen Hendrickson
    Bryan Herron
    Thomas Rovinski

  • 1978

    Suzanne Keller

  • 1979

    Jay Finkelstein
    Carmen Nardone

  • 1980

    Dr. Mary Ryczak

  • 1982

    Janet Hocking
    Mary Leshko

  • 1983

    Donna Derenick
    Leon Kolanowski

  • 1984

    James Urban

  • 1986

    Joseph Kling
    Joseph Pigott Jr.
    Diane Sternlieb
    Ann Zikoski

  • 1987

    Judy Slusser

  • 1988

    Michael Clisham
    Marie Hammond
    Gerald Rettberg
    Steven Werley

  • 1989

    Edward Havrilla
    Carol Hynes
    Carolyn Starner
    David Zarzecki

  • 1990

    Ronald Antos
    William Jenkins
    Joseph Williams Jr.
    Henry Ziolkowski

  • 1991

    Matthew Hanlon
    Edward Kobylus

  • 1992

    Christopher DeAngelo

  • 1994

    Brian Anders
    Dorothy Duesler

  • 1995

    Jennifer Martin

  • 1996

    Joseph Macri

  • 1997

    Thomas Nardone
    Walter Tucker Jr.
    Shirley Warren

  • 1999

    Bridget Moran

  • 2000

    Kimberly Caruso
    Joelyn Mark

  • 2001

    Sarah Wasser

  • 2003

    Darlis Allen
    Theresa Rebar

  • 2005

    John Chichak

  • 2006

    Frank Burnside Jr.

  • 2008

    Richard Read

  • 2009

    Michael Mooney Jr.

  • 2011

    Andrew Jenkins

  • 2012

    Erin Walker

  • 2014

    Richard Dellinger

  • 2019

    Christy Phillips

  • 2020

    Jeremey Tomaine