Alumni News & Notes

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Eldon Heath Addy
January 23, 1915-October 25, 2018

Eldon Addy of Colorado Springs, CO, passed away peacefully on October 25, 2018.  He was 103 years old.  Born on January 23, 1915, in McClouth, KS, he is survived by his son Don and his wife Susan, of Colorado Springs; daughter, Cathryn of Hartford, CT; granddaughters Meegan Bennett (Adam) of Arvada, CO; Lauren Langfitt (Quentin), Lenexa, KS; and Taylor Addy, Dallas, TX.   Survived also by great grand children Mae and Otto Langfitt.  He was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Dorothy Rumbeck, of Kansas City, MO. He graduated in 1937 from Ottawa University, Ottawa, KS, and later  served as a Trustee for 10 years.  In 1938 he moved to Detroit, MI, to take a position in the motor freight industry.  In 1944, he moved the family to Lawrence, KS where he was the manager of the Bowersock Flour Mill.  He relocated to Wichita, KS in 1946 to become sales manager for the Kansas Milling Company, retiring from the milling industry in 1993.  Subsequent to his milling career, he took a position with the Wichita Chamber of Commerce and managed the Kansas Junior Livestock Show for 20 years.  He was formerly President of the Wichita Rotary Club, and a Rotary District Governor for the State of Kansas.  He loved to build things, having built over 75 grandmother and grandfather clocks for relatives, friends, and charities.  He dedicated one to the US Army at Ft. Carson, CO, where it still stands today.   A private interment ceremony will be held in Ozawkie, KS.

In lieu of flowers, gifts to the Ottawa University Alumni Association Scholarship Fund are preferred.
Jack Niel Pyle, of Littleton, Colorado went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Monday evening, September 10, 2018 after a long battle suffering the complications of diabetes. He was 88 years of age.  He passed from this life to the next surrounded by the love and care of his immediate family in his home around 7:00 in the evening MST. Jack was the second-born of a set of twins born on April 9, 1930 to Henry Talmadge and Iva Mae Simpson Pyle at St. Anthony’s hospital in Sabetha, Kansas. His family resided on a farm near Hamlin, Kansas.

Jack loved farming and farmed with his family until he was 26 when he believed God called him to the ministry.  In pursuit of this call, he attended Ottawa University where he met his wife, Glenda Kay Steele Pyle, and they were married on April 20, 1960.  Through the guidance of the Lord and the counsel of his professors at Ottawa, God’s call to ministry was confirmed as a call to teach and mentor children.  As a result, Jack pursued a full-time teaching career. Jack student taught elementary school in Ottawa, Kansas at Garfield Elementary. In January of 1961, he was employed teaching fifth and sixth grades in Paola, Kansas. Fall semester of 1961, he began teaching sixth grade at Wilmot Elementary in Evergreen, Colorado and moved to Bear Creek Elementary to do the same in 1973. He concluded his 40 years of teaching by substituting in the district. Jack had such an impact on his students that he regularly heard from them as adults regarding his unique and special influence on their lives.

Jack had many accomplishments as a teacher.  He was nominated as Teacher of the Year in Colorado a few times, and was listed among the Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. For three years in a row, he led his class to win a National Geographic map contest at the county and state levels, making it to nationals each time, and receiving honorable mention the final year.

Additionally, Jack was an avid reader and read aloud regularly to his children around the dinner table, as well as to his classes. Each year he taught, he and his students wrote letters to various authors including Ralph Moody and his mother, Sterling North, Wilson Rawls, and Alan Eckert.  Through many of his teaching strategies, he fostered a love for learning and an appreciation of God’s creation in every life he touched.

Jack also coached and mentored many young boys including his own sons, Kevin and Henry, from little league to high school ages in many sports including football, soccer, basketball, and baseball, and young women in track.  Many of his former team members have continued to stay in touch with him, and even use the coaching tactics they learned under his leadership in their own coaching aspirations.

Jack was, first and foremost a Bible believing Christian who esteemed the Bible as God’s final authority for every aspect of life.  His greatest desire was to glorify God in all things and diligently led his family by these truths. This heart for the Lord, for family, and for other people was regularly displayed through his eager hospitality and welcoming spirit.   He treasured all family, was a lifetime friend to many, and modeled committed, lasting relationships throughout his life.

Other ways  that Jack expressed his love for Christ was by sharing God’s Word through the ministry of Gideon’s International for approximately 20 years distributing bibles to hospitals, hotels, schools, and people in need during his retirement.  During part of this ministry, he served as president of the Columbine chapter of the Gideon’s for the term allowed. He also generously supported many Christian missionaries and ministries throughout his life and has purposed for that ministry to continue even in his death.  His first and foremost passion was for everyone he knew or met to encounter a living and active relationship with Jesus Christ.

Jack was preceded in death by his mother, Iva Mae Simpson Pyle, his father, Henry Talmadge Pyle, his oldest brother, Kenneth Pyle, his older sister, Thelma Pyle Scheape, and his younger brother, John Pyle.  His beloved twin sister, JoAnne Pyle McKee of Salina, Kansas survives.

Jack was also preceded in death by three grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Jack is survived by his beloved wife of 58 years, Glenda Kay Steele Pyle, and by all of their children, Annette (Roger), Kevin (Sharon), Henry (Brenda), and Valerie (Blake).   In addition, Jack is survived by 15 grandchildren, the spouses of those who are married, and 13 great grandchildren.

Please join us for the Celebration Service in honor of Jack on Monday, September, 17, 2018 at Ken Caryl Church 8395 W. Ken Caryl Ave. Littleton, CO  80128. *(10:00 AM Visitation - 11:00 AM Celebration Service followed by a church luncheon for friends and family.) 3:00 PM Internment at Montview Cemetery, Bennett, Colorado.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to:  Gideon’s International Denver Columbine Camp PO Box 1742 Littleton, CO  80150-1742


I wanted to let you know about my Dad’s passing that happened about two weeks ago on Easter Sunday.  I believe he was in the class of 1960.  He and my Mom, Suzanne Rumminger, met and married at OU.  Bill Sheeder was sophomore class representative, Student Council President, Student Manager, and voted Mr. OU.  He was also part of a campus singing group (among other activities).  I have photos of Dad when he was on campus if that would be helpful to you.  I am attaching Dad's obituary as well as a b&w headshot taken while he was an OU student.  

Lynn Claunch
Daughter of William Sheeder
305 505-4043

University of Miami (FL) article
Michelle was named the Director of Human Resources for Spring Hill USD 230. She begins the job on July 1, 2018. Michelle has been an elementary school administrator for the past 14 years in the Spring Hill School District and taught in both the Spring Hill and Louisburg School Districts prior to her administration career. Michelle lives in Olathe, Kansas with her husband and children.
Albert Lester "Butch" Lewis, Class of 1961, BAHOF Inductee passed away on February 22nd in Mesa, Arizona.   Dr. Al Lewis was Director of Atheletics at Buena Vista College in Storm Lake, Iowa for 18 years until he retired. He is survived by his wife Deanna and two sons, Brad and Blake.

Albert Lester "Butch" Lewis obituary

Storm Lake Tribune article

Otoniel Gonzaga, class of 1965
Died:  1/13/18

Estel worked for the Ottawa campus business office from 1944-1977.

Estel Jones obituary
Craig A. Smith, a longtime writer for The New Mexican’s Pasatiempo magazine and author of a book on John Crosby, founder of The Santa Fe Opera, died in Santa Fe on Thursday, his brother Dale Smith said. He was 63.