Should Auld Acquaintance be Forgot

2016 is almost at an end.  The year end “celebrities we have lost” compilations have hit social media and the loss of Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds have given heed to the notion that one can die of a broken heart.

Each year since 1988, we received a Christmas card from one of the subjects in my husband’s research project. “Fritz,” like most of the other participants in the study, was a retired University of Michigan professor. The question had something to do with the effects of exercise on men 65+ years of age. Fritz and his wife visited us once on the way to somewhere else. He sent a note in the middle of the year when his wife died. A few Christmases later he told us of his marriage to one of his former grad students. His notes were always fun to read. This year, there was no card from Fritz.  In August, Charles “Fritz” F. Lehmann, Ph.D. died at the age of 93. The Ann Arbor community has lost a bright light. (See to read about his service as a member of the 10th Mountain Infantry during WWII.)

When an email I sent to the Southern Illinois Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Club members bounced back, I realized that a charter member of the club had passed away. Although Janice “Jan” Lyon Yates moved to Columbia, Missouri, to be near her daughter, she was still on the email list. She was a member of the chapter at the University of Missouri and she told us how much fun it was to attend events at the chapter house and tell the most recent initiates of the chapter what life was like in the very same house in the late 194-s and early 1950s when she lived there. She was on “door duty” when an older gentleman and a younger one stopped by to pick up a visiting Pi Phi. The Pi Phi in question was Margaret Truman. Her father and a Secret Service agent came by to collect Margaret and her suitcases. Jan was the one who had to announce “Man on floor” as the suitcases were picked up. Jan loved to tell that story. I am sorry the newest crop of Missouri Alphas will not hear her tell it.

A 1990s 50th reunion of Jan Yates’ pledge class. Jan is pictured third from left in the front row.

A friend who reads this blog alerted me to the death of T. Glen Cary, a past International President of Phi Delta Theta. His love and passion for his fraternity were evidenced in more and a half century’s service to Phi Delt. In 1990, he received Phi Delta Theta Fraternity’s Legion of Honor Award in 1990. The T. Glen Cary Award recognizes the outstanding Phi Delta Theta Colony.  Prior to his Phi Delta Theta initiation, he served in Korea as a member of the U.S. Army. He spent time as a P.O.W., and suffered the effects of agonizing cold at the Chosin Reservoir. He was decorated for valor and meritorious service.  He and his wife, Shirley, a Pi Phi, were married for 59 years.

T. Glen Cary

There are GLO collegiate members whose lives have been lost this week as evidenced by social media posts. I offer my condolences to the friends and families of all of those who lives taken been too soon. Life is precious. Love one another deeply and cherish every moment.

© Fran Becque,, 2016. All rights reserved. If  you enjoyed this post, please sign up for updates. Also follow me on twitter @GLOHistory and Pinterest

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