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FRED WRIGHT Updated May 20, 2010Fred passed away at home today after his doctors discontinued the life support that he had been reliant on for quite some time. I wanted to let you know so that those who are/were friends of Ellen can get in touch (her email is, and to let you know also how much she appreciated our efforts. The chip-in page wound up putting her in touch with lots of folks whom she hadn't heard from in ages, and she really appreciated the support.
Posted December 2009
Our friend and classmate, Ellen Lack Wright, could use the support of friends. Just over two years ago, Ellen's husband Fred was stricken with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Once a successful engineer and hobbyist, Fred's health declined rapidly. He has been on a ventilator since May 2008. He has now lost the ability to move voluntarily, and can only communicate with others by blinking his eyes. Fred suffers from "locked-in" syndrome, in that his mind is aware and functioning, but is "locked in" to his paralyzed body.

Fred's illness has required that he have round-the-clock care, in addition to what his family can provide. Ellen has chosen to keep Fred at home so that he can be with her and their sons and receive the loving care that being at home provides. This choice however means that Ellen, alone, shoulders Fred's unreimbursed medical expenses, in excess of $15,000 per month. While she would have it no other way, the personal and economic demands of her choice are enormous, even with her contributions from her psychology practice.

Please consider helping the Wrights, if you are moved to do so, by using the chip-in link to the right.


Posted February 2, 2010
It is with great sadness that we report the loss of Kyle Funke, son of Peter and Tina Funke. Kyle died January 24, 2010 after a battle with brain cancer. Please see the attached pdf file for more detail. Kyle's preference was that donations be made to Trevecca Nazarene University (memo: "Kyle Funke Scholarship Fund") or to First Descents, a non-profit service for cancer survivors ( Condolences may be sent to To leave a message, click the 'Click Here to Start' line in the Search... box on the right, then enter Kyle Funke in the name boxes and click search. You can view some of Kyle's photos and more here, as well as leave your own text or audio message.


Posted January 29, 2010
Andrew Lange '80, who began with our class but graduated with the Class of 1980, died January 22. He was an astrophysicist at the California Institute of Technology and was "instrumental in elucidating the shape and nature of the universe." He was, for a time, married to fellow '79er Frances Arnold. The class extends its sympathies to Dr. Lange's family. You can read the New York Times article here.


Posted November 2009
The economy struck many of us, but for one of our classmates, particularly so. Victor lost his job earlier this year. He has six kids and a wife to support. Recently though, he suffered a stroke, a 4-day hospital stay, a diagnosis of diabetes--and he has no health care coverage. While we are happy to hear he is no longer in the hospital, he faces the financial challenges of a daunting hospital bill and an overdue mortgage. He was able to find temp work, but of course, the level of income is not the same as a full-time job and no benefits.

Please, let's all chip-in to help out a fellow 79'er! If you would like to help Victor and his family, here is where you can contribute: or click 'ChipIn' to the right:

Mimi Chen