Michael Francis Owens, 33, died April 7, 2012, in Indianapolis. Born in Fort Wayne, IN, he graduated from North Side High School in 1998. While attending Wabash, he was a member of Sigma Chi and studied abroad in Spain during his Wabash years. Owens worked as a program advisor with The Institute for Study Abroad. He enjoyed playing baseball and basketball and was an avid Purdue sports fan. He is survived by his parents, Tim and Libby Owens; and sisters, Mandy Stetzel and Meg Owens.
15 Andrew "Andy" Hensley, 20, died January 20 in Sharpsville, IN. Born April 11, 1991, in Indianapolis, he was the son of Robert Hensley and Lori Jones. He graduated from Tri-Central High School in 2009 and was attending Wabash College. He was captain of his high school football team, senior class president, a member of National Honor Society, and graduated with academic honors. He enjoyed volunteering for a variety of events and attended Lebanon Christian Church. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Floyd and Jean Ellis, and Joan Hensley. He is survived by his mother and step-father, Lori and Derek Jones; his father and stepmother, Robert and Noreen Hensley; brother, Alex Hensley; sister, Caitlyn Jones; step-sister, Megan Byrne; grandparents, Larry and Hedy Hensley; and step-grandparents, Mike and Paula Mikels, Ronnie and Jane Jones, and Geneva Davis.
FRANCES D. “FRAN” HOLLETT H’85 Frances D. “Fran” Hollett H’85, 81, died March 28 in Indianapolis. Fran and her husband, the late Byron P. "Barney" Hollett ’36, were legendary supporters of Wabash College and gave of their time, talent, and treasure to make Wabash a stronger institution. A native of Rockport, IN, and graduate of Indiana State University, Fran became the first woman ever named an Honorary Alumna of Wabash when the NAWM made her an honorary member of the Class of 1985. At that time the NAWM said, “You are widely known for your enthusiastic support of Wabash and kindness to numerous students.” In 2006, Fran was inducted in the Wabash College Athletics Hall of Fame, at which time she was described as “one of Wabash’s most fervent supporters regardless of the score.” She was active in her lifetime at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, and as a board member of the Shepherd Center and the Indianapolis Retirement Home. She is survived by her daughter, Susan Rancourt, 7 Ox Bow Lane, Bloomfield, CT 06002; and step-son, Byron P. Hollett, Jr. ’70, 1430 West 131st Street, Carmel, IN 46032.
A Remembrance Fran Hollett was to me, and countless others, our constant encourager. I first met her at the Scholarship Awards Dinner during the spring of my freshman year. As a recipient of the Hollett Family Scholarship, I was to have dinner with a representative of the family. I found the Hollett name in a registry of other families with similar bequests to future scholars. Students have a vague familiarity with many of the names, as they adorn buildings, plaques, rocks and trees around campus. Like many artifacts around campus, they remind us of how connected we are to our past. Fran was one such reminder of Wabash’s history and our last connection to a bygone era. Students stood straighter when Fran was around. So did administrators. You had never seen the Sigma Chi house so clean as when Fran Hollett was in town, and you would get an earful from her if you joined her for dinner in jeans—even if she was the one bringing pizza and beer. She demanded the best from all of us and Wabash. I got to know Fran over the course of those college years, driving her to Wabash from Indianapolis for awards dinners and football games. In the hours we spent in the car, she told stories of how her husband, Barney, played the violin at cocktail parties, how they traveled
and tailgated with the football team. Because she was not getting out much in those days, we would take the long route through the countryside to see the trees and farm houses that always reminded her of her childhood in rural, southern Indiana. During one of those drives, Fran strongly encouraged me to apply to be a Governor’s Fellow. I did so, and found out after accepting the position that Fran had called just about every member of Governor Daniels’ staff to tell them they had to hire me. Eventually Fran could not drive herself anymore. In her last years, I pushed her in a wheelchair. Although her body was failing, her spirit never did. Even near the end, she kept a full social calendar, told the same bawdy jokes, and stayed remarkably current on the latest campus gossip. We even caught the occasional football game online from her nursing home apartment. I was fortunate to be with Fran a couple of weeks before her passing. It was unseasonably warm and she was feeling good, so I took her for a long walk. We caught up, talked about Wabash, and my new job, and we stopped to admire budding flowers. It reminded me of all those times driving back and forth between Crawfordsville and Indianapolis, and I’m glad we took our time that day. Days before hearing from her daughter that Fran had died, I received a birthday card from Fran that made me laugh out loud. She was a mother to so many Wabash men that it was always hard for me to imagine how she kept up with us all. She was the last great matriarch of Wabash College, and those of us who knew her loved her and worked harder to make her proud. —Brent Kent ’09
WI LLIAM BATES “BI LL” DEGITZ ’42 William Bates “Bill” Degitz, 91, died May 9 in Crawfordsville after a battle with cancer. Born November 19, 1920, in Chicago, he was the son of Mary Hibert and William Harrison Degitz. Degitz was a graduate of Bloom Township High School in Chicago Heights, IL. After his graduation from Wabash he served in the U.S. Army in World War II before beginning his career. Degitz earned a master’s from Harvard University and worked at the accounting firm of Earnst & Ernst and Haywood Publishing before returning to his alma mater to join the staff in the Business Office in 1955. Originally appointed assistant comptroller