Marjorie Holmes 31
Inspirational author and columnist Marjorie Holmes 31, often called
the patron saint of housewives, died Marc 13, 2002,
in Manassas, Va. She was 91.
Her 32 books included a fictional trilogy of the life of Mary and
Joseph, with the first book, Two From Galilee, becoming one of the
10 best-selling novels of 1972. Of the books success she said,
I made the Holy Family as real as the folks next door.
After her first husband died of cancer in 1979 , she wrote God
an Vitamins, about her efforts to prolong his life, and To
Help You Through the Hurting, about andling grief. George Schmieler,
a grateful reader who found the book helpful following the death
of his wife, contacted her and the two eventually married. He died
She contributed articles to numerous periodicals including McCalls,
Readers Digest, and Ladies Home Journal;
wrote columns for the Washington Evening Star and Womans
Day; and won awards including Woman of Achievement from the
National Federation of Press Women (1972) and Celebrity of the Year
from Women in Communications (1973). Cornell awarded her an honorary
degree in 1998.
She is survived by three children, a sister, six grandchildren,
and seven great-grandchildren.
Mary Lou Downs McIlrat 38 Mary
Lou Downs McIlrath 38, a businesswoman who started a foundation
to support suburban shelters for abused women, died Jan. 16, 2002,
in Park Ridge, Ill. She was 84.
Raised on a Wapello, Iowa, farm, she attended Cornell before graduating
from Iowa State University. She taught home economics in Iowa while
her husband was stationed overseas during World War II. In the early
60s, the couple helped found the Dry Storage Corp. in Chicago.
It later grew to become DSC Logistics in Des Plaines, Ill. A quiet
and unassuming community activist, she established the Mary Lou
Downs Foundation in 1993, which contributed to transitional shelters
for homeless suburban women and ch ildren and victims of family
She is survived by a daugh ter, a sister, two grandchildren, and
Melvin Hetland 42
Editors note: It was brought to our attention that the
Cornell Report neglected to appropriately recognize the passing
four years ago of this ded icated educator. We offer this tribute
now, with our apologies to his family and students.
Emeritus education professor Melvin Hetland '42, who helped initiate
Cornells One-Course-At- A-Time curriculum, died June 13, 1998,
in Asheville, N.C. He was 77.
Following service as a U.S. Navy officer during World War II, he
spent 21 years as a public school teacher, counselor, and curriculum
director. He earned a masters degree from the University of
Michigan and a doctorate in education from Columbia University.
In 1965 he returned to Cornell to teach in the education department.
After retiring in 1986, he continued teaching as a volunteer at
an inner-city Asheville school.
During his tenure at Cornell, he and professor of German Alan DuVal
made a momentous trip to Colorado College where they investigated
the block plan. Upon their return, they helped initiate plans for
a similar program at Cornell.
Hetland is survived by his wife, Edith Rauchenecker Hetland
'42; five children, Norman Hetland '68, Paul Hetland
'69, Philip Hetland '71, Ruth Hetland '73, and
Lois Hetland '75; a sister, Marjory Ann Hetland Trigg
'45; seven grandchildren; nieces and nephews.
Charles Jacot 48
Former admissions director Charles Jacot 48, whose most memorable
moment as a standout athlete was scoring a touchdown against eventual
Big Ten champ Indiana in 1947, died May 21, 2002, in Liberty ille,
Ill. He was 76.
A member of Cornells Athletic Hall of Fame, he won 11 letters
in three sports, captained the football and basketball teams as
a senior, made the All-Midwest Conference team in both sports, and
was a member of the winning two-mile relay team at the Drake Relays.
He was a high school coach at Hampton, Iowa, before returning for
his first stint in Cornells admissions office. After earning
a masters degree from the Uni ersity of Iowa, he left to work
in student affairs at the University of Delaware and Kansas State.
In 1958 he became Cornells director of admissions until 1975.
He was later Vice president of the National Merit Scholarship Corp.
He is survived by his wife, Betty Sahs Jacot 52; two
children; a brother (wife Elizabeth Swaney Jacot 40);
and two grandchildren.