Richard B. Wolfe 27
Longtime Mount Vernon, Iowa, attorney and community leader Richard B. (R.B.) Wolfe 27
died Oct. 27, 2002, in Mount Vernon. He was 96.
After graduating from the University of Iowa Law School in 1930, he began practicing law in
Mount Vernon. He and a brother, Dan Wolfe 25, were partners in the law firm Wolfe and Wolfe;
from 1976 until R.B.s retirement in 1996, he associated with his son, Douglas Wolfe 72, in the
firm of Wolfe Law Offices.
R.B. served as Mount Vernon city attorney for more than 30 years, past president of the
Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce and Mount Vernon school board, director of the Mount
Vernon Bank and Trust Co. for 27 years, and past chair of the board of trustees of the Mount
Vernon United Methodist Church. He was a Republican precinct committeeman for more than 25
years and attended the 1964 Republican National Convention in San Francisco as a delegate at
large from the 2nd Congressional District.
Besides his son, he is survived by a daughter; six grandchildren; four brothers, including
Thomas Wolfe Jr. 50 and John Wolfe 51; and two sisters, including Elizabeth Wolfe Kroul 47.
His wife, Caroline Weseman Wolfe 31, and his brother Dan preceded him in death.
S. Francis Williams 32
S. Francis Williams 32, part of a five-generation Cornell dynasty and co-founder of a California
hospital, died June 29, 2002, in El Cajon, Calif. He was 91.
He cultivated a love for chemistry at Cornell, becoming one of the rare grads to earn bachelors
and masters degrees. After medical school at the University of Iowa, he began a 22-year career
as a Navy physician. When he retired from the Navy in 1960, he joined a group of physicians in
founding the El Cajon Valley Hospital, which he served as chief of radiology.
He is survived by his wife, Faye; two daughters, including Barbara Williams Reisweber 61;
two sons, George Williams 69 and Howard Williams 73; 10 grandchildren, including Cornell
senior Amy Williams; and six great-grandchildren.
Other Cornellians in his family included his grandmother, Mary Fancher Williams, who
attended Cornell in the 1870s; his father, the Rev. Sylvester Vernon Williams 01; his sister,
Marjorie Williams Weber 35, and her husband, Karl Weber 37. His grandfather, Sylvester Niles
Williams, was a professor of civil engineering at Cornell for 40 years.
Gordon W. Ellison 34
Gordon W. Ellison 34, a national championship wrestler who was never pinned in his four
years at Cornell, died Sept. 14, 2002, in Mount Vernon, Iowa. He was 92.
Raised on the family farm north of Mount Vernon, he brought his work ethic to the wrestling
mat, where he won the national AAU heavyweight title in 1933, placed second in 1934, and third
in 1936. He was an alternate on the 1936 Olympic team. He was inducted into the Cornell Sports
Hall of Fame in 1972.
He worked as a claim agent for Union Pacific Railroad, drove tour buses in Glacier National
Park, farmed in Linn and Johnson counties, was a cattle buyer, and retired in 1975 after 15 years
as a right-of-way agent for the Iowa Department of Transportation.
He is survived by his wife, Dorothy, an honorary alumna; two sons; two daughters; a sister; a
brother, Arlo Ellison 44; 10 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Cornellians Myron
Ellison 28, a brother, and Florence Ellison Gideonson 29, a sister, preceded him in death.