1950's In Memoriam: Alumni

Joseph R. Osborne, B.S. 1949, D.D.S 1954, died Oct. 17, 2015. He was 88.

Hazel J. Garrison Bonner, B.S. 1950, died March 8, 2016. After graduating from Howard, Bonner earned a master’s degree from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University. Bonner, her husband, and three daughters moved to Hampton, Virginia. Bonner had a distinguished career at Hampton University. After 27 years, she retired as professor emerita of biology and former dean of the Graduate College. She was an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Gamma Upsilon Omega Chapter. She loved patronizing the arts, traveling the world and spending time with her family. She was 87.

Reginald S. Christian, D.D.S., 1950, died April 6, 2015. After graduating from Howard, Christian married his college sweetheart, Faye Yvonne Lee, who preceded him in death. He served two years as a veteran of U.S. Army Dental Corps, becoming a U.S. citizen after his Army service. Christian was a part-time professor at Howard for many years. He was 90.

Robert Vincent Branch Sr., D.D.S. 1956, died Jan. 12, 2016. After graduating from Howard, Branch worked as a lab technician for the City of Philadelphia Department of Public Health. He then opened his own private practice, where he worked as a dentist and dental supervisor for nearly five decades. He was a member of Zion Baptist Church and passionate about serving the community. He was 86.

Heanon M. Wilkins, B.A. 1952, died Dec. 16, 2015. After graduating from Howard, Wilkins taught Spanish and French for several years in high schools and junior college in Florida. He then earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. Wilkins also taught at Miami University-Oxford, becoming the university’s first tenure-track African-American professor. After his 30-year career at Miami, Wilkins was awarded the Benjamin Harrison Medallion Award for distinguished teaching, research and service. He was 88.

Ulysses Cameron, Ph.D., B.M.E. 1952, died July 28, 2015. After graduating from Howard, Cameron enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. He was stationed in England, where he married his sweetheart, Ida. When he and his wife returned to the U.S., Cameron earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. Later, he worked as the director of the Media Center and Library at the University of the District of Columbia. He was 84.

Beatrice Gilkes, M.A. 1954, died July 26, 2016. After graduating from Howard, Gilkes taught music theory at Howard University’s School of Music. She also taught music at McKinley Technical High School in Washington, D.C., for 42 years. Gilkes was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

Alvin L. Henry, Pre-law Studies, 1956, died April 6, 2016. After graduating from Howard, Henry enlisted in the U.S. Army. He received an honorable discharge and a Distinguished Unit Citation. Henry then returned to Washington, D.C., where he worked with the Interstate Commerce Commission, before graduating with honors from law school. When Henry joined the Houston City Attorney’s Office, he became the first African American to serve in a professional capacity at City Hall. He continued to serve the city through service on boards, commissions, committees and social human services organizations. He was a life member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., and the NAACP. He was 82.

Oliver Nathaniel Clark, M.A. 1957, died April 20, 2015. Clark honorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force in 1950. After graduating from Howard, he worked for NASA until his retirement in 1984. Clark volunteered for the Whitfield Gardens Association and his church, St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church. He was 86.

Barbara Y. Cruse Cobb, Nursing Diploma 1958, B.S.N. 1973, died Jan. 10, 2016. After graduating from Howard, Cobb continued working as a nurse at Freedmen’s Hospital. She then began her 25-year service with D.C.’s Department of Health and Human Services until her retirement in the early 1990s. Cobb loved to travel, making multiple trips to Africa, Asia, Australia and the Caribbean Islands, to name a few. She was an active member of Power Talk, International Training in Communication, the Blue Ridge Region Council 10 and the Rogers and Thompson Family Reunion Inc. She was 80.

Arlene Gillespie McKeithan, Nursing Diploma 1958, died Jan. 30, 2016.

Roy H. Sandstrom, M.D. 1958, died Oct. 1, 2015. He was 86.

Walter J. Ross, B.S. 1959, D.D.S. 1963, died April 1, 2016. Ross fought in the Korean War. After graduating from Howard, he opened a private dental practice. He also held dental positions in the D.C. Department of Human Resources and taught at the Howard University College of Dentistry, culminating his service as chair of the Department of Restorative Dentistry. He was 85. C.W. Terrance Young, B.S.E.E. 1959, died Oct. 8, 2015. He was 82.

Arthur Adelbert Davis, B.S. 1950, died Feb. 14, 2015. He was 89.




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