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December 15, 2023

Alumni Notes | December 2023

Publications & Celebrations

Thomas and Kathy Applin smile for photo. Underneath it has the Salvation Army Logo and Faces of the Army, Thomas & Kathy Applin, offices.

Thomas Applin ‘80 (Religion & Philosophy) and his wife Kathy have retired after 41 years of ministry in The Salvation Army. Their most recent assignment was as Divisional Secretaries for Greater Cleveland, overseeing all ministry components of The Salvation Army in Cuyahoga County Ohio. They will continue to be engaged in ministry as  pastoral care officers, supporting officers (clergy) in upstate New York.

Rachel Putnam Woodward headshot.

Rachel (Putman) Woodard ’15 (Mathematics) Class of 2023 graduate of the Advanced Technical Leadership Program at Lockheed Martin.


Leon Lutz headshot

Leon Lutz ’61 (History) Born Feb 22, 1934, to Russell and Alice Lutz in Union, Pennsylvania. He achieved a Master's Degree after studying theology and history. He worked with Radio Shack as a Toy Buyer for 37 years. Leon played the guitar and was active in the church. Survivors - Sons, Russell, Elvin and Leon Lutz; and three grandchildren.

Nancy Sassaman headshot

Nancy (Brest) Sassaman ’59 (Music Education) Nancy was a gifted musician, athlete, and student who was the drum major at Sharon HS, PA and crowned homecoming queen for Roberts Wesleyan University, Rochester, NY. She was in Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society in college and sang in the traveling A Capella choir too. Marcus Bailey Sassaman and Nancy were married in 1959. After graduation, Nancy was a HS music teacher in Livonia, NY before teaching at Colton, OR while Marcus graduated from Western Evangelical Seminary. They pastored several Free Methodist and Evangelical Covenant churches for over 35 years (Mount Vernon, WA, Dover, NJ, Snohomish, WA, Seattle, WA, and Portland, OR). Nancy also was a Public-School Music Specialist where her elementary, middle school, and high school music programs set the gold standard for the Beaverton School District. In addition to leading church music ministries and teaching public school music, she taught private piano lessons from age 25 to 80. She is loved by thousands of her piano students across the country. She loved every day of teaching music and piano! Nancy leaves a legacy of raising her three wonderful sons and watching their achievements. Further, she was a friend and counselor to all, and God clearly gifted her talents in music and love of children. She knew from the third grade she wanted to become a music teacher and she knew from age four she wanted to play the piano. Faith, family, music, and more recently, sports were her life. Nancy is survived by her husband, Marcus; her brothers Robert Brest and Thomas Brest; her sons, Nathan, Jonathan, and David; 8 grandchildren; as well as many other friends.

Jeffry Stell headshot

Jeffry Stell 85’ (Music) Jeffry Woodrow Stell went home to be with his Savior on December 12th 2023 after a long battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his family. Jeffry is predeceased by his parents Douglas and Harriet Stell. He is survived by his loving wife and best friend Nanette (Dempsey) Stell, his three loving children, Lauren Bell, Justin Bell, and Sydney Stell, as well as his granddaughter Adrianna. He is fondly remembered by his brother Douglas (Susan) Stell, and his Aunt Pati Demont, loving mother in law, Jean Dempsey, well-loved in laws Susan (Doug) Caveney, Chris (Diane) Dempsey, and Colleen (Joe) Cunningham, as well as many nieces, nephews, dear friends and the many students he helped over the years. Jeffry was born on September 27th 1961, in Binghamton, NY. He spent most of his childhood in Newark, NY where he attended Newark High School. He went on to attend Eastman School of music, received a degree in Vocal Performance from Roberts Wesleyan College, as well as a masters degree in Counseling from SUNY Brockport.

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