Human Resources

Western Illinois University Employee Memorial

The annual planting in the Memorial Tree Grove was established in Fall 2003, following a recommendation by members of Western's American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 417, with support from the Civil Service Employees Council, the Council of Administrative Personnel, Faculty Senate and University administration.

The annual ceremony includes one tree planted in memory of all employees who passed away during the preceding year. Honorees include employees who die while either actively working, on disability, on workers compensation or on an approved leave from the University. To date, Western has honored 52 individuals.

In Memoriam


Vivian "Jeannie" Coeur - AOD Counseling Specialist, Beu Health Center

Keisuke "Kei" Nozaki - Geographic Information System (GIS) Manager

Charles "Chuck" R. Slater - Building Service Worker, Facilities Management


Yvonne Zaborac - Applications Programmer IV, Administrative Information Management Systems (AIMS)


Patricia Anderson - Associate Professor, Anthropology

Gregory "Mitch" Carey - Building Service Foreman, Facilities Management

Christie Eyler - Administrative Assistant, University Relations

Scott Hansen - Associate Professor, Management and Marketing

Lori (Wust) Menke - Office Manager, (former) Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies


Coy Abernathy - Building Operations Engineer, Facilities Management

David DeBoeuf - Professor, Finance

Krystal Scott - Police Officer, Office of Public Safety


James Buffalo, Jr. - Building Service Worker, Facilities Management


Michael Hott - Architectural Superintendent, Facilities Management


Lawrence L. Andrew - Assistant Professor, Computer Sciences

Francis Raymond E. Barlis - IT Technical Associate, Administrative Information Management Systems

Bryce M. Dexter - Development Director, College of Arts & Sciences

William C. "Bill" Downin - Assistant Superintendent of Building Maintenance, Facilities Management

Timothea T. Gentry-Harris - Telephone Operator I, Telecommuncation Services

Jeanine C. Pollmeier - Admissions/Records Supervisor, Admissions


Laura S. Cripe - Chief Clerk, Department of English

Cindy J. Dooley - Associate Dean/Professor, College of Education & Human Services

Margaret Denise Sprinkle - Route Driver, University Printing & Mailing Center

Andrew W. Taylor - Instructor, Law Enforcement & Justice Administration

Susan J. Vaughn - Child Development Associate, Infant & Preschool Center


Robert R. Bahr - Physical Science Technical Assistant, Chemistry

Dennis Bliss - Assistant Professor, Law Enorcement & Justice Administration

Joseph L. Cassidy - Steam & Power Plant II, Heating Plant

Kevin Hazell - Painter, Facilities Management

Jack Koontz - Building Service Worker, Building Services

Sherry J. LaVingon - Clerk, UHDS-Residence Life

William R. Rehling - Associate Professor, Law Enforcement & Justice Administration

Rebecca Schluter - Office Support Specialist, Intercollegiate Athletics

Bart Shanklin - Professor/Director, School of Music


Diane Garlisch - Secretary IV, Student Judicial Programs


Joyce McCormick - Cashier II, Union Service Center


Christina Noble - IT Manager, Administrative Information Management Systems

Michael Ogle - Transportation Manager, Transportation Services

Michael K. Yadgar - Broadcasting Engineer, University Television


Jeffrey L. Herrick - Building Service Worker, Physical Plant


Tara Chambers - Office Support Specialist, VP for Student Services

Julie Flanagan - Library Operations Associate, Library

Pam Hansen - Office Support Associate, Physical Plant

Richard Nott - Building Service Worker, Physical Plant

Marianne Woods - Associate Professor, Kinesiology


Brenda Fauls - Associate Professor, Music

David B. Herbst - Building Service Worker, Building Services

Stan Hyman - Executive Assistant/Head Baseball Coach, Athletics

Victor Kemper - Instructor, English & Journalism

David M. Smith - Purchasing Officer II, Purchasing


James P. Josvai - Building Service Worker, Building Services


John Van Dyke - Building Service Worker, Physical Plant

Lawrence Zoochi - Associate Professor, Communication Sciences & Disorders


Dixie Castlebury - Institutional Research Data Specialist, Institutional Research & Planning

Jenna V. Draper - Building Service Worker, Physical Plant

Darrell Dykstra - Professor, History

Joseph M. Protsman - Associate Director, Athletics


Anna V. Skelton - Police Telecommunicator, Office of Public Safety


Jacqueline D. Van Tine-Schwigen - Secretary IV, Military Science


Randall L. Prichard - Building Service Worker, Physical Plant

Ronald E. Oakman - Building Service Worker, Physical Plant

Robert J. Shaffer - Auditorium Technical Director, Theatre


James Butterworth - Dean, College of Fine Arts & Communication

Sudir Gokhale - Professor, Mathematics

memorial tree

Trees that have been planted in the Memorial Tree Grove include: Redbud, Magnolia, Red Horse Chestnut, Paperbark Maple, Blue Spruce, Korean Pine, European Beech, Ivory Silk Japanese Lilac, and Magnolia. There are markers placed at the base of each tree indicating the names and years of those honored.

The courtyard was built in 2009 by WIU’s Landscape Maintenance in-house staff. It was Vice President Emeritus Jackie Thompson’s initial vision that a seating area and gathering space was needed to accommodate the many visitors to the Memorial Tree Grove each spring during the ceremony. The courtyard is constructed of brick pavers and a limestone marker was added in 2013. The plaque was added in 2017, two benches were added in 2012; both of which were provided by WIU’s Foundation Department.

Western has a “Campus Beautification Foundation Fund” in which individuals are always welcome to contribute funds for future campus beautification endeavors.