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Alumni News Obituaries

Vernon served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was a decorated veteran and received the Purple Heart. An edu- cator, he retired in the early '80s and moved to Jackson Hole, and later to Casper.

Elizabeth “Betty” Richey, Class of ’51, Burke, passed away Jan. 28, 2007. She was an educator for 44½ years. The last 11 years of her career were spent as principal.

Myrle (Newman) Breck, Class of ’55, Groton, passed away April 3, 2007. During World War II, she worked at a radio repair shop. She taught in a one-room school in South Dakota and later taught in Washington,

D.C., Walnut Grove, Calif., and River Falls, Wisc. Returning to Groton, she became the state’s first female super- intendent of schools in the Andover public school system. In the late 60s, she changed careers to become a contracting officer for the federal government.

Marlene M. (Nelson) Johnson, attended, ’55, Burbank, passed away Feb. 8, 2007. Marlene taught for seven years in country schools near Spink and also in Lead where she was the prin- cipal. She retired in 1997 after 27 years as Clerk of Courts and Magistrate in Union County.

Nellie (McDermaid) Roberts, attended ’56,

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Black Hills State University Alumni Magazine Page 19 Clare Meier

lare Meier, widow of Josef Meier, founder of the Black Hills Passion Play, passed away in her home Sunday evening, June 3, 2007 at the conclusion of the season's opening performance. Margery Clare Hume Meier was born Feb. 16, 1914. She began her performing career at the age of 6 and later joined Josef Meier's company of the Luenen Passion Play, playing the role of Mary Magdalene. She continued in that role until 1988, giving some 7,000 performances. Through the years, she and her family pro- vided generous scholarship support to the Black Hills Summer Institute of the Arts and to the Clare and Josef Meier Young Vocal Artists Competition. She was always very involved in her daughter Johanna's singing career, and traveled frequently across the country and abroad to hear her per- formances.


In 2003, BHSU named their new music build- ing Clare and Josef Meier Hall, in honor of their years of community support for the Arts. She is survived by her daughter, Johanna Meier, and her son-in-law, Guido Della Vecchia. BHSU and the Meier family have a long his- tory of partnership and collaboration.

Clare Meier (seated) with her daughter Johanna Meier and son-in-law Guido Della Vecchia at the grand opening cer- emony of Clare and Josef Meier Hall.

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