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In Memoriam: Coleman Jewett (BS61, MA72) F

or more than 45 years, visitors

to the Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market in Kerrytown admired the pine furniture made by Coleman Jewett, and many sat for a spell on one of Jewett’s Adirondack chairs to chat with the charismatic craftsman. Jewett, an educator, basketball player, historian and Washtenaw Dairy regular as well as an artist, died in 2013 at the age of 78, leaving his hometown more comfortable than he found it. Jewett (BS61, MA72) was born in Ann Arbor to a family that has been in the area since the 1850s. After graduating from Eastern, he began his career as a teacher and became assistant principal at what was then Tappan Junior High School. Reflecting on his passing, former students reminisced about

Others got that same

feeling from meeting Jewett at weekly pick- up basketball games at the Ann Arbor YMCA or the after-school programs he helped organize there or the Peace Neighborhood Center, whose board he served on. He had an uncanny memory for names and faces, and often surprised former students by recognizing them as adults. But for many Ann

left to right: Coleman Jewett, Michael Jewett and Webster Kirksey (BS66)

Arborites, it was as a builder of bookcases, crates, humorous signs and

his van covered with Looney Tunes characters, the “Fun Nights” he hosted at the school, his warm smile and big afro hairstyle, and the support and encouragement he gave to kids in need of it. Interviewed for the Ann Arbor News in January 2013, one of those students, Dave Morris, said of Jewett, ““He had this ability to make every kid feel like he mattered.”

those Adirondack chairs that Jewett left his mark. Jewett’s son, Michael, host of a jazz radio show on WEMU, estimated that his father sold over a hundred chairs a year, not to mention his chairs at local YMCA camps and a hand-crafted bench in the Farmers’ Market office. That’s a lot of folks who owe their comfort—and their warm memories—to one man. Now there are plans to memorialize Jewett in a way that

would surely make him smile. The Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority is raising money to erect a sculpture at the Market: a pair of bronze Adirondack chairs. Once the chairs are installed, folks will be able to sit a spell and remember Ann Arborite Coleman Jewett. 3

Faculty and Staff Memoriam

Thelma P. Albritton, emeritus faculty who taught in the Speech & Hearing Pathology Department from 1961 through 1984, passed away Sept. 14 in Matthews, N.C.

Richard T. Fairfield taught printmaking in the Fine Arts Department, retiring in 2008 after working 45 years. He passed away Oct. 22 in Ypsilanti.

Melvin C. Fuller, retired police captain who worked at EMU from 1964-1986, passed away in Ypsilanti, Nov. 24

Elaine C. Godfrey, emeritus faculty who taught elementary art education from 1962 until her retirement in 1983, passed away Sept. 30 in Saline.

George H. Grimes retired professor for learning resources and technologies who ended his career in 2000, passed away in Ann Arbor, Jan. 2

Hans Rehder, who worked on the grounds crew, was killed in an automobile accident on December 23, 2014 in Saline.

Eastern | SPRING 2015 33

Photo courtesy of Michael Jewett

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