Charles Chuck Fish ~ Class of 1978


Charles Chuck Fish ~ Class of 1978

Departed ~ 9/19/21


Charles “Chuck” Robert Fish, age 61, of Dayton, passed away on Sunday, September 19th, 2021.

He was born on May 11th, 1960 to Esther Fish (Nickle) and Robert Fish. Growing up, Chuck lived in many places as a military brat but had a special fondness of his time in Thailand. As an adult, Chuck joined the United States Air Force as a Loadmaster. He spent countless hours transporting personnel and cargo of all kinds in C-17’s and C-141’s all over the world. His last assignment took him to Hawaii where he embraced the island life including kayaking across Pearl Harbor to work each day. He was passionate about his work and retired as a Master Sergeant after 25 years of service to his country.

Upon retirement, Chuck moved from Hawaii to Ohio for one sole purpose, to be close to his daughter and her future family. He absolutely adored his daughter and loved her and his four grandchildren more than anything. His hobbies included baseball, motorcycles, trivia, and video games. He had a remarkable memory and was especially fond of baseball statistics and the Oakland A’s.

He was preceded in death by his mother Esther Fish, and son Charles “CJ” Fish. Chuck is survived by his daughter Jeannette (Brad) Dennis, grandchildren Tucker, Harper, Cooper, and Xander Dennis, father Robert “Bob” Fish, siblings Marilyn (John) Mokwa, Edward “Ed” (Rhonda) Fish, Rachelle “Shell” (Nick) Maddaloni, Muriel “Sissy” (John) Hergenroeder, Charlene Glassmyer, Jeannine (Marc) Mason, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

To help the family celebrate his life you are invited to share during his visitation at Conner & Koch Life Celebration Home (92 W. Franklin St. Bellbrook, Ohio 45305) on Friday, October 1, 2021 from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Life Celebration service and military honors will be held immediately following the visitation on Friday, October 1, 2021 at 5:00 pm.

You are welcome to write a condolence, send flowers, plant a tree, and share a story about Charles at

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Susan Becker Lese ~ Class of 1980

Susan Becker ~ Class of 1980

Departed ~ 9/14/2021

Janet Lowe wrote:

It is with a very heavy heart that I share some sad news….Susan Becker ’80 ISB Alumni passed away last night in West Virginia her home of recent years. She chose to enter into hospice care after being diagnosed with a very aggressive ovarian cancer, she left this world comfortable and at peace.

1962-2021 ~ Susan Becker Lese survived by her daughter Rachel, sister Catherine, grand children twins Savannah and Sawyer, and ex. husband/friend Brian Lese.

~As per her wishes there will be no formal services~. Even though she was only in Bangkok for just one year, 1980 as a senior, she always said it was one of the best times in her life.

Farewell blessings for you beautiful free bird ❤.

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Jimmie Humphries Whitcomb ~ Class of 1959

Jim Whitcomb ~ Class of 1959

Departed ~ 3/16/2021

My name is Jane Whitcomb, widow of Jim Whitcomb. I am writing to tell you Jim Whitcomb deceased 3-16-21.

Jimmie Whitcomb

May 2, 1940 – March 16, 2021

Jimmie grew up as an Army brat, traveling so much he never stayed in one school for over a year. When his father gave him a Brownie camera he turned to photography as his best friend. Photography became his hobby when he found himself in Bangkok, Thailand where he graduated from high school. He had freedom to explore a beautiful tropical wonderland and the opportunity to travel deep into the jungle to meet Dr. Doolittle at his hospital. After high school when his father returned to the USA he joined the Army. His hobby became his vocation as he documented the Vietnam war for Stars and Stripes publication. After Vietnam he worked for OSHA Ariel mapping the US. That led to a job at Zinkgraft Photography in San Antonio, TX as a commercial photographer. He had the great honor to be the photographer at Hemisphere World Fair meeting and documenting in photos major events, dignitaries and super stars.

That led to a job at KLRN TV Station Austin, TX which at that time was owned by Lady Bird Johnson. He was frequently at LBJ Ranch photographing world dignitaries and State Department events alongside Lyndon Baines Johnson and his family. At the time he was commuting from San Antonio to Austin and that was hard on a young and growing family. He found it necessary to move closer to Austin.

About the time of the move he was offered a position with Texas Parks and Wildlife as Photo Editor. Traveling and photo documenting flora and fauna alongside biologists and naturalists was his dream job. He traveled the State of Texas exploring every wonder of nature the State offered. But again he was away from his family so when an opportunity to open his own studio and lab, Image House and Whitcomb Photography, in Austin, TX that became a reality.

In the 1980’s the Austin economy took a downward turn. He was forced to close his business and relocate to Houston, TX as the Director of Photography for United Jewelers. When they closed their doors he moved his business to a well established printer in Houston, TX. About that time digital photography was coming into age. He self-taught himself in the early days of digital and was asked by SONY Corporation to test market their new LEAF commercial digital cameras. He was the US product tester for digital cameras and was first in his field again. He became the LEAF camera consultant and trainer for major companies including Lucky Grocery Stores in California and Kroger in Houston, TX.

During the 1990’s and until his death he owned and operated, Image House, WhitWeb Hosting and Studio Houston, a premier commercial photography studio in Houston, TX and Conroe, TX. His many clients included NASA, Wing Stop, All Star Rod and Reels, Miller Hats, Bill Lewis Lures, Stanley Lures, Hartz Chicken, Chantel Cookware, Borne Saddles as well as design architectural photography.

One of his major personal projects was ‘PAINTED CHURCHES OF TEXAS’ exhibit that ran November 19, 2016 through March 5, 2017 at the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures which showcased Jimmie’s photography of more than two dozen intricately painted 19th century churches built by immigrants from Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Poland, France, Spain, Mexico and beyond. Using technology developed for NASA’S Mars Land Rovers, large-scale Gigapan photography, of the painted churches of Texas which revealed astonishing details of Texas’s rich history of immigrant artistry.

Jimmie has published ‘A GUIDE TO PAINTED CHURCHES OF TEXAS,’ A Photographers Journey, Volume #1 with 10 Churches by Jim ‘Whit’ Whitcomb and Jane Fanick Whitcomb.

Jimmie Humphries Whitcomb is survived by Jane Fanick Whitcomb, spouse, four children, son, Guy and Elaine Rosinbaum, three grandchildren, Emily Rosinbaum, Ariel Rosinbaum and Elizabeth Rosinbaum; daughter, Darleen Pooler and Jerry Coesens, three grandchildren, Adam and Liza Sneitzer, Brittany Wagner and Adam Christensen, one great grandchild, and Braxton Pooler; and daughter, Janeece Kessler and Big Dog Ed Talamantez, three grandchildren, Jacob Kessler, James Sandefur, Kyndahl Sandefer and Frankie Ayala; and daughter, Kimberlee and Andrew Dedmon, two children, Tyler and Jaynee Dedmon and Olivia Dedmon.

A service will be held at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery located at 1520 Harry Wurzbach Rd. San Antonio, TX. 78209. The service will be held on May 3rd, 2021 at 2:15pm.

To send a flower arrangement to the family of Jimmie Whitcomb, please click here to visit our Sympathy Store.

Please send pictures (old and new), anecdotes, articles, stories and tributes to isbeings at gmail dot com

Albert Cheung ~ Class of 1972

Albert Cheung ~ Class of 1972

Departed ~ 8/14/2021

I’m saddened to let you know that Albert Cheung, class of “72” lost his battle with Lung Cancer. Albert died in Chicago, ICU with COPD on August 14, 2021. His services will be Aug 28, 2021 at 11am. Services will be conducted at Simkins Funeral Home in Morton, IL

Please send pictures (old and new), anecdotes, articles, stories and tributes to isbeings at gmail dot com

Ann Elizabeth Marsden ~ Class of 1974

Ann Elizabeth Marsden ~ Class of 1974/1975

Departed ~ 8/6/2021


As Posted by Pete Crittenden:

Ann was a close friend of many of our ISB family. She graduated Class of ’74 – she had been at ISB since around 1965, coming from Bangladesh (then East Pakistan). She was well known and loved amongst the ISB crowd of Washington DC and Northern Virginia, and she will be missed by many.

Ann went on to earn a Certificate in French language & translation at l’Ecole Moderne du Commerce et des Langues in Lausanne, Switzerland. She then studied Liberal arts at the American College of Barcelona, Spain, earning her Associate degree. Later Ann earned a Bachelor degree in Latin American Studies and Business Administration at Flagler College, and more recently Ann achieved her Master’s of Business Administration at the George Washington University School of Business, with studies in Finland and Turkey. A true International kid, Ann spoke French and Spanish, fluently.

Ann is survived by her daughter Julia and her son Don. Ann was a Christian but she observed and respected the ways of Judaism, seeking to understand and practice Christianity in the ways of the first generation of Christians. Ann’s work on this plane is done, she is now in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“May her memory be a blessing.”


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Mary Lou Kuehn ~ Class of 1967

Mary Lou Kuehn ~ Class of 1967

Departed ~ 7/25/2021

More sad news….I had an email from Kathryn Kuehn O’Leary ’68 that her sister, Mary Lou Kuehn ’67 (and my very close friend senior year at ISB)passed away last Sunday, July 25, 2021.

Kathy wrote: “Mary Lou was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, but we thought she had a good chance of survival. We were pretty shocked when the doctors told us it was time to move her to “comfort care” which was the result of complications from the disease……Rosie (Mary Lou’s daughter) is about to deliver Mary Lou’s first grandchild. It was heart wrenching that Mary Lou did not survive to see this precious little gift that she was so thrilled about and anxiously awaiting.”

I’ve had several email exchanges with Kathy…a memorial service will be held but it may be a while as Rosie settles into motherhood and has a chance to plan the service.

Kathy knows that I’m sharing this news with you.

Marti Doggett Class of 1967

William Bill Clarke wrote:

So very sad to hear about the passing of ISBer Mary Lou Kuehn, Class of 1967, we were friends at ISB in 1967, and we keep in touch after Bangkok, I only have one letter I could find of her life and feelings in 1968, she was a good student, carrying a 3.333 QPA, and for a freshman, that was quite an undertaking by the academic standards then, she had a really cute sense of humor, and we laughed a lot together at ISB, in Bangkok, my condolences to the entire Kuehn family, I had seen Kathy Kuehn at the San Diego reunion, God Bless Mary Lou Kuehn

Please send pictures (old and new), anecdotes, articles, stories and tributes to isbeings at gmail dot com

Cynthia (Cyndi) Gearin Hilgartner ~ Class of 1984

Cyndi Gearin ~ Class of 1984

Departed ~ 6/12/21

Cynthia Hilgartner

July 21st, 1966 – June 12th, 2021


Cynthia (Cyndi) Gearin Hilgartner passed away on June 12th. She was the proud and dedicated mother of two boys, Nicholas and Benjamin; and a devoted and loving wife, sister, daughter, niece, aunt, and friend. She touched those who came to know her with her genuine warmth, kindness, and humor.

Born the older of a pair of twin girls in Norwalk Connecticut on 21 July 1966, she spent her early childhood in Brookfield Connecticut. At 10, her family moved to Taiwan and for the next 8 years, they moved throughout  Southeast Asia from Taiwan, to Manila, Kuala Lumpur, and Bangkok, where she graduated from the International School of Bangkok (ISB) in 1984. Cyndi enjoyed growing up in these different cultures and fondly reminisced about riding bikes through the rice paddies in Taipei, beach vacations in the Philippines, delicious food, including from street vendors, and rock concerts in Bangkok. She was a welcoming friend in these changing environments, a cheerleader for both ISKL and ISB, and editor of ISB’s literary magazine.

Cyndi attended Fairfield University, graduating in 1988 with degrees in English and Education; and married her college sweetheart on October 7th 1989. She began her next adventure as an Army spouse, making a home and raising her two boys in Germany, Georgia, Kentucky, California, Tokyo, Okinawa, Seoul, and Alaska.

She found joy in helping others. While stationed in Germany, Cyndi was employed helping soldiers and family members transitioning from military to civilian life. This experience led her to pursue her passion as a counselor. Throughout long stretches as a solo-parent during deployments and training exercises, she returned to school, receiving masters degrees from the University of Maryland in Educational Counseling, and the University of Alaska in Therapeutic Counseling. She worked within the Department of Defense Dependent School system as an English Teacher and Guidance Counselor in Japan and Korea. She also worked as a Grief Counselor for Hospice of Anchorage, AK, as a therapist for Catholic Charities of Arlington, VA, and most recently as a Licensed Professional Counselor for Upper Bay Counseling and Support Services in Maryland. A committed volunteer, she volunteered her time with Shatterproof, along with local charities involved in fighting the opioid crisis.  While residing in Shenyang, in northeast China, she served as Community Liaison Officer for the U.S. Consulate; and she helped set up the Catholic Archdiocese of Shenyang’s hospice-care system.

Cyndi was a gifted and accomplished artist. She developed an affinity for and mastered local arts wherever she and her family lived. In Kentucky, she was awed by Amish handiwork and became an avid quilter and cross-stitcher, creating her own beautiful and intricate designs. Many of her close friends and family members cherish these stunning quilts. In Japan she embraced the Ikebana tradition of subtle and expressive flower display and won awards for her Ikebana arrangements. And in China, she studied Shanshuihua and created several of these ink and brush landscapes. Her home was a colorful, beautiful fusion of local arts and furniture, treasured pieces from their family travels, and her own arts and crafts.

She was an instant and loyal friend. Those who know her can hear her laughter, remember her mischievous humor, and see her warm smile. She made life an adventure for her boys, welcoming their friends into the home and instilling a sense of wonder and curiosity in all the new discoveries they encountered throughout their childhood.

Cyndi is survived by her husband Lee and their son Ben; her sister Elizabeth (Betsy) and her children Jack and Olivia; and her father John. She is predeceased by her son Nick and her mother Mary Ann, whom she now joins in Heaven. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles and the many, many friends whose lives she touched throughout her work and travel.

A Celebration of Life will be held on 7 August 2021 at 2pm in Arlington VA, celebrating the lives of Cynthia and her son Nicholas. Please contact or if planning to attend and we will provide directions. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Shatterproof ( or Covenant House (

Please send pictures (old and new), anecdotes, articles, stories and tributes to isbeings at gmail dot com




Rudolfo “Rudy” Xavier ~ Class of 1962

Rudy Xavier ~ Class of 1962

Departed ~ 5/14/21

 Our Mission

The Coalition provides educational programs and resources to facilitate and advance the efforts of our affiliated organizations in order to promote and advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Become a Member

Support the Diversity Coalition San Luis Obispo County by becoming a member.

AS THE CITY OF SAN LUIS OBISPO’S POLICE DEPARTMENT held a special meeting in mid-July to address hate crimes and hate speech—after a man was arrested for threatening his neighbors—they have a new ally.

As of May 2019 the Five Cities Diversity Coalition has expanded their reach with a new name and new members throughout the region, rebranding as the Diversity Coalition San Luis Obispo County.

The group’s profile has risen dramatically in the two years since the installation of the “Arboring Our Roots of Diversity” sculpture at the Arroyo Grande High School, a project that brought together diverse contributors under an initiative that started out as an anti-bullying program.

The group’s now president, Rudy Xavier, explained at the time how things got started for him joining the group. “Every one of my early formative years through high school were filled with serious prejudice and moderate-to-serious direct injury. I have been shot at, stabbed and suffered many wounds almost exclusively based on racial bigotry,” he wrote, “My friend, former Arroyo Grande City Manager Steve Adams, knew all of these things about me, and when he told me about an organization that sponsored anti-bullying he had me at ‘bullying’… one of our key services is to regularly hire anti-bullying speakers and speak out about micro-aggressions, things like hate speech based on characteristics such as gender, sexual preference, religion, ethnic origin, etc.”

The monument, featuring themes of culture, community, diversity, heritage, education, peace, individuality, and unity, was the culmination of the Arroyo Grande community’s long look in the mirror after a cross burning at the home of a mixed-race family in 2011. it’s a very public statement of community values which students now see on a daily basis.

Though Xavier grew up in a significantly different time and place than the lives led by Central Coast teens—being of Portuguese ancestry in Bangkok, Thailand as it was 60 years ago—he said, he understood the significant emotional events that shape the world view of youth.

As the group’s membership base has expanded, it became clearer that the Five Cities weren’t the only local areas where intolerance has reared its head. Students at Cal Poly have recently dealt with the implications of their peers deciding to dress in what couldbe construed as “Blackface” during fraternity events, holding parties with sexist and misogynistic overtones, and in the previous decade an incident of vandalism in which a noose was found at an outbuilding as well as swastikas appearing on doors.

“We’ve had a lot of requests from San Luis Obispo leadership which indicated we had a broader scope we needed to address,” Xavier said recently as the group arranged to bring a speaker to the San Luis Coastal school district to discuss the Holocaust and elements of religious intolerance.

The group was funding expansion into the San Luis school system with help from an SLO Community Foundation grant, he added. They’re also working on issues affecting the LGBTQ community. Photos of their attendance at the first 5 Cities Hope Pride Festival held at Heritage Park in Arroyo Grande on June 1 are available now at the Coalition’s new website,

“Our most recent speaker was Jessica Lynn, who experienced extreme discrimination. As a transgender individual,” Xavier explained, “This would be more than 700 times she’s told her story to an audience but it’s eye-opening as most people have no idea how painful it can be to be born a certain way and to not be accepted by others for who and what you are.”

Anti-bullying, “is still a huge plank for us,” Xavier said, adding that as the group gears up for summer and fall programs, actual membership growth has gone up by nearly a third since the announcement of their expanded coverage area, “but numbers have not been our focus. Our focus is on ‘mindshare’ growth of the mind. That’s the important part of what we’re doing. ”

As the group goes from a finite population base of 47,000 to encompass a region of 286,000 people, Xavier noted, “I’m very proud of our elected leaders. Social justice issues are not partisan.”

Camas Frank has been a San Luis Obispo County print journalist for over a decade. First drawn to the Central Coast for a stint at Cal Poly, he’s focused on community affairs, people and technology.


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Peter Gissel ~ Class of 1982

Peter Gissel ~ Class of 1982

Departed ~ 5/25/21


His daughter Olivia wrote:

The world has lost truly one of a kind. My Dad was a shining light and a guiding force for our family. There was no one with greater vitality for life, no one more caring, no one who could make me laugh harder, no one more passionate, driven and hard working. There is not a single thing this man wouldn’t have done for those he loved and cared for and for those he barely knew at all. He has taught me so much and shaped me in so many ways but given no greater lesson than the one in how to face adversity with the fight he has given the last few years. His mindset, bravery and sheer determination throughout it all was nothing short of amazing. I feel so lost and am so devastated to think of all the things in life he will not be there to experience with us but I am so grateful to have had 25 amazing years with this man being my father. Although his life was cut way too short, he lived a life of many lifetimes and I feel blessed to have been along for part of the ride. May he rest peacefully my hero, my role model, my partner in crime, my best friend.

To the Last Viking, jeg elsker dig for evigt ❤️





Please send pictures (old and new), anecdotes, articles, stories and tributes to isbeings at gmail dot com