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Dr. Marion T. Jackson, 85, of Terre Haute passed away at Brookdale of Ft. Wayne on Thursday, February 7, 2019. He was born near Versailles on August 19, 1933 the son of Marshall and Estelle Fox Jackson.

He was married to Jaleh Jorjani on June 1, 1985 and she preceded him in death in June of 2016. Survivors include two daughters Arshia Myers of Dayton, Ohio, and Grousha (Jason) Birkenbeul of Ft. Wayne; four granddaughters Elise and Libby Myers, and Mia and Claire Birkenbeul; also his sister-in-law Eva Fern Jackson of Versailles. He was also preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Willard, Kenneth, and Hubert Jackson, and his sisters Naomi Ruth Carter, Margaret Jobst, and Neva Rea.

Mr. Jackson was a 1951 graduate of Versailles High School and began his working career at Coca-Cola in Ft. Wayne in June of 1951. He served with the US Naval Reserve from 1953 to 1955 aboard the USS Currituck, a seaplane tender based at Norfolk, Virginia. In 1955 he was employed in Ft. Wayne as a technical writer in the Talos ground-to-air missile program at the Farnsworth Electronics Company. He received his B.S. degree in Conservation of Natural Resources from Purdue University in 1961 and received his PhD degree in plant ecology from Purdue in 1964.

He was a former professor at Moorhead State University and in September of 1964 began a 37-year career at Indiana State University in Terre Haute as a professor in the Life Science department, also teaching part time at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College near Terre Haute. Mr. Jackson authored two books including "The Natural Heritage of Indiana" and also "Indiana Trees," in an effort to protect the state's natural heritage and biodiversity. He also spent many summers working for the US Forest Service in Idaho, the National Park Service in Oregon, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska. Other accomplishments in Mr. Jackson's career included being editor and president for the Indiana Academy of Science, president of the Indiana Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, president of the Wabash Valley Audubon Society, and serving on the Board of Trustees of the Natural Areas Association. He was also named Conservationist of the Year in 2017 by the Ouabache Land Conservancy.


Denise Anduskey Prothero

Denise Anduskey Prothero, 64, passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer at her home in Terre Haute, on Monday surrounded by her family. Denise was born in Gary, Ind., and grew up near Valparaiso, attending Morgan Township School.
After graduating, she moved to Terre Haute to earn her B.A. in English at Indiana State University. She worked for Volt Information Sciences, Inc. until moving to Grand Junction, Colo., in 1984, with her husband, Marshall Prothero III. She earned a master's degree in business at Colorado State University. Denise was a devoted wife and mother, home schooling her children and using her MBA to run her household with the efficiency of a successful business. An avid birder and reader, Denise explored the world both through literature and her own travels in search of exotic birds. Despite her terminal illness, she took a last adventure down the Amazon river through Peru this past November.
Although you may never have met Denise, you have likely seen her: rooting around empty lots digging up native wildflowers to save them from land slated for development; scouring alleyways for feral cats to catch and fix so their unwanted progeny didn't overwhelm the town; or parked on the side of a backcountry road with binoculars to her eyes, identifying birds as part of the Audubon Society's annual nationwide census of the country's bird population. Denise rescued countless dogs, cats, and native plants in her lifetime. And her family likes to think of her legacy as living on in the yards where her wildflowers are still blooming and in the houses where the orphaned kittens and puppies she bottle-fed continue to bring joy to their owners.
At Denise's request, there will be no service, but anyone interested in honoring her memory is encouraged to donate to one of her favorite charities: The Spay Neuter League of Terre Haute, the Audubon Society, Planned Parenthood, and Catholic Charities.
Denise was preceded in death by her father, Andrew Anduskey.
She is survived by her husband of 34 years, Marshall; son, Marshall Andrew Prothero; daughter, Arianna Potter and her husband Henry; grandson, Roan Potter; mother, Donna Anduskey; sister, Susan Anduskey; several cousins; in-laws; nieces and nephews; and last but not least, one dog and five cats.


Educator, vet, bird watcher 'an inspiration'
Dewey, known for strong opinions, an advocate for arts

By Sue Loughlin | Tribune-Star

Books on opera, Shakespeare, Indiana birds and cooking are among those that line the shelves in Susie Dewey’s home.On a mantle, she has a picture of herself and former student Bobby “Slick” Leonard, who rose to fame as a basketball player, coach and broadcaster. Dewey taught him English at Gerstmeyer High School, and more recently, she was interviewed about him in a documentary titled “Bobby Slick Leonard: Heart of a Hoosier.”

“I’m very proud of Bobby,” says Dewey, 97, interviewed Sunday.

Dewey, with many accomplishments of her own, has been a longtime educator, naturalist and Bronze Star recipient for her service in World War II. She taught English and other subjects for close to 40 years at schools that included Gerstmeyer and Woodrow Wilson Junior High School. In 2013, Gov. Mike Pence presented her with the state’s top civilian honor, the Sagamore of the Wabash, while he was dedicating “Dewey Point,” part of the Wabashiki Fish and Wildlife Area in West Terre Haute. Dewey purchased land on the east side of West Terre Haute and donated it to Vigo County to be used as part of the Wabashiki project.

But for her purchase, the land was likely going to become a commercial property, Dewey said at the time. “I was certainly delighted to save it for nature,” she said, adding she had often enjoyed bird watching in that area. Dewey also is a longtime supporter of the Swope Art Museum, where she has presented book reviews at Swope Alliance meetings for the past several years. And in October, she will be recognized by the Educational Heritage Association as a distinguished educator.

“She’s an inspiration,” said Eileen Prose, president of the Swope Alliance. “She is so special.”

At 97, Dewey is an astute observer of events who has — and shares — strong opinions. “She is brilliant,” Prose said. Dewey has been a strong supporter of the Swope for several decades, and a few years ago, received the Swope’s Pendergast Award for outstanding dedication to the art museum. Dewey, interviewed at her home, believes the community could, and should, do a lot more to promote the treasure that is the Swope. She pointed out it has been named as one of the “10 great places to see art in smaller cities.”

“It is an excellent museum,” she said, noting that for years, she’s wanted to put a sign on Interstate 70 that says, Visit Swope. “It’s exciting to see the wonderful, wonderful pictures they have there.” A Terre Haute native, she likes the improvements she’s seen downtown in recent years and hopes to see more.  “I think Terre Haute has a lot of possibilities, and we all need to work on it,” Dewey said.

A bird-watcher, she’s been active with the Wabash Valley Audubon Society, which has honored her as well; Dewey also has been a long-time patron of the IU Opera. Among the accomplishments of which she is most proud, she said, is teaching school.

“I would have loved to have had her as a teacher,” Prose said. Dewey once said that while students must attend school, teachers make the difference on whether or not students have a desire to learn. Teachers need to let students “find that spark and find out who they are and let them go with it,” Prose recalls her saying. Dewey also believes the school day should go fast and it should be fun, Prose said. Dewey still hears from her students, who send her Christmas cards, remember her birthday, visit her and even bring her books.

“What was so important to her was her relationship with her students,” Prose said. Prose pointed to the fact that Dewey was interviewed for the Bobby Leonard documentary. There had to be a “wonderful bond” there that he would think of her later in his successful years and want her to be part of his life story, Prose said. Dewey’s accomplishments go on and on.

“I’ve had an interesting life. I’ve seen lots of change. I’ve had a lot of fun,” Dewey said Sunday. She was married for 58 years to Robert Dewey, who died in 2005. While the couple did not have any children, Dewey said she enjoyed teaching school “very much.” She’s also glad she and her husband remained in Terre Haute. “I think Terre Haute is a pleasant place to live and it’s easy to be old here. You can get around and there’s a lot of activity here,” she said.

Dewey said she swam every day until she turned 95 and got shingles. “You never quite get over it,” she said. She jokes that she doesn’t need to turn the clock back to age 65, but “could we make it 95?” Dewey doesn’t drive anymore but she does get around “and I have plenty of help,” she said.

Asked for her advice on how to live a happy, full life, she said, “I’m a great believer that people need to laugh a lot. If there’s one thing that would help us all ... it would be if we didn’t take ourselves quite so seriously.” 

Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or at sue.loughlin@tribstar.com Follow Sue on Twitter @TribStarSue.

Photo provided by Marty Jones

Photo provided by Marty Jones

Ruth Erickson

She died on January 31, 2011.  Ruth was a founding member of the Wabash Valley Audubon Society and a dedicated birder.  She participated in fifty (50) consecutive Christmas Bird counts.  Her birding extended beyond the Wabash Valley with trips to Alaska, Costa Rica, Trinidad, and seven trips to Africa.

Ruth was born in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in July 1917.  She never knew her father as he died in the great influenza epidemic of 1918.  Ruth's family owned and published the local newspaper in Jackson Hole.  She moved with her husband, Ed, to Terre Haute for Ed's employment with Commercial Solvents.  They had two sons, Neal and Allen.

As a boy, thirty years ago, I can remember sorting through ducks with "Mrs. Erickson" at the Brazil lagoons and attending Christmas count compilation dinners at the Erickson home on Oak Street.  Ruth Erickson was always the final word on bird identity for me.  Even in her later years, I watched Ruth, with her friend Susie Dewey, spend afternoons birding and then go for cocktails and dinner.  I hope that I am able to do the same at that stage in my life.  I am sure that I am joined by many members of the Wabash Valley Audubon Society when I say that Ruth Erickson will be both fondly remembered and greatly missed.


WVAS members join Eslinger family members to dedicate a plaque at Dobbs Park in memory of Pearl Eslinger, a WVAS member who loved butterflies.  Standing L-R: Margaret Tamar, Henry Tamar, Jane Chestnut, Mary Beth Eberwein, Kenneth Eslinger Jr., Kneeling: Karen Henman and James Eslinger.

WVAS members join Eslinger family members to dedicate a plaque at Dobbs Park in memory of Pearl Eslinger, a WVAS member who loved butterflies.

Standing L-R: Margaret Tamar, Henry Tamar, Jane Chestnut, Mary Beth Eberwein, Kenneth Eslinger Jr., Kneeling: Karen Henman and James Eslinger.

Pearl M. Eslinger

Pearl M Bolte was born in the early 1920’s in rural Illinois.  Her early childhood was spent on a family farm in west central Illinois located a few miles from the town of Nokomis.  While still a child her parents, Heinrich and Lydia, moved little Pearl, along with three older brothers and an oldest sister into the small town of Harvel, Illinois, a few miles to the west.  Pearl grew up in that small town, graduating from Harvel High School.  Her contacts with nature and the outdoors were frequent, given the size of the community--300 people--and the influence of her adventurous older brothers, one or more of whom she often accompanied on an outdoor escapade.

Pearl was a tall, lithe teenage girl who was the salutatorian of her high school class, as well as a basketball cheerleader.  This latter activity placed her in occasional contact with a new, young biology and history teacher.  He came from the University of Illinois to his first full-time job in Harvel.  His name was Kenneth Eslinger and his major hobby and academic interest was in ornithology.  He had grown up on a farm in eastern Illinois and like Pearl Bolte, loved the out-of-doors and observing wild birds and animals.  Also, like Pearl, Kenneth possessed an almost mystical connection with birds and other living things in the outdoor world.

The couple was married a year after her graduation, and she followed him, first in his career as a high school principal in northern Illinois, and later as a salesman for Jostens.  They settled in Terre Haute, Indiana and raised two sons, Ken Jr., and James, who were born during the 1940’s.  During these years Ken and Pearl further cultivated their skills in identifying and recording observations of birds in the Wabash Valley, as well as on the family farm near Chrisman, Illinois.

During the late 1960’s the couple became active in the local chapter of the Audubon Society.  Ken served two terms as President in the 1970’s.  Pearl later served one term as President of the local chapter.  She also served on the state board of the Indiana Audubon Society.

Over the course of her years as an active member of Audubon, the Eslingers participated in numerous bird counts and social gatherings connected with these events.  Pearl also continued her education at Indiana State University.  Friendships developed and flourished with Dr. Jack Munsee and his wife Betty, along with Dr. Henry Tamar and Margaret, Ed and Ruth Erickson, Dr. James Mason and his wife Amy in the Audubon group, among other active members of the local chapter. 

Ken and Pearl were especially remembered as being of great assistance in helping new members learn the many skills of locating and identifying birds.

The Friendships formed with the Audubon Society members, in combination with regular attendance at meetings resulted in significant activist involvement in the purposes of the Audubon Society and a larger environmentalist program.

 Pearl Eslinger also linked her interest in photography with her interest in wildlife.  Her photographs of birds, of butterflies and moths during the various stages of development, have appeared in several national publications, some quite specialized in entomology, as well as such popular outlets as Outdoor Indiana.  She also delivered many color slide presentations to various adult groups, and to public school children.  These presentations were entertaining as well as informative, and may be viewed retrospectively as a gentle extension of Pearl Eslinger’s political activism on behalf of the larger environmental movement.

After the death of Kenneth in July 2000, Pearl, beset by problems common to the elderly, could only participate and help the Audubon Society in marginal ways, but she retained her love of birds, butterflies and nature in general to the very end.

Pearl Eslinger followed her beloved husband, Kenneth, in death April 27, 2009.  The loss to the community and the environmental movement is substantial.  As we continue, she is strongly missed by her family and surviving friends.

The Wabash Valley Audubon Society has dedicated a butterfly garden at Dobbs Park to the memory of Pearl Eslinger.  Her remaining family members are all extremely proud and appreciative of this dedication. 

James Eslinger and Kenneth Eslinger, Jr.

Sons of Ken and Pearl