In Memoriam

SHAPE America recognizes notable men and women who passed away this year whose dedication to health and physical education will not be forgotten.

Submissions

Remembering Those We Lost

Theresa Cone photo

As a passionate and knowledgeable teacher, Theresa connected with her students and developed a shared understanding and a strong mutual respect. After a wonderful 33-year career as an elementary Physical Education and Dance teacher, she enjoyed a second career teaching at Rowan University. Her creative and inclusive teaching fully prepared her elementary and university students. She was the first National Dance Educator of the Year (1989), recognized on the Rowan Teaching Wall of Fame, NJAHPERD Teacher of the Year (1984), NJAHPERD Higher Education Teacher of the Year (2014) and taught and choreographed for the American Repertory Ballet Company for 20 years.

Dr. Cone contributed valuable and ground-breaking scholarship in Interdisciplinary Education, Dance, Inclusive/Adapted Physical Education and Dance, and Motor Learning. She authored or coauthored books, chapters, and articles and presented at state, district, national, and international meetings. She served on the Beijing Sport University Adapted Physical Education/Physical Activity Online course project committee.

Theresa was a leader in her profession serving as NDA/AAHPERD (1994-95), Eastern District (1991-92), NJAHPERD (1987-89), and the Alliance for Arts Education (1991-93) President. She also served as JOPERD Policy Board Chair (1998-99), JOPERD Editorial Board (2006-09), Special Olympics NJ Trustee (2014-2017), and in numerous officer and committee roles. Her commitment to service was evident throughout her career.

Theresa Purcell Cone was recognized for her quality contributions to the profession with the AAHPERD (1992), EDA/AAHPERD (1991), and NJAHPERD (1992) Honor awards and the AAHPERD R. Tait McKenzie award (1995).

Theresa Purcell Cone was a teacher, dancer, scholar, leader, and advocate who was committed to making a difference in her profession and in the lives of her students. Her contributions were exemplary and her commitment unquestioned.

She shared her life and career in a caring and giving manner.

- NJAHPERD

Timothy Sullivan photo

Tim enjoyed more than 40 years as a highly successful teacher, administrator and coach at Montclair State University, and during that time was recognized for his extensive work supporting individuals with disabilities.

Tim also served as president of NJAHPERD from 2004 to 2005. In addition, he started and chaired the technology committee and helped bring the association into the tech age, in addition to serving on many committees.

Tim Sullivan graduated from Cortland in 1965 with a bachelor's degree in physical education and health and earned a master's degree from Ithaca College in 1967. A Brooklyn native and Saint Francis Prep alumnus, Tim transferred to Cortland from Arizona State University.

At Cortland, Tim Sullivan played center, linebacker and tight end during two varsity football seasons in 1963 and 1964. He also was a lacrosse defenseman for two seasons and a heavyweight wrestler for one year. He served as a football and lacrosse co-captain in his senior year, and played in the 1964 Division All-Star Football Bowl Game. Off the field, he was the Delta Kappa Fraternity House Director in 1964. In 2013, Tim Sullivan was inducted into SUNY Cortland C-Club Hall of Fame on September 21, 2013.

Tim Sullivan taught at Montclair from 1967 until his retirement in 2008. For 15 years, he served as the chair of the Department of Health Professions, Physical Education, Recreation and Leisure Studies. He also was Montclair's head wrestling coach from 1967-72, with a 43-27 overall record, and the men's lacrosse head coach from 1984-87. In addition, he was a football assistant coach from 1967-73. He served as offensive line coach when Montclair won the 1970 Knute Rockne Bowl for the NCAA Division II "East" national title.

Tim Sullivan directed the Special Olympics of New Jersey from 1974-76 and was inducted into the New Jersey Special Olympics Hall of Fame in 2008. He also directed Montclair State's Special Needs Aquatic Program from 1975-2007 and the school's Saturday Afternoon Special Activities Program, designed to meet the physical activity needs of children with developmental disabilities ages 6-18, from 1975-2004. Sullivan also represented the National Diffusion Network as a cadre team member of Project ACTIVE (All Children Totally Involved Via Equity) by offering workshops from Maine to Alaska from 1975-85

In 1995, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs gave Tim its highest honor, the Evelyn Aronow Dolan Citizens Award for Advocacy and Promotion of Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities.

Timothy Francis Sullivan, former faculty member, Department Chairperson of Exercise Science and Physical Education, and Professor Emerita at Montclair State University, passed away on Saturday, September 28, 2019 after a lengthy illness.

We will miss his energy, his spirit, and his friendship.

- NJAHPERD

Nancy Raso-Eklund photo

On August 31, 2019, SHAPE America - Central District lost one of our most dedicated and passionate physical educators and leaders. Originally from Austin, Minnesota, Nancy Raso-Eklund coached and taught health, physical education, special education, and wellness at all levels for more than 45 years in Green River, Wyoming. Nancy had been the Central District Executive Director for the past 4 years. She was also the Executive Director of the Wyoming Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance for 23 years. In addition, Nancy was the Green River #2 district’s Wellness Director, PEP Grant Coordinator and most recently the state of Wyoming’s IHT Heart Rate Monitor Grant Coordinator.

In 1996, Nancy was recognized as the AAHPERD (SHAPE America) National Elementary Physical Educator of the Year and Disney Educator of the Year. In 2016, Nancy earned the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition’s Community Leadership Award. In 2017, I had the honor of presenting Nancy with the SHAPE America - Central District Mark Harvey Legacy Award, which acknowledges individuals who, by performance, style, humility and wisdom have personified the personal and professional attributes of the late great Dr. Mark L. Harvey of Colorado. In September 2019, Nancy was inducted into the Green River High School Hall of Fame where she coached swimming, basketball, and volleyball.

I first met Nancy as a member of SHAPE Colorado’s Executive Committee. Since then, Nancy and I have been recruited to participate in numerous local, regional, and national committees and initiatives. Nancy and I also engaged with many affiliated non-profit organizations boards and special events together. Some of these include; the President’s Youth Fitness Program Task Force, Let’s Move Active Schools Physical Activity Leadership Program, The Cooper Institute’s Fitnessgram Professional Development Task Force, and one of her absolute favorites, Physical Best Specialist Program. We attended many Gen-Youth, Fuel Up to Play 60 and Jump Rope for Heart events. We shared many ideas between the Colorado Governor’s Council for Active and Healthy Lifestyles and the Wyoming Governor’s Council for Physical Fitness and Sports. Her dedicated engagement with all of these activities provided her with a very broad perspective and valuable voice towards the advocacy and promotion of quality health and physical education programs locally, regionally and nationwide.

Nancy would greet everyone with a huge, bright, and caring smile. She considered everyone she would meet to be family and was a compassionate, trustworthy listener, and mentor to so many teachers nationwide. As an innovative planner and organizer, Central District and Wyoming health and physical educators benefited greatly from Nancy’s open door policy and networking abilities. She would bring in the nation's very best speakers and presenters to their state and regional conventions as the convention manager.

Nancy had an “old school” work ethic and a “just get it done” attitude. She was “ALL IN” on every SHAPE America initiative placed in front of her by the national office. Every summer, Nancy would pack up her car to drive to attend nearly all of the Sally Scherrer Leadership Summits whether they were in Sioux Falls, SD or Mahoney State Park outside Omaha, NE. We would spend hours on the phone brainstorming ideas for the implementation of a variety of initiatives. Nancy would often drive six hours to Morrison, CO to babysit and spend time with her grandchildren. While in the Denver area, she would often call me to get together for an impromptu Central District meeting. These meetings would usually begin with her sharing all the activities that her family and grandchildren were participating in at the time. We would then review and visit the next steps for our strategic plan and/or future effort implementations. We would brainstorm ideas and when we thought of a good one, Nancy would light up and say, “I love that, let’s do it!” She believed as a professional educator, engagement in our professional organizations and conventions were something that should be expected of everyone and the sky was the limit for new ideas. Nancy would often revisit and remind me of past ideas and ask, “can we do it now?” During many of these meetings with Nancy two words would usually come up in our conversations, “moving forward”. As a result, #MovingForward became the theme for my SHAPE America - Central District Presidency and the 14th Annual Sally Scherrer Leadership Summit.

As such a strong advocate for quality health and physical education programs, Nancy was a regular attendee at SHAPE America’s Speak-Out day, most of the time as the sole representative from Wyoming. Gay Hughes of Wyoming has stated, “Nancy is the face of Wyoming AHPERD. She is devoted to the cause of advocating for physical education like no one else in the state of Wyoming.” Nancy and Gay were Co-Convention Managers for the 2013 Central District Convention. Nancy often carried with her bookmarks and cards from the keynote speaker James P. Owens, who is the author of the bestselling books The Code of the West-Cowboy Ethics, Cowboy Values and The Try, Reclaiming the American Dream. Nancy would often hand out the bookmarks to the many new friends she would make at SHAPE America events because she lived and believed in the values they included so strongly. #MovingForward we should keep these values in mind in honor of Nancy for our professions future efforts!

The Code of the West - Cowboy Ethics:

  1. Live Each Day with Courage
  2. Take Pride in Your Work
  3. Always Finish What You Start
  4. Do What Has To Be Done
  5. Be Tough, But Fair
  6. When You Make A Promise, Keep It
  7. Ride For The Brand
  8. Talk Less And Say More
  9. Remember That Some Things Aren’t For Sale
  10. Know Where To Draw The Line

 

The Try, Reclaiming the American Dream - Steps to Success:

  1. Start with a Dream
  2. Turn Your Dream Into A Measurable Goal
  3. Create A Game Plan and Timetable
  4. Make a Commitment
  5. Take Full Responsibility
  6. Expect Adversity
  7. Give It 110%

 

The Joy of Effort Award honors individuals who, by performance and style, have personified the concept that the effort made to enrich the goals and objectives of health and physical education, physical activity, dance, and sport is a labor of love, inspired by commitment and dedication. I am in AWE of every SHAPE America Joy of Effort Award winner that I have had the honor to meet. I am not on the awards committee, but I don’t believe there is any other individual that exemplifies the characteristics of “Joy of Effort” as does Nancy Raso-Eklund. Nancy will be sorely missed by our entire national health and physical education community.

Nancy will be sorely missed by our entire national health and physical education community.

- Clayton Ellis

Carolyn Masterson photo

Carolyn obtained her Doctorate of Education at Columbia University Teachers College in Curriculum and Teaching. Her research and presentations focus on the coordinated approach to health and wellness in schools and more specifically, the integration of physical fitness education into K-12 school districts.

Many presentations and her research have taken her throughout the United States, China, and Singapore. She wrote several articles on the development and teaching of physical fitness curricula. She co-authored a fitness activities book called Achieving Fitness and Adventure Activities and developed the Physical Best Activity Guides and several chapters in the Secondary Education Book in conjunction with the National Association for Physical Education and Sport (NASPE). Also, she chaired several national committees, including the Physical Best Committee for NASPE. She also served on the Public Relations Committee for NASPE and held the office of President of the New Jersey Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (NJAHPERD) in 1994-1995. Carolyn received several awards throughout her professional career, including the Honor Award from NJAHPERD and two NJAHPERD Teacher of the Year Awards (Higher Education and Elementary PE).

As we celebrate the life and work of Dr. Carolyn Masterson, we honor her so that her legacy may inspire others in the field.

Many former students have expressed an outpouring of gratitude and are eager to continue her legacy of selfless giving to the profession. Colleagues recount Carolyn’s kindness, generosity, and love; which inspires her colleagues to give to others at all levels of professional service. She was a true professional, a scholar, and a friend to all who knew her. NJAHPERD’s Executive Board, Past Presidents and members honor the work and contributions of Dr. Carolyn Masterson and its’ ever-lasting impact on the profession of physical education. She was the best friend/colleague anyone could have. May you rest in peace.

- NJAHPERD

Jere Gallagher photo

Dr. Jere Dee Gallagher passed away on Tuesday, August 20, 2019. Jere was and emeritus faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh School of Education for more than 33 years. Most of her time in Pitt's School of Education was spent as part of their Health and Physical Activity faculty and then later serving as associate dean who at various times provided leadership for academic affairs, student services, research and faculty development. Jere became an emerita faculty member in September 2014 and stayed active with the school in many ways including a member of the School of Education Alumni Society Executive Committee.

During her time in Pitt's School of Education, Jere worked with many students, faculty and staff, however one of her most passionate initiatives was creating the Kinder Kinetics Program in the Health and Physical Activity Department. The Kinder Kinetics Program was aimed at keeping young children active during the summer and providing them with opportunities to learn how to move effectively and gracefully. The program was highly regarded by parents and their children, and it gave kids something that is sometimes hard to find in an urban environment, coached and socially safe opportunities to be active and become more confident in their physical capabilities.

Since her retirement, the Health and Physical Activity faculty and staff honored Jere for her vision, leadership and service, by renaming the program “Pitt’s Kids: Honoring the Vision of Dr. Jere Gallagher”.

Services for Jere were held at the University of Pittsburgh’s Heinz Chapel on Wednesday, August 28, 2019.

Dr. Jere Dee Gallagher was a positive, uplifting spirit, and she cared deeply about the people she encountered and the University of which she was a beloved part. That is why everyone whom she touched loved her. Our memories of her are an important legacy.

She was also the child of parents with military careers. She was extremely proud of her parents and because of this, Jere established a special endowment in Pitt’s Office of Veteran Services to honor their legacies. She was especially proud when she described the military funeral and flyover for her mother.

Family was important to Jere and she regularly spoke of the members of her family and her husband Yale’s. She never looked happier than when talking about the children in her family – and of course showing the latest pictures.

Jere was a great friend to many of us and she will be greatly missed by all.

- Michael Haas

Joseph Samuel Darden Jr. photo

Dr. Darden held an A.B. degree in Biology from Lincoln University, an M.A. degree in Science Education and the Ed. D. degree in Health Education from New York University. A Fellow of the American School Health Association (ASHA), Dr. Darden served as a member of its Governing Council and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Association for the Advancement of Health Education (AAHE of AAHPERD). Dr. Darden was also a member of the Editorial Board of ASHA’s Journal of School Health and of the Advisory Board of Health Education, the journal of AAHE. Dr. Darden developed and taught courses in Sex Education/Human Sexuality at Kean College where he was a Professor of Health Education and Coordinator of Health Education.

For a number of years, he was also an Adjunct Professor of Health Education at Wagner College (Staten Island, New York), and taught graduate courses in Adolescent Sexuality for both Rutgers University and Montclair State College. Periodically, he appeared as a panelist on radio and television programs about sex education/family life education. In 1981, he was a member of the Family Life Education Curriculum Guidelines Committee of the New Jersey State Department of Education. During the fall of 1984, he co-produced “Sex Education Awareness,” four half-hour programs for Cable TV in Eatontown, NJ.

His honors include the Distinguished Service Award (American School Health Association, 1971); the Honor Fellow Award and the Distinguished Leadership Award (New Jersey AHPERD, 1972, 1975); Honor Award (New Jersey Health Education Council, 1975); Honor Award and Outstanding College/University Teacher of the Year (Eastern District Association, AAHPERD, 1976, 1983); Honor Award (American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, 1985); and the Outstanding Achievements in Education Award (National Association of Negro Business & Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc., North Jersey Unit, 1985). One of the first selected for “Who’s Who in Health Education in the Eastern District Association, AAHPERD,”. Darden was also listed in Who’s Who in the East and Who’s Who among Black Americans. He was a Certified Sex Educator, credentialed by the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists.

He continued to teach health and sex education as a tenured professor at Kean University until he retired. In addition to excelling academically, Dr. Darden served in the army during World War II as a master sergeant. He was also a leader and a lifelong member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

Dr. Darden was a proud and avid supporter of the organization AAHPERD, now called SHAPE. I remember hearing all about events, workshops and conferences he would attend growing up. My husband and I were in attendance when he received the second Honor Award and Outstanding College/University Teacher of the Year (Eastern District Association, AAHPERD, 1976, 1983). He positively affected his students, organizations, church, family and those close to him. In addition to being a Veteran, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity member, he was a dedicated Educator, Teacher, Leader, Role model and Father. I am quite proud to be his daughter. He will truly be missed.

- Michele Darden Burgess