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In Memory of...

Deaton, Walker, & Miller
UAAD experienced the loss of three of our members in 2014, all long-time employees of UNL. From left to right: Michele Deaton, Gretchen Walker, Karen Miller.

Michele Deaton

The most recent of these is Michele Deaton. Michele passed away in November 2014. She was 53 years old. She was an active UAAD member for many years and for those of us who served on the UAAD Board with her, we came to know and appreciate her tireless and consistent dedication to “making everything perfect”.

This was evidenced in her work during her 26 years at the School of Music where she was the Business Manager and in her various roles on the Board. Anyone in this room who attended the Graze & Mingle 2 years ago, when Michele was the program chair, will remember how in awe we all were when we walked into Kimball Hall and saw the food and decorations. And to know that it was a labor of love with her family and staff from the School, for UAAD members, made it all that much more special.

It is because of her efforts and our memories of that day that we have decided to honor Michele at today’s Graze & Mingle. As a side, she almost topped herself when again she and her family and staff hosted the annual picnic that same year outside The Lied.

Whatever she did, she did with a smile and a big heart. Those are the things we will miss most about our colleague and friend.

Gretchen Walker

We lost Gretchen Walker in May 2014 at the age of 50. Gretchen was an associate member of UAAD and was a regular attendee at our monthly meetings over the years. She worked at the Center for Great Plains Studies for 20 years.

Gretchen was my first connection to UAAD when I joined, shortly after coming to UNL. She was then serving on the program committee with her dear friend Linda Ratcliff. The two not only sold me on the organization, but convinced me to help with programming efforts that year.

Gretchen was like Michele in that she was dedicated to her job and was always a pleasure to work with when our paths crossed in HR functions. Her appreciativeness for everything and willingness to be there for others are the footprints she has left on all of us who knew her. She was an active UNOPA member and served in various capacities, including President.

Karen Miller

We also lost Karen Miller, who passed away in March 2014. She was 56 years old. Karen worked at Campus Recreation at the time of her passing. She was a dietician for 21 years; 3 years as a clinical dietician at Lincoln General Hospital (now Bryan Health West). Karen was in a split position with University Health Center and Campus Rec for 17 years before coming to Campus Rec full-time in 2011.

Karen presented locally, regionally, nationally and internationally about eating disorders and weight management. Her passion was eating disorder prevention. She taught people to be happy with who they are and to find joy and pleasure in food.