Donald Gordon Follett Jr. Obituary

Gordon Follett working at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

Donald Gordon Follett Jr. died on August 5, 2018. 

Gordon was raised in Swarthmore and lived there until he was married. His parents were Donald Gordon Follett and Mary Simons Follett. His grandfather was Fred Simons, a longtime resident of Swarthmore, who gave the property for the Swarthmore Presbyterian Church.

Gordon graduated from Swarthmore High School and Mercersburg Academy where he proved to be a standout in track and field. He attended the University of Pennsylvania on a track scholarship, majoring in engineering. He transferred to Swarthmore College in 1954 and graduated in the class of 1956 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. After graduating he was offered a position in Bethlehem Steel’s prestigious three-year training course which took him to various Bethlehem steel facilities throughout the U.S. After moving back to Bethlehem, he earned a M.S. in Civil Engineering at Lehigh University. His specialty while working for Bethlehem was large steel bridges.

In 1957, he married Catherine James Follett, who also graduated from Swarthmore College and Lehigh University. They had two daughters, Susan and Carolyn, and one granddaughter. The Folletts lived in Bethlehem until 1968, when Gordon was offered a position in marketing and sales for a Los Angeles company that sold products utilized in steel construction. Throughout his career he worked in steel construction and construction management. After retiring from the Chancellor’s office for the California State University system, he formed his own consulting company with a focus on mediation, arbitration and construction.

Gordon continued his lifelong interest in track and field by becoming a certified International/U.S. Track and Field official for college meets through southern California and the annual Penn Relays for over 40 years. A highlight of his officiating career was being selected out of over 2,000 applicants as an official for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

Adrienne Brodsky Dessel Obituary

Adrienne Brodsky Dessel died peacefully in her home in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on September 12.

Adrienne was a 1980 graduate of Swarthmore High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Boston University, a Master’s of Social Work from Simmons School of Social Work, and a Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Tennessee.

She was an associate director of the Program on Intergroup Relations and lecturer in the School of Social Work at the University of Michigan. She co-edited Conservative Christian Beliefs and Sexual Orientation in Social Work: Privilege, Oppression and the Pursuit of Human Rights (2014), and was active in dialogue dealing with cultural and political conflict in Israel.

Adrienne’s loss is deeply felt by her husband J.P.; her children Talia and Erez Dessel; her father and stepmother, John Brodsky and Ingrid Rosenback; and her brothers and sisters Matthew, Stephanie, Miranda and Eric Brodsky.

The family gathered for a remembrance in Michigan on Sunday, September 16.

Memorial Service for Gloria R. Hamilton

Please join the family and friends of Gloria R. Hamilton for a memorial service and a celebration of her life on Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 1 p.m. at the Swarthmore Public Library, 121 Park Avenue. A reception will follow at the library.
Ms. Hamilton passed away on March 10, 2018.
Contact Sam Berley for further information at 443-614-8412 or at

Caroline Simons Kent Obituary

Caroline Simons Kent, wife of Donald W. Kent, Jr. and a long-time resident of Swarthmore, died peacefully on August 15, 2018. 

Born in 1927, Caroline was the youngest of Agnes and Frank Simons’ four children. She spent her early years in St. Davids, Pa., before moving with her family first to Cleveland, Ohio, then Newark, Del., and finally to Merion, Pa. In 1945 she graduated from Wilmington Friends School, where she played varsity field hockey, softball and was captain of the basketball team. From there she went on to Wheaton College (Norton, Mass.), where she joined the synchronized swimming team and sang with the a capella group the “Wheatones, ” graduating in 1949 with a BA in Biology.

After college she returned to Philadelphia to work at the Devereaux School and Friends Central School, and pursued her love of music and singing with the Savoy Company of Philadelphia, before moving to the Boston area to join the Shady Hill School in Cambridge, Mass., where she taught ancient Greek civilization to 4th graders. In the early ‘50s she moved back to Philadelphia to work at the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania. While in Philadelphia she met Donald Kent, whom she married in 1958. They moved to Swarthmore in 1960 where they have lived ever since.

Described by her family and friends as gracious, spirited, warm and kind, Caroline was a devoted wife and mother, who volunteered for school projects, field trips, and boy and girl scout troop adventures. She bestowed upon her children her love of swimming, music, learning, art, and fun. She greatly enjoyed getting to know her children’s friends and many have fond memories of playing at her home growing up.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by her three children: Anna, Alexander and wife Theresa Thomas, and Laura and husband Michael Gately; and four grandchildren: Abigail, Ian, George, and Fiona.

A celebration of her life will be held Saturday September 15, at 11:30 a.m. in Bond Hall, Swarthmore College.