— GS Class of 1958

Jan, 2020

Irwin H. Polishook ’58 AM, of Teaneck, N.J.; Sept. 15. He began his teaching career at Hunter College in September 1961 and continued at Lehman College. He authored numerous articles and published two books: Roger Williams, John Cotton, and Religious Freedom: A Controversy in New and Old England and Rhode Island and the Union 1774-1795. He cofounded the Professional Staff Congress, the faculty union for CUNY, and served as its president from 1976 to 2000. He was a vice president of the American Federation of Teachers, chair for the AFT Higher Education Program and Policy Council, member of the executive committee and board of directors of the New York State United Teachers, and an officer of the American Association of University Professors. He was also an active member and former trustee of Temple Emeth in Teaneck. He is survived by his wife, Sheila; son Lewis ’92; a daughter-in-law; and two granddaughters.


Sep, 2019

Lawrence M. Washington ’58 PhD, of Weybridge, Vt.; Apr. 23. He began teaching at Kings College in 1950 and subsequently taught at Gettysburg College, Bowdoin College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Hamline University, and Upsala College before spending the last 20 years teaching at UMass Dartmouth, together with his wife, and running a successful German degree program. He and his wife published the textbook A Preview of German Literature in 1969. He was a veteran of World War II, in which he served as a translator. He is survived by six children, 16 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and a brother.


Jan, 2019

John R. Billings ’58 AM, of Stevens Point, Wisc.; Aug. 16, from Parkinson’s disease. He was a professor of philosophy and religious studies at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point for 31 years. Trained as a fencer, he coached and advised the UWSP fencing club in the late 1960s, as well as being the soccer club advisor. He enjoyed playing bagpipes and started the Wisconsin Kilties, a bagpipe and drum band, at UWSP. He was proud that the Kilties performed at numerous parades and won second place at the Highland Games in 1972. He served as president of the local Rotary Club and studied to become a minister in the Presbyterian Church, where he served on several committees and was an interim pastor at Abbotsford Church. He is survived by his wife, Victoria; four children and their spouses; two grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; a brother; and his former wife, Evelyn Schaffer.


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