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In Memoriam: Eliot Keller

Eliot Aaron Keller, 62, passed away Dec. 28, 2009 from complications with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Keller has been an influential contributor to the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids communities through his decades of volunteer work and his career in local radio.

Eliot Keller Keller enjoys a hot dog at a local picnic

Keller was president, treasurer, general manager and part owner of KZIA Z 102.9, 102.9 HD-2, KGYM 1600 ESPN and 102.9 HD-3, all of which serve the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids communities.

Keller received his B.A. in radio-TV journalism and a certificate in journalism from The University of Iowa in 1970. Keller worked at WSUI, Iowa City and at The Daily Iowan. In 1967 he began his professional radio career at KCII-AM in Washington, Iowa.

He went on to complete his M.S. in mass communications from San Diego State University in 1976.

He was a devoted member of the Professional Advisory Board of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Keller was active with the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce for more than 25 years. He chaired his first task force for the group in 1981 and was chairman of the legislative council and a member of the local government affairs committee. He also contributed his services to the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to his chamber work, Keller was also active in the Iowa City Area Development Group.

One of Keller’s passions was the promotion of passenger rail transportation.

“He loved trains. He could tie his personal interest to a goal that would serve the community,” Keller’s wife, Sandy said.

He hoped to encourage the development of a stronger rail infrastructure that would connect cities and small towns, and provide a viable alternative to car and plane travel for the people of the Midwest.

Through involvement with local, state and federal government, Keller advanced the petitions for increased passenger rail services in Iowa.

In 2009, Keller was named to the Iowa Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. He was also awarded the Russell Slade Award by the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce for a lifetime of service.

Keller won numerous other awards and accolades for his work in broadcasting and community service.

The Iowa Broadcast News Association Eliot A. Keller Scholarship was first awarded in 2009 and will continue to be awarded to future applicants aiming for a career in broadcast journalism.

Keller is survived by his wife of 39 years, Sandy, their daughter Nicole and grandson Cole.

In Memoriam: Joseph W. Shoquist

Joseph W. Shoquist (B.A. 1948, M.A. 1951), 84, passed away Feb. 27, 2010, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease.

Shoquist was born in Lone Tree, Iowa on Nov. 30, 1925, and pursued both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in journalism at The University of Iowa. His undergraduate studies were interrupted by one year of service in the Army during World War II in 1946.

After completing his bachelor’s, he began his professional career as a sports writer for the Idaho Boise Statesman in 1948 and moved on to the Idaho Falls Post-Register. Shoquist then came back to Iowa City in 1950 to pursue his master’s degree.

From being a reporter for the Montana Great Falls Tribune to working his way up to managing editor from copy editor for the Wisconsin Milwaukee Journal, Shoquist has a long list of accomplishments. It is in part because of his accomplishments that he was inducted into the J-MC School Hall of Fame in 1971.

Throughout his career, Shoquist was active in the Associated Press Managing Editors Association, the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (the agency that accredits J-MC schools in the United States) and the American Society of Newspaper Editors among others. He served as president in the APME and the ACEJ in 1979 and 1983 respectively.

He retired from the Milwaukee Journal in 1986 and became dean of the College of Journalism at the University of South Carolina until 1991.

Shoquist is survived by his son, Paul Shoquist, daughter, Sally Shoquist and sisters Jean Hughes Wright and Carol Wolford. He was pre-deceased by his wife, Dorothy Lee Ormond.

In Memoriam: Don Smith

Dr. Donald “Don” D. Smith, former director (1987-1989) of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at The University of Iowa, died of a cancer related illness at the age of 79 on Feb.14.

Smith was born in Beaver City, Neb., and attended Holdrege High School. After completion, Smith went on to receive additional education from various institutions of higher learning including: a B.A. from Syracuse University (1955), M.A. from The University of Nebraska at Lincoln (1957) and Ph.D. from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1964).

Throughout his teaching career, Smith received many awards and accolades. He was given the National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellowship (1976), The UI Old Gold Faculty Research Fellowship (1982) and was a senior Fulbright lecturer at Tashkent State University in Uzbekistan (1987) among others.

Smith was highly esteemed as a teacher that he was rated the most “excellent” teacher (1967-1969) at Florida State University according to the Students’ Faculty Handbook.

As a Korean Conflict veteran, Dr. Smith also had the honor to serve with the U.S. Air Force in the Office of Strategic Intelligence.

After achieving a very accomplished career, Smith retired in 2001.

Culture, nature and music were among Smith’s countless passions. He was respected by the many students and colleagues who shared his love for education and he will be missed.

Survivors include his best friend and wife of 54 years Norma, two children Kevin and Dawn, three grandchildren and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

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