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More Family Legacies

John '48 and Furman Allen '41

The Allen family name at UW Oshkosh goes back to 1901, when their father attended Oshkosh Normal School. Harry Allen played on the 1905 basketball team. All of Harry's six siblings attended or graduated from Oshkosh, going on to become teachers at some point in time.

Out of John and Furman's 14 cousins, all but one graduated or attended Oshkosh, and nine became teachers. John and Furman's six siblings also partook in this long standing family tradition:

  • Kathleen (Dearth) Allen '43, sister.
  • Orvis Allen '39, brother.
  • Peter Allen '40, brother (deceased).
  • Barbra (Thiex) Allen '34 and '65, sister (deceased).

John Allen has five children, two of which graduated from UW Oshkosh. Jeff Allen '74 and Julie (Allen) Odle '75 (deceased). Furman married Allene (Miller) Allen '42. In 1998 the count of Allen family graduates or attendees totaled 21, John and Furman both hope continue this tradition with their grandchildren, nieces and nephews.


Lawrence Frye '73

"I graduated from UWO with a bachelor of music education in December of 1973, representing the fourth generation of my family to be involved with the University.

My legacy dates back to my great grandfather, Frank Mitchell, who was a professor of geography at Oshkosh. I remember being able to look out of a studio window of the Arts and Communication building and see his former home at the corner of Elmwood and Vine. His daughter, my grandmother also graduated from Oshkosh, as did one of her sons, my uncle Frank Frye (and his wife). My father attended some courses at Oshkosh, but his studies were interrupted bu WWII, and he eventually finished his degree at UW-River Falls. When I was 13, my mother resumed her education at Oshkosh, and graduated in 1966 with a degree in elementary education.

I received a great education at UWO, and I'm very proud of my family legacy at UW Oshkosh.


Here are the known Mitchell Family Alumni Relationships:

  • Professor Frank E. Mitchell - Taught at Oshkosh Normal School.
  • His four children: Abbot Mitchell, Elizabeth Mitchell, Caroline Mitchell, and James R. Mitchell, were graduates of the Oshkosh Normal School. Caroline Mitchell attended two years and taught in rural schools.
  • Myrtle Deyoe - also a graduate of Oshkosh Normal School, married George D. Frye, Sr. Their son, Roy D. Frye, married Caroline Mitchell.
  • George D. Frye - son of Roy D. Frye and Caroline Mitchell Frye, took courses at Wisconsin State College, Oshkosh; transferred to Wisconsin State College River Falls, and graduated with a B.S.Degree (double major) in Agriculture Education and Science.
  • Edith Frye - daughter of Roy D. Frye and Caroline Mitchell Frye, graduated with a B.S. Degree in Elementary Education.
  • Frank M. Frye - son of Roy D. Frye and Caroline Mitchell Frye, graduated from Wis. State College Oshkosh with a B.S. Degree.
  • Laura K. Frye - wife of George D. Frye, graduated from Wis. State College Oshkosh with a B.S. Degree in Education and a minor in Library Science in 1966.
  • Lawrence W. Frye - son of George D. Frye (Jr) graduated from U.W. Oshkosh with a B.S. Degree Music Education.
  • Marvel Doepke, wife of Frank M. Frye graduated from Wis. State College with a B.S. Degree in Library Science and/or English. "


Jon Strupp '90

"My dad grew up on a farm in Kewaskum, Wisconsin.  My dad (James) and his sister, Jean, graduated from high school in 1941.  My dad was held back a year because my grandma didn't want him walking alone to school, especially in winter.  My grandma wanted her children to go to college because she felt there was no future on the farm.  She left the farm, borrowed $4,000 from her sister and bought the house on Scott street in Oshkosh.  She moved her 4 children and her 90 year old mother to Oshkosh. My grandpa stayed on the farm.  My dad got a job at Triangle Manufacturing running a drill press for 30 cents an hour in August 1941.

Grandma opened the house of Strupp in the fall of 1941.  She had 9 female students living in the house in addition to her children and mother.  Rules at the university were no men in the house over the age of 16 after 10 pm.  Dad was 19 years old, so he was not allowed to stay overnight in the house.  He paid 85 cents a week to share a bed with Chuck Schram at the Schram residence.  Dad did this until he enlisted in the Navy in September 1942.  During the war Grandma switched to housing men.  She had 10 Air Corps cadets staying with her.  Toward the end of the war Grandma decided to go back to keeping girls in the house.  When grandma heard my dad was coming home from the Navy she asked President Polk if Dad could stay in the house overnight.  By then, Grandma had a reputation for running a tight ship and inappropriate behavior was not tolerated.

President Polk made an exception and let Dad sleep in the house overnight.  By 1945 there were only 7 female students living in the house.  When Dad returned to Oshkosh from the Navy he was 23 years old living with 7 college women.  That's pretty good work if you can get it!  My mom, Elsie Gandt, was living in the house when Dad returned from the Navy in December 1945.  I said to my dad, "You were 23 year old living with 7 college women.  Why did you pick Mom?"  He said, "Your mother had the most beautiful head of hair I ever saw."  He described it as an auburn color.

About a month after the next quarter started after Christmas 1945 Dad went to his Aunt's house to call Mom and ask her to a movie.  They started dating and when the dean of women found out Mom was called into the office and told she could not date the housemother's son and live in the house.  She was given the choice of either moving or being expelled.  She moved to another house (unfortunately, I don't remember the name of the house she moved to).   My parents were married on June 21, 1947.  Exactly 2 weeks after Mom graduated.  They were married 56 years when Dad passed away on December 2, 2003.  Mom passed away on November 30, 2006.  They produced 5 UWO graduates.  Louise Strupp Macky, Jeanne Strupp Jeffers (now Jeanne Wojta) Mary Strupp, James Strupp Jr. and Jon Strupp.  Dad never went to college.  He returned to Triangle Manufacturing after the war and retired from there in 1987.  Yes, my entire existence depends on UWO!

It was a family tradition for us to have lunch with Grandma while attending UWO.  I am the youngest of her grandchildren.  When I stared attending UWO in the fall of 1985 I was 18 years old and Grandma was 92.  I had U.S. History Since 1877 with Watson Parker.  It was a 9:10 am class.  Grandma was born in 1892, so she had lived almost the entire period the class covered.  I went to her house and had lunch with Grandma, my Aunt Monica and Uncle Eugene who were living with Grandma.   Grandma took an interest in the class and would tell me about her life and her family.  Her dad voted for Abe Lincoln and had 2 uncles fighting in the Union Army during the Civil War.  She remembered when President McKinley was shot.  She told me how her father was made to register as an enemy alien during World War I.  He came to America from Germany when he was 4 years old in 1844.  She told me she thought unchaperoned dating was great and went on to describe what a date in her time was like.  I ate my lunch with them for about a year and a half until Grandma's health would not allow for it.  I graduated in December 1989.  Grandma could not attend any of the graduation events, so I visited her at her house in my cap and gown.  She told me how proud she was and happy she was for me.  She took my hand, and pulled me down with all the strength of her frail 97 year old body to kiss me.  I wouldn't trade the time I spent with Grandma for anything.  It was the most memorable experience I had at UWO."


More Strupp family connections:

  • James R. Strupp '86, brother.
  • Louise (Strupp) Macky '75, sister.
  • Jerome '49 and Gerda (Fahrendorff) Strupp '48, uncle and aunt.
  • Siri (Strupp) Eck '76 married to Mark Eck '76, cousin.
  • Jeanne C. Strupp Phillip, aunt.
  • Jenny Phillip, cousin.
  • Joel Phillip, cousin.
  • Jonathan Phillip, cousin.
  • Margaret Phillip, cousin
  • Olivia Phillip, cousin.


Edmund Hansen '58

Edmund Hansen '58 and  Virginia Hansen '80 met at a high school basketball game in the spring of 1954 and married on June 29, 1956. Edmund returned to UWO  post graduation as a mathematics professor from 1963-1994. He worked as Vice President of Alumni Relations during the 1960's. The two now live in a senior retirement community located in FL. Edmund and Virginia's four sons are also graduates of UWO. The family legacy does not stop there. Three of their six grandchildren are currently enrolled at or have graduated from UWO.

by reinecka — last modified May 04, 2012 02:52 PM