CSB Memory Walk

John Yoakam (1947 – 2009)

John accepted a position teaching social work at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, in the fall of 2000. He became chair of the department in 2001 and served in that capacity until 2008. While at St. John’s and St. Ben’s John was a faculty sponsor of Prism, the campus organization for GLBT students. He also participated in the GLBT faculty/staff group and helped organized the first Lavender Graduation ceremonies for GLBT and allied students on campus. He served as a facilitator for the Gay and Bisexual Men’s group in St. Cloud.

Planting: Apple Service-Berry Tree
Donated by: Co-workers
Location: Mary Commons Courtyard

Kelly Cox

Kelly was a member of the 1999 nursing class. Originating from Urbandale, Iowa, Kelly was a highly motivated, energetic nursing major. Despite the Cystic Fibrosis that continued to weaken Kelly physically, her spirit and enthusiasm for nursing and life at St. Ben’s were unaffected. Kelly left St. Ben’s in May of 1998 with high hopes of completing her senior year and beginning her career in nursing. Unfortunately, Kelly became very ill in July and was unable to overcome the infection that had invaded her body. She died on July 27, 1998. One of Kelly’s favorite sayings “The best and most beautiful things in the world can’t be seen or touched. They must be felt with the heart.”

Planting: Apple Tree
Donated by: CSB Nursing graduating class 1999

Mario Retica

Mario Retica was the father of Margy Hughes, a dedicated faculty member and chair of the Physical Education Dept. Mario died July 1995. The tree was planted in August of 1996 and dedicated October of 1996.

Planting: Evergreen-blue spruce
Donated by: Tom and Margy Hughes, member of the CSB athletic and intramural departments
Location: West side of Alumnae Hall, HCC

S. Emmanuel Renner

Planting: Jerusalem Olive Tree
Donated by:
Location: South of Mary Commons

Jenny Anderson

Jenny was a graduate of the CSB class of 1987. Jenny died February 15, 1999 of breast cancer. She was 33 years old and left a husband (Mark Heymans, SJU ’87) and a two-year-old daughter (Kateri). Jenny was the youngest of 8 children in her family, and the only girl.

Planting: Tree
Donated by: group of CSB and SJU alums that knew Jenny

S. Brian Spain

A tree was planted in spring of 1993 to celebrate Sister Brian’s birthday which is December 4. The tree was a gift from the Residence Directors to show their appreciation to S. Brian for her leadership during the years she was the Director of Residential Life.

Planting: flaming maple tree
Donated by: Residence Directors
Location: between Mary Commons and Sacred Heart Chapel along the sidewalk

Jody Lynn Kleve

Jody Kleve, a management major, was a first year student at the College of Saint Benedict when she died on May 15, 1996 as a result of an automobile accident in St. Cloud, MN. Jody’s parents and family live on County Road 9 – Avon, MN. Colleen Kowich, her Resident Director, facilitated the memorial service in Sacred Heart Chapel as well as the tree planting memorial on May 21, 1996. 

Planting: Paper Birch tree
Donated by: Resident of Corona Hall (1995-96) 
Location: south of Corona

Jennifer Ellen Bates

Jennifer was a sophomore at CSB in 1998 when her life tragically ended in a car accident on Saturday, October 3 near her home in Green Isle, MN. Her parents are Gordon and Sharon Bates of Green Isle. In the spring of 1999, her parents, brothers and sisters brought a Hackberry tree from the Bates family farm in Green Isle. Together with CSB grounds staff, they planted the tree by Margretta Hall. Sister Lois Wedl, Residence Director of Margretta Hall, led the special tree planting/blessing ceremony. She was roommates with Jennifer Erkens.

Planting: Hackberry tree
Donated by: Jenni’s parents
Location: northwest lawn of Margretta Hall

Jennifer Erkens

Jennifer was a junior social work major at CSB in 1999 when her life was tragically ended in a car accident on July 7, 1999. She was on her way to work as a nursing assistant when a truck driver failed to stop at a red light and hit her car. She was roommates with Jennifer Bates.

Donated by:
Located: northwest lawn of Margretta Hall