Jonas B. Kelsall, Lieutenant Commander (SEAL) Prior to arriving at The University of Texas at Austin, Jonas B. Kelsall (French, Naval ROTC ’01) enlisted in the Navy and completed Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training. In 1997, he received a NROTC scholarship to attend UT where he later met his future wife, Victoria, who was also a student there. Beyond his participation with the Naval ROTC unit, Jonas was involved in numerous activities on campus. He played with the men’s club soccer team and was also a member of a 2001 intramural flag football championship team.
Jonas and Victoria discovered their interest in travel and love for one another while living together in Paris, France through UT’s semester abroad program. Jonas graduated and received his Navy commission in 2001 and was assigned to SEAL Team 7, based in Coronado, Calif. In 2007, Jonas and Victoria were married and in 2008, Jonas was assigned to his East Coast SEAL team where he became a troop commander for his squadron.
During his numerous deployments in support of the Global War on Terror, Jonas was awarded the Legion of Merit, three Bronze Star Medals with Combat “V” Devices for Valor, a Purple Heart, a Joint Service Commendation Medal with Combat “V” Device for Valor, and a variety of other distinctions.
LDCR Kelsall was killed in action in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011, and has been buried at Arlington National Cemetery alongside his teammates.
Marian P. Michael, a longtime friend of the College of Liberal Arts, died on May 16 at age 83. A dedicated supporter of the university’s German Play Productions, Michael designed costumes and sets for German-language play productions, directed by her late husband Wolfgang F. Michael. She also played a key role in organizing the Texas Association of German Students, a statewide organization for students of German.
Richard Kraemer, professor emeritus of government, died June 11 at age 91. He served as an officer in the U.S. Army Air Forces and U.S. Air Force from 1942 to 1962. In 1965 Kraemer began his teaching career at The University of Texas at Austin, where he specialized in Texas politics. His textbooks on Texas politics and government set the field standard since the late 1970s. In 2010 he published his last book “The Secret War in the Balkans: a W.W. II Memoir.” He won the Jean Holloway Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1971.
John Sunder, professor emeritus of history, died April 3 at age 83. After serving two years in the U.S. Army in Korea, he came to The University of Texas at Austin in 1956 to teach Western history. In addition to publishing three award-winning books on the Missouri River fur trade, Sunder authored numerous journal articles and close to 100 reviews of new books in Western history. He designed a course that highlighted Arctic and Canadian history and taught the university’s first American Indian history course.
Frank Donahue, professor emeritus of germanic Studies who taught for 32 years at the university, died Nov. 23, 2010 at age 63. He served as director of the Department of Germanic Studies’ German language program for more than 20 years. A highly respected professor and mentor, Donahue received numerous teaching awards including the 1991 Dad’s Association Centennial Teaching Fellowship and the 1985 President’s Associates Teaching Award. In 2006 he was one of two finalists for the Friar Centennial Teaching Award.
Pouwel Veenstra, a retired classroom computer technician in Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services, died June 26 at age 61. Born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, he grew up in Salt Lake City and lived there until moving to Austin in 1991. An ardent music fan, Veenstra spent his free time creating and composing music on one of his many keyboards. Prior to joining the university in 1991, he worked at KRCL, a Salt Lake City radio station, where he worked as an audio mixer, audio director and sound engineer for live music broadcasts.