photographer, adventurer and explorer John Alley died after a severe illness
on Feb. 25, 2014, after a two-day stay at Columbia-St.Mary's Hospital in
Ozaukee County. He had been in failing health with diabetes and related
Among his many professional memberships, John belonged to the American
Geographical Society, The Explorers Club and American Institute of Exploration.
He traveled to remote corners of the world in search of the best photo,
winning numerous awards for his work. From 1968 to 1979, he was the University
of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s chief photographer and was a pioneer in medical
photography. After leaving UWM, he was corporate photographer at what was
then the Wisconsin Gas Co. until 1995.
Early in his career, John was director of photography for the government
of American Samoa. Subsequent assignments took him to 26 countries, and
his work was carried in Time and Newsweek magazine.
An avid Scot, he was active for years in the St. Andrew's Society and
was a longtime supporter of the Milwaukee Highland Games. Being a Scot
was not a problem for The Irish American Post because this publication
utilized his services for years as our chief photographer. He also was
a regular photographer for Milwaukee Irish Fest.
all, a Celt is a Celt is a Celt. Among his many jobs for The Post,
John photographed the remote Tory Island off the Irish coast and became
good friends of the "King of Tory Island," painter/story teller Patsy Dan
Patsy Dan Rodgers (Patsaí Dan Mac Ruaidhrí). He also photographed
noted Irish and Northern Irish political and cultural leaders for The
Post when they visited Chicago and Milwaukee, including Sinn Fein's
Gerry Adams and Irish presidents Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese.
St. Andrew's Society honored John at the Society's annual "Kirking of
the Tartan," on April 6, at Milwaukee’s All Saints Cathedral. He was sent
off in fine style with bagpipes. His body has been cremated.
— Martin Hintz, publisher, The Irish American Post
Kathleen O. Sweeney
avid enthusiast of all things Irish, Kathleen O. Sweeney of Madison, Wis.,
died on February 11, 2014, at age, 81. She was very proud of her Irish
heritage and devoted much of her life in retirement traveling to Ireland,
collecting information about and artifacts of Ireland, including Irish
lace and related textiles, bog oak items, peat postcards, Irish jewelry
and many books relating to anything Irish. For many years, she worked
as an occupational therapist with the State of Wisconsin.
Her contacts at museums throughout Ireland brought her many friendships
that she cherished. Katie was often asked to lecture to groups about Irish
textiles, and could usually be found at Irish Fest in Milwaukee, extolling
the benefits of being Irish and making many become "wanna-be Irish".
An auction of her personal effects will be held on Aug. 2 and 3 at the
University Research Center just outside Madison. In her near 50 years
of retirement, Kathleen did not miss a corner of the world that intrigued
her. In those travels, she became a collector and student of textiles
and sewing tools, postcards tattoo, indigenous people, penguins, Scandinavia,
especially the Sami people, along with 3,000-4,000 books. Many of
these items will be offered at the auction.
Katie lived a wonderful and rewarding life and had a strong desire to
keep going but her heart and lungs could not take the pace.
Knowing this would be a fate to accept, Katie therefore left the bulk of
her estate to the University of Wisconsin School of Ecology to use for
education and example for those young folks who find a passion for those
things Katie found life enriching.
The public is invited attend the auction and see just what one woman
can accomplish in retirement. For more information, contact
Carole Bendtse, email@example.com, or home phone in the evenings at 608-271-9660.
Memorial donations to The Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection at The
Ruth Kelterer Harris Library in Katie's name would be appreciated: Gifts
of any amount in support of the HLATC can be made online at: supportuw.org/giveto/textiles.
To mail a gift, please make check payable to UW Foundation/HLATC and mail
to: UW Foundation, US Bank Lockbox, Box 78807, Milwaukee, WI 53278-0807.
— Carole Bendtse