Campus mourns passing of alumnus and former employee Jason Blohm

Campus learned of the passing of Jason Blohm, a towering figure with a gigantic personality to match. Blohm ’01 (Geography, Urban and Regional Analysis) became a campus celebrity during his time as the student mascot Phlash the Phoenix from 1997 to 2001, not just because of his stature as the tallest (6-7) Phlash in the history of the program, but because he embraced what it meant to represent the University. In back-to-back years he was voted “best mascot” at national camps and competitions by his cheer team peers from across the country.

Blohm is also credited with naming the mascot “Phlash” — which was simply known in previous years as “The Bird.” In a UW-Green Bay 50th anniversary special edition of Inside Magazine, Blohm said, “I absolutely cherished my time as Phlash… becoming friends with the student-athletes, traveling to NCAA tournament games and really feeling like I was a part of UWGB.”

Blohm also worked as a career counselor in UW-Green Bay’s Career Services office from 2002-2003 before a long career in student services and most recently in private business.

He passed away on Friday, January 29, 2021 at the Nebraska Medical Center.

Jason Blohm
Jason Blohm

According to his obituary, “Jason was larger than life itself, a self-proclaimed ‘life enthusiast,’ he brought joy everywhere he went. Jason will be remembered by many for his devotion to his faith, unconditional love of his family and friends, his years of mascot fame as Phlash the Phoenix of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and Woody the Woodchuck of the Wisconsin Woodchucks. Anyone who has met Jason will forever recall his big heart and remember a gentleman who was generous with compliments.”

Mass of Christian Burial rites will be held Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021 at 1 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Elkhorn. Family and friends are invited for visitation Friday, Feb. 5, 2021 from 5 to 7 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, with a vigil service beginning at 7 p.m. Prayer Service and Burial will take place at St. Francis of Assisi Cemetery in Necedah, Wisconsin at a future date.

Friends are sharing stories and condolences at the Jason’s Virtual Waiting Room Facebook page.

Please see the full obituary.


Roy E. Downham, namesake of UW-Green Bay’s Downham Hall passed away

UW-Green Bay learned of the passing of Roy E. Downham on Jan. 27. Downham and friends, Robert Schaefer, John Robishaw, James Temp and Donald Long founded the non-profit University Village Housing, Inc. (UVHI) to develop resident housing for students at UW-Green Bay.

In 1994, Roy was recognized for his contributions to the development of university housing and for his service on the UVHI Board of Directors when University leaders dedicated a new three-story residence hall in his name.

During his career, Roy served on the Board of Directors for the following companies: TEC Systems Inc., ASI, Four Corp, Strategic Data Systems, Belmark, Nautilus Condo Assoc., Hurlbut Inc., UVHI, Bay Highlands Development, Ltd. and Kellogg Bank (now Associated Bank) where he was a Director for 13 years.

His long career as a mechanical engineer and businessman is documented in his obituary. Visitation for Roy will be held on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021 at Lyndahl Funeral Home, 1350 Lombardi Ave. from 4 to 7 p.m.

Campus mourns passing of one-time team physician and lifetime supporter, Dr. Jeremy Green

Campus mourns the passing of Dr. Jeremy Green, who passed away on January 10, 2021 just weeks shy of his 89th birthday. Dr. Green was a physician in the Green Bay Area, and served as a team physician for UW-Green Bay athletics. He and his wife Elizabeth, have been longtime supporters of UW-Green Bay.

According to his obituary, “Throughout his life, he was passionate about giving back to the profession and community that had been ‘so good to him and his family.’ He was an active volunteer with the Medical Societies of Brown County and the State of Wisconsin, the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary and Botanical Gardens, the N.E.W. Community Clinic, and Scholarships Inc. He was a strong believer in the importance of higher education, and so he dedicated much time and energy to helping the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay become more vibrant and successful. He helped establish UWGB Health Services and served as an advisor for both health services and the College of Human Biology for many years. He even served as a team physician for the men’s basketball and soccer teams.

“He received numerous awards for service to his community and profession, from the UWGB Chancellor’s Award for Lifetime Service, to the State Medical Society’s Physician-Citizen of the Year Award, and countless honors in between.”

“At the time of his retirement from active practice in May 2017, he was Wisconsin’s longest serving physician, and had mentored countless doctors and nurses who hoped to emulate the extraordinary sense of compassion that was at the heart of his approach to health care.”

Funeral services for Jeremy Green will be private and limited to family due to COVID restrictions. Later this year, the Greens plan to celebrate his life with a ceremony that will be open to all friends and family, including his family and relatives around the world.

See the full obituary.

UW-Green Bay community mourns the loss of two members of the Phoenix Family

In the the past few days, UW-Green Bay learned of the passing of John Kuhlmann, longtime librarian for the Marinette Campus, and Sarah Schuetze, assistant professor of English and Humanities on the Green Bay campus. In a message to the campus community Sunday, Chancellor Mike Alexander noted, “This is a great loss to our university community and to their respective fields. Our students have lost respected mentors and we have lost not just colleagues, but friends.”

A visitation for John Kuhlmann, will be Thursday, Jan. 14, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Cadieu Funeral Home, 549 10th Ave, Menominee. Campus friends and family are invited to attend.  Masks are required. Please see the full obituary.

Plans honoring Sarah Schuetze have not yet been announced.

Members of the faculty and staff needing support are encouraged to reach out in the following ways:

  • The Employee Assistance Program is a free, confidential service which can provide grief support to you during this time. You have access to confidential, completely private, 24-hour, 7-days-a-week counseling and online services through Kepro EAP. You may contact Kepro by calling 833-539-7285 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or visiting Kepro’s website. (Username: SOWI).  You will need to create an account to access the EAP resources online. 
  • Please also feel free to contact Human Resources at 920-65-2390 or if you would like additional information or have any questions about the Employee Assistance Program.


Campus mourns passing of education faculty emeritus Phil Thompson

Phil Thompson, photo courtesy of University Archives

UW-Green Bay learned last week of the passing of Phil Thompson, and associate professor of Education, who served for more than two decades at UW-Green Bay. Thompson was a lifelong basketball fan, and a regular in the “noon ball” league at the Phoenix Sports Center. He also served as clock operator for GB men’s basketball games for many years.

No obituary was passed along to the Log.

Thompson joined the UW-Green Bay faculty in 1971 as an assistant professor in the Education program, focusing in the areas of English and language arts. In addition to his instructional duties, Thompson supervised numerous independent studies and student teachers throughout his tenure. He routinely shared his expertise regarding teaching, classrooms, and curriculum matters by speaking at professional conferences, leading teacher in-service training, and serving as a consultant for school districts across Wisconsin. He also co-authored and presented an innovative language and literature text for the Green Bay Area Public School District. Thompson was recognized for his endeavors in 1985 with the UW-Green Bay Founder’s Award for Excellence in Outreach. At the time of the award, it was noted he “exemplified the finest in the ranking of the profession at UWGB.” In 1988, Thompson was further honored with a nomination for Wisconsin’s state educator of the year award. Thompson retired from UW-Green Bay in 1997. Upon the conferring of emeritus status, it was stated the recognition was due to his “tireless work at creating the first education program at UW-Green Bay and shepherding it through its continuous development.”

Written in collaboration with University Archives and Area Research Center.

UW-Green Bay mourns loss of retired communication staff member Betty Griese

The UW-Green Bay campus mourns the loss of longtime staff member Betty Griese, who passed away on August 18, 2020. Griese worked as an editorial assistant in Office of University Communication, retiring on Dec. 21, 1993.

“Betty was a vibrant woman of wide-ranging interests and life-long friends. And, she was a true adventurer. Betty hiked many Appalachian Trail segments; built hiking trails and repaired fire-watch towers with summer crews in Idaho; guarded Florida beaches on turtle watch; viewed whales in Baja; photographed polar bears in Hudson Bay; toured Kenya on safari; and studied folk dancing in England! And all the while being a loving wife and mother!” according to her obituary.

UW-Green Bay mourns the passing of retired Professor Peter Smith

UW-Green Bay mourns the passing of retired professor, Peter Smith, who passed away on Oct. 13, 2020. His teaching career started at Louisiana State University as an assistant professor of Marketing and he retired from UW-Green Bay as an associate professor of Marketing. He inspired many through his lectures, clever anecdotes, mentoring, and scholarly contributions.

“Peter died a loved, brilliant man with conviction, integrity, and honor. A gentleman in every sense of the word. He had a heart of gold that few had the privilege of seeing. Many would describe him as charming, entertaining, witty with a fantastic sense of humor, that could make anyone smile,” according to his obituary.

A small, private memorial service will be held in Green Bay before Peter goes home to West Lafayette, Indiana.  See his obituary, here.

Campus mourns the loss of longtime supporter Jack Riopelle

UW-Green Bay learned of the passing of Jack Riopelle a successful businessman and long-time supporter of UW-Green Bay. Jack’s wife, Ginny Riopelle was one of the founders of the Phuture Phoenix program. The couple has a long history with UW-Green Bay, and together, they provided an endowed scholarship to the program, as they believed in “launching and lifting others.”  Former Chancellor Gary Miller presented the couple with the Green Bay Society Award at a recognition in November of 2016.

In a past feature story, Ginny was recognized as one of the University’s most successful volunteer fundraisers. She served as a past trustee and co-chaired a highly successful capital campaign. Jack was recognized for helping create connections for UWGB with area business leaders. Together, they supported a number of scholarships and endowments at UW-Green Bay.

Because of COVID restrictions, a celebration of Jack’s life will be held in June, 2021. In the interim, people should email condolences, photos, and memories to to be shared at the gathering in June. You can see a full obituary, here.

Campus mourns loss of retired faculty member Dennis Bryan

UW-Green Bay learned of the loss of Dennis Bryan, one of the original faculty members in UW-Green Bay’s Education program. Bryan passes away on August 21, 2020. He served as a professor for 27 years. Honoring his wishes, there was no public funeral services. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Nature Conservancy. See the full obituary.