In Memoriam

Colonel (Retired) Diane Butke, BS’61, MS, died at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on December 29, 2011, at age seventy-two. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1961 with her nursing degree. After graduation, she worked in Southern California at several health facilities, followed by a four-year assignment as a civilian nurse at Letterman Army Medical Center in San Francisco.

In 1967, she joined the Army. Tours of duty included working at an Army hospital in Saigon and serving at the Second General Hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, where she worked in intensive care. In 1983, she was assigned to the Office of the Surgeon General in Washington, D.C., and later appointed assistant chief of its nursing department. In 1988, she served as medical nursing consultant to the Army Surgeon General and consultant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. After retiring from the Army in 1992, she worked in various positions to benefit the Wounded Warriors Project, military nursing, and women in the military.


Marianne Maske Gallagher, BS’54, died on January 5, 2012, at age eighty-one. She lived with her husband, Patrick, in Salem, South Carolina. A native of Milwaukee, she completed both an English degree and her bachelor’s degree in nursing at the University of Wisconsin. She was a homemaker.


Thetis M. Group, PhD, dean and professor emerita of nursing at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York, died on January 20, 2012, at age seventy-four. In the late 1960s, she was appointed assistant professor of nursing at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she taught community health nursing. In 1972, she accepted a position as associate professor of community health nursing at Syracuse. In 1975, she was appointed full professor and dean of Syracuse School of Nursing. She continued as dean through 1985.

Group served as president of the New York State Deans of Nursing Council, during which time she was politically active in nursing's fight to establish the Bachelor of Science degree as the minimum entry level into nursing. She also lobbied to secure nurses’ rights to practice autonomously with prescriptive authority. After her retirement from Syracuse in 1997, she relocated to Scottsdale, Arizona, and maintained a second residence in Salt Lake City, Utah.


Norma J. Kolthoff, PhD, RN, professor emerita of nursing, passed away on November 11, 2011, at age ninety. She joined the School of Nursing faculty in 1971 as one of the first wave of doctorally prepared nursing faculty. As a nurse-researcher, she published scientific findings on blood flow and circulation in rats undergoing stress. She designed the first physiology research laboratory for the School of Nursing and was instrumental in introducing research methodology at the undergraduate level. Kolthoff was project director of the school's institutional research development program and was later appointed Helen Denne Schulte Professor of Nursing at the UW–Madison.

Nationally, she served on several prestigious committees, including the U.S. Public Health Service Nursing Review Committee. Several editions of her textbook on introductory physiology were used by many nursing schools. She was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.


Jeanne Lang, BS’51, died on January 2, 2012, at age eighty-four. She lived her entire life in Madison. She attended West High School before attending nursing school at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. After graduation, she was employed at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. Later, she worked for the Visiting Nurse Service in Madison before leaving to raise a family with her husband, Raymond. Her leisure time was spent gardening, feeding the hummingbirds, spending time each summer in Northern Wisconsin, and catering to her beloved Dachshunds.


Beverly Woolhiser Steinhoff, Cert.’53, BS’73, MS’78, passed away on January 8, 2012, in Madison at age eighty-one. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the UW–Madison, she held various nursing positions in Oklahoma, where her husband was stationed in the Army. Upon receiving her master’s degree with specialization in caring for premature infants, she taught as an instructor at the UW–Madison School of Nursing in both undergraduate- and graduate-level courses. Later in her career, she was employed at Central Wisconsin Center for the Developmentally Disabled in Madison.

As an active member of the Nurses’ Alumni Organization (NAO), Steinhoff served as president for a number of years. One of her most significant achievements was to challenge the Class of 1953 to pledge over $25,000 to the new School of Nursing building campaign. She was awarded the NAO’s Distinguished Achievement Award.