Dr. Karolyn Yocum, a longtime professor in Missouri Southern’s Communication Department, passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 23, in Lawrence, Kan.

She retired in May 2009 after teaching for 23 years at MSSU.

“Dr. Yocum left the University of Central Missouri in 1986 to help build the Communication Department at MSSU,” said Dr. Chad Stebbins, director of the Institute of International Studies. “She taught such classes as Interpersonal Communication and Small Group Communication and served as a mentor to me. She was the backbone of the department, along with Dr. Allen Merriam and Dr. Bob Clark, for many years.”

Merriam, a professor of communications who retired in 2008, remembered Yocum as “a valued colleague and stalwart member” of the department.

“She was always devoted to her students and family, and she believed deeply in the value of education,” he said.

There will be a viewing/visitation from 11 a.m. to noon Wednesday, March 2, at Simpson Funeral Home in Webb City, followed by services at noon. Graveside services will take place afterward in Anderson. The family will host a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. that evening in the MSSU Ralph L. Gray Alumni Center.