Recent faculty, staff, and alumni obituaries.
Faculty and staff
Donald Levine, AB’50, AM’54, PhD’57, the Peter B. Ritzma Professor Emeritus of Sociology and onetime dean of the College, died April 4. He was 83. His work as a sociologist spanned a wide spectrum, from the intellectual genealogy of the social sciences to Ethiopian culture and history to academic pedagogy. During his almost five-decade career at UChicago, Levine added many new programs and classes, including an African civilization sequence and a popular course that incorporated Aikido martial arts, in which he held a fourth-degree black belt. As dean of the College from 1982 to 1987, he expanded the Core curriculum and enriched the non-academic aspects of campus life, strengthening the house system and helping to start the annual Kuviasungnerk/Kangeiko winter festival. He is survived by his wife, Ruth Levine, AM’66; a daughter, Rachel S. Levine, LAB’90; two sons; and three grandchildren.
Norman H. Nie died April 2 in Sun Valley, ID. He was 72. Known for his scholarship on political participation and public opinion, Nie was one of the graduate student creators of the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), the data analysis software that fundamentally changed how social scientists use large data sets, becoming president and CEO of the resulting company, SPSS, which was sold to IBM in 2009. Nie joined the UChicago faculty in 1968, becoming a full professor in 1977 and serving twice as chair of the political science department. He retired in 1998 with emeritus status. He is survived by his wife, Carol Phyllis Nie, MBA’80; two daughters, Anne Nie, LAB’86, AM’96, and Lara Slotwiner-Nie, LAB’85; and two granddaughters.
Charlene Sennett, associate professor of radiology at the University of Chicago Medicine, died in Chicago on March 23 while awaiting a heart transplant. She was 62. A breast imaging specialist, Sennett completed her residency at UChicago Medicine and returned in 2002 as assistant professor, later becoming associate professor and interim section chief of breast imaging from 2011 to 2014. She was an author or investigator on many studies on new imaging techniques and computer-aided analysis of diagnostic images. She is survived by her husband, H. Rodney Holmes; a daughter; and a son.
Tsuen-Hsuin Tsien, AM’52, PhD’57, professor emeritus of East Asian languages and civilizations and curator emeritus of the East Asian Collection of the Joseph Regenstein Library, died April 9 in Chicago. He was 105. Tsien’s devotion to the books and culture of his native China was evident early in his career as a librarian, when he smuggled 30,000 rare books out of Japanese-occupied Shanghai. He was invited to the University of Chicago as an exchange scholar in 1947 to pursue graduate work and catalog the University’s Chinese book collection, launching a decades-long career with the University. He is the author of many works on Chinese bibliography and literature, and continued to research and write long after his retirement in 1978. He is survived by two daughters, including Mary Tsien Dunkel, AB’65, MAT’67.
Anthony C. Yu, PhD’69, the Carl Darling Buck Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the Humanities and the Divinity School, died May 12. He was 76. Yu’s work on religion and literature drew on both Eastern and Western traditions, and he made scholarly contributions on figures as diverse as Aeschylus, Dante, and William Faulkner. He is best known for his translation of The Journey to the West (1983), a complex 16th-century Chinese epic novel. The four-volume work took Yu more than 15 years to translate. A 2009 Norman Maclean Faculty Award recipient, Yu taught at the University for 46 years and was known for inviting students over for dinner or to the symphony. He is survived by his wife, Priscilla Yu, former director of the University’s special gifts office, and his son.
Selmer M. Loken, MD’38, of Shoreview, MN, died May 8. He was 102. Loken was on staff at Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul, MN, from 1938 to 1978, serving as chief of medicine from 1955 to 1966. In 1978 the hospital recognized his service by inaugurating the S. M. Loken Humanitarian Medicine Award, and in retirement he continued to provide care to medically underserved populations at local clinics. He is survived by five daughters, eight grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren.
Gus S. Kass, SB’38, of Northbrook, IL, died April 6. He was 99. A cosmetic chemist, he developed a cold permanent hair waving process still in use, and helped develop permanent shampoo-in hair color, aerosol hairspray, and aerosol powder antiperspirants. Director of research and development at Alberto-Culver Company from 1960 to 1974, he later began a consulting firm. He is survived by two daughters, three granddaughters, two grandsons, and eight great-grandchildren.
Irving Sheffel, AB’39, died May 18 in Topeka, KS. He was 98. A US Army veteran during WW II, Sheffel worked for the federal government in Washington, DC, before moving to Topeka and becoming an administrator at the Menninger Clinic, a mental health facility. He worked at the clinic for 40 years and was an active philanthropist in Topeka. His first wife, Bernice Sheffel, AB’38, AM’45, died in 1995; his second wife, Peggy, died in 2012.
Peter P. Dzubay, MBA’40, died May 24 in Middletown, CT. He was 99. Dzubay spent most of his career with Northeast Utilities in Berlin, CT. He was also in the US Naval Reserves, serving on active duty during World War II and retiring as a commander in 1975. He is survived by five sons; his sister, Marsha D. Tillson, SB’44; three granddaughters; and two grandsons.
Clarence C. Jamison, EX’41, of Cleveland died March 6, 2014. He was 96. During World War II, Jamison served as a Tuskegee Airman in the then-segregated US military, participating in 67 combat missions. After the war, he remained in the Air Force for 22 years as an accounting and finance officer, retiring as a lieutenant colonel, before returning to his native Cleveland and working for the Social Security Administration. His wife, Phyllis Piersawl Jamison, SB’41, died in 1995. He is survived by a daughter, a son, a sister, a brother, four grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.
Richard Perry Matthews, AB’42, of Ewing, NJ, died February 1. He was 94. A World War II veteran who served in the Army Air Corps in the Philippines, Matthews spent most of his career as a librarian at Trenton State College. He enjoyed sports, particularly football and baseball. He is survived by his wife, Priscilla Smith-Matthews; a daughter; a son; two grandchildren; two stepdaughters; and several step-grandchildren.
Anthony Pizzo, SB’43, MD’45, of Bloomington, IN, died January 14. He was 93. Pizzo was a pathologist and educator at Indiana University Health as well as a civic leader, serving as county coroner, city council member, and state representative. His medical background inspired him to propose and help enact one of Indiana’s first smoke-free laws in Bloomington. He received the Alumni Association’s Public Service Award in 1983, and in 2005 he was inducted into the Monroe County Hall of Fame. He is survived by his wife, Patricia Pizzo, EX’48; three daughters, Sarah P. Press, AB’75, Julie Pier Pizzo, AB’77, and Fiora G. Pizzo, AB’88; four sons; a sister; sixteen grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
George C. Beattie, MD’43, of San Mateo, CA, died May 16. He was 95. Beattie served in the US Navy during World War II and the Korean War, earning a Bronze Star, and continued his service at two US naval hospitals. In 1956 he joined a private orthopedic surgery practice in Burlingame, CA, retiring in 2000. He was the president of the Western Orthopaedic Association and of the Northern California Easter Seals Society. He is survived by his wife, Nancy; a daughter; two sons; five granddaughters; one grandson; and two great-grandchildren.
Janet Halliday Ervin, PhB’46, died December 30 in Franklin, WI. She was 91. In 1946 Ervin won Vogue magazine’s prestigious Prix de Paris essay contest, but turned down the prize of working in Vogue’s New York and Paris offices. She instead married and raised a family but continued to write, including newspaper and magazine articles and three books. She had a talent for winning jingle-writing contests, once bringing home a new Chevrolet. She is survived by three sons, including Howard G. Ervin III, JD’72; two granddaughters; two grandsons; and one great-grandson.
Anna Strizhak Kaufman, AM’47, died March 21 in Anaheim, CA. She was 89. Kaufman worked for Chicago Jewish Family Services before moving in 1959 to Southern California, where she later worked in the developing field of geriatric social work. A founder of the Jewish Home for the Aged and a senior learning community center in Orange County, she was on the founding board of the University of Southern California School of Gerontology. In 1992 she received the Koshland Award as California’s Social Worker of the Year. Her husband, Clarence Kaufman, AM’52, died in 2007. She is survived by four daughters, including Ellen Kaufman Dosick, AB’75, AM’76, and three grandchildren.
Brunhilde Metlay Goodman, AM’48, died April 1 in Yonkers, NY. She was 90. A social worker, she spent 45 years in public and private agencies helping children and the poor, first in New Jersey and then in Westchester County, NY. She is survived by two daughters; a son, David A. Goodman, AB’84; three granddaughters; and a grandson, Jacob S. Goodman, Class of 2019.
Richard Thomas Selden, AB’48, PhD’54, of Charlottesville, VA, died April 2. He was 93. A student of Milton Friedman, AM’33, Selden contributed a chapter to Friedman’s Studies in the Quantity Theory of Money (1956). After teaching at Vanderbilt, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, and Stanford Universities, he joined the University of Virginia in 1969. He held the Carter Glass Professorship in Money and Banking and served for many years as the chair of the economics department. He is survived by his wife, Sue; a daughter; a son; a brother; six grandchildren; a stepdaughter; and a stepson.
Franz J. Berlacher, SB’49, MD’51, died April 29 in Sylvania, OH. He was 86. Berlacher completed his residency in Detroit and was stationed briefly in Honolulu with the US Army before becoming chief of cardiology at Mercy Hospital in Toledo, OH, a position he held for 30 years. He was an avid Notre Dame football fan and enjoyed traveling to California wine country. He is survived by his wife, Audrey; three daughters; four sons; 19 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
David Clagett, AB’49, of Columbia, MD, died March 29. He was 86. A second lieutenant in the US Army during World War II, Clagett spent most of his career at the Social Security Administration. He enjoyed hiking, picnicking, and travel. He is survived by his wife, Maxine Kell; two daughters; three granddaughters; one grandson; a stepdaughter; and a stepson.
Harlan Millard Smith, PhD’49, died February 22 in Fanwood, NJ. He was 93. A US Air Force veteran and Bronze Star recipient, Smith was a research chemist with Exxon, retiring in 1985. He was active in his church, serving on the vestry and singing in the choir, and belonged to the American Chemical Society, the Westfield Glee Club, and the English-Speaking Union. He is survived by three sons, a sister, a brother, and four granddaughters.
Harry Eshleman, AB’50, died May 10 in Kutztown, PA. He was 85. A US Army veteran, Eshleman taught communications and journalism at Kutztown University for 25 years. He both wrote poetry and worked to promote the art, serving as a board member and onetime president of the Wallace Stevens Poetry Society and hosting Poet’s Pause on BCTV. He is survived by his wife, Barbara Nelson Peters; four daughters; one son; 13 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Esther (Millman) Sparks Sprague, AB’51, died April 3 in Tupelo, MS. She was 82. One of 12 Hutchins scholars in her class, Sprague earned a PhD in art history from Northwestern and became a curator at the Art Institute of Chicago and later the director of a Chicago art gallery. She was the author of several books and lectured at institutions around the country. Since 1996, she had been an adjunct professor at the University of Mississippi. Her first husband, Morton J. Sparks, AB’52, died in 1984. She is survived by two daughters, a granddaughter, a grandson, and two stepdaughters.
Otto Leroy Karlstrom, PhD’52, of La Conner, WA, died April 30. He was 93. A US Navy veteran, Karlstrom spent his civilian career as an analyst and liaison between several NATO countries and the US State and Defense Departments and the CIA. He enjoyed home repair projects and traveling. He is survived by his wife, Esther; two daughters; two sons; a brother; two granddaughters; three grandsons; and three great-grandchildren.
John “Jack” Lynch Jr., AB’55, SB’56, died April 30 in Seattle. He was 80. A Hutchins scholar, Lynch served in the US Navy before beginning his pediatric practice. He also donated his time to young people, volunteering on the local school board and coaching soccer. In retirement, he played the clarinet in several orchestras around Seattle. He is survived by his wife, Ingrid; two daughters, including Maureen Anne Healy, AM’94, PhD’00; two sons; a sister; and seven grandchildren.
Blanca Cordova Anderson, AM’57, died February 6 in Tallahassee, FL. She was 86. Anderson was a native of Puerto Rico who taught history and the social sciences at the University of Puerto Rico for three decades. After retiring in 1997, she tutored schoolchildren in Florida, Louisiana, and Indiana. Her husband, Robert Anderson, AM’48, died in 1999. She is survived by three daughters, a son, two sisters, four granddaughters, and three grandsons.
Alfred Carter Jefferson, PhD’59, of Boston died February 28. He was 87. A US Navy veteran, Jefferson taught history at several universities, including the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he also taught writing. More recently, he was a family therapist and a founding editor of the Internet Review of Books. He is survived by his wife, Lucy B. Jefferson, AB’54, AB’55, AM’57; a daughter; a sister; a granddaughter; a grandson; and a great-grandson.
Arthur Thompson, MBA’60, died May 9 in Danvers, MA. He was 96. A US Army veteran, Thompson was an engineer who spent most of his career in higher education, retiring as professor emeritus of engineering from Boston University and as provost emeritus from the Wentworth Institute of Technology. A trustee emeritus at two universities, he was a recipient of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers’ Education Award and the US Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Medal. He is survived by two daughters, one granddaughter, and one great-grandson.
Dennis J. Weidenaar, AM’61, of West Lafayette, IN, died May 16. He was 78. An economist, Weidenaar started teaching at Purdue University in 1966, becoming a full professor in 1978. He was dean of Purdue’s School of Management and Krannert Graduate School of Management from 1990 to 1999 and then returned to teaching, retiring with emeritus status in 2005. He is survived by his wife, Kristin; a daughter; a son; a brother; two granddaughters; and two grandsons.
William B. Kelley, EX’63, died May 17 in Chicago. He was 72. A lawyer, historian, and advocate for LGBTQ rights, in 1966 Kelley helped to organize the first national gay and lesbian conference and attended the first meeting of gay rights activists at the White House in 1977. He was involved with many LGBTQ groups and task forces during his almost 50 years of activism and edited several publications and books on LGBTQ history. He is survived by his partner, Chen Ooi.
Frederick L. Pipin, MBA’64, died March 3 in Farragut, TN. He was 77. Pipin was a competitive sports car racer before beginning his business career. In the late 1970s, he bought a steel door business, the Kewanee Corp, which he ran until 2006, and was active in the steel door industry’s trade group. He was also a frequent entrant in sailing races. He is survived by his brother.
David E. Leach, AB’66, of Berkeley, CA, died March 13, 2010. He was 66. A professional photographer, Leach specialized in human nature and culture, and his work took him to Mexico, Nepal, and Bali. He also imported clothes from Bali designed by his wife, Jean Cacicedo. He is survived by his wife and many friends.
Jerry Gerasimo, AM’54, PhD’66, of Menomonie, WI, died on April 4. He was 84. A US Army veteran, Gerasimo was a longtime sociology professor at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, retiring in 1996. He also taught classes at two local prisons and at the Mayo Clinic. He enjoyed movies, books, martial arts, current events, and the outdoors. He is survived by three daughters, a sister, and two grandchildren.
Marshall Morgan, MD’68, died April 16 in Los Angeles. He was 73. Trained as a cardiologist, Morgan gravitated to the emerging specialty of emergency medicine and in 1974 was appointed assistant professor and acting codirector of the emergency medical center at the University of California, Los Angeles. Later chief of UCLA’s emergency medicine division and chief of staff of the UCLA Medical Center, he was honored with UCLA’s most prestigious faculty award in 2007 and served as president of the Los Angeles County Medical Association in 2013–14. He is survived by his wife, Jean Marie; two daughters; three sons; 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Raymond Cooper, AM’69, died March 2 in Rockford, IL. He was 79. A US Army veteran, Cooper was the director of social services for the city of Richmond, VA. He was active in his church and was a member of other organizations including Phi Beta Sigma, the National Association of Black Social Workers, and the Freemasons. He is survived by his wife, Virginia, and three brothers, including Walter Ronald Cooper, JD’74.
Phil Harrington, MBA’69, of Scottsdale, AZ, died May 23. He was 75. Harrington worked for GTE Automatic Electric for 21 years, retiring as vice president of research and development at age 48. He then founded ICM Document Solutions, growing the company from a handful of employees to more than 150. He is survived by his wife, Carol; a daughter; a son; and four grandchildren.
John Makin, AM’69, PhD’70, an economist and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, died March 30 in New York City. He was 71. A student of Milton Friedman, AM’33, and Gary Becker, AM’53, PhD’55, Makin taught economics at several universities and later worked as a principal at a hedge fund. He was an adviser to the Congressional Budget Office and the US Treasury Department for more than a decade, and was the author of many books and articles as well as the AEI’s monthly Economic Outlook. He is survived by his wife, Gwendolyn van Paasschen; a daughter, Jane V. Makin, AB’14; and a sister.
Robin M. Smith, MAT’70, died May 23 in Syracuse, NY. She was 69. An advocate for people with special needs, Smith taught at the Chicago Public High School for Metropolitan Studies before becoming an associate professor of special education at the State University of New York at New Paltz. She is survived by two brothers, two nieces, two nephews, and seven great-nieces and nephews.
Wojciech Komornicki, AB’71, of Roseville, MN, died of cancer on May 17. He was 65. Komornicki taught math at Hamline University for 38 years. A lifelong learner, he attended classes at the University of Minnesota until a week before his death. He used his abilities as a computer program designer to help fellow faculty members and local nonprofits, and enjoyed sailing, hiking, and other outdoor activities. He is survived by his wife, Mary Louise Hammond, AB’72; a daughter; and a brother.
Nazar Hayat Tiwana, AM’71, died June 17 in Glenview, IL. He was 87. Born in undivided Punjab, Tiwana served as a Pakistani diplomat before moving to the United States. He worked at the Newberry Library while completing his master’s in library science at UChicago, and later held positions at Encyclopaedia Britannica and the Chicago Public Library, where he conceived and directed the American Ethnic Heritage Program. In retirement he worked to promote religious tolerance and peace in Southeast Asia. He is survived by his wife, Sarware; a daughter; and a son, Omar Tiwana, AB’75.
John Culver Wooley, PhD’75, died of cancer on April 20. He was 69. Known for his work in computational biology, Wooley was a professor at Princeton University before becoming a program officer at the National Science Foundation, where he helped to establish some of the first federal programs in genomics and bioinformatics. In 1999 he joined the University of California, San Diego, as associate vice chancellor of research and in 2006 became a professor of pharmacology as well. He is survived by his wife, Su-Yun Chung, PhD’74, and a son.
Byron L. Sherwin, PhD’78, died of kidney cancer on May 22 in Chicago. He was 69. A Jewish theologian, Sherwin was on the faculty of the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago for 45 years. He was the author of more than 30 books and 150 articles, and in 1995 the Polish government awarded him its presidential medal for his work improving Jewish-Polish and Jewish-Catholic relations. He is survived by his wife, Judith Sherwin, MLA’05, AM’11; his son, Jason S. Sherwin, AB’05; his mother; and his brother.
Irene A. Bierman-McKinney, PhD’80, of Los Angeles, died March 8. She was 72. A scholar of Islamic art and architecture, Bierman-McKinney curated exhibitions and participated in a television series on Islamic art before joining UCLA’s art history department in 1982. She was the interim director of the American Research Center in Cairo and served with other international research organizations in the Middle East, retiring from UCLA as professor emerita in 2012. She is survived by her husband, Carlton McKinney, and her brother.
Donald Link, AB’82, died of a heart attack on March 15 in Princeton, NJ. He was 54. Fluent in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, Link served as an Asian language specialist and cryptographer in the US Navy. As an interpreter of Asian language financial documents for Bloomberg, he earned a promotion to the company’s New York City headquarters. Link also interviewed prospective College students with the Alumni Schools Committee. He is survived by his wife, June “Sunny” Link, and a daughter.
Jon Iric “Jack” Roberts, AB’84, of New York City, died April 15, 2012. He was 51. A poet and novelist, Roberts was a professor of English literature at St. Thomas Aquinas College for 18 years, and had been a Fulbright Scholar and a lecturer in American Studies at the University of Szeged, Hungary. He translated many Hungarian poems into English and was published in The Best American Poetry 1991. He is survived by his parents and a sister. [This notice corrects information in the May–June/15 issue.—Ed.]
Vinh Truong, MBA’06, died in an avalanche on Mount Everest following the April earthquake in Nepal. He was 48. A resident of Sunnyvale, CA, Truong worked as an IT consultant for health system Kaiser Permanente. He enjoyed all outdoor activities, especially hiking; Mount Everest was his dream trip. He is survived by several family members.
Michael E. Lanter, MBA’13, died May 16 in Indianapolis. He was 31. Lanter was an investment bank analyst in San Francisco and a trader with Goldman Sachs in New York before enrolling at Chicago Booth in 2011. After graduation he returned to New York, working as a hedge fund consultant and later starting his own consulting company. He enjoyed sports and spending time with friends and family. He is survived by his parents, his stepparents, a sister, two brothers, and his grandparents.
Chace L. Johnson, Chicago Booth Class of 2018, a native of Edina, MN, died after a three-year battle with stage IV colon cancer on January 5. He was 28. A University of Wisconsin–Madison graduate, Johnson was enrolled in Booth’s Weekend Program while working full time at Piper Jaffray. He was a sports fan and devout Christian. Johnson is survived by his parents, two sisters, a brother, and his grandparents.