University of Chicago obituaries

Recent faculty, staff, and alumni obituaries.

Faculty and staff

Allan Rechtschaffen, professor emeritus of psychology, psychiatry, and in the College, died November 29 in Chicago. He was 93. A leading figure in establishing sleep research as an academic and clinical discipline, Rechtschaffen joined the University in 1957 as a clinician in the Department of Psychiatry. He soon became the director of the University’s Sleep Research Laboratory (today’s Sleep Research Center), founded in 1925 by Nathaniel Kleitman, PhD’23, the first such facility in the world. Inspired by Kleitman’s work on REM sleep, Rechtschaffen spent the next four decades working to identify the biological function and purpose of sleep. By studying the effects of sleep deprivation, primarily with rats, he concluded in a landmark 1983 paper that sleep is essential to survival. He cofounded and later led the Sleep Research Society, from which he received the Distinguished Scientist Award in 1989. He is survived by his wife, Karen Culberg Rechtschaffen, AM’68; three stepdaughters, including Katherine L. Culberg, LAB’86, and Laura Culberg, LAB’86; and four grandchildren.

Robert S. Daum, professor of pediatric infectious diseases, died February 1 in Brookeville, MD. He was 75. While at McGill University, where he earned bachelor and medical degrees, Daum discovered a genetic link for a metabolic disorder—work that led to a reduction in deaths and developmental impairments in infants. Daum devoted much of his career to finding a vaccine for the drug-resistant bacterium known as MRSA. Joining UChicago Medicine in 1988, Daum created a MRSA research center. He studied immunization rates at the former Robert Taylor Homes on Chicago’s South Side and community-associated MRSA infections at the Cook County Jail. Daum volunteered in Haiti following its 2010 earthquake. In 2017 he joined the faculty of the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He is survived by his wife, Susan; daughter Abigail Daum, LAB’13; two sons; two stepdaughters, including Shannon Vavra, LAB’12; a sister; two brothers; and four grandchildren.

Robert A. Butler, PhD’51, professor emeritus in surgery (otolaryngology) and psychology, of Spring Green, WI, died February 5. He was 98. Butler taught for several years at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he studied curiosity in monkeys. In 1957 he joined the faculty at UChicago, where he began to study hearing with an emphasis on the localization of sound and auditory perception. An important finding of his work was that humans could make vertical distinctions about location based on temporal frequency. Butler served as president of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology and was a fellow at the Acoustical Society of America. At the University, he chaired the Department of Behavioral Science (1979–82) and was acting chair of otolaryngology when he took emeritus status in 1984. Butler became a runner at 55, winning the St. Louis Marathon in his age group in 1981. He is survived by his wife, Caroline Butler, AM’52; daughters Amy Butler, LAB’72, Ann Zimrin, LAB’73, MD’81, Cathy Avery, LAB’75, and Elizabeth Butler, LAB’79, AM’90; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.


Florence Dasaky, PhB’46, MBA’50, of Frankfort, IL, died June 12, 2021. She was 94. Dasaky was retired from Chicago’s Sullivan High School, where she taught business education for several decades. She was a passionate world traveler and fan of the Chicago Cubs. Survivors include a niece and a great-nephew.

Dorothy “Dotty” Pikas Dale, EX’49, of Bellingham, WA, died March 10, 2020. A former preschool teacher, Dale taught for more than a decade at the City Colleges of Chicago Kennedy-King College. She and her husband, the late Rev. Alfred Dale Jr., DB’52, moved to Washington State, where she became a founding supporter of the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center, providing seed funding and serving as a board member and board president. In 2006 she received the Rosemary and Howard Harris Lifetime Peacemaker Award. The Dotty Dale Youth Peacemaker Award was established in her honor in 2021. Dale’s husband died in 2014. She is survived by a daughter, Ana K.
, AM’77; two sons; four grandchildren, including Thandiwe A. Dale-Ferguson, MDiv’13; and four great-grandchildren.

Eunice T. Goldberg-Greene, AM’49, of Encinitas, CA, died February 13, 2021. She was 95. Goldberg-Greene earned her master’s degree from the School of Social Service Administration (now the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice). She worked in home health and social services, including for San Diego Home Patient Care, and was a mentor to many. Her first husband, Nathan Goldberg, AB’40, JD’46, died in 1978. She is survived by two sons, including Joel I. Goldberg, LAB’70, MBA’79, and a brother.

Lorraine Friedman, AM’47, died in May 2021 in Chicago. She was 97. Beginning her career as a caseworker with the State of Illinois Department of Child and Family Services, she licensed and supervised foster homes and conducted adoptive home studies. Friedman then joined the Chicago Board of Education in 1966, serving as one of the first social workers with the Chicago Public Schools and retiring in 1998. Her husband, Norman B. Friedman, MBA’67, died in 1999. She is survived by a daughter, Adele Friedman, LAB’72, and a son, Victor A. Friedman, LAB’66, AM’71, PhD’75, the Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the Humanities.

Anne Colwell Askren, AB’47, of Athens, GA, died September 11. She was 93. The daughter of UChicago administrator Ernest Cadman Colwell, PhD’30, who served as president and chief operating officer under Chancellor Robert Maynard Hutchins, Askren grew up near the University and earned her bachelor’s in French. With a master’s in the field from Emory University, she taught French at the Westminster Schools in Atlanta. After raising her children, she returned to work as a regional copywriter for the publisher Scott Foresman and Company. Askren was active in her church as a secretary, an organist, and a choir singer. She is survived by two daughters, three sons, and 11 grandchildren.

Muriel D. Lezak, PhB’47, AM’49, died October 6 in Portland, OR. She was 94. Trained as a clinical psychologist, Lezak helped pioneer the field of neuropsychology. After practicing and teaching psychology at Portland State University and the University of Portland, she began working as a clinician in 1966 at Portland’s Veterans Administration hospital, where she treated former soldiers experiencing neurological trauma. This experience spurred her research on brain injuries and disorders. She went on to write the definitive textbook on the subject, Neuropsychological Assessment (1976); its forthcoming sixth edition will be titled, in the author’s honor, Lezak’s Neuropsychological Assessment. Her husband, Sidney I. Lezak, PhB’46, JD’49, died in 2006. She is survived by two daughters and nine grandchildren.

Mimi Levin Lieber, AB’48, AM’51, died October 16 in New York City. She was 93. After studying social psychology at UChicago, Lieber went to work at Columbia University’s Bureau of Applied Social Research, learning techniques that she would help introduce into the marketing industry through her pioneering use of focus groups. At her firm Lieber Attitude Research, she worked with major advertising agencies and corporate clients to mold the behaviors of the postwar American consumer. An authority on marketing to women, she hatched a notable success in the late 1960s with her work on the L’eggs pantyhose line for Hanes. Lieber also served on the New York Board of Regents, urging increased funding for low-income schools before founding her own early childhood literacy nonprofit. She is survived by a daughter, three sons, two brothers, and 10 grandchildren.

Zelda Toll Edelson, AB’49, died November 12 in Haverford, PA. She was 92. For more than two decades, Edelson was head of publications at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. After her 1995 retirement, Edelson took up painting and began writing poetry, tackling such subjects as her own mortality. Her works were exhibited in Woodbridge, CT, and in galleries around Philadelphia. Her husband, Marshall Edelson, PhB’46, PhD’54, MD’55, died in 2005. She is survived by a daughter; two sons, including Jonathan T. Edelson, MD’86; a sister, Charlotte Thurschwell, AB’51, AM’54; and six grandchildren, including Zachary E. Edelson, AB’11, and Eli A. Edelson, AB’13.


Franklin Sherman, AM’52, PhD’61, died August 31 in Bethlehem, PA. He was 93. Sherman served as pastor of Advent Lutheran Church in Chicago in the early 1950s, then taught at the University of Iowa and the University of Oxford’s Mansfield College. In 1966 he joined the faculty of the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, where he taught for 23 years, serving for 10 years as dean of faculty. As a founding director of the Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding at Muhlenberg College, he consulted with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in its 1994 declaration renouncing the anti-Semitic writings of Martin Luther. He is survived by a daughter, Leslie Sherman, LAB’81; two sons; and four grandchildren.

Edwin M. Bridges, AM’56, PhD’64, died March 7, 2019, in Stanford, CA. He was 85. Bridges, a professor of education at Stanford University, was known for the problem-based learning he applied to training educators. A former school principal, Bridges established the Prospective Principals’ Program at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education to build management and organizational skills in K–12 administrators. Bridges previously taught at Washington University; UChicago; and the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 2010, to honor Bridges’s contributions to his field, the University Council for Educational Administration created the Edwin M. Bridges Award. He is survived by his wife, Marjorie; a daughter; two sons; and four grandchildren.

Neil Proshan, MD’58, of Princeton, NJ, died May 21, 2020. He was 86. After completing his residency in radiology at the Roosevelt Hospital (now Mount Sinai West) in Manhattan, he served as a captain in the US Army. In 1964 Proshan took a position in St. Francis Medical Center’s radiology department in Trenton, NJ. Six years later he and two other radiologists cofounded Radiology Affiliates of Central New Jersey (now known as Radiology Affiliates Imaging), a practice from which he retired in 1997. He is survived by his wife, Maribeth; a daughter; two sons, including David A. Proshan, JD’92; and seven grandchildren.

David H. Kistner, AB’52, SB’56, PhD’57, died March 10, 2021, in Chico, CA. He was 89. An expert on the taxonomy of insects that live with ants and termites, Kistner was a professor of biology at California State University–Chico (1959–92), where he received several awards for his outstanding teaching. During extensive field trips in the tropics of Africa, Asia, and South and Central America, he collected, systematized, and named more than 357 insect genera and species. Author or coauthor of over 200 scientific papers, he edited the journal Sociobiology and consulted for the Environmental Protection Agency. He was also an avid butterfly collector. His wife, Alzada Carlisle Kistner, EX’57, died in 2004. He is survived by two daughters, a brother, a sister, and two grandchildren.

George A. Schultz, AB’53, died May 15, 2021, in Hampton, NJ. He was 89. A US Army Korean War veteran with a doctorate in zoology, Schultz spent his career at what is now New Jersey City University, teaching biology, marine biology, and ecology. He also wrote guidebooks and articles on marine isopods. Traveling widely for his research, he collaborated with many scientists to identify species of crustaceans. Schultz took pride in holding research privileges at the American Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Institution.

William M. Leiter, AM’58, PhD’68, died September 19 in Long Beach, CA. He was 87. In 1966 Leiter joined the political science faculty at California State University, Long Beach, where he spent his entire academic career. A dedicated scholar and mentor, he specialized in constitutional law, public policy, and the American presidency. In addition to presenting papers at conferences around the world, he served on the editorial board of the Presidential Studies Quarterly, edited the book California Government: Issues and Institutions (1971), and cowrote Affirmative Action in Antidiscrimination Law and Policy: An Overview and Synthesis (2002). He is survived by his wife, Sheila Fields Leiter, AB’58.

Alan M. Fern, AB’50, AM’54, PhD’60, of Chevy Chase, MD, died September 13. He was 90. An art historian who specialized in American prints and photographs, Fern worked at the Library of Congress for 20 years before joining the Smithsonian Institution, where he served as director of the National Portrait Gallery for nearly two decades. By the time he retired in 2000, he had helped double the gallery’s permanent collection. A life member of the board of the Smart Museum of Art, Fern received numerous honors, including the rank of chevalier in France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He is survived by his wife, Lois Fern, AB’54, AM’62, and sister, Annette Fern, AM’68.

Athan G. Theoharis, AB’56, AB’57, AM’59, PhD’65, died July 3 in Syracuse, NY. He was 84. Theoharis entered the College at age 16, going on to earn a master’s in political science and a PhD in history. He held teaching positions at Texas A&M University, Wayne State University, and Marquette University, where he taught 20th-century American history for almost four decades. A Cold War historian early in his career, he began uncovering documents about the wiretapping activities of US federal intelligence agencies and came to serve on a Senate committee investigating the legality of those agencies’ intelligence operations. Emerging as an expert at using Freedom of Information Act requests to uncover secret documents, he became an authority on the FBI and its civil liberties abuses under J. Edgar Hoover. His works include the coauthored biography The Boss: J. Edgar Hoover and the Great American Inquisition (1988) and the edited volume From the Secret Files of J. Edgar Hoover (1991). He is survived by two daughters, a son, two sisters, a brother, and five grandchildren.


Paul Rabinow, AB’65, AM’67, PhD’70, died April 6, 2021, in Berkeley, CA. He was 76. Rabinow was professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, where he taught from 1978 until 2019. As a UChicago doctoral student he traveled to Morocco to conduct ethnographic research for his dissertation; the experience would form the basis of another work, Reflections on Fieldwork in Morocco (1977). Early in his Berkeley career, Rabinow met French philosopher Michel Foucault. The pair collaborated on two books, Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics (1982), cowritten with Hubert Dreyfus, and The Foucault Reader (1984). Foucault’s untimely death from HIV-AIDS complications steered Rabinow to coteach Berkeley’s first course on the virus and to coin the concept of biosociality. Rabinow received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Science Foundation, and the French government named him Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Survivors include a son and a sister.

Raymond J. DeMallie Jr., AB’68, AM’70, PhD’71, died April 25, 2021, in Bloomington, IN. He was 74. A professor at the University of Indiana from 1973 to 2017, DeMallie began fieldwork in 1970 on reservations where the Sioux (Lakota, Dakota) and closely related Assiniboine (Nakota) peoples live. DeMallie focused on their language, creating recordings of historical traditions, myths, and tales. He edited the Plains volume of the Smithsonian’s Handbook of North American Indians (2001). Through the American Indian Studies Research Institute, which he helped establish, DeMallie developed curricula for Native American languages and legal historical work. In 2004 he was named a Chancellor’s Professor. He also was honored by the Plains Anthropological Society with its 2019 Distinguished Service Award.

Ronald F. Inglehart, AM’62, PhD’67, died May 8, 2021, in Ann Arbor, MI. He was 86. Inglehart joined the University of Michigan in 1966, where he was the Amy and Alan Loewenstein Professor of Democracy, Democratization, and Human Rights. Inglehart, who published more than 400 articles and authored or coauthored 14 books during his career, was one of the most cited political scientists in the world. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, his research explored how changes in human values affect politics in societies worldwide. As founding president of the World Values Survey, he conducted national surveys of more than 100 societies, collecting data on the values of ordinary people. He is survived by his wife, Marita; three daughters, including Elizabeth Inglehart Miller, LAB’83; two sons; a sister; and nine grandchildren.

Raymond T. Shepherd, SM’67, PhD’70, of Chicago, died June 13. He was 82. After serving in the US Navy during the Vietnam War, Shepherd came to UChicago and earned his master’s and PhD in mathematics. He became a faculty member at Roosevelt University in Chicago, where he taught math for more than three decades. Shepherd continued his mathematics research into the last months of his life.

Richard A. De Angelis, AM’69, PhD’79, died July 30 in Marseilles, France. He was 77. After spending part of his youth in Athens, Greece, where his father worked for the US Marshall Plan, De Angelis studied sociology as an undergraduate at Harvard and became one of 17 student authors of Chanzeaux: A Village in Anjou (1966), a study of rural French life edited by his mentor Lawrence Wylie. Earning his UChicago master’s and PhD in political science, De Angelis published his dissertation as Blue-Collar Workers and Politics: A French Paradox (1982). He spent most of his career at Flinders University in Australia, retiring in 2009 to the French village of Sérignan. He is survived by two daughters, two sisters, a brother, and two grandchildren.

Eugene N. Borza, AM’62, PhD’66, died September 5 in Harrisburg, PA. He was 86. An expert on the ancient kingdom of Macedonia, Borza taught history at Penn State University for just over three decades. He also lectured for the Archaeological Institute of America and held visiting appointments at institutions including the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Among other works, he coedited Philip II, Alexander the Great, and the Macedonian Heritage (1982) and wrote In the Shadow of Olympus: The Emergence of Macedon (1990). Borza helped launch the Association of Ancient Historians and served two terms as its president. He is survived by his wife, Kathleen Pavelko; a daughter; a son; and a grandchild.

Nadrian “Ned” Seeman, SB’66, died November 16 in New York City. He was 75. A revolutionary crystallographer, Seeman was the first to recognize DNA’s potential as a building block for synthetic materials, launching the field of DNA nanotechnology. He exploited DNA’s “sticky” properties to create crystal shapes not found in nature with potential to be used in nanoelectronics, drug delivery, and tissue engineering. A professor of chemistry at New York University since 1988, Seeman was the founding president of the International Society for Nanoscale Science, Computation, and Engineering, and a recipient of the 2010 Kavli Prize for Nanoscience. He is survived by his wife, Barbara Lipski.


Martin Northway, EX’70, died November 6, 2020, in Fulton, MO. He was 72. A journalist and freelance writer, Northway edited and wrote for two Chicago papers: the community newspaper Inside and the free arts journal Strong Coffee. Much of his writing covered his lifelong interests in history, the arts, and the American South. Northway also worked as president of the small regional publishing company Highland Press and as a reporter and managing editor at the Brown County Democrat. He is survived by a daughter, a son, three sisters, and four grandchildren.

Barry Robert Skura, AM’70, PhD’75, of Cold Spring, NY, died May 17, 2021. He was 73. After teaching at the university level early in his career, lifelong activist Skura served as a labor organizer in the 1980s in Boston and Brooklyn. He also worked for the New York City comptroller and at NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation (now NYC Health + Hospitals), where he developed systems to manage and assess governmental reimbursement at the local, state, and federal levels. An avid hiker, Skura was the backpack chair of the Appalachian Mountain Club’s New York–New Jersey Chapter and led trips in New Zealand, Arizona, the Appalachian and Smoky Mountains, and the Adirondacks. He is survived by his wife, Kathy; two stepchildren; and four grandchildren.

Wayne E. Nacker, SM’72, died June 13 in Atlanta. He was 74. While earning his UChicago master’s in chemistry, Nacker worked in a research laboratory investigating sickle cell disease. Later, with a JD from DePaul University, he worked in intellectual property law at the Chicago firm Fitch, Even, Tabin & Flannery; at the manufacturer Morton Thiokol; and at MicroCoating Technologies Inc. in Atlanta. A world traveler, Nacker also led groups in outdoor activities and service projects. He is survived by his partner, Trudy; a daughter, Chelsea Nacker Wraith, MBA’21; a son; a sister; and a brother.

Janis M. Oldham, AB’78, of Greensboro, NC, died July 14. She was 65. Oldham earned her doctorate in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley, specializing in differential geometry. She was an associate professor of mathematics at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. A member of the National Association of Mathematicians (NAM), she served as editor of the NAM Newsletter and won the association’s Stephens-Shabazz Teaching Award for her work helping develop mathematical talent in underrepresented undergraduate students. Oldham also provided mentorship through the EDGE (Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education) program for women in mathematics. She is survived by her mother and three brothers.

Ann Preston Drennan, AM’70, died August 19 in Craftsbury, VT. She was 87. At UChicago, Drennan, who earned her degree in education, also worked in her department’s library and as a research assistant in reading and adult education. She evaluated a federal adult basic education program in Appalachia until 1974, when she moved with her husband to Washington, DC. There Drennan held contract positions with the US Department of Education, Catholic University, and the World Bank. After 25 years with the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Drennan retired to her native Vermont. She is survived by a daughter, two sons, six grandchildren, and a great-grandchild.


Patricia Jane Cober Ashbrook, AM’83, died May 24, 2021, in Washington, DC. She was 95. Ashbrook began her career as an early childhood educator, serving inner-city, high-risk preschool children in Rochester, NY. She later changed to geriatric social work with the Aging Services Unit of the Family Services Department. After she and her husband moved to Evanston, IL, in 1981, Ashbrook was a caseworker for Parkside Adult Day Care Center in Glenview, IL, and then for United Charities in Chicago. She later became president of the Evanston Housing Coalition. She is survived by three daughters, a son, a sister, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Lonna Schroeder Braverman, MBA’86, died October 14 in Bozeman, MT, of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. She was 67. By the age of 17, Braverman had earned her pilot’s license and was a competitive athlete. Living in Chicago, she began her career as a computer engineer, working for GTE Automatic Electric, SEI Information Technology, and Ygomi LLC. She also helped found the Chicago Women’s Rugby Club. She is survived by a brother and two stepdaughters.


Justin C. Meilgaard, AM’90, died August 20 in Honolulu. He was 55. With his bachelor’s in history and his master’s in international relations, Meilgaard served as a study abroad adviser for Eastern Michigan University, the University of Colorado Boulder, and other institutions. He later worked in the dean’s office at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa Shidler College of Business. He is survived by a son and a brother.


Daniel P. Cherette, AB’11, died March 3, 2021, of cancer, in Washington, DC. He was 31. Cherette was a management consultant at L.E.K. Consulting in Chicago before moving with his wife, Jenny Cho, AB’11, to Washington, where he worked in economics consulting as a vice president of Compass Lexecon. Cherette graduated Phi Beta Kappa and served at UChicago as a student marshal. He is survived by his wife, his parents, a sister, and two brothers.