University of Chicago obituaries

Recent faculty, staff, and alumni obituaries.

Trustees

Richard J. Franke, trustee emeritus, died April 15 in New York City. He was 90. Franke served for 22 years as chief executive officer of the Chicago investment management firm Nuveen. He also cofounded the Chicago Humanities Festival and helped establish the Franke Institute for the Humanities at UChicago to encourage new projects across departments and disciplines. Franke held a bachelor’s degree from Yale and an MBA from Harvard. At Nuveen, he quickly rose to senior executive positions and often hired new analysts with advanced humanities degrees as well as those with MBAs. With his wife, Barbara, Franke made numerous gifts to the University in support of the Franke Faculty Fellowships, Franke Dissertation Completion Fellowships, and the Barbara E. and Richard J. Franke Distinguished Service Professorship, held by the Franke Institute director. Among Franke’s honors are the National Humanities Medal and membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, and three grandchildren, including Maya R. Goldman, AB’15.

Faculty and staff

Kenneth W. Dam, JD’57, the Law School’s Max Pam Professor Emeritus of American and Foreign Law, died May 31 in Long Grove, IL. He was 89. The son of a Kansas farmer, Dam graduated first in his Law School class and clerked for the US Supreme Court. He joined the Law School faculty in 1960 and for many years directed the school’s program in law and economics. Dam also served as the University’s fourth provost from 1980 to 1982. He took three leaves of absence from the University to work in government, serving under George S. Schultz in the Office of Management and Budget in the 1970s and as Schultz’s deputy secretary of state during the Reagan administration. Later, as deputy secretary of the treasury under George W. Bush, Dam coordinated international efforts to eradicate the sources of financing for terrorist groups after the September 11 attacks. Along the way he authored several books on economic policy and served in top corporate and nonprofit roles. He is survived by his wife, Marcia; a daughter, Charlotte Dam, LAB’96; a son; and two grandchildren.

Helmut Krebs, a master machinist and a manager in the Physical Sciences Division’s central machine shop, died April 17 in Chicago. He was 87. Over a 50-year career, Krebs designed and built precision instrumentation to support University research in the physical and medical sciences. He partnered with faculty in chemistry, physics, and other disciplines—who, in the era before computers, would bring their hand-drawn blueprints to the shop, seeking Krebs’s advice—to build the designs for many successful complex instruments. Krebs collaborated with former UChicago chemistry professor and 1986 Nobel laureate Yuan T. Lee to produce a crossed beam molecular scattering apparatus. Krebs was granted several patents, and late in his career mentored undergraduates as manager of the Student Machine Shop. He is survived by his son,Werner G. Krebs, LAB’92, SB’96, SM’96; two sisters; and a brother.

John P. Schiffer, of Downers Grove, IL, professor emeritus of physics and former director of the physics division at Argonne National Laboratory, died June 6. He was 91. During his nearly 70-year career, Schiffer contributed to research on nuclear structure, crystalline beams, and neutrinoless double beta decay. He helped develop a spectrometer concept that is now part of several radioactive ion beam facilities, and he advanced US and international nuclear physics through his service on advisory committees. Born in Hungary, Schiffer immigrated to the United States at age 16 and earned physics degrees at Oberlin College and Yale. His many honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship and the American Physical Society’s Bonner Prize in Nuclear Physics. He is survived by his wife, Marianne; a daughter, Celia Schiffer, AB’86; a son; and three grandchildren.

1940s

Susan Hubbell Dawson, AM’44, died March 6 in Baton Rouge, LA. She was 101. During World War II, Dawson worked with the Red Cross and enrolled in what is now the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice. Her social work career included assignments at a New York City settlement house and in the Baton Rouge public schools. In 1962 Dawson joined the social work faculty at Louisiana State University, where she mentored students, taught, and published and edited research on social welfare until her retirement. Her husband, Joseph G. Dawson Jr., AM’47, PhD’49, died in 1996. She is survived by a daughter, a son, four grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

Leonard Newmark, AB’47, of La Jolla, CA, died May 2. He was 93. One of the last surviving founding faculty members of the University of California, San Diego, Newmark joined its faculty in 1963. He hired the original faculty for the linguistics department and helped recruit social scientists in various fields. His research focused on Albanian language, the history of English, and language acquisition. In retirement Newmark produced the Oxford Albanian-English Dictionary (1998) and earned membership in the Albanian Academy of Sciences. He is survived by his wife, Ruth; a daughter; a son; and two grandchildren.

Lawrence P. Malkin, AB’49, died April 19 in New York City. He was 91. Malkin’s long career as a foreign correspondent included reporting on the Six-Day War for the Associated Press and on the 1978 Afghanistan Revolution for Time magazine. Writing from Paris, London, New Delhi, and Madrid (as well as Washington, DC), he won an Overseas Press Club Award in the 1960s and later covered Wall Street for the International Herald Tribune. His book Krueger’s Men: The Secret Nazi Counterfeit Plot and the Prisoners of Block 19 (2006), the true story of Jewish concentration camp prisoners ordered to produce counterfeit currency for the Nazis, was translated into eight languages. He is survived by his wife, Edith; two daughters; and three grandchildren.

1950s

Stasha Furlan Seaton, EX’52, of Hoboken, NJ, died June 11. She was 98. Raised in Slovenia, she fled the country with her family before the Axis invasion in 1941 and lived briefly in New York before returning to Yugoslavia to fight with the Partisans against Hitler and Mussolini. Seaton later reentered the United States as a war refugee and completed degrees at Barnard and Bryn Mawr Colleges. As a doctoral student in philosophy at UChicago, she studied with Richard McKeon, among others. Moving to Washington, DC, and then Maryland, Seaton became an elementary schoolteacher. In retirement she published a memoir, War Changes Everything: The Character, Courage, and Survival of a Slovenian Girl and Her Father During World War II (2014). Survivors include her daughter, Jessica Seaton, JD’87, and a grandchild.

Robert S. Levine, MD’53, died June 21 in Grand Rapids, MI. He was 92. After graduating from what is now known as the Pritzker School of Medicine, Levine served as a US Air Force flight surgeon. Relocating to Grand Rapids in 1963, he became a partner in a private surgical practice and helped develop the surgical team for a kidney transplant program. He later served as medical director for the Cigna health plan in Arizona. In retirement, Levine continued his interest in the improvement and support of health care, studying single-payer health care systems around the world and advocating for senior citizens. He is survived by his wife, Margaret; a daughter; a son; and two grandchildren.

Dennis Cunningham, AB’55, died March 5 in Los Angeles. He was 86. A civil rights lawyer, he won major settlements for clients including the Black Panthers, Attica prison inmates, and environmental activists. Cunningham entered the College at age 15 and performed in Chicago theater companies after graduation. Inspired by the civil rights movement, he attended Loyola University Law School at night and passed the bar in time to defend protesters arrested at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago and cofound the People’s Law Office. Following the 1969 police raid in which Black Panther leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark were killed, Cunningham joined the legal team that successfully sued authorities on behalf of the survivors and the two victims’ families. He is survived by his partner, Mary Ann Wolcott; three daughters; a son; a brother; and three grandchildren.

John J. Thomas Jr., AM’56, died April 16 in Indianapolis. He was 90. A longtime resident of Chicago and of South Holland, IL, Thomas was a retired urban planner who worked for the City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, and other public and private agencies. Survivors include his daughter Jacqueline Marie Thomas, LAB’68, and two grandchildren.

Marshall Carl Petring, MBA’58, died July 15, 2021, in Loveland, CO. He was 91. After high school in Nebraska, he worked as an aerial photographer in the US Navy and attended the University of Colorado. With his MBA, Petring became a hospital administrator in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Colorado. He joined the Joint Commission in 1977, surveying Veterans Administration hospitals around the country during a 20-year civil service career. He is survived by his wife, Elva; a daughter; three sons; four stepchildren; seven grandchildren; eight step-grandchildren; and three step-great-grandchildren.

Irving Rosenthal, EX’58, died April 22 in San Francisco. He was 91. While pursuing graduate studies in human development, Rosenthal edited the University-affiliated journal Chicago Review. The spring 1958 issue featured poetry by Beat Generation writers Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, among others, and an excerpt from what eventually became William S. Burroughs’s novel Naked Lunch. Facing pressure from University officials to sanitize future issues, Rosenthal and other editors instead resigned and cofounded the journal Big Table. After leaving UChicago, Rosenthal spent time in Cuba, Morocco, Spain, Greece, and New York. He moved to San Francisco in 1967, published the novel Sheeper the same year, and started a commune known for its print shop, free food program, and Kaliflower newsletter. Rosenthal’s survivors include members of the commune, where he lived until his death.

Wallace Elzie Reed, AB’59, PhD’67, of Seattle, died March 1. He was 84. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, he earned degrees at UChicago and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and taught for 30 years in the environmental sciences department at the University of Virginia. In Charlottesville Reed served on the school board and Virginia’s air pollution control board. After retiring in 2001, he and his wife, Kathrine Miller Reed, AB’64, moved to Salem, OR. An avid gardener, he was active with the Willamette Valley chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. Reed’s wife died in 2020. He is survived by a daughter, Lynn Reed-Povlsen, AB’88; a son; a brother; and two grandchildren.

Judith Cohen Thomé, SB’59, of Friedrichshafen, Germany, died April 17. She was 83. Born in 1939 at Chicago Lying-in Hospital, Thomé belonged to a family with many University ties. Both of her parents were alumni and her father, political scientist and rabbi Hyman Ezra Cohen, PhB’28, PhD’33, served on the UChicago faculty. As a student in the College, Thomé met her husband, Klaus-Peter Thomé, EX’59, who died in 2017. She is survived by daughter Barbara Ruth Thomé, AB’83 (Class of 1984); two sons; two brothers; and six grandchildren.

1960s

Alfred Nye Page II, MBA’62, PhD’64, of Tampa, FL, died March 31. He was 84. With his MBA and doctoral studies in philosophy, finance, accounting, and economics, Page joined the faculty of the University of Washington. In Seattle he hosted and produced a public television show, interviewing guests who included famous authors and corporate executives. Page later served as dean of the business school at the College of William and Mary—where a scholarship and teaching award were endowed in his name—and at the University of Tampa and University of Missouri at Kansas City. He is survived by his wife, Lynn Manos Page; a daughter; three stepchildren; and a grandchild.

Caroll Easter Henry, SM’63, PhD’66, died June 20 in Kingston, Jamaica. She was 85. After earning a doctorate in microbial genetics, Henry served as a research plant pathologist in Jamaica’s Ministry of Agriculture for a decade. In 1979 she joined the faculty of Chicago State University, eventually chairing the Department of Biological Sciences until her retirement in 1999. A dedicated scholar, teacher, and mentor, Henry held many prestigious fellowships and authored numerous scientific publications during her academic career. She served on the board of the Chicago Horticultural Society and supported the education of Jamaican students of all ages with her philanthropy. She is survived by a daughter, three sons, a sister, and nine grandchildren.

Benjamin M. Blumberg, SM’65, PhD’74, died April 28 in Chicago. He was 79. A neuroscientist at the University of Rochester, Blumberg earned his doctorate in biochemistry at the University. He was also a talented pianist who studied French, German, Russian, Portuguese, and Latin and traveled the world with friends, family, and his partner of many years, Rita Lenertz. After experiencing profound hearing loss, Blumberg could no longer enjoy concerts, operas, or theater, but he continued to write and publish scientific papers and was an avid reader. He is survived by two sisters.

Daniel Sudran, AB’66, died June 13 in San Francisco. He was 78. Beginning in 1969, he worked as a community organizer for the United Farm Workers under Cesar Chavez. Sudran, who hated science in school, fell in love with it as an adult. He founded Mission Science Workshop, a freewheeling science education center for children, in 1991. Sudran is survived by his partner, Consuelo Zamora.

Leighton M. McCutchen, PhD’66, died May 17 in Heath, MA. He was 88. Born in the former Belgian Congo to missionary parents, McCutchen attended Davidson College and Union Theological Seminary and did clinical training at the Medical College of Virginia and Staunton State Hospital before earning his doctorate in the Divinity School. After a brief time as a Presbyterian minister, he taught psychology and philosophy of religion at Hartford Seminary Foundation. Moving to Heath in the early 1970s, he developed an independent practice as a community psychoanalyst and clinical psychologist with his wife, Martha. After retiring in 2002, he wrote poetry and tended to his family’s sugarbush. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, a son, and five grandchildren.

Susan Wimmer Nathan, AM’66, PhD’71, of Pittsburgh, died May 5. She was 80. After earning degrees at Vassar College and Boston University, Nathan completed her doctorate in comparative human development at UChicago. A clinical psychologist, she spent more than 25 years at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. She moved to Mercy Hospital in the late 1990s, where she cofounded A Child’s Place, a child advocacy center. Remembered by colleagues as a caring, compassionate clinician and mentor, Nathan remained with A Child’s Place until her retirement. Her husband, Robert L. Nathan, LAB’50, died in 2019. She is survived by a daughter and a sister.

Louis Harold Ickler III, MBA’68, of Kaneohe, HI, died February 19. He was 82. After earning his undergraduate degree at Yale, Ickler worked at Boeing as an engineer and later enlisted in the US Navy. With his UChicago MBA he headed to Wall Street, enjoying a career as a securities analyst in New York and California. Ickler bought his first sailboat in the mid-1970s and participated several times in the Pacific Cup yacht race from San Francisco to Oahu. After the 1990 race, he and his wife, Kim, stayed in Hawaii, where they enjoyed sailing the islands with their friends and golden retrievers. A founding member of the Pacific Cup Yacht Club, Ickler also was active with the Kaneohe Yacht Club. Survivors include his wife.

Cheryl K. Nickol, BFA’69, died November 1, 2021, in Bristol, England. She was 76. Nickol met her husband, Derek Hawkins, MBA’69, on the day they graduated from the University. In 1973 they moved to England, where she became involved with local community activities including a campaign to support adult learning services, an effort to save a riverside park from development, and the neighborhood watch. She is survived by her husband and two sons.

1970s

Ellen B. Bogolub, AB’70, died March 7 in Setauket, NY. She was 73. With her master’s in social work from New York University and doctorate from Rutgers, Bogolub became a social worker and psychotherapist in New York City. In 1991 she joined the faculty of the School of Social Work at Adelphi University, where she also taught undergraduate literature courses and published the book Helping Families Through Divorce: An Eclectic Approach (1995). An accomplished cellist and avid reader, Bogolub traveled widely with her husband, Neil Friedman, before his death in 2017. She is survived by a sister and two brothers.

Thomas Richard Daniels, MBA’70, died April 15 in Sausalito, CA. He was 82. After earning a civil engineering degree at Lehigh University, Daniels served as an officer in the US Navy from 1961 to 1965. He later worked at a Chicago construction company and at United Airlines, acquiring his private pilot’s license in 1967. With his UChicago MBA, Daniels launched a career in real estate investment. He is survived by his partner, Barbara Lea Vogel; a sister; and a brother.

Wendall W. Wilson, AM’71, PhD’87, died July 25 in Victoria, TX. He was 79. Prior to his graduate studies in psychology and anthropology, Wilson earned his undergraduate degree at Rice University and spent a year in India on a Fulbright scholarship. He taught psychology and anthropology at St. Xavier University and later at the City Colleges of Chicago and was also a clinical therapist. Born in Victoria, Wilson retired there full-time in 2019 and was a lifelong member of Trinity Episcopal Church. Survivors include a sister.

Michael A. Fauman, PhD’70, MD’74, of Ann Arbor, MI, died May 31. He was 79. Following his graduate studies in cell biology, Fauman was one of five students admitted to a pilot program in the Pritzker School of Medicine aimed at training PhDs to become physician-scientists. He stayed at UChicago for his psychiatry residency and spent a year on the faculty. Moving to Michigan, Fauman became an academic administrator and published peer-reviewed papers and psychiatry textbooks. He also wrote computer programs and won accolades for his photography. He is survived by his wife, Beverly; three daughters, including UChicago Medicine associate professor of pediatrics Karen Fauman; a son; and eight grandchildren.

David N. Toth, MD’72, of San Antonio, died April 8. He was 77. Born in Granite City, IL, Toth earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Along with his MD from the Pritzker School of Medicine, he held a master of public health from Harvard. Joining the US Air Force in 1973, Toth served as a medical officer at bases in Germany and America, achieving the rank of lieutenant colonel. He spent 16 years as a staff physician at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in San Antonio until retiring in 2010. An enthusiastic walker, Toth cofounded the American Volkssport Association in 1979. Survivors include a son and a grandson.

Drew R. Tomczak, MD’73, of Chicago died March 19, 2020. He was 72. A gastroenterologist, Tomczak was retired from Michael Reese Hospital. He was an avid fisherman who also enjoyed taxidermy, pipe carving, and lures.

Lynn Margaret Poland, AM’74, PhD’81, of Hamden, CT, died July 11. She was 72. Trained at the Divinity School, Poland taught religious studies at Indiana University, North Carolina State University, UChicago, and Bates College, her undergraduate alma mater. Spending 28 years on the faculty at Davidson College, Poland loved life on her small farm in Huntersville, NC, where she opened her heart and home to many rescue greyhounds and, in retirement, discovered a passion for pottery making. She is survived by a sister and a brother.

1980s

Sean Love, AB’87, MBA’88, died July 11 in Dallas. He was 57. A student marshal and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the College, Love later pursued graduate studies at Harvard University. He served as director of executive compensation at Trinity Industries and Tenet Healthcare. He is survived by his parents and a brother.

Michael Weinberg, AB’87, of Woodstock, NY, died August 22, 2021. He was 56. A businessman, composer, and real estate investor, Weinberg was known for his larger-than-life personality. He worked as a ghostwriter and original managing editor on the bestseller The Jobs Rated Almanac: 250 Jobs! (1988). Under his own name, he parodied that work in Careers in Crime: An Applicant’s Guide (2008). He is survived by his partner, Natasha Shpiller; his mother; and a sister.

Michael S. Novins, JD’89, of New York City, died April 11. He was 58. Before attending law school, Novins earned his bachelor’s degree with honors at Binghamton University. His legal career included seven years as a corporate partner at Baker McKenzie, more than a decade as vice president and general counsel at Blyth Inc., and several years as a corporate and securities attorney at Axiom in New York. A world traveler, Novins will be remembered for his sense of humor, warmth, and intelligence. His wife, Nicole Marie Novins, AM’90, AM’91, died in 1995. He is survived by a brother.

1990s

Carol K. Cerney, MBA’91, died February 15 in Largo, FL. She was 70. After launching her pharmaceutical career in Chicago, Cerney moved to Florida, taking a corporate position at Eckerd drugstores. She worked for the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs and later as a pharmacist at CVS. An animal lover, Cerney found homes for many cats in Madeira Beach, FL, and donated to animal rescue organizations.

Julia YouKyung Chou, MPP’97, died December 11, 2021, in Danvers, MA. She was 49. Born in South Korea, Chou graduated from Duke University and earned master’s degrees at UChicago and Harvard. With her training in education policy and program evaluation, she worked at Mathematica in Washington, DC; Leadership, Education and Athletics in Partnership in New Haven, CT; and the Massachusetts Department of Education. Remembered for her acts of kindness, Chou was active at the Chinese Bible Church of Greater Boston. She is survived by her husband, James Chou, MPP’98; a daughter; two sons; her mother and father; a sister; and a brother.

2000s

Mary Jill Dupont, PhD’00, of Duluth, MN, died August 16, 2021, of breast cancer. She was 57. Dupont taught, researched, and wrote about US and African American history. A star athlete in high school, she attended the University of Texas at Austin. While pursuing her UChicago doctorate, she served as a student escort to visiting tennis star Arthur Ashe, who encouraged her interest in pursuing research on Black issues and athletes. Joining the history faculty at the University of North Texas in Denton and later at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN, Dupont won teaching awards and authored numerous articles. She is survived by a sister and two brothers.

Matthew Scott Rahn, MBA’03, of Chicago, died March 30 of brain cancer. He was 47. Raised in St. Louis, Rahn earned his bachelor of science degree at Northwestern and his MBA at Chicago Booth. He had a successful career as a strategy consultant at Accenture and AT Kearney. He is survived by his wife, Mia Kim; two daughters; his father; his stepfather; two sisters; and two half-brothers.

2010s

Elijah Norman Alperin, AB’19, of New York City, died November 1, 2021, in an accident while traveling abroad. He was 25. Born and raised in San Francisco, Alperin attended Japanese bicultural elementary and middle school, igniting his interest in languages and cultures. During his life he visited 36 countries and lived in six. At UChicago Alperin studied history, economics, and languages; he also played club soccer and volunteered in Chicago’s Syrian refugee community. Following graduation, he worked at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Bulgaria, won a Fulbright award to study the integration of refugees in Turkey, and became a case planner with the Arab American Family Support Center in New York City. He is survived by his wife, Madeline de Figueiredo, AB’19; his parents; two sisters; a grandmother; and a grandfather.