Liane and Bill Russell in 1955

In 1994 geneticist Liane Brauch Russell, PhD’49 (1923–2019), received the Enrico Fermi Award, the US Department of Energy’s highest research honor. She and her husband, William L. Russell, PhD’37 (1910–2003), worked together for most of their careers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. (Photo courtesy Oak Ridge National Laboratory)

University of Chicago obituaries

Recent faculty, staff, and alumni obituaries.


Stanley M. Freehling, EX’46, trustee emeritus, died September 20 in Highland Park, IL. He was 95. An investment banker and philanthropist, Freehling was for decades a senior partner at the Chicago brokerage firm Freehling and Company. Elected to UChicago’s Board of Trustees in 1983, he became a trustee emeritus in 1989, also serving as a life member of the Smart Museum Board of Governors and as a member of the Court Theatre Board of Trustees and the Division of the Humanities Council. Known as Chicago’s “patron saint of the arts,” he actively supported the Ravinia Festival, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Goodman Theatre. In 1985 he was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. He is survived by two daughters, a son, five grandchildren, and a great-grandchild.

Faculty and staff

Jonathan Kleinbard, former vice president of University news and community affairs, died October 16 in Philadelphia. He was 80. A journalist and editor early in his career, Kleinbard joined the University’s development and public affairs department in 1965. After a brief stint at the Children’s Foundation in Washington, DC, in 1971 he returned to the University, serving as a key administrator and spokesperson until 1997. Overseeing efforts to strengthen the University’s community relations, he formed local partnerships and helped community leaders establish organizations to spur revitalization in the Woodlawn and North Kenwood–Oakland neighborhoods. His efforts included restoring the Midway Plaisance. He is survived by his wife, Joan; two sisters; and two brothers.

Paul B. Moore, SM’63, PhD’65, professor emeritus in the Department of Geophysical Sciences, died March 2, 2019, in Houston. He was 78. A leading mineralogist for whom the lead arsenite known as paulmooreite was named, Moore traveled to the Swedish National History Museum in 1965 on a postdoctoral fellowship and did field research in the mineral-rich Långban mining area, on which he became an expert. He joined the University faculty in 1966. Over the next three decades, he named and described dozens of new minerals, and his research transformed how scientists analyze crystal structures. His honors include the Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the Mineralogical Society of America Award.

John E. Frederick, professor emeritus in the Department of Geophysical Sciences, of Carmel, IN, died January 30, 2019. He was 69. An atmospheric scientist, Frederick worked at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center before coming to UChicago in 1985. In addition to chairing the geophysical sciences department, he served as master of the Physical Sciences Collegiate Division and associate dean of the Physical Sciences Division and the College. Through a partnership between the PSD and the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, he cofounded and codirected the environmental science and public policy master’s program. Among other publications, he wrote the textbook Principles of Atmospheric Science (2008). A winner of the Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, he also received the Physical Sciences Division’s Arthur L. Kelly Prize for Exceptional Faculty Service. Frederick retired in 2015. He is survived by his partner, Genevieve LaGreca.

Alexei M. Khokhlov, professor in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, died of complications from esthesioneuroblastoma May 4 in Fairfax, VA. He was 65. Born in Moscow, Khokhlov worked as a researcher at what is now the Institute of Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, and at the US Naval Research Laboratory before joining the UChicago faculty in 2003. A theoretical and computational astrophysicist, he also held positions at the Enrico Fermi Institute and the forerunner of the Flash Center for Computational Science. His many scientific contributions include the delayed-detonation model of thermonuclear-powered supernovae, which helped astronomers better understand a category of white-dwarf explosions used to ascertain the cosmological parameters of the universe. Khokhlov also created some of the first three-dimensional computer simulations of these astronomical events. He is survived by his wife, Almadena Chtchelkanova; two daughters; a son; a sister; and two grandchildren.

Sarah Jane Love, AB’88, AM’96, of Riverside, IL, died of complications from a heart condition December 10. She was 54. Love earned her UChicago degrees in English language and literature, specializing in Old English and medieval literature. A member of the University’s Alumni Relations and Development staff for nearly a decade, she worked in prospect research, stewardship, donor relations, and communications. She later joined the staff of the Brookfield Zoo, running a one-person research operation in the zoo’s development office. Deeply committed to animal welfare and wildlife preservation, Love volunteered with the Tree House Humane Society and belonged to the Brookfield, IL, chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers. She is survived by two sisters and a brother.

Sidra E. Newman, a personal trainer in the Department of Athletics and Recreation, died September 25 in Chicago. She was 51. Newman served in administrative roles at UChicago since 2000, holding positions at International House and later in athletics. A certified trainer and yoga instructor, in 2008 she joined the staff of UChicago’s group wellness program and as a fitness instructor taught cardio-kickboxing and yoga. Having received her master’s in social work from Loyola University Chicago in August, she also worked at that school’s affiliated Empowering Counseling Program and at Hartgrove Hospital. Survivors include a son, her mother and father, and three sisters.


Gertrude Himmelfarb, AM’44, PhD’50, died December 30 in Washington, DC. She was 97. A leading scholar of 19th-century British intellectual history, Himmelfarb was known for examining and defending the moral and social thought of the Victorians. With her husband, Irving Kristol, whom she met at a Trotskyite gathering, she became a framer of the neoconservative movement. She taught at City College of New York, Brooklyn College, and the City University of New York Graduate Center. Among other works, she wrote intellectual biographies of Lord Acton, Charles Darwin, and John Stuart Mill; her book Victorian Minds: A Study of Intellectuals in Crisis and Ideologies in Transition (1968) was a National Book Award finalist. Her many honors include the National Humanities Medal, the University of Chicago Alumni Medal, and more than a dozen honorary degrees. She is survived by a daughter, a son, five grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Charles H. Cooley, PhB’47, died November 3, 2017, in Randolph Center, VT. He was 91. Initially intending to continue his education at UChicago as a medical student, Cooley left to serve in the US Navy and then, during the Korean War, in the US Army. After taking over his father’s Vermont dairy farm, he began a new career as an educator, first teaching high school math and then in Vermont Technical College’s pretechnology program. Cooley later served in local government. He is survived by three sons, a brother, a grandchild, and a great-grandchild.

William F. Johns, LAB’45, PhB’48, SM’51, died September 22 in Bonita Springs, FL. He was 89. With a doctorate in chemistry, Johns worked at G. D. Searle to develop new pharmaceuticals, particularly steroid compounds. After serving as director of medical chemistry research at the company, he took a senior position in the same research area at Sterling Drug. In retirement he was a master gardener and taught driver safety for AARP. He is survived by his wife, Patricia; a daughter; two sons; four grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Robert B. Riley, LAB’46, PhB’49, died August 21 in Urbana, IL. He was 88. Riley studied architecture under Ludwig Mies van der Rohe at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, served in the US Air Force, and worked at architectural firms in Maryland and New Mexico before embarking on an academic career. At the University of New Mexico, he started as a campus planner, then taught architecture and directed the school’s Center for Environmental Research and Development. In 1970 he joined the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, heading the landscape architecture department and later cofounding a joint PhD program in architecture and landscape architecture. He is survived by a daughter, a son, and four grandchildren.

Liane Brauch Russell, PhD’49, died July 20 in Oak Ridge, TN. She was 95. Fleeing Vienna after the Anschluss, Russell worked at Maine’s Jackson Laboratory before she and her husband, William L. Russell, PhD’37, joined Oak Ridge National Laboratory and built a colony of lab mice, the famous “Mouse House,” to study genetics. Her research on embryology and radiation exposure led to guidelines adopted worldwide for X-ray use on women of childbearing age. She also discovered that the Y chromosome determines maleness in mammals. A member of the National Academy of Sciences and the first woman to receive the Roentgen Medal, in 1994 she earned the Enrico Fermi Award, the US Department of Energy’s highest research honor. Her husband died in 2003. She is survived by a daughter, a stepdaughter, a son, two stepsons, and four step-grandchildren.

Edwin “Ted” P. Wiley, AB’49, JD’52, died October 4 in Milwaukee. He was 89. Wiley spent his legal career at Foley & Lardner in Milwaukee, founding its intellectual property department and helping establish its practice in technology law. An award in his honor was created at the firm to recognize outstanding client service. The recipient of a UChicago Alumni Public Service Award, Wiley was a past member of the College Advisory Council and the Law School Council. He is survived by three sons, Edwin M. Wiley, AB’72, MBA’74, Clayton A. Wiley, AB’76, and Stephen P. Wiley, AB’80, MBA’85; and four grandchildren.


William E. Rattner, LAB’52, died March 16, 2019, in Evanston, IL. He was 82. After a long career as a commercial attorney and litigator with several Chicago firms, Rattner became executive director of Lawyers for the Creative Arts, a pro bono legal services organization. During his 15 years there, he expanded the organization’s board, broadened its sources of funding, and developed new programs. He is survived by his wife, Gale; a son; a sister; and two grandchildren.

Rachel Winston Rippy, AB’53, died August 27 in New York City. She was 89. An artist and an educator dedicated to the philosophy of self-directed learning, Rippy, along with her husband, taught at New York City’s Fifteenth Street School before they both joined the Bank Street College of Education, where she served on the graduate faculty, advised a program in museum education, and directed a program in administration and supervision. Some of her artworks are in the collection of the City University of New York’s QCC Art Gallery.

Carol Henderson Ganzel, AM’54, died October 27 in Oberlin, OH. She was 88. Ganzel was editor of the Oberlin College faculty and staff newspaper the Observer for 15 years and served on the board of the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio. She published scholarly writing on Anthony Trollope in the journal Nineteenth Century Fiction. Her husband, Dewey A. Ganzel, AM’54, PhD’58, an English professor at Oberlin, died in 2011. She is survived by three daughters, including Emily Frances Ganzel, AB’85; and three grandchildren.

George E. Massay, DB’55, died September 1 in Virginia Beach, VA. He was 92. A World War II US Navy veteran and a minister, Massay served Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ) and Churches of Christ in Canada, England, and the United States, including Grafton Christian Church in York- town, VA. He is survived by his wife, Alice; a son; and a granddaughter.

Katherine Biddle Austin, AM’57, died August 26 in Hanover, NH. She was 89. After earning her master’s in human development, Austin became a clinical psychologist in Chicago, working in mental health services and eventually in private practice. A lifelong amateur archaeologist, Austin worked with Mayan hieroglyph epigraphers in Central America and was a docent at the Field Museum for more than two decades. She is survived by three daughters, four stepchildren, seven grandchildren, and six step-grandchildren.

Donald R. Sanders, MBA’58, died July 1 in Mount Joy, PA. He was 84. Sanders was a vice president of marketing at the Philadelphia advertising agency N. W. Ayer & Son and then at Scott Paper Company. In retirement he developed his talent for carving songbirds. He is survived by his wife, Margaret; a daughter; two sons; and four grandchildren.


Mary D. Griffin, AM’61, PhD’63, of Ashland, MA, died May 23. She was 95. A member of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary for 25 years, in 1965 Griffin joined the faculty of Boston College and for nearly a decade served as dean of what is now its Lynch School of Education and Human Development. In addition to creating and codirecting the school’s teacher corps program for Boston and Lowell, MA, she initiated and led a fellowship program at Boston College to prepare teachers for work in urban areas. She is survived by her husband, James McGahay.

Dennis M. Schmitz, AM’61, died September 12 in Oakland, CA. He was 82. An acclaimed poet, Schmitz taught at several colleges and universities in the Midwest before joining California State University, Sacramento, where he was an English professor for more than three decades. His first book, We Weep for Our Strangeness (1969), was selected for the Big Table Series of Younger Poets; he published eight other poetry collections and coedited an anthology of work by Sacramento writers. Jointly named to the city’s first poet laureateship, he received the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Award and earned Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships. His wife, Loretta (D’Agostino) Schmitz, EX’60, died in 2016. He is survived by three daughters, two sons, and 10 grandchildren.

Michael A. Oppenheimer, AB’62, died September 4 in Bainbridge Township, OH. He was 77. During his more than 50 years in the rabbinate, Oppenheimer served at the Tree of Life Congregation in Columbia, SC, where he was the first Jewish president of the Columbia Ministerial Association, and went on to become the longtime rabbi of Cleveland-area Suburban Temple-Kol Ami, introducing Hebrew language instruction, family education, and programs for interfaith couples. Returning from retirement to lead a congregation in Mansfield, OH, he taught courses on Judaism and Jewish history at John Carroll University. He is survived by his wife, Carolyn; a daughter; a son; and four grandchildren.

Joyce Turner Hilkevitch, AM’63, died April 19 in Chicago. She was 97. Hilkevitch raised a family before earning her master’s from the School of Social Service Administration. She went on to work at Hull House and in public health and to serve on the Illinois Governor’s Commission for the Advancement of Women. In 1973 she founded the organization Mostly Music and directed numerous series of chamber music concerts until her retirement in 2001. Her husband, Aaron A. Hilkevitch, SB’33, died in 2008. She is survived by a daughter, Susan Turner Jones, LAB’73; a son, David B. Turner, LAB’65; three step-daughters; 13 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Simon H. Aronson, AB’64, AM’65, JD’73, died December 10 in Chicago. He was 76. An inventor of magic tricks from an early age, Aronson practiced real estate law and became a partner at the Chicago firm Lord, Bissell & Brook before retiring to pursue magic full time. He earned an international reputation for his innovations in close-up magic, publishing numerous books on the subject and introducing some now-classic card tricks. With his wife, Virginia “Ginny” L. Aronson, AB’69, AM’73, JD’75, he became well known as a performer of the mind-reading act “It’s the Thought That Counts.” He is survived by his wife and his brother, Bernard W. Aronson, AB’68.

Fred G. Steingraber, MBA’64, died July 4 in Charleston, SC. He was 80. A former executive at Chicago-based management consulting firm A. T. Kearney, Steingraber led its European and Middle Eastern operations before becoming the company’s chair and managing partner, guiding its expanding global presence during a period of dramatic growth. Active on the boards of many corporations and nonprofits, he helped establish Chicago Booth’s Fred G. Steingraber/A. T. Kearney Endowment to support lifelong learning among alumni. He is survived by his wife, Veronika; a daughter; a son; two brothers; and three grandchildren.

Marc R. Cogan, LAB’61, AB’65, PhD’74, died September 18 in Paris. He was 74. A scholar of philosophy, history, Romance languages, and literature, Cogan spent his career in the humanities department at Wayne State University, where he also served as chief faculty negotiator with the administration. His books include The Design in the Wax: The Structure of the Divine Comedy and Its Meaning (1999). Recently he had been at work on a project about Saint Augustine. His first wife, Sarah Wallace Cogan, AB’66, died in 2004. He later married Ann McConnell, LAB’63, who died in 2018.

Daniel S. Blumenthal, MD’68, died July 25 in Atlanta. He was 77. After joining the Volunteers in Service to America and opening a cooperative health clinic in Lee County, AR, Blumenthal worked as an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and with the World Health Organization’s smallpox eradication program in India and Somalia. In 1980 he joined the Morehouse School of Medicine, where he founded the community health and preventive medicine department, served as associate dean of community health, and led the school’s Prevention Research Center, retiring in 2014. He is survived by his wife, Marjorie Speers; a daughter; two sons; his stepmother; a sister; and two brothers.

Lawrence F. Fisher, MBA’68, died March 29 in Winston-Salem, NC. He was 81. A US Navy veteran with a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering, Fisher earned his MBA while working at International Harvester and then joined IBM as a systems engineer. He is survived by two daughters, a son, a brother, and six grandchildren.

Leah Webb Schroeder, AM’68, of Washington, DC, died November 11. She was 75. A Woodrow Wilson Fellow from Louisiana State University and a political science student at UChicago, Schroeder built a life of public service with her husband, Richard E. Schroeder, AM’65, PhD’75. She worked on the Louisiana gubernatorial campaign of US Representative Gillis Long, served as his congressional chief of staff, and managed his reelection campaigns while living in Western Europe, where her husband was a CIA officer. In Washington, DC, she later worked as vice president of government affairs for the Health Industry Manufacturers Association and as director of development at the Field School. She is survived by her husband and a son.


Oscar E. Anderson, AB’70, died October 26 in Crawfordsville, IN. He was 71. A graphic designer at the Field Museum early in his career, Anderson did design and marketing work for the museum’s 1977 blockbuster exhibition Treasures of Tutankhamun. He then became a partner in the Chicago design firm Weingart/Anderson and a leader in the use of computer-based graphics, later serving as LaSalle Bank’s first in-house graphic designer. A former president of the Society of Typographic Arts, he was a member of the UChicago alumni clubs in Chicago and Indiana. He is survived by his wife, Jo; a daughter; a sister; and a brother.

J. Aidan O’Reilly, MBA’70, of Cork, Ireland, died September 15. He was 82. O’Reilly was head of business and professional studies at the inception of Northern Ireland Polytechnic, later becoming dean of faculty. When the school merged to form the University of Ulster, he helped expand its faculty and develop its undergraduate, professional, and graduate degree programs. He eventually served as pro-vice-chancellor and provost of the Coleraine campus. As a consultant with the International Trade Centre, he advised governments in Southeast Asia and Greece on starting national training centers in export and trade. He is survived by his wife, Rita; three daughters; and a son.

Ronald Dean Heveran, MBA’71, of Fairhope, AL, died July 4. He was 87. At companies including US Steel, Transunion, and Vulcan, Heveran held management positions in accounting, computer systems, and marketing. Active with his local Episcopal church in retirement, he also served on environmental advisory boards for Fairhope and Baldwin County, AL. He is survived by his wife, Rose Mary; a son; a sister, Judith G. Bemis, AM’66; a brother; and two grandchildren.

Peter A. Trace, MD’71, died July 30 near Manchester, IL. He was 73. After serving as a chief resident in obstetrics and gynecology at Chicago’s former Columbus Hospital, Trace spent several years as an attending physician at Cook County Hospital and an associate professor in the Chicago Medical School’s obstetrics and gynecology department. He later opened a community practice in Jacksonville, IL, where he was a clinician for more than three decades. He is survived by his wife, Konnie; a daughter; four sons; two brothers; and 12 grandchildren.

Elizabeth “Betty” Brummall Balanoff, PhD’74, died May 28 in Chicago. She was 92. Professor emerita of history at Roosevelt University, Balanoff worked for Richard Hatcher’s historic 1968 election as the first black mayor of Gary, IN, and wrote her dissertation on the history of Gary’s African American community. She directed Roosevelt’s Labor Oral History Project, assembling interviews with Chicago-area union members and leaders. Balanoff was later honored for her environmental advocacy by the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency. She is survived by a daughter, two sons, seven grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

Donald K. Groneberg, MBA’74, died September 1 in Sheridan, WY. He was 86. A US Air Force veteran, Groneberg earned his undergraduate degree in accounting and worked for the firm Arthur Andersen. He was later a vice president at the medical supply company Hollister Incorporated, where he oversaw administration and finance. After retiring, he served for more than three decades as a director of Micron Industries. He is survived by his wife, Joyce; two sons; a sister; and five grandchildren.

Frank L. Ellsworth, PhD’76, died October 20 in Palm Springs, CA. He was 76. An assistant dean at the University of Chicago Law School (1971–79), Ellsworth wrote a history of the school’s founding, Law on the Midway (1977), and lectured in the Social Sciences Collegiate Division. He then served for a dozen years as president of Pitzer College, where he also taught political science, before becoming head of the Independent Colleges of Southern California. Ellsworth later held leadership positions at several organizations, including the Art Center College of Design and Capital Research and Management Company. Survivors include a daughter.

Thomas J. McLean, AB’77, died August 14 in Okemos, MI. He was 71. With a degree from the University of Pittsburgh Law School, McLean worked as a contracts attorney and became a partner at the Philadelphia firm Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis. A self-taught computer programmer in retirement, he designed and built several robots, including autonomous ones. He is survived by his wife, Athena (Barthelmess) McLean, EX’70; a daughter, Thea H. McLean, AB’06; a son; and a sister, Susan McLean McGrath, AM’67.


Seth E. Cogan, AB’89, died October 5 in Caesarea, Israel. He was 52. Cogan worked as a financial adviser. Passionately dedicated to his family, he was proud to live in Israel and serve as a licensed tour guide there. He is survived by his wife, Lainie; a daughter; a son; his parents; and three brothers.


Pat E. Garrett, MBA’91, of Crystal Lake, IL, died September 5, 2018. He was 69. After serving in the US Army, Garrett studied computer science at Roosevelt University. Earning his MBA while working at Northern Trust, he later became a sales executive at IBM. He is survived by his wife, Karen; a daughter; a son; two sisters; a brother; and four grandchildren.


Mark P. Jenkins, PhD’01, died September 26, 2017, in Nevada City, CA. He was 59. After working for several years as a trader in the deutsche mark options pit at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Jenkins earned a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University. While completing his doctorate, he became an adjunct philosophy professor at Beloit College. Jenkins later taught philosophy at Johns Hopkins University, Franklin & Marshall College, the University of Puget Sound, and the University of Washington Tacoma. He is survived by a sister.