University of Chicago obituaries

Recent trustee, faculty, staff, and alumni obituaries.


Robert G. Schloerb, JD’51, trustee emeritus, died December 19 in Chicago. He was 95. A World War II veteran and Purple Heart recipient, Schloerb was a senior partner at the law firm Peterson, Ross, Schloerb & Seidel, where he represented insurance companies. After retiring from full-time work, he remained of counsel with the firm, renamed Peterson & Ross, for more than a decade. Elected to the UChicago Board of Trustees in 1983, he became a life trustee in 1994 and trustee emeritus in 2007. A life member of the UChicago Medical Center’s board of trustees, he also served on the advisory councils of the Law School, the Library, the Oriental Institute, and the Divinity School. He is survived by his wife, Mary; sons Peter Schloerb, LAB’69, David W. Schloerb, LAB’72, John M. Schloerb, LAB’80; three grandchildren, including Anna Schloerb, LAB’19, and current Laboratory Schools student Jonah Schloerb; and a great-grandchild.

Willie D. Davis, MBA’68, trustee emeritus, died April 15 in Santa Monica, CA. He was 85. A Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive lineman who launched a second career as a business leader, Davis played 12 seasons in the National Football League, studying for his MBA in the off-seasons and never missing a game. After a stint with the Cleveland Browns, he joined the Green Bay Packers in 1960 and helped the team win five league championships, including the first two Super Bowls. Retiring from football in 1969, he became the owner of a beer distributorship in Los Angeles and later bought a radio station that he turned into the All-Pro Broadcasting radio network. Elected a University trustee in 1983, he became a life trustee in 1999 and a trustee emeritus in 2007, and also served on the boards of many corporations, including the Packers. He is survived by his wife, Carol; a daughter; a son; and four grandchildren.

Faculty and staff

William D. Grampp, AM’42, PhD’44, of Chicago, died August 30. He was 105. Grampp was professor emeritus of economics at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he taught for more than three decades. In retirement he taught in UChicago’s Social Sciences Collegiate Division and in the Law School’s law and economics program. An expert in the history of economic ideas, he wrote The Manchester School of Economics (1960) and the two-volume textbook Economic Liberalism (1965). His research on the microeconomics of the visual arts resulted in Pricing the Priceless: Art, Artists, and Economics (1989). He is survived by his partner, Annette Giganti; two daughters; a son; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Richard H. Miller, PhD’58, associate professor emeritus of astronomy and astrophysics, died March 7 in Chicago. He was 93. After attending the College for one year, Miller served in the Navy during World War II and earned a bachelor’s degree through the V-12 Navy College Training Program. Returning to Chicago, he joined Enrico Fermi’s cyclotron program, earned his PhD in physics, and began a nearly 40-year teaching career at UChicago. A pioneer in computational astrophysics, he contributed to the first major uses of large-scale computing in astronomy. In 1965 he became founding chair of the University’s Committee on Information Sciences, and in the late 1970s he programmed a computer at NASA’s Ames Research Center that allowed astronomers to simulate evolution in the structure of the universe. A phenomenon he discovered in his computations, named Miller’s instability, remains fundamental in the field of galactic dynamics. His wife, Mary Funk Miller, AM’56, died in 2016.

Nancy D. Munn, professor emerita in the Department of Anthropology and the College, died January 20 in Chicago. She was 88. Munn, a native New Yorker who earned her PhD at Australian National University, taught at the University of Massachusetts Amherst before joining the UChicago faculty in 1976 as the anthropology department’s first female full professor. Her extensive fieldwork in Australia and Papua New Guinea focused on the cultural symbolism of indigenous societies and on the cultural construction of place, space, and time, resulting in such works as The Fame of Gawa: A Symbolic Study of Value Transformation in a Massim Society (1986). A Guggenheim Fellow, Munn retired in 1997 but remained an active scholar in the anthropology department, lecturing and working on a book about place in antebellum New York City.

Raymond D. Fogelson, professor emeritus of anthropology, comparative human development, psychology, and in the College, died January 20 in Blairsville, GA. He was 86. A leading expert on Native American ethnology, Fogelson joined UChicago’s anthropology department in 1965 and taught on the faculty for more than 45 years. His research encompassed the study of hunting and gathering societies and the comparative study of religion, among other fields, and involved fieldwork with eastern Cherokee, Oklahoma Cherokee and Creek, and Shuswap peoples. He served as president of the American Society for Ethnohistory, dedicated to a field he helped found, and edited Southeast (2004), volume 14 of the Smithsonian Institution’s Handbook of North American Indians. He is survived by his wife, Karen Luckritz, MLA’00; a stepdaughter; a stepson; and two step-grandchildren.

Alfred “Fred” T. Anderson Jr., professor emeritus in the Department of Geophysical Sciences, of Chicago, died January 15. He was 82. A geologist who studied volcanic rocks, Anderson joined the UChicago faculty in 1968, retiring in 2005. He pioneered a method of analyzing melt inclusions, glass droplets inside volcanic rock samples, to determine how past volcanic eruptions unfolded. His approach became a standard means of reconstructing eruptions, including those distant in history; Anderson and his team reconstructed the 760,000-year-old Bishop Tuff eruption near today’s Yellowstone National Park. A longtime Snell- Hitchcock resident master with his wife, Caroline (Jones) Anderson, AM’63, PhD’66, he gave tours of downtown Chicago focusing on the petrology of stones used in buildings. He is survived by his wife; two sons, including Eric E. Anderson, LAB’85; a sister; and four grandchildren.

Lanny D. Bell, AB’63, associate professor emeritus of Egyptology, died August 26 in Old Saybrook, CT. He was 78. A leading Egyptologist who spent years heading archaeological fieldwork expeditions, Bell earned his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania while serving as field director of the Penn Museum’s Theban tomb project at Dra Abu el-Naga. From 1977 to 1989 he led the Oriental Institute’s Epigraphic Survey at Chicago House in Luxor. He also taught in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, retiring in 1996. Bell lectured widely with the Archaeological Institute of America and served as a consultant for National Geographic. In retirement he was a visiting researcher in Egyptology at Brown University and led OI tours to Egypt.

Christopher M. Freeman, AB’85, MAT’95, of Chicago, a mathematics teacher at the Laboratory Schools, died February 7 after an extended illness. He was 58. Freeman joined Lab’s faculty in 1994 and most recently taught mathematics at the middle school level. In addition to coaching the middle school math team, he led students in after-school and summer enrichment activities. He also taught math to gifted Chicago-area students in programs administered by the Center for Gifted at National Louis University. Drawing from curricula he developed there and at Lab, Freeman wrote several books of instruction in math activities. He is survived by his wife, Maria K. Freeman, AB’88, AM’90, PhD’05; a daughter, Clara Freeman, LAB’10, AM’16; and two sons, Edward Freeman, LAB’15, and current Laboratory Schools student John Freeman.


Marilee K. Scaff, AM’38, died March 8, 2019, in Claremont, CA. She was 103. A Christian missionary in the Philippines during World War II, Scaff was imprisoned by Japanese forces with her husband and young son for more than a year before they were liberated in the raid on Los Baños. When her husband joined the Pomona College sociology faculty, she took a prominent role in Claremont civic life and education. She later earned a doctorate in educational psychology and taught at several universities, concluding her career in the Philippines at De La Salle University and Silliman University. In retirement she was a well-known community activist in Claremont. She is survived by three children, five grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.


Mildred Lois Roff Waller, SB’42, died February 19 in North Little Rock, AR. She was 98. Waller and her husband, Tom W. Waller, EX’40, married in Bond Chapel in 1943, when he was on leave from the US Marine Corps. She later earned a private pilot’s license with a solo flight in a Piper Cub aircraft. A lifelong member of the Episcopal Church, she directed St. Francis House, a social services ministry in Little Rock, for nearly a decade. Her husband died in 1989. She is survived by two daughters, three sons, 10 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Dorothy Hager Ross, AB’45, died April 13 in Buffalo Grove, IL. She was 97. She and her husband, Maurice L. Ross Jr., AB’38, married in Bond Chapel in 1945 and were a devoted couple for 58 years. In the 1970s she became an elementary school teacher in Chicago’s northern suburbs. She also served on the boards of Writers Theatre in Glencoe, IL, and the North Shore Senior Center. Her husband died in 2003. She is survived by two daughters, two grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Roselle (Hermann) Foster, SB’47, died November 17 in Miami. She was 93. Foster was a teacher at St. Andrew’s Priory School in Honolulu before moving to Miami to raise her family. Resuming her career, she taught upper-level high school mathematics and science for 40 years. In retirement she devoted her time to volunteering, traveling, and gardening. She is survived by two sons and two grandchildren.

Allison Cate Hartman, LAB’47, of Chicago, died November 13. She was 88. A sports car and motorcycle racer, Hartman ran Hyde Park Auto Service for more than 30 years. After closing the shop, she earned a criminal justice degree from Chicago State University and two postgraduate degrees from the UIC John Marshall Law School, practicing elder and real estate law until her death. Hartman also restored homes with her son, James Russell Clowes, LAB’69, who died in June 2019 (see below). She is survived by her partner, John Millington; a son, Daniel Clowes, LAB’79; a brother, James L. Cate Jr., LAB’53; and a grandson.

Robert J. Wolfson, SB’47, AM’50, PhD’56, died April 4 in Riverdale, NY. He was 95. Wolfson returned to the College after serving in the US Navy during World War II, changing his major from physics to mathematics. He began his academic career as a UChicago economics lecturer, later serving on the faculties of Michigan State University; the University of California, Los Angeles; and Syracuse University, where he taught at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs until his retirement. As an economist, he aimed to develop a unifying language and analytical structure for the social sciences. In retirement he resumed studying physics. His wife, Betty (Bunes) Wolfson, PhB’45, died in 2018. He is survived by two daughters; a son, Paul J. Wolfson, AB’78; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Charles F. Custer, AB’48, JD’58, died January 21 in Chicago. He was 91. Custer, whose first job was unloading coal in his native Kansas, became a leader in the mutual fund industry. He was running small businesses in photography and television with his wife, Irene Custer, AB’48, when he decided to attend the Law School to sharpen his business skills. He went on to head the investment services group of the Chicago-based law firm now known as Vedder Price. His wife died in 2011. He is survived by two daughters, including Shannon C. Nelson, LAB’70; a son, Charles F. Custer Jr., EX’75; three sisters; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Harriet Alta Pierce Winsor, AB’49, died November 4 in Lynnfield, MA. She was 91. Winsor and her husband raised their family in Wakefield, MA, where she volunteered for community service organizations. After her husband’s death, she embarked on a career in her 50s as a social worker with a local senior care agency. She is survived by four daughters, one son, five siblings, 10 grandchildren, and a great-grandchild.


Carol Drath Lerner, AB’50, AM’54, died January 28, 2019, in Chicago. She was 91. Elected to Phi Beta Kappa during her years in the Hutchins College, Lerner later took informal courses in botany, ornithology, and botanical illustration at the Morton Arboretum and launched a 30-year career as an award-winning author and illustrator of natural history books for elementary school students. An accomplished photographer, birder, and gardener, Lerner was devoted to preserving the rapidly vanishing natural areas of the Midwest, especially prairies and wetlands. Much of her artwork is archived in the rare print collection at the Morton Arboretum’s Sterling Morton Library. She is survived by her husband, Ralph M. Lerner, AB’47, AM’49, PhD’53, the Benjamin Franklin Professor Emeritus of Social Thought and in the College; two sons, Josh Lerner, LAB’78, and Jesse Lerner, LAB’80; and a grandchild.

Dick H. Fredericksen, AB’51, SM’68, died November 19 in Tucson, AZ. He was 88. An economics major at UChicago, Fredericksen worked in sales for IBM before returning to earn a master’s in computer science. He then rejoined IBM as a computer programmer at their main research laboratory in Yorktown Heights, NY, where he worked until his retirement. Moving to Tucson, he volunteered as the webmaster for the Sonoran Arthropod Studies Institute. He is survived by three daughters, a son, and seven grandchildren.

Stephen P. Cohen, AB’57, AB’58, AM’59, of Raleigh, NC, died October 27. He was 83. A pioneering scholar in South Asian security studies, Cohen taught history and political science for more than 30 years at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he cofounded and directed the Program in Arms Control, Disarmament, and International Security. He served on the US State Department’s policy planning staff under President Ronald Reagan and later became a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Survivors include his wife, Roberta (Brosilow) Cohen, AB’59; two daughters; four sons, including Jeffrey A. Cohen, AB’86, MBA’01; and several grandchildren.

Laurence J. Victor, SM’57, of Tucson, AZ, died July 6, 2019. He was 84. Victor, who had doctorates in physics and educational psychology, developed innovative curricula for students in grades K–6. For nearly 25 years he taught psychology at Pima Community College, where he chaired the department. Active in movements to improve education, Victor did research on human learning and promoted cooperative learning. Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth.


Edward T. O’Dell Jr., JD’60, of Westwood, MA, died October 7. He was 83. O’Dell worked for the US Securities and Exchange Commission before joining the law firm Goodwin Procter. As a partner in the Boston firm, he established its investment management practice. In retirement he mentored young entrepreneurs as a volunteer with SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives). He is survived by a daughter, a son, and six grandchildren.

J. Rogers Hollingsworth, PhD’60, died October 23 in La Jolla, CA. He was 87. Professor emeritus of history and sociology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a former president of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics, Hollingsworth was an expert on US and European political economy, the study of institutions and organizations, and comparative health services. In retirement he studied biomedical science organizations and researchers and the factors that foster excellence, with visiting appointments at the University of California, San Diego, and the Neurosciences Institute. He is survived by his wife, Ellen Jane; a daughter; and a grandchild.

Roy G. Benedict, AB’63, died July 1 in Chicago. He was 78. A mathematics teacher at Chicago’s South Shore High School, Benedict was second in length of employment there when he retired. Formerly the editor of the Shore Line Interurban Historical Society quarterly First & Fastest, he researched and wrote about land mass-transportation systems such as the South Shore Line, bequeathing his collection to the Illinois Railways Museum’s Strahorn Library.

Carol D. Brightman, AM’63, died November 11 in Damariscotta, ME. She was 80. In 1965 Brightman founded Viet Report, a newsletter about the Vietnam War, and in 1969 she cofounded the underground newspaper Leviathan. During this period, she traveled to North Vietnam to participate in the so-called Russell Tribunal and to Cuba as a leader of the Venceremos Brigade. Brightman later wrote a National Book Critics Circle Award–winning biography of novelist Mary McCarthy, edited a collection of McCarthy’s correspondence with philosopher Hannah Arendt, and wrote a social history of the Grateful Dead and its fans. She is survived by a daughter, a son, a sister, a brother, and three grandchildren.

Ellen M. Sutor Ginsberg, PhD’63, died January 29 in Silver Spring, MD. She was 84. A scholar of French Renaissance theater and poetry, Ginsberg taught at Bryn Mawr College, the University of Maryland, and for nearly three decades at the Catholic University of America, where she chaired the modern languages and literatures department. She lectured and held teaching posts in France, Japan, and many other countries. With her husband, Robert E. Ginsberg, AB’55, AM’58, she founded the International Center for the Arts, Humanities, and Value Inquiry. She is survived by her husband.

Jeanne Weinhold Klems, AM’64, of Berkeley, CA, died May 7, 2019. She was 85. As a psychiatric social worker, Klems was director of intake for an outpatient program at Chicago’s Michael Reese Hospital. She then worked at family service and mental health agencies in California and New York. Changing her focus to geriatric care, she later set up her own business as a care manager in Berkeley. An accomplished amateur soprano, she sang with the Chicago Symphony Chorus and the Bach-Verein in Heidelberg, Germany, and cofounded the Berkeley Cantata Group. She is survived by her ex-husband, Joseph H. Klems, SB’64, SM’65, PhD’70; a daughter; and a son.

Joel L. Shatzky, AM’65, died April 3 in New York City. He was 76. A playwright, writer, and editor, Shatzky was professor emeritus at the State University of New York College at Cortland, where he taught drama and writing for more than 35 years. His scholarship included a coedited two-volume reference work on contemporary Jewish American authors. He also edited memoirs by Holocaust survivors Norbert Troller and Susan Cernyak-Spatz. His last play, A Day in the Life, Parkinson’s, was performed in Long Island City, NY, in 2019. He is survived by his wife, Ilana Abramovitch; a daughter; a son; and two grandchildren.

Vern Bengtson, AM’66, PhD’67, of Santa Barbara, CA, died November 8. He was 78. A social psychologist who studied intergenerational relations, Bengtson taught for more than 40 years at the University of Southern California. He joined USC’s newly established Andrus Gerontology Center in 1967 and later held appointments in the school of gerontology, the school of social work, the sociology department, and the Roybal Institute on Aging. He initiated the Longitudinal Study of Generations, a survey of interactions, relationships, and values in four generations of California families. His many honors included the National Council on Family Relations’ Ernest W. Burgess (PhD 1913) Award for career achievement. He is survived by his wife, Hannah Gruhn-Bengtson; two daughters; and four grandchildren.

James Russell “J. R.” Clowes, LAB’69, died June 17, 2019, in Chicago. He was 67. Raised in Hyde Park, Clowes moved to Sausalito, CA, after high school, living on a houseboat and operating a pirate radio station. Skilled in woodworking and cabinetry design, he returned to Hyde Park in the late 1980s and restored houses with his mother, Allison Cate Hartman, LAB’47, who died in November (see above). He is survived by a brother, Daniel Clowes, LAB’79.

Michael D. Sorkin, AB’69, died March 26 in New York City. He was 71. An architect and critic who advocated for social justice in urban planning, Sorkin wrote provocatively about architecture for the Village Voice in the 1980s while teaching at several universities. He later ran his own architecture firm and directed the graduate urban design program at the City College of New York’s architecture school. In 2005 he founded the Terreform Center for Advanced Urban Research, a nonprofit studio focused on equity and sustainability in cities. A Guggenheim Fellow, he wrote numerous books and proposed large-scale urban designs that promoted his ideals and influenced other architects. He is survived by his wife, Joan Copjec.


Joanna E. Frueh, AM’71, PhD’81, died February 20 in Tucson, AZ. She was 72. An art historian and performance artist, Frueh directed Artemesia Gallery, a feminist art cooperative in Chicago, during the 1970s. She went on to teach at Oberlin College, the University of Arizona, and the University of Nevada, Reno, where she became professor emerita of art history in 2007. Through her writing and such performance works as The Aesthetics of Orgasm (2002), she sought to unite the erotic and the rational as forms of knowledge. The recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the Women’s Caucus for Art, she is survived by her spouse, Kathleen Williamson, and a sister.

Barton J. Ellis, AM’72, died January 17 in Long Beach, CA. He was 81. An SSA graduate, Ellis provided in-office therapy to adults with mental disorders. He and the therapists he trained taught their clients independent living skills (ILS), including social skills. Ellis later ran a business staffed by therapists who taught children with autism an applied behavioral analysis technique known as discrete trial training. Based in part on his work in ILS, he wrote The Date Doctor’s Guide to Dating: How to Get from First Date to Perfect Mate (1998). He is survived by his wife, Susan, and a daughter.

David B. Goldston, AB’73, of Bentleyville, OH, died June 22, 2019. He was 67. With a law degree from George Washington University, Goldston worked at the firm Arent Fox in Washington, DC, before joining the Cleveland-based automotive and aerospace corporation TRW, where he became vice president and assistant general counsel. He later served as general counsel of Jo-Ann Stores, from which he had recently retired at the time of his death. He is survived by his wife, Bonnie Borman; a daughter; three sons; a sister; a brother; and a grandchild.

Douglas F. Rutledge, AM’79, PhD’87, died from complications of multiple myeloma September 1 in Columbus, OH. He was 68. A writer and scholar whose dissertation focused on Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, Rutledge taught college-level English and edited Ceremony and Text in the Renaissance (1996). Dedicated to humanitarian issues, he wrote for several projects about refugees, including The Somali Diaspora: A Journey Away (2008), a book of essays and photographs. Earning an MFA in creative writing in his 60s, he published poetry widely and edited a 2019 sourcebook on poet Angie Estes, his mentor. He is survived by his wife, Rebecca, and a brother.


Lawrence A. Mishlove, MD’88, of Olympia, WA, died March 7, 2019. He was 56. Mishlove did his medical internship in general surgery at Tulane Medical Center and then completed two residencies, one in general surgery at Phoenix’s Maricopa Medical Center and the other in diagnostic radiology at Chicago’s Michael Reese Hospital. A board-certified radiologist who held medical licenses in Louisiana, California, and Florida, Mishlove presented and published research in his field of expertise. He is survived by two children; his mother and stepmother; and three sisters.


David L. Kessenich, MBA’96, of Denver, died January 22. He was 52. Raised on a third-generation Iowa farm, Kessenich worked in investment banking and private equity before cofounding Excellere Partners, an investment firm focused on entrepreneurs. A member of Chicago Booth’s Private Equity Council, he also remained involved in operations on his family’s farm. His philanthropy supported the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He is survived by his wife, Colleen; a daughter; two sons; his mother and father; a sister; and three brothers.


Henry Calderón, AB’11, died of cancer November 24 in Sacramento, CA. He was 30. An English major and a crew team member, Calderón dedicated time at UChicago to working with elementary school children, helping them nurture a passion for reading. After graduating, he returned to his home state of California to care for his young daughter, Mariana Rose. He is survived by his daughter, his parents, and a sister.