University of Chicago obituaries

Recent faculty, staff, and alumni obituaries.

Faculty and staff

Samuel Sandler, professor emeritus in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the College, died August 2 in Potomac, MD. He was 94. Born in Łódź, Poland, Sandler survived the Holocaust in the Łódź ghetto. After earning his PhD in Polish philology from the University of Wrocław in 1951, he held academic positions at the Polish Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Literary Research in Warsaw and the University of Łódź. In 1969 Sandler left Poland with his wife and daughter following the Communist government’s anti-Semitic purges and in 1972 joined the UChicago faculty, where he anchored the program in Polish literature. The coeditor of 300 volumes of foreign and Polish literature and literary criticism in the Polish Biblioteka Narodowa (National Library) book series, he also published numerous books and articles on Polish writers of the Romantic to the contemporary periods. Retiring in 1995, Sandler later donated his 6,000-volume Polish book collection, among the largest such private collections in the United States, to the Regenstein Library.

Wesley A. Wildman, AB’51, JD’54, AM’55, a labor attorney and longtime instructor at Chicago Booth, died August 6 in Deerfield, IL. He was 89. During a legal career that included work at the Chicago-area law firms now known as Franczek and Vedder Price, Wildman represented management clients in collective bargaining negotiations and labor arbitration. From 1963 to 2001, he taught industrial relations at Chicago Booth. After retiring from legal practice, he continued at the school as an adjunct professor of public policy until 2014. Serving in several government posts, Wildman was one of the three original appointees to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board in 1984. He is survived by his wife, Andrea Ruth Waintroob, JD’78, CER’85; four daughters, including Kathleen M. Wildman, AB’77, and Anne C. Wildman, LAB’07; three sons; and two grandchildren.

Marvin Zonis, professor emeritus of business administration at Chicago Booth, died November 15 in Chicago. He was 84. Trained in political science and psychoanalysis as well as in business administration, Zonis began his career as a scholar of Iranian politics. During his five decades at UChicago, he taught in the Department of Political Science, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and what is now the Department of Comparative Human Development. Joining Chicago Booth in 1987, he developed courses on such subjects as international political economy and the effects of digital technologies on global business. He also helped develop the College Core’s Mind course. A regular media commentator on international affairs, Zonis wrote Majestic Failure: The Fall of the Shah (1991). His honors include the Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. He is survived by his wife, Lucy L. Salenger; two daughters, including Nadia Zonis, LAB’83, and Leah Harp, LAB’87, AB’92; a stepdaughter, Brix Smith Start (née Laura Salenger), LAB’81; and two grandchildren.

Charles S. Winans, professor emeritus of medicine, died June 7 in Chicago. He was 84. A gastroenterologist who focused on the upper GI tract, Winans was a lieutenant commander in the US Navy and served as chief of gastroenterology at what is now Naval Medical Center Portsmouth before joining UChicago in 1968. Starting as an instructor in medicine, he went on to codirect the gastroenterology section and hold the Sara and Harold Lincoln Thompson Professorship at UChicago Medicine, retiring in 2008. He was an expert on the muscular action of the esophagus and conducted research on esophageal speech among laryngeal cancer patients. Among many other honors, Winans received the American Gastroenterological Association’s Distinguished Clinician Award. Survivors include his wife, Malinda; a daughter, Lisa Winans Pandelidis, LAB’79; and a son, Charles G. Winans, LAB’84.

David J. Smigelskis, AB’64, associate professor emeritus in the College and the Humanities, of Chicago, died June 22. He was 78. With a PhD in philosophy from Yale, for which he wrote a dissertation on Aristotle’s Metaphysics, Smigelskis joined the UChicago faculty in 1969, teaching in the New Collegiate Division. He chaired the College’s ideas and methods program and later the Humanities Division’s Committee on Ideas and Methods. An advocate for curricular innovation, he helped develop the politics, economics, rhetoric, and law major in the College, which gave rise to the law, letters, and society program, and emphasized philosophical thought and rhetorical analysis in the classroom. Smigelskis retired in 2009. He is survived by his wife, Marianne.


Harold K. Ticho, SB’42, SM’44, PhD’49, died November 3 in La Jolla, CA. He was 98. Ticho fled his native Czechoslovakia for a Swiss boarding school soon after the anschluss and became a US citizen while at UChicago. An experimental physicist who conducted research with Enrico Fermi, he joined the University of California, Los Angeles, and played an important role in the Nobel Prize–winning work of Luis Alvarez on elementary particle physics. His later research included work at CERN and Fermilab, where he led the users’ group. After chairing UCLA’s physics department, he moved to the University of California, San Diego, and became vice chancellor, propelling the expansion of scientific research there. He is survived by a stepson, a brother, and two step-grandchildren.

James M. Ratcliffe, AB’46, JD’50, died June 17 in Chicago. He was 95. A US Army and Air Force veteran and a longtime Hyde Park resident, Ratcliffe served as assistant dean and director of placement at the University of Chicago Law School. During his time in University administration, he edited The Good Samaritan and the Law (1966), based on a Law School conference about the moral obligations of bystanders. Ratcliffe went on to work for the commercial printing company R. R. Donnelley & Sons, ultimately as vice president of corporate relations. He is survived by his wife, Hildegund W. Ratcliffe, senior lecturer emeritus in the Department of Germanic Studies; a son, James M. Ratcliffe III, LAB’92; and two grandchildren.

Marjorie Horn Shelly, PhB’46, died July 21 in Fullerton, CA. She was 94. After graduating from UChicago, Shelly earned a second undergraduate degree from DePauw University in music and an MFA from California State University, Fullerton, in vocal performance. She taught piano and voice privately and at community colleges in Fullerton and Cypress, CA. She is survived by two daughters, two sons, six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Harlan M. Blake, AB’47, AM’48, JD’54, died January 23, 2020, in New York City. He was 96. Blake finished his bachelor’s degree and earned a master’s in economics after serving in the US Navy during World War II. He returned to UChicago to work as an assistant dean and earn his JD. In 1960 he joined the faculty of Columbia Law School, retiring in 1988 as the Arthur Levitt Professor Emeritus of Law. A consultant for the US government on antitrust matters and for the Brazilian government on economic development, he wrote or edited numerous books in those two fields. His wife, Barbara Barke Blake, PhB’45, AM’48, died in 1996.


Judith B. Schaefer, AB’50, AM’57, PhD’62, of West Newton, MA, died February 14, 2020. With her PhD in human development, Schaefer taught at Newton Junior College and Newton College of the Sacred Heart. She and her husband, Theodore Schaefer Jr., AB’50, AM’57, later moved to Shelburne, VT, where she worked for two decades as a clinical psychologist. In retirement she moved back to Newton and published two novels about life in her native South Dakota. Her husband died in 1986. She is survived by a son and five grandchildren.

Margaret Poznak Mine, EX’52, died August 1 in Chicago. She was 93. After studying English language and literature at UChicago and completing her degree at Roosevelt University, Mine held various positions as an editor. She worked for the Journal of the American Medical Association and assisted Mitford Mathews, lecturer in linguistics and head of the University of Chicago Press’s dictionary department, with A Dictionary of Americanisms on Historical Principles (1951). A longtime Hyde Park resident, she was an active volunteer in the community. Her husband, Richard Yoshijiro Mine Jr., EX’55, died in 1999. She is survived by a son, Andrew S. Mine, AB’81; a brother, Fred Poznak, EX’55; and three grandchildren, including Naomi C. Mine, AB’15, and Alexander I. Mine, AB’18.

Dorothy F. Roberts, PhD’56, died January 14, 2020, in Lamar, MO. She was 98. During World War II Roberts had a job with the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) in Washington, DC, and afterward worked for the UNRRA displaced persons program in Allied-occupied Germany. After earning a PhD in international relations and a law degree, Roberts briefly practiced law in Lamar, where she also was the juvenile officer for a Missouri circuit court. A member of the American Political Science Association, Roberts taught at the University of Connecticut and Davis & Elkins College, among other institutions.

Harry R. Templeton, AB’56, of Columbus, OH, died March 22, 2020. He was 90. Templeton served in the US Army and taught mathematics at the American Robert College of Istanbul before embarking on a career in public relations. He spent many years with Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, where he was manager of publications. He is survived by his wife, Ruth; two sons; a brother; and a grandchild.


Mary Ellen Movshin, AB’63, of St. Louis, died October 17. She was 78. With her academic background in Romance languages and literatures, Movshin worked as a medical and scientific translator for the National Library of Medicine. She also served as a grants administrator for St. Louis’s public transit agency and as a fundraiser and consultant for housing and domestic violence nonprofits. A rabbi ordained in the Jewish Renewal movement, Movshin belonged to Conservative, Reconstructionist, and Reform congregations in St. Louis. She worked with students in Greenville University’s Jewish-Christian studies program and taught Hebrew to adults and children. She is survived by her husband, Leon Rechter; a daughter; and sisters Margaret Criscuola, AB’66, AM’67, and Maureen Brodsky, MBA’77.

William M. Freund, AB’66, died August 17 in Durban, South Africa. He was 76. A leading economic historian of Africa and South Africa, Freund taught at Harvard University, Ahmadu Bello University, and the University of Dar es Salaam before joining the University of KwaZulu-Natal, where he chaired the economic history department and spent the rest of his academic career. In addition to writing The Making of Contemporary Africa: The Development of African Society since 1800 (1984), considered a landmark in African historiography, he cofounded Transformation, a journal focusing on contemporary social change in South Africa and the surrounding region. His autobiography will be published posthumously as Bill Freund: An Historian’s Passage to Africa (2021).

Ryan D. Tweney, AB’66, died February 7, 2020, in Pahrump, NV. He was 76. Professor emeritus of psychology at Bowling Green State University, Tweney conducted research on the cognitive underpinnings of scientific reasoning and helped shape the psychology of science as a field. He studied the methodologies of 19th-century physicists Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell, using Faraday’s original slide specimens to reconstruct the experimentalist’s scientific process. A rare book dealer, Tweney collected and sold antiquarian materials in science, technology, and medicine. He is survived by his wife, Karin Hubert; two sons; a stepson; and three grandchildren.

Diane Friedman Byrne, AB’67, of St. Petersburg, FL, died August 21. She was 75. Byrne earned a doctorate in education from Harvard University, studying developmental psychology. Her research examined the growing capacity for social role taking in childhood and adolescence. After teaching at the University of South Florida and working at the Developmental Center in St. Petersburg, she became a professor of psychology at St. Petersburg College. Committed to the practice of Transcendental Meditation, she was a follower of the Indian spiritual leader Ammachi. She is survived by two sons, a sister, a brother, and a grandchild.

Michael Perman, PhD’69, died July 24 in Denver. He was 78. A scholar of 19th-century US Southern political history, Perman studied under UChicago historian John Hope Franklin and in 1970 began teaching at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he chaired the history department and finished his career as a research professor in the humanities. Perman wrote the award-winning The Road to Redemption: Southern Politics, 1869–1879 (1984) and Pursuit of Unity: A Political History of the American South (2009), among other books. He is survived by a daughter; a son, Benjamin Perman, SM’96, PhD’99; a brother; and three grandchildren.


Joseph S. Johnston Jr., AM’71, PhD’79, of Berryville, VA, died November 14. He was 73. A teacher and higher education professional, Johnston studied Renaissance comedy for his doctorate in English and later earned an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. He taught at Temple University, Villanova University, and Bryn Mawr College, where he was assistant to the president. As a vice president at the Association of American Colleges, he oversaw projects aimed at integrating liberal and professional education. Johnston wrote or cowrote several books on that subject and on international education, working in later years as a search consultant for academic institutions. He is survived by his wife, Susan; two sons; two sisters; and four grandchildren.

William J. Hartley, AB’73, AM’79, PhD’85, of Chicago, died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease August 21. He was 69. Hartley earned his PhD from the Committee on the History of Culture, writing his dissertation on the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci, about whom he continued to publish articles while pursuing a career outside research universities. He taught English as a second language at several Chicago-area institutions, including the City Colleges of Chicago’s Richard J. Daley College. He is survived by his son Daniel Hartley, LAB’95, MBA’04; a sister; two brothers; and two grandchildren, current Laboratory Schools students Miles Hartley and Margot Hartley.

Paul V. Mankowski, AB’76, died of a ruptured brain aneurysm September 3 in Evanston, IL. He was 66. A Jesuit priest, Mankowski held master’s degrees in classics and divinity, a licentiate in sacred theology, and a doctorate in comparative Semitic philology. He taught Old Testament languages at the Pontifical Institute in Rome for 15 years. From 2012 until his death, he was a scholar in residence at the Lumen Christi Institute in Hyde Park, where he offered noncredit courses in theology and classics to UChicago students. Mankowski also officiated mass regularly at the University’s Calvert House. He is survived by three sisters, including Mary (Mankowski) Korajczyk, AB’79, and a brother.

Mary Elizabeth, formerly Jacki Zuckerman, AB’77, died of pancreatic cancer July 20 in Colchester, VT. She was 64. A teacher and author, Mary Elizabeth earned a master’s in education and developed curricula for the US Department of Education. She created educational products for K–12 students; wrote literature study guides and other books, including Barron’s American Slang Dictionary and Thesaurus (2009); and collaborated on a children’s opera for the MLC School in Australia. She also taught courses on publishing and technology at the Vermont College of Fine Arts and the University of Chicago Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies. She is survived by two daughters; a son, Michael P. Podhaizer, AB’11; a sister; and a brother.


Yiran Fan, SM’15, died January 9 in Chicago, the victim of a random homicide (see “A Community Bereft,” page 19). He was 30. With a bachelor’s in finance from Peking University and a master’s in financial engineering from Cambridge University, Fan came to UChicago to study in the financial mathematics program, earning a second master’s degree. He then worked on the staff of the Fama-Miller Center for Research in Finance. At the time of his death, he was a PhD student in the financial economics joint program of Chicago Booth and the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics, aiming to propose his dissertation later this academic year. Fan conducted research on bankers’ asset and liability management and studied marketplace dynamics in which the screening process creates inefficiencies. He is survived by his parents.