(University of Chicago News Office)

University obituaries

Trustees and Friends

Donald A. Gillies, a University trustee from 1977 to 1983, of Wilmette, IL, died August 12. He was 79. A taxation and estate-law attorney, Gillies rose to partner at Altheimer & Gray before becoming of counsel at Holland & Knight. State chair of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, he chaired the Chicago Bar Association’s federal taxation committee and was recognized in the Best Lawyers in America for 20 consecutive years. For nearly three decades, Gillies was board president of the Baptist Theological Union. He is survived by his wife, Judith; a daughter; and a sister.

Faculty & Staff

Marianne Phillippa Eismann, AM’84, of Newbury Park, CA, died October 19 after a long illness. She was 53. Eismann taught literature and writing at the University of Chicago in the 1980s and ’90s and at Wake Forest University. She is survived by her husband, Alejandro Benes; her parents; and a brother.

Patricia R. Kirby, a retired physical education associate professor and coach, died September 23 in Lincoln, NE. She was 83. Winner of the Alumni Association’s 1997 Norman McLean Faculty Award, Kirby helped develop women’s intercollegiate athletics at Chicago. In addition to coaching badminton, basketball, and volleyball, she led the softball team to state championships in 1977 and 1978. A member of the Council of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators, Kirby was inducted into the University of Chicago Athletics Hall of Fame in 2004. The Women’s Athletic Association’s annual award, presented to the graduating female athlete who has earned the most varsity letters, is named in her honor.

Morris Philipson, AB’49, AM’52, of Chicago, director emeritus of the University of Chicago Press, died November 3. He was 85. A WW II veteran, Philipson was an editor at Knopf, Vintage, Modern Library, and Basic Books before joining the press as director in 1967. He pushed to publish modern works, such as Normal Maclean’s A River Runs through It and Other Stories (1976), the first original work of fiction published by the press. Other highlights of Philipson’s tenure include Sartre’s five-volume study of Gustave Flaubert and The Works of Giuseppe Verdi, a 31-volume project still in production. Helping to build the press and overseeing sales growth from $4 million to $40 million over his 32-year tenure, he stepped down in 2000. Survivors include daughter Jenny Philipson, U-High’85, AM’98; sons Nicholas Philipson, U-High’80, and Alex Philipson, U-High’86; and brother Robert L. Philipson, AB’55, MBA’57.


Marguerite Huggins Sawin McMurray, SB’35, died August 13 in Scottsdale, AZ. She was 99. McMurray taught home economics at Toledo’s (OH) Rogers High School and McTigue Junior High School, and she was president of the Adams Township Board of Education. She retired in 1968. Survivors include two daughters, five grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Harry (Bratsburg) Morgan, X’37, who won an Emmy Award as M*A*S*H’s Col. Sherman T. Potter, died December 7 in Los Angeles. He was 96. Appearing in more than 100 films since the 1940s, Morgan was best known as LAPD Officer Bill Gannon in Dragnet and for his eight seasons on M*A*S*H. After the series ended in 1983, he continued to appear in TV shows, including spin-off sitcom AfterMASH. Survivors include his wife, Barbara; three sons; eight grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Miriam (Koenig) Sack, AB’38, died October 3 in Scottsdale, AZ. She was 94. Sack was a family counselor with the City of Chicago Department of Public Health and wrote a Jewish cookbook. Survivors include two sons, Norman Sack, U-High’62, and Richard Sack, AM’76; sister Shirlee Sher, X’45; and a granddaughter.


Lillian (Kamen) Smith, SB’40, of Chapel Hill, NC, died October 11. She was 92. After working in the Office of Censorship during WW II, Smith was a proofreader for the Twentieth Century Fund. In the 1950s she and her husband, Harvey Liss Smith, AB’41, AM’47, PhD’49 (who died in 1990), moved to Chapel Hill, where she volunteered at the public library. Survivors include a daughter, a son, and two granddaughters.

Henrietta Mahon Brewer, AB’41, died August 21 in Duluth, MN. She was 91. Brewer taught history for many years before marrying her husband, Richard, and moving to Duluth, where she volunteered for the Duluth Superior Orchestra and St. Mary’s Hospital. Recipient of a 1960 U of C Alumni Association Public Service Award, she also counseled cancer survivors and delivered books to the homebound. Survivors include three daughters, a son, five grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Annette M. McCormick, AM’41, of Covington, LA, died October 6. She was 91. For 25 years McCormick taught English at Louisiana State University. Survivors include nieces and nephews.
Anna Margaret “Peggy” (Shelby) Stanton, SM’41, died September 25 in Mountain Brook, AL. She was 95. A member of Canterbury United Methodist Church, Stanton was involved in several community clubs. Her husband, Roy F. Stanton Jr., SB’43, MD’43, died in 2006. Survivors include two daughters, a son, six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Jerry Berlin, AB’42, died March 13 in Michigan. He was 89. Berlin was a merchant marine who spent many summers captaining ferries between Cape Cod, MA, and Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Survivors include a brother, three nieces, and two nephews.

Clarabel “Claire” (Grossmann) Goes, X’42, died October 1 in Hinsdale, IL. She was 90. In 1963 she and her husband, Arthur A. Goes Jr., X’38, started a business, Goes Incentives and Awards. Her husband died in 1976. Survivors include a daughter, two sons, two brothers, and five grandchildren.

Gregory Dexter Hedden, SB’42, SM’50, PhD’51, died October 17 in Madison, WI. He was 92. A WW II veteran, Hedden researched physical organic chemistry and was an original member of the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant, which advised a fledgling Great Lakes mining industry. Hedden also helped found the national Underwater Mining Institute. He retired in 1983. Survivors include two sons and two grandchildren.

Joseph R. Simmler, SB’42, a chemist, died August 24 in Kirkwood, MO. A WW II veteran, he worked for Mallinckrodt Chemical Company for two decades before launching a specialty chemical-supply business. He retired in the 1980s. Survivors include a daughter, a son, three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Beverly (Berman) Bassin, AM’43, died October 19 in Madison, WI. She was 92. Bassin was a school social worker with the Chicago Board of Education for 18 years, retiring in 1986. She is survived by three sons and three grandchildren.

Mary Guild Code, AB’43 (Class of ’45), a social worker, died August 11 in Madison, WI. She was 88. For more than 30 years Code worked in adoptions for the Children’s Service Society of Wisconsin and Catholic Social Services in Madison. Her husband, Arthur D. Code, X’45, SM’47, PhD’50, died in 2009. Survivors include a daughter, three sons, a sister, and six grandchildren.

Donald James Randa, X’43, former owner of a newspaper chain, died October 13 in Burr Ridge, IL. He was 89. A WW II veteran, Randa sold ads at his father’s paper, which covered Berwyn and Cicero, rising to vice president of sales and business operations. In the 1950s the company became Life Newspapers, and Randa became co-owner and executive vice president. He later cofounded Suburban Newspapers of America and sat on the board of the Suburban Press Foundation. He is survived by his wife, Mary; a daughter; a son; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Arnold A. Sio, X’46, died June 29 in Kingston, NY. He was 93. A WW II veteran, Sio joined Colgate University in 1952 and retired as a distinguished professor of sociology and anthropology emeritus. A two-time department chair, he studied slave societies of the Americas and Caribbean history. In 2005 a former student honored him by endowing the Arnold Sio Chair for Diversity and Community. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy; two daughters; two sons; and eight grandchildren.

Alezah (Dworkin) Weinberg, PhB’46, of Scottsdale, AZ, died October 25. She was 86. Weinberg was a clinical social worker. Survivors include three daughters, including Shirah Weinberg Hecht, AM’84, PhD’93, and four grandchildren.

Margaret Trowbridge Conner, BLS’47, died August 13 in Chesterfield, MO. She was 86. A school librarian, Connor was active in local churches and with the American Association of University Women. She is survived by her husband, Bill Conner, AM’49; three daughters; a son; ten grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.

James Wesley Ellington, PhB’47, PhD’58, of Storrs, CT, died August 21. He was 84. An Immanuel Kant scholar, Ellington was a translator and emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of Connecticut at Storrs. He wrote or translated nine books, including a translation of Kant’s 1786 work, Metaphysical Foundation of Natural Science. Survivors include a sister.

Herbert Z. Halbrecht, MBA’49, died October 2 in Chapel Hill, NC. He was 84. A WW II veteran, he founded executive-search firm Halbrecht Associates. After retiring he volunteered as a mentor for underprivileged youth and as a reading tutor. Halbrecht founded Kol Haskalah, a Humanistic Judaism congregation. He is survived by his wife, Gayla; a daughter; a son; and five grandchildren.

Leona (Wexler) Levin, BSS’49, died September 26 in New York City. She was 86. A longtime Chicago resident, Levin was former director of nursing-home services for Cook County. Survivors include two daughters, a sister, and two grandchildren.

John R. Opel, MBA’49, former CEO of IBM, died November 6 in Fort Myers, FL. He was 86. A WW II veteran, Opel joined IBM in 1949 as a salesman, also holding posts as the CEO’s executive assistant and in the manufacturing and public relations departments. In the 1970s and ’80s Opel was president and then CEO of IBM and introduced the company’s first personal computer. Recipient of a 1980 Chicago Booth Distinguished Alumni Corporate Award, Opel stepped down in 1985 but remained as board member and executive committee chair until 1993. He is survived by his wife, Carole; three daughters; two sons; and 15 grandchildren.


Frederick O. Gearing, AB’50, AM’53, PhD’56, an anthropologist, died September 20 in Cheektowaga, NY. He was 88. The WW II veteran spent most of his career at the University of Buffalo, where he served as department chair. Gearing also wrote and illustrated Big Cat, a series of children’s books about the adventures of a Native American boy. He is survived by his wife, Marjorie; a daughter; two sons; two brothers; and a sister.

Robert W. Galvin, X’52, former Motorola CEO and chair, died October 11 in Chicago. He was 89. In 1944 Galvin joined Motorola, founded by his father, becoming CEO in 1959. Over the next three decades he increased annual sales from $290 million to $10.8 billion and oversaw the first cell phone prototype. He later cofounded investment firm Harrison Street Capital and created two think tanks. A trustee of the Illinois Institute of Technology for more than 50 years, he is the namesake of its new Robert W. Galvin Center for Electricity Innovation. He is survived by his wife, Mary; two daughters; two sons; 13 grandchildren; and ten great-grandchildren.

Max E. Wildman, MBA’52, died September 16 in Lake Forest, IL. He was 91. A WW II veteran, Wildman served as special assistant attorney general for Illinois and practiced at what is now Kirkland & Ellis for 20 years. In 1967 he cofounded Wildman Harrold (now Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon), which represents several Fortune 500 companies. In 1982 he won the American Jewish Committee’s Judge Learned Hand Human Relations Award. He is survived by his wife, Joyce; a daughter; and a son.

Nicholas M. Masich, MBA’53, of Washington Township, NJ, died October 18. He was 99. A WW II veteran, Masich served in the Air Force for 33 years, rising to colonel and receiving an Air Force Commendation Medal, WW II Victory Medal, and National Defense Service Medal. Survivors include a daughter, two sisters, three grandchildren, and a great-grandson.

Leonard V. Fisher, MD’54, a physician, died September 19 in Los Angeles. He was 82. Fisher was a clinical professor of medicine at New York Medical College, the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, and the University of California, Los Angeles. He is survived by his wife, Mimi; a daughter; a son; a sister; and four grandsons.

Elmo M. Roberds Jr., PhD’54, of Kennesaw, GA, died September 24. He was 88. Roberds taught history at several institutions before joining the University of West Georgia in 1967, retiring in 1988. Survivors include two sons and a granddaughter.

Jean (Sinclair) Symmes, PhD’56, died August 4 in McLean, VA. She was 86. Symmes began her career as a psychology instructor at Yale University and research psychologist at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. In 1973 she founded Psychoeducational Resources, a nonprofit offering family counseling, child psychology, and cognitive therapy services. She also launched the Washington Professional Women’s Cooperative, where female therapists, attorneys, and artists shared office space and resources. Her husband, David Symmes, PhD’55, died in 1990. Survivors include a daughter, two sons, a brother, and three grandchildren.

Lynn (Alexander) Margulis, U-High’54, AB’57, an evolutionary biologist, died November 22 in Amherst, MA. She was 73. Her endosymbiotic theory argued that cells arose from symbiotic relationships among bacteria, now a central tenet of biology. While a 16-year-old student in the College, she met her first husband, cosmologist Carl Sagan, AB’54, SB’55, SM’56, PhD’60 (they divorced in 1963). After 22 years teaching at Boston University, in 1988 Margulis joined the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, as distinguished university professor of geosciences. Receiving a U of C Alumni Association Professional Achievement Award (1985), a National Medal of Science (1999), and a Laboratory Schools Distinguished Alumna Award (2010), Margulis contributed to James E. Lovelock’s controversial Gaia theory, which posits that the earth is a living organism. Survivors include a daughter; three sons; three sisters, including Sharon Kleitman, U-High’56, and Diane Alexander, U-High’65; and nine grandchildren.

Milton C. Zilis, MBA’57, of Mequon, WI, died August 23. He was 82. A Korean War veteran, Zilis worked many years at Johnson Controls, retiring as vice president and general manager of the battery division. A longtime teacher in the Milwaukee Literacy program, he also was a counselor, secretary, and chair for SCORE. He is survived by his wife, Shir-Lee; a daughter; three sons; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Ruth (Masuhr) Bowers, AM’58, died September 7 in Burlington, NC. She was 87. Bowers was a nurse at Milwaukee County General Hospital and School of Nursing; the US Naval Hospital in Bethesda, MD; the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing; and Duke University School of Nursing, where she was gynecology/clinical assistant professor and director of obstetrics and nurseries.

Erich Klinghammer, AB’58, PhD’62, an animal behaviorist, died October 6 in Lafayette, IN. He was 81. An Army veteran and wolf specialist, Klinghammer taught at Purdue University for 26 years, retiring as professor emeritus. He founded wildlife conservatory Wolf Park and directed its Institute of Ethology, which conducts studies on wolf behavior. Winner of a 1986 ASPCA Certificate of Appreciation, Klinghammer frequently consulted zoos on establishing more humane design. He is survived by his wife, Suzanne “Peggy” Klinghammer, AB’57, and a daughter.

Raymond P. Manley, MBA’58, of Youngstown, OH, died October 14. He was 79. A certified public accountant, Manley worked for Hill, Barth & King and then William G. Barth & Associates. He was a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Ohio Historical Society. Survivors include two brothers.

A. Graham Maxwell, PhD’59, a theologian, died November 28, 2010, in Loma Linda, CA. He was 89. Maxwell taught at Pacific Union College for nearly 20 years and chaired the religion division before joining Loma Linda University. There he directed the religion department and retired emeritus professor of the New Testament. Maxwell also taught at local churches and led Sabbath school classes for more than 60 years. He is survived by his wife, Rosalyn; two daughters; a sister; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Norman E. Walker, AM’59, of Chicago, died September 29. He was 80. A Korean War veteran, Walker was a philosophy professor at the City Colleges of Chicago’s Richard J. Daley College for 32 years. He is survived by his wife, Carol Kyros Walker, X’56.


Robert H. Szczarba, SM’56, PhD’60, died October 18 in New Haven, CT. He was 78. Szczarba joined Yale’s mathematics faculty in 1960, researching algebraic and differential topology. He later served as deputy provost for the physical sciences and engineering. A professional sculptor who brought mathematical concepts into his art, he had pieces commissioned by the Mathematical Association of America and Yale University. He is survived by his wife, Arlene; a daughter; a son; and a sister.

William S. Shipp, X’61, PhD’65, died September 7 in Hartford, CT. He was 72. In 1967 Shipp joined Brown University as a professor of medical science and taught microbiology and biochemistry until his 1990 retirement. He was also the school’s associate provost for computing and installed one of the nation’s early broadband data networks. Shipp later directed Brown’s Institute for Research in Information and Scholarship, which he cofounded in 1983 (it closed in 1994). He is survived by his wife, Jane, and a son.

Maurice B. Danard, PhD’63, of Elmira, Ontario, died October 13. He was 76. A meteorologist, Danard specialized in long-range forecasting through computer models. He held posts with federal meteorological services across Canada and the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, as well as at the Universities of Waterloo and Victoria. Danard also was president of the Atmospheric Dynamics Corporation, which provided weather predictions for the Calgary Winter Olympics. He is survived by his wife, Audrey; two daughters; and two sisters.

James F. de Jong, AM’66, died of multiple sclerosis October 31 in Bloomington, MN. He was 69. From 1969 to 1996, de Jong taught German at Normandale Community College. During the 1980s he was also an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas. He is survived by his wife, Sheila; a daughter; son Peter de Jong, AB’90; and four grandsons, all current University of Chicago Laboratory Schools students.

William D. Turnbull, PhD’67, a paleontologist, died October 5 in Chicago. He was 89. A WW II veteran, Turnbull then began a 65-year career at the Field Museum as a preparator’s assistant, rising to curator of fossil mammals. He retired as curator emeritus in 1987. Turnbull led annual excavations, often in southwest Wyoming, where he discovered several Eocene mammal specimens. He is survived by his wife, Hedy Mahler Brotman; a stepdaughter; a stepson; a granddaughter; and a great-grandson.

Donald R. Hazen, AM’68, a chiropractor, died of cancer August 2 in El Cerrito, CA. He was 67. A certified advanced Rolfer, Hazen started his therapeutic practice in 1978 and added chiropractic in 1994. Also a professional photographer, he taught posture workshops around the country. He is survived by his wife, Mollie, and a sister.


John E. McGinty, MBA’70, died from complications of multiple myeloma October 14 in Boston. He was 65. An investment banker, McGinty joined First Boston (later acquired by Credit Suisse) in 1977. He was ranked a top machinery analyst by Institutional Investor magazine for 31 years. In 2006 he joined UBS as a senior investment-banking adviser. He is survived by his wife, Sarah; daughter Sarah McGinty, MBA’10; two sons; and five sisters.

Paul L. Carnahan Jr., AM’71, died September 8 in Pittsburgh. He was 72. A catering consultant, Carnahan planned high-profile dinners and galas, including a 1996 Field Museum gala in honor of Princess Diana. He later advised many of Chicago’s most prominent families on matters of etiquette and cuisine. He is survived by his life partner, Hector Rivera, and a sister.

John “Jack” Curran Jr., MBA’72, died October 20 in Gainesville, VA. He was 79. Curran worked in the flavor and fragrance industry in New York, Chicago, and Minneapolis. He is survived by his wife, Marlane; three sons; a sister; and five granddaughters.

Donald L. Rickertsen, JD’73, of Mountain Brook, AL, died September 10. He was 63. An attorney, Rickertsen practiced law in Atlanta, moving to Mountain Brook in 2002. There he served as of counsel with Haskell, Slaughter, Young & Redicker before an early retirement. He is survived by his wife, Sue; a daughter;two sons; his mother; a sister; and a brother.

Gregory L. Possehl, PhD’74, of Philadelphia died October 8. He was 70. A University of Pennsylvania professor emeritus of anthropology, Possehl specialized in ancient South Asian civilizations and was a curator at the university’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. In 2007 he started an excavation at Bat, Oman, a UNESCO World Heritage site, home to the region’s best-preserved Bronze Age cemetery. His 2003 book, The Indus Civilization: A Contemporary Perspective (Altamira Press), won a Choice magazine award for Outstanding Academic Book. Survivors include a daughter, a son, a brother, a sister, and three grandchildren.

C. William Zadel, MBA’74, died September 8 in Osterville, MA. He was 68. A Vietnam War veteran, he served as president and CEO of Corning Diagnostics before becoming CEO and chair of Millipore Corp. and then of Mykrolis Corp. A former director of Citizens Bank of Massachusetts, Zadel sat on the board of CIRCOR International. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; a daughter; two sons; a brother; and six grandchildren.

Starley Martin Tomchik, AB’75, of Miramar, FL, died March 2, 2008. She was 55. Tomchik was a clinical psychotherapist. She is survived by her husband, Robert S. Tomchik, AB’75, MD’79, and two sons.


Dean Brackley, PhD’80, a Jesuit priest, died of pancreatic cancer October 16 in El Salvador. He was 65. Ordained in 1976, Brackley spent a decade working with South Bronx People for Change. After the 1989 slayings of six Jesuits in El Salvador—including Ignacio Martín-Baró, AM’77, PhD’79—Brackley was one of six priest volunteers who joined Universidad Centroamericana as their replacements, remaining there until his death. Survivors include his mother, two brothers, and a sister.

John T. Svatek, X’84, of Lancaster, PA, died of sudden illness September 8. He was 49. A graphic designer and editor, Svatek owned Kerning Pair Design. He is survived by his wife, Misty L. Bastian, AB’83, AM’85, PhD’92; a brother; and a sister.


Delbert Mark Bunce, MBA’91, died August 14 in Eagle, ID, of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was 68. A private pilot, Bunce worked in aviation management at Bonanza and United Airlines before doing union negotiation for airline employee and pilot associations. After his cancer diagnosis in 1990, Bunce completed his MBA and several marathons. He is survived by his wife, Ileen; a daughter; a son; his father; several brothers; a sister; and three grandchildren.

Christopher Douglas Dirr, MBA’95, died August 3 in Fort Worth, TX. He was 50. Dirr served with the US Corps of Engineers in Afghanistan and was a member of the Benbrook (TX) Citizens on Patrol. Survivors include a daughter, a son, his parents, a brother, and a sister.