Paul Gitlin, 1926–2012. (Photo courtesy University of Chicago News Office)

University obituaries

Recent faculty, staff, board, and alumni obituaries.

Faculty & Staff

Jean Allard, JD’53, the first female vice president at the University of Chicago, died January 29 in Chicago. She was 87. One of two women in her Law School class, Allard was an antitrust attorney and general counsel and secretary at Maremont Corporation before joining the University in 1972 as President Edward H. Levi’s (U-High’28, PhB’32, JD’35) vice president for business and finance. In 1976 she became the first female partner at Sonnenschein Carlin Nath & Rosenthal. Named one of the city’s most powerful women by the Chicago Tribune in 1987, she later served as president of Chicago’s Metropolitan Planning Council and was the first female board member at Commonwealth Edison and Marshall Field & Company. Survivors include a son and a granddaughter.

Paul Gitlin, of Evanston, IL, an associate professor emeritus in the School of Social Service Administration, died January 23. He was 85. After a stint as a child social worker, Gitlin joined UChicago in 1964, helping to create the SSA’s group-work program and the Families, Individuals, and Communities course graduate sequence. Survivors include two daughters, a son, and two grandchildren.

Emmet Larkin, professor emeritus of history, died March 19 in Chicago. He was 84. Starting his career at Brooklyn College, in 1966 he joined UChicago’s faculty, retiring in 2006. An Irish history scholar, he helped to found the American Committee for Irish Studies and was a Guggenheim Fellow. His most influential book, The Historical Dimensions of Irish Catholicism (Arno Press, 1976), examines the relevance of the Catholic Church in Ireland after the potato famine. Larkin is survived by his wife, Dianne, a retired Laboratory Schools teacher; daughters Heather Larkin, U-High’86, and Siobhan Kates, U-High’88; and two granddaughters. 

James W. Moulder, SB’41, PhD’44, of Vernon Hills, IL, professor emeritus in the Department of Microbiology, died May 6, 2011. He was 90. Moulder taught at UChicago for more than 40 years, leading research on infectious and parasitic diseases. He chaired the microbiology department, was a Guggenheim Fellow, and edited the Journal of Infectious Diseases for 11 years. After retiring in 1986, he moved to Tucson, AZ, where he advised the University of Arizona’s microbiology and immunology department. In 1999 Moulder received the Bergey Medal for lifetime contributions to microbiology. Survivors include a daughter, a son, and five grandchildren.

Michael Mussa, AM’70, PhD’74, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, died of heart failure January 15 in Washington, DC. He was 67. After teaching at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business for 15 years and spending two years as a member of the US Council of Economic Advisers under President Ronald Reagan, Mussa joined the IMF, serving as chief economist from 1999 to 2001. He then became a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, where he remained until his death. Mussa is survived by a brother.

Peter Novick, professor emeritus of history, died February 17 in Chicago. He was 77. Joining the UChicago faculty in 1966, Novick retired in 1999. Over his career he published two controversial landmark books: That Noble Dream: The “Objectivity Question” and the American Historical Profession (Cambridge University Press, 1988) and The Holocaust in American Life (Mariner Books, 2000). The former received the American Historical Association’s 1989 Albert J. Beveridge Prize for the best American history book of the year, and the latter’s awards include the Phi Beta Kappa Ralph Waldo Emerson Award. He is survived by his wife, Joan, and a son.

H. Anne Plettinger, a longtime Argonne National Laboratory employee, died February 9 in Zachary, LA. She was 94. Plettinger joined the University’s Metallurgy Lab in 1943, working on the Manhattan Project. After 30 years as a technical specialist in Argonne’s physics division, she retired to her native Louisiana. In 1996 she won the West Feliciana Civic Club’s Citizen of the Year award for her public-safety activism. She photographed West Feliciana Parish extensively, and her work was featured in a Chicago Public Library exhibit. Survivors include two nieces, a nephew, and grandnieces and grandnephews.

Gerson “Gus” Rosenthal, of Towanda, IL, an ecologist and associate professor emeritus in the Biological Sciences Division, died April 3, 2011. He was 88. Winner of a 1963 Quantrell Award for teaching, Rosenthal, who joined UChicago in 1953, taught an undergraduate field-biology course that took students to the Indiana Dunes. He also advised on vegetation planted along Chicago’s interstate highways and was an advocate for prairie restoration. His wife, Marcia Rosenthal, U-High’39, PhD’49, a radiation biologist at Argonne National Lab, died in 2002. Survivors include a son; brother Henry Rosenthal, MBA’48; and a granddaughter. 


C. Olin Sethness, AB’35, JD’37, died February 1 in Lake Forest, IL. He was 97. Sethness began his career in his family’s flavoring and soft-drink business before becoming president of Cosco International. He sat on the board of the Winnetka Congregational Church and chaired UChicago class reunions. Survivors include three daughters, a son, a brother, a sister, 11 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.

Conrad Howard, AB’38, MBA’49, of Wheaton, IL, died February 1. He was 97. A WW II veteran, Howard was a CPA with the Internal Revenue Service before joining International Harvester, where he worked for more than 30 years, retiring in 1978 as head of the tax department. Howard was an usher at Gary United Methodist Church for more than 50 years. Survivors include a daughter, a son, two sisters, six grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Harriett Stenn, SB’38, SM’39, died November 3 in Princeton, NJ. She was 95. Stenn completed three years of medical school before leaving to raise her three children while her husband, Frederick Stenn, SB’28, MD’33, AM’35, served overseas in WW II. Upon his return, she worked in the University’s pharmacology department. Her husband died in 1980. Survivors include daughter Andrea Stenn Stryer, U-High’53, AB’57, AM’58; sons Kurt Stenn, U-High’57, SB’61, and Peter Stenn, U-High’59, AB’64; seven grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.

Frederic John “Jack” Mullins, X’39, died September 3 in Rancho Santa Fe, CA. He was 93. Mullins began working for American Airlines as a reservation agent while in the College and retired in 1972 as the company’s vice chair. During his career he launched routes to Mexico City and directed operations for the Southwest region. After retiring he spent the next three decades as a housing contractor and served on the local fire-district board. He is survived by his wife, Jane (Anderson) Mullins, X’39; a daughter; a sister; three grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.


David Levitan, PhD’40, died November 21 in New York City. He was 95. Levitan was special assistant to the War Production Board chair, chief of the Foreign Economic Administration’s property-control division, and editor in chief of the first United Nations manual of operations. A partner at law firm Hahn & Hessen, he hosted the ABC broadcasts On Trial and Perspectives. Levitan chaired the Roslyn Harbor Zoning Board for more than 30 years. Survivors include a daughter and a son.

Elizabeth (Herlinger) Groot, SB’42, died February 10 in San Jose, CA. She was 90. Groot joined Union Oil Company in 1942 as its first female chemist. She then moved to Richland, WA, and was active in the League of Women Voters while raising her family. She later worked at Schenectady Chemicals as a typist and chemical librarian. Groot participated in international photography tours in retirement. Her husband, Cornelius “Kees” Groot, SB’40, SM’42, died in 1992. Survivors include a daughter, two sons, and two grandsons.

Allan M. Goldberg, PhB’45, MD’52, of Flossmoor, IL, died November 13. He was 84. A WW II veteran, Goldberg ran an internal-medicine practice and also served as chief of medicine at Ingalls Hospital, where he built a coronary care unit. He retired in 2005. Goldberg funded a neurology professorship at UChicago and made other major gifts in memory of his wife, Gretchen Goldberg, AB’47, SB’51, MD’52, who died in 1993.

H. Everett Van Reken, MD’45, of Downer’s Grove, IL, died November 28. He was 93. An Air Force veteran, Van Reken ran an Oak Park, IL, medical practice and served on staff at West Suburban Hospital, where he chaired the family practice department until his 1985 retirement. He is survived by his wife, Rozena; two daughters; three sons, including Calvin Van Reken, AM’72, PhD’86; 16 grandchildren; and 23 great-grandchildren.

Alan Garber, U-High’42, PhB’47, died January 28 in Chicago. He was 86. Garber was board chair and owner of the Crawfords Stores, which operated for more than 70 years. His wife, Beatrice (Bilsky) Garber, SM’48, PhD’51, died in 1980. He is survived by his son, Dale Garber, U-High’68; a sister; four granddaughters; and three great-granddaughters.

Barney Rosset, PhB’47, longtime head of Grove Press, died February 21 in New York City. He was 89. After buying the press for $3,000 in 1951, Rosset introduced authors including Samuel Beckett and Eugène Ionesco to US audiences and challenged censorship laws with the publication of Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer and D. H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Honored in 2008 by the National Book Foundation with a lifetime achievement award, Rosset also courted controversy when he bought the rights to the 1967 Swedish film I Am Curious (Yellow), banned in ten states. Rosset sold Grove in 1985 but continued to publish his literary journal, Evergreen Review, as well as books under new imprints. He is survived by his wife, Astrid Myers; two daughters; two sons; four grandchildren; and four step-grandchildren.

Ellsworth D. Schmitz, PhB’47, of Springfield, VA, died January 15. He was 88. A WW II Army veteran, he began his 30-year government career as an analyst at the US Naval Training Center in Great Lakes, IL, before being assigned to Washington in the early 1950s. He then became chief of the Defense Department’s Office of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention, retiring in 1979. He is survived by his wife, Betty; two daughters; two sons; and six grandchildren.

David Levinsohn, X’48, died January 2, 2010, in Chicago. He was 85. A WW II veteran, he was a reporter for Chicago’s City News Bureau before doing public relations and development writing for the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum. He later founded Health Education Publications. He is survived by his partner, Nancy Perrin; two daughters; a brother; and three grandchildren.

Shale Baskin, PhB’49, died January 10 in Chicago. He was 84. With his sons, Baskin opened clothier Mark Shale and built it into a nationally recognized brand. He retired in 1995. He is survived by his wife, Judith; four sons, including Steven Baskin, JD’82; and seven grandchildren.

William Heirens, X’49, died March 5 in Dixon, IL. He was 83. While a 17-year-old University student, Heirens was arrested and confessed to three unsolved murders in Chicago. Known as the Lipstick Killer, he spent the rest of his life in Illinois state prison, later recanting his confession and becoming the first Illinois prisoner to earn a four-year college degree.


Eji Suyama, MD’50, of Sebastopol, CA, died June 8, 2009. He was 88. A WW II veteran, Suyama was part of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Primarily comprised of Japanese Americans and the most decorated unit in US military history, Suyama’s team received the Silver Star for gallantry in action. He later was chief of surgery at the Maine Coast Memorial Hospital until joining the veterans hospital in Fort Meade, SD. He retired in 2008. In 2011 he, along with his combat team, posthumously received the Congressional Gold Medal, Congress’s highest award. He is survived by his wife, Virginia; three daughters; and three sons.

Nancy Haas, MBA’51, died November 13 in Fort Collins, CO. She was 81. A volunteer for the League of Women Voters, Haas was a founding board member of the Irons Oaks Environmental Learning Center. She is survived by her husband, Will Haas, MBA’51; four daughters; two sons; 13 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Herbert Paper, AM’48, PhD’51, of Mason, OH, died January 23. He was 87. A WW II veteran, he was among the first US professors to offer university-level Yiddish courses. A Near Eastern languages specialist, Paper helped create the Jewish-studies program at the University of Michigan, where he taught for 24 years. In 1977 he joined Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion as dean of graduate studies, and he spent more than two decades there. Editor of the Hebrew Union College Annual, Paper was an early president of the Association of Judaic Studies. He is survived by his wife, Bess; a daughter; a son; a sister; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Ethel Hall, AM’53, died November 12 in Birmingham, AL. She was 83. Hall taught in Alabama high schools and universities before becoming the first African American woman elected to the Alabama Board of Education and its longtime vice president. Survivors include a daughter, a son, two foster daughters, two sisters, and two grandsons.

Patricia Canzonetti, AB’54, died January 5 in Glenford, NY. She was 82. Canzonetti married her husband, Nino, in 1956; raised two children; and was the office manager for the family’s real-estate appraisal firm. Survivors include two sons.

Peter G. Gaal, PhB’50, SB’54, MD’54, of Santa Paula, CA, died January 23. He was 81. A Navy veteran and a cardiovascular surgeon, Gaal was an assistant clinical professor in thoracic surgery at the University of California, Los Angeles, for more than 20 years. From 1979 to 1995, he was a commissioner of the Medical Board of California. Gaal also practiced at Ventura County Medical Center and Ventura’s Community Memorial Hospital, where he was chief of staff and on the board of trustees. Gaal is survived by his wife, Sandy; three daughters; two sons; and eight grandchildren.

William L. Lyon, X’54, of Claremont, CA, died November 3, 2010. He was 86. A WW II veteran, Lyon worked in hospital administration. Survivors include four sons; brothers Bayard Lyon, MBA’60, and Edward Lyon, U-High’44, PhB’48, SB’50, MD’53; and three grandchildren.

Paul D. Clasper, X’57, died October 29 in Claremont, CA. He was 88. Clasper taught theology and religion in Asia and North America and was vice president of the Burma Divinity School. Author of a memoir, Theological Ferment (New Day Publishers), he taught at Drew University Theological School and in 1975 joined the Chinese University of Hong Kong as a senior lecturer. Clasper was later ordained an Episcopal priest and became the first American dean of Hong Kong’s St. John’s Cathedral. Survivors include two daughters, two stepchildren, four grandchildren, and two step-grandchildren.

LeRoy Palmer, MBA’58, of Clearlake Oaks, CA, died July 4. He was 99. Palmer was a production manager for electrical manufacturing companies before moving into aerospace and defense work. During the 1960s he was part of the team that created antennae used to transmit pictures from the first lunar landing. He retired in 1977. He is survived by his wife, Elsie; a daughter; a son; and two grandchildren.

Samuel L. Stanley, PhD’58, an anthropologist, died November 26 in Seattle. He was 88. A WW II veteran, Stanley taught at California State College before being invited by Sol Tax, PhD’35, to create the Center for the Study of Man at the Smithsonian Institution’s Natural History Museum. There Stanley helped to launch the Handbook of North American Indians and founded the National Festival of American Folklife. In retirement he continued to do research. Stanley is survived by his wife, Janet; two daughters, including Sarah Ellen Stanley, AM’92; son Samuel L. Stanley Jr., AB’76; and nine grandchildren.

Richard J. Burke, PhD’59, died February 14. He was 79. A philosophy professor emeritus at Oakland University in Rochester, MI, Burke was the first faculty member hired at the public institution. He spent his career there, retiring in 2005. An expert in ancient Greek philosophy, ethics, and philosophy of religion, in 2005 he made a gift to establish the school’s Richard J. Burke Lecture Series in Philosophy, Religion, and Society. Survivors include two sisters and a brother.

Augusta H. Moldawan, AM’59, a nurse, died January 17 in Safety Harbor, FL. She was 104. Moldawan worked in hospitals and as a teacher-nurse for the Chicago Board of Education. She retired in 1976. She is survived by her daughter, Kathryn (Hanke) Stevens, AM’70; two grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Jacques J. Rambaud, MD’59, died November 11 in San Diego. He was 77. An Army veteran, Rambaud was emergency-services director at Pennsylvania’s Lancaster General Hospital and New York’s Phelps Memorial Hospital. In 1984 he joined Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, CA, where he was the urgent care center’s division head and senior consultant until retiring in 2008. An inaugural member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, Rambaud helped designate emergency medicine as a board specialty. He is survived by his wife, Sheila Guerrazzi; two daughters; three stepchildren; a brother; and 15 grandchildren.

James Q. Wilson, AM’57, PhD’59, a social scientist, died March 2 in Boston. He was 80. Pioneer of the “broken windows” theory that eliminating markers of community decay such as vandalism would create safer neighborhoods, Wilson received the 2003 Presidential Medal of Freedom. After 25 years at Harvard, Wilson joined UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and later Pepperdine University. Adviser to many politicians and police officials, he wrote or cowrote several books, including American Government: Institutions and Policies (D. C. Heath, 1980) and Crime and Human Nature (Simon and Schuster, 1985). Given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Political Science Association, Wilson also received a 2006 UChicago Alumni Association Alumni Medal. In 2011 the American Enterprise Institute created a chair named in Wilson’s honor. He is survived by his wife, Roberta; a daughter; a son; and five grandchildren.


Philip L. Bransky, JD’61, of Belen, NM, died July 21, 2010. He was 75. Bransky practiced business and real-estate law in Chicago for 45 years. He was also an advocate for the rights of the mentally disabled. He is survived by his wife, Barbara; two daughters; two sons; and eight grandchildren.

W. John Carr Jr., MBA’62, died January 30 in Hayward, WI. He was 73. An economic analyst, he used computer simulation to determine competition in the hospital industry and led studies on hospital cost, medical-care demand, and Medicare legislation at Chicago’s American National Bank. Carr also served as planning policy adviser to the World Health Organization and codirected research projects at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Frederick W. Danker, PhD’63, a biblical scholar, died February 2 in St. Louis. He was 91. Danker was ordained in 1954 and then joined the Concordia Seminary faculty. After being fired in 1974 over a disagreement about biblical interpretation, he cofounded Seminary in Exile and then joined Chicago’s Lutheran School of Theology. Author of a Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament based on 30 years of research, Danker retired in 1988 but wrote and presented work until this past November. Survivors include a daughter, three grandsons, and one great-granddaughter.

Lee Charles Fawcett, AB’63, died January 10 in Portland, OR. He was 70. After serving as associate dean at Eastern Michigan University, Fawcett was founding chair of the Michigan Student Financial Aid Association, where he won the organization’s 1981 Distinguished Service Award. He later moved to Oregon, sitting on the Lake Oswego City Council and serving as treasurer for the First Unitarian Church board. He is survived by his wife, Rita, and three sons.

Terrance A. Nosanchuk, AM’62, PhD’64, died January 17, 2010, in Ottawa, Canada. He was 74. Nosanchuk taught at the University of British Columbia and Harvard before beginning a 30-year career in the anthropology and sociology department at Ottawa’s Carleton University. He is survived by his partner, Janet Carson; a daughter; and a stepdaughter.

James R. Murphy, AB’65, died December 21, 2010, in Denver. He was 66. Murphy worked at the University of Colorado and then joined National Jewish Health as a professor and head of the division of biostatics and bioinformatics. Under his leadership, the division won the Clinical-Translational Science Award from the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. Murphy is survived by his wife, Mary.


Ralph Scott Jr., AB’76, a community organizer, died of kidney cancer January 12 in Washington, DC. He was 58. An environmental health specialist, Scott cofounded Chicago’s Lead Elimination Action Drive, was a project director for New Jersey Citizen Action, and was community projects director at Alliance for Healthy Homes. Recipient of the Childhood Lead Action Project’s 2010 National Hero Award, most recently he was policy and outreach coordinator at Parents for Nontoxic Alternatives, where he led a project to improve national policy on lead in drinking water. He is survived by his wife, Eun Mi Yu; his parents; a brother; and a sister.

Janet Speck, AB’76, a Foreign Service officer, died of breast cancer October 29 in Washington, DC. She was 58. Speck worked with the State Department for 29 years and received honors for her work in debt reduction and economic reconstruction in Iraq and food-price policies. Survivors include her mother, Betty A. Speck, AB’40, AM’49; a daughter; and two sisters.


Lynn D. Gordon, AM’74, PhD’80, of Rochester, NY, died of cancer February 9. She was 65. A women’s studies scholar, Gordon was associate dean and director of graduate studies at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education. She later joined Rochester’s history department and helped create programs at the Susan B. Anthony Center for Women’s Studies. She retired in 2011 as professor emerita. She is survived by her husband, Harold Wechsler; a daughter; and a son.

Eleanor J. Grainy, AB’80, of Verona, PA, died August 4. She was 53. An attorney, Grainy most recently served as director of the Allegheny County Bar Foundation’s Juvenile Court Project. Survivors include her parents and three brothers.

Joanne (Oliver) Anania, MST’75, PhD’81, a reading specialist, died February 2 in Austin, TX. She was 72. Anania taught at public schools in Nebraska, New York, and Illinois before joining Governors State University, retiring as distinguished university professor emerita. Recipient of the Illinois Humanities Council’s Lawrence W. Towner Award for launching a humanities-based adult literacy program in Chicago, she directed graduate reading programs and developed graduate-student chapters of honor society Alpha Upsilon Alpha. She is survived by her husband, Michael, and a grandson.

Joseph Mullan, AM’78, PhD’81, died of colon cancer December 23 in Berkeley, CA. He was 62. Mullan taught at the University of California, San Francisco, where he was an associate professor in the social- and behavioral-sciences department and an associate adjunct professor in the nursing school. An expert in how people adapt to stressful life circumstances, Mullan studied grieving among Alzheimer’s patients’ families. He is survived by his wife, Sandra Grayson, PhD’84; and a son.


Patrick O’Neill, MBA’90, a technology consultant, died of bone cancer November 24 in Wilmette, IL. He was 51. O’Neill became a partner at Accenture before joining JPMorgan Chase as a managing director. He is survived by his wife, Joan; a daughter; a son; and a sister.