Paul Meier, 1924–2011. (Courtesy of the University of Chicago News Office)

University obituaries

Recent faculty, staff, and alumni obituaries.

Faculty and Staff

Vijay S. Dayal, professor emeritus of surgery, died June 30 in Chicago. He was 74. An expert in hearing and balance diseases, Dayal taught at the University of Toronto before joining Chicago’s surgery department in 1986. As director of neuro-otology, he created a special rotating chair to diagnose balance issues and patented an artificial voice box. Recipient of the University of Chicago Medical and Biological Sciences Alumni Association’s 2007 Gold Key Award, Dayal wrote and illustrated the text Clinical Otolaryngology, first published in 1981. He is survived by his wife, Sheela; two daughters, including Anjali Dayal, AB’88; son Amit Dayal, U-High’88; and two grandchildren.

Paul Meier, the Ralph and Mary Otis Isham distinguished service professor emeritus of statistics, pharmacological and physiological sciences, medicine, and the College, died August 7 in New York City. He was 87. A cofounder of the Kaplan-Meier estimator, a statistical method that estimates survival rates in clinical trial data, Meier joined the Chicago faculty in 1957. In his 35 years at the University, he chaired the statistics department for more than a decade. After retiring as professor emeritus in 1992, Meier joined Columbia University as head of its biostatistics division. Named the 1986 Statistician of the Year from the American Statistical Association’s Chicago chapter and recipient of its 2004 Samuel Wilks Award for his contributions, Meier also was a founding member of the Society for Clinical Trials. He is survived by his wife, Louise; three daughters, Diane E. Meier, U-High’69, Karen E. Meier, U-High’72, and Joan Susan Meier, U-High’75, JD’83; and five grandchildren.

James B. Nachman, a professor of pediatrics, died from a suspected heart attack on a rafting trip in the Grand Canyon June 10. He was 62. A childhood-cancer specialist, he led studies that improved the survival rates of young leukemia patients and helped develop a treatment regimen for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Nachman joined Chicago as an assistant professor in 1980 and became a professor in 1999. Survivors include his father, Adolph R. Nachman, SB’32, MD’36; brother Robert Nachman, AM’73; and a sister.

William Sumner, director emeritus of the Oriental Institute, died July 7 in Columbus, OH. He was 82. An expert on ancient Iran, Sumner served in the Navy and retired as lieutenant commander before joining Ohio State University. From 1972 to 1978, he directed the University of Pennsylvania’s excavations at the Tal-i Malyan site in western Iran, overseeing the publication of a monograph series based on five seasons of fieldwork there. In 1989 he came to Chicago as a professor of Near Eastern languages and civilizations and director of the Oriental Institute, where he headed its largest building expansion. Sumner retired in 1997. He is survived by his wife, Kathleen; a daughter; a son; two stepchildren; a sister; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.


Milton Sills, PhB’31, JD’32, died May 31 in Hayward, CA. He was 101. Sills began his law practice in Illinois before moving to Hayward in 1950. There he launched a practice with his brother, who died in 1968. Sills ran the office until his early-1990s retirement. Survivors include a sister and three nieces.

Miriam Bazelon Knox, X’36, died May 21 in Washington, DC. She was 96. The first female president of the Jewish Social Service Agency in the 1950s and ’60s, Knox later helped launch the Head Start preschool program and was a Peace Corps recruitment consultant. Knox was an honorary trustee of Washington’s David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, named for her first husband. She is survived by her husband, Robert; two sons; a stepdaughter; a sister; four granddaughters; and six great-grandchildren.

Carl Marcus Olson, PhD’36, a chemist and physicist, died May 16 in Solomons, MD. He was 99. During WW II Olson worked on the Manhattan Project. Later, as a researcher at the DuPont Company, he discovered how to produce hyperpure silicon in quantity, which led the company to develop semiconductor technology. Olson directed DuPont’s Experimental Station pigment department for 18 years before retiring in 1971. Survivors include a daughter, a son, and a granddaughter.

Lloyd G. Lewis, SB’39, PhD’46, a physicist, died March 8 in Madison, WI. He was 93. Lewis taught physics at Princeton and was a research scientist at Standard Oil before joining Argonne National Laboratory as a senior physicist. Holder of eight patents, he designed and built a digital computer control for nuclear accelerators. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; four children, including Perry Lewis, AB’75; four grandchildren; and a great-grandson.


Nicholas Helburn, AB’40, died June 11 in Boulder, CO. He was 92. Helburn launched the earth-sciences department at Montana State College, directed the National Science Foundation’s High School Geography Project, and chaired the University of Colorado’s geography department. A former president of the Association of American Geographers, he helped run an organic-gardening community for 34 years. He was predeceased by his first wife, Tess Loth Helburn, AB’38. He is survived by his wife, Suzanne; two sons; a stepdaughter; and six grandchildren.

Maurice M. Tennant, SB’40, an anesthesiologist, died June 17 in Olympia Fields, IL. He was 92. An Army veteran, Tennant worked at Oak Lawn’s Christ Hospital for more than 30 years. His first wife, Helen (Isenberg) Tennant, AB’41, AM’42, died in 1984. He is survived by his wife, Bernetta; a daughter; two sons; three stepchildren; seven grandchildren; and two step-grandchildren.

George Cotsirilos, AB’41, LLB’42, a defense attorney, died March 27 in Chicago. He was 90. A WW II veteran, Cotsirilos worked in the Cook County state’s attorney’s office, founded two law firms, and taught at John Marshall Law School. A regent with the American College of Trial Lawyers, he was an inaugural member of the Illinois Supreme Court’s Registration and Disciplinary Commission. He is survived by his wife, Joan; a daughter; two sons; four stepchildren; sister Betty Angelos, PhB’46, SB’47; and eight grandchildren.

Harriet Field Augustus Swanson, AB’41, died March 19 in Chicago. She was 91. After working for the Chicago Public Library, Swanson spent more than 20 years teaching in the Chicago Public Schools. Survivors include her daughter, Abigail Swanson, U-High’72; a son; and three grandchildren.

Robert L. Meyer, AB’42, died March 24 in Chicago. He was 90. A WW II and Korean War veteran, Meyer was editorial director of the National Safety Council. He is survived by his wife, Catherine (Leinen) Meyer, PhB’47; two daughters, including Cathy Luchins, MD’85; and two grandchildren, including Kerith Luchins, U-High’00, and Matt Luchins, U-High’10.

Morris B. Parloff, AM’42, a psychiatrist, died April 2 in Teaneck, NJ. He was 92. After serving in WW II, Parloff spent three decades with the National Institute of Mental Health, where he rose to branch chief. In retirement he had a private practice and taught at American University in Washington, DC. Recipient of the Public Health Service Superior Service Award, Parloff was a past president of the Society for Psychotherapy Research. He is survived by his wife, Gloria Harnick Parloff, SB’43; two sons; and a grandson.

Jerome “Jerry” P. Scheidler, AB’43, MBA’47, died April 3 in Fishers, IN. He was 89. A WW II veteran, Scheidler worked in marketing at Eli Lilly until his 1985 retirement. Survivors include a daughter, four sons, 18 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Shirley DoBos Patterson, SB’43, died June 9 in Bethesda, MD. She was 88. She was a child-health and family-planning specialist for the US Public Health Service, a central program officer for the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission, and a senior staff member with the US Agency for International Development. Patterson later worked for the National Park Service, writing its 1979 National Recreation Plan. She is survived by her husband, Bradley Patterson, AB’42, AM’43; a daughter; three sons, Bruce Patterson, AB’70, Glenn Patterson, AB’72, and Brian Patterson, AB’83; ten grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

James T. Pritchett, SB’44, an Emmy Award–winning actor, died March 15 in New York City. He was 88. A WW II veteran, Pritchett practiced law before starting an acting career that led to 20 years on the NBC soap opera The Doctors as Dr. Matt Powers. He also appeared in Broadway productions of Sail Away and Two for the Seesaw. He is survived by his wife, Cynthia; two daughters; a son; and three grandchildren.

Marjorie (Penniman) Kaplan, AB’45, AM’54, died April 16 in Marshfield, WI. She was 88. Kaplan taught elementary school and worked in economic development at Ford Motor Company before teaching English composition at Purdue University. Survivors include her daughter, Katherine Kaplan, AB’76; a son; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Ruth Janet (Oostmeyer) Servies, AB’45, died May 11 in Pensacola, FL. She was 85. A registered nurse, she worked at Sacred Heart Hospital. Survivors include a daughter, two sons, seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Carol Yeomans Farwell, PhB’46, died July 15 in Ephraim, WI. She was 85. With her husband, Robert L. Farwell, JD’49, she lived in Chicago; Door County, WI; and Santa Fe, NM , where she volunteered for several causes. In 1965 she marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, AL, to fight racial segregation. She also played piano and sang. Survivors include her husband, two daughters, two sons, and eight grandchildren.

Herbert C. Kriesel, X’47, died April 17 in Manassas, VA. He was 95. A WW II veteran, Kriesel did economic research for the US Department of Agriculture, the US Agency for International Development, and the Ford Foundation. He also was an agricultural economist at Michigan State University. In 1982 he started a second career as an agent with Lutheran Brotherhood Insurance. He is survived by his wife, LaVonne; three daughters; a son; four brothers; two sisters; eight grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Richard Lieber, AB’47, died March 30 in Carmel, IN. He was 88. A WW II veteran, Lieber directed the band at Hamilton Southeastern High School until his 1984 retirement. Survivors include a daughter, three sons, and two grandchildren.

Lore (Weinberg) Ostwald, AM’47, of Swarthmore, PA, died May 14, 2010. She was 86. A psychiatric social worker who worked with developmentally disbled and autistic children, Ostwald also was an art-history scholar. Her husband, Martin Ostwald, AM’48, died April 10, 2010. She is survived by two sons, including David Ostwald, AB’77, and three grandchildren.

Maxine (Schwartz) Slomka, AB’47, died April 18 in Half Moon Bay, CA. She was 82. A past president of the Newcomers Club of San Mateo County, she also designed jewelry. She is survived by her husband, Steven, and two daughters.

Charles L. Stewart, JD’47, died May 17 in Northbrook, IL. He was 91. Serving in the Office of Strategic Services’s research and analysis branch during WW II, Stewart later became a partner at law firm Mayer Brown. He then served as corporate secretary and general counsel for Hartmarx Corporation. In retirement he volunteered as an arbitrator with the Circuit Court of Cook County. He is survived by his wife, Edalee; a daughter; three sons; nine grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Elizabeth (Ferwerda) Fox, PhB’48, of Chelsea, MI, died July 5. She was 87. After her husband, Winslow Fox, SB’45, MD’48, finished his medical internship, the couple moved to Puerto Rico, where she befriended many of her neighbors. After moving to Michigan, Fox became involved with Ann Arbor’s International Neighbors, taking in visitors from around the world for weeks or months. She is survived by her husband, four daughters, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Roscoe “Rusty” Hankin, MBA’48, died May 30 in Cranbury, NJ. He was 86. A WW II veteran, Hankin worked for J. C. Penney Company. He is survived by his wife, Marjorie; three daughters; and five grandchildren.

Wesley Keith Lind, SB’48, died May 13 in St. Joseph, MI. He was 88. Lind spent nearly two decades as a chemist at Paint Research and McCrone Associates before teaching chemistry and physics at Bloom Township High School. He retired in 1984 and became assistant treasurer for Chikaming Township. He is survived by his wife, Inga; three daughters, including Diane Fenster, MD’78; a sister; and three grandchildren.

Martin Ostwald, AM’48, a professor emeritus of classics, died April 10, 2010, in Swarthmore, PA. He was 88. A concentration camp survivor, Ostwald taught classics at Columbia University before joining Swarthmore College, where he stayed for more than 30 years. His 1989 book, From Popular Sovereignty to the Sovereignty of Law: Law, Society, and Politics in Fifth-Century Athens (University of California Press), won the 1990 Goodwin Award of Merit from the American Philological Association. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Ostwald was longtime editor of the journal Cambridge Ancient History. His wife, Lore (Weinberg) Ostwald, AM’47, died May 14, 2010. He is survived by two sons, including David Ostwald, AB’77, and three grandchildren.

Edward F. Wilt Jr., U-High’43, PhB’48, SB’49, MD’53, an internist and gastroenterologist, died June 21 in McHenry, IL. He was 85. A WW II veteran, Wilt taught at the University of Illinois College of Medicine and practiced in McHenry his entire career. The inaugural president of the McHenry County Board of Health, he also served as president of the McHenry County Medical Society and the Illinois Association of Boards of Health. He is survived by his wife, Marie; a daughter; two sons; a brother; a sister; and five grandchildren.

William L. Gordon, SM’49, died May 6 in North Haledon, NJ. He was 84. A WW II veteran, Gordon taught at Duke University before joining the National Security Agency as a cryptanalyst. As an engineer at Honeywell during the 1960s, he designed a small business computer. Gordon later founded the Boston Computer Group. He is survived by his wife, Gloria; a daughter; a son; two grandsons; and a great-granddaughter.

Albert L. Johnson, AM’49, died June 6 in Southport, NC. He was 92. A WW II veteran, Johnson was a professor and associate dean at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Public Health. He is survived by his companion, Margaret, and a daughter.


Donald B. Baer, MBA’51, died March 26 in Burr Ridge, IL. He was 81. Baer spent 40 years at Chicago’s Continental Bank, where he was vice president. He is survived by his wife, Betty; two daughters; a son; and four grandchildren.

Abraham Mort Casson, PhB’51, died June 6 in Richmond, VA. He was 82. Casson worked on substance-abuse treatment, including a post as the Virginia state assistant mental health commissioner for substance abuse. Survivors include a son and a sister.

John S. deBeers, PhD’51, an economist, died May 20, 2009, in Santa Rosa, CA. He was 94. A conscientious objector during WW II, deBeers specialized in Latin American development. After the war, he worked for the Treasury Department’s Latin American division until the McCarthy-era Treasury loyalty board cut his staff and denied him a top-secret clearance after an investigaton. He resigned in 1955, joining the Government Development Bank of Puerto Rico. Five years later deBeers joined the Inter-American Development Bank, where he worked on Latin American development projects until his 1979 retirement. Survivors include his wife, Jan; two daughters; three grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; and one great-grandson.

Kenneth K. Inada, AM’51, died March 26 in Honolulu. He was 87. A WW II veteran, Inada taught Buddhism at the University of Hawaii for a decade before joining the University of Buffalo in 1969. An expert in East-West comparative philosophy, in 1990 he became the second American in 150 years to receive the Cultural Award from the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Buddhism. He is survived by his wife, Masako, and son Ernest Inada, MBA’74.

Hugh J. Kennedy Jr., DB’53, died March 22 in Muskegon, MI. He was 84. A WW II veteran, Kennedy was the longtime president of Goodwill Industries of Muskegon County. Earlier in his career, he served as a Unitarian minister in Alton, IL. Survivors include two daughters, a brother, a sister, and two grandsons.

Margaret Lyne Moser, AB’53, died March 25 in Beeville, TX. She was 77. Recipient of the 2003 Bee County Citizen of the Year award, Moser wrote a two-volume history of the county. She also was a trustee emerita of the Joe Barnhart Foundation. Moser is survived by her husband, William; a daughter; three sons; a brother; a sister; six grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

Charles J. Adams, PhD’55, died March 23 in Mesa, AZ. He was 86. A WW II veteran, Adams taught religion at Princeton and at McGill University, where he was director of the Institute of Islamic Studies for 21 years. He later joined Arizona State University as a professor of Islamic studies. Survivors include a brother.

Henry H. Finck, PhD’55, died March 31 in Vilas, NC. He was 85. A WW II veteran, Finck taught anatomy at the University of Pittsburgh’s medical school. He is survived by his wife, Paula; two daughters; a son; and six grandchildren.

Robert A. Heavilin, AB’55, died February 25 in Bloomfield, CT. He was 75. Heavilin taught middle school in Verona, NJ, for more than 40 years and was a psychology professor at Capital Community College and Central Connecticut State University. He also ran a private marital and family counseling practice. He is survived by his wife, Mary; six daughters; two sons; a sister; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

John A. Weil, SM’50, PhD’55, a chemist, died November 17, 2010, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. He was 81. Weil taught at Princeton and was a senior scientist at Argonne National Laboratory before joining the University of Saskatchewan, where he retired as professor emeritus in 1996. An expert in electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, Weil won the Spectroscopy Society of Canada’s 2000 Gerhard Herzberg Award. Survivors include a daughter; a son; brother Claude Weil, X’56; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

William P. M. McNiff, MBA’58, died April 12 in Tustin, CA. He was 90. After retiring from the Air Force in 1963, McNiff started a second career as a cost accounting manager in the aerospace industry, working for several aircraft-manufacturing companies including McDonnell Douglas. He retired in 1987. Survivors include four sons, three daughters, ten grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.



Lois Adelman Solomon, AB’60, JD’61, died April 25 in Wilmette, IL. She was 71. A lawyer, Solomon also worked with the New Trier Democrats and was an election judge. Her husband, Arthur Solomon, AB’52, JD’61, died in 2004. She is survived by a daughter; a son; sister Charlotte Adelman, AB’59, JD’62; and four grandchildren.

Shelley C. Stone Jr., PhD’60, a professor emeritus of counseling and development, died March 8 in Asheville, NC. He was 82. A Korean War veteran, in 1960 he joined Purdue University, remaining until his 1994 retirement. Author of two textbooks, Stone also was Purdue’s assistant dean of the graduate school and associate dean of the education school. Survivors include two sons, two daughters, and six granddaughters.

George F. Bruder, JD’63, died June 8 in Cos Cob, CT. He was 73. A public-utility lawyer, Bruder founded Bruder, Gentile & Marcoux in 1976 after working as a staff lawyer for the Federal Power Commission. A past president of the Federal Energy Bar Association, he sat on the Edison Electric Institute’s legal committee and was counsel to the board of trustees at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac, MD. He is survived by his wife, Jean; two daughters; a sister; and two grandchildren.

Simon K. Chen, MBA’64, a mechanical engineer, died June 13 in Middleton, WI. He was 85. Former president of Beloit Power and Energy, Chen specialized in diesel-engine development and helped establish exhaust emission standards before launching the consulting firm Power and Energy International in 1979. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Chen is survived by his wife, Rosemary; three daughters; a son; two brothers; two sisters; and nine grandchildren.

Susan A. (Blessing) McConnell, AB’64, died May 23 in Glenview, IL. She was 69. McConnell taught math at Glenbrook North High School before teaching confirmation classes at a Mt. Prospect Lutheran church for 17 years. She also was a scout leader for more than 25 years. McConnell is survived by her husband, John W. McConnell, SB’64, MAT’66; two daughters; three sons; and eight grandchildren.

Margaret “Peg” A. Olsen, U-High’63, AB’67, an expert in fiscal law, died May 10 in Arden, NC. She was 64. Olsen spent more than three decades with the US Department of Defense, serving in the Navy’s Office of the General Counsel. She retired in 2003. Survivors include her stepmother and two brothers, including James M. Olsen, U-High’69.


David Michael Crnic, AB’70, MD’74, a surgeon, died of pancreatic cancer November 8, 2010, in Coto de Caza, CA. He was 61. Crnic ran a surgical practice at Hoag Memorial Hospital in Newport Beach. He also was a pilot and musician. He is survived by his wife, Sharon; four daughters; a son; and three grandchildren.

Richard “Rocky” Beach, MBA’73, died April 18 in New Buffalo, MI. He was 68. A Vietnam veteran, he founded communications company Beach Consulting. He is survived by his wife, Jill, and two sisters.

Terry D. Keegan, SM’78, died April 27 in New Orleans. He was 57. Owner and CEO of Keegan Geophysical Company Inc., he was a member of the American Geophysical Union, the Society of Exploratory Geophysicists, and the American Association of Petrochemical Geologists. Survivors include two daughters, a son, his father, two brothers, and four sisters.

Albert Huckins Meers, MBA’78, died of a heart attack March 12 while in Florida. He was 63. Meers began his career with the First National Bank of Chicago before moving into real estate with LaSalle Partners. Since 1990 he had been a partner with Broadacre Management Company in Chicago. He is survived by his wife, Kristin; two stepdaughters; and two brothers.


Patricia Hawkins Jobe, AM’81, died of a stroke June 23 in Chicago. She was 65. Jobe was a Renaissance historian and a real-estate agent. She served on the University of Chicago Children’s Hospital Committee, the U of C Service League, and the Blue Gargoyle. She is survived by her husband, Thomas Jobe, MD’69, and a son.

Sharon C. Walsh, AM’71, PhD’88, died July 25 in Chicago. She was 69. An English professor for 28 years at Loyola University Chicago, Walsh founded and directed Loyola’s Shared Text Project, in which writing faculty work with groups of students around a particular theme or text. Serving for two years as freshman dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, she also published three books on argumentation for composition courses. She is survived by her husband, Richard, and a sister.


Morgan Buerkett, ’14, died in a private-plane crash July 24 near Rantoul, IL. She was 19. A member of the University’s volleyball team and the Delta Gamma sorority, Buerkett graduated in 2010 from St. Thomas More High School in Champaign, IL. Her parents also died in the crash. She is survived by her grandparents and a sister.