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Deaths: 1940s and 1950s

image: Class Notes headline Elmer L. Becker, SB'40, a former medical professor, died February 13 in Farmington, CT, at age 81. After teaching at the University of Illinois and Georgetown University, Becker was department chief at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington, DC, for 18 years. He was an expert on the biochemistry of acute allergic reactions. Joining the University of Connecticut's new medical school in 1970, Becker was its first professor to hold an endowed chair. He is survived by his wife, Carol; two daughters; a son; a brother; and three grandchildren.

Jack T. Conway, AB'40, a Kennedy and Johnson administration official, died January 6, 1998, in Sarasota, FL, at age 80. Conway went to Washington in 1960 as the deputy administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Agency, helping to draft the act that established the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Under Johnson, Conway headed the Community Action Program, a part of the War on Poverty, and helped arrange financing for the Head Start and Job Corps programs. From 1970 to 1975, he was the first president of Common Cause, which opposed the Vietnam War and promoted finance reform. He later served as executive director of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees and as senior vice president of the United Way of America. He is survived by his wife, LuVerne; two daughters; a son; and five grandchildren.

Seymour Katcoff, SB'40, PhD'44, a retired chemist and researcher at Brookhaven National Laboratory, died October 17 in New York at age 81. As part of the Manhattan Project, he conducted radiochemical studies on fission projects. He joined Brookhaven in 1948, determining the half-life of iodine-129, studying the nuclear decay properties of isotopes, and isolating 17-minute half-life uranium-242. In the 1980s, he established and taught classes on nuclear and radiochemistry for undergraduates. Katcoff received the 1998 Seaborg Medal of the American Nuclear Society. Survivors include his wife, Edith LaPorte Katcoff, AB'42, CLA'42, and two sons.

Charles V. Shostrom, AB'40, a former bank executive, died December 24 in Indian Head Park, IL, at age 81. A loan officer and vice president at several Chicago banks, Shostrom was also a former president of the Chicago Tennis Association. Survivors include his wife, Harriette; a daughter; two sons; and two grandchildren. Virginia Woods Corbett, AM'36, PhD'41, a former classics professor, died December 7 in Illinois at age 86. After serving as a Latin professor and dean of women at DePaul University in 1936, Corbett taught at Howard University for 30 years. Author of books and articles on Andrea Alciato and St. Gregory of Nyssa, Corbett was an American Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts. Survivors include several cousins.

John B. Rinaldo, AM'37, PhD'41, died November 29 in Des Moines, IA, at age 87. Rinaldo, a WWII veteran, worked for the National Park Service, the Civilian Conservation Corps, and the Chicago Museum of Natural History. He also taught at Cochise College in Dragoon, AZ, and was a director of the Flexible Steel Lacing Company. Survivors include his wife, Ruth, and a brother.

Mary Davis Carroll, SB'43, SM'44, MD'48, a retired family physician in Crown Point, IN, died January 23 at age 78. Carroll, who maintained a private practice for 45 years before retiring in 1995, was a former president of both the Lake County Indiana Medical Society and the medical staff of St. Anthony Medical Center. She was also medical director for the St. Anthony Home for 20 years. Survivors include her husband, William; two daughters; a son; and five grandchildren.

Anita Silverstein Firestone, AB'44, a retired public-school counselor, died February 19 in Boston at age 76. Firestone worked in the Brookline, MA, school system for almost 25 years, retiring in 1992. She was involved in the League of Women Voters, the Circle for Charity, and other community organizations. She is survived by her husband, Edwin; two sons; a brother; a sister; and four grandchildren.

Joseph D. Hartwig, PhB'44, MBA'44, a lawyer in St. Joseph, MI, died February 9 at age 87. While teaching at Boston and Michigan State Universities, Hartwig earned a J.D. from Harvard and entered private practice in 1956. A chair of the Michigan bar's taxation section and a member of its trust and estate-planning council, Hartwig also helped organize a local Great Books club and a recycling center. Survivors include his wife, Marjorie Clemens Hartwig, AB'44, MBA'44; a daughter; and two granddaughters.

George J. Fischer, SB'45, SM'50, a retired nuclear scientist, died January 11 in Hyannis, MA, at age 81. Fischer, a former scientist with Argonne National Laboratory, worked for Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York from 1973 until his 1983 retirement. He was a member of the Sierra Club and the League of Women Voters. Survivors include his wife, Alice; a son; and two sisters.

Lloyd J. Lifton, PhB'45, a jazz pianist and social worker, died March 13 in Taos, NM. He was 75. A WWII veteran, Lifton performed in several clubs in the Chicago area. In the 1950s, he moved to New York to study under Lennie Tristano. After earning a social-work degree, he had a full-time job as a social worker during the day, performing in New York clubs at night. In 1983, he released a solo recording, Summer of 81, Stash Records. Survivors include a daughter; a son; a brother, Robert B. Lifton, AB'42; a sister; and three grandchildren.

James S. Fujioka, PhB'47, SB'51, a retired chemical engineer, died December 21 in Boca Raton, FL. He was 70. His career with Exxon spanned more than 30 years, specializing in logistics and transportation. Upon retirement, he became a consultant to the food-services industry. Survivors include his wife, Sue; two children; and two sisters.

Nancy Oxenhandler Hillard, PhB'47, AM'50, a retired psychologist, died February 29 in Caledonia, MO, at age 71. A former high-school English teacher, Hillard maintained a private psychology practice--specializing in children--until her 1982 retirement. She also wrote a book about the impact of divorce on grown children. Survivors include her husband, Robert; three children; and four grandchildren.

James O. Bond, MD'50, died November 9 in Sandy Spring, MD, at age 76. An epidemiologist in the field of public health, Bond worked for the Florida Board of Health, the Encephalitis Laboratory in Tampa, FL, the World Health Organization, and the Pan-American Health Organization. He wrote some 70 scientific publications and several books. Survivors include four daughters, a son, a stepdaughter, a stepson, and two granddaughters.

Luther H. ("Halsey") Gulick Jr., AM'48, PhD'52, a retired professor, died January 1 in Pleasant Hill, TN, at age 77. Gulick, a WWII veteran, taught geography at Florida State University, Winona State College in Minnesota, and the State University of New York College at Potsdam (1962-1985). Survivors include his wife, Chris; two daughters; a son; and four grandchildren.

Solomon I. Hirsh, AB'52, JD'55, a retired labor lawyer, died December 5 in Evanston, IL, of leukemia. He was 67. Hirsh worked for the National Labor Relations Board before becoming general counsel for the Brotherhood of Railway and Airline Clerks in 1969. He later became involved in the Supreme Court case Ellis v. Railway Clerks. Hirsch spent the last 20 years of his career in private practice, retiring in 1999. He was active in the community and in Beth Emet Synagogue. Survivors include his wife, Judith Kitz Hirsh, AB'56, AM'76; a daughter; a son, Adam D. Hirsh, JD'91; and two grandsons.

George A. Athanson, JD'55, former mayor of Hartford, CT, died there on January 9. He was 72. A Democrat who taught international relations at the University of Hartford, Athanson served as Hartford's mayor for five terms, from 1971 to 1981. Upon leaving office, he practiced law and hosted a public-access television program called By George, It's Athanson. He is survived by his wife, Zoe, and a son.

Iwao Shino, MBA'55, died January 19 in Tokyo at age 75. Shino, the former president of the Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company in Japan, had also been president of the U of C's alumni club in Japan. He is survived by three children, including son Hirotaka Shino, MBA'90.

Anna Sabara, AM'57, a retired nurse, died July 24, 1999, in Skokie, IL, at age 87. Her professional positions included director of nursing at Research Hospital in Kansas City, MO, and supervisor of nursing at Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago. She was a longtime member of Emanuel Congregation. Survivors include a sister.

Thomas P. Kapantais, AB'58, a retired lawyer, died January 31 in Huntington, WV, at age 65. Kapantais practiced in Maine for many years, specializing in indigent criminal defense and poverty law cases. He later joined the Social Security Administration as a legal adviser. After retiring in 1987, he collected writings documenting the history of the U.S. progressive, socialist, and communist movements, donating them in 1997 to Frostburg State University in Maryland.

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