Faculty & Staff
Gewirth, the Edward Carson Waller
distinguished service professor emeritus in philosophy, died May
9 in Chicago. He was 91. After WW II service, Gewirth joined the
U of C faculty, earning two Rockefeller Foundation fellowships and
two National Endowment for the Humanities senior fellowships. In
1997 he became a charter board member of the University’s
Human Rights Program, developing and teaching its primary course.
Rejecting relativist theories, he argued for ethical rationalism
and personal agency. Survivors include his wife, Chicago alumna
Jean Laves; two daughters; three
sons, including Daniel T. Gewirth, SB’82;
a brother; and five grandchildren.
Fergus J. O’Rourke,
a steam plant leadman and an operating engineer, died of a heart
attack April 27 in Oak Lawn, IL. He was 50. For 24 years O’Rourke,
who taught himself his trade by reading technical books, worked
for the University and Hospitals facilities, supplying air conditioning,
heat, and high-pressure steam to campus buildings. Survivors include
a brother and two sisters.
Howard Guy Williams-Ashman,
the Maurice Goldblatt professor emeritus in biochemistry & molecular
biology and the Ben May Institute for Cancer Research, died May
24 in Chicago. He was 78. Joining the University in 1950 as a cancer
research fellow, Williams-Ashman spent all but five years of his
career on campus. An expert on the male reproductive tract and prostate
cancer, he headed the Ben May Laboratory from 1983 to 1986, retiring
in 1991. Survivors include his wife, Elisabeth; three daughters;
and five grandchildren.
Kenneth E. Wilzbach, SB’40,
PhD’46, a chemist, died April 9 in California. He was
83. Joining Argonne National Laboratory in 1950, Wilzbach worked
on projects including tracer compounds and analyzing lunar rocks
before switching in 1976 to energy and environmental systems. Survivors
include a daughter, four sons, nine grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Edward C. Wagenknecht, PhB’23,
AM’24, a writer, critic, and editor, died May 24 in
St. Albans, VT. Contributing articles to the New York Times,
the Chicago Tribune, the Boston Herald, and other
newspapers, Wagenknecht taught Enlgish at the University of Washington
at Seattle, the Illinois Institute of Technology, and Boston University,
retiring a professor emeritus. His works included film histories,
biographies, anthologies, and two historical novels. Three sons,
seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren survive him.
Mary Virginia Harris, AM’37,
died April 12 in Newton Square, PA. She was 93. Dean of the Maryland
College for Women, in 1942 Harris joined the Navy WAVES, serving
as a lieutenant commander of the active reserve until her 1965 retirement.
She was a trustee and cofounder of the Swarthmore Public Library
and supported the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology
Helen G. Oldham, SM’35,
PhD’39, died March 27 in State College, PA. She was
101. A high-school math teacher, Oldham was a pediatrics research
technician while earning her Chicago degrees, becoming a professor
of nutrition. During and after WW II she worked to improve food
supply in Germany, and in 1952 she joined the USDA’s Human
Nutrition Research Department, retiring in 1966.
Pearl Seligman Weisdorf,
PhB’35, AM’37, a social worker, died March 31
in Chicago. She was 89. Survivors include two daughters, one son,
a brother, eight grandchildren, and one great-grandson.
Jane Armstrong Ohle, AB’41,
died April 1 in Overland Park, KS. She was 84. After 10 years teaching
art at the primary and secondary levels, Ohle became a stay-at-home
mother. Survivors include her husband, Lester
C. Ohle, X’41; a daughter; and a son.
Evon Z. Vogt Jr., AB’41,
AM’46, PhD’48, an anthropologist, died May 13
in Cambridge, MA. He was 85. After serving during WW II, Vogt joined
the faculty of Harvard University, where he rose to anthropology
department chair, retiring in 1990. His studies focused on the indigenous
peoples of Mexico and Guatemala. Survivors include his wife, Catherine
Hiller Vogt, AA’44; one daughter; three sons; a sister;
six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
J. Alfred Rider, SB’42,
MD’44, PhD’51, a gastroenterologist, died May
23 in San Francisco. He was 83. A WW II veteran, Rider researched
colon cancer and endoscopy at St. Mary’s Hospital, California
Pacific Medical Center, and St. Luke’s Hospital in San Francisco,
retiring in 2002. After his son was diagnosed with Batten disease,
he founded the Children’s Brain Disease Foundation. Among
the survivors are his wife, Graclynn; son Dean
L. Rider II, MD’78; two brothers; and a grandson.
Roy L. Walford Jr., SB’46,
MD’48, a gerontologist and UCLA professor emeritus,
died April 27 in Santa Monica, CA. He was 79. Exploring the links
between diet and longevity, Walford pioneered the theory that restricting
calories could extend life span. The author of more than 300 papers
and eight books, he also conducted research that led him to India,
Africa, and a two-year stint in Biosphere 2. Survivors include a
daughter, two sons, and two grandchildren.
Ernest Greenwood, AM’47,
a sociologist, died May 4 in Oakland, CA. He was 93. After teaching
at the University of Pittsburgh, in 1953 Greenwood moved to the
University of California, Berkeley, where he cofounded a social-welfare
doctoral program, retiring in 1970 a professor emeritus. Survivors
include two sisters.
Richard A. Tefo, PhB’47,
MBA’50, died May 14 in Madison, WI. He was 79. A WW
II Army veteran, Tefo worked in life-insurance marketing. In retirement
he tutored at local schools. Survivors include three daughters,
two sons, and three sisters.
Robert E. Reed, X’48,
a social worker, died April 22 in Miami. He was 80. A WW II veteran,
Reed managed the Cook County Jail trust department for four years
before joining St. Leonard’s, a halfway house where he counseled
previous offenders. Reed later moved to Florida, where he directed
another residential program, retiring in the 1990s. Survivors include
Paul J. Gerstley, BSS’50,
died April 20 in Santa Monica, CA. He was 79. After receiving a
master’s degree in social work from the University of Denver,
Gerstley served for 25 years as a counselor at the Vista Del Mar
Child and Family Services, retiring in the 1990s.
David A. Kliot, AB’52,
an obstetrician and gynecologist, died May 1 in New York. He was
71. A promoter of natural childbirth and midwifery, for several
years Kliot served as a clinical professor at SUNY Downstate. He
also worked at Maimonides Medical Center and had his own Brooklyn
practice. Survivors include his wife, Harriet; a daughter; two sons;
and two grandchildren.
Arthur M. Solomon, AB’52,
JD’61, a lawyer, died April 7 in Wilmette, IL. He was
70. After serving three years in the Navy, Solomon earned his law
degree, and in 1965 he cofounded the law firm Solomon & Behrendt.
Active in the New Trier Democratic Organization, he also was an
amateur actor who performed in more than 20 local productions. Survivors
include his wife, Lois Adelman Solomon, AB’60,
JD’61; a daughter; a son; a sister; and four grandchildren.
Pierre R. deVise, AM’58,
an urbanologist, died May 26 in Chicago. He was 79. DeVise taught
at the University of Illinois at Chicago, DePaul University, and
Roosevelt University, retiring in 1989. His studies explored Chicago’s
racial segregation and the divide between urban and suburban neighborhoods.
Survivors include his wife, Susan; a son; and two grandchildren.
Pamela Anderson Ferguson,
SM’66, PhD’69, a mathematician and university
administrator, died of cancer April 24 in Miami. She was 60. In
1970 Ferguson joined the University of Miami, where she eventually
rose to dean of the Graduate School. In 1991 she became the first
female president of Grinnell College, serving until 1997, when she
returned to teaching. Survivors include her husband, D.
Roger Ferguson, MBA’70; a daughter; a son; and her
Jerome M. Culp, AB’72,
a Duke University law professor, died of kidney disease February
5 in Durham, NC. He was 53. After working with the Rockefeller Foundation
on youth employment and affirmative action and as an economist for
the Carter administration, Culp joined Duke in 1985. His research
focused on race and economics. Survivors include his father, four
brothers, and a sister.
Robert A. Vacca, PhD’73,
a classicist, died June 5 in South Bend, IN. He was 63. Joining
the University of Notre Dame in 1969, Vacca won two awards for excellence
in teaching. Survivors include his wife, Linnea Brandwein Vacca,
X’60, AM’69, PhD’78; two sons; two brothers; and
Lawrence W. McBride, PhD’78, a historian,
died of brain cancer May 3 in Normal, IL. He was 58. After teaching
at several Chicago-area universities, including Loyola and DePaul,
in 1986 McBride joined Illinois State University, becoming full
professor in 1997. Survivors include his wife, Sandra; a daughter;
a son; and his father, Lawrence J. McBride,
Douglas R. Pappas, AB’82,
a lawyer and baseball writer, died of heatstroke May 22 while vacationing
in Big Bend National Park, TX. He was 42. Practicing civil and commercial
litigation for New York’s Mintz & Gold, Pappas also served
pro bono as counsel to the Society for American Baseball Research,
chairing its Business of Baseball Committee, and wrote extensively
on baseball economics. Survivors include his mother.
Mary Ann Romels Abella, MBA’86,
died of cardiac arrest April 24 in Chicago. She was 65. In 1966
Abella began teaching art at the Laboratory Schools, moving in 1970
to Chicago State University, where she chaired the art department
(1982–85). During the 1990s she was a negotiator for the University
Professionals of Illinois, returning briefly to teaching before
her 2002 retirement. For 16 years she and her husband, U of C physics
professor Isaac Abella, served as resident masters of Shoreland
Hall. Survivors include her husband, a daughter, and a son.