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Nicholas R. Cozzarelli, a molecular biologist who taught at Chicago from 1968 until 1982, died March 19 in Berkeley, CA. He was 67. In 1982 he joined the University of California, Berkeley, chairing its molecular-biology department (1986–89) and directing its virus laboratory (1986–90). A member of the National Academy of Sciences, he is survived by his wife, Linda Cozzarelli, AM’71; a daughter; and two brothers.

Hsiao-Lan Kuo, PhD’48, professor emeritus in geophysical sciences, died May 6 in Hyde Park. He was 91. Developing mathematical tools to describe the convection patterns that fuel a hurricane, he worked for MIT’s Hurricane Project, returning to Chicago in 1962 as a founding member of the geophysical-sciences department. He won the 1970 Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal from the American Meteorological Society for his research on atmospheric dynamics and hurricane formation. Survivors include his wife, Hsiao-Mei; a daughter; two sons; and four grandchildren.

Ronald Singer, the Robert R. Bensley professor of biology and medical sciences, anthropology, organismal biology & anatomy, and the Committee on African Studies, died April 17 in Chicago. He was 81. Educated in Cape Town, South Africa, he joined the Chicago faculty in 1962 as chair of the anatomy department. His research focused on mammalian evolution in the African Quaternary and in the West Indies, indigenous African human populations, and Middle Pleistocene populations in Europe and Asia. His 140 publications included The Lower Paleolithic Site at Hoxne, England (U of C Press, 1993). Survivors include his wife, Shirley; two daughters; two sons, including Eric Singer, AM’78; four grandchildren; and a brother.


Helen Strauss Aaron, X’28, a founding member of Chicago’s League of Women Voters, died March 19 in Wellfleet, MA. She was 98. A U-High graduate, she transferred from Chicago to Wellesley College and was a past president of its alumnae association as well as her class secretary. From the mid-1930s through 1944 she ran the Helen Strauss Aaron School of the Dance in Highland Park, IL. Active in Chicago governmental, advocacy, and service organizations, she moved full time to Wellfleet in 1975 and was a founding member of the Wellfleet Conservation Trust. Survivors include a daughter, four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.


Katherine Dunham, PhB’36, a renowned dancer and social activist, died May 21 in New York. She was 96. At Chicago Dunham received a Rosenwald Travel Fellowship to study dance and anthropology; she traveled to the West Indies, where the Caribbean and African movements she learned informed her own blended technique. Her Dunham Dance Company, founded in 1938 as the nation’s first self-supporting, all-black, modern dance company, toured internationally through the 1960s. In 1945 she opened New York’s Katherine Dunham School of Arts and Research. Choreographing 90 dances and producing five revues, she is remembered for the Broadway show “Cabin in the Sky” (1940), the film Stormy Weather (1943), and the critically acclaimed revue “Bal Negre” (1946). In the 1950s she moved to Haiti, where she wrote her memoirs, set up a medical clinic, and in 1959 she was named Commander and Grand Officer in the Haitian Legion of Honor. A lifelong activist, in 1992 she held a 47-day hunger strike to protest U.S. policy that repatriated Haitian refugees. Her husband, John Pratt, died in 1986.

Edward J. Blume, AB’37, AM’51, who worked for 25 years at the Library of Congress, died February 4 in Oxon Hill, MD. He was 89. Blume joined the Library of Congress in 1952 as a Russian cataloger/translator, rising to chief of the subject cataloging division, a post he held until his 1978 retirement. He enjoyed travel, gardening, opera, and languages. His wife, Betty Reichert Blume, X’42, died in 1978; survivors include a daughter, Julie Blume Nye, AM’75; a son; three grandchildren; and a sister.

J. Will Fleming Jr., MD’38, died September 6, 2002, in Moberly, MO. He was 88. A WW II veteran, he was a partnership owner of the Woodland (MO) Hospital and Clinic from 1940 until its 1972 sale to Adventist Health System, and an internist until his 1987 retirement. Active in local civic organizations, he enjoyed classical music. He is survived by his wife, Mary Louise; a daughter; three sons; 11 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

Arthur B. Watts, SB’38, a retired physician and surgeon, died January 27 in Bellingham, WA. He was 89. A Navy medical officer during WW II, he spent 50 years in private practice in Bellingham, where he was active in civic, educational, and charitable groups. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, sailing, skiing, and entertaining. Survivors include his wife, Margaret; two daughters; a son; and ten grandchildren.


Edmund Grindlay Berry, PhD’40, professor emeritus of classics at the University of Manitoba, died November 3 in Winnipeg. He was 90. A Scotland native, he emigrated to Canada as a child. Berry joined the Manitoba faculty in 1940, becoming a professor in 1956 and serving 17 years as department head; he retired with emeritus status in 1980. Past president of both the Humanities Association of Canada and the Classical Association of Canada, he chaired the Humanities Research Council and was a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Active in All Saints’ Anglican Church, he enjoyed travel, reading, and conversation. His wife, Virginia Gingerick Berry, AM’38, PhD’41, died in 2003; survivors include two daughters and three grandsons.

Harry T. McMahon Jr., AB’40, a retired insurance executive, died August 12, 2005, in Lake Forest, IL. He was 87. After Army service during WW II, he spent five years with AT&T in New York before joining W. W. Vincent & Co. (later part of Chicago Title & Trust), rising to chair and CEO before retiring in 1978. His first wife, Elizabeth Vincent McMahon, like him a U-High graduate, died in 2000. Survivors include his second wife, Lejehn Olson McMahon; a daughter; a son, Harry T. McMahon III, MBA’80; and five grandchildren.

Helen deRamus Mitchell, SB’41, SM’43, died March 3, 2005, in New York. She was 84. Mitchell began her 40-year career in New York City government with the Department of Health, headed a city-development center in the Bronx’s Hunts Point section, and retired as assistant commissioner of the city’s Human Development Agency. She twice ran for election to the New York State Assembly and was active in the NAACP and Alpha Kappa Alpha. Survivors include her son, Michael; two grandchildren; a great-granddaughter; and a niece.

Robert Swords, AB’44, AM’49, a professor emeritus of English, died March 24 in Elmhurst, IL. He was 81. He joined Elmhurst College in 1952, chairing the English department from 1975 until his 1989 retirement. With his wife he served on the U of C Alumni Emeriti reunion-planning committee. Survivors include his wife, Barbara Winchester Swords, AB’44, AM’47; a daughter, Susan Swords Steffen, AM’75; a son, Stephen Swords, AB’77; five grandchildren; and a brother-in-law, John W. Winchester, AB’50, SM’52.

Arthur E. Berlin, PhB’45, JD’49, died April 12 in Evanston, IL. He was 79. He practiced law in Chicago, retiring from Berlin and Braude in 1979. Active in the community, he served on the boards of Over the Rainbow, Meals at Home, and the Chicago Lighthouse Community Land Trust. He enjoyed theater, travel, politics, and reading. Survivors include his wife, Jane Engle Berlin, AM’52; two brothers, including Jerry Berlin, AB’42; a daugher; two sons; and five grandchildren.

Jane Finder, BLS’46, a retired librarian, died December 1 in Chicago. She was 85. For most of her career she was a librarian in the Chicago Public Libraries, heading the South Shore branch. She is survived by a brother, Morris Finder, AM’49, PhD’60, and several nieces and nephews.

W. Robert Goedecke, AB’46, AM’52, PhD’58, a philosophy professor, died January 27 in Ellensburg, WA. He was 75. He taught at five institutions before joining Central Washington University in 1970. He enjoyed playing Brahms, hiking, Scrabble, reading, and his experiences as an extra on the TV series Northern Exposure. Survivors include his first wife, Virginia Hornor; his second wife, Gloria Sherman; six daughters; two sons; 14 grandchildren; and a sister.

Jaroslav Pelikan, PhD’46, Sterling professor emeritus of Christian history at Yale, died May 13 in Hamden, CT. He was 82. After teaching at Valparaiso, Concordia Theological Seminary, and the Divinity School (1953–62), Pelikan joined Yale’s faculty in 1962. A Lutheran convert to Eastern Orthodoxy, he wrote some 30 books, including the five-volume The Christian Tradition (U of C Press, 1971–89) and Whose Bible Is It? (Viking, 2005). A former president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he delivered the 1983 National Endowment for the Humanities Jefferson Lecture and twice gave Scotland’s Gifford Lectures. In 2004 Pelikan and Paul Ricoeur, the John Nuveen professor emeritus in the Divinity School, who died in May 2005, shared the $1 million Kluge Prize. Survivors include his wife, Sylvia; three children; and three grandsons.

David Haskin, SB’47, SM’48, MD’52, died October 12 in San Francisco. He was 82. A WW II veteran, he was chief of pediatrics and chief and vice chief of the medical staff at St. Luke’s Hospital. He was an avid sailor. Survivors include his wife, Gretchen; two daughters; a stepdaughter; and a brother.

E. Russell Alexander, PhB’48, SB’50, MD’53, an epidemiologist, died February 26 in Seattle. He was 77. After work with the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) epidemic intelligence service, in 1960 he joined the University of Washington and in 1970 helped found its School of Public Health. He returned to the CDC to direct research on sexually transmitted diseases (1983–90) before becoming the Seattle public-health department’s epidemiology and infectious-disease chief. Survivors include his wife, the Rev. Mary Jane Francis; four daughters; a stepson; and five grandchildren.

William “Bill” N. Flory, AB’48, a retired consultant for Harris Bank, died November 11 in Chicago. He was 78. His volunteer activities included serving on the executive committee of the U of C Alumni Cabinet and supporting the Chicago Humanities Festival. Survivors include his wife, Greta W. Flory, PhB’48; a stepdaughter; and a grandson.

Gordon W. Hagberg, DB’48, a Disciples of Christ minister, died December 14 in Tonka Bay, MN. He was 87. After 35 years with congregations in Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, and Minnesota, he retired in 1983 and worked to promote Christian education and interfaith cooperation. His wife of 45 years, Ruth, died in 1990. Survivors include his second wife, Anne Hoerner; three children; two stepchildren; four grandchildren; and three step-grandchildren.

Owen Chamberlain, PhD’49, a Nobel laureate in physics who worked on the Manhattan Project, died February 28 in Berkeley, CA. He was 85. A professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, where he taught since 1948, he shared the 1959 Nobel prize with Emilio Segrè for their discovery of the antiproton. A social activist, he took part in Berkeley’s free-speech movement and campaigned for a nuclear-test-ban treaty. Survivors include his third wife, Senta Pugh-Chamberlain; three daughters; a son; and two stepdaughters.


Calvin R. Axford, AM’50, died March 5 in Sacramento, CA. He was 81. After 16 years as executive director of Sacramento’s Community Services Planning Council, he joined the United Way as director of planning for central Los Angeles, then worked as a real-estate broker in San Francisco. Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Nancy Sutter Axford; two children; and one grandchild.

Howard L. Myerson, X’50, a marine insurance average adjuster for firms in London and New York, died March 12 in New York City. He was 76. Myerson, who retired from Marsh & McLennan, enjoyed world travel, opera, music, the arts, reading, cooking, and fine wines. His wife, Margaret Mortimer Myerson, AB’53, AM’59, died in 2003.

Bobette Adler Levy, BSS’51, AM’56, died December 24 in Tucson, AZ. She was 75. A psychiatric social worker, Levy was known for her work with the Cook County Divorce Court’s conciliation program. An expert on Navajo silver jewelry, she served on the Field Museum’s collections committee and helped curate the Arizona State Museum’s jewelry collection. A skilled gardener, she also published a cookbook. Survivors include her husband, Sidney J. Levy, PhB’46, AM’48, PhD’56; a daughter; a daughter-in-law; and a sister.

Thelma Y. Gruenbaum, AB’52, AM’56, a former accountant in Brookline, MA, died June 2 of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). She was 74. In 1976 she self-published Before 1776: The Massachusetts Bay Colony from Founding to Revolution. In 2004 she wrote Nesarim: Child Survivors of Terezin (Mitchell Vallentine & Company), about ten young Jewish Czechs—including her husband—who survived a Nazi concentration camp near Prague. A dedicated alum, she won the Alumni Service Medal in 2001, the year she became a Magazine class correspondent. Survivors include her husband Michael; three sons, including David Gruenbaum, AB’81, and Peter Gruenbaum, AB’84; a sister, Bernice Firestone, AB’56, SB’56, SB’59, and brother-in-law Ross Firestone, AB’53, SB’56, MBA’65; nephews George Emont, MBA’85, and John Firestone, AB’84; and three grandchildren.

Gregory T. Kafkes, MBA’52, died January 5 in LaGrange Park, IL. He was 75. Kafkes worked for 32 years in finance and accounting for the Fisher Body Division of General Motors Company in Willow Springs, IL. He enjoyed golf, traveling, and volunteering for his church. Survivors include his wife, Soteria; two sons; and four grandchildren.

Hans A. Schmitt, AM’43, PhD’53, a historian, died February 15 in Charlottesville, VA. He was 84. Emigrating from Nazi Germany in 1938, he interrupted his Chicago studies to serve in the Army during WW II. Schmidt spent more than 40 years teaching modern European history at institutions including Tulane University, New York University, and the University of Virginia, where he became professor emeritus in 1991. He is survived by his wife, Florence; a daughter; two sons; and four grandchildren.

William C. Withers, AB’53, died January 20 in New Haven, CT. He was 76. A WW II veteran, he graduated from Harvard Law School in 1958. After tax and international-law work for Irving Trust Company, the U.S. Treasury Department, and Raytheon, in 1966 he became in-house counsel for the Pond Lily Company in New Haven. He later went into private practice and began a real-estate career that continued until his death. A member of the Woodbridge,  CT, zoning board of appeals, he was active in Boy Scouts and guided his five sons to become Eagle Scouts. Survivors include his wife, five sons, six grandchildren, and two brothers.

Sophie V. Zimmermann, MBA’57, a retired health-care administrator, died February 24 in Metropolis, IL. She was 96. Establishing degree programs in nursing and health-care administration at Sangamon State, she served on the board of the Central Illinois Health Planning Council. Survivors include two stepsons and four step-grandchildren.

Charlotte E. Fiechter, AM’58, died March 10 in Mount Prospect, IL. She was 71. A Fulbright scholar who taught history at Wittenberg University, Wellesley College, and the University of Pennsylvania, Fiechter was executive director of Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (1990–96), resigning to work with Executive Service Corps of Chicago. Survivors include a sister and six nieces and nephews. 


Lois B. David, AB’64, died December 24 in Chicago. She was 77. After raising her children, she reentered the work force, managing several political campaigns and becoming a licensed real-estate agent. She enjoyed world travel. Survivors include a daughter, Carol David, U-High’68, and a son.

Myron W. Brigman, AB’65, AM’70, died February 9 in Springfield, IL. He was 63. Brigman worked from 1970 until his death at the Illinois Department of Health Care and Family Services, most recently as chief of the bureau of collections. Survivors include his wife, Carol; a daughter; and a son.


James J. Dutton, MBA’71, a retired engineer at Argonne National Laboratory, died December 2 in Hinsdale, IL. He was 76. Dutton worked at Argonne for 37 years, retiring in 1995. A resident of Western Springs, IL, he was active in a local improv group, two radio groups, the seniors club, and two churches. Survivors include his wife, Phyllis, a son, four daughters, and seven grandchildren.

William A. Lyell, AM’62, PhD’71, who taught modern Chinese language and literature at Stanford University for 33 years, died August 28, 2005, in Palo Alto, CA. He was 75. Introduced to Mandarin Chinese as an Air Force interpreter during the Korean War, Lyell taught at Ohio State University before joining the Stanford faculty. A visiting professor at Beijing University, he was an expert on 20th-century Chinese writers. Survivors include his wife, Ruth Granetz Lyell, AM’58, PhD’68; two daughters; two sons; and seven grandchildren.

Paul Binsfield, MBA’74, died March 22 in Duxbury, MA. He was 71. He had been president of Cimtelligence Systems Inc. of Lexington, MA. Survivors include his wife, Mary Ann; a daughter; two sons; nine grandchildren; a sister; and a brother.


Gregory J. Spevok, X’84, a managing director of corporate and real-estate capital markets at LaSalle Bank Corporation in Chicago, died in an auto accident January 29. He was 46. The principal founder of the Real Estate Lenders Association, the nation’s largest lenders-only commercial real-estate organization, he served on the board of the National Multi Housing Council. Interested in education and the arts, he enjoyed sailing, golf, and skiing. Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth A. Pratt, AM’82; two daughters; a son; and his parents.

Steven Auerbach, AB’87, MBA’93, of Short Hills, NJ, died of leukemia February 23 while on vacation in Phoenix. He was 40. Auerbach was director of corporate development with Federated Department Stores Inc. Survivors include his wife, Alison Heller Auerbach, X’85; his father, Boris Auerbach, AB’51, JD’54; his father-in-law, D. Brian Heller, AM’64, PhD’75; his mother-in-law, Rita Heller, AM’78; and a son.