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Gigi Stengard, a humanities teacher, died July 5 in St. Petersburg, FL. She was 69. Born in Sweden, she taught high school and directed a student-exchange program before entering an American literature PhD program at Sweden’s Uppsala University. Through a grant from the Swedish–American Foundation, she spent the 1970–71 academic year at Chicago researching and working with Saul Bellow, X’39. Moving to Florida in 1992, Stengard taught humanities at St. Petersburg College. A founding member of the Chicago Alumni Club of Tampa Bay, she developed the Book Awards program, designed to interest high-school juniors, parents, and school guidance counselors in the University. Survivors include a son and a brother.

Faculty and Staff

Ole Kleppa, a geophysical-sciences and chemistry professor emeritus, died May 27 in Lubbock, TX. He was 87. A Norwegian WW II veteran, Kleppa joined the faculty in 1947, directing the James Franck Institute from 1971 to 1977. The author of some 350 scientific publications, he was an expert on the study of materials at high temperatures and inventor of the Kleppa calorimeter. His research has been used in the aviation, superconductor, and nuclear industries. A member of the Royal Norwegian Society for Science and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Kleppa retired in 1990, winning the Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society’s Hume–Rothery Award in 1994. Survivors include his wife Abbie; daughters Karen Joy Kleppa, U-High’69, and Abbie L. Kleppa, U-High’77; a sister; and three grandchildren.

Jane Overton, PhD’50, professor emerita in molecular genetics and cell biology, died June 3 in Chicago. She was 88. The granddaughter of William Rainey Harper, she joined the faculty in 1950 as a zoology research assistant, becoming a full professor in 1972. Publishing widely on cell biology and genetics, she was a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Society for Cell Biology. In retirement she studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Hyde Park Art Center. Survivors include a daughter, two sons, and two grandchildren.


Ann E. Barzel, PhB’25, a dance critic, teacher, and collector, died February 12 in Chicago. She was 101. A dancer until 1943, Barzel reviewed performances for the Chicago Times, Chicago American, and Dance magazine. In 1982 she donated her extensive collection of film clips, photographs, programs, periodicals, and other artifacts to the Newberry Library, where a reading room was named in her honor. Survivors include a niece, a nephew, and a great-nephew.


Mildred Ann Eichholz, PhB’32, died April 22 in Jackson, MI. She was 94. A teacher and librarian in the Cicero, IL, public schools, Eichholz also was an organist at Berwyn (IL) United Lutheran Church. Survivors include two nieces and two nephews.

Samuel I. Weissman, SB’33, PhD’38, a professor emeritus of chemistry, died June 12 in St. Louis. He was 94. An early member of the Manhattan Project, in 1946 Weissman moved to Washington University in St. Louis, where he studied electron-spin resonance, retiring in 1980. Weissman was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences. Survivors include his wife Jane; a son; sister Florence Packman, AB’39, BLS’48; and two grandsons.

Elizabeth Charlton Steere Routt, U-High’30, PhB’34, died June 5 in Melbourne, Australia. She was 95. As members of the foreign service, she and late husband Garland Routt, PhB’33, AM’37, lived in Dublin; Kingston, Jamaica; Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago; Rangoon, Burma; and Washington, DC. Active in the League of Women Voters and other community organizations, she is survived by son William D. Routt, AB’61, AM’65, PhD’82; two grandchildren, including Liam D. Routt, AB’89; and four great-grandchildren.

Ruth Maimon Grodzins, AB’38, died June 16 in Ithaca, NY. She was 90. A manuscript editor, Grodzins worked at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and freelanced for a variety of authors. After the 1964 death of husband Morton Grodzins, Chicago professor of political science, she remained in Hyde Park, moving to Ithaca in 2005. She is survived by two daughters, Mariam Grodzins, U-High’58, and Ann Grodzins Gold, U-High’63, AB’75, AM’78, PhD’84; four grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

Martin Metal, AB’39, AM’40, a sculptor, died February 28 in Berkeley, CA. He was 88. A WW II navy veteran, Metal taught at the Illinois Institute of Design, the California College of Arts and Crafts, the City College of San Francisco, and Bay Area art centers. He also curated and exhibited at the former San Francisco Museum of Art. His abstract and semifigurative works adorn Bay Area churches, commercial buildings, and homes. Survivors include six daughters and a son.

Cheves T. Walling, PhB’39, a professor emeritus of chemistry, died June 18 in Peterborough, NH. He was 91. An expert in free-radical chemistry, he worked with DuPont, U.S. Rubber, and Lever Brothers before joining Columbia University in 1952. After serving as chemistry chair (1963–66), he moved to the University of Utah, editing the Journal of the American Chemical Society (1975–81) and retiring in 1991. A member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Walling received Chicago’s Alumni Medal in 1975. Survivors include his wife Jane, four daughters, and a son.


Philip R. Lawrence, AB’40, JD’42, died May 4 in San Francisco. He was 91. A WW II army veteran, Lawrence practiced family law and was an active member of the San Francisco alumni club. Survivors include his wife Nancy L. Lawrence, AM’46; a daughter; a son; sister Mary Lawrence Stillings, SB’51; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Marian Castleman Skedgell, AA’39, AM’41, an editor and author, died May 28 in Roxbury, CT. She was 86. A freelancer and editor at Viking and E. P. Dutton, Skedgell worked with authors including John Steinbeck, Jorge Luis Borges, and Andrea Dworkin. In retirement she was active in local civic affairs and served as deacon of the Roxbury Congregational Church. Survivors include a daughter, two sons, a sister, and six grandchildren.

Johnson Clark, SB’43, died April 27 in Lafayette, CA. He was 85. A WW II navy veteran, Clark was a home builder and developer. Survivors include his wife Louise Harvey Clark, SB’45; two daughters; three sons; and a sister.

John Hogness, U-High’39, SB’43, MD’46, a physician and academic administrator, died July 2 in Seattle. He was 85. After seven years in private practice, Hogness was named the first president of the National Academy of Sciences’s Institute of Medicine. He became dean of the University of Washington’s School of Medicine in 1964 and then the university’s president in 1974, serving for five years. Survivors include wife Margaret, three daughters, two sons, and four stepchildren.

Richard Rorty, AB’49, AM’52, a philosopher and public intellectual, died June 8 in Palo Alto, CA. He was 75. After receiving a PhD from Yale, Rorty taught at Wellesley College (1958–61), Princeton University (1961–82), and the University of Virginia (1982–98) before joining Stanford University’s comparative-literature department, retiring as professor emeritus in 2005. He published his best-known work, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, in 1979. Two years later he was one of the first MacArthur “genius” grant recipients. A controversial figure who championed pragmatist philosophy, Rorty published the fourth volume of his collected papers, Philosophy as Cultural Politics (Cambridge University Press), in January. Shortly before his death he was awarded the American Philosophical Society’s Thomas Jefferson Medal for his contributions to the field. Survivors include his wife Mary, a daughter, two sons, and two grandchildren.


Bernard Karsh, AM’50, PhD’55, a professor emeritus of sociology, died March 7 in Urbana, IL. He was 86. A WW II air force veteran, Karsh joined the University of Illinois, Urbana–Champaign, in 1954, remaining until his 1990 retirement. An expert on American unions and Japanese industrial relations, he chaired the sociology department from 1973 to 1979. An avid flyer, Karsh also served briefly as assistant director of Illinois’s Institute of Aviation and for many summers as a volunteer flight instructor for the State of Illinois. Survivors include his wife Annette, two sons, and a grandchild.

Barrie Simmons, AB’52, died of a heart attack April 24, 2006, in Rome. He was 69. A psychotherapist, Simmons helped introduce Gestalt therapy to Italy in the early 1970s. He also was a founding member and vice president of a Tibetan Buddhist cultural foundation. Survivors include his wife Nancy Simmons, AB’54; two daughters; two sons; and eight grandchildren.

Stanley L. Miller, PhD’54, a biochemistry and chemistry professor emeritus, died May 20 in National City, CA. He was 77. Studying the origins of life, Miller became famous for early experiments that demonstrated how Earth’s first organic compounds may have formed. Joining the University of California, San Diego, in the early 1960s, he served as president of the International Society of the Study of the Origin of Life, winning the society’s Oparin Medal in 1983, and was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Chemical Society. Survivors include a brother.

John H. Hagan, AM’50, PhD’57, an English professor emeritus, died April 30 in Vestal, NY. He was 79. A Fulbright and Guggenheim fellow, Hagan taught at West Virginia University, Wayne State, Chicago, and Wellesley before joining Binghamton University, where he retired after 27 years. Specializing in 19th- and 20th-century authors, he also served as a reader for Cornell University Press. Survivors include a daughter, a son, and two granddaughters.

Mary Louise Daly, AM’59, a nursing educator, died in May in Foster City, CA. She was 81. Serving on Indian reservations and with the Chicago Board of Education, Daly chaired Cook County Hospital’s pediatric-teaching unit and taught at San Francisco State University. Survivors include a daughter, a brother, and two grandchildren.

Alan P. Mintz, SB’59, a radiologist and entrepreneur, died of a brain hemorrhage June 3 in Las Vegas. He was 69. A navy physician, Mintz chaired radiology departments in several Chicago-area hospitals and taught at Northeastern Illinois University’s Center for Cardiovascular Research. An author and lecturer, he cofounded Medicon, a radiology-management company, and Cenegenics Medical Institute, an organization devoted to age-management medicine. Survivors include his wife Yocheved Mintz, AB’60; four sons; two sisters; ten grandchildren; and three step-grandchildren.


Robert E. DeMar, SM’60, PhD’61, a vertebrate paleontologist, died April 21 in Chicago. He was 75. Joining the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1956, DeMar helped found the geology department and served as department head for seven years, retiring in 1997. An expert in Paleozoic and Mesozoic reptiles—particularly their teeth and jaws—he was a research associate at the Field Museum. Survivors include three sisters.

Allen S. Cohn, AB’69, a social activist, died of cancer April 18 in Seattle. He was 59. A conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, Cohn worked for the Salvation Army before joining the state of Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services. During his 30-year career there, he advocated for the homeless, addicted, mentally ill, and severely disabled. Cohn was active in his local union and, in retirement, joined the Puget Sound Alliance for Retired Americans. Survivors include his wife, Ann Ballard, and a brother.


Ruth Johnson Young, AB’70, an editor, died of renal cancer January 27 in Chicago. She was 68. A lifelong Hyde Park resident, Young worked at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists before spending 21 years as an editor at the literary journal Primavera. An environmental activist, she served on the board of the Resource Center, a Chicago-based recycling program. Survivors include her husband Quentin; daughter Karin L. Weaver, U-High’79; son William N. Weaver, U-High’80, AB’84; five stepchildren; and 14 grandchildren.

Diana Boldt-Kartsen, AB’71, died of ALS April 12 in New York. She was 58. A socialist, Boldt-Kartsen joined the Spartacist League in 1974. Among other senior positions in the Trotskyist organization, she served as librarian in the league’s Prometheus Research Library. Survivors include her husband Ed Kartsen and a sister.

Ajit Mookerjee, MBA’73, died March 29, 2005, in Phoenix, AZ. After corporate posts in the U.S. and India, Mookerjee turned to teaching. An expert on competitive strategy, global business, and information management, he taught in India before joining Thunderbird’s Garvin School of International Management. Survivors include his wife, a daughter, and a son.


Neil S. Rehrer, MBA’87, a metallurgical engineer, died of cancer April 9 in Montague, MI. He was 58. A manager and engineer with Inland Steel for 30 years, Rehrer retired in 2001, moving to Montague and teaching in the math department at Baker College’s Muskegon campus. Survivors include his wife Susan, two sons, his stepmother, two brothers, three sisters, and two grandchildren.

Susan Elaine Swearingen, AM’86, died of breast cancer May 8 in Washington, DC. She was 49. After work as an editor at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and at Chicago’s Cook County Assessor’s Office, Swearingen joined the Government Accountability Office in 1989. A senior analyst in the GAO’s Natural Resources and Environment Division, she assessed federal environmental programs. A Francophile, Swearingen traveled extensively and founded a French conversation club in 1999. Survivors include her husband Zakaria El Homrani, her parents, and a sister.