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Tetsuya T. (“Ted”) Fujita, the Charles E. Merriam distinguished service professor emeritus in the geophysical sciences, died November 19 in his Chicago home. He was 78. Fujita, who received NASA’s public service medal, did pioneering research in mesometerology, the study of mid-sized atmospheric phenomena. With his wife, Sumiko, he devised the Fujita Tornado Scale, the internationally accepted standard for measuring tornado severity. Investigating a 1975 airplane crash, he discovered microbursts, small downdrafts that induce 150-mile-an-hour winds. Fujita came to Chicago in 1953 as a research associate in meteorology and directed the Mesometeorology Research Project from 1956 to 1962, when he became an associate professor in geophysical sciences. He directed the Satellite and Mesometeorology Project from 1964 to 1987 and the Wind Research Laboratory from 1988 until his death. Survivors include his wife and son.

Alan Simpson, professor of history and former dean of the College, died May 5 in Lake Forest, IL. He was 85. Joining Chicago’s faculty in 1946 and winning a Quantrell Award in 1952, Simpson became dean in 1959. In 1964, he left Chicago to become the seventh president of Vassar College, leading the all-women institution’s shift to coeducation and retiring in 1977. Survivors include his wife, Mary; two daughters; and two grandchildren.


Richard E. Heller, SB’29, MD’34, a Chicago surgeon for more than 50 years, died May 30 at age 90. Until 1996, he taught anatomy at Northwestern Medical School. Heller practiced general surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and did research at Northwestern and at Michael Reese Hospital. He also studied sculpting in Rome each fall and belonged to the Chicago Cultural Center writers’ group. He is survived by his wife, Ruth Moss Heller, PhB’33; a son; two sisters; a brother; and two grandchildren.


George D. Brodsky, PhB’30, a writer, researcher, and historian, died June 12 at age 90 in Winnetka, IL. While running his own advertising agency, from which he retired in 1991, Brodsky wrote poetry, some of which appeared in the New Republic and Poetry. His last major project was a 400-page history of Winnetka Community House. Just before WWII, Brodsky coauthored with U of C professor Frederick L. Schuman Design for Power, about the balance of world power. During WWII, he was a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force, rewriting its survival and rescue manuals. Survivors include his wife, Janice; three daughters; and four grandchildren.

Clair Davis Clark, PhB’30, of Denver, died May 1 at age 88. Clark was a substitute teacher in elementary education. Survivors include her daughter, Judith.

E. G. Stanley Baker, X’33, a retired professor of zoology, died April 29 in Kalamazoo, MI, at age 88. He taught for 24 years at Drew University in Madison, NJ, and also held posts at Catholic University of America, Corpus Christi Community College, and Wabash College. A WWII veteran, he received several teaching awards and served on numerous school and government boards in New Jersey. Survivors include three children, eight siblings, and three grandchildren.

Ida Griffen Lorne Cress, PhB’33, a retired elementary school teacher and longtime community activist, died July 12 in Hyde Park. She was 92. Teaching mostly kindergarten and primary grades at Drake Elementary School on the South Side, she worked in Chicago public schools for 41 years, retiring in 1971. A founding member of the All Souls Unitarian Fellowship and the 61st and Woodlawn Block Club, Cress also set up a scholarship fund for black medical students and helped establish the DuSable Museum and the South Side Community Arts Center. In 1988, she was inducted into the Chicago Senior Citizens Hall of Fame. Survivors include three daughters and a grandson.

Robert H. Felsenthal, SB’33, of Memphis, TN, died July 29 at age 87. He was the former co-owner of Felsenthal’s Department Store in Brownsville, TN. A WWII veteran, he was past president of Temple Adas Israel, Brownsville Exchange, and Brownsville Cancer Fund. He is survived by a son; two daughters; a sister, Karolyn Felsenthal Feltenstein, PhB’28; and six grandchildren.

Virginia Holton Jordan, PhB’34, AM’42, died June 26 at age 89 in Michigan. During WWII, she was a psychiatric social worker with the American Red Cross in Asia. She witnessed the signing of the post-war United Nations charter and also helped establish the Michigan chapter of the American Association for the United Nations. An artist, writer, and public speaker, Jordan belonged to the Flint (MI) Unitarian Universalist Church for almost 50 years. She is survived by her sister, a son, and five grandchildren.

Walter L. Bateman, AB’37, of Rochester, MN, died December 1, 1997. He was 81. Bateman’s last book, Open to Question (Jossey-Bass, 1990), has been translated into Dutch. Shortly before his death, he was named an alumnus of notable achievement by the University of Minnesota’s College of Liberal Arts. Survivors include his wife, Sue, and his brother, Henry L. Bateman, PhB’34.

Robert A. Thorsen, JD’37, a Chicago lawyer for 60 years, died June 25 in Glenview, IL, at age 85. Taking the bar exam before age 21, two years later he made the first of his 19 appearances before the Illinois Supreme Court. In 1935, he cofounded the law firm of Madigan and Thorsen, which handled mostly corporate clients. The firm merged with another in 1983, and Thorsen retired nine years later. He is survived by his daughter, two sons, a sister, and seven grandchildren.


Marjorie S. Berger, AB’41, assistant director of the American Society of Planning Officials for 30 years, died August 7 in Chicago at age 82. Helping to map such issues and trends as suburban planning and urban renewal, Berger produced the society’s monthly newsletter and organized annual conferences. At the Office of Price Administration during WWII, she consulted and reported on wartime developments for the British government. Berger’s nephew James Koch survives her.

Paul R. Fields, SB’41, a leading scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, died May 3 in Chicago. He was 79. After working for the Tennessee Valley Authority and on the Manhattan Project, Fields joined Argonne at its founding in 1946. During his 36 years at the laboratory, he headed the chemistry and science-support divisions and worked as a senior scientist and associate laboratory director. His analysis of moon rock samples from an Apollo mission brought him much acclaim. He is survived by his wife, Bernice; two daughters; and a son.

Robert K. Gassler, MD’43, a physician in Waco, TX, for more than 30 years, died May 30 at age 82. A WWII and D-Day veteran, he was noted for his work with polio victims. Retiring in 1983, Gassler had been president of the McLennan County Medical Society, chief of staff at Providence Hospital, vice president of staff at Hillcrest Hospital, and a board member for several medical and humanitarian organizations. He is survived by his wife, Lois; two daughters; a son; five grandchildren; and a brother.

George H. Dunne, PhD’44, a Jesuit priest and ecumenist, died June 30 in Los Gatos, CA. He was 92. Dunne began fighting poverty and racial segregation in the 1940s, giving speeches, writing articles, and taking part in civil-rights demonstrations. He also studied Chinese theology and language, and wrote plays and books. Later in his career, Dunne taught at Loyola Marymount University and Santa Clara University. Six nieces and two nephews survive him.

Lois Carroll Lewis, AB’44, died February 8, 1998, in Chevy Chase, MD. Lewis began her career with Scott, Foresman and Company as an educational consultant, then held editorial positions with the company from 1950 to 1962. After earning her M.A. in urban affairs and American government in 1969, she worked as a freelance editor and a substitute teacher in Washington, DC, high schools. Active in the local Republican party and in Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Lewis belonged to the Montgomery County (MD) Literacy Council. She is survived by her nephew, Charles A. Lewis, and four nieces.

Margaret A. Chambers, AM’46, died April 3 in Charleston, WV, at age 77. She was a retired social worker for Johns Hopkins University and a social service worker at Children’s Hospital in Washington. Her brother, John, survives her.

John A. Dooley, X’48, died December 12, 1997, in Dayton, OH, at age 73. He worked at Brookhaven National Laboratory and in the U.S. Air Force’s foreign-technology division, writing several studies on electronics technology and national security. After retirement, he continued his research while operating a real-estate investment and property management firm. He is survived by two brothers and a sister.

Lillian Pence Hansen, PhB’48, of Orland Park, IL, died December 17, 1997, at age 69. A teacher with the Archdiocese of Chicago for 17 years, she volunteered for Holy Cross Hospital in Chicago, the Christ Hospital Women’s Auxiliary, and the Palos Community Hospital Auxiliary. Hansen was also a chemist at Western Electric Corporation. Survivors include her husband, Gilbert, and her daughter.

Irwin M. Schuster, AM’48, a leader in the Jewish community, died June 21 in Highland Park, IL, at age 77. He founded the Schuster Insurance agency in 1950, retiring in 1988. A WWII veteran, he served on the board of his synagogue and was president of the local lodge of B’nai B’rith and the midwest region of the National Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs. He also initiated a national program to fight alienation of Jewish youth at high schools and universities, and campaigned in support of Israel and Soviet Jews. Survivors include his wife, Shirley; three daughters; a son; a brother; and eight grandchildren.

David J. Luck, SB’49, a cell biologist, died May 23 in New York City. He was 69. Luck was the Alfred E. Mirsky professor and vice president for academic affairs at Rockefeller University. His early research focused on how growing cells form mitochondria, while his later work investigated microtubules. Before going to Rockefeller in 1958 as a graduate fellow, Luck was a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital for five years. The editor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, he was a former chair of the molecular-biology study section of the National Institutes of Health and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He is survived by a sister.

Gabriel G. Rudney, AM’49, died January 10 at age 74 in Washington, DC. From 1954 to 1982, Rudney was assistant director of tax analysis at the treasury department. In 1974–75, he also served as research director of the Commission on Private Philanthropy and Public Needs. After retiring, Rudney became a senior research associate with Yale’s program on nonprofit organizations, coordinating a study on the creation and growth of private foundations. He is survived by his wife, Shirley; a son; a daughter; and three grandchildren.


James T. Powers, AB’50, MBA’53, a former partner in KPMG Peat Marwick, died November 2, 1997, in Atlanta. He was 70. A specialist in accounting and retail, he wrote The Retail Inventory Method Made Practical and many articles for business publications. Powers joined KPMG’s precursor in 1954, then left to become executive vice president of Lewis Business Products. He rejoined KPMG in 1969 and retired in 1986. During his retirement, he helped create three small high-tech companies. Powers is survived by his wife, Dorothy Koenig Powers, SM’52; a daughter, Victoria A. Powers, AB’80; a son; and three grandchildren.

Henry A. Turner, PhD’50, died August 1 at his home in Santa Barbara, CA. He was 79. A Navy officer for three years during WWII, Turner was a founding member of the political science department at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and was its first chair. He retired from the university in 1987. He received State Department and Fulbright grants to teach overseas. He wrote four books and more than two dozen articles. Survivors include his wife, Mary; a daughter; two sons, including John A. Turner, PhD’77; a sister; and seven grandchildren.

Pearl Applebaum Warn, AM’52, of Grosse Pointe, MI, died June 9 at age 73. During her 26-year association with Wayne State University, she worked toward a Ph.D. and was first an academic adviser, and later administrative assistant to the English department chair. Warn belonged to the League of Women Voters, the Grosse Pointe Arts Center, the Alliance Francaise and the Grosse Pointe Jewish Council. Survivors include her husband, Edward; two daughters; a son; a sister; two brothers; and three grandchildren.


Saul D. Binder, SB’60, president and CEO of Success National Bank and Success Bancshares Inc., died of a heart attack July 12 in Evanston, IL. He was 58. Under his leadership, the bank grew from one office and $10 million in assets in 1982 to having $425 million in assets and 10 branches in the Chicago area. Binder, who had also been president at two other banks, donated funds to Jewish schools and served on the boards of the Community Foundation of Jewish Education and Chicago’s Anti-Defamation League. He is survived by his companion, Joan Kerlow; two daughters; a brother; and a grandson.

Robert J. Menges, X’61, died of natural causes April 14 in Evanston, IL, at age 59. As professor of education and social policy at Northwestern, Menges researched the learning process and conducted teaching workshops for faculty members. Chairing the committee that proposed the creation of the Searle Center for Teaching Excellence (built in 1991), he led Northwestern to financially reward instructors with 11 new endowed chairs. Survivors include his wife, Gay Menges; two sons; and two grandchildren.

JoAn Gayley Costin, AB’63, died June 24 of a heart attack in Chicago. She was 56. As a development officer at St. Ignatius High School, she helped raise $20 million within five years. Costin was also president of the school’s mothers club and organized an annual fund-raising fashion show. In 1994, St. Ignatius gave her its Golden Rose award. A trustee of the Chicago Chamber Music Society, Costin served on the U of C’s athletic center committee and the steering committee of the University’s Women’s Board. She is survived by her husband, J. Laurence Costin, Jr., AB’66; a daughter; a son; her mother; three sisters; and a brother.

Samuel P. Kelly, PhD’65, a former academic vice president and provost of Western Washington University, died of lung cancer on May 23. He was 69. Kelly joined Western’s education faculty in 1965 and later became dean of graduate affairs. When the university’s president and two vice presidents died in a 1987 plane crash, Kelly led the school as vice president and provost, then retired in 1989. Kelly also was one of the founding trustees of Whatcom Community College, which opened in 1970. Survivors include his wife, Barbara; two daughters; and three grandchildren.


Sharon K. Stephens, AB’74, AM’78, PhD’84, died of cancer June 17 in Ann Arbor, MI. She was 46. Stephens taught at Johns Hopkins, the U of C, and, most recently, the University of Michigan, where she was an assistant professor in the schools of anthropology and social work. She also did research in northern Scandinavia and worked at the Center for Child Research in Trondheim, Norway, for four years. Her research focused on such issues as the effects of current environmental and political policies on the lives of children. She is survived by her husband, Richard L. Talaga, SM’73, PhD’77; her daughter; her mother; and her sister.


David T. Thackery, AM’79, AM’83, curator of local and family history at Chicago’s Newberry Library, died of a heart attack while jogging July 17. He was 45. Leading Newberry’s genealogy department for 15 years, Thackery expanded the library’s services and collections in that area, especially by acquiring resources to serve ethnic minorities. He also arranged for the Mormon Church to share its genealogical data with Newberry patrons. His A Light and Uncertain Hold, his history of the 66th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, a Civil War regiment, will be published by Kent State University Press in 1999. Thackery is survived by his mother, Enid.

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