Tag Archive for obit

23-Year Employee Eileen Day Dies at Age 74

Eileen Day, 74, of Middlefield, Conn. died Nov. 22. Day was born in Rockfall, Conn. June 17, 1935. She worked at Wesleyan for 23 years, and also served on the board of Middlefield Cemetery.

Day worked as an administrative assistant in the Office of Events Scheduling for first part of her career and in Physical Plant in the Student Life Facilities office at the latter end. She retired in 2003 to spend time with her family and to travel. She loved to visit family that live in different areas of the country.

“Eileen was a trusted and loyal employee as well as a spectacular person,” says Jeff Sweet, facilities manager in Physical Plant. “She will be missed by her many friends in Physical Plant as well as other departments on campus.”

She enjoyed kayaking with the River Ravens and playing Bunco with “The Girls.” She loved gardening and quilting; most of all she loved her family.

Besides her husband, she is survived by her three children, Timothy Day and his wife, Valerie, of New Hampshire, Desiree Wirthlin and her husband, Chris, of Tennessee, Douglas Day and his wife, Rumiko, of Texas; two brothers, Robert Prue of Florida, Thomas Prue of Middletown; four sisters, Dorothy Tyc of Rockfall, Virginia Konefal of Rockfall, Patricia Damiata of Cromwell and Lorraine Swenson of North Carolina. She was predeceased by six brothers, Bernard, Leonard, Charles, William, Donald and Nelson Prue, and a sister, Delores Prue.

Tribute Service for Lebergott on Oct. 18

Stanley Lebergott.

Stanley Lebergott.

A service in tribute to Stanley Lebergott, the Chester D. Hubbard Professor of Economics and Social Sciences, Emeritus, who passed away on July 24, will be held at 11 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 18. The service will be in the Daniel Family Commons in the Usdan University Center and will be followed by a reception.

The Lebergott family invites friends and colleagues who may have photographs or remembrances of Stan to bring them to the service.

Lebergott began his career as a public servant, working for 20 years in the U.S. Department of Labor, the International Labor Office, and the U.S. Bureau of the Budget. He joined the Wesleyan faculty in 1962 as professor of economics, becoming University Professor in 1970. He was a pivotal scholar in his field, and a prolific author.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth, daughter Karen, and granddaughters StarRose Keyes-Lebergott ’10 and Sunshine Vogt ’98. In lieu of flowers, Lebergott’s family has asked for donations to be made to a scholarship being established in his memory at Wesleyan. Memorial gifts may be sent to Wesleyan University, 318 High Street, Middletown, CT 06459.

Tadd Gero ’08 Dies Aug. 17

Tadd Gero '08

Tadd Gero '08

Tadd Gero ’08 died Aug. 17 from a resistant strain of pneumonia.

Gero graduated as a theater major after transferring from Simon’s Rock College.

While on campus he was involved in campus activities including reporting for The Wesleyan Argus.

Upon graduation, Gero worked as a reporter for The Independent Newspaper in Hudson, N.Y. and continued his involvement with theater.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Oct. 3 at Time & Space Limited, 434 Columbia Street, in Hudson, N.Y. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to TSL, P.O. Box 343, Hudson, NY 12543, in Tadd’s name.

A Tadd Gero Memorial Facebook site is online.

Stanley Lebergott Dies at 91

Stanley Lebergott.

Stanley Lebergott, the Chester D. Hubbard Professor of Economics and Social Sciences, Emeritus

Stanley Lebergott, the Chester D. Hubbard Professor of Economics and Social Sciences, Emeritus, died July 24 after a long illness. He was 91 years old.

Lebergott began his career as a public servant, working for 20 years in the U.S. Department of Labor, the International Labor Office, and the U.S. Bureau of the Budget. He joined the Wesleyan faculty in 1962 as a professor of economics, becoming University Professor in 1970.

He was a pivotal scholar in his field, and a prolific author. In addition to more than 50 articles, his books include: Manpower in Economic Growth: The American Record Since 1800 (McGraw Hill, 1964); Men Without Work (Prentice Hall, 1964); The American Economy: Income, Wealth,

Walker, Professor of Anthropology Emeritus, Dies at Age 82

Willard Walker

Willard Walker

Willard B. Walker, professor of anthropology emeritus, died May 23 in Skowhegan, Maine. He was 82 years old.

Walker was one of the mainstays of the Anthropology Department for more than two decades. He came to Wesleyan in 1966 as an assistant professor, where he and Dave McAllester established anthropology as a department. A specialist in Native American languages and cultures, Walker taught courses on the ethnography of the southwest, the southeast, and the northeast and he also single-handedly maintained a curricular focus on linguistic anthropology.

His research interests ranged from Zuni phonology and semantics to the cryptographic use of Choctaw, Comanche and Navajo by the U.S. military in World War II. He was a dedicated fieldworker whose projects had applied as well as theoretical aspects. He was particularly interested in native literacy movements and their reception in different communities. He compared the embrace of literacy in the native language among Cherokee to the notable resistance such movements encountered among the Zuni and the Pasamoquoddy of Maine.

In the latter case, he participated in designing the writing system and taught native literacy classes, which proved highly popular and yet singularly ineffective; specifically, he found that while the Pasamoquoddy enjoyed seeing their language graphically represented, they mistrusted native literacy as a constraint on oral creativity and thus a threat to the vitality of their cultural heritage.

After Walker retired from Wesleyan in 1989, he and his wife Perch moved to Canaan, Maine, where he continued to do research and to write, while also tending his beloved trees.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent in Walker’s memory to the Canaan Public Library Building Fund, P.O. Box 28, Canaan, ME 04924 or to the Somerset Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 453, Skowhegan, ME 04976.

Curator Emerita D’Oench Dies at Age 78

Ellen "Puffin" D'Oench

Ellen "Puffin" D'Oench

Ellen “Puffin” D’Oench, curator emerita of the Davison Art Center, adjunct professor of art history emerita, and former trustee of Wesleyan University died May 22 in Middletown. She was 78 years old and had been ill for some time.

D’Oench interrupted her education at Vassar College to marry Russell “Derry” D’Oench and raise their family. She completed her undergraduate education at Wesleyan in 1973, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in the same class as her son Peter. She received a Ph.D. from Yale University in 1979.

D’Oench was Curator of the Davison Art Center from 1979 until 1998. She served as a board-elected member of Wesleyan’s board of trustees from 1977 through 1979.

Her doctoral dissertation resulted in the exhibition and catalog “The Conversation Piece: Devis and his Contemporaries” at the Yale Center for British Art. She co-authored catalogues raisonnés on Jim Dine and Sylvia Plimack Mangold, and curated numerous exhibitions on topics ranging from the color photography of Robert Sheehan to prodigal son narratives. After retiring, she published Copper into Gold: Prints by John Raphael Smith, 1751-1812.

At Wesleyan, she taught courses on museum studies, the history of prints, and the history of photographs, and advised many tutorials and student-organized exhibitions at the Davison Art Center.

D’Oench was a gifted scholar, a generous colleague, and an inspired teacher who sparked in many a love of prints and photographs. With the aid of gifts and funds raised by the Friends of the Davison Art Center, she expanded the renowned collection of the Davison Art Center by more than 5,000 objects, including significant photographs and contemporary prints.

D’Oench is survived by three children, five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Donations in memory of Puffin may be made to the Friends of the Davison Art Center, Wesleyan University, or to Middlesex County Community Foundation, Inc. More information is available at Doolittle Funeral Home: http://obit.doolittlefuneralservice.com/obitdisplay.html?id=673531

Coach Norm Daniels Dies at Age 102

Norm Daniels, who coached five sports in almost 40 years at Wesleyan, died May 11 at the age of 102.

He coached baseball, football, basketball, wrestling and squash.

Norm Daniels coached Wesleyan baseball for 33 seasons.

Norm Daniels coached Wesleyan baseball for 33 seasons.

Daniels, born March 25, 1907 in Detroit, Mich., came to Wesleyan as an instructor in physical education in 1934 and retired in 1973.

He spent 33 years coaching baseball, and 19 years coaching football, which included a 25-game winning streak from 1945-1948.

The Hillsdale, Mich. native graduated in 1932 from the University of Michigan, where he played football, basketball and baseball. He also earned a master’s degree at Michigan in 1941.

Among all individuals who coached at Wesleyan, Daniels ranks third in his tenure at the university, behind only Hugh McCurdy who served for 46 years, and Fritz Martin who coached for 43 years.

While at Wesleyan, Daniels was consistently active in the local community as a part of numerous organizations, committees and associations around Middletown including a three-year term on the Middletown City Council. He remained in Middletown after his retirement.

Wesleyan celebrated Daniels’ 100th birthday April 5, 2007, in the Freeman Athletic Center. It was attended by current and emeritus faculty, and current and past staff, past players, and representatives from the City of Middletown.

Barbara-Jan Wilson, vice president for University Relations, holds up a banner declaring the space "Coach Norm Daniels Lobby" during Daniels's 100th birthday celebration.

Barbara-Jan Wilson, vice president for University Relations, holds up a banner declaring the space "Coach Norm Daniels Lobby" during Daniels's 100th birthday celebration.

At the ceremony, Barbara-Jan Wilson, vice president for University Relations  announced that the Freeman’s lobby would be named “Coach Norm Daniels Lobby of the Freeman Athletic Center.” After a proclamation by the Mayor of Middletown Sebastian Giuliano designating April 6, 2007 as Norm Daniels Day in Middletown, the lobby sign was unveiled and then many members of the audience reflected on their fondest remembrances of Daniels.

Daniels was a member of the Spring 2008 class of the Wesleyan Athletics Hall of Fame.

Statement from President Michael S. Roth

A beloved member of our community has been brutally murdered. Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to the family and friends of Johanna Justin-Jinich. This is a tragic time for them, and for all of us in the Wesleyan community. We are all deeply saddened and shocked by this event.

We are working closely with the Middletown Police. Since the suspect in yesterday’s fatal shooting has not been apprehended, Wesleyan has instructed all students to remain inside their residences and to remain vigilant. We have also asked faculty and staff not to come to their offices unless otherwise instructed.

The police investigation continues, and we remain in contact with them about all developments. We will send information via the usual channels as it becomes available. I assure you that we are doing all we can to ensure the safety of our students and campus.

Counseling services will continue to be made available to our students, faculty and staff. All of us grieve for the loss of Johanna Justin-Jinich.

Michael S. Roth
President, Wesleyan University

Adjunct Associate Professor Naito Dies at 66 in Japan

Seiji Naito, adjunct associate professor of Asian languages and literatures emeritus, died in Zama City, Japan. He was 66 years old.

Naito was trained as a linguist. He earned a bachelor of arts in education from Yokohama National University and a Ph.D in linguistics from Harvard University. He held positions at the University of Hawaii, Boston University, and Tokyo Junshin Women’s College before joining the Wesleyan faculty as adjunct assistant professor in 1993. In 1999 he was promoted to adjunct associate professor, and he left Wesleyan in 2003.

Associate Provost Paula Lawson Dies Sept. 21

Associate Provost Paula Lawson died suddenly Sept. 21.

Paula Lawson.

Paula Lawson.

Lawson graduated from Carleton College with a degree in psychology and held a M. Ed. degree from Harvard University. She served as a coordinator of Academic Student Services in the College of Arts and Sciences at Northeastern University and as a research associate in the Office of Academic Affairs, the Institute for Social Research, and the Center for the Education of Women at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Memorial Service for Kay Butterfield Oct. 7

A memorial service for Katharina “Kay” Butterfield, wife of Wesleyan’s 11th President Victor L. Butterfield and the first lady of Wesleyan for 24 years, will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008.  The service will begin at 11 a.m. am at the First Church Congregational, 190 Court Street, Middletown, with a reception immediately following in the church’s Memorial Room.

Professor of History Emeritus Jeffrey Butler Dies at 85

Jeffrey Butler, professor of history emeritus, died on April 22 in Middletown. He was 85 years old.

Professor Butler was born and raised in Cradock, South Africa. He saw active duty in World War II and was wounded outside of Florence in 1944 resulting in the loss of his left arm. After the War, Professor Butler completed doctoral studies at Oxford University and came to the United States in the late 1950s.

Professor Butler joined the Wesleyan faculty in 1965 and served with distinction until his retirement in 1991. He was twice chair of the History Department and was a key member of the College of Social Studies. In 1977, Butler was a founder and subsequently a director of the Yale-Wesleyan Southern African Research Program.

“South African studies was a highly charged field in the 1970s and 1980s, particularly for a white South African. Yet Jeff’s wisdom, generosity, and ready wit endeared him to all who knew him, regardless of race, ethnicity, or political persuasion,” says colleague and Professor of History Richard Elphick. “In my thirty-six years at Wesleyan I have known few figures more deeply respected and loved by students, colleagues, and professional acquaintances than Jeff Butler.”

Professor Butler’s first book, The Liberal Party and the Jameson Raid (Oxford 1968) was lauded as a model of thorough scholarship. He also collaborated with Elphick and David Welsh on South African Liberalism: Its History and Prospect, published by Wesleyan University Press in 1987, and wrote many articles and scholarly papers.

Professor Butler continued his scholarship well into retirement, devoting more than a decade to writing a major history on his home town of Cradock. This work addresses matters rarely discussed in historiographies of South Africa, including public health and environmental issues, all in the context of addressing deepening racial segregation and, ultimately, apartheid. Although Professor Butler suffered a stroke in 2001 and was unable to complete this project, it is now being readied for publication by his friends and colleagues.

Professor Butler is survived by Valerie, his wife of 60 years, and three children: Katherine “Katy,” Peter and Jonathan.
Donations in Professor Professor Butler’s memory may be made to Wesleyan University for the Professor Butler Prize in History. The family requests that they receive no phone calls at this time, but welcomes written correspondence sent to the Butler home at 296 Pine Street, Middletown, CT 06457.