Tag Archive for obit

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 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.

Professor Emeritus Norman Rudich Dies at 85

Norman Rudich, professor of letters and of romance languages and literatures emeritus, died Dec. 20, 2007 at home in New York City. He was 85 years old.

Professor Rudich joined the Wesleyan faculty in 1952 and served with distinction until his retirement in 1991. He earned his Ph.D. in French from Princeton University and did graduate work at the Sorbonne. Rudich was an accomplished scholar who edited two notable books, Premiers Oeuvres (with J. Varloot) and Weapons of Criticism, and published numerous articles, essays, and reviews.

Rudich was one of the founding members of Wesleyan’s College of Letters. His former colleague Paul Schwaber notes that “Norman was a master teacher, a brilliant dialectician, a committed Marxist, and an engaging and stimulating colleague.”

He is survived by his son Steven Rudich, his daughter Suzy Rudich, and four grandchildren. Memorial plans are pending. Donations in Professor Rudich’s memory may be made to The Lighthouse International.

Daniel Stern Dies at Age of 79

Daniel Stern, former fellow in the Wesleyan Center for the Humanities, the Boynton Visiting Professor in Creative Writing in the College of Letters and a visiting professor in Letters and English, died on Jan. 24 at the age of 79. He was living in Houston, Texas.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Stern had taught in the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program, where he was a Cullen Distinguished Professor of English since 1992.

Wesleyan Professor of Letters Paul Schwaber has shared the following tribute to Professor Stern, which he wrote in 1991 when Stern was given the Cullen Professorship at the University of Houston:

“You already know of his extraordinary literary talent and productivity, that he broods on the moral catastrophes of the century and how they have been and may be rendered in art. He is a novelist, essayist, and dramatist of consistent and genuine accomplishment, and his commitment to the art and hard work of writing is inspirational. He is also a wonderful teacher–for he brings to bear in especially vital ways his loyalty to craft, his insider’s view of the literary world, his fascination with persons, his love of music, and his broad, lively experience in business. He talks easily with student and evokes from them a pitch of pleasure in words and a moral seriousness they may not have sensed in themselves. Very successful with lecture courses, seminars, and writing workshops, Dan is witty, kind, full of information, a superb anecdotalist, a splendid responsible, warm, and delightful colleague. He is also a fine listener. As you may imagine, I wish I could offer him a job here. Your students will be lucky indeed to be taught by him, to be inspired and encouraged by his presence.”

Stern grew up on New York City’s Lower East Side and began playing cello as a child. At 17 he skipped his high school graduation to go on the road behind jazzman Charlie Parker. He spent a year playing with the Indianapolis Symphony, during which time he began writing stories. Although he studied at various institutions, including Columbia University and the Juilliard School, he never earned a college degree.

In 1953 he published The Girl With the Glass Heart, the first of his nine novels. His most important novels include Who Shall Live, Who Shall Die? (1963), an early contribution to literature of the Holocaust, and After the War (1965), which focuses on postwar experimentation by young people trying to make up for lost time.

Stern held high-profile day jobs to support his writing habit. In 1963, he married Gloria Branfman and went to work in advertising, eventually becoming senior vice president of the McCann-Erickson agency. In 1969 he joined Warner Bros. as the studio’s vice president for advertising and publicity worldwide.

When Stern taught at Wesleyan he inaugurated the annual Philip Hallie lecture at the College of Letters. He worked at CBS before joining the University of Houston, where he succeeded Donald Barthelme in the prestigious Cullen professorship.

The late 1980s marked a watershed in Stern’s writing. He published Twice Told Tales, stories organized in a fresh, imaginative way. Stern took famous works like Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivener or Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams and wove their themes into a new context. A second volume of twice-told tales, Twice Upon a Time, came out in 1992.

Stern numbered among his friends literary heavyweights such as Elie Wiesel, Joseph Heller, Frank Kermode, and Bernard Malamud. In a 2006 festschrift devoted to Stern and his work, Wiesel wrote, “To spend an evening with him without laughing is quite simply impossible.”

Stern is survived by his wife, Gloria Stern; son and daughter-in-law Eric and Beverly Branfman; and grandchildren Melissa and Joshua Branfman.

Burial was in Sag Harbor, N.Y. Obit information adapted from the Houston Chronicle.