UC MagazineUniversity of CincinnatiUC Magazine

UC Magazine

Obituaries from the University of Cincinnati

UC Magazine includes obituaries for particularly well-known alumni, faculty and staff from the University of Cincinnati. All will be missed.

Jump to particular years:
2014 | 2013  |  2012  |  2011  |  2010  |  2009  |  2008  |  2007  |  2006  |  2005-03  |  2002-1999


Linda Bates Parker

Alumna Linda Bates Parker

Linda Bates Parker, MA (A&S) '70, a diversity expert and longtime director of the University of Cincinnati Career Development Center, died of cancer Dec. 10, 2009, at age 66.

At UC, many students affectionately knew her as "Ma Parker." She mentored numerous students through Advance, a UC student organization that nurtures career and leadership development in minorities. She also established the Linda Bates Parker Scholarship to help those struggling to pay for college. A sought-after speaker on diversity issues, Parker taught a UC class on managing diversity in the workplace for nearly 20 years and was recognized as a Distinguished Teaching Fellow.

Her impact outside of campus was obvious, too. In 1977 she founded Black Career Women, a national organization that focuses on women’s needs in the workforce. An outgrowth of Black Career Women was the "Can We Talk?" diversity forum Parker created in 1997. Her influence also extended globally through Execucircle, an international professional development conference for African Americans that Parker co-founded and led for 14 years.


Roy Robert "Bob" Hornyak, former CCM professor and University of Cincinnati Band director from 1954-1970, passed away on Nov. 22, 2009. In 1954, he became the sixth director of the University of Cincinnati Band and soon initiated the famed charge down the stadium steps before football games.

In 1955, he established the Bearkittens Drill Team. Due to the increased scope of the activities of the band, 1955 also saw the name of the organization changed to the plural: the University of Cincinnati Bearcat Bands. The UC Band's first Band Camp convened in the fall of 1958. Later that same year, the band was featured on national television as they performed at Chicago's Wrigley Field for a Chicago Bears game. In 1959, the Bearcat Varsity Band joined the Concert Band and the Marching Band as one of the three basic units within the band organization.

Hornyak spent more than five decades working for UC, first as a faculty member and later as an active volunteer with various university groups, including the "Proudly Cincinnati" campaign, UC Band Alumni Association and Faculty Emeriti board.

Read the"UC Magazine" story about UC Band and Hornyak in April '04 issue.
Read the UC Band bio on Hornyak.


UC alum, faculty and former Cincinnati Enquirer reporter and columnist Jim Knippenberg, 63, died in November 2009. Knippenberg, A&S '68, MEd '71, spent 37 years at the Enquirer, where he served many different roles throughout his long career: copy boy (in the 1960s), general news reporter, music writer, entertainment writer, entertainment editor, assistant Enquirer Magazine editor, assistant features editor and gossip columnist.



Former University of Cincinnati men's basketball star Paul Hogue, who helped lead the program to back-to-back NCAA titles in 1961 and 1962, died Aug. 17, 2009, at the age of 69. A native of Knoxville, Tenn., Hogue, Ed '62, played center for the Bearcats under head coaches George Smith and Ed Jucker from 1959-62. Over that three-year stretch, UC posted a record of 84-7 and picked up three straight Missouri Valley Conference championships.

A two-time All-American, Hogue finished his career as the school's third-leading scorer and rebounder with 1,391 points and 1,088 boards. His point total remains 15th on the all-time career list, while his rebounds continue to be ranked third. The highlight of his Cincinnati career came during his senior campaign when he captained the Bearcats to their second NCAA national title and Hogue was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, scoring 58 points and grabbing 38 rebounds during the two games at the Final Four in Louisville.

After finishing his career at Cincinnati, Hogue was taken with the second overall selection in the 1962 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks. He went on to play three years in the NBA with the Knicks and the Baltimore Bullets, averaging 6.3 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. In September 2011, the city of Knoxville renamed Union Square Park, a lovely one-acre neighborhood park, with the name Paul Hogue Park because Hogue grew up in the surrounding neighborhood and played basketball in the park throughout his youth.


Bill Nester

William Nester, Ed ’50, MA (Ed) ’53, PhD (Ed) ’65, was former vice president at the University of Cincinnati and Ohio State University, and the first chancellor of the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He died July 1, 2009, in Anderson Township near Cincinnati at age 81.

The Cincinnati native grew up in Evanston and graduated from Walnut Hills High School. He held a bachelor's degree in education, a master's in counseling and guidance and a PhD in higher education administration from UC. As a student he was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and later served as its national president. He was also a member of Sigma Sigma, a service organization. In addition, Nester held honorary doctorates from Northern Kentucky University, the University of Nebraska at Kearney and UC. He received the William Howard Taft Medal for Notable Achievement, the highest honor given annually by the UC Alumni Association.

He had a 26-year career at UC, starting when he became director of the Student Union in 1952. He later served as dean of men, dean of students, and senior vice president for student and academic affairs. In 1976 he became a founding member and first president of the Metro Six Athletic Conference. He returned to Greater Cincinnati after retiring in 1993. Since then he worked in administration and fundraising at Northern Kentucky University and served on the UCATS board. In September 2008, UC named the newest section of its "Living and Learning" complex after Nester.


Arthur Herndon

Arthur Herndon in Hughes High School senior photo

Arthur Herndon, CCM '61, MM '81, the first African-American to receive a bachelor's degree in music from UC's College-Conservatory of Music, passed away in 2009 at age 76.

A native Cincinnatian, Herndon grew up in the West End. He attended the historical Harriet Beecher Stowe School in his early years and began his music career there. Herndon then received a vocal scholarship to study at Miami University, serving in the U.S. Army in Korea. He was honorably discharged and returned home to resume his music studies at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, where he also received a master's degree in choral conducting.

Besides teaching music at both the high school and college levels, Herndon was a vocal soloist with the Cincinnati Ballet Company and Orchestra under the direction of Carmen DeLeone. He served as a vocal instructor at CCM and was extensively involved in the Methodist Church and his community. Herndon also received a Fulbright Scholarship, performed solo recitals throughout Italy and furthered his music career at the Hochschule fur Musik in Berlin.


Mike Woods, the University of Cincinnati football team's first consensus All-American, died on May 28, 2009, in Cleveland at the age of 54.

Woods played for UC from 1975-77 and was UC's first consensus first-team All-American in 1977. He was voted the squad's MVP as a junior and led the Bearcats with 114 tackles as a senior. As a co-captain his senior year, he helped lead the Bearcats defense to a No. 11 ranking in the country. He transferred to Cincinnati in 1975 from the University of Tampa. He was inducted as a charter member of the Bearcats' Ring of Honor in Nippert Stadium in 2006.

Following the close of his senior season in 1977, he was selected to play in the Senior Bowl. Woods was drafted by the Baltimore Colts with the 52nd pick in the second round of the 1978 NFL Draft. He played three seasons for the Colts, playing in 48 games, starting 36. A promising NFL career was cut short in 1982 when Woods was paralyzed in a random shooting in Cleveland. He spent the next 27 years as a quadriplegic.

Woods was a native of Cleveland, Ohio, and a standout player at Benedictine High School. He was the first graduate of the school to earn All-America honors at the collegiate level.


One of the legends of the University of Cincinnati Department of Athletics, died Jan. 12, 2009, at the age of 81. Kelly, Ed '51, Med '65, was a member of the Bearcats family for the past 50 years, as a student-athlete, coach, administrator and fan. “The loss of Jim Sr. is a monumental one for the entire UC family,” director of athletics Mike Thomas said. “He was one of the giants in our program’s long history. We will miss his guidance and spirit. Our condolences go out to the entire Kelly family.”

Kelly starred as a receiver for the Bearcats from 1947-50, playing on two Sid Gillman-coached Mid-American Conference Championship teams in 1949 and 1950. Kelly was a two-time all-MAC selection in 1949 and 1950. He led the team in receiving during both championship seasons, grabbing 42 catches for 468 yards and two touchdowns in 1949, and making 29 catches for 455 yards and nine scores in 1950.

Kelly holds the distinction of having the first 100-yard receiving game in school history. He tallied 108 yards in a 14-7 loss at Kentucky on Oct. 29, 1949. He closed his career out in possession of eight school records. Kelly also played on the UC baseball team for several years under coach Hank Zureick. Following his graduation in 1951, he served a two-year stint in the U.S. Army Signal Corps as a supply sergeant.

He later served as an assistant coach for the football team from 1960-76. As a testament to his loyalty and coaching abilities, Kelly served under five different head coaches. As a receivers coach, he helped developed Tom Rossley and Jim O’Brien, the student-athletes who re-wrote the records Kelly had set as a player. From 1977 until his retirement in 1994, he worked as an assistant athletic director for operations and management.

“We’ve lost an icon at the University of Cincinnati,” head coach Brian Kelly said. “Jim Sr. was beloved by all of those in contact with him and he will always be remembered as a legend in our football program. Our hearts and prayers go out to the Kelly family.” The football team's annual Jim Kelly Award recognizes the UC player who each year exemplifies the winning attitude of the trophy's namesake. Past winners include Dustin Grutza, Lamonte Nelms, Mike Daniels, and Artrell Hawkins.

He was instrumental in the creation of UC’s athletics hall of fame, which is named after him, and the growth of the C-Club lettermen’s association. He also played major roles in planning and coordinating the construction of the Shoemaker Center and the renovation of Nippert Stadium.


Benny Kraut, former UC professor emeritus and chair of Judaic studies, died in September 2008. Kraut was at UC for 22 years and was instrumental in the founding and expansion of Judaic Studies from a program to a department in the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, helping students to create the Cincinnati Judaica Review.

Kraut retired from UC in the late '90s to teach at Queens College in Queens, NY, where he served as director of the Jewish studies program and center until 2006. Kraut is published widely in the fields of modern and American Jewish history and Judaism -- three books, more than three dozen scholarly essays and book chapters, and nearly 150 book reviews -- and is former book review editor of "American Jewish History."

A winner of prestigious grants and fellowships, Kraut was recognized with the Dolly Cohen Award for Teaching Excellence and the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching during his tenure at UC. Upon his retirement, the UC's board of trustees honored Kraut with the rank of professor emeritus of Judaic studies.

The former player and longtime head baseball coach at UC passed away in November 2008 at age 77. Sample, Ed '53, played baseball and football for UC, becoming an All-American linebacker in the '50s under Sid Gillman. After graduation, he coached UC's baseball team for 21 years, leading the Bearcats to four NCAA tournaments and two Missouri Valley Conference titles, earning more wins (391-333-7) than any other coach in the university's history.

Over his years with the university, Sample sent more than 50 UC players to the professional ranks. Alongside his baseball responsibilities, Sample also served as UC's wrestling coach and assistant athletics director during his tenure. Sample is a member of the University of Cincinnati Hall of Fame and his number (1) is one of two numbers retired by the UC baseball program. Sample also was a staple at Cincinnati Reds games, where he served as the official scorer for nearly 30 years in the Reds press box.

"This is a sad day for the university," head baseball coach Brian Cleary said. "I am so appreciative for the support that Coach Sample showed to me personally and for our team. He was so well thought of by so many, in particular his former players who I know will be especially saddened by his passing. I, and many others, will very much miss his presence at our games and our functions. I have not known a classier man or a better ambassador for UC."



The fascinating life of Werner Von Rosenstiel ended July 6, 2008. The 97-year-old one-time exchange student at UC (1935-36) was trained as a soldier in Adolf Hitler's army. He escaped to the United States to marry his first wife, Marion Ahrens, whom he met while studying in Cincinnati. Against German orders, Von Rosenstiel stayed in the states to pursue his legal education. When World War II began, however, he became an enemy alien of the U.S. After proving his loyalty to America, the young attorney was eventually drafted by the U.S. Army and (after a stint in the Foreign Legion) was sent back to Europe to help prosecute Nazi war criminals. Von Rosenstiel, who retired from both an American and German law firm, returned to UC in 2001 with his second wife, Anne, to donate his vast collection of historical materials, all of which are housed in the Von Rosenstiel Reading Room on the third floor of McMicken Hall.
Read UC Magazine feature article on Von Rosenstiel.


Former University of Cincinnati executive director of alumni affairs Chris Demakes, A&S '65, JD '65, died on March 19, 2008, at age 67 from complications of Parkinson's disease. Demakes led UC's Alumni Association from 1977-99 and worked at the university for 39 years.

Demakes wrote numerous grants and repeatedly visited Washington, D.C., seeking matching funds for new campus buildings. He worked with alumni and volunteers on both university and alumni fund-raising campaigns. He was director of development and alumni activities in the mid-1970s, when growth finally demanded the two areas be separated.

Among the improvements that Demakes spearheaded are two he considered especially significant: the formation of a new membership-dues alumni association and the building of the Myers Alumni Center. With dues came more financial stability, allowing new programs such as Alumni College and more visits from university leaders to alumni clubs across the country. Members also began receiving "UC Magazine."

Tributes poured in for Demakes when news of his retirement became known in the fall of 1999. For John Albachten, Bus '99, Demakes was a mentor, boss and friend. Albachten met Chris as a sophomore at UC, and would later work with him as assistant executive director for alumni affairs. "Chris was definitely 'Mr. Bearcat.' He epitomized UC."
Read UC Magazine story on Demakes.

Former dean Dolores Straker, 61, died Friday April 4, 2008, at her family home in Long Island, N.Y. From 2003-07, Straker served as dean of University of Cincinnati Raymond Walters College. Previously, she spent five years as the university associate dean for academic affairs for the City University of New York (CUNY) and served as the CUNY chancellor's designee on theboard of directors for the New York State Higher Education Services Corp. For more than 12 years, she was a board member of the Tri-State Consortium of Opportunity Programs in Higher Education representing CUNY and New York State. Straker also spent many years with York College, a branch of the CUNY system in Jamaica, N.Y.


Patricia Corbett's portrait

Patricia Corbett

Philanthropist Patricia Corbett died in her sleep Jan. 28, 2008. She and her husband, J. Ralph, who proceeded her in death, contributed millions of dollars and thousands of volunteer hours to support the arts in Greater Cincinnati, including the College-Conservatory of Music’s Corbett Center for the Performing Arts, which includes the Patricia Corbett Theater and the Corbett Auditorium.

The Corbetts founded the Corbett Foundation with part of the proceeds from the sale of NuTone, the door-chime company that Ralph founded in the 1930s. Over the years, the foundation funded Music Hall’s Corbett Opera Center and Corbett Tower, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s Corbett Education Endowment, Riverbend Music Center’s Pavilion, CET television programming, as well as a theater and string quartet-in-residence at Northern Kentucky University.

Upon her death, Patricia left a major portion of her estate for creating the Corbett Endowment at CCM to improve facilities, faculty, dance programming and community education programming. Other estate gifts will benefit the Jean Reis Endowment for Theater Design and Production, an endowment created by the Corbett Foundation in 1995; the J. Ralph Corbett Audio Production Center at CCM's Electronic Media Division; and the Robert Werner Recital Hall. The exact value of the gifts will not be known until expenses are calculated, but the advisors estimate it will exceed $30 million.


Ted Corbitt

Alumnus Ted Corbitt

Ultrarunning legend and 1952 Olympian Ted Corbitt, Ed '42, died in December 2007. The 87-year-old became an icon in the running world after completing nearly 200 marathons and ultramarathons. Corbitt was the first black U.S. marathoner in Olympic history by age 33. He became a 100-miler by 50 and ran 134.7 miles in 24 hours by age 54, an American record. Corbitt helped found the New York Road Runners club and was its first president. Corbitt graduated UC with a master's in physical education, pursuing a career as a physical therapist and went on to make a science of measuring road courses, publishing a book on the subject in 1964.
Read more

Joni Herschede, wearing one of her fashionable hats

Joni Herschede, wearing one of her fashionable hats

UC supporter Joan Herschede, HonDoc '04, better known as "Joni" and famous for wearing stylish hats, passed away in December 2007 at age 67 after having two strokes. She was a former UC Trustee, UC Foundation Trustee, member of the UCATS Board of Directors and charter member of the Charles McMicken Society. She had donated millions of dollars to UC, the alma mater of her late husband, Mark, and had also received numerous awards, including the 2005 UC College of Business Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award, the UC Award for Excellence and the National Society of Fundraising Executives Outstanding Volunteer Award.

She was former owner, with Mark, of Husman Snack Foods and, with other family members, of the National Underwriter Co. Joni had also been owner, president, secretary, CEO and director of the Frank Herschede Co., a downtown Cincinnati retailer of fine jewelry, china, silver and crystal. She ardently supported UC, the zoo, the ballet and children's clubs, both financially and through many volunteer efforts.


Paul Tibbets

Brig. Gen. Paul Tibbets. /U.S. Air Force photo

Paul Tibbets, who piloted the B-29 bomber Enola Gay when it dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, died in November 2007 at age 92. He had attended UC intending to study medicine, but enlisted as a cadet in the Army Air Corps in Fort Thomas, Ky. The pilot and commander of the 509th Group retired as a brigadier general, was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame and received the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, the Purple Heart, the Legion of Merit, the European Campaign Medal, the Joint Staff Commendation Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the WWII Victory Medal, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award and the American Campaign Medal.
Watch a video about the Enola Gay.


George Rieveschel

Developer of the first prescription antihistamine, George Rieveschl, A&S '37, MS (A&S) '39, PhD (A&S) '40, HonDoc '56, passed away in September 2007 at age 91. Before his death, the engineering professor emeritus and former UC vice president made one last gift to his alma mater -- a $1 million bequest, which brought his gifts for the year to a total of $2.85 million. Earlier in 2007, he and his wife, Ellen, had made a major contribution to the College of Medicine to create a professorship for diabetes genomics research.

Rieveschl had developed Benadryl while serving UC as a researcher and professor of chemical engineering. The drug went on the market in May 1946, and the patent expired in 1964. Today, it is found in dozens of allergy medicines and sleep aids under the name diphenhydramine hydrochloride. After Rieveschl left teaching, he became a senior vice president at Parke-Davis and a business consultant. In 1970, he returned to UC as vice president of research. A few years later, he became the founding chairman of the University Foundation Board of Trustees. When he retired, he was vice president of special projects for UC.

He was a member of the International Science and Engineering Hall of Fame, as well as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the New York Academy of Science. He actively supported the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, the College-Conservatory of Music and the College of Pharmacy. The Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce named him a Great Living Cincinnatian.


Arthur Darack, CCM '48, MFA (CCM) '50, a former Cincinnati Enquirer columnist, author, CCM adjunct professor and an influential figure in the Cincinnati arts world, died in June 2007 at the age of 89. Darack wrote for the Enquirer from 1952-67, was a program annotator for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, launched one of the country's first urban-arts and leisure publications outside of New York in the '60s (a monthly magazine called "Dimension: Cincinnati") and served at CCM from '60-67. He left Cincinnati to become the senior fine arts editor of Encyclopedia Britannica in Chicago, where he also freelanced with the Chicago Daily News, then the Chicago Tribune. He went on to become the managing editor of Consumers Digest Magazine, a syndicated columnist whose column“Buy Right” was carried in more than 100 newspapers, the author and publisher of a series of consumer how-to books and eventually the investments editor for the Hume MoneyLetter. He continued to write newsletter investment columns and was a successful day trader for the rest of his life.


While serving in the Army in Iraq, Spc. Michael Frank, Ed '98, died in May 2007 when the Humvee in which he was riding struck an explosive device. Frank, 36, was serving his second tour and his first Iraq deployment. He was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division out of Fort Bragg, N.C. He was buried in Cincinnati.


S. Ted Isaacs, Eng '36, Eve '45, an author and consulter, died in April 2007, three weeks after attending his beloved Xavier Classical Guitar and Piano Series, which he had so generously supported through the years. His love for both engineering and the arts is reflected in the fact that after earning his chemical engineering degree at UC, he returned a few years later to get an associate degree in liberal arts through Evening College. "I got a liberal arts background, which a lot of engineers should have and don't," he once remarked. In 2002, Isaacs sponsored the establishment of the S. Ted Isaacs Prize Paper competition at UC. The annual contest encourages engineering students to become well-rounded engineers by honing their writing skills. Isaacs sponsored the annual contest to reinforce the values and standards that he had upheld throughout his 90 plus years.


Well-known sculptor and fine arts professor emerita Pat Renick died in May 2007 from complications following leg surgery. She was on UC faculty from 1984 until her retirement in 2001. Among her most famous works were large-scale sculptures made from a VW Beetle and a U.S. Army helicopter, titled respectively, “Stegowagenvolksaurus” and “Triceracopter: The Hope for the Obsolescence of War.” Her works had been shown at the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Contemporary Arts Center. UC gave her an Award for Excellence at the International Sculpture Center Gala in 2003.
See photos of her ''Triceracopter.''


Jed Small

Former UCAA director Jed Small

One of the university's staunchest supporters died in February 2007. John "Jed" Small, Bus '40, passed away at age 89. Small had been the Alumni Association's director from '49-70 and created the alumni travel program and the UC Day Banquet. He then served as assistant to the president under Warren Bennis, Henry Winkler and Joseph Steger. He retired in 1987, but remained active through the men's honorary Sigma Sigma. Back in 1946, he had co-founded the annual Sigma Sigma Carnival, and in '92, he chaired the organization's centennial celebration.
View video created to honor him in 2006.


Brian Rowe, HonDoc '87, former CEO of GE Aviation and UC supporter, died in February 2007 at age 76 in Philadelphia. Rowe's name is familiar in the College of Engineering, where he established the Brian Rowe Center for Women in Engineering. In his field, he is renowned for playing a key role in the development of the world's most powerful engine, GE90, which is used on Boeing's 777. France awarded him its highest civilian honor, the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, in '85 for his work with the CFM56 engine, the most-produced jet engine in commercial aviation. Rowe had also launched several other jet engines, including the CF34, the CF6-80C2 and the F110 fighter engine. In 2005, his autobiography, "The Power To Fly: An Engineer's Life," was published. Although Rowe retired as chairman of GE Aviation in 1995, he had maintained an office at the Evendale, Ohio, plant. Read more.


Julie Benken

Julie Benken

Well-known Bearcat band member, Julie Benken, A&S ’96, died of cancer in January 2007 at the age of 33. As a student, she had been a drum major for the Bearcat Band, then volunteered with the band after graduation before joining the unit as a staff member seven years ago. “Julie was one of the most enthusiastic supporters of the band,” says band director Terren Frenz. “She really did breathe red and black Bearcat Band. We should all be blessed with such strong passion for something.”

Her parents, Robert and B.J. Benken, are establishing a memorial fund for a UC band scholarship in Julie's name. Donations may be directed to the Julie Benken Memorial Drum Major Scholarship Fund of the UC Bearcat Marching Band, UC Foundation, P.O. Box 19970, Cincinnati, OH 45219.


Daily, Jerry Berns, A&S '29, HonDoc '62, greeted the rich and famous of New York City as owner of Manhattan's famed "21" Club. He died on Dec. 21, 2006, at age 99. Berns had first worked as a drama critic at the Cincinnati Enquirer before leaving in '30 to join the "21," as it came to be called and which his brother, Charlie, had opened nine years earlier. By the time the family sold the business in '85 for a reported $21 million, "New York's favorite club" was a landmark, which had been frequented by Cary Grant, Aristotle Onassis, Ernest Hemingway, Frank Sinatra and Humphrey Bogart, who proposed to Lauren Bacall there.

Berns also had a notable impact on his alma mater as a founding trustee for the University Foundation, a regional vice president for the Alumni Association and chairman of the New York alumni chapter. A New York Scholarship Fund was also established in his honor.

Originally born Herman Jerome Bernfeld to Polish emigrants, Jerry is survived by his wife, Dorothy, whom he married in 2005. He previously outlived a daughter and two wives -- Martha to whom he had been married for 45 years and Suzanne to whom he had been married for 13 years.

For nearly five decades, Berns was the first man to greet patrons of the "21" after they checked their coats. Furthermore, every president from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Jimmy Carter had been a guest there.

Henry Meyer, a Holocaust survivor, violin prodigy, CCM professor and founding member of CCM's world-famous LaSalle Quartet, died in December 2006 at age 83. Born in Germany, Meyer was a child prodigy, who performed as soloist with the Kulturbund Orchestra at age 14. Five years later, he was shipped to Auschwitz. In the end, he survived four Nazi death camps and played in an orchestra with other prisoners.  It was a bizarre situation in which the orchestra played when prisoners went to and from their work. It was also a scary situation when trying to meet every whim and cruel joke of the SS guard watching performances and using the musicians for private parties.

In 1993, the beloved CCM instructor received the A.B. "Dolly" Cohen Award for Excellence in Teaching, based upon nominations by students and alumni. He was also the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the American Classical Music Hall of Fame, and the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education established a fund in his honor: the Henry Meyer Music and the Holocaust Project. He had been living in a nursing home, confined to a wheelchair, for the last few years of his life, a result of a hit-and-skip driver who critically injured him as he was leaving a Music Hall concert. (Read more about Henry Meyer.)

Professor emeritus Frank Etges passed away in December 2006 at the age of 82. After 42 years as a biology professor in the College of Arts and Science, he had retired in 1995 after 42 years of service. His scholarly activity had been recognized by his appointment as a Fellow of the UC Graduate School, and while serving in the Army during WWII, he received the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart, among other medals.

Robert Schmitt, A&S '44, MA (A&S) '47, commonly considered "Hawaii's Human Encyclopedia," passed away at age 84 in November 2006. Schmitt gained his reputation as one of Hawaii's most noted historians by collecting endless quantities of data as the state statistician. Appointed in 1963 and serving until his retirement in '92, Schmitt was the only person to ever hold that title. For more than 30 years, he collected statistics on politics, population, economy and sociology to publish the annual "Hawaii Data Book." In 1985, he wrote "Historical Statistics of Hawaii," and he continued to publish the data book, now available online, long after his retirement. An author of more than 200 articles and five books, he is also recognized for developing a method of estimating population, one that the U.S. Census Bureau still uses to track population.

Professor emeritus William Licht, Eng '37, MS (Eng) '39, PhD (Eng) '50, died in November 2006 at the age of 91. He had been a chemical engineering faculty member for 48 years, serving as its department head from 1952-67. In '86, he received the college's Distinguished Alumni Award, and recently, Dow Chemical dedicated a laboratory at UC to honor him. He had been the company's first co-op student in Midland, Mich., in the '30s. As a UC professor, Licht wrote a book on air pollution control, considered a fundamental textbook and one that is still used today. He was also involved with the city's air pollution control board and with forming an academic program in air pollution control at UC.

A former UC professor said to have a "great mind and an even greater heart" died Oct. 26, 2006. Daniel Richfield, MD '43, won UC's Award for Excellence in 1989 as clinical professor of pathology and dermatology. Richfield, who used his medical training at UC to earn a Bronze Star as a battalion surgeon and Army captain in World War II, became a pioneer in the field of dermatopathology. He founded the Richfield Laboratory of Dermatopathology in Cincinnati, where he worked until he retired at age 78. Richfield, a lover of art, music and tending to his orchids, spent the last several years living by the ocean in Maine with his wife Shirley. The two were married 65 years.


Richard Blinder

Dick Blinder, DAAP ’59, a champion of historic preservation, died unexpectedly on Sept. 7, 2006, at the age of 71, while working in Shanghai. A founding partner of Beyer Blinder Belle, he was best known for his cultural and performing arts projects, including the renovation of the Grand Central Station terminal in New York City, Ellis Island, the Ford Center for the Performing Arts on Broadway (which he created by merging two historic theaters into one), the Rubin Museum of Art, the Japan Society and the Hilton Theatre. Partner John Belle said Blinder’s work was inspired by social concern, service to the performing and cultural arts, and his interest in Asian culture.

Active in community and nonprofit organizations, Blinder founded the James Marston Fitch Charitable Trust, which gives grants in historic preservation, and helped found the Seventh Regiment Armory Conservancy, dedicated to preserving New York's armory and adapting it for performing and visual arts. He was also a trustee of the Century Theater Foundation, an off-Broadway Theater complex that produces classic and contemporary theater. (Read the UC Magazine story about his project.)


William Dember

William Dember

Considered a brilliant yet humble man, William Dember, professor emeritus of psychology and former department head, passed away in September 2006 at the age of 78.  During his 47 years on UC's faculty, he supervised more than 63 master’s theses and 100 doctoral dissertations. His reputation, however, extends to an internatioinal level. A Google search for his name brings up 20,000 hits, including his groundbreaking text "Psychology of Perception," his research on the effect of peppermint oil on mental accuracy and his studies of as optimism and pessimism. Professor Joel Warm, a colleague since the 1960s, called Dember “the greatest psychologist I have been privileged to know.”

At age 66, Paul Nohr, astronomer with the Cincinnati Observatory Center and UC instructor, died suddenly in June 2006 of a rare kidney sarcoma. He was known for providing technical support for UC's astronomy lab and had served as the observatory's coordinator from 1979-99, managing daily operations, maintaining equipment, writing software, giving tours and lecturing. He also had restored the observatory's two historic refracting telescopes, originally built in 1842 and 1904, and his comet photographs, shot through the telescopes, have been used by NASA.


Richard Vilter

Richard Vilter

Richard Vilter, 95, UC professor emeritus of medicine and former president of the American College of Physicians, died in August 2006. Internationally known for his work in nutrition and diseases of the blood, Vilter founded the College of Medicine's hematology division in 1946, a time when few of its kind existed in the U.S. He headed the division until '56 when he became chairman of the department of internal medicine, a position he held until '78.

Highly honored, Vilter was one of the first recipients of the college's Daniel Drake Medal; was named the Physician of the Year by the National Foundation March of Dimes; was recognized for outstanding contributions in nutrition by the American Medical Association; and was named a "Great Living Cincinnatian" by the city.

"Dr. Vilter was a remarkable scientist, physician, teacher, leader, and humanitarian. His death is a great loss for the department," says Bradley Brittigan, UC's internal medicine department chair.


Jonathan Riess, professor of art history and former director of the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning's School of Art, died in the summer of 2006. He was considered an expert on 15th century Italian art and was most recently the director of graduate studies at DAAP.


Gustav Carlson, professor emeritus and former head of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, died in June 2006 at age 96. Easily remembered for his Swedish accent, he taught at UC from 1936-80. During World War II, he served as chief of the intelligence section at the Office of War Information in Kunming, China.


Al Salvato, 56, media adviser for the UC student newspaper, the News Record, died in February 2006 of complications from leukemia. A teacher at both UC and Northern Kentucky University, Salvato was also a reporter and copy editor for the Kentucky and Cincinnati Post newspapers, a stringer for the New York Times and an adviser for the UC chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. At one time, he had been a runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize.

In a tribute to him, News Record editor-in-chief Julie Hollyday wrote: “Al's door was always open, and he was always ready to listen. Being an educator was his passion, and I believe he felt that he had found the perfect place to cultivate young minds to be passionate and ethical journalists. He cultivated us to be passionate people as well.”



While attending UC in the 1940s, Frederic Watson was drafted by the Army. He was later accepted into the Negro Pilot Training Program at the Tuskegee Institute where he remained until the war ended. Upon returning to Cincinnati, he worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 32 years and finished his UC degree in 1964, when he received an award for having the highest GPA of married male evening college graduates. Frederick died in November 2005 at the age of 85.

Psychology professor Hal Fishbein, 67, who was a primary source in the UC Magazine's story "Are Moral Values Slipping in America?" passed away in October 2005, only a few months after publication. The McMicken College of  Arts and Sciences published a memorial to him.


Aaron Levine, HonDoc '96, the indefatigable cofounder of the University of Cincinnati’s popular Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR), died in June 2004. Aaron Levine was 85. Levine received an honorary doctor of humanities degree from UC in 1996 in appreciation for his ILR efforts. He was also elected to the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame.

A Harvard graduate, Levine attended German language classes at UC after retiring in 1982 as director of operations research for Federated Department Stores. While he enjoyed learning alongside youthful students, he thought it might be interesting to share classes with peers who had similar life experiences. After visiting an elder-studies program at Harvard, Levine decided UC needed one, too.

Working with the late Jean Eggers of the College of Evening and Continuing Education in 1990, Levine designed curriculum and recruited moderators for what became the first ILR program in Ohio. Thousands of 55-plus students were drawn to the eclectic mix of noncredit fare and asked for more.

Professor and assistant department head of the UC Department of Biological Sciences, Kane was a naturalist who loved the wilderness, an evolutionary biologist who could quote Darwin, a widely respected colleague and a gifted teacher. Thomas Kane died unexpectedly in June 2004. He was 59.

In his quiet, intelligent way, Kane and his colleagues did extensive studies of cave organisms in Romania, following up by coauthoring “Adaptation and Natural Selection in Caves” for Harvard Press. The work received critical acclaim for its clarity in explaining the role of natural selection and adaptation in evolution. Gifted with wisdom, grace and humor, the professor shared his scientific method with graduate students. He counseled them to approach each study by considering not only the narrow question at hand, but the more complex, theoretical implications. A research endowment has been established at UC in the professor’s name: Thomas Kane Memorial, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati OH 45221-0006.



Thurman Owens

Former Bearcat football captain and UC administrator, Thurman Owens, Ed '50, died in February '04 at age 78, following a career as a teacher, coach, Marine Corps brigadier general, UC Foundation director and executive director of the UC president's office.

Owens first came to the university on a football scholarship, after serving with the Marines at the end of World War II. The new graduate taught and coached in Indiana before being recalled to active duty during the Korean War. He remained in the Marines for the next 23 years, serving in China, Japan, Vietnam and Korea. Recipient of a Bronze Star, Legion of Merit Medal and other honors, he retired in the '70s as deputy chief of staff for programs at the Marine Corps headquarters.

He joined the University of Cincinnati Foundation in '78, was inducted into the UC Athletic Hall of Fame in '87 and retired from the president's office in '91, although he remained a familiar face on campus, particularly through Sigma Sigma activities. He was especially involved in the funding and construction of Sigma Sigma Commons in '98.


Internationally known pianist William Black, UC professor and department head of Keyboard Studies, a College-Conservatory of Music faculty member for more than 16 years, died in December 2003. He was 51.

An alumnus of the Juilliard School of Music and the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, the Dallas native performed concerto, solo and chamber concerts in venues around the world, including the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Recital Hall and Lincoln Center. A recording artist as well, Black made a memorable album with the Iceland Symphony in 1991, playing the historic original version of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s 4th Piano Concerto.

CCM has created the William Black Memorial Prize in Piano -- a scholarship to support undergraduate piano study -- to honor the professor’s memory. The only program of its kind in U.S. music schools and conservatories, it awarded the $5,000 prize to the first two recipients in June. CCM Dean Douglas Lowry called the memorial “a touching reminder of the powerful and lasting impact that Bill had on his students, colleagues and the world of music. He was a superb teacher and artist, and a warm, genuine, intelligent and witty human being.”


Jack Watson

Jack Watson

Dean Jack Watson, CCM '30, HonDoc '58, dean emeritus, professor emeritus returned 33 years after he was graduated to lead the College-Conservatory of Music through a difficult time (1963-74). He died during the summer of 2003 in Florida at 94.

While dean, Watson found funding for new scholarships, facilities and projects; hired talented new faculty; shook up existing members by introducing new ideas; and found ways to recruit exceptional students, such as Kathleen Battle and Barbara Daniels. Current Dean Douglas Lowry called Watson "the founder of the modern-day CCM." "His vast background in radio, television, music education, vocal performance and management were all called into action as Jack brought the college into national prominence," Lowry observed.

Music education was Watson's overriding passion, but he funded his postgraduate studies through his talents as a commercial radio singer, contract motion picture actor (screen tested for the Rhett Butler role in "Gone With The Wind"), singer with the Harry James and Andre Kostelanetz orchestras and on radio shows hosted by Kate Smith, Burns and Allen and Bob Hope.

Sid Gillman

Sid Gillman

Indeed the football world lost one of the greatest football minds in the history of the sport when hall of fame coach Sid Gillman passed away in January 2003. For the University of Cincinnati, however, the loss was a bit more personal. His six seasons as head coach (1949-54) of the Bearcats mark the most successful period for football in UC history. During his tenure, the Bearcats were 50-13-1, played in four conference-title games and two bowl games.

"This is not only a great loss for the University of Cincinnati and our football program, but for the sport of football as a whole," former UC head football coach Rick Minter said. "He was a true pioneer of the game, developing innovations that were decades ahead of his time."

Gillman left UC in 1955 for the head coaching position with the Los Angeles Rams. He coached both the Rams and the Chargers off and on through 1971 and eventually won a Super Bowl ring in 1980 while serving as quarterbacks coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. Many consider Gillman the father of the West Coast offense for his early development of a passing scheme that spread the field and gave quarterbacks more options to throw the ball.

Gillman is also known as one of the first to break up game films to analyze a team's approach to on-field situations, a revolutionary tactic in those days. UC's enormous library of old game films is a testament to Gillman's success and innovation -- the same characteristics that landed him in both the College and National Football League halls of fame. Read article about Gillman.


Doris Twitchell Allen, a pioneering child psychologist and professor emerita, died in April 2002. She was 100. Allen, associate professor of clinical psychology, retired in 1962. She developed the Twitchell-Allen Three-Dimensional Personality Test in 1948 and was an early advocate of psychodrama, which encourages patients to act out their conflicts. She founded psychological services at Cincinnati's Children's Hospital in 1936 and years later founded Children's International Summer Village, a month-long camp that unites more than 150,000 children from 100 countries to promote international understanding. Her career included a nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and the Freedom Medal in 1999.



Ed Jucker, Ed '40, legendary coach of the '61 and '62 national championship UC basketball teams, died in February 2002. The South Carolina resident was 85. Jucker returned to UC in 2000 to be honored by the athletic department for his contributions to UC baseball, which he coached for seven years beginning in 1954. Sandy Koufax was among the players who attended the weekend of events to honor their former coach. Jucker's name remains in the record books as the college basketball coach with the highest winning percentage in the NCAA Tournament (.917).

Link: See video and read about UC's championship teams led by Jucker.


Jorge Carro, a former dean at the UC College of Law, died in January 2002. Carro, 77, an immigrant from Cuba, came to UC in 1976 as head law librarian and associate professor. Two years later he was promoted to acting dean. Carro was also former chairman of the ethics committee of the Cincinnati Bar Association.



Albert Hague, CCM '42, Tony Award-winning composer, died in November 2001 at the age of 81. He composed the music for "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" in 1966. Hague's Broadway breakthrough came in 1955 with "Plain and Fancy." His "Redhead" won nine Tonys in 1959. Hague appeared in several movies throughout his career, including a role as Professor Shorofsky in "Fame," the 1980 film and popular TV series. (See story about Albert getting the Grinch job.)



Stan Matlock, BusAd '47, a familiar voice to many Cincinnatians for decades, died in September 2001. Matlock's "Magazine of the Air" radio programs played on several Cincinnati stations throughout his broadcasting career, and at one time in the '60s the storyteller drew a 50 share (half of all listeners). As early as 1951, he was beginning to be called the "Ratings King." The Melbourne, Fla., resident was 78.


Lou Osinske, the former director of educational services at UC, died in September 2001. Osinske had a distinguished 30-year career with UC. Her family has established a scholarship fund in her memory.

As president of the Gibson Guitar Co. in the '50s and '60s, Theodore McCarty, Eng '33, helped develop the instrument that forever changed the music industry -- the electric guitar. He died in April 2001 at the age of 91. Under McCarty, Gibson produced the Les Paul, the Flying V and the Firebird -- now classic designs played by guitar greats like Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, BB King and Jimmy Hendrix. In the '90s, McCarty worked as a consultant to the Paul Reed Smith company, which paid him the ultimate compliment by naming a guitar after him, an honor usually reserved only for high-profile musicians. Read feature story on McCarty.


Leo Hollister, A&S '41, MD '43, a pioneer in the field of psychopharmacology, died in December 2000. His research in the '50s played a role in the development and acceptance of drugs for treating mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. Hollister also became known for his study of LSD and marijuana.

Ted Berry in the late 1990s

Alumnus Ted Berry in the late 1990s

National civil rights leader Ted Berry, A&S '28, Law '31, died in October 2000, three weeks short of his 95th birthday. Born in rural Kentucky, Ted graduated from Woodward High School as Cincinnati's first black valedictorian, then earned his UC degrees while working at the Newport steel mill. After graduation, Berry was hired as Hamilton County's first black assistant prosecuting attorney, then went on to become a civil-rights attorney for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Later President Franklin D. Roosevelt named him morale officer for the Office of War Information, and President Lyndon Johnson appointed him head of Community Action Programs, which included Head Start, Jobs Corps and Legal Services. Back in Cincinnati, he served on the Ohio Committee for Civil Rights Legislation and created Cincinnati's first Community Action Commission, before becoming the city's first black mayor in December ’72. After his death, Cincinnati City Council named three projects in his honor: Theodore Berry Head Start Children and Family Learning Center, the Theodore Berry International Park on Eastern Avenue and Theodore Berry Way, a street near the riverfront. (Read UC Magazine feature on him.)


For nearly 30 years, UC students had been grabbing a bite to eat at Mr. Jim's restaurant in Tangeman University Center when Mr. Jim's founder, James Laverty, 70, passed away in May 2000. Students and alumni may remember him as the "guy with the bow tie." In the last few years, Laverty occasionally still worked in the restaurant that he opened at UC in 1971.


Nominated for five Academy Awards and three Golden Globes, George Duning, CCM '33, was a famed musician and film composer. After graduation from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music (one of CCM's predecessor schools), he played trumpet and piano for the Kay Kyser band, later arranging most of the music and serving as musical director for Kyser's popular Kollege of Musical Knowledge radio program for 11 years.

In 1942, Duning joined the Navy, serving as a conductor and arranger with Armed Forces Radio. Afterward,  he signed with Columbia Pictures, where he worked almost exclusively through the early 1960s.

During his career, Duning worked on more than 300 film and television scores. His notable television series include "Star Trek" and "The Big Valley." One of his most popular movie projects was the 1957 film adaptation of the Rodgers and Hart play "Pal Joey," starring Frank Sinatra and Rita Hayworth, for which he shared music adaptation credit with Nelson Riddle. Other popular film scores include "Picnic," "The World of Suzie Wong" and "Bell, Book, and Candle."

Although he never won and Oscar or Golden Globe, he was honored with awards from the Society for the Preservation of Film Music and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Unfortunately, he had two brothers who were both deaf and could never appreciate his work. On Feb. 27, 2000, he died two days after his 92nd birthday.

Links: See his movie credits, his TV credits, his bio on the musicians page and his website.


Al Hirt, CCM '41, HonDoc. '68, legendary Dixieland trumpeter, died in April 1999 of liver failure at age 76. A native of New Orleans, Hirt first came to Cincinnati in 1940 to study classical music at the Conservatory of Music, now UC's CCM. By the 1960s, when he was being heralded as "King of the Trumpet," Hirt returned to the university for a special concert at Corbett Center, which included a performance of a composition honoring one of his former teachers. A virtuoso jazzman for five decades, Hirt impressed listeners with both the power of his delivery and his spectacular technique. He made more than 50 albums, won a Grammy for a non-jazz instrumental, was nominated for 20 more, gained popularity as both a TV guest and host, toured with dance bands and played concerts in a variety of musical styles -- from blues and jazz to classical Hayden and Hande

Jump to particular years:

2013  |  2012  |  2011  |  2010  |  2009  |  2008  |  2007  |  2006  |  2005-03  |  2002-1999