Obituaries — September 2023

September 2023

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Obituaries — September 2023


Jean-Marie Apostolidès, of Stanford, March 22, at 79, of cancer. He was a professor emeritus in the departments of French and Italian and theater and performance studies. Enamored with theater throughout his life, he later studied psychology and sociology and drew on his knowledge of literature and anthropology in his research. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1987. A colleague descrèibed two of his books, The Machine King and The Sacrificed Prince, as “field-defining works” in early modern French studies. He wrote about Cyrano de Bergerac, Tintin, the cultures of heroism and victimization, and Ted Kaczynski. He wrote plays, essays, and works of fiction, and directed theater productions and short films. Survivors: his wife, Danielle Trudeau; and son, Pierre.

Robert James Madix, of Palo Alto, May 25, at 84, of ALS. He was a professor of chemical engineering and chemistry at Stanford and, later, at Harvard, who sought to understand the fundamental science of catalysts. He developed a new experimental technique known as temperature programmed reaction spectroscopy (TPRS), a transformative tool for interrogating surface reactivity. He received numerous honors and awards, including a Ford Foundation Fellowship at Stanford, was named chair of the chemical engineering department, and elected to the National Academy of Engineering. He was a standout baseball player as an undergraduate and a lifelong guitar player who formed a band with several Stanford friends. Survivors: his wife of 36 years, Cynthia Friend; children, Bradley, David, Evan, and Kaella; stepdaughter, Ayse Gurdal-Friend; four grandchildren; great-granddaughter; and sister.

Marshall S. “Mike” Smith, of Palo Alto, May 1, at 85, of cancer. He was a former dean at the Graduate School of Education. He held influential roles in education policy during four presidential administrations, serving, for example, as acting deputy secretary of the Department of Education under President Clinton. At Stanford, he championed efforts to increase faculty diversity and was credited with developing the concept of standards-based education reform. From 2001 to 2009 he was the director of education programs at the Hewlett Foundation. In 2019 he co-wrote Opportunity for All: A Framework for Quality and Equality in Education. Survivors: his wife of 59 years, Nicki, MA ’93; children, Adam, Jennifer, Matthew, and Megan; six grandchildren; great-grandchild; and sister.

Stanley G. Wojcicki, of Stanford, May 31, at 86. He was an experimental particle physicist, professor, and former chair of the physics department. His early research on kaons (particles made of two quarks) helped consolidate scientists’ understanding of the Standard Model of elementary particles. After stints at CERN in Geneva and working on the Superconducting Supercollider, he devoted his career to neutrinos. The experiment he led, MINOS, helped verify the phenomenon of neutrino oscillations, revealing that neutrinos have a finite mass. He was a disciplined athlete who ran for miles every morning into his 80s. Survivors: his wife, Esther Hochman; daughters, Susan, Janet, ’91, and Anne; and 10 grandchildren, including Janina Troper, ’25.


Patricia E. Bouchard Sprigg, ’43 (political science), of Lake Oswego, Ore., March 24, 2019, at 96, after a fall. She was a member of Ram’s Head Theatrical Society. She served in the Navy during World War II, graduating first in aerographers’ school. She later moved to New York to perform on Broadway and in summer stock. She was a story analyst and writer, working for MGM, 20th Century Fox, and other studios. Prior to Ronald Reagan’s governorship and presidency, she wrote a speech for him that now resides at Reagan’s Presidential Library. After moving to Oregon at age 64, she volunteered at a high school newspaper and played bridge and golf, getting two holes-in-one at ages 70 and 80. Survivors: her daughter, Emily Iverson; five grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

Ruth Imlay Botsford Heller, ’49 (English), of San Rafael, Calif., February 28, at 94. She contributed to the Stanford Daily. After graduating, she worked as an assistant to author Wallace Stegner, who crafted one of his characters in her likeness. She helped start Tall Pines, a cooperative nursery school in the Sierra foothills, and was a founding member of the Ploughshares Fund, an organization committed to the elimination of nuclear weapons. She gave time and energy to organizations like UNICEF, Harmony Fund, and Ritter Center, where she volunteered for 16 years helping homeless residents. She was predeceased by her husband, Alf, ’50. Survivors: her daughters, Miranda, Katherine, Anne Heller Anderson, and Janet Heller Harckham; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.


Dorothy “DG” Gifford Bancroft-Gowin, ’50, MA ’52 (English), of Ithaca, N.Y., April 1, at 93. After moving to Ithaca in 1961, she worked at the Corner Book Store and later created the children’s books department at Logos Bookstore. She started nursing school at age 55 and was a public health nurse until she retired. She traveled the world with Road Scholar and did a Semester at Sea. Her interests included Greek mythology, Scottish and English country dancing, drawing with oil pastels, teaching ESL classes, Shared Journeys community groups, and her Episcopal Family Ministries women’s group. She was predeceased by her ex-husband, D. Bob Gowin, MA ’52. Survivors: her children, Sarah Gowin, Robin Gowin, ’80, and John Gowin, and their families.

James Edward “Jay” Niblo, ’50 (economics), of Pasadena, Calif., December 12, at 94. He was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and the rowing team. He earned an MBA from USC and worked for Crowell, Weedon & Co. He was a devoted family man, raising his two daughters after his first wife passed away. He loved backpacking, barbecuing, and reading in the great outdoors. He was a lay reader and member of the vestry at Church of Our Saviour in San Gabriel. He belonged to, among many others, the Pasadena Rotary Club and Pasadena Bond Club. He was predeceased by his first wife, Albertina Rodi, ’61. Survivors: his wife, Jessica (Seiter, ’61); daughters, Albertina and Anne-Elizabeth; and six grandchildren.

Charlotte Lucille Ellis Thompson, ’50 (biological sciences), MD ’54, of La Jolla, Calif., May 27, at 94. She was a pediatrician, author, and teacher. After graduation, she ran a clinic for disabled children, the start of a lifelong commitment to helping children with neuromuscular disorders. While raising her children, she opened a pediatric practice in La Jolla. Later, in San Francisco, she opened the Center for Handicapped Children. She wrote 10 books and taught UCSD medical students well into her 80s.

Polly Hoover Taylor, ’52 (sociology), of San Mateo, Calif., March 8, at 91. She contributed to the Stanford Daily. In 1955, she co-founded the Coyote Point Museum for Environmental Education in San Mateo, serving as a docent and fund-raiser there for 60 years and empowering children and parents to become environmental activists. To raise money for the museum now called CuriOdyssey, she pioneered several “Decorator Show Houses,” a model benefiting charities across the country. She was predeceased by her husband of 62 years, Ted, ’51; and son, Denny. Survivors: her daughter, Kathryn, JD ’86, MBA ’86; four grandchildren, including Samuel Steyer, MS ’15; and two great-grandchildren.

Philip M. Jelley, ’54 (undergraduate law), JD ’56, of Oakland, April 5, at 91. He was a certified specialist in tax law and represented many corporate clients and nonprofit organizations. He frequently served as judge pro tem for the Alameda County courts. He practiced law at Fitzgerald Abbot & Beardsley and, following a merger, became of counsel to Donahue Fitzgerald. He served on the board of the San Francisco Opera and was a trustee of the Church Divinity School of the Pacific for 30 years. He was an active member of San Francisco’s Pacific-Union Club, the Claremont Country Club in Oakland, and the Old Capital Club in Monterey. Survivors: his wife of 35 years, Patricia; children, Susan, Patricia, and Philip Jr.; four grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Michael Berberian, ’55 (geography), of Fresno, Calif., January 31, at 89. He was a member of Delta Tau Delta and the rugby team. He grew his family’s businesses, Berberian Bros. and Berberian Ranches, into a wholesale liquor distribution powerhouse and citrus ranch, respectively. After selling Berberian Bros., he helped to open Berberian European Motors, a Mercedes-Benz and Volvo dealership. He served on the boards of directors of Lockheed Aircraft and Stanford Telecommunications. He and his wife endowed the Michael and Barbara Berberian Professorship in Stanford’s School of Engineering. Survivors: his wife, Barbara; daughters, Susan Berberian Brown, Patricia, and Mary Guiragossian; seven grandchildren; and sister.

Thomas J. Dandurand, ’55 (history), of Sausalito, Calif., April 8, at 89. He was a member of Phi Delta Theta and the Stanford baseball team that represented the Pacific Coast Conference in the College World Series. He left Stanford Law School after signing a minor league baseball contract to play for the Milwaukee Braves. He later finished his law degree at the University of San Francisco and practiced with Bronson, Bronson and McKinnon. In 1971 he was appointed to the Municipal Court Bench in San Francisco by Gov. Ronald Reagan. Two years later, he was elevated to the Superior Court Bench, where he served with distinction until his retirement in 1994. Survivors: his wife, Angelica Pinochet; sons, Stephen and Mark; and grandson.

Ian Cameron McMicking Hall, ’55 (economics), of Palm Desert, Calif., May 1, at 89. He was a member of Kappa Sigma and the rowing team. Born in Manila, Philippines, he stayed in the family home when Japan invaded in 1941, taking his father as a civilian POW. When his mother and other relatives were executed, he took shelter until he could be reunited with his father and sent to school in Scotland, his father’s home country. After college, he enlisted in the Army and worked as a stockbroker with Sutro and Co. in San Francisco for nearly 30 years. He was predeceased by his wife of 30 years, Cynthia Lemmon Lagomarsino, and son Ian. Survivors: his children Kate Trevelyan Hall and Charles; stepsons, Brad, Greig, and Brian; seven stepgrandchildren; and sister.

Cameron “Cassie” Kennedy Laine, ’55 (history), of Los Angeles, April 29, at 89. She helped to start Brentwood School in Los Angeles in 1972 and served as the director of development during the 1980s and 1990s, helping to spearhead the early development projects that launched the school as it exists today. She spent many years volunteering for the Junior League and the National Charity League. She had a near perfect record attending both her children’s and grandchildren’s athletic events, plays and recitals, and birthdays and graduations, no matter the distance. She and her husband sailed the world with close friends for more than 35 years. She loved the Bel-Air Bay Club and the beach. Survivors: her children, Laurie Statton, David Phelps, ’82, Tom, Mike, and Alex; 12 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Rey Vincent Luce Jr., ’55 (biological sciences), MD ’59, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, October 13, 2022, at 89. He was a member of Alpha Tau Omega. Born into a medical family (his father was an orthopedic surgeon and his mother was a nurse), he became a dermatologist and often said practicing medicine was the greatest thing one could do and he felt fortunate to be a doctor. His patients would make a point of stopping his children to express their thanks for what their father had done. He was predeceased by his wife, Carrie. Survivors: his children, Rey III, Robin, Sarah, and Brian; stepchildren; eight grandchildren; and stepgrandchildren.

George Sterrett Wheaton III, ’55 (civil engineering), of Portola Valley, Calif., April 3, at 90, of cancer. He was a member of Alpha Delta Phi and the soccer team. He served in the Army in the 23rd Armored Engineer Battalion in Germany. With an MBA from Harvard, he held senior positions at Cyprus Mines Corporation, NCR, Pacific Scientific, and Bechtel Corporation. Later, he was associate chairman of the Stanford Computer Science Department. He and his wife visited all seven continents and hiked in many countries. He was a longtime active member of the Palo Alto Rotary Club. Survivors: his wife of 66 years, Sarah (Coffin, ’56); his children, Julie Wheaton Goldberg, Kathleen, ’79, and William; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Mary Ellen Leary Barnard, ’56 (history), of Solvang, Calif., March 11, at 88, after a long illness. She was an avid volunteer first in Santa Monica and later the Santa Ynez Valley. She was a talented cook and entertainer and hosted gatherings in support of the local hospital, YMCA, and Rotary Club. She was honored twice as a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow. She enjoyed painting landscapes, hiking, traveling, attending theater and symphony performances, and playing tennis, golf, and bridge. She was predeceased by her husband of 47 years, Thomas, ’54, JD ’56. Survivors: her children, Eileen, Mark, Kathryn, ’84, JD ’88, and Tom; eight grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and two brothers.

Julie Kay Olson Bramkamp, ’57 (Latin American studies), of Nevada City, Calif., April 21, at 87. She contributed to the Stanford Daily. She and her husband published the Nevada County Nugget Newspaper. After a trip to Europe, she earned her teaching credential and worked as the director at Tall Pines Co-op Nursery School for 19 years. She retired to join her husband in producing and presenting travel films around the United States and Canada. She was the keeper of family records, a harpist, and tireless traveler. She was predeceased by her husband, Lynn, ’57, MA ’61. Survivors: her children, Catharine and Paul; two grandsons; great-granddaughter; and brother.

Donald Lee Kafka, ’57 (civil engineering), of Miami, April 8, at 88, of aplastic anemia. He was a member of Delta Tau Delta and played on the football and rugby teams. He was an All-American high school football player, and later he received the Conference Roll Plaque representing Stanford for athletics and superior scholarship. He served in the Navy, and in the late 1950s he was transferred to the Roosevelt Road naval base in Ceiba, Puerto Rico. He became a developer and later moved to Orlando and then Miami, where he continued his construction development business. Survivors: his wife of 63 years, Wilma; children, Carl, Donald, and Camilly; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

John Alfred Sutro Jr., ’57 (economics), of Kentfield, Calif., April 11, at 86. He was a member of Theta Delta Chi and the rowing team. After graduating from Harvard Law School, he served in the Marine Corps, where he was awarded the Platoon Honor Man. He joined the firm founded by his grandfather, Pillsbury, Sutro & Madison, and developed an expertise in libel law. He later became a trial judge on the Marin County Superior Court. He held leadership roles in numerous community service organizations, including the Bay Area arm of the American Red Cross, and served as a Eucharistic minister. He attended Stanford football games for seven decades. Survivors: his wife, Loulie; children, Dodie Crawford, Sarah Steenhausen, and Stephen; and eight grandchildren, including Ellie, ’26.

Alan Paul Harris, ’58 (history), of Roseville, Calif., September 16, 2022, at 86, of cancer. He was a member of Chi Psi and the soccer team. He served in the Army. He worked at Del Monte and Control Data in San Francisco and Minneapolis. He joined LCS Data Processing as an account executive and later became CEO, a role he held until retiring in 2002. He loved golf and played in Scotland, Portugal, Spain, and California. He and his wife owned thoroughbred horses. Survivors: his wife of 60 years, Carol; children, Alan Jr. and Susan; two grandchildren; great-grandchild; and brother.

Ann Hardy Lester Hillier, ’58, MS ’59 (statistics), of Redmond, Wash., March 24, at 85, of diastolic heart failure and hypertension. She worked for the Stanford Applied Mathematics and Statistics Laboratory as a programmer and statistician before moving onto the Stanford campus in 1968 and becoming a faculty wife. She was active in the First Baptist Church of Palo Alto and headed a program ministering to the homeless for 16 years. She was an active volunteer in her children’s schools and served as president of the Gunn High School PTA. Survivors: her husband, Frederick, ’58, MS ’59, PhD ’61; sons, David, John, and Mark, MS ’91, PhD ’94; six granddaughters, including Claire, ’21; and great-grandson.

Michael Gene Holmes, ’58 (economics), JD ’60, of Lake Oswego, Ore., April 22, at 86. He was a member of the Law Review. He served in the Army Reserve. He was a member of the Oregon Bar for 50 years, practicing business and labor law in Portland. He did significant charity work. Survivors: his children, Helen Holmes Gold and Peyton; and sister.

Beverly Joan Stanaway Hoy, ’58 (education), of Bandon, Ore., May 30, at 86. She worked as an elementary school reading specialist, the principal of La Fetra Primary School, and a professor at Azusa Pacific University. She traveled to all seven continents and conducted extensive genealogical research on the Stanaway and Hoy families. She supported Montana Tech and the Girl Scouts of Montana. She was predeceased by her husband, Robert. Survivors: her children, Sherill Atkins and Karen Fay; and grandson.

Thomas Kessler McManus Jr., ’58 (general engineering), MS ’62 (civil engineering), of Oakland, April 8, at 86. He was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon and the rugby team. He served in the Navy. He worked at Underground Construction Co., Inc., for 31 years as an engineer, project manager, and vice president. Despite battling type 1 diabetes for over 50 years, he participated in ultramarathons, running the Western States in under 24 hours and completing the Hawaiian Ironman. He took up hockey at age 54 and co-founded the club team Gulag. He loved film festivals and traveling. Survivors: his wife of 59 years, Mandy (Moore, ’64); children, Molley, Michael, James, Thomas, and Andrew; and 11 grandchildren.

Ann Warren Hartwich Brandin, ’59 (political science), of Greenbrae, Calif., April 6, at 85. She sewed skirts and sold them under the name Ann Wraps; made and sold whimsical visors under the name Happy Hats; and taught cooking classes for children called Kids in the Kitchen. She taught Spanish in the Marin College Adult Education program and tutored high school students. She obtained an ESL certificate and taught English to workers in the service industry. She loved to swim, garden, travel, and entertain. Her holiday dessert parties were the talk of the town. Survivors: her husband of 65 years, Alf, ’59; sons, Patrick and Christopher; four grandchildren; and sister, Nancy Hartwich Easton, ’60.

William Randall “Randy” Crawford III, ’59 (political science), of Long Beach, Calif., May 7, at 90, of congestive heart failure. He graduated from the New Mexico Military Institute and was a member of the 1952 National Intercollegiate Championship polo team. Later he served with the 2nd Airborne Rangers during the Korean War. In 1963, he founded Scuba Duba Corporation, a yacht service company in Long Beach now celebrating its 60th year in business. He served on the Marine Advisory Commission for the city of Long Beach for 13 years. Survivors: his wife, Kathleen (Norris, ’63); children, Megan Crawford Faulkner and William, ’92, MS ’94, PhD ’12; four grandchildren; and sister, Catherine Crawford Pike, ’59.

Jaren Forest Leet, ’59 (geology), of Walnut Creek, Calif., March 28, at 85. He was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon. He served in the Army in the U-2 program. He founded the company that would become Aqua Media, supplying ultrapure water to the semiconductor industry, and later helped patent water purification processes for the oil and gas industry. He began sailing in 1970, and the St. Francis Yacht Club became his extended family. He became a competitive yacht racer, competed on the U.S. team numerous times, and was involved with two America’s Cup efforts. He was a co-founder of the Big Sail, an annual collegiate competition between Stanford and UC Berkeley. Survivors: his children, Julie Hagelshaw and John; four grandchildren; great-grandson; and sister.

Thomas Peter Thiringer, ’59, MA ’59 (political science), of McLean, Va., January 29, 2022, at 90. When he was a child, during World War II, his family escaped from Hungary and spent six years as refugees in Germany. After emigrating to the United States, he enlisted in the Air Force. He attended Stanford as part of the ROTC program and worked for Lockheed Missiles and Space Company as a budget analyst. Later, he accepted an offer to join the newly formed NASA, where he spent 25 years, culminating with his appointment to the Senior Executive Service. Once retired, he and his wife moved to Sarasota, Fla. He was predeceased by his wife of nearly 60 years, Erika. Survivors: his children, Andrea Billewicz, Tina Bonorden, and Peter; and six grandchildren.


Christian Steele Hinckley, ’61 (sociology), of Rexburg, Idaho, January 30, at 83, after a hip fracture. He was a member of the choir and was on the football and track and field teams. After graduating from the University of Wyoming Law School, he chose to practice in his home state. He served as a Big Horn County judge for 18 years and was also a prosecuting attorney and public defender, retiring in 2007. He was an accomplished pianist and vocalist and a devoted member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was predeceased by his daughter Kniessa. Survivors: his wife, Sarah; children Lisa Bentzin and Becket, ’92; stepdaughters, Carissa Keith, Talia Haughton, Alicia Tsukamoto, and Vanessa Cauffman; 24 grandchildren; and five siblings.

William Edward Mann, ’62, MA ’64 (philosophy), of Williston, Vt., March 28, 2022, at 81. He was a member of Delta Chi. He was professor of philosophy at the University of Vermont from 1974 to 2010, retiring as the Marsh Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy. He served on the board of the American Philosophical Association, including nine years as secretary-treasurer of the Eastern Division and as acting executive director from 2005 to 2006. Survivors: his wife of 55 years, Dana; children, Margaret Campbell and Nicholas; and three grandsons.

Nancyanne Nash Moore, ’64 (psychology), of Edmonds, Wash., April 5, at 79, of metastatic breast cancer. After earning a master’s of library science from the University of Hawaii, she worked as a law librarian and edited books and journals. She was active in the League of Women Voters and in the Unitarian Church. She lived in New York, Hawaii, and the Seattle area. Nothing gave her more pleasure than watching her daughter grow up, graduate from Stanford, and flourish. Survivors: her husband of 55 years, Ronald, ’64; and daughter, Alice, ’07.

Cummins Catherwood Jr., ’65 (Latin American studies), of Bryn Mawr, Pa., May 6, at 80. After several years at the Butcher & Sherrerd, he formed his own investment firm, Rutherford, Brown & Catherwood, in Philadelphia, working with the same clients for decades and sometimes generations. When his firm was bought, he joined Boenning & Scattergood, retiring in 2023. He was passionate about special needs children and was board chair of Easterseals of Southeastern Pennsylvania and the Catherwood Foundation. He was an enthusiastic member of the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, an international wine connoisseur society. He loved backgammon, fishing, and chartering cruise boats. Survivors: his wife of 57 years, Susan (Williams, ’65); sons, Daniel, ’91, MA ’93, and Morgan; granddaughter; and two siblings.

Marianne Pietschman Conley, ’65 (art), of Monterey, Calif. She was a member of the choir and the women’s tennis team. She grew up in Honolulu and could play the piano and ukulele by ear. She and her husband flew all over the country in a small plane he piloted and enjoyed golf and travel. She played tennis throughout her life despite suffering from arthritis, and she played the piano at her senior center while others sang along. She was predeceased by her husband, Walter. Survivors include her two children.

Linda Ann Wheeler, ’66 (English), of Stockton, Calif., April 21, at 78, after a short illness. With a master’s in library science from UC Berkeley, she worked at USF’s Gleeson Library and then at Stanford’s Hoover Institute. A colleague described her as a “reference librarian extraordinaire,” and scholars sought out her knowledge of the Hoover Library’s collection on 20th century history. She loved cats, classical music, swimming, hiking, gardening, and mystery novels. She had an incisive wit and a gift for imitations. She stayed abreast of current events but disliked modern technology, using a rotary phone to the end. Survivors include her cousins, Katya Evanhoe, Christopher Eley, and Sian Snow.

Margaret Irene FitzSimmons, ’68 (psychology), of Santa Cruz, Calif., April 3, at 76. She earned a master’s degree and PhD in geography and became a widely cited academic. She was an assistant professor of urban planning at UCLA, where she helped develop the environmental analysis and policy concentration and received a distinguished teaching award. She co-wrote Thirst for Growth: Water Agencies as Hidden Government in California, which was praised for its contribution to water policy literature. As a professor at UC Santa Cruz, she focused on sustainability in agricultural production. Combining modes of thought from political ecology to ecosystem processes, she served as a bridge between natural and social scientists in her department and continued to support students and colleagues after retiring.

Robert Graham Edie, ’69 (history), of Roseville, Calif., March 21, at 75. He was a member of Alpha Tau Omega and the baseball team. His lifelong journey of public service began with a master’s degree in public affairs from the University of Minnesota. After relocating to Washington, he held various influential roles within state government and higher education and spent 10 years working at the University of Washington in Seattle. He was honored with the Robert G. Waldo award as a passionate and innovative thinker who made a lasting contribution to public higher education in Washington state. Survivors: his wife of 53 years, Susan; daughters, Emily and Margaret; four grandchildren; and three siblings.


John Fowler Esbenshade, ’71 (English), of Portland, Ore., June 18, 2022, at 73. He attended medical school in Belgium and was a dedicated pediatrician. He loved fly-fishing and tying his own flies, growing roses, and spending time with fellow stamp collectors. He was an avid ham radio operator, winning the DXCC (the premier amateur radio operating award). He and his family enjoyed skiing, hiking and camping, sailing the Santa Barbara Channel, and watching sunsets on the Oregon coast. Survivors: his children, Anne, Claire, and Lief, MA ’18, PhD ’22; grandchildren; and two siblings, including Alice, ’73.

Teresa Lucille Waltz Kurfess, ’73 (English), MA ’74 (education), of Menlo Park, April 7, at 71, of pancreatic cancer. She worked at World Publications, Xerox Learning Systems, and Crane/Auvil Advertising Agency before devoting her career to nonprofit community development, where she led fund-raising, grant-writing, operations, and goal-setting efforts. Among her numerous public service roles—including many at Stanford—she was board president of the Children’s Health Council and chair and director of development for the Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. She was a gracious host and a voracious reader; she loved playing bridge and spent every summer on the shores of Lake Michigan. Survivors: her husband, Bill, ’72; children, Doug and Elizabeth; three granddaughters; mother, Lucille Waltz; and two brothers.

Carl David Frost, ’74 (political science), of Long Beach, Calif., April 14, at 70, of injuries sustained in a car accident. He was a member of Sigma Chi and played on the baseball and basketball teams. He was drafted by the Chicago White Sox, pitched for the California Angels and finished his professional baseball career with the Kansas City Royals. As the starting pitcher in 1979, his record was 16 wins, 10 losses, which was better than pitching legend Nolan Ryan. After baseball, he was licensed as a trader on the Chicago Board of Trade and, later, he returned to California to acquire a master’s degree in marriage and family counseling. He was down to earth and funny, and he freely shared advice with aspiring athletes. Survivors: his wife, Alla; son, Allan; and four siblings, including Rebecca Frost Buchman, ’81.

James Richard Cook, ’76 (human biology), of Lander, Wyo., June 18, 2022, at 67, of early onset Alzheimer’s disease. He was a member of Beta Theta Pi and the swim team. He earned a computer science degree at North Carolina State University and spent eight years working for Northern Telecom, designing the 911 emergency system. He later switched tracks and became a rancher in Wyoming, where he spent 30 years hunting and horse packing in the Wind River Range with his family. He coached the Lander Swim Club for over 20 years. Survivors: his wife, Perry (Fletcher, ’76); children, Carlyn and Ross; and two sisters.

Harold Rothman Elgie Bennett, ’79 (mathematics), of Monterey, Calif., February 17, at 66. As a student, he helped develop a SWOPSI class on entrepreneurship, collaborating with former provost William Miller. After graduation, he led marketing for Digital Research. He later held leadership positions in several technology enterprises, including CEO of Lightwave Logic. He embraced intellectual challenge and was a lover of innovative design. Survivors: his siblings, Tom, Alec, Holly Czapski, and Heather Soicher.


Belen Patricia Barrera, ’86 (communication, English, political science), of San Francisco, in April, at 58. She contributed to the KZSU radio station. After graduating from the University of California, College of the Law, San Francisco, she worked with organizations including the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and the Alameda County Medical Center, where she served as director of legislative affairs and community advocacy. She was the policy director at Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, and she served as policy director for Alameda Health Consortium. She was an advocate for women’s rights, children’s rights, Latino/Latinas, and other underserved groups. She loved animals, traveling, and science fiction. Survivors: her mother, Belen; and siblings, Jennifer Jana, Hilda, Deborah, and Sergio. 


Stephen Compagni Portis, MBA ’84, of Sonoma, Calif., May 12, at 65. He studied engineering at Cornell, earned his MBA, and began his career in investment banking. Later he founded and led several companies in the clean energy and technology sectors. A pioneer in the field of clean energy financing, he helped to make clean energy more accessible and affordable. At Stanford Seed, he was a lecturer and coach helping train CEOs of middle-market companies in India. He was a passionate advocate for environmental stewardship. Survivors include his wife, Natalie; and son, Julian.


Anita Mae Owen Shoemaker Miller, MA ’54, of Sacramento, Calif., December 16, 2022, at 94, of pneumonia. She spent her life advocating for women’s right to equal access to education and was named California Woman of the Year in 1975. She served as president of the American Association of University Women’s California division and in 1972 was appointed by Gov. Ronald Reagan to chair the California Commission on the Status of Women. She obtained a Rockefeller Foundation grant to study the legal and societal impact of the Equal Rights Amendment. Later, she became the executive director of California Women Lawyers. She was predeceased by her husband, John. Survivors: her daughters, Greta Munsill, ’77, and Karen Streich; 10 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and sister.


John Gary Wirt, MS ’63 (electrical engineering), PhD ’71 (engineering-economic systems), of Washington, D.C., March 19, at 83. He enjoyed a long career in education research, including serving as the editor of the annual publication of the Condition of Education. Survivors: his wife of 45 years, Karen; daughter, Stacey Wirt Taylor, PhD ’10; and two siblings.

Humanities and Sciences

Edith Henry Freeman, PhD ’62 (psychology), of Mill Valley, Calif., March 9, at 91. She loved adventures and collected friends throughout her life. She raised two children and later taught abroad and shared her passion for psychology and travel. She brought artwork to life as an integral member of the docent community at the de Young Museum. Her dedication to making the world a better place made her a mentor and friend to many.

Ruth Saxton Hunt Newman, MFA ’66 (speech and drama), of New York, N.Y., April 24, at 87, of septic shock. She studied at the Yale School of Drama before coming to Stanford. There she was a member of Ram’s Head, had leading roles in productions by the Stanford Players, and performed with the Stanford Repertory Theater. She also had leading roles at the 1969 California Shakespeare Festival and played Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in Crown Matrimonial on Broadway. Along with her husband, she was a principal player in the British American Repertory Company. Among numerous TV and film appearances, she appeared in Ghost Story with Fred Astaire and John Houseman. Survivors include her husband of 53 years, Stephen, ’65, MFA ’67.

William Thomas Magrath, PhD ’75 (classics), of Muncie, Ind., June 11, at 80. He retired after 35 years at Ball State University, where he was a classical culture professor. He previously taught at the University of Pittsburgh and for one year at Harvard. Survivors: his wife, Kristin; children, Heather, William, Kaitlyn, Robert, Breanna, and Lane; 13 grandchildren; and three siblings.


Bush Charles Helzberg, JD ’00, of Aspen, Colo., May 23, at 52. He served in the Peace Corps in Mali before earning an MBA from Columbia and attending Stanford Law School. He started his career in investment banking at Lehman Brothers before shifting to investment management with Helzberg Angrist Capital and Expedition Capital. He also founded Best & Co., a luxury jewelers in Aspen. He served on the boards of numerous nonprofit organizations, including YPO Aspen and St. Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City. He was on the Board of Visitors for Stanford Law School. In 2016 he published Charter Schools Work: America’s Failing Urban School Districts Can Be Transformed. Survivors: his former wife, Jamie; children, Oliver, Benton, Leo, Arthur, and Amelia; parents, Shirley and Barnett; and brother.


Gary Heit, MD ’91, of La Honda, Calif., February 14, at 66, of complications from cancer. He studied psychobiology at UC Santa Cruz and earned a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA. After medical school and a seven-year residency, he joined the neurosurgical faculty at Stanford. His contributions furthered the field of deep brain and spinal cord stimulation, improving the lives of those with movement disorders and pain syndromes. He built and directed the functional neurosurgical programs at Stanford and Kaiser Redwood City Hospitals. He later co-founded a grassroots nonprofit promoting advanced neurosurgical care in developing countries, rounding out work that earned him numerous humanitarian awards. Survivors: his wife, Jennifer; and a tribe of friends and family, including Alan Heit, Karen Heit, and Lori Lyons.

Eric Andre Davalos, MD ’12, of Philadelphia, May 21, at 38, in his sleep. Raised in San Diego, he graduated from UC Santa Barbara before attending medical school. He completed an internship in Stanford’s general surgery residency program before moving to Los Angeles for his radiology training at Harbor-UCLA. While there, he met his wife, and together they moved to Philadelphia for his fellowship. He brought out the best qualities in everyone he met, personally and professionally, and served as an inspiration to those around him. In his free time, he enjoyed watching and playing sports and seeing live music. Survivors: his wife, Jamie; son, Owen; parents, Angelica and Eduardo; and two siblings.


Thomas John “TJ” Nicholson, MS ’76 (hydrology), of Williamsport, Pa., May 24, at 72. A registered professional geologist, he served in the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for 45 years, and as a senior technical advisor in its Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research for 41 of those years. His principal responsibility was providing expert technical advice on radionuclide transport in the environment, and he was the NRC liaison to the Water Science and Technology Board of the National Academies of Science. Internationally known for his expertise, he consulted on and wrote technical reports for the NRC on important issues, including the Three Mile Island and Fukushima Daiichi events. He co-edited the 2105 book Groundwater Vulnerability: Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster. Survivors: his brothers, Walter and William; and nephew, Andrew.

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