Roger Abrahams, Folklore and Folklife
Roger Abrahams, Gr’61, the Hum Rosen Professor in Folklore and Folk Literature in English Emeritus, died on June 20 at age 84.
Dr. Abrahams earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Swarthmore College in 1955, a master’s degree in literature and folklore from Columbia University in 1959 and a doctorate in literature and folklore from Penn in 1961. His dissertation, “Negro Folklore from South Philadelphia,” led to the creation of a separate department of folklore and folklife at Penn. It also became the book, Deep Down in the Jungle: Negro Narrative Folklore from the Streets of Philadelphia, published in 1964. During his student years, Dr. Abrahams became involved in the New York folk music scene. He sang on the Folkways album Foc’sle Songs and Shanties, released in 1959, and recorded his own album, Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor and Other Folk Songs, released in 1962. He also worked as an editor and writer at the folk music magazine Caravan.
He joined Penn’s department of folklore and folklife in 1985. He was named the Hum Rosen Professor of Folklore and Folk Literature in 1989. He was the inaugural director of the Center for Folklore and Ethnography, which opened in 1999 with the closing of the folklore and folklife department. That year, his home department changed to English. He became professor emeritus in 2002 (Almanac May 7, 2002).
Dr. Abrahams was president of the American Folkore Society in 1979. In 1988 he was awarded AFS’s Centennial Award for Lifetime Scholarly Achievement in 1988 and in 2005, he was awarded its Kenneth S. Goldstein Award for his contributions to strengthening folklore in higher education
Dr. Abrahams is survived by his wife, Janet; his son, Rod; his daughter, Lisa Abrahams; and a sister, Marjorie Slavin.
Pier Luigi Bargellini, Engineering
Pier Luigi Bargellini, a longtime faculty member in what was then the Moore School of Electrical Engineering at Penn, died on August 4, 2016. He was 102 years old.
A native of Florence, Italy, Dr. Bargellini attended school at the University of Florence and the Polytechnic University of Turin in the 1930s. He married Anna Cioni in 1941 and they were together until her death in 2015.
He worked as an engineer for the Allied Military government and operated a medium wave broadcasting station before earning a master’s degree in electrical engineering at Cornell University. In 1950, he was hired as an instructor at Penn’s Moore School of Electrical Engineering. He became assistant professor in 1951 and associate professor in 1957.
While at Penn, he also served as a consultant on electronics and communications for a number of American and Italian companies including RCA, GE, ItalCable and Alenia Marconi Systems. He left Penn in 1961 and worked for Aerospace Corporation until 1965, whereupon he returned to Penn as associate professor of electrical engineering. He resigned in 1970. He then worked as a senior scientist at Comsat Laboratories in Clarksburg, Maryland.
He was the recipient of two Columbus Gold Medals from the International Institute of Communications in Genoa, Italy.
After his retirement, he and Anna moved to Tepoztlan, Morelos, Mexico in 2008.
He is survived by his children, Clara Camara (Gabriel), Angela Nielsen (Richard) and Leonard (Leslie Moldow); grandchildren, Lara Nielsen, Anna Nielsen, Gabriela Camara, Carlos Camara (Jenny) and Sylvia; and great-grandson, Lucas.
Lillian Dabney Bryant, Penn Vet
Lillian Dabney Bryant, a retired long-time head librarian for the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine Library, died on August 8. She was 87.
She was a librarian at Penn Vet from 1981-2001. Prior to working at Penn Vet, Ms. Bryant was a medical librarian for Hahnemann, and at the Tri-NEB library, a combined facility that served three two-year nursing programs: HUP, CHOP and PGH.
She is survived by her husband of 65 years, Winston M. Bryant; her daughter, Robyn Bryant-Farmer; and grandchildren, Liana and Raymond. A memorial service will be held Saturday, September 16, at noon at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, 127 Walnut Ave., Ardmore, PA.
Diana Cavallo, CW’53, a writer who taught in the English department at the University of Pennsylvania for 18 years, died on June 17 at age 85.
Ms. Cavallo taught fiction writing in the creative writing program from 1980-1998. She wrote novels and plays, and also wrote and performed monologues. Her play, Two Sisters, won first prize in a contest sponsored by the Ethical Society of Philadelphia. She also wrote the novels A Bridge of Leaves (1961) and Juniper Street Sketches, and the non-fiction book The Lower East Side: A Portrait in Time (1971).
In 1994, she received the Distinguished Service Award from the College of General Studies for her outstanding support of continuing education students (Almanac May 24, 1994).
Before joining Penn, she was a Fulbright Teaching Fellow at the University of Pisa in Italy. She later returned there as a special lecturer and was a featured speaker on classical American writers. She also read from her own work for the United States Information Service at various universities throughout Italy.
She is survived by her nieces, Linda Smythe and Andrea Greger.
Eleanor O. Dower, Nu’56, GEd’59, a longtime faculty member at Penn Nursing, died on May 6 at the age of 94.
Ms. Dower graduated from Catasauqua High School in 1939 and from Allentown Business College in 1942. She worked in the accounting department for the Lehigh Valley Railroad for six years while saving money to attend nursing school. She graduated from the Reading Hospital School of Nursing in 1951 and worked there as supervisor of health services until 1953. She then joined Penn as a part-time nurse while earning her BS in nursing education, which she completed in 1956. She then became an instructor here and assistant to the dean of nursing. While working, she obtained her master’s degree in nursing education in 1959.
She went on to work for Widener University’s School of Nursing for 20 years until her retirement in 1987, when she gained emeritus status.
She was a member of Sigma Theta Tau and Pi Lambda Honor Societies, and was listed in Who’s Who in American Women, Who’s Who in Health Care and Outstanding Educators of America.
She is survived by her sisters, Frances Whipple and Caroline Barrett.
Kenneth George, Education
Kenneth D. George, emeritus professor of education at the University of Pennsylvania, died on July 9. He was 83 years old.
Dr. George joined Penn 1965 as assistant professor in the Graduate School of Education. In 1969, he became an associate professor as well as associate dean of the School. In 1974, he became a professor. He took on a secondary appointment as professor of education in psychiatry in 1977.
While at Penn, he served on the Faculty Senate, the Senate Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty and was chair of the Grievance Committee for the University. He was awarded “Best Teacher of a Doctoral Course” and also received an “Outstanding Professor” award from the Greek system.
He was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and served as president of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality.
He retired and was named emeritus professor of education in 1999.
After his retirement, Dr. George wrote two books, served as a guardian ad litem for the courts in Martin County, Florida and served as board member and president of the Unitarian Universality Congregation in Stuart, Florida.
He is survived by a niece, Patricia Ringo; a grandnephew, Tyler; a longtime friend, Andrew E. Behrendt, and Mr. Behrendt’s daughter, Elizabeth.
David Kuhl, Nuclear Medicine
David E. Kuhl, M’55, GM’59, a former University of Pennsylvania faculty member for nearly 20 years, died on May 28. He was 87.
Dr. Kuhl was an internationally-known pioneer in positron emission tomography.
He earned a bachelor’s degree from Temple University and then a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where he also completed his residency. He joined Penn’s faculty in 1958 as assistant instructor and resident of medical radiology. He became a professor of radiology in 1970.
In 1976, he left to join the University of California Los Angeles, where he remained until 1986 when he became chief of the division of nuclear medicine at University of Michigan, a position he held for 25 years until his retirement in 2011.
Dr. Kuhl developed a new method of tomographic imaging, as well as several tomographic instruments, early in his career. His techniques were eventually developed into today’s positron emission tomography. His research focused on the use of radioactive tracers and emission reconstruction tomography to develop new measures of neurochemical and metabolic processes within the living brain. The techniques he developed enabled the creation of drugs targeted to the earliest stages of degenerative brain disease.
Dr. Kuhl was a founding member of the Society of Nuclear Medicine.
His is survived by his wife, Eleanor, his son David (Diane) and his grandchildren, Katherine and Jennifer.
Linda Lentine, Penn Dental Medicine
Linda L. Lentine, a retired employee of Penn Dental Care Center, died on July 5. She was 63.
Ms. Lentine joined Penn in 2000 as an occasional worker and became a clinical receptionist for Penn Dental Care Center that year. In 2004, she became a supervisor there. She retired this year.
She is survived by her children, Ryan and Alyse Rodriguez (Marcus); grandson, Gabriel; brother, James; and sister, Susan Cianfani.
David Maitland, New Bolton Center/Penn Vet
David J. Maitland, a carpenter who worked at Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center for 36 years, died on July 2. He was 66.
Mr. Maitland graduated from Altoona Area High School in 1968 and attended Williamson Trade School from 1968-70. He joined Penn in 1978 and worked as a carpenter for the rest of his career. He became senior mechanic in 2002. He joined the 25-Year Club in 2003 (Almanac November 4, 2003) and retired in 2005.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara M. Rogers Maitland; his daughter, Erin M. Howell (Tad); two grandchildren, Brianna and Joseph; and three sisters, Eleanor Kraft, Joann Beck and Carol Kinser.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Friends of New Bolton Center, 382 W. Street Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348.
Thomas L. Saaty, a former professor of statistics and operations research at Wharton, died on August 20. He was 91.
Dr. Saaty, a well-known and recognized mathematician who created the Analytical Hierarchy Process, worked for the federal Arms Control and Disarmament Agency before joining Wharton in 1969 as a professor. While at Penn, he was chairman of the graduate group in operations research and a member of the graduate group in peace research (Almanac April 10, 1970). He briefly held a secondary appointment in decision sciences (Almanac January 23, 1979). He resigned in 1979 and went on to develop groundbreaking theories on strategic decision-making and resource allocation at University of Pittsburgh.
Dr. Saaty is survived by his wife, Rozann and his children, John, Daniel, Michael, Emily Harker and Linda Holker; 10 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
H. Ralph Schumacher, Medicine
H. Ralph Schumacher Jr., M’59, professor emeritus and former acting chief of rheumatology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and former section chief of rheumatology at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center, died on July 30 from complications of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. He was 84.
Dr. Schumacher earned a bachelor’s degree from Ursinus College and a medical degree at Penn. Between completing various fellowships, he served for two years as a staff physician in the US Air Force in California.
He joined the Penn faculty in 1967 and became a professor of medicine in 1979. He also took on a secondary appointment as professor of comparative medicine in the department of clinical studies at the School of Veterinary Medicine the same year. His research and clinical work focused on synovial fluid, gout and crystal-associated arthritis and diagnostic problems. He served twice as acting chief of rheumatology for the School of Medicine. He was primarily based at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center, where he was section chief of rheumatology from 1967 until 2005. He retired and became professor emeritus of medicine in 2012.
Dr. Schumacher published more than 400 research articles as well as 200 reviews, book chapters and editorials. He was the founding editor-in-chief of the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Elizabeth Jean (Swisher); daughters, Heidi Wilson and Kaethe; and three grandchildren.
Donations in Dr. Schumacher’s memory be made to Penn Medicine’s division of rheumatology at: Penn Rheumatology, 3535 Market St., Suite 750, Philadelphia, PA 19104 to support the Schumacher Rheumatology Research Fund. Donors should mention “Dr. Schumacher” in the correspondence or on the check memo and make checks payable to the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania. Donations can also be made online at http://tinyurl.com/y7vlxccc.
Donald Smith, Political Science
Donald E. Smith, G’53 Gr’56, emeritus professor of political science at University of Pennsylvania, died on July 6 at the age of 89.
Dr. Smith, who grew up in Berlin, New Jersey, earned a dual bachelor’s degree in arts and theology from Eastern Baptist College and Theological Seminary in 1951 (now Eastern University). While studying at there, he was ordained and preached in Spanish at a small parish in Harlem.
He completed a master’s degree in political science in 1953, followed by a doctorate in political science in 1956, both at Penn.
Dr. Smith taught at University of Rhode Island for eight years. In 1955, he joined the Penn faculty as an instructor of political science. He became an associate professor in 1964 and then professor in 1973.
He was chair of the committee on academic freedom and responsibility at Penn’s School of Arts & Sciences. He joined the 25-Year Club in 1989 (Almanac October 31, 1989).
Dr. Smith received two Fulbright fellowships for research in India and a grant from the Social Science Research Council for research in Latin America (Almanac May 1968). He was the author of Nehru and Democracy, published in 1958, India as a Secular State in 1963 and Religion and Political Development in 1970. He was the editor and a contributor to South Asian Politics and Religion in 1966 and co-editor and contributor to Anti-Americanism in the Third World in 1985. He was honored by the Association of Indians in America in 1994.
He retired and became emeritus in 1999.
He married Violet Ramanjulu of Nellore, India, in 1975. She died in 1993. He married Deborah Anthony Stuart in 2000.
He is survived by his wife, Deborah, a sister and extended family.
Johnathan Christian Smith, Mechanical Engineering Student
Johnathan Christian Smith, a student in the Class of 2019, died on July 27 while undergoing cancer treatment. Mr. Smith, 21, was from Trinidad and Tobago.
Mr. Smith was a mechanical engineering major and a visual artist who was in the Trinidad and Tobago Art Society. The Facebook page for his artwork described him as a “young Trinidadian artist with a knack for black and white chiaroscuro interpretations of Caribbean imagery.”
He lived in Gregory College House.
Mr. Smith was diagnosed with cancer in 2016 after experiencing eye pain. He had been on medical leave from the University while undergoing treatment.
In a statement released by the University, his parents said, “Johnathan always thought about the welfare of others before thinking about himself. His personality attracted many friends whom he considered as his extended family… the siblings he never had.”
He is survived by his parents, Hayden and Anna.
Matthew Stephens, Accounting
Matthew James Stephens, W’52, WG’59, GrW’64, emeritus associate professor of accounting at the University of Pennsylvania, died on July 14. He was 86.
Dr. Stephens grew up in Drexel Hill and graduated from Upper Darby High School in 1948. He earned a BS in economics in 1952, followed by an MBA in accounting in 1959 and a PhD in finance in 1964, all from Penn’s Wharton School of Business. He also became a certified public accountant (CPA) in 1957.
Between earning his bachelor’s degree and MBA, Dr. Stephens served as a First Lieutenant in the Army during the Korean War, serving in Munich and Paris. He then worked for Arthur Andersen.
He joined Penn in 1956 as an assistant professor of accounting and a lecturer in accounting and finance. He taught in the Wharton School for 45 years. From 1972 to 1985 he also served as Vice Dean and director of the Wharton Undergraduate Division. In 1996, he retired and become emeritus associate professor of accounting.
While at Penn, Dr. Stephens was awarded the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching (1971), the Outstanding Professor Award-Evening School (1977), the Wharton Activities Council Award of Merit (1979) and the Wharton Distinguished Services Award (1985). He served as chair of the 25-Year Club in 1990-91.
He is survived by his wife, Beryl (Obermann); two children, Matthew and Kathleen; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Samuel Tucker, Pediatrics and Neurology
Samuel H. Tucker, M’56, GM’60, an emeritus associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, died on April 7. He was 86.
Dr. Tucker attended Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire and graduated from Princeton University in 1952, before earning his medical degree from University of Pennsylvania in 1956.
He actively served in the US Naval Reserves and retired with the rank of Captain.
He joined the School of Medicine faculty in 1958 as assistant instructor and taught for 20 years. In 1976, he became associate professor of pediatrics with a secondary appointment in neurology. His secondary appointment was continually renewed through 1996. In 1992, he retired and became emeritus associate professor of pediatrics.
He is survived by his wife, Robin; sons, Alden and Robertson, and their mother, Martha; a twin sister, Elizabeth Tucker Ripley; stepdaughters Susan Laquintano, Jacqueline Moses, Crissa Robin Carroll and Ellisa Beth Budnick; a stepson, Matthew Justus; one grandson; and 14 step-grandchildren whom he helped raise.
Albert Winegrad, Endocrinology
Albert I. Winegrad, C’49, M’52, emeritus professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, died on July 20 at the age of 90.
Dr. Winegrad had been the Ware Professor of Medicine and director of the Cox Institute of Diabetes Research at Penn. He was a past vice president of the American Diabetes Association and winner of the 1986 Banting Medal for his pioneering work in diabetic neuropathy.
He joined Penn in 1957 as an associate instructor of endocrinology in the School of Medicine. In 1960, he became assistant professor and in 1966, he became associate professor. He was named professor of medicine in the Cox Institute in 1970. In 1992, he retired and became emeritus professor of medicine.
He is survived by many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the George S. Cox Research Institute, c/o Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania.
Memorial for Eric Schneider
The Penn Urban Studies program has announced a memorial for Eric Schneider to be held Saturday, September 9, at 2 p.m. at College Hall, Rm. 200. A reception will follow. Dr. Schneider, assistant dean and associate director for academic affairs in the College and adjunct professor of history in SAS, died on March 22. He was 66 (Almanac April 11, 2017).
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To Report a Death
Almanac appreciates being informed of the deaths of current and former faculty and staff members, students and other members of the University community. Call (215) 898-5274 or email email@example.com.
However, notices of alumni deaths should be directed to the Alumni Records Office at Room 517, Franklin Building, (215) 898-8136 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Esther Lafair, Criminology Center
Esther M. Lafair, CGS’76, a retired executive secretary in the Criminology Center of the University of Pennsylvania, died on July 2. She was 86.
Ms. Lafair was a graduate of Overbrook High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Penn in 1976.
She worked at Penn as a secretary and then an administrative assistant in the department of criminology from 1971-1998. She joined the 25 Year Club in 1997 (Almanac September 30, 1997). She worked for the Urban Tree Connection until her retirement in 2006.
As an amateur linguist, Ms. Lafair contributed to The New Dictionary of American Slang and to various books, newspapers and journals.
She is survived by her a daughter, Eleni Zatz Litt (Neil); brother, Theodore (Sally); sister, Gloria Fraimow; and grandchildren, Jordan Zatz Landau (Elyssa Goldman-Landau), Debora Zatz, Shauna Horvath, David Brenner (Alexandra), Peter Litt (Lana Xu), Eve Nora Litt (Aislinn Wallace) and Anna Litt; and six great-grandchildren.