— Class of 1987
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John Blassingame Jr. ’87, of New Haven, Conn.; Mar. 21. He taught at Kaplan preparing students for the LSAT test and tutoring college-bound students for the SAT exams. He is survived by his mother, a sister, and aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Peter Zidlicky ’87, of Larchmont, N.Y.; Oct. 7. After graduating from Columbia Business School, he worked with both large and boutique investment companies, including Solomon Brothers, Donaldson Lufkin Jenrette, and Atlantic Pacific Capital, before forming his own company in 2004, Sound Shore Advisors. At Brown he was a member of Kappa Sigma and both the football and lacrosse teams. Later in life he enjoyed coaching his daughters’ lacrosse teams, eventually founding Black Paw Lacrosse. He also enjoyed spending time with family in Virginia and on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. He is survived by two daughters; his mother; brother Paul ’89; five nieces and nephews; and his former wife, Jennifer Ogden ’87.
Janice Nichols Harper ’87, of Lithonia, Ga., formerly of Brooklyn, N.Y.; July 31. She earned two master’s degrees from Columbia University Teacher’s College and began her career as an elementary education teacher in Brooklyn. She then founded Harper Education Support Services, an educational consulting business that provided innovative comprehensive services to public and private schools, and community-based organizations in areas of curriculum, instruction, and assessment, to improve the learning outcome of students. Over the course of her career she launched an alliance with Spelman College to prepare students as service leaders for a community literacy project; organized and implemented individualized reading and math curricula for students with diverse learning needs; designed and implemented multicultural reading and after-school programs for diverse urban primary and secondary students; and performed staff development trainings to support best practices in curriculum design. Her passion for education included both national and international speaking and teaching engagements, including two trips to South Africa, where she was a delegate in the People to People Program and then a presenter at the International Literacy Association conference. She received numerous awards throughout her lifetime. She was active with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the National Council of Teachers of English, the International Literacy Association, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She is survived by her husband, Darren ’80; a daughter; two sons; five grandchildren; three brothers; two brothers-in-law; her mother-in-law; and several nieces and nephews.
Amy P. Chang ’87, of Saratoga, Calif.; July 21, of cancer. She graduated from UC Hastings College of the Law and started her legal career as a corporate attorney at McCutcheon Doyle. She also raised a family and helped run a family business. As a citizen activist, she spearheaded educational school choice for Chinese American students in the landmark case Ho v. SFUSD in San Francisco and then promoted economic development in Oakland as an urban planner for the City of Oakland. She was an active member of the Saratoga Federated Church and enjoyed travel, Thai food, the redwood trees of California, and time spent with family. She is survived by her husband, Harrison Chow; three sons; two sisters; and an aunt.
Lawrence B. Gardner ’87, of New York City; Mar. 27, of lymphoma. He was associate professor of medicine and associate professor of biochemistry and molecular pharmacology at NYU Langone Medical Center. He attended patients, performed research, and taught students. He was a fellow at Johns Hopkins Univ. and the head of the hematology oncology fellowship at NYU. Phi Beta Kappa. He is survived by a daughter, his mother, a sister, and a brother.
William H. Perry ’87, of Franklin, Mass., formerly of Westport, Conn.; Dec. 11, of cancer. He was the retired CEO of Standard Life Investments North America. Under his tutelage the American office was voted a top-three financial services workplace for three consecutive years by Investor Magazine. Playing Brown football, he earned two first-team All-Ivy defensive tackle titles, was named to All-American and All-Decade teams, and was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame. An annual award recognizing the best defensive lineman was created and named in his honor. He helped found the Brown football mentor program and in 1991 earned the Joslin Award. He is survived by his wife, Rosalie; three sons; two sisters; a brother; a niece; and 10 nephews.
Claudia F. Yellin ’87, of Providence; Oct. 31. She was a psychologist in private practice and at Bradley Hospital. She also held leadership positions in several professional organizations and was a member of Temple Emanu-El in Providence. She enjoyed reading, canoeing, listening to folk music, and being outdoors. She is survived by her spouse, Navah Levine; a son; her parents; a sister; a stepbrother; and two nephews.
Gwendolyn Coen Basinger ’87, of Las Vegas; Aug. 5, of ovarian cancer. She was senior vice president and director of business development at DDB Needham in Chicago and an account executive at Leo Burnett (Chicago) for eight years before becoming president of the Basinger Group, an executive search company. She is survived by her husband, David, and two sons.