GS Class of 1952


Jan, 2023

Elizabeth U. Laufer ’52 ScM, of West Chester, Pa.; June 11. After Brown, she went on to earn her medical degree from the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, specializing in obstetrics and gynecology. She subsequently established a successful medical practice in Philadelphia, retiring in 1986. She was continuously active in the lives of her nieces and nephews, hosting many family events. She enjoyed spending time at the Jersey Shore. She is survived by 18 nieces and nephews, 34 great-nieces and nephews, and 18 great-great-nieces and nephews.

Jan, 2023

Ruth Kenworthy Bergeron ’49, ’52 ScM, of Schenectady, N.Y.; July 19. While working on her graduate degree, she met her future husband. After graduating, they married and moved to Long Island. In the mid-1960s, she and her family moved to Schenectady and she taught science at a local high school. She was a long-time member of the League of Women Voters, serving as vice president for a time, and she became the first woman to run city-wide as a Democrat for a seat on the city council in the early 1970s. She lost by a very narrow margin but eventually became the deputy city clerk in the City of Schenectady. She then decided to become a paralegal through the Paralegal Institute of Philadelphia, after which she worked at a law firm in Schenectady for a couple of years and  then moved to the law department at City Hall, where she worked until her retirement at the age of 70. She was an active resident of Schenectady and served on numerous boards, committees, and organizations. An avid reader, she also enjoyed gardening and travel. She traveled the world and for nearly 30 years she took an annual week-long sailing trip out of Camden, Me., on a variety of windjammers that sailed all over Penobscot Bay. She is survived by her husband, John ’51; three sons; two granddaughters; and a great-granddaughter.


Aug, 2021

Hans J. Zweig ’52 AM, of Santa Cruz, Calif.; Feb. 19. He had a career in physics research at Kodak. He published extensively in the area of optical physics with emphasis on the statistics and theory of photographic detection models. He spent many years involved with real estate and travel. He enjoyed yoga, poetry, philosophy, and cycling. He is survived by three children.

Jun, 2021

Robert Burger ’52 ScM, ’55 PhD, of Cary, N.C.; Nov. 29. He joined the U.S. Navy at 16 years of age during World War II. After the war he graduated from William & Mary College and Brown. As a physicist, he was a pioneer in the emerging field of solid state electronics and worked in the early years of NASA’s Apollo program. He was recruited to North Carolina by the Research Triangle Institute in 1962 and later cofounded the Semiconductor Research Corporation, which was presented the National Medal of Technology by President George W. Bush in 2005. He is survived by his wife, Marian; two children and their spouses; six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and four siblings.

Nov, 2019

Rodger B. Dowdell ’52 ScM, of Lake Suzy, Fla., formerly of East Greenwich and Narragansett, R.I.; July 4. He was a professional engineer and worked in the industry, including at General Electric before becoming an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Bridgeport (Conn.). While teaching at UB, he received a fellowship to Colorado State University. Upon his return to Rhode Island, he became a full professor at URI until his retirement in 1989. He was considered an expert in fluid dynamics and flow measurement. He served as president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and on the International Committee for Flow Measurement Standards. He represented ASME and the U.S. and attended many worldwide conferences on the issue of flow measurement. His work in fluid dynamics is widely cited. He was a World War II U.S. Navy veteran and enjoyed sailing. He sailed his boat from Narragansett to Southwest Florida. He also enjoyed playing golf, reading, and traveling. He is survived by seven children, including Rodger B. Dowdell Jr. ’71; two stepchildren; 26 grandchildren, including Rory A. Dowdell ’06; five step-grand-children; and 29 great-grandchildren.

Nov, 2019

Robert W. Lougee ’41, ’52 PhD, of Storrs, Conn.; July 6. He joined the faculty of UConn in Storrs in 1949 as an instructor in the history department and later became a full professor. Before retiring in 1984 he was head of the history department and dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. In addition to being a distinguished professor and author of scholarly books and publications, he was also president of UConn’s faculty senate and actively involved with the University’s administration, working closely with the President’s Office and Board of Trustees. During World War II he served in the U.S. Army. He was a member of the National Audubon Society, the American Ornithological Society, and the Appalachian Mountain Club. He enjoyed hiking, camping, boating on Lake Winnipesaukee, reading, and annual summer vacations in New Hampshire. He is survived by a daughter, a son, a daughter-in-law, four grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.


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