GS Class of 1955

Obituaries

Jan, 2022

Donald Kagan ’55 AM, of McLean, Va.; Aug. 6. He was a distinguished scholar of Greek history. He taught at Ohio State, Pennsylvania State University, and Cornell before joining the Yale faculty in 1969. From his first years at Yale he was heralded as a dynamic and influential teacher. For his distinction in the classroom he received the Phi Beta Kappa DeVane Medal for teaching and scholarship in 1975 and, 20 years later, the Byrnes/Sewall Teaching Prize, which is awarded to the teacher who “has given the most time, energy, and effective effort to educating undergraduates.” While at Cornell, he won two prestigious teaching awards as well. He was often consulted by political figures and he promoted his views on politics in national articles and columns. With his son, he wrote While America Sleeps, a book comparing American foreign policy of the 1990s to that of the United Kingdom following World War I. During his tenure at Yale, he was twice chair of the classics department and was dean of the college from 1989 to 1992. In 2005 he was invited to give the National Endowment for the Humanities Jefferson lecture, the highest honor the federal government confers for distinguished intellectual achievement. For his body of work he was awarded the National Medal for the Humanities, presented by President George W. Bush in 2002. He is survived by two sons and their spouses and two grandchildren. 

Jan, 2022

Anne Sangree Parke ’55 AM, of Stowe and Greensboro, Vt., formerly of Va. ; July 29, of pancreatic cancer, diagnosed only 10 days previously. After earning her master’s degree in sociology from Brown, she and her husband moved to New Brunswick, N.J., where she taught sociology at New Jersey College for Women (now Douglas College). In 1959, she moved to Washington, D.C., and joined the board of directors for the D.C. League of Women Voters. She and her family moved to Virginia in 1962 and she became involved in the school system as a PTA member representative on the Fairfax County Child Care Advisory Council and served on the Commission for Children, which led to the establishment of many after school programs for elementary schools. She later went back to work part-time as a bookkeeper, followed by a position as a legal assistant, which prompted her to return to school and obtain a paralegal certificate and work at Crowell & Moring for 14 years. In retirement she enjoyed traveling. She moved to Stowe in 2018 and spent each summer in Greensboro. She also enjoyed reading and poetry groups and was a supporter of libraries. She is  survived by three children and their spouses, two grandchildren, and two siblings. 

 

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, 2020

Edgar C. Smith Jr. ’55 PhD, of Chevy Chase, Md.; May 20. He worked for IBM, where his initial assignment was working with major research universities in the western United States to set up mainframe computers on their campuses. He went on to have a long and successful career with the company, living in various cities and countries. After retiring, he spent 12 years in Carmel, Calif., where he enjoyed researching and writing about California’s history. He also served as a docent in the Monterey Maritime Museum. He was a World War II veteran of the U.S. Navy. He is survived by a daughter, two sons, and five grandchildren.

Jun, 2020

Leon Steinberg ’55 ScM, of Memphis; Dec. 17. After graduating from Brown, he joined the University of Pennsylvania as a teaching assistant. In 1961, he earned his PhD in number theory at Penn. In 1957, he joined the Univac division of Sperry Rand and in 1961 published The Backboard Wiring Problem: A Placement Algorithm, a quadratic assignment problem known as “The Steinberg Wiring Problem” or “ste36a.” Ste36a was based on the design of a Univac computer and analyzed how to wire together 34 computer components on a 9 by 4 grid using the shortest possible wiring scheme. His algorithms produced a reasonable, but not exact, solution that Univac used at the time. Ste36a became a legendary challenge problem in computational optimization and efforts to solve it resulted in algorithmic advances applicable to the design of computer chips and present-day project management and scheduling software. In 2001, a professor at the University of Iowa and researcher at Microsoft Corp. finally solved ste36a, making it one of the longest open problems in computational optimization. Steinberg remained at Sperry Univac in various capacities until 1986. He enjoyed travel and classical music. He is survived by his wife, Marcia; a daughter; and a sister.

Jan, 2020

Kurt Mueller-Vollmer ’55 AM, of Stanford, Calif.; Aug. 3. He was a Stanford University professor emeritus of German studies and humanities. He retired in 1995 and continued to publish, advise students, give lectures, and hold seminars. He also held guest professorships, seminars, and lectures at various American and German universities, including UC Berkeley and the University of Goettingen, Germany. He was the recipient of the 2000 Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and the 2007 Wilhelm-von-Humboldt Foundation Award. He is survived by his wife, Patricia, and two sons.

 

May, 2019

Kenneth W. Dehertogh ’51, ’55 AM, of Cumberland, R.I.; Nov. 2. He was employed as a science teacher for the Providence School Department for 22 years. He was also the owner of several successful businesses. He enjoyed singing at the German club in Pawtucket, R.I., and at the Warwick Senior Center. He is survived by six children, including daughter Deborah Dehertogh ’74, ’77 MD; nine grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

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