Obituaries

1947

Two men in blue suits

Byron Dobell ’47 (right) with Professor Henry Gra GSAS’49.

Byron Dobell, artist, New York City, on January 21, 2017. Dobell entered Columbia in 1944 from the High School of Music & Art and became a devoted student of Jacques Barzun ’27, GSAS’32; Lionel Trilling ’25, GSAS’38; Mark Van Doren GSAS 1921; and Raymond Weaver. Dobell was an editor at Esquire and American Heritage and held senior editorial posts at Life and New York magazines. He played a crucial role in the careers of many writers, including Tom Wolfe and Mario Puzo. Dobell led American Heritage to three National Magazine Awards and in 1998 was inducted into the American Society of Magazine Editors’ Hall of Fame. He also wrote essays and poems that were published in The American Scholar, The Nation and The Southampton Review. Dobell became a full- time painter in 1990. Several of his portraits are in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. He also had numerous solo shows in New York City galleries of his landscapes, life studies and still lifes. In 2011, he painted the portrait of Professor Henry Graff GSAS’49 that hangs in Fayerweather Hall. Dobell is survived by his daughter, Elizabeth, and a grandson.

1948

Richard J. Calame, retired ob/gyn, Vero Beach, Fla., on January 31, 2017. Calame was born in Manhattan on August 18, 1926. He grew up in Queens and, following service in the Navy near the end of WWII, graduated from the College. He earned an M.D. at New York Medical College and trained on Long Island and in Brooklyn. After a surgical fellowship at Johns Hopkins, Calame returned to New York and practiced at several hospitals in Brooklyn and on Long Island. He retired in 1996, having most recently chaired the Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology at Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center. Calame enjoyed opera, art, reading, golf, bridge, travel and a good joke. He was predeceased by his wife of 58 years, Joan; brothers Sonny and Robert; and sisters Jeanne and Mary. He is survived by his children, David, Sally and Richard; daughter-in-law, Mara; five grandchildren; and one great-grand-son. Memorial contributions may be made to John’s Island Foundation, 6001 Hwy A1A, PMB#8323, Indian River Shores, FL 32963.

Joseph E. Egyed, retired teacher, Lexington, Va., on March 24, 2017. Born on November 8, 1923, the son of Hungarian immigrants, Egyed’s College years were interrupted by Army service during WWII. He served in Europe in 1943 in the Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion as a rifleman with the Infantry before transferring to the combat engineers, participating in the battles of the Rhur Pocket and in Central Europe. Egyed met the woman who would become his wife of nearly 70 years, Suzanne, in France. After the war, Egyed studied at Shrivenham American University and did postgraduate study of French language and civilization at the Sorbonne. After a stint as a purchase agent for Sperry Gyroscope, he became a teacher in the White Plains, N.Y., school district, teaching geography, history and civics, and was a high school guidance counselor. After retirement in 1986, Egyed and his wife moved to Lexington, where Egyed started volunteering with Meals on Wheels. He played the violin for the Rockbridge Symphony and the Washington and Lee University Orchestra, and also enjoyed bridge. Egyed is survived by his wife; son, Mark Joseph Elting; daughter, Lorraine Fayet; sister, Margaret Vorosmarty, and her husband, Charles; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to Meals on Wheels of Lexington.

Theodore Melnechuk, polymath, writer and organizer, Amherst, Mass., on March 1, 2017. Born on January 7, 1928, in New York City, Melnechuk and his wife, Anna Krilovitch, moved to Brookline, Mass., in 1963 and to San Diego in 1972, then retired to Amherst in 1991. Melnechuk worked in science communications at MIT, Boston University and UC San Diego. His lifelong avocation was writing poetry. At the College, he was art and poetry editor of both Jester and The Columbia Review, which published both his light and serious poetry. The latter included poems that won him prizes shared with Allen Ginsberg ’48 and John Hollander ’50, GSAS’52, in contests judged by W.H. Auden, Stephen Spender and Mark Van Doren GSAS 1921. Melnechuk’s later poems were published mostly in scientific journals and books, except for his translations of Lithuanian poems in The Green Oak (1962) and The Green Linden (1964). Melnechuk was predeceased by his wife in November 2006 and is survived by his children, Eve, Andy, Dan and Vera; and a grandson. See melnechuk.com for a more extensive obituary. Memorial contributions may be made to Bowery Arts and Science.

1949

Richard C. Kandel, retired business executive, New York City, on November 23, 2016. Kandel served with the Navy during WWII. He produced fundraising telethons, and after his father’s death became president of Craftsweld Equipment Corp. Kandel retired in 1999. He was an active board member for Opera Index and the usher chair for Central Synagogue. He was a world traveler and loved theater, even chauffeuring friends who were Broadway grande dames. Kandel is survived by his brother, Robert; sister-in-law, Evelyn; a niece; two nephews; and four grand-nephews.

1950

A white man in three-quarter profile

Mario A. Palmieri ’50

Mario A. Palmieri, retired editor, Cortlandt Manor, N.Y., on September 23, 2016. Palmieri was born on February 21, 1925, in Eastchester, N.Y. Two days after graduating from Eastchester H.S., in 1943, he joined the Navy to fight in WWII; he saw combat in the Philippines and elsewhere in South Asia. Palmieri was honorably discharged in 1945. He matriculated at the College, earning a B.A., and was active within the alumni community until his death. Palmieri was CCT’s class correspondent for the CC’50 Class Notes for several decades. He worked most of his adult life for Irving Trust bank, where he was the editor of its magazine. After retirement, Palmieri became an avid skier and was a proud member of the Over-80 Ski Club. He also had a great love for astronomy and was a longtime member and one-time president of Westchester Amateur Astronomers. Palmieri is survived by his wife of 60 years, Gertrude; sons, Steven, and Charles and his wife, Kim; two grandchildren; many nieces; and a nephew. He was predeceased by his brothers August “Dr. D.” Deagusti- nis and Aldo Palmieri ’49.

1951

Stanley I. Schachter, attorney, Boynton Beach, Fla., on January 25, 2017. Schachter was from Brooklyn, N.Y., and a graduate of James Madison H.S. At the College, he was a leader of TEP fraternity. He earned a degree from Brooklyn Law. Schachter is survived by his wife,Ann; son, John, and his wife, Lori Klein; sister, Charlotte; son-in-law, John Lentine; two grandchildren; and dozens of cousins, nephews, nieces and friends. A daughter, Debra, predeceased him in 2015.

1952

Melvin Tresser, retired physician, Winter Park, Fla., on January 17, 2017. Tresser was born on October 31, 1931, and grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. He earned an M.D. at NYU and completed an internship in New York, then spent two years in Selma, Ala., as an Air Force doctor. Tresser returned to New York for his residency. He moved to Orlando in 1961 to begin a practice in internal medicine and gastroenterology. Following retirement, he traveled the world with his wife, Bella, visiting more than 100 countries. They were married for 60 years; she passed away in 2015. Tresser is survived by three children and eight grandchildren.

1954

Richard G. Hobart, optometrist, Binghamton, N.Y., on March 5, 2017. Hobart was a 1957 graduate of the Pacific University’s College of Optometry. He practiced optometry for 52 years in the Binghamton area and owned Hobart Stone Dealers, a company he started when he was 14, and Finger Lakes Stone Co. Hobart also enjoyed offshore power boat racing and wooden boats, and social activities at the Binghamton Club. He sat on the Binghamton planning board and was past president of AVRE, the New York Sail & Power Squadron, the South Central Optometric Society, the American Optometric Society (which awarded him Optometrist of the Year) and the Binghamton Lions Club. Hobart is survived by his wife of 57 years, Margaret (Margy) O’Loughlin Hobart; children, Meg, Bridgette Hobart Janeczko and her husband, Bob, and James and his wife, Kimberly Collins; two grandchildren; brother and sisterin-law, John and Joanne O’Loughlin; and niece and nephews Mary Eileen, Kevin and Joseph O’Loughlin. He was predeceased by a brother, James. Memorial contributions may be made to the Living Care Fund, Good Shepherd-Fairview Home, 80 Fairview Ave., Binghamton, NY 13904; or Binghamton Lions Club, PO Box 776, Binghamton NY 13902.

Alfred Toborg, retired college professor, deacon, Lyndonville, Vt., on March 20, 2017. Born on November 9, 1932, in Brooklyn, N.Y., Toborg earned an M.A. from Xavier and in 1965 a Ph.D. from GSAS. He taught history and German at Lyndon State College from 1960 until his retirement in 1999. In 1990, he was ordained as a permanent deacon in the Diocese of Burlington and served for the remainder of his life. Toborg is survived by his wife of 53 years, Linda; daughters, Katie Franko, Louise Merrigan and Mary Beth Boe; son, William ’90; and eight grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to either the “Dr. Alfred Toborg Scholarship Fund,” Attn.: Jenny Harris, Institutional Advancement, Lyndon State College, PO Box 919, Lyndonville, VT 05851; or to Good Shepherd Catholic School, 121 Maple St., St. Johnsbury, VT 05819.

1956

William A. Schaffer, retired attorney, consultant and author, San Jose, Calif., on February 5, 2017. At Columbia, Schaffer had access to the Russian Institute and spent his junior year at Sciences Po in Paris, where he earned his diploma. Schaffer graduated from Harvard Law in 1959, and that led to his working for Sen. Tom Dodd (D-Conn.). Schaffer’s perfect French served him well. He was in the translating pool at the State Department, where he translated for President Kennedy and where he helped set up the Peace Corps in French-speaking Africa. Schaffer’s career included work with International Rescue Committee in Hong Kong, jobs in Indonesia and Buenos Aires, and a year at Harvard as a visiting scholar. He was an international consultant, living near Boston, and then consulted for DEC before moving to Los Gatos, Calif., for a job in international sales with Sun Microsystems, from which he retired. He wrote four books: a novel; two versions of Hi-Tech Careers for Lo-Tech People; and ErgoSense: A Personal Guide to Making Your Workspace Comfortable and Safe. Schaffer was married for 52years to Gesine Grunzig Schaffer, and they had two sons — Paul, married to Amy Gardner, and Harry. He is also survived by twin grandsons.

1959

Richard Dobrin, retired professor, founder and director of healthcare group, Santa Fe, N.M., on January 12, 2016. Dobrin was born in and grew up in New York City, for which he retained a great love. After earning a Ph.D. in physics, he had an exciting and satisfying career, first in college teaching and later as founder and director of International Healthcare Group, a groundbreaking radiological services company operating throughout Europe. Dobrin leaves his wife, Patricia; daughter, Alessandra Khalsa, and her husband, Ditta; son, Jeremy, and his wife, Ivona; sisters Lynne Sindelar and Marilyn Broman; and two granddaughters.

1960

Richard E. “Dick” Kerber, cardiologist, Iowa City, Iowa, on November 8, 2016. Kerber was born on May 10,1939, in Brooklyn, N.Y. He graduated from Forest Hills H.S., Queens, N.Y., in 1956. He married Linda Kaufman, now an emerita professor of history, in 1960, and graduated from NYU School of Medicine in 1964. After an internship at Bellevue, he served as a captain in the Army Medical Corps, earning the Bronze Star in 1968. After completing medical training at Stanford University hospital, Kerber joined the University of Iowa’s medical faculty in 1971, becoming director of echocardiography, heading a fellowship program and being interim chief of cardiology. Kerber pursued research on cardiac defibrillation and resuscitation to treat cardiac arrest, or heart attacks. He authored more than 250 articles, two books and more than 330 abstracts. Kerber was a devoted clarinetist and cyclist, and a member of Agudas Achim Congregation in Iowa City. He is survived by his wife, Linda; sons, Ross and his wife, Nancy, and Justin ’91 and his wife, Hope; four grandchildren; and brother, Melvyn, and his wife, Cheryl.

1964

Steven J. Grossman, businessman, Selma, Ala., on April 3, 2017. Grossman was born in Waterbury, Conn., on December 17, 1942. He earned an M.I.A. in 1967 from SIPA and an M.B.A. in 1968 from the Business School, as well as a certificate of African studies. Grossman was a management consultant and an investment banker in Rome, Madrid, London and New York City. In the 1990s, he became the co-owner of the American Candy Co., in Selma. After he split with partners over company strategy, he formed a snack food company, Microwave Roasters, also in Selma. Grossman was prominent in the Selma community for his work in the arts and as a leader in Selma’s Jewish community. He is survived by his wife, Laura (née Wallace); children, Jeremiah and his wife, Jennifer, Xena-Shira and her husband, Juan, and Erik Diamond and his wife, Fernanda; brother, Peter ’70, SOA’72 and his wife, Pauline; four grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

1967

Harold S. Wechsler, professor and author, Rochester, N.Y., on February 17, 2017. Wechsler earned an M.A. and a Ph.D., both in history and both from GSAS, in 1969 and 1974, respectively. He was a beloved professor, author and colleague, most recently at the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. In 1969, Wechsler was selected by the New York Mets organization as the World’s Greatest Fan. He was the husband of the late Lynn D. Gordon; father of Abigail Bock and Samuel; grandfather of one granddaughter; brother of Robert; uncle of Adam and Diana Wechsler; and brother-in-law of Carol Gordon and the late Margaret Gordon. Wechsler is also survived by his devoted companion, Homer, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Memorial contributions may be made to Friends of Karen.

1969

Pál Maléter, retired hospital architect, Louisa, Va., and Washington, D.C., on January 4, 2017. Maléter was born in Szeged, Hungary, in 1946 and raised in Budapest. He left Hungary at 10 in the aftermath of the Hungarian Revolution and the arrest of his father, the minister of defense, who was later executed for his role in the revolution. After living briefly in Austria, Germany and Canada, Maléter immigrated to the United States thanks to the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and attended The Harvey School, The Hotchkiss School and Columbia, where he earned a B.A. in fine arts and, in 1976, an M.A. in architecture and an M.S. in health services planning and design, both from GSAPP. Maléter served in the Marine Corps Reserves 1965–71 and retired after a career designing, planning and building hospitals for the Department of Veterans Affairs and The Johns Hopkins medical institutions. In retirement, Maléter and his wife, Andrea, pursued a variety of artistic endeavors and volunteered with the IRC in Charlottesville, Va.

1971

Mark A. Allen, scientist, Glendale, Calif., on October 22, 2016. Allen was born in New York City and was an Eagle Scout. At the College, he spent four years on the Ferris Booth Hall Board of Managers, for which he was president in his senior year; and was a member of the Senior Society of Sachems and Sigma Xi. He graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa and in 1976 earned a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology (“Caltech”). Allen then returned to New York for a two-year fellowship at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Afterward, Allen returned to Caltech, where he remained for 37 years, and was a principal scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and visiting research faculty on the Caltech campus in Pasadena, Calif. An astrochemist, he developed a chemical model to study the atmospheres of the earth, planets, comets, interstellar space and exoplanets. He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Emily Bergman; children, Boh and Philip; daughter-in-law, Andrea; mother, Lucille; and sister, Barbara Peterson. Memorial contributions may be made to Columbia College or Caltech.

2007

Analisa R. Smith-Perez, attorney, Jamaica Plain, Mass., on November 27, 2016. Smith-Perez was an alumna of Boston Latin School and Suffolk University Law School. She was an attorney for Northeast Legal Aid in Lynn, Mass., representing unaccompanied minors in immigration proceedings, and most recently as an immigration lawyer at Araujo & Fisher. Her passion was giving voice to the voiceless, and she was active in the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Hispanic Bar Association. Smith-Perez is survived by her parents, Vivian Perez and Dana Smith; siblings, Alex and Adam; and her extended family. Memorial contributions may be made to the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, 105 Chauncy St., #901, Boston, MA 02111.

2015

A woman with her hair blowing in the wind in front of a large body of water

Catherine M. Johannet ’15

Catherine M. Johannet, teacher, Scarsdale, N.Y., on February 2, 2017. Johannet was born on December 16, 1993, in New York City and grew up in Edgemont, N.Y. At the College, she majored in comparative literature and society, focusing on the narratives of individuals with disabilities as conveyed through English, French and Portuguese literature. Fluent in both French and Portuguese, she studied abroad in France, Portugal and Brazil. Johannet graduated with honors and moved to Hanoi, Vietnam, where she taught English literature to aspiring college students for 18 months. She was deeply committed to teaching, disability studies and environmental protection efforts, and was equally enthusiastic about traveling, learning and sharing what she learned with others. Johannet is survived by her sister, Laura; brother, Paul; father, Christopher PS’86; and mother, Alice Medalia.

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