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Columbia College Today July 2003
 
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OBITUARIES

[Corrections: In the May issue, the obituary for Lloyd M. Moglen ’60 contained several errors: his date of death was August 2, 2002; he was born in 1938; and his radio talk show was on KQED. CCT apologizes for these mistakes.]

1926

Edward L. Hoffman, retired, Stratford, Conn., on March 1, 2003. Born on February 7, 1907, Hoffman was raised in New York City and graduated from DeWitt Clinton H.S. He entered Columbia at 15 and, after receiving a B.A. from the College, earned a B.S. in 1927 and a chemical engineering degree in 1928, both from the Engineering School. Hoffman joined Mobil Oil in New York and worked there for more than 40 years. During a considerable part of that time, he was manager of Mobil’s product loss control department. Hoffman also participated in the work of the American Petroleum Institute and served as chairman of a number of API committees. After his retirement from Mobil, he worked as a consultant for API and several corporations, including Mobil. He and his wife of 64 years, Eve, were longtime residents of Port Washington on Long Island and were enthusiastic sailors locally and regionally. Hoffman raced his sailboat in numerous distance races across the years, crewed as navigator on several Bermuda races and taught navigation at the U.S. Power Squadron. He and his wife also traveled extensively. Hoffman was secretary-treasurer of the Engineering Class of ’28 during the 1930s and retained friendships with a number of classmates and a strong sense of loyalty to Columbia throughout his life. His wife died in 1998, and he also was predeceased by two brothers, Robert ’31, ’34 SDOS and Alfred ’35, ’37E. Hoffman is survived by his son, Edward L. Jr., daughter-in-law, Caroline; and three grandchildren.

1928

George Sarrafian, retired, Dallas, on June 11, 2001. Sarrafian was born in Beirut in 1907 into a prominent and influential Armenian family that had recently emigrated from Turkey to Lebanon. His father established the Sarrafian Stores in Beirut, specializing in photographic equipment and other precision instruments. Sarrafian pursued post-graduate studies in archaeology in a Ph.D. program at GSAS, receiving a certification in 1931. While at Columbia, he met Katharine Harrison, who also was pursuing post-graduate studies, and they married in 1931. They moved to Beirut, where Sarrafian became involved with the family business. There, they had two sons, George Philip and Allison Harrison. Upon their return to the United States in 1939, the family settled in Waco, Texas, and moved to Dallas in 1942. Sarrafian joined Remington Rand in Dallas, where he was a successful sales executive until his retirement in 1972. Year after year, he received Remington Rand’s Century Club award for outstanding salesmanship. He was active in various civic and cultural organizations, including the Dallas Council on World Affairs. In 1960, he was named the outstanding naturalized citizen of Dallas. Sarrafian was a member of Highland Park Presbyterian Church from 1942 until his death. He is survived by his son, Harrison.

1929


Louis R. Slattery '29
Louis R. Slattery '29

Louis R. Slattery, physician, New York City, on March 19, 2001. Slattery was born on October 16, 1908, and graduated from Flushing H.S. in 1925. He was a 1933 graduate of P&S. A World War II veteran of campaigns in the South Pacific, Slattery met and married his wife of 53 years, Lela Hendry, who died in 1997, while there. Slattery was a professor of clinical surgery at the NYU School of Medicine, with which he was affiliated for 60 years, including 43 years of surgical practice and a second career as surgical coordinator. His first retirement from the hospital was in 1982, when he left the faculty. He retired from his coordinator position in 1999. Slattery’s only time away from NYU was a four-year stint at the Seventh Evacuation Hospital in the South Pacific. Slattery was trained as a general surgeon but developed a subspecialty in abdominal surgery along with a strong interest in research. Slattery’s son, John H. ’68, noted in a letter to CCT: “My father was a devoted alumnus of the College, and he regarded John Erskine’s Core Curriculum, which had become CC, Art Hum and Lit Hum long before I arrived at the College, as the great and lasting reward of a Columbia College education — a view that I and many others share.” Slattery also is survived by his daughters, Elizabeth and Andrea.

1932

Jacob Broudy, writer and editor, Royal Palm Beach, Fla., on March 14, 2003. Born in 1908 in Filipova, Poland, Broudy was brought to the United States as a young child by his parents. He attended public school in Milford, Mass. Broudy served with the Army Air Corps in North Africa, Corsica and Italy during World War II. In the 1950s, he served as president of the Boston local of the American Newspaper Guild, the union of reporters, writers and editors. Broudy had a long career as a newspaper writer and editor in Massachusetts before becoming a news officer and communications representative for various government agencies in Washington, D.C., in the 1960s and 1970s. Prior to serving as the communications representative for the assistant secretary for health and scientific affairs for the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Broudy was the director of the news division for the United States Office of Education and a public affairs officer at the radiological health division of the Public Health Service. Broudy worked at the International News Service and for newspapers in Milford, Worcester and Lynn, Mass., as a sports editor and as a news writer. Later, he was a news writer, reporter, feature writer and sports columnist for the Boston Herald-Traveler for more than 20 years. Broudy also served for 13 years as relief manager for the Boston bureau of The New York Times, a position that included
writing news stories for the Times on weekends. His wife, Myra
Elizabeth Burke Broudy, died in 2000. He is survived by a son, William K. ’68; daughters, Ellen P. Broudy and Susan A. Grohmann; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

1933

Paul S. Friedman, physician, Philadelphia, on April 29, 2002. Born on August 5, 1914, Friedman earned his medical degree at NYU. A longtime Jewish communal leader and a Republican, Friedman retired last year after a lengthy career in radiology. During World War II, he was a radiologist for the Army. Friedman was a past president of the Philadelphia Chapter of American Jewish Committee and held numerous posts with the group locally. He was a member of the American Jewish Committee’s national executive committee, president of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Zionist Organization of America and chairman of the Hospital Doctor’s Division of the forerunner of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. Friedman served on the boards of the Jewish Community Relations Council and Dropsie College. He was a clinical professor of radiology at Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital, and across the years served on the staffs of half a dozen area hospitals as well as taught radiology at Penn’s graduate school. He was president, treasurer and board member of the Philadelphia County Medical Society, chairman of the Pennsylvania Medical Society and an official of a number of local and national professional organizations. Active in civic and cultural groups, Friedman served as president of the Cheltenham Adult School and president of the Home and School Association of Cheltenham H.S. He was on the advisory council of Empower America as well as the Physician’s Council of the Heritage Foundation and was named to the Cheltenham Township Planning Commission. In 1984, Friedman was appointed a “goodwill ambassador” for the City of Philadelphia. Among his many honors was an Outstanding Civilian Service Medal awarded to him in 1970 on the recommendation of the Secretary of the Army for his consultation with the U.S. surgeon general. He published some four dozen professional papers and articles on various aspects of health care, public policy and radiology. Friedman is survived by his wife, the former Elise Kohn; daughter, Ellen; sons, Steven L. and Peter B.; sister, Miriam; and six grandchildren.

1936

Albert I. Edelman, attorney, Bronxville and East Hampton, N.Y., on January 9, 2003. Born in New Haven, Conn., Edelman graduated from the Law School in 1938. After serving as a lieutenant commander in the Navy in World War II, Edelman joined the military government of the American zone of occupied Berlin, led by John J. McCloy. He was named chief of its industrial investigations branch, which looked into the wartime conduct of leading German companies. Edelman was a judge on the International Court in Germany. After that, he became a trustee and general secretary of the Benjamin Franklin Foundation, which was formed to assist in the reconstruction of Germany, and worked with Willy Brandt, then the mayor of West Berlin. Back in New York, Edelman joined Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy. In 1958, he became a founding partner, with Jacob K. Javits, of Javits Trubin Sillcock & Edelman. In its heyday, the firm had 60 lawyers and was best known for its work in banking and real estate finance matters. In Edelman’s specialty, international law, he acted as counsel in business ventures and mergers between companies in Europe, South America, Southeast Asia and the United States. When Javits Trubin disbanded in 1984, Edelman joined Javits, no longer a senator, as a partner in the firm of Parker Chapin Flattau & Klimpl. He became associated with Mayer Brown after Javits’s death in 1986 and opened the firm’s offices in Berlin, Frankfurt and Cologne. Most recently, Edelman was senior counsel to the firm of Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, the former Eleanor Weisman; daughters, Gwen, Cornelia, and Jennifer Lemler; son, Thomas; brother, Daniel J.; and two granddaughters.

Joseph H. Greenberg, linguist, Stanford, Calif., on May 7, 2001. Greenberg was born on May 28, 1915, in Brooklyn and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the College. He received a Ph.D. in anthropology in 1939 from Northwestern. From 1940–45, Greenberg served in the Army in North Africa and Italy. Following the war, he taught for a year at the University of Minnesota before returning to Columbia, where he taught from 1948–62. In 1962, Greenberg moved to Stanford, where he remained for the rest of his life. There, he helped to found the linguistics department and the African Studies Center. Greenberg became internationally known in the early 1950s for a classification of African languages that today is the basis for all African historical linguistics. Rather than continuing his work on African languages, he left the field to others and for the remainder of his life worked in other areas. In 1963, Greenberg published a paper on the order of meaningful elements in language that founded the subfield of linguistic typology. He continued his work on linguistic classification in other areas of the world, producing a classification of New Guinea languages in 1971, a classification of Native American languages in 1987 and a two-volume classification of Eurasian languages in 2000–02. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest linguists of the 20th century, and he received almost every honor available to a linguist, including being the first linguist elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Greenberg was a member of the American Philosophical Society and president of the Linguistic Society of America, the African Studies Association, and the West African Linguistic Association. In the 1960s, he received the Haile Selassie Award for African research and, shortly before his death, was awarded the Talcott Parsons Prize in the Social Sciences. Greenberg is survived by his wife, Selma, to whom he was married for 60 years.

1938

Harry S. Howard Jr., retired, Skaneateles, N.Y., on May 13, 2002. Howard was born in Amsterdam, N.Y., on February 28, 1917, and graduated from Wilbur Lynch H.S. He was a production manager for Alco Technologies in Auburn and retired in 1980. Howard served two terms as vice president of Schalmont Central School Board in Rotterdam and was active in Toastmasters International. CCT received this note from his daughter, Ann: “My father was very proud to be a College grad — he often spoke of his Columbia College years as among the best of his life.” Howard was predeceased by his wife, Joan Bergen Howard. He is survived by his daughters, Joan M. and Muriel (Ann); sons, Harry S. III and John; and four grandchildren.

1939

Judson E. Pratt, retired, Charlotte, N.C, on February 3, 2003. Born in Detroit, Pratt was raised in Plantsville, Conn., and was a World War II veteran. While at the College, he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta. Pratt earned a master’s from the Journalism School in 1940. Prior to moving to Charlotte last July, he lived in Hendersonville, N.C., for 20 years following his retirement from the University of Hartford, where he served as publications editor and manager. He is survived by his wife, Patricia; daughters, Cynthia May and Judith Anne; son-in-law, G. (Tom) Heinly; and sister-in-law, Barbara M. Pratt. He was predeceased by a younger brother, James. Memorials may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice or to the Southminster Foundation, 8919 Park Rd., Charlotte, NC 28210.

1943

George O. Rudkin Jr., chemist, Chadds Ford, Pa., on February 10, 2003. Rudkin was born in New York City and received a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University in 1946. He became associate director of the product development department for ICI United States in Wilmington, Del. His wife of 58 years, Helene ’45 Barnard, said in a note to CCT: “[George] was always most appreciative of his Columbia University education and training under Professor Nelson of the chemistry department.” In addition to his wife, Rudkin is survived by his daughters, Mary Ellen, Christine Louise, Noreen Anne and Amy Josephine; son, George Henry; 10 grandchildren; great-granddaughter; and brother, Robert. Donations may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.

1947

Philip G. Strauss M.D., retired, Oakland, Calif., on May 20, 2002. Born in Brooklyn in 1926, Strauss attended Townsend Harris H.S. in Manhattan. His years at Columbia were interrupted by Naval service in World War II. Strauss received his medical degree from SUNY Downstate Medical College (now the SUNY Health Sciences Center at Brooklyn). He interned at Cincinnati General Hospital and did his residency at the University of Colorado Medical Center in Denver followed by cardiology fellowships at Stanford and UC San Francisco. After a one-year sojourn into hyperenvironmental and space medicine with a private research company in Los Angeles, Strauss returned to the Bay Area. He practiced internal medicine and cardiology in San Leandro, Calif., from 1961 until his retirement in 1992 and then consulted in internal medicine at Garfield NeuroBehavioral Center in Oakland until 2001. In the late 1960s, he collaborated with other doctors to establish the first coronary care units in the East Bay Area at Doctors Hospital and Memorial Hospital in San Leandro. Strauss is survived by his wife of 42 years, Mary B.; three children, including Carolyn F. Strauss ’92; and two grandchildren.

1948

Franklin R. Ross, retired executive, Amherst, Va., on October 13, 2002. Ross was born on June 30, 1922, in New Kensington, Pa. He served in the Army and was awarded the Blue Star for Scholastic Excellence; he was part of the Army Specialized Training Program. While at the College, Ross was a member of Nacoms, secretary of the Van Am Society and the Dorm Council, chairman of the Social Affairs Committee and the Senior Formal Committee and a member of the Class Day committee. He was an advertising manager in the industrial systems division of Minneapolis Honeywell Regulator Co., a copywriter for Robertshaw Controls and a technical writer for IRC, Philadelphis. Ross lived for many years in Palmyra, N.J. He was married to Amy Kerr Ross, who died in 1971. He is survived by twin sisters, Martha Ross Stimpson and Zoe Irene Ross; a niece and nephew; and a grand-niece and grand-nephew.

1949


Alvin Rush '49
Alvin Rush '49

Alvin Rush, television industry executive, Beverly Hills, Calif., on January 14, 2003. Rush was a 1952 graduate of the Law School. A leading executive in the television industry for more than 45 years, he had a long career with MCA, ultimately rising to chairman of MCA Television Group from 1986–91. Earlier, he held executive v.p. positions at NBC and NBC Sports. Most recently, Rush served as executive of special projects for Paramount Television Group. Rush attended the College on a football scholarship. He also worked his way through college with a variety of jobs, including food services in John Jay cafeteria and the Lions’ Den. Rush often recalled the camaraderie that he enjoyed with his fellow workers, especially how “the guys would take care of each other” by making sure that a buddy always got a “generous” serving of food. Rush married Betty (or Bobbi, as she was known to many friends) while attending the Law School, and they maintained friendships with many in the Columbia community throughout their 45-year marriage. William Kahn ’47, ’49L delivered a eulogy at Rush’s funeral service, recalling a life-long friendship that began at Columbia. Rush always maintained an appreciation of the scholarship and other help that he received from the College and the basis this provided for his professional accomplishments. He regularly supported the College and Law School. In 1997, the Universal Classroom in Jerome L. Greene Hall at the Law School was dedicated with the following plaque: “Renovation supported by the MCA Universal Foundation and five loyal graduates of Columbia Law School,” one of whom is listed as “Al Rush, 1952.” Rush will be remembered for his leadership, communications expertise and strong personal ethics. He was predeceased by his wife in 1995. He is survived by his sons, Bruce ’73, Robert ’76, ’80L and Jeffrey; seven grandchildren; and sister, Rita Grobisen.

1950

Alan Obre, writer, West Cornwall, Conn., on March 21, 2003. Obre was born in Brooklyn on June 7, 1924. He served in the Army from 1943–46 in the Pacific Theater and married Dorothy Suzano ’50 Barnard in 1950. Obre’s writing career included stints with the Long Island Star Journal, the National Association of Manufacturers and The New York Telephone Co. The Obres went to West Cornwall on weekends starting in 1963 and moved there permanently in 1979. Obre is survived by his wife.

1956

Charles L. Witte, physician, Tucson, Ariz., on March 7, 2003. Born on May 27, 1935, in New York City, Witte was a professor and founding member of the University of Arizona Department of Surgery since 1969 and was world-renowned for his expertise in disorders of the liver, intestine and lymphatic system. He specialized in abdominal and trauma surgery, focusing special attention on the education of resident surgeons and medical students. Witte was a member of many professional societies — the International Society of Lymphology was his favorite — and a recipient of numerous awards and prizes including induction into the National Academy of Medicine of Brazil. He authored many influential publications, as well. His lifelong passion was baseball — he played in the Tucson Adult Men’s League with the Cincinnati Reds and Doc’s Desperados until last year. Witte taught himself to a near-master level in chess and bridge, enjoyed singing baritone along with the great operatic tenors and traveled throughout the world. He is survived by his wife, Marlys Hearst Witte M.D.; daughters, Pamela Swartzel and Andrea Finch; son, Dr. Russell; brother, Robert; brother-in-law, Dr. Eliot Hearst; and three grandchildren.

1958

Frederick G. Allen, financial consultant, Eastchester, N.Y., on January 14, 2003. Allen attended school in West Haven, Vt.; N.Y. Military Academy; and Ansonia, Conn. Allen joined the Naval ROTC at Columbia and served two years as a lieutenant aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ticonderoga. He earned an M.B.A from the Business School in 1965 and later received an Information Resource Management Certificate from Carnegie-Mellon University and Columbia. Allen became v.p. for arbitrage for A.G. Becker Co. in New York City and was a financial consultant and analyst for several other Wall Street firms, finally working for CNA Insurance Co. from 1996–2002. Allen was a licensed trainer of thoroughbred horses in New York and Maryland. For a number of years, he owned Heather Ridge Farm in Campbell Hall, N.Y. and raised, trained and raced thoroughbred horses at Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga, N.Y., and Dover Downs, Del. He also had a great interest in competitive rowing, racing at the Head of the Charles, Cambridge, Mass.; Schuylkill, Philadelphia; and in Saratoga and Canada. He was a member of the N.Y. Athletic Club and the N.Y. Sports Club in Eastchester, N.Y. Allen also was a member of the Christ Church Episcopal in Bronxville, N.Y. His body was given to the N.Y. Donations Agency for organ donation and used with burn patients of 9-11. Survivors include his brother, Roger V.; and stepmother, Betty Allen Barnouw.

1959

John E. Liebmann, retired naval officer, Hannacroix, N.Y., on January 10, 2003. Liebmann earned a master’s of marine affairs from the University of Rhode Island in 1971 and was a career naval officer. He retired in 1989. He is survived by his wife, Ramona; daughters, Maria Roosevelt and Shelly; son, Tim; and two grandchildren.

1962

Warren Lasko, retired naval officer, Chevy Chase, Md., on February 20, 2003. Lasko was a Long Island native. He earned a master’s in economics from GSAS in 1969 and spent the early years of his career at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he was a director in the economic analysis division and deputy director of the office of policy development. He also served as director of HUD’s field office in San Francisco. He was COO of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America and an authority on real estate finance. Lasko was executive v.p. of the MBA from 1985–98. During his tenure, the association pursued a campaign to increase its membership and influence. It lobbied Congress, HUD and other agencies on affordable housing legislation, mortgage reform proposals and tax issues. Before joining the MBA, Lasko spent three years as executive v.p. of the Government National Mortgage Association, also known as Ginnie Mae, and about four years as an executive of Fannie Mae. At both, he was instrumental in developing mortgage-backed securities programs. After his retirement from the MBA, Lasko served as chairman of the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County (Md.) and as an adjunct faculty member of the University of Maryland graduate program in urban studies and planning. Lasko interviewed applicants for the College in the metro D.C. area as part of the Alumni Representative Committee until two years ago, when he decided to spend more time with his grandchildren. His marriage to Barbara Lasko ended in divorce. Survivors include his wife of 10 years, Lorraine; two daughters from his first marriage, Karen Culton and Erika O’Neill; stepson, Jeffrey Fein; brother; and four grandchildren.

Michael C. Weinberg, professor, Tucson, Ariz., on December 30, 2002. Weinberg had a long and distinguished career in glass materials and was professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Arizona. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Joan; daughter, Alexandra; and son, Jonathan.

1981


Paul J. Lang '81
Paul J. Lang '81

Paul J. Lang, real estate developer, hotel management and resort consultant, and educator, Paris, on February 9, 2003. Lang was born on March 28, 1959, in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, Ill. At 13, he moved with his family to Corrales, N.M., which had a population of 1,000. He lived there until he moved to New York City, which he would come to call home, to earn a degree in comparative literature from the College. Upon graduating, Lang became a concierge at the prestigious Carlisle Hotel, and earned a master’s in hotel management from the Cornell School of Hotel Administration in 1987. In 1989, after having returned to Manhattan and working for a hotel development group, Lang formed HSA, a consulting firm that brokered several deals involving national and international hotels and resorts, including the Port de Plaisance resort in St. Martin. He also taught real estate development courses at NYU. In 1990, Lang met Catherine Levy, a Parisian living in New York, and within the year, they married. For many years, the couple divided their time between New York City, Paris and St. Martin. In 1998, they settled in Paris so that Lang could, in his words, “focus on the most important thing I have ever done” — the raising of his two daughters, Ilana and Maya, and his son, Daniel. In addition to his wife and children, Lang is survived by his mother, Lila; father, Bill; sister, Carla; and brothers, David and Andrew.

L.P.

Other Deaths Reported

Columbia College Today has learned of the deaths of the following alumni (full obituaries will be published if information becomes available):

1934 Chandler B. Grannis, Montclair, N.J., on October 23, 2002.

1943 Robert M. Sutton, Hope, N.J., on March 4, 2003. Sutton received a master's from the Engineering School in 1948.

1948 Thomas J. Sinatra, Neponsit, N.Y., on March 17, 2003.

1954 Ernest Simon, Montvale, N.J., on February 22, 2003. Simon received master's and doctoral degrees (1958 and 1963, respectively) in French and Romance philosophy from GSAS.

1963 Frank Kendall Brown, Boca Raton, Fla., on June 28, 2000.

 

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