Ethelyn C. Davis, Texas Women’s University, died at Presbyterian Hospital in Denton, TX, at the age of 93. She was recently profiled in a May/June 2006 Footnotes article about her 70 years of membership with ASA.
John Hope Franklin, who died March 25 at the age of 94, was a historian who taught at a number of colleges and universities. He was a scholar of the American black experience, who assisted Thurgood Marshall’s legal team in Brown v. Board of Education, served in government, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995, to name a few accomplishments.
Carla B. Howery, retired ASA Deputy Executive Officer and recipient of the 2009 ASA Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award, died on March 31, 2009.
Bruce D. Johnson, National Development and Research Institute, passed away on February 20 at the age of 65. He suffered from cardiac arrest.
Bruce L. Berg died suddenly on February 20, 2009. At the time of his death, he was an active and highly productive member of the Criminal Justice faculty at California State University-Long Beach (CSULB). His funeral service on February 24 was attended by more than 400 people, including current and former students, colleagues, and many that he mentored through the years.
Bruce received his PhD from Syracuse University in 1983. His first faculty position as Assistant Professor was at Florida State University, where he also served as Internship Director. In 1986, he took a position at University of Massachusetts-Boston Harbor campus. Then from 1988 to 1996, he moved up the academic ladder at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, achieving tenure and full professor status. He served as chair of many doctoral dissertation committees and thus influenced generations of young scholars. In 1997, he moved to Southern California and took a faculty position at CSULB, where he remained until his death.
Many who met Bruce described him as “larger than life.” He was energetic, enthusiastic, passionate, and generous with his time. Perhaps his most memorable trait was his sense of humor. His students adored him, and classes were often filled to capacity. As a professor, his style was academic, with a touch of stand-up comic. He would entertain his students in class, prodding them to learn while they were laughing. Bruce spent hours correcting student papers, agonizing over each word. He was motivated by the desire to do the right thing and was frequently an advocate for the underdog. He possessed a love for teaching and mentoring students, especially those in the graduate program. Bruce also served as a role model for junior faculty, guiding them toward research and publication. He was admired by faculty inside and outside of the Department of Criminal Justice. He was consumed with passing on “the gift” of mentoring.
Bruce was a highly productive scholar. At the time of his death, he had written and revised six texts, eight book chapters, and more than 40 research articles. The success of his scholarship was demonstrated by multiple editions of his books. Most recently, he published the seventh edition of his highly regarded book, Qualitative Methods for the Social Sciences. Bruce was up at the crack of dawn each day, writing and teaching, and he devoted the late afternoon to his family and his beloved dog, Bebe. Until the time of his death, colleagues who were once his doctoral students would continue to communicate with him, soliciting advice on scholarship, academic pursuits, and inviting him to participate on myriad projects and publications.
Bruce’s service to the university was also extensive. He served on many department, college, and university committees, and mentored first-generation college students as part of the “Partners for Success Program” at CSULB. He also held numerous positions during his tenure at CSULB including Interdisciplinary Studies Director, Department Chair, and Graduate Advisor for both the on-campus and off-campus graduate programs. Bruce always contributed generously of his time at all levels of university service.
Bruce was a dedicated friend, husband, and father. He always found time for play, enjoying Disney and science fiction movies, and reading mystery novels. He traveled to Hawaii every year on vacation, fascinated by the beauty of the islands. Bruce could often be seen walking on the Long Beach campus, chatting with colleagues and wearing Hawaiian shirts. He had lost 110 pounds the year before he died and moved into a beautiful new home he called his “castle.” As his son, Alex recently said, “he was at the top of his game, in the best shape of his life, and living the dream.” Bruce was extremely proud of his children: daughter Kate and son-in-law Jon, who are lawyers, and son, Alex, an accountant. On many days, Bruce enjoyed the true California experience, driving along the Pacific Coast Highway with the top down on his T-Bird convertible and his dog by his side.
As his wife and best friend for 34 years, I can say that he was an extraordinary man who will be missed greatly.
Jill BergBack to Top of Page
Patrick G. Feeney, a professor of sociology at Montgomery College in Rockville, MD, died on December 3, 2008, at his home in Alexandria, VA.
Patrick Feeney (known to his colleagues as Pat) was born in Washington, DC, and grew up in Burtonsville, MD. Upon high school graduation, he worked as an automobile mechanic until a customer backed over his ankle, which led him to consider other employment options. Pat began taking classes at Montgomery College and found his calling in a sociology class. He received a scholarship to the University of California-Santa Barbara and headed west where he majored in sociology and began pursuing his lifelong interest in social justice and racial equality. Graduating with a BA with highest honors, Pat returned to the east, where he did graduate work at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, completing a master’s degree in sociology in 1982 and at Temple University in Philadelphia earning his PhD in 1991. Along the way he taught at Piedmont Technical College, Randolph Technical College, Guilford College, University of North Carolina-Greensboro, Temple University, Tougaloo College, St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, and Catholic University in Washington, DC. He became a tenured professor at Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, MD, where he taught from 1992 until 2003. In the fall of 2003, Pat returned to Montgomery College, the start of his academic journey, and joined the full-time faculty in the department of sociology, snthropology and criminal justice.
During his years as a graduate student and instructor of sociology, Pat Feeney wrote a number of papers that he presented at conferences. His papers reflected his academic passion and related to civil rights with a focus on voting rights, census undercounts, and apportionment, social class, and ideology.
During his five years at Montgomery College, Patrick Feeney was a highly popular instructor who inspired and interested students through his interactions and teaching methods. He mentored students in sociological research activities, which culminated in presentations of Montgomery College students at two Southern Sociological Society Annual Meetings and in the development of demographic research of the Washington metropolitan area. This research appeared as the fold-out on “Social Class and Life Chances—A Ride on the Washington, DC Metro” in James Henslin’s Sociology, A Down to Earth Approach (9th edition). Feeney responded to the college-wide initiative on service learning with successful implementation in many of his courses and enhanced his discipline and his department by his involvement in the development and teaching of a new course on globalization issues. He also taught courses on the sociology of sport and social problems as well as introductory sociology classes. Outside the classroom, Patrick Feeney served as the secretary for the Montgomery College chapter of the American Association of University Professors.
On a personal level, Pat was a man of many talents and interests. Athletically he was accomplished at basketball and golf, was a billiard enthusiast, shooting pool with his own custom-made pool cue, and bowled. He cherished the outdoors and competed yearly in the Seagull Century bike ride on the Eastern Shore. He loved music especially, Motown, and good blues guitarists. He played guitar and had a little band of sociologists at Mount St. Mary’s talent shows that called themselves, “Exiles from Sweden.” Pat was an involved father, serving as a coach for his daughter’s basketball and soccer teams. His concerns about social injustice led him to be actively involved in a number of political campaigns. He was a skilled auto mechanic and an avid motorcyclist. When he first came to Montgomery College he rode his motorcycle from his home in Alexandria, VA, most days. He was known for his sense of humor and his stories. He is missed by his colleagues and his students who recently honored him with letters written to his daughter.
Pat Feeney is survived by his daughter, Emma Marie Feeney of Alexandria, VA, his former wife, Kathleen Kelly of Alexandria, VA, and Cheryl Wagner, his good friend from Washington, DC.
Charlotte Twombly, Montgomery College, Kathleen Kelly, and Emma Feeney, with thanks to Cheryl WagnerBack to Top of Page
Dr. Mohamed Dayee Turay, who spent the past 17 years of his professional life at Savannah State University, passed away on November 15, 2007. He was as gifted and multi-faceted a scholar as the discipline has ever produced. Brilliant, creative, and particularly perceptive, Turay left a professional legacy in both his body of work as well as through his associations with students, colleagues, and other professional acquaintances. But to know him solely based on his professional contribution is to know only a fraction of what Turay meant to those of us who knew and admired him deeply.
Born in Monrovia, Liberia, and raised in Freetown, Sierra Leone, where he was educated in the local colonial schools, Turay grew into sociology primarily as a result of the sorts of day-to-day interactions that swirled about him during these challenging times. Conversant in several languages and dialects (though he once confided in me that he still translated everything he heard back into Mandingo) and pushed by his highly educated elders, he developed a knack for sifting through the difficulties brought about by colonial life. At the same time, he exploited whatever opportunities he could find as he sought to better himself and his condition through higher education.
Turay earned a dual bachelor’s degree in 1978 in English and the social sciences at the University of Sierra Leone, which in those days was still affiliated with England’s University of Durham. Following graduation, he moved on to Howard University in Washington, DC, where he found that even the most educated American students still thought of West Africans as at least marginally primitive, a matter often exacerbated by roles such as that played by Ken Norton in the film Mandingo, for which he was often asked to comment and explain. Undeterred, he earned his master’s and his PhD in sociology at Howard before heading out for even greener pastures, which would include stops at Bethune-Cookman and Daytona Beach Community College before settling into his career at Savannah State, where he was awarded tenure in 1997. During his professional career, he was also a Fulbright Scholar and won numerous awards, grants, and recognitions too numerous to mention here.
Once in Savannah, Turay was able to put on display his primary talents in demography and research methods, though as coordinator of the program, he was often asked to teach different courses far removed from his comfort zone. It was also during this time that he was able to hone a budding interest in Asiatic life, most specifically Japanese tea ceremonies, a subject matter that brought him much of his professional acclaim as one of the West’s foremost authorities and heralded lecturers on this particular component of Asian studies.
A member of several professional and civic organizations and responsible for a boatload of on- and off-campus programs and commemorations, Turay gave freely of his time, even as he struggled through his many health issues. Indeed, one of my most cherished images of him was watching him dancing in full Mandingo garb with an entire room full of school children riveted by his many stories and explanations of his homeland the year before his passing.
Along with his many friends and colleagues who loved him, Dr. Turay is survived by a far-reaching network of family members highlighted by his three beautiful and accomplished daughters, Jameela, Fateema, and Khaleelah, all of whom display a similar passion for friends, family, and learning. They were both his joy and his inspiration, and it is through them that we remember a man who could light up a room like few others, though he left us way before we were ready to say goodbye.
Joel Nathan Rosen, Moravian CollegeBack to Top of Page