December 2013 Issue • Volume 41 • Issue 8

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Obituaries

Deaths

Suzanne Bianchi, University of California-Los Angeles, died on November 4, 2013, after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer.

Ernest Q. Campbell, Vanderbilt University, former dean of Vanderbilt University and a former President of the Southern Sociological Society, died Sunday in Nashville at the age of 86.

Bill Erbe, University of Illinois-Chicago, retired in 1995 after 26 years of teaching, passed away on June 11, 2013, after several years of decline.

Richard P. Gale, University of Oregon, died on September 27 after a stroke. He was Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Oregon.

Juan Linz, Yale University, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Political and Social Science, passed away on October 1, 2013, at the age of 86.

Obituaries

Suzanne M. Bianchi

Suzanne M. Bianchi, a Dorothy Meier Chair in Social Equities and Distinguished Professor of Sociology at University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), passed away from pancreatic cancer on November 4, 2013, at the age of 61. She was a prominent family sociologist-demographer known for her paradigm-shifting research on the dramatic changes in the American family in the latter half of the 20th century. Some of the highlights of Suzanne’s seasoned career include President of the Population Association of America (PAA), founding director of the Maryland Population Research Center, Editor of the top-tier journal Demography (with Ken Hill), and chair of the Executive Committee of the California Center for Population Research at UCLA.

As the valedictorian of her high school in Fort Dodge, IA, Suzanne was the first in her family to attend college. She earned her undergraduate degree from Creighton University, master’s degree from Notre Dame University, and PhD from the University of Michigan at the age of 26. Taking her first job at the U.S. Census Bureau, she quickly rose to Assistant Division Chief for Social and Demographic Statistics in the Population Division. In 1994, she joined the faculty of the University of Maryland College Park as Professor of Sociology and began her position at UCLA in 2009.

The author of numerous award-winning books and articles, Suzanne often questioned conventional wisdom about trends in family life by carefully examining empirical evidence, including data that she often collected. Her widely cited 2000 Population Association of America presidential address challenged common assumptions that increased maternal employment resulted in reduced time with children. Suzanne’s analysis of time use studies revealed that over the period of mothers’ rising labor force participation, maternal time with children remained steady. Employed mothers adjusted their work hours, curtailed their housework and leisure time to protect the time with their children. In subsequent work, she analyzed how fathers’ lives changed over the same time period, doing more housework and childcare than fathers in previous generations.

Suzanne once described her research agenda as having three acts. In the first she focused on the time people spend working for pay and on how women balanced family time and employment. Her books, Balancing Act: Motherhood, Marriage, and Employment Among American Women (1996) and American Women in Transition (1986), both with Daphne Spain, defined this period. At the start of the second act of her agenda, she wrote Continuity and Change in the American Family (2002 with Lynne Casper), which won the Otis Dudley Duncan award from the ASA Population section. In that act, Suzanne focused more on the gendered division of labor in the home and how pressured women and men feel by the demands of work and family life. Her second act culminated in multiple articles published in top-tier peer-reviewed journals, including Social Forces, Demography, and the American Journal of Sociology, and the book Changing Rhythms of American Family Life (2006) with Melissa Milkie and John Robinson, for which she received a second Otis Dudley Duncan award and the William J. Goode Award from the American Sociological Association. By the third act, she was studying transfers of time and money between parents and children, such as when parents launch children by helping them financially and looking after grandchildren and when children help aging parents with errands and caregiving. At the time of her death she was writing a book on parent-child relationships in later life (with Judith Seltzer). The common thread to the three acts of her scholarship was the focus on the intersection of gender, work, and family. In August of this year she received the Distinguished Career award from the ASA Family Section.

Suzanne’s research contributions were matched by her service to the profession. She chaired the Family and Population sections of the ASA and was an active contributor on many committees, boards, and panels.

 Beyond the lasting impression Suzanne’s work leaves on the field of sociology is the lasting impression she leaves on collaborators and as a mentor to countless junior faculty and students, many of whom have gone on to build influential careers under Suzanne’s pragmatic guidance and continual support through critical career milestones. She will be fondly remembered as a dedicated colleague and teacher who dispensed sage advice, possessed exemplary editing skills, and always carried her weight, no matter how trivial the task. Never losing sight of her Midwestern humility, Suzanne often seemed unaware of the reach of her professional influence and the extent to which her students and those who admired her work would delight in her sought-after seals of approval.

Suzanne’s studies in the areas of gender, work, and family paralleled her efforts to combine an accomplished career and a rich family life that included her large extended family, three children, and a fully involved husband to whom she was married for 31 years. Suzanne is survived by her children Jennifer, James, and Jonathan; her husband, Mark Browning; her mother, Rita Bianchi; five siblings; and relatives and friends throughout the world who will miss the rest of her third act.

Sara Raley, McDaniel College; Judith Seltzer, University of California Los Angeles; Ren Farley, University of Michigan; Joan Kahn, University of Maryland at College Park; Daphne Spain, University of Virgnia

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Richard P. Gale
1937-2013

Richard P. Gale passed away on September 27, 2013, in Laguna Woods, CA, weeks after suffering a stroke, at age 75. Dick retired in 1997 as Professor of Sociology at the University of Oregon, whose faculty he joined 30 years earlier after graduate work at Michigan State University.

Dick was born in Chicago and raised in Portland, OR, where he developed a love of the outdoors. Following his BA at Reed College in 1960, Dick moved to Washington State University for his MA in 1962, and then to Michigan State—receiving his PhD in 1968. His dissertation on Argentinean auto workers was part of a multi-national study directed by his advisor, William Form.

The outdoors captured Dick’s continuing interest, both personally and professionally, especially after two summers on U.S. Forest Service (USFS) fire lookouts in Washington State while a graduate student. First-hand experience with how the USFS dealt with the conflicting demands of serving timber industry needs while also fulfilling its mandate to manage a national resource sparked Dick’s sociological imagination.

As soon as he joined the University of Oregon faculty Dick began focusing on environmental issues. Over the course of his career he published more than 50 articles and chapters analyzing the environmental movement, natural resource agencies and management systems, social impact assessment, resource-dependent communities, and sustainability. He also co-edited Social Science in Natural Resource Management Agencies (Westview 1987).

Dick was a central figure among sociologists pushing for greater disciplinary attention to environmental issues in the 1970s. These efforts led to formation of the ASA Section on Environmental Sociology in 1976, and Dick was the Section’s inaugural Secretary and later served as Council Member. 

Dick’s commitment to understanding how natural resource agencies operate and his desire to put sociological knowledge to use led to short-term appointments with both the USFS and the National Marine Fisheries Service as well as a position as Affiliate Professor of Marine Affairs with the University of Washington. His ability to work effectively with non-sociologists—including fellow academics, agency representatives, and various stakeholders—enabled Dick to bring a sociological perspective to a range of venues and policy debates.

Besides producing a strong body of scholarly and applied work, Dick was the driving force in establishing UO’s thriving interdisciplinary Environmental Studies Program.  It began as an undergraduate minor, but now offers majors at the undergraduate, master’s, and PhD levels, and Dick is widely acknowledged as the principal architect of the program’s expansion and success.  He also played an important role in helping set up collaborative (course-sharing) programs in Environmental Science at Oregon State University and in Environmental Science and Management at Portland State University.

Dick’s hallmark was a firm belief in the importance of interdisciplinary environmental education and research, and the strong programs he did so much to create and nurture continue to grow and prosper and constitute a wonderful legacy.  Of course, he also planted the seed for the University of Oregon Department of Sociology’s current world-class program in environmental sociology, another highly significant legacy.

Dick was a dedicated instructor and mentor, working tirelessly as an advisor for students in both sociology and environmental studies and supervising the sociology internship program. He loved working with students, providing patient and tireless advice to both undergrad and grad students.

Dick was a “giver,” always helping others. He was also a “doer,” as indicated by his commitment to applied research and program building.  Both orientations were reflected in his retirement—first in the coastal town of Florence, OR, and then in Laguna Woods, CA.  He served on the Florence Chamber of Commerce and as an ombudsman for a local nursing home, and helped initiate the annual Fall Festival celebration and obtain funding for the Events Center. After relocating to Laguna Woods in 2001, he tutored and mentored college students and joined with other retirees in organizing to pursue their musical and literary interests.

Dick is survived by his wife, Susan Gale; his sister, Jean Schaefer; and his nieces Julie Smith and Laurie Batten. Donations to his memory may be made to the Siuslaw Public Library (1460 Ninth St., Florence, OR 97439).

Riley E. Dunlap, Oklahoma State University, and Patricia A. Gwartney, University of Oregon

 

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