Janaury 2013 Issue • Volume 41 • Issue 1

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Obituaries

Deaths

Charles Louis Kincannon, former director of the United States Census Bureau, passed away on December 15, 2012, at the age of 62.

Obituaries

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Josef C. Gutenkauf
1925– 2012

Josef C. Gutenkauf, 87, a 30-year resident of Plainfield, NJ, died on December 8, 2012, at JFK Medical Center, surrounded by his loving family. Born October 13, 1925, in Chicago, the son of Joseph and Martha (Madison) Gutenkauf, he spent much of his childhood on the family farm in Clifton, IL. A World War II Army veteran, he served during the liberation of the Philippines and in the occupation of Japan. After the war, he attended the University of Chicago, where he received a BA in History. 
Active in the Civil Rights movement, Joe joined the Socialist Party in 1944, and in 1948 he served as executive secretary of the Chicago branch of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), working with Bayard Rustin, Michael Harrington, Norman Thomas, and many other noted political and intellectual luminaries. He was a founding member of what is now Democratic Socialists of America.  

At Southern Illinois University, he met fellow sociology graduate student Dorothy Miller, and they were married in 1964. Joe enrolled in the graduate program at Syracuse University in 1966, joined the faculty at Ithaca College, and later taught at Glassboro State College (now Rowan University). After moving to New Jersey, Joe worked at the NJ Treasury Department’s Affirmative Action Office until his retirement in 1992. He was a member of the American Federation of Teachers and the Communications Workers of America. He was an avid WWII historian, a voracious reader, and a terrific cook, and loved classic films and European history.

An active member of the Plainfield community, Joe worked on political campaigns for school board members and for candidates for local, state, and national office. A member of the Democratic City Committee for many years, Joe worked to abolish the death penalty, achieve marriage equality, and keep —and later restore—Plainfield’s Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center. He received awards for his commitment to social justice from the Plainfield Area NAACP and Garden State Equality.

Joe is survived by his devoted wife of 48 years, Dottie Gutenkauf; his daughter, Polly Armour and her husband, Jay; and his son, Jon Martin and his partner, Craig Roseberry. He was the beloved brother-in-law of Alice Gutenkauf; uncle of Diane Gutenkauf and her husband Michael Hassan, and Karen Gutenkauf; grandfather of Sarah and Josh Armour; and cherished friend to Joan Hervey and Linda Geczi and to his loyal canine companion, Sheba. Joe was predeceased by his dear brother Martin.

At his request, his remains have been donated to the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Plainfield Rescue Squad at PO Box 707, Plainfield, NJ 07060, and to the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players at 302 West 91st St, New York, NY 10024.

This obituary originally appeared in the New Jersey Courier News

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Aubrey Wendling
1918 -2012

Aubrey Wendling, Professor Emeritus at San Diego State University, passed away peacefully at home at the age of 94, surrounded by his wife of 71 years, Lucille, and their only child, Laura Marie.

Aubrey was a man of many interests, talents, and achievements. He was born in San Francisco and graduated from Commerce High School in 1936. He worked as a CCC Camp doctor’s assistant, then entered San Francisco State College in 1939. Aubrey was elected Student Body President in his senior year with the help of his campaign manager, Pierre Salinger, who later became President Kennedy’s press secretary. It was at San Francisco State that he met the love of his life, Lucille Ingeborg Tackle; they married in 1941. Lt. Wendling served four years with the Merchant Marines and saw action in the South Pacific.

Aubrey received his PhD from the University of Washington in 1954 while Lucille pursued her lifelong career as an elementary educator. In Seattle they joined the Seattle Mountaineers. Aubrey became an instructor for their Basic Mountaineering course on techniques of rock, snow, and ice climbing and survival skills, which he later brought to the San Diego Chapter of the Sierra Club. In Seattle, he began his lifelong passion for fly fishing and gourmet cooking.

Wendling joined the Sociology Department of San Diego State College (now University) in 1954. He chaired the department from 1962-65 and was also instrumental in developing the Social Science Research Center, which housed the many funded research projects that he brought to the university. He directed the Center for 20 years. His research interests focused on demography, infant mortality, high school drop outs, and drinking and driving. Aubrey was one of the first professors at SDSU to bring in a million dollar grant. In 1963, with co-principal investigator Delbert S. Elliott, Aubrey received a million dollar grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, titled “Dropout, Delinquency and the Social Milieu of the School.” Other grants secured by Aubrey were funded by the California Business of Transportation Agency, Office of Traffic Safety; the U.S. Department of Transportation; and the California Association of Mental Health. Many peer-reviewed articles and monographs resulted from these research projects.

Aubrey was also very involved with scholarly organizations, especially the Pacific Sociological Association (PSA). From 1973-78, he served as the editor of the PSA’s journal, The Pacific Sociological Review (now called Sociological Perspectives).Under his leadership, the Review grew from a regional publication to one of the major national publications attracting worldwide readers and contributors. He was on the PSA’s Executive Committee for 10 years, served as Vice President of the PSA in addition to serving on the PSA’s Advisory Council and Financial Advisory Committee. He also served on the planning committee that launched the California Sociological Association in 1990.

Aubrey Wendling was the ultimate mentor for many students and junior faculty in the SDSU Sociology Department. When I arrived in 1973 as a 26-year-old newly minted PhD, Aubrey mentored me in many ways, including the art of preparing manuscripts for submission to peer-reviewed journals and preparing grant applications. I will forever be indebted to him for his willingness to spend a significant amount of time mentoring me and other junior colleagues.

Upon retirement in 1982, as Professor Emeritus, Aubrey founded SDSU’s Faculty and Staff Retirement Association, serving as its first and fifth president. In 1993, SDSU’s Chapter of Mortar Board honored Wendling for his dedication to the university. On his 94th birthday, the SDSU Retirement Association further recognized him by establishing a perpetual student scholarship in his name.

Aubrey’s devotion to family and friends, as well as his love of life, was exemplary. His life can be summed up in the George Bernard Shaw quote, “You see things and ask, ‘Why?’  I dream things that never were and I ask, ‘Why not?’”

Aubrey is pre-deceased by his parents, Returne and Edith Wendling, and younger brother Orrin Wendling. Survivors include his wife, Lucille, daughter Laura Marie Wendling, PhD, son-in-law Ken Mendoza, PhD, and twin grandchildren, Marisa and Travis Mendoza.

No services are planned. Donations in Aubrey’s memory can be made to: the Dr. Aubrey Wendling Scholarship Fund, SDSU Retirement Association, 5500 Campanile Drive, AD225, San Diego, CA 92182-5000; or to San Diego Hospice.

Charles F. Hohm, San Diego State University

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