November 2013 Issue • Volume 41 • Issue 7

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Obituaries

Deaths

Carmen “Joey” Veneziano, University of Maryland Baltimore County, died suddenly from lymphoma on July 17 at the age of 30.

Robert “Bob” Bolles Zehner, University of New South Wales, passed away on August 21, 2013 after a long battle with prostate cancer.

Obituaries

J. Kenneth Davidson, Sr.
1939-2013

J. Kenneth Davidson, Sr., Professor Emeritus of Sociology and former coordinator of family studies at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire died on September 1, 2013, in Austin, TX. For the past four decades, Davidson’s research has contributed to our understanding of a wide range of topics in marriage and family, especially around sexuality and intimacy.

Davidson was raised in Martinez, GA. After receiving a teaching diploma at Augusta State College, Ken graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts in Education and a Master of Arts in Sociology. He went on to earn his PhD in Sociology from the University of Florida where he worked with Felix Berardo..

His 40-year teaching career began at Augusta State College. After spending two years teaching at Indiana University-South Bend, Ken and his family moved to Eau Claire, WI, where he had a 30-year career at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Davidson began studying human sexuality in the 1960s while teaching at Augusta State College and serving as a research instructor and survey consultant in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Medical College of Georgia, commencing the focus of his work throughout his career and even into retirement. In addition to his more than 80 research publications, he co-authored numerous textbooks in the areas of sociology, marriage and family, and human sexuality. Davidson was recognized as a Certified Family Life Educator by the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) in 1989. In 2005, he was awarded Fellow status in NCFR, “an honor awarded to relatively few living members on the basis of their outstanding contributions to family science … that have broad impact on the field and are enduring over time.”

In 2005 the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction at Indiana University acquired the lifelong collection of research files and scholarly work on human sexuality compiled by Davidson and his collaborator, Nelwyn B. Moore, Professor Emerita, Texas State University-San Marcos. The archive contains more than 10,000 articles on human sexuality. The head of the library at the Kinsey Institute noted,

For the past four decades, their research contributions covered a wide range of topics, from studies on sexual emotions to sexual relations and knowledge of marriage and family.” The Institute library aims to acquire, organize, preserve as well as provide access to human sexuality resources and is visited by students and scholars of sexuality from all over the world. The Davidson/Moore collection will expand and enhance our collecting scope, and we are very pleased that they have decided to deposit their lifelong collection with the Kinsey Institute.

Throughout his career, Davidson was the consummate servant-leader. He was active in the American Sociological Association, the Groves Conference on Marriage and the Family, the Midwest Sociological Society, the National Council on Family Relations, the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, the Southern Sociological Society, the Texas Council on Family Relations, and the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality. Davidson served as President of the Mid-South Sociological Association and as President of Alpha Kappa Delta, the international sociology honor society that has named its Distinguished Service Award in his honor.

In addition to his ambitious scholarly agenda and his devotion to professional service, Ken always had time to lend a nonjudgmental ear and to extend professional guidance. For those of us fortunate to have served with him (including many women navigating the academy), Ken was a gracious and just-plain-kind support, but also a reminder of the importance of generous gatekeepers who open opportunities to the next generation. Fortunate among us are those who counted Ken as “family,” celebrating marriages, births, graduations, and the other rites of passage of family life with this gentleman.

Our colleague and friend is survived by his two sons, John Kenneth Davidson, Jr. (Houston, Texas) and Stephen Wood Davidson (Atlanta, Georgia), as well as John’s wife, Emmy Davidson and grandsons John Kenneth (Jake) Davidson III and William Laughlin (Will) Davidson (Houston). 

Meg Wilkes Karraker, University of St. Thomas, and Dennis R, McSeveney, University of New Orleans

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Fred H. Goldner
1926-2013

Fred H. Goldner, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Queens College, CUNY, died August 19, 2013, at the age of 86, after a three-year tourist visit to cancer country without a return visa. Born in New Haven, CT, he had a long and varied career, going back and forth between academia and the public and private corporate world, which included serving both as Chief of Staff of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation and as an Executive Consultant with an emergent HMO-Sanus and its national successor NYLCare.

His most notable scholarly contributions included: the development of the concept of Pronoia (the delusional opposite of Paranoia); the delineation of power relations within organizations; pointing out the necessity of following the flow of money through an organization in order to understand organizational processes; calling attention to managerial demotion; developing the concept of organizational cynical knowledge; studying the effects of belief systems within organizations; identifying correlations between managerial perspectives and future success or failure and discerning, by the analysis of survey data, the startling differences between the belief systems of older and younger priests in the late 1960s.

He served in the U.S. Navy 1944–46 and taught at Columbia Graduate School of Business from1964–70. He was an active member of the American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), honored twice as nominee for president and serving on the Council and as Conference Chair in 1981. He started competitive swimming for the first time at 75 and placed in the top 10 nationally 76 times. During the last decade, he was an advisor to the Board of the Lay Center of Foyer Unitas in Rome.

He leaves his brother Merwin; his daughter Saren; his son Paul; June, his ex-wife but present companion; and Joseph Lynaugh, his intellectual colleague and close friend of 45 years. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Friends of the Lay Center, C/O 3900 Cathedral Ave. NW, Apt 202A, Washington, DC 20016. 

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Robert “Bob” Bolles Zehner
1941-2013

Bob Zehner was an American-born Australian educator whose passions were teaching, cricket, and bushwalking.

Bob was born in Norwalk, CT in 1941, the son of John Randall Zehner, a civil engineer, and Margaret Bolles Zehner, a schoolteacher and social worker. He grew up in Nyack, NY, and married Ruth Sauter, a botanist, in 1964.

Educated at Amherst College with an MA and PhD in sociology from the University of Michigan, Bob held teaching positions at the University of Michigan and the University of North Carolina before moving to Australia in 1975 on a Fulbright Scholarship. After returning briefly to the University of North Carolina, the family moved to Australia permanently in July 1976. Bob was a member of the Faculty of Built Environment at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), where he held a series of leadership roles including Head of the School Town Planning, Associate Dean of Education, and Senior Associate Dean. He was mace-bearer faculty graduation ceremonies from 2007 to 2010. Bob was instrumental in establishing the workplace giving program at UNSW. He was also instrumental in the creation of three awards, the last bearing his name. He sat on numerous committees and councils for the wider University. In November 2010, Ill health caused him to retire from an active role at the UNSW.

Bob was passionate about teaching. At UNSW he taught urban sociology, research methodology, quantitative methods, photography (team-taught with a professional photographer), integrated planning—communication; and finally planning, theory, and practice. He subscribed to W.B. Yeats’ view, which argues that “[e]ducation is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire.”

He aimed to create an environment for student-directed, project-based learning, where his role was an active guide. Bob was a recipient of the UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence; a UNSW nominee for a national teaching award; and the recipient of a national citation from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning. He also took great pride in the successes of others such as his family, students, and those he mentored. Three junior colleagues mentees were recipients of UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Teaching Excellence; he supervised the theses of six undergraduate University Medalists; and five students whose theses won state and national awards.

His research interests included life in Australian mining towns, nationwide surveys of local government planners and climate change, planning education, and studio teaching in art, architecture, and design. Bob was a driving force behind ConnectED 2007, the first International Conference on Design Education, which featured 200 refereed papers from more than 25 countries. ConnectED was a collaboration of the Faculty of Built Environment, the Faculty of Engineering and the UNSW College of Fine Arts.

Away from his work, Bob coached and umpired his son’s cricket teams and gained full umpire’s accreditation. He umpired more than 100 grade cricket matches. He was a bushwalker, completing the Milford Track, Overland Track, and the Grand Traverse Walk. Bob completed the City-to-Surf 29 times, and had a great love of travel and photography.

Bob passed away on August 21, 2013, after a long battle with prostate cancer. He is survived by his wife of 48 years Ruth, his sons: David and Erick, his daughter-in-law, Rachel, and his grandchildren, Annabelle and Zachary.


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