Robert Dentler, who won the 2007 ASA Sociological Practice Award, passed away on March 20, 2008.
Ralph Lane, University of San Francisco, died in San Francisco on October 8, 2007, at age 84.
Charles Tilly, Columbia University, died of lymphoma on April 29 at the age of 78.
- Karen Bloom
- Robert A. Dentler
- John Freeman
- Ralph Lane, Jr.
- Melvin Pollner
- Charles Tilly
- Kay Michael Troost
Karen Bloom, age 62, passed away on Sunday, March 16, 2008, at home with her family at her side.
She was born to Raymond and Margaret (Lienhardt) Dodson on November 15, 1945, in Evanston, IL. She spent her childhood in Park Ridge, IL., and later moved to Fridley, MN, where she finished high school. She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Minnesota. She married Terry Bloom in 1968 and they had two children, Jeff and Melanie. She devoted many years to raising her children, participating actively in their lives, coaching soccer, and leading a Girl Scouts troop, among many other activities.
She later worked in various jobs in communication. She worked for 15 years as the managing editor for the American Sociological Review, retiring in 2004. She loved outdoor activities, spending time with "The Grapes," attending MSO and APT, and being with her family. Her great passion was breeding and training her award-winning Flat-Coated Retrievers. She also taught dog training classes. Karen will be missed by Terry, her husband of 40 years; Jeff and his wife Jennifer Balkan; Melanie and her husband Brian Penly; her granddaughter, Zoa Penly; countless friends and relatives; and her beloved dogs, Belle and Cici.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that you make a memorial contribution to the charity of your choice in Karen’s name. We will all miss her beautiful smile and warm heart in so many ways.
Adapted from Madison.comBack to Top of Page
Robert A. Dentler, professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, died on March 20, 2008. The cause of death was geriatric myelodysplasia, a bone marrow disorder.
Recipient of the ASA’s 2007 Distinguished Career Award for the Practice of Sociology, Robert A. Dentler received his PhD in Sociology at the University of Chicago (1960) and his MA in Sociology at American University (1954). He earned an MA in English Literature (1950) and a B.S. in Political Science (1949) at Northwestern University. Before his interests shifted to sociology, he served as an Intelligence Officer for the U.S. government (1952-54), as an English teacher (1950-52) and as a Crime and Court Reporter for the Chicago City News Bureau (1949).
In a letter nominating Dr. Dentler for the Distinguished Career Award, Joyce Ann Miller, president of Keystone Research Corp., said his work “illuminates the ways in which the practice of sociology can contribute to the betterment of the human condition.”
Prior to joining the Department of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts-Boston (UMass), Dentler was Senior Sociologist and Education Research Area Manager for Abt Associates, Inc. (1979-83), Dean of Education and University Professor of Education and Sociology at Boston University (1972-79), Director of the Center for Urban Education, New York City (1965-72), and Professor (and Associate Professor) of Sociology and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University (1962-72). He also taught at Dartmouth College (1961-62), the University of Kansas (1959-61), the University of Chicago (1957-59), Dickinson College (1954-57) and the U.S. Army War College (1955-57).
Bob Dentler was Professor of Sociology at UMass Boston from 1983 until his retirement in 1992 and he continued to teach there on a part-time basis for many years. He directed UMass Boston’s Graduate Program in Applied Sociology (1985-87) and was a popular instructor of and mentor to graduate students, encouraging "all those young enough in spirit to plunge into the river of social life" (remarks at the 2007 ASA Annual Meeting). Dentler also served at UMass Boston as Acting Dean of Education and Director of the Institute for Learning and Teaching (1987-88), Faculty Associate in the William Monroe Trotter Institute (1995-99), and Senior Fellow in the McCormack Institute of Public Affairs (1993-94).
In his long and distinguished career, Bob Dentler sought to apply the methods and theories of sociology to the improvement of society and the achievement of social justice. He pointed to a statement by Emile Durkheim in The Division of Labor in Society as one of many sources of inspiration: "Why strive for knowledge of reality if this knowledge cannot serve us in life?" In what he regarded as the high point of his applied work, Dentler served as a court-appointed expert for Judge W. Arthur Garrity and helped to design Boston’s controversial school desegregation plan. Subsequently, he contributed his expertise to school desegregation efforts in many other states.
Reflecting on this work, former colleague and Eastern Sociological Society President James A. Blackwell observed, "Bob’s unwavering commitment to equal educational opportunity was no better reflected than in his persistent work on the desegregation of public school systems, as well as his expert witness testimonies in higher education desegregation cases. I also knew him as a strong family man devoted to Helen and to their children and their families."
"He had a deep and abiding desire for achieving justice,” said Charles Willie, Harvard Graduate School of Education and a court-appointed master who oversaw desegregation in Boston’s schools. “He would have nothing to do with a plan that wasn’t designed to achieve justice. Justice as he saw it was justice for people of color as well as for white people. It was justice for people of limited income as well as for affluent people. That was something that stayed with him."
Robert Dentler authored or coauthored (or coedited) 15 books, more than 40 journal articles and book chapters, and numerous research reports and newspaper articles. He served as President of the Society for Applied Sociology (2005), Chair of the ASA’s Sociological Practice Section (1998), Editor of the Sociological Practice Review (1989-92), and Associate Editor of the Evaluation Review (1982-85). He served on the Boards of Directors of the Institute for Responsive Education (1977-1979) and the Roxbury Children’s Service, Inc. (1974-79), as Senior Scientist for the Southwest Regional Laboratory in Los Alamitos, California (1990-93), and as an advisor or consultant to many other government agencies and non-profit organizations.
Dr. Dentler is survived by his wife of 58 years, Helen Hosmer Dentler, three children, and six grandchildren. Donations in his memory may be made to the Robert Dentler Memorial Fund (to support poetry writing at Northwestern University), 1125 East Broadway, Box 146, Glendale, CA 91205.
Russell K. Schutt, University of Massachusetts BostonBack to Top of Page
John H. Freeman, a leader in the field of entrepreneurship and a professor at the University of California-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, died of an apparent heart attack at his home in Lafayette, CA, on March 3. He was 63.
Freeman joined UC-Berkeley in 1975 as an assistant professor at the School of Business Administration, which predated the Haas School. He went on to serve as the Helzel Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Haas School and was a member of the school’s Organizational Behavior and Industrial Relations Group.
Since 1993, he was the faculty director of the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. In 1997, Freeman founded the Berkeley Entrepreneurship Laboratory, an off-campus business incubator for Haas School students and recent graduates starting their own businesses.
He received the Max Weber Award from the ASA Section on Organizations, Occupations, and Work in 1992 for Organizational Ecology, a trail-blazing book he co-authored in 1989 with Michael T. Hannan, now a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford University.
Their book said that organizations that are reliable and accountable survive, but also are beset by a high degree of inertia and resistance to change. The authors also proposed that change is so disruptive that it can put many firms out of business. Organizational Ecology and its scholarly examination of how business enterprises emerge, grow, and dissolve is now a central tenet of organizational studies.
Tom Campbell, dean of the Haas School, called Freeman “a great scholar, a leader in the field of entrepreneurship, a devoted supporter of our school and an inspired teacher. Most of all, he was a good man, husband, and father. We will miss him deeply.”
Leo Helzel, an adjunct professor emeritus of entrepreneurship and business law at the Haas School, endowed the chair held by Freeman. He noted that Freeman had a unique ability for melding the practical, business world expertise of adjunct faculty members with the requirements of academia.
Jerome Engel, executive director of the Lester Center, worked closely with Freeman during the past 20 years. He credited Freeman for helping to develop the still young, cross-disciplinary field of entrepreneurship and for emphasizing its applications for start-up businesses. The latter emphasis has added greatly to the international success of the Haas School’s entrepreneurship program, he said.
Freeman and Engel co-authored an article, “Models of Innovation: Startups and Mature Corporations,” that appeared in the 50th anniversary issue of the Haas School journal California Management Review.
Before his death, Freeman had been heading a team of 14 UC-Berkeley professors from different disciplines who are conducting research on the causes and consequences of entrepreneurship in the United States. They are exploring areas such as job creation and destruction, differing processes through which companies are started and developed, and the impact of a pool of stakeholders that extends beyond company founders. The project is funded by a $600,000, two-year grant to the Lester Center from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City. It is expected to continue for four years and reach a funding total of $1.2 million.
Freeman was known for his devotion to students. Jaz Banga, a student and an entrepreneur at the Haas School, recalled meeting Freeman in 2000 at the UC-Berkeley Business Plan Competition. “He grilled our team pretty hard about our business plan and gave us advice and a lot of ‘tough love,’” he said. Over the years “Freeman was so much more than a professor. He touched the hearts and minds of every one of our employees. He was there to encourage, course correct, and just plain motivate during the times we just wanted to give up.”
A native of Rochester, NY, Freeman earned his AB degree from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA, in 1966 and his master’s degree and PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1970 and 1972, respectively.
During his career, Freeman served as an editor of several top journals in sociology and business, including the Administrative Science Quarterly, the American Journal of Sociology, and the American Sociological Review. He also advised many start-up businesses.
Freeman was fond of fishing, camping, skiing, and international travel.
Freeman is survived by his wife, Diane, and five children: Chris Freeman of Centennial, CO; John Freeman Jr. of Iowa City, IA; Jennifer Freeman of Denver, CO; Sarah Freeman of West Hollywood, CA; and Amanda Bielskis of Walnut Creek, CA. Other survivors include a sister, Mary Freeman-Dove of El Granada, CA, and eight grandchildren. His family asks that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 11454, Alexandria, VA 22312.
Kathleen Maclay, University of California-Berkeley News OfficeBack to Top of Page
Ralph Lane, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of San Francisco, died in San Francisco on October 8, 2007, at age 84.
In 1958, Lane joined the sociology department at the University of San Francisco (USF) and taught on the USF campus for 30 years until his retirement in 1988. In 2004, with his wife Joan, he established the Joan and Ralph Lane Center for Catholic Studies and Social Thought at USF.
Lane was born on May 8, 1923, in New York and lived for most of his youth in New Rochelle, NY. After receiving his bachelors and masters degrees from Columbia University, and a doctorate in sociology from Fordham University, he taught at Manhattan College (1949-50) and at Fordham University (1948-55). Between 1955 and 1957, he served as a cultural affairs officer at the American Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. He joined the faculty of the University of San Francisco in 1958 and shortly thereafter founded its Department of Sociology. He remained at USF until his retirement in 1988.
In 1971, Lane served as President of the Association for the Sociology of Religion. His published materials primarily focused on aspects of Catholicism. His research covered areas of religiosity, Catholics as a status group, Catholic marriage and family life in the United States, Catholic charismatics, and the sociology of the parish. Lane also co-authored Sociology: An Introduction (with Jack H. Curtis and John A. Coleman), a sociology textbook widely used during the 1960s and 1970s. After retiring, Lane published two volumes of poetry, Do I Grow Old? and Peripeteia, and at the time of his death was at work on his third.
While a faculty member at USF, Lane was active in the formation of the USF Faculty Association, serving on the original six-person steering committee in 1975. He was a pioneer in the area of community-based learning and in 1962 founded the Student Western Addition Project (SWAP). Through this program USF students provided health education and assistance, neighborhood cleanup and tutoring programs in the Western Addition neighborhood adjacent to USF. By 1968, SWAP was the largest student organization on campus with approximately 250 members.
Lane will be remembered by his students and faculty colleagues as a figure of enormous integrity, social responsibility, and justice. He is survived by his wife, Joan, and their children, Ralph and Margaret, and eight grandchildren. A memorial liturgy was celebrated in his honor on October 12, 2007. Lane led a life in full embrace of the world and culture in which he lived. As a scholar, poet, teacher, husband, father, and philanthropist, his many accomplishments are a magnificent testament to his faith, intellect, integrity, and belief in justice and peace. He leaves the world a better place by the way in which he lived.
Jennifer E. Turpin, University of San Francisco, Dudley L. Poston, Jr., Texas A&M UniversityBack to Top of page
Mel Pollner died at the UCLA Medical Center on November 2, 2007. He had been diagnosed with lung cancer in April, and maintained an upbeat, uplifting outlook despite little progress with several sequences of treatment. His family, friends, and colleagues sorely miss his lively intelligence, warmth, humanity, and humor. The University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) Department of Sociology, where he taught for almost 40 years, is diminished by the loss of an invaluable colleague and teacher and a leading practitioner of ethnomethodology, one of its signature specialties.
Mel was a sociologist who really liked people. He went out of his way to chat with friends and colleagues, to find out about their lives, to commiserate with their troubles, and to recognize their skills and accomplishments. He made these occasions memorable through his interest, warmth and humor. Being with Mel was a joy; he lit up casual contacts, hallway encounters, family and social gatherings, seminars and colloquia, and even faculty meetings.
Mel’s sense of humor is reflected in his sociological work. Just as his humor used surface understandings to play with alternative meanings, so his sociology builds on alternate interpretations and interactional possibilities. A committed ethnomethodologist, Mel worked to identify and analyze the taken-for-granted assumptions and practices that people use to sustain the sense of being in the same “real world” and hence to produce a meaningful social life—dizzying inquiries that he pursued to profound levels with a light empirical touch.
Mel was a pivotal, integrative figure among ethnomethodologists, having studied with and been mentored by Erving Goffman, Harold Garfinkel, and Aaron Cicourel. After graduating from City University of New York in 1962, Mel was headed to the University of Wisconsin when he read Goffman’s Presentation of Self in Everyday Life and changed course to University of California-Berkeley. Like many of those studying with Goffman at this time, Mel became interested in the work of Garfinkel, and while using the computers at the UCLA Medical Center in the summer of 1964, he began to consult with Garfinkel. He completed his MA at Berkeley in 1966 and then transferred to University of California-Santa Barbara to complete his graduate studies under the direction of Cicourel. He joined the UCLA faculty in 1968.
Within ethnomethodology, Mel’s major contribution lay in analyzing how people create and sustain a sense of living in an objective, intersubjectively shared world—in short, how people "do" ordinary reality. Just as Evans-Pritchard had analyzed Azande witchcraft as an internally coherent and impermeable system of beliefs and practices, so Mel treated Western notions of reality as "a cultural system which patterns the actions and utterances of members and is drawn upon by them as a way of ordering their projects and circumstances." In a series of influential articles and in his book, Mundane Reason (1987), he examined the ways in which this “objective” reality is produced and sustained in ordinary interaction. Particularly critical to this process is the resolution of innumerable "reality disjuntures" (i.e., conflicting versions of events, facts, etc.) in ways that preserve the sense of one common world. In an article with Lynn Wikler in 1985, Mel provided a detailed case study of these processes, analyzing how a family produced and sustained a version of their five-year-old daughter as of normal intelligence and verbal competence against clinical diagnoses of profound retardation.
In a 1991 ASR article "Left of Ethnomethodology," Mel lamented ethnomethodology’s turn away from radical reflexivity. He argued that such reflexivity, while tending to "unsettle ceaselessly... provides a purchase on deep and novel levels of practice... through which [fundamental] points are made, grounds established, and versions of reality secured against subversions."
Mel’s writings, particularly his work on mundane reason and radical reflexivity, have continuing currency among ethnomethodologists, and have influenced a broad swath of late-20th century social thought. His work is widely cited by social theorists and researchers in science studies, social problems, and the sociology of medicine and mental illness.
Mel was also a sociologist of unusual breadth. Trained in survey research at Berkeley, he published articles in Public Opinion Quarterly, Sociological Inquiry, and the Journal of Health and Social Behavior. I worked with him on a series of ethnographic studies of psychiatric emergency teams and the dynamics of researcher/researched relationships. He also published analyses of humor and narrative practices in Alcoholics Anonymous, and the social construction of stock market bubbles.
Throughout his career, Mel was an inspiring and devoted teacher. In earlier years he taught large undergraduate lecture courses introducing students to ethnomethodological ideas full bore. In later years he focused specifically on the sociology of mental illness, selectively working in ethnomethodological insights. He was a demanding yet supportive graduate instructor, continuing to work with students beyond their dissertations.
Mel devoted much of his time and energy to his family. He celebrated his 44th wedding anniversary with Judy in June 2007, an extremely close and mutually supportive as well as long-lasting marriage. He was extremely proud of his children, Leslie and Adrian, both of their character and outlook on life, and of their achievements in the worlds of public policy and lawyering, respectively.
Robert Emerson, University of California-Lost AngelesBack to Top of Page
Charles Tilly, the Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science, passed away on April 29 after a long battle with cancer. He was 78.
Tilly, who had a joint appointment with Columbia University’s Departments of Sociology and Political Science, is widely considered the leading scholar of his generation on contentious politics and its relationship with military, economic, urban, and demographic social change.
Craig Calhoun called Tilly "one of the most distinguished of all contemporary social scientists," adding: "He is the most influential analyst of social movements and contentious politics, a path-breaker in the historical sociology of the state, a pivotal theorist of social inequality."
"His intellectual range and level of productivity are virtually unrivaled in the social sciences," said Columbia University Sociology Chair Thomas DiPrete.
During the course of his 50-year career, Tilly’s academic expertise covered urbanization, industrialization, collective action and state-making, and his most recent work explored social relations, identity, and culture. His primary interest concerned Europe from 1500 to the present, but his work extended to North America and other parts of the world as well.
Tilly is well known for his generosity to students. Many recall thanking Tilly for his mentorship, only to receive the response: "Don’t thank me, just do the same for your students."
One important training ground he offered to students was a succession of informal seminars, co-launched with his former wife Louise in their living room 40 years ago when he was a professor at the University of Michigan. Once titled the "Think, Then Drink" workshop, the name changed to the "Workshop on Contentious Politics" and was held regularly at Columbia for more than a decade. Many students continued to participate well past graduation and into their own professorship tenures.
"Much as his own scholarship transcended traditional disciplinary boundaries, these vibrant discussions brought a diverse array of professors and students together in an ongoing conversation that represented the best of historical social science," said former student and close friend Wayne Te Brake, now a professor of history at Purchase College. “Participants enjoyed Tilly’s "egalitarian rules for presentation, critique and intervention."
Tilly was born May 27, 1929, in Lombard, IL, and studied at Harvard University, earning a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in 1950 and his PhD in sociology in 1958. He also studied at Balliol College, Oxford, and the Catholic University of Angers, France, and served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. Before arriving at Columbia in 1996, Tilly taught at the University of Delaware, Harvard University, the University of Toronto, the University of Michigan, and The New School for Social Research. In addition, he held several short-term research and teaching appointments at universities throughout Europe and North America during the course of his career.
Tilly was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the Sociological Research Association, and the Ordre des Palmes Académiques.
In addition to his theoretical and substantive interests, Tilly wrote extensively on the subject of research methodology. His writings touched on epistemology, the nature of causality, process analysis, the use of narrative as a method for historical explanation, mechanism-based explanations, contextual analysis, political ethnography, and quantitative methods in historical analysis, among many topics.
During his lifetime Tilly received several prominent awards, including: the Common Wealth Award in Sociology (1982), the Amalfi Prize for Sociology and Social Sciences (1994), the Eastern Sociological Society’s Merit Award for Distinguished Scholarship (1996), the American Sociological Association’s Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award (2005), the International Political Science Association’s Karl Deutsch Award in Comparative Politics (2006), the Phi Beta Kappa Sidney Hook Memorial Award (2006), and the Social Science Research Council’s Albert O. Hirschman Award (2008).
In addition, he was awarded honorary doctorates in social sciences from Erasmus University, Rotterdam (1983), the Institut d’Etudes Politiques, University of Paris (1993), the University of Toronto (1995), the University of Strasbourg (1996), the University of Geneva (1999), the University of Crete (2002), the University of Québec at Montréal (2004), and the University of Michigan (2007). In 2001, Columbia’s sociology graduate students named Tilly the Professor of the Year.
He authored, co-authored, edited or co-edited 51 published books and monographs and over 600 scholarly articles. His major works include The Vendée: A Sociological Analysis of the Counter-Revolution of 1793 (1964); As Sociology Meets History (1981); Big Structures, Large Processes, Huge Comparisons (1984); The Contentious French (1983); European Revolutions 1492-1992 (1993); Cities and the Rise of States in Europe: A.D. 1000 to 1800 (1994); Popular Contention in Great Britain, 1758-1834” (1995); Durable Inequality (1998); Transforming Post-Communist Political Economies (1998); Dynamics of Contention (2001); Social Movements 1768-2004 (2004); Trust and Rule (2005); Why? (2006); and Democracy (2007).
"Professor Tilly will be remembered as an extraordinarily generous and innovative scholar and teacher by a vast network of colleagues, students and friends around the country and across the globe," said Te Brake.
Tilly is survived by his former wife (and sometimes collaborator), Louise; his brothers, Richard and Stephen, and sister Carolyn; his children, Chris, Kit, Laura, and Sarah; their spouses Marie, Steve, Derek, and David; his grandchildren, Amanda, Charlotte, Chris, Abby, Ben, Jon, and Becky; and his great-grandchildren, Jamie and Julian.
Originally sent to the New York Times by the Columbia University Department of Sociology. For more tributes to Dr. Tilly, please visit the SSRC website: www.ssrc.org/essays/tilly/.Back to Top of Page
Our colleague Kay Troost, 60, passed away unexpectedly due to illness on December 5, at his home.
Having been on medical leave for several semesters, he was excited to reach the age when he could retire to spend time with his other interests. The evening he died was a day after removing the last of his books from storage in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.
Being one of Kay’s sociology colleagues and friends at North Carolina State University since the day he interviewed in 1977, I remember Kay for many things. First of all, he was brilliant. I discovered this early on, and he kept unintentionally reminding me of it. Among other academic topics, we had many great discussions about social psychology.
Early in our friendship, I asked Kay to come talk about family sociology in my introductory sociology class. He did. No more mild-mannered Mr. Kent. His lecture was a dynamic, energized presentation. I learned a lot as well—about him and about family sociology.
His wife, Kris, related after his memorial service that he had to learn to perform for large classes. She added, “He worked hard at it and took it seriously.... He really wanted to give the students understanding and skills that would help them live their lives.” That he did, making the world a better, more-enlightened place.
Kay and Kris met at Carleton College in Minnesota, his home state, where they both graduated. He received his MA and PhD in sociology in 1976 from the University of Minnesota and taught at Holy Cross College before coming to North Carolina State University (NCSU).
I recall his excitement about learning Japanese for his travels to Japan and his studies of Japanese higher education along with the work of his wife whose doctorate is in Oriental art. Kay’s scholarly interests and service as a member of NCSU’s first class of Japan Center Fellows are well known across the university. From our former political science colleague, Joel Rosch,
His leadership was a major factor in the success of that program. As part of his Fulbright fellowship, Kay worked at Hiroshima University where he was a well-regarded teacher and scholar. His good work there on Japanese science education meant that others from NCSU like myself were held in high esteem. His work at the University and in the community opened doors that allowed others to conduct their research more successfully.
Although noted for scholarship, Kay’s interests ranged well beyond the university. Once I asked him about a rare garden plant that was totally unfamiliar to me. Instantly, he not only told me what it was but began citing experimental studies from agronomy journals on how to grow it.
Kay also will certainly be remembered for his interest in tropical fish. Among the many varieties of fish, aquatic plants, and snails he raised and maintained, there was the line of guppies he had been developing since he was in grade school. How many generations of guppies is that? How many guppies is that?
Indeed, Kay maintained tanks and ponds containing fish of many kinds. It’s difficult to imagine a ton of tropical fish, but the weight of all the little fish Kay raised and tended during his lifetime should easily amount to a ton! As I think of this, I can imagine his knowing smile and almost hear him say, "You know, that’s probably true!" It was the kind of accomplishment in which he delighted. And as Kay often cautioned many of us and our children on the care of our own aquariums, "A fish’s favorite food is other fish."
For those of us who knew Kay beyond our professional work roles, we know that he led a neighborhood and community life that was rich beyond sociology and even beyond his passions for tropical fish and visionary gardening.
As sociology colleague Bob Moxley said, "Kay also had another life—a civic engagement side of his life—that many people never knew about." Kay enthusiastically served on citizens boards for the City of Raleigh. Among Kay’s many concerns were the parks and recreational opportunities provided by the city, for limiting the use of pesticides, and for a bond to support Raleigh’s parks.
Being both one of Kay’s departmental colleagues and one of his neighbors, Jeff Leiter said,
Outside the university, Kay and Kris were among the pioneers in reclaiming their central Raleigh historic neighborhood from decades of decline. Kay was an avid gardener whose somewhat wild gardening practices gave permission to others in the neighborhood who preferred unconventional approaches. Kay loved the city’s outdoor spaces and served in leadership roles on the Raleigh Parks and Recreation Commission.
In the large crowd of friends, neighbors, and university colleagues who gathered in his home and yard to share stories at his memorial service, it seemed quite expected to find the mayor and a local state representative.
He is survived by his wife, Kris, his children, Hazel Corwin and Lorna Marjorie, his brother, Todd, his sister, Jan, other family members, and his many friends.
Like those abundant lines of guppies, garden wisdom, community service, scholarship, and sociological insights you gave us, we thank you, Kay, for the many, many wonderful memories.
Ron Wimberley, North Carolina State University, plus memories contributed by those citedBack to Top of Page