January 2012 Issue • Volume 40 • Issue 1

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Phil Bosserman, professor of sociology and peace studies and founder of the Center for Conflict Resolution at Salisbury University in Salisbury, MD, died September 7, 2011, in Delmar, DE, at the age of 79.

April Brayfield, Tulane University, passed away on December 13, 2011, following a long battle with cancer.

Gert Harald Mueller, professor emeritus of sociology at American University, died at the age of 89 on October 23, 2011, in Washington, DC.

Harold Wilensky, University of California-Berkeley, passed away at the age of 88 at his home in Berkeley, CA, on October 30, 2011.


Leon F. Bouvier

Leon F. Bouvier, Professor of Sociology at Old Dominion University, died at age 88 on January 26, 2011, due to heart failure in Norfolk, VA. He was predeceased by his wife Terry.

Lee was born on February 24, 1922, to French Canadians, Stanislav and Rose Donais Bouvier, grew up in Moosup, CT, and attended Jesuit French immersion schools. At age 16, he left school to begin a more than 20-year career leading jazz bands along the East Coast and Southern Gulf areas as Lee Francis. He played the trumpet in jazz clubs and bars and often opened for Andy Griffith, before the days of Griffith’s television show when he was still performing stand-up comedy. Many of his demographer colleagues fondly remember Lee’s trumpet performances, often with Joe Stycos on the piano, at the annual meetings of the Population Association of America. During his musical career, Lee married Terry, with whom he had four children.

A sharp change of direction occurred for Lee in 1956, when he enrolled at Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL; he graduated from Spring Hill in 1961 with a BS in history and sociology cum laude. He then began graduate school at Brown University and completed his MA degree in sociology and demography in 1964. While pursuing his PhD, he taught sociology at Siena College in New York; the University of Scranton; and the University of Rhode Island. In 1971, he received his PhD in sociology and demography from Brown University where he studied under Professor Sidney Goldstein. After finishing his PhD, Lee continued his teaching career at the University of Rhode Island, where he ended up spending 10 years teaching, from 1965 to 1975.

Lee taught sociology in several other places, including Georgetown University, before assuming positions between 1981-87 as director of research and vice president of the Population Reference Bureau (Washington, DC); as demographic advisor to the Select Committee on Population, U.S. House of Representatives; and as demographic advisor to the Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy.

He later served as adjunct professor at the Payson Center for International Development at Tulane, and, then, for more than a decade, Lee was on the faculty of Old Dominion University, teaching classes as recently as two months before his death.

Throughout his life, he published 18 books and more than 60 articles, most on demographic topics. Among his books were Socioreligious Factors in Fertility Decline (1975); Population: Demography and Policy (1981) with Robert Weller; The Population and Labor Force of New York (1988) with Vernon Briggs; Peaceful Invasions (1992); Fifty Million Californians? (1991); Florida in the Twenty-first Century: The Challenge of Population Growth (1992); Thirty Million Texans? (1993) with Dudley Poston; How Many Americans? Population, Immigration and the Environment (1994) with Lindsay Grant; and World Population: Challenges for the Twenty-first Century (1999) with Jane Bertrand. His last book, Population and Society, coauthored with Poston, was completed in the late spring of 2010, only several months before his death. Lee really enjoyed co-writing this book; for over two years he and Poston were in constant communication revising and rewriting one chapter after another. Indeed Sidney Goldstein wrote to Poston a few weeks after Lee’s death that the joy Lee received in writing that demography book likely kept him alive that last year or so.

Lee’s example of peace, love, gratitude, and positive enthusiasm for fully living life is left to his students, demography colleagues, friends, and his children, Tom Bouvier of Warwick, RI, Lynne Graham of Virginia Beach, VA, Linda Bouvier of South Kingston, RI, and Ken Bouvier of South Kingston, RI; eight grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

Dudley L. Poston, Jr., Texas A&M University; Sidney Goldstein, Brown University; John J. Macisco, Fordham University; Mary G. Powers, Fordham University

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