Photo courtesy of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation
Howard Benedict (J52), 77, Cocoa, Fla., April 25. Known as the “dean” of space reporting, Mr. Benedict covered more than 2,000 missile and rocket launches in his 37 years as the Associated Press’ first-ever aerospace writer.
Mr. Benedict developed terminology to explain the complex field of space travel, such as using “orbits” instead of the official “revolutions.” He was awarded the AP managing editors award for deadline reporting in 1986 for his bulletin series following the Challenger explosion.
During Mr. Benedict’s 12-year tenure as executive director of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, the foundation awarded more than $2 million in college scholarships to 169 engineering and science students.
He is survived by his wife, Joy, and two sisters.
Charlotte S. Huck
Charlotte S. Huck (SESP44, GSESP51, 55), 82, Redlands, Calif., April 7. A national authority on children’s literature, Ms. Huck was a groundbreaking teacher.
She spent 30 years as a professor of children’s literature. She wrote Children’s Literature in the Elementary School (McGraw-Hill, 2003), now its eighth edition, and established one of the country’s only doctorate programs in children’s literature at Ohio State University. The university established the nation’s first endowed professorship in children’s literature in 1996 in her honor. When Ms. Huck retired to Redlands, she was instrumental in starting a children’s literature festival that now bears her name.
She is survived by two sisters, Lucy Huck (WCAS42) and Mary Huck Colmar (Mu40).
Charles D. Keeling
Photo courtesy Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Charles D. Keeling (G54), 77, Hamilton, Mont., June 20. An expert on carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, Mr. Keeling provided the first data to suggest global warming. Since Mr. Keeling took his first measurements in the mid-1950s, the upward trend of carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere, aptly named the Keeling Curve, has continually risen. More recently, Mr. Keeling, a professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, showed larger seasonal swings of carbon dioxide levels, which may impact the start of the growing season.
He received the 2005 Tyler Prize in Environmental Achievement, the world’s top environmental award.
He is survived by his wife, Louise Barthold Keeling (WCAS53), five children and six grandchildren.
Ralph Grady McGee
Ralph Grady McGee (C51, GC54), 75, Wilmette, Ill., May 27. Mr. McGee was an avid educator as well as an active and generous alumnus.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Mr. McGee, the first member of his family to attend college, grew and sold raspberries to pay his first year’s tuition. After graduation he taught and later served as principal of New Trier Township High School for 24 years before retiring in 1989.
Mr. McGee received the Northwestern Alumni Association’s Alumni Service Award in 1981. His service included terms as president of the School of Communication Alumni Board and vice president for constituent groups of the NAA.
Mr. McGee is survived by his wife, Jane Hjertstedt McGee (SESP53), two children and four grandchildren.
Margaret Murley (G34, 49), 96, Strawberry Point, Iowa, Feb. 2. An environmental educator, Ms. Murley brought her passion for nature to urban Chicago.
She was president of the Illinois Audubon Society’s Fort Dearborn Chapter (Chicago and Evanston) for 20 years. For more than two decades Ms. Murley led bird walks for the Lincoln Park Zoo. An Evanston resident for 52 years, she used a small strip of ground along an alley to grow native plants and donated the seeds to local restoration projects.
The Evanston Environmental Association selected her as 2004 recipient of the Charlotte Omohundro Annual Environmental Service Award for Lifetime Achievement, and in 1994 the Chicago Audubon Society named her Protector of the Environment.