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Otto E. Graham Jr.
Otto Everett Graham Jr. (SESP44), 82, Sarasota, Fla., Dec. 17, 2003. Perhaps the University’s greatest football player, Mr. Graham came to Northwestern on a basketball scholarship but caught the attention of football coach Lynn “Pappy” Waldorf during an intramural game. That sighting launched his incredible career.
“Otto the Omnipotent” went on to break every existing Big Ten passing record during his tenure (1941–43). He earned the Big Ten Most Valuable Player Award and finished third in the Heisman Trophy balloting in 1943. To celebrate in the closing minutes of his final game, a 53-6 blowout of Illinois, the two-time football All-American ran onto the field in plain clothes and ran off with the game ball.
The multitalented Mr. Graham, an All-American in basketball and one of Northwestern’s two two-sport All-Americans, also played three musical instruments.
After serving two years in the U.S. Navy Air Corps in World War II, Mr. Graham played 10 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. He took the Browns to the title game every year and won seven championships. He also won a basketball title with the Rochester Royals.
Mr. Graham, a colorectal cancer survivor, became a spokesman for cancer awareness and in 1980 received the American Cancer Society’s award for courage.
Mr. Graham, a 1954 Northwestern Alumni Association Merit Award recipient, was active in the NU Club of Sarasota/Manatee.
He is survived by his wife, Beverly Collinge Graham (SESP46); two sons, Duey and Dave; a daughter, Sandy; a brother, Richard; two foster daughters; 16 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Louis D. Boshes
Louis D. Boshes (WCAS31, FSM36, GFSM38, 40), 95, Chicago, Nov. 9, 2003. Dr. Boshes’ career in medicine spanned seven decades. After serving in World War II as a Navy doctor, Dr. Boshes returned to Northwestern as an assistant professor of neurology and psychiatry. A prolific researcher and writer, Dr. Boshes contributed to the study of epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. He also established a library and a lectureship at Northwestern.
Dr. Boshes received the Northwestern Alumni Association’s Alumni Medal in 1999, Service Award in 1992 and Merit Award in 1968.
Survivors include his wife, Natalie; three daughters, Arlene, Renee and Judi; a son, Alan; and six grandchildren.
Charles B. Cleveland
Charles B. Cleveland (J69), 85, Lake Forest, Ill., Nov. 17, 2003. Mr. Cleveland was inducted into the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame in 1995.
He started covering Chicago politics for the Chicago Daily News in the 1940s. He later became the editorial director of WIND-AM, a Peabody Award–winning news and public affairs station. Mr. Cleveland also served as editorial director at WBBM-TV Channel 2. In 1986 he left the station to be a deputy press secretary in the Illinois attorney general’s office, where he served until he retired in 1995.
Mr. Cleveland is survived by his wife, Jean Chien; a stepdaughter, Alyna Chien; a stepson, Jeffrey Chien; and four grandchildren.
Virgil B. Day
Virgil B. Day (WCAS 36, L39), 87, Chappaqua, N.Y., July 11, 2003. Mr. Day served on the Northwestern University Board of Trustees for 25 years.
Mr. Day, a former vice president of General Electric, was the editor of the Northwestern Law Review and elected to the Order of the Coif. In memory of his father, Mr. Day established the Virgil B. Day Scholarship in 1975 to assist needy students attending Northwestern law school.
Mr. Day, General Electric’s chief labor negotiator, was appointed to the National Pay Board in 1971. He retired in 1973 and opened a New York City law office.
Mr. Day is survived by his wife, Eugenia; two sons, John (WCAS73) and Peter; and four grandchildren.
Ruth Simms Hamilton
Ruth Simms Hamilton (G62, 66), 66, Lansing, Mich., Nov. 11, 2003. Ms. Hamilton, a professor of sociology at Michigan State University since 1968, is remembered as a pioneer and a visionary. A founding member of Michigan State’s African Studies Center, Ms. Hamilton examined issues of race and power years before her academic peers. She pioneered the study of African urbanization and focused on cross-cultural studies of peoples of African descent. She believed slavery created not a class of victims but a resilient people with a distinct African identity.
Known for being a demanding but uplifting educator, Ms. Hamilton mentored researchers, giving them voice and training them to carry on her work.
George S. “Lefty” Mills Sr.
George S. “Lefty” Mills Sr. (J28), 97, Des Moines, Oct. 20, 2003. A fair and tenacious reporter, Mr. Mills throughout his life refused any promotions that would have restricted him to a desk job.
He reported for the Des Moines Register for almost 30 years. To get within earshot of former President Eisenhower, Mr. Mills once snuck into a kitchen wearing an apron and washed dishes until he could get close to the president. The author of Iowa’s Amazing Past, Mr. Mills was honored in 1950 by Reader’s Digest for human interest writing.
Mr. Mills is survived by a brother, Thomas; two daughters, Katherine and Mary; two sons, George and Thomas; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Edward J. Ryan
Edward J. Ryan (SESP43), 91, Albuquerque, N.M., Aug. 24, 2003. Beginning in 1945 Mr. Ryan served as the voice of Wildcat football, announcing games for 38 years.
Mr. Ryan did not miss a single home football game in his first 35 years of announcing. According to a football program from the 1980s, one of Mr. Ryan’s favorite memories occurred during a game against Notre Dame when famed actor Pat O’Brien tried to steal the microphone to inspire the Irish with the “Win one for the Gipper” Knute Rockne routine. According to the story, “It became a struggle between two stubborn Irish men.”
Mr. Ryan is survived by his wife, Martha; two daughters, Patricia and Judy Ryan Taylor; and a son, Jay.