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Robert Perry Gemberling
Robert Perry Gemberling (CB49), 82, Dallas, Dec. 4, 2004. A 26-year veteran of the FBI, Mr. Gemberling coordinated the investigations into the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald's role in the shooting. He was best known for his staunch opposition to the various conspiracy theories involving the assassination. Even after his retirement from the FBI in 1976 Mr. Gemberling defended the idea that Oswald acted alone.
Mr. Gemberling joined the FBI in 1941. He then served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II and received a Purple Heart after being wounded at Iwo Jima. He rejoined the FBI as a special agent in 1950.
Mr. Gemberling is survived by his wife, Ginny, and daughter, Gail.
Jerry Orbach (C56), 69, Manhattan, N.Y., Dec. 28, 2004. Best known for his role as Detective Lennie Briscoe on the hit NBC TV show Law & Order, Mr. Orbach met with success on stage and on the big screen as well. The enduring actor, whom many people identified with New York, went straight to the Big Apple after leaving Northwestern and soon found work in musicals. He won a Tony Award for his role in Promises, Promises in 1968 and earned nominations for Guys and Dolls in 1965 and Chicago in 1975. His film career included the role of Jennifer Grey's overprotective father in Dirty Dancing and the voice of Lumiere, the candelabra, in Beauty and the Beast .
Mr. Orbach is survived by his wife, Elaine, and his children, Tony and Chris.
Alex Sarkisian (C49, GC71), 82, East Chicago, Ind., Dec. 14, 2004. Team captain of Northwestern's 1949 Rose Bowl squad, Mr. Sarkisian executed the trick play that lifted the Wildcats over the University of California 20-14.
After representing Northwestern in the 1949 College All Star Game, the All-American center spent five years on the Wildcat coaching staff. The World War II veteran was a member of Northwestern's Athletic Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame.
In addition to his alumni leadership activities, Mr. Sarkisian also taught school, coached football and sold insurance. He is survived by a daughter, Alexis (C71); three sons, Alex (C73), James and Leon (C78); and six grandchildren.
Paul H. Silverman (G51), 79, of Irvine, Calif., July 15, 2004. A pioneer in stem cell research, Mr. Silverman founded the nation's first human genome center in 1987 at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He was one of only 500 members of the World Academy of Art and Science.
Mr. Silverman earned two doctorates in parasitology at the University of Liverpool in England. In Brazil he developed a malaria vaccine that tested successfully.
He served as president of the University of Maine and later directed the Biotechnology Research and Education Program for all University of California campuses.
Mr. Silverman is survived by his wife, Nancy, two children, Daniel and Claire, three sisters, a brother, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
James E. Walsh
James E. Walsh (WCAS43), 86, Cambridge, Mass., Nov. 13, 2004. A distinguished and prolific scholar-librarian, Mr. Walsh worked for nearly 50 years at Harvard University's Houghton Library. After attending graduate school at Harvard, Mr. Walsh began as a cataloger for Houghton Library in 1947. As a Fulbright Fellow, he traveled to Vienna, then championed development of Houghton's Germanic collections. Mr. Walsh was later appointed Keeper of Printed Books in Houghton Library in 1965.
Mr. Walsh continued his acquisitions responsibilities at the library past his official retirement in 1988. He also published a five-volume list of the more than 4,000 15th-century books in the Harvard University Library.
Mr. Walsh leaves no immediate survivors.