Jane Beber Abramson
Jane Beber Abramson (GSESP84), 73, Chicago, Nov. 21. A psychologist driven by her unwavering opposition to the death penalty, Ms. Abramson served as a founding member of the board of advisers for the School of Law's Center on Wrongful Convictions.
Ms. Abramson, who maintained a private psychotherapy practice, was a member of the board for Murder Victims' Families for Human Rights. She served as a consultant and benefactor for The Innocent, an award-winning film on former death row inmates.
Ms. Abramson is survived by her husband, Floyd; a son, Paul; three daughters, Anne L. Abramson (L85), Amy and Rachel; a son-in-law, Basil Chaltas Jr. (KSM88); and a granddaughter.
James D. Cummins
James D. Cummins (J67, GJ68), 62, Dallas, Oct. 26. A two-time Emmy Award–winning reporter, Mr. Cummins covered prominent domestic and international stories for NBC News, from the standoff at the Branch Davidian compound to the Iran hostage crisis.
A three-year letter winner for the Northwestern basketball team, Mr. Cummins worked at several small-market Midwest television stations after graduation, then as a network correspondent for NBC in Chicago. As southwest bureau chief in Dallas, he earned Emmys for his coverage of the Midwest flooding in 1993 and of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He retired in January.
He is survived by his wife, Connie, three daughters, three sons, two brothers and two grandchildren.
Richard A. Erdlitz
Richard A. Erdlitz (WCAS42), 86, Waynesville, N.C., April 1, 2006. A two-sport star, Mr. Erdlitz played quarterback for the Wildcats and captained the varsity baseball team to one of its two Big Ten Conference championships.
After graduation he played for the Philadelphia Eagles before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force. After World War II he played two seasons of pro football, earning a spot in a 1946 Ripley's Believe It or Not as one of the first wearers of contact lenses during a game.
As a member of the Air Force Reserve he achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel. He also enjoyed a career in oil real estate with Atlantic Richfield Co.
Mr. Erdlitz is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, and his children, Diana, Patricia and Richard Jr.
Philip P. Jones
Philip P. Jones (WCAS47), 82, Adelphi, Md., May 3. Born in China to missionary parents, Mr. Jones worked for the CIA's China division as a research analyst in Taiwan during the tumultuous 1950s and 1960s. In 1969 he transferred to Saigon in South Vietnam, where he served for two years. He retired in 1974.
After serving with the Office of Strategic Services in China during World War II, Mr. Jones came to Northwestern, where he considered becoming a musician but decided to major in economics. He never lost his enthusiasm for music, though. According to the Washington Post, the pianist toured Taiwan with a quartet in the 1950s.
He is survived by four children, Peter, Steve, Emily and Jono; a sister; a brother; and four grandchildren.
Edward R. Klamm
Edward R. Klamm (WCAS38), 93, Barrington, Ill., Dec. 2. A defensive end on the 1936 Big Ten Championship football team, Mr. Klamm belonged to the Northwestern Gridiron Network and the N Club. He served on every class of 1938 reunion committee. In 1990 he received a Service Award from the Northwestern Alumni Association. In recent years he enjoyed traveling with his family on Northwestern alumni trips.
A former accident prevention and safety director at Allstate Insurance Co., Mr. Klamm helped establish high school and college driver education programs. He also lectured at Northwestern's Center for Public Safety.
He is survived by his daughter, Christine Klamm Kelly (WCAS69), and two granddaughters.
W. Alfred Parcell (GD39), 92, Evanston, Nov. 22. Known as "Grandpa Al," Dr. Parcell enjoyed his daily interactions with students during his 17 years in food service for the University.
After serving for three years in the U.S. Army Dental Corps in Africa during World War II, Dr. Parcell ran a dental practice in Evanston for 45 years. When he retired in 1990, he came to work for Northwestern, most recently checking ID cards in the cafeteria at Elder Residence Hall. He often learned the names of the more than 300 students who ate there each day. The students paid tribute to him by featuring him in a movie and on T-shirts.
Dr. Parcell is survived by six children, 17 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Daniel C. Searle, 81, Hobe Sound, Fla., Oct. 30. Mr. Searle, the former head of the pharmaceutical company that bears his family name, served as a Life Trustee of Northwestern and major donor to biomedical research and education at the University.
Mr. Searle joined the Northwestern Board of Trustees in 1966 and became a Life Trustee in 2000. He served as an adviser to the Searle Funds at the Chicago Community Trust and directed substantial grants to a wide range of Northwestern initiatives, including the Searle Biomedical Awards at the Feinberg School of Medicine, the Searle Leadership Fund in the Life Sciences, the Chicago Biomedical Consortium and the renovation and expansion of Searle Hall, home of the University Health Center. In addition, he served as a trustee of the John G. Searle Family Trust, which funded the Searle Center for Teaching Excellence and, in conjunction with the Searle Fund, the Searle Center at the School of Law.
Mr. Searle was a member of the Campaign Northwestern steering committee and chair of the 1983 and 1993 presidential search committees.
Mr. Searle became president of the pharmaceutical company G.D. Searle & Co. in 1966 and chief executive officer in 1970. In 1977 he became chair of the company when he hired former North Shore Congressman Donald Rumsfeld as chief executive officer and president. Eight years later, the company was sold to Monsanto.
He is survived by sons D. Gideon Searle (KSM83), a Northwestern trustee, and Michael; a daughter, Anne; a daughter-in-law, Nancy Schneider Searle (KSM78); a son-in-law, Stephen Bent (KSM68); a sister, Suzanne; a brother-in-law, Wesley Dixon Jr. (H65); a sister-in-law, Sally; and seven grandchildren, including Kristin Searle (WCAS02) and Frederick "Todd" Searle (WCAS09).
Hari Sharma (GMcC48), 83, Kitchener, Ontario, Oct. 18. Mr. Sharma spent his career studying the effects of radiation during a time of growing nuclear tensions around the world. Born in rural India, he served as head of the radiochemistry and isotope division of the Atomic Energy Commission of India. He moved his family to Canada in the 1960s and became a popular professor of chemistry at the University of Waterloo.
More recently he presented controversial evidence on the effects of depleted uranium on Gulf War veterans and Iraqis, calling use of DU weapons "a crime against humanity," according to Scotland's Sunday Herald.
He is survived by his wife, Gudrun, a son, Arjun, a daughter, Anita, and five grandchildren.
Terra L. Thomas
Terra L. Thomas (KSM91), 59, Chicago, Oct. 12. A community activist, child psychologist and educator, Ms. Thomas served as president and CEO of Human Resources Development Institute Inc., a Chicago-based nonprofit that helps people with mental illness or substance abuse problems.
Ms. Thomas provided clinical supervision to professional staff and graduate students at Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Norman and Ida Stone Institute of Psychiatry from 1983 to 1994. She also worked as an advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention and education, helping to launch the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.
She is survived by two sons, Brooks and Rheaves, and three brothers, Ronald, Dwayne and Albert.
Henrietta Embick Valor-Towey
Henrietta Embick Valor-Towey (Mu57), 72, Studio City, Calif., Nov. 23. A singer and actress, Ms. Valor-Towey performed in the Broadway musicals Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, Half a Sixpence, Applause and Annie.
Before her run on Broadway, Ms. Valor-Towey toured extensively for the USO in Europe, Africa and Asia. After moving to Los Angeles with her family in 1990, she appeared in many regional productions.
As a student, Ms. Valor-Towey studied voice with Elizabeth Wysor and acting with Alvina Krause (C28, GC33). In addition to starring roles in several campus productions, she sang solos in three Waa-Mu shows.
She is survived by her husband, John Towey, a son, John, and a brother, Harvey.
Lloyd M. Wendt
Lloyd M. Wendt (J31, GJ34), 99, Sanford, Fla., Oct. 21. An eminent journalist, Mr. Wendt chronicled Chicago's newsmakers for more than 40 years as a reporter and editor for various city papers. He covered politics and organized crime for the Chicago Tribune and later served as editor of the Tribune's sister papers, Chicago's American and Chicago Today.
Mr. Wendt taught fiction at Northwestern and wrote several books on Chicago history and its colorful characters.
He received a Northwestern Alumni Association Merit Award in 1953 and served as the NAA's vice president for communications.
He is survived by his wife, Martha, a daughter, Bette, a stepson, Michael, and three grandchildren.