Roy Clauss (WCAS43, FSM47), 84, New York City, July 7. A world-renowned cardiovascular surgeon, Dr. Clauss helped perfect open-heart and cardiac bypass surgeries. He also pioneered bilateral carotid artery surgery.
After serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Dr. Clauss forged a career working in some of New York’s most reputable hospitals.
In the 1970s he co-founded the first open-heart surgery facility in Athens, Greece, and he traveled several times to Yugoslavia and Albania to perform surgeries on those who could not afford adequate medical care.
Dr. Clauss is survived by three children, Roy, Eliot and Jane, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Vince DiFrancesca (SESP48), 85, Maurertown, Va., May 21. A renowned college football coach, Mr. DiFrancesca began his athletic career as a guard for Northwestern. World War II interrupted his career, but he returned to Northwestern and eventually served as the Wildcats’ captain during his senior season. The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted the College All-Star in the 31st round of the 1947 NFL Draft.
Mr. DiFrancesca went on to coach at Western Illinois University, Iowa State University and Carroll College, where he also served as athletic director. He belonged to a small group of college coaches with more than 100 career victories.
Mr. DiFrancesca is survived by a daughter, Janet, and a son, John.
Leonard A.C. Eiserer
Leonard A.C. Eiserer (GJ39), 90, Silver Spring, Md., May 21. Inspired by the book Silent Spring, Mr. Eiserer launched Air/Water Pollution Report, the first newsletter to cover the environment, in 1963. Mr. Eiserer founded Business Publishers Inc. that same year.
BPI became one of the most successful business-to-business publishing firms in the country.
Following the death of his daughter from brain cancer, Mr. Eiserer and his family founded the Carol Jean Cancer Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for children with cancer.
Mr. Eiserer received an Alumni Merit Award in 2001.
He is survived by a son, Leonard, daughters Elaine and Beverly, a grandson and a great-granddaughter.
Winfield S. Fisher Jr.
Winfield S. Fisher Jr. (McC45), 83, Barrington, Ill., Aug. 6. A business entrepreneur and flight aficionado, Mr. Fisher spent 20 years working in sales and management for Shell Oil Co. before retiring to found Winfield S. Fisher and Associates in 1973.
The recruiting firm worked to place physicians with hospitals and clinics in small towns across the country. Mr. Fisher, who flew solo for the first time in 1977, expanded the business by flying himself to the small towns that requested his services.
Mr. Fisher also loved horses and served as a member of the Barrington Hills mounted police patrol.
The former Wildcat quarterback is survived by his wife, Dorothy Barker Fisher (C47), a daughter, Prudence, sons Winfield and Westby and seven grandchildren.
James Fleming (WCAS38), 90, Hyattsville, Md., June 25. Mr. Fleming parlayed his undergraduate degree in physics into an award-winning career in science.
He received a Meritorious Civilian Service Award for his work on radar and fire-control systems at the Naval Research Laboratory during World War II. He later worked on a space surveillance system and the Vanguard satellite, projects that earned him the Distinguished Civilian Service Award, the U.S. Navy’s highest honor for civilian employees.
Mr. Fleming, who retired from Goddard Space Flight Center in 1981, received an Alumni Merit Award in 1962.
Mr. Fleming is survived by his wife, Eileen, four children and seven grandchildren.
Ralph S. Paffenbarger
Ralph S. Paffenbarger (FSM47), 84, Santa Fe, N.M., July 9. An epidemiologist, Dr. Paffenbarger was one of the first scientists to provide evidence linking exercise with a decreased risk of disease.
He also practiced what he preached. The ultramarathoner who took up jogging at midlife completed the 100-mile Western States National Endurance Run five times among his 151 races.
The International Olympic Committee honored him with the Olympic Prize in 1996 for showing the value of physical activity. Dr. Paffenbarger received an Alumni Merit Award in 1993.
He is survived by his wife, Jo Ann; a daughter, Ann; three sons, Charles, Timothy and Ralph; and four grandchildren.
William J. Sonzski Jr.
William J. Sonzski Jr. (WCAS59), 70, Boston, May 24. A former reporter for publications such as the Boston Herald and Time, Mr. Sonzski covered everything from business in Washington to the Solidarity Movement in Poland.
He began his journalism career at the Chicago Sun-Times but left to serve as a press aide for Sargent Shriver, then director of the Peace Corps. Throughout the 1970s he freelanced for the Boston Globe and later covered the contra war in Nicaragua for the Boston Herald in the mid-1980s.
In addition to reporting, he wrote two books, a fictional account of the counterculture of the 1960s and a nonfiction work about a series of Boston-area murders.
He is survived by his wife, Marguerite Smit, a daughter, Gretchen, and a granddaughter.
William Crosbie Wilson
William Crosbie Wilson (FSM46), 87, Wheaton, Ill., June 3. A pioneering neurologist and psychologist, Dr. Wilson engaged in research that established the physical basis of attention deficit disorder. His 1965 study of 1,000 students found irregularities in brain waves of struggling students, suggesting that behavior alone could not explain a child’s lack of focus.
Dr. Wilson, who served as a captain with the U.S. Army Medical Corps during World War II, maintained a neurology and psychiatry practice from his home and served as an adjunct faculty member at Loyola University and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
He is survived by sons Christopher, Michael and Scott; a daughter, Melissa; five grandchildren, including Jed C. Wilson (McC93); and three great-grandchildren.