Robert Ulstrom, B.S., 1944, M.D. '46, of Golden Valley, Minn., died November 6 at age 89, of Lewy Body dementia. He was associate dean of the U of M medical school from 1966 to 1970, and taught and conducted pioneering research in pediatric endocrinology there until retiring in 1990. He was a Markle Scholar in medical science, received the Wyeth award for medical research; he served as a fellow at the Rand Corp., on the board of the American Board of Pediatrics and as an examiner for the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He was track physician at Donnybrooke Racetrack in Brainerd from 1968 to 1973, an accomplished photographer, and a founding board member of the U of M's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
Vera Schletzer, CLA professor of psychology and alumna -- Ph.D. '63, psychology -- died September 12 in Edina, Minn. She was 92. In addition to teaching, for which she was recognized with CLA's Horace T. Morse Award, she served the University as director of counseling for Continuing Education and Extension. The Minnesota Career Development Association honored her lifetime work with its Jules Kerlan Outstanding Achievement Award. A proponent of women's rights in the early days of "second wave feminism," she served as a charter member of the National Organization for Women (NOW), and as a member of the Minnesota Governor's Commission on the Status of Women.
Herbert Mohring, professor of economics, died June 4 in Northfield, Minn., at age 83. He taught at the U of M from 1961 to 1994, and created the theory of "congestion pricing"-- a market-based solution to highway gridlock, which came to be known as "The Mohring Effect." It influenced policy-makers around the world, from the Twin Cities to Singapore, and materialized in the form of highway pay lanes and in the transit requirements included in the Americans with Disabilities Act. In 2009 the fourth International Transport Economics Conference honored him with a special tribute; the Economics of Transportation, an international journal, plans to devote an entire issue to him. He earned his Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Edward Coen, 93, of Golden Valley, died August 27 after a long illness. A CLA professor of economics for some four decades, he was beloved for his dedication to undergraduate students and his sense of humor. A student of his wrote, "I was a Ph.D. student in the 1980s, and we all needed to have a meeting each year with Ed to get our teaching assignments. At the end of mine I said, 'I just saw Raising Arizona and liked it a lot.' Ed said, 'Well, I'm glad it appeals to the intellectuals.' I knew then where the Coen Brothers [Edward's movie-making sons, Ethan and Joel] got their sense of humor."
Norman Fruman, professor emeritus of English, died of cancer April 19 in Laguna Beach, Calif. He was 88. He taught at the U of M from 1978 to his retirement in 1994, and previously at California State University- Los Angeles. His book, Coleridge, the Damaged Archangel, which exposed a pattern of plagiarism in the famous English poet's later works, was a shock to the literary world and beyond -- it sold in the mainstream market and was a finalist for the National Book Award, prompting Fruman to joke that it made him both famous and infamous. He served in World War II as a second lieutenant, the youngest combat platoon leader in the famed Rainbow Division. He was captured by the Nazis during the Battle of the Bulge, escaped, was recaptured, and liberated in April 1945. He earned his Ph.D. in English from New York University, writing his dissertation on Coleridge. In retirement he was a Fulbright professor at the University of Tel Aviv, and helped found the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics and Writers, an organization that opposes intellectual partisanship in favor of free and lively exchange.
Margery Durham, professor emeritus of English, died September 23 in Polson, Mont., at 79, having suffered from a rare form of palsy related to Parkinson's disease. She taught English literature at the U of M for 30 years, specializing in Dickens, Arnold, Tennyson, George Eliot and the Brontë sisters, and mentored many students. Before earning her Ph.D. at Indiana University, she worked as a copy editor for The National Geographic and other publications. She moved with her husband Lonnie to Montana after retiring in 1996, took up the violin, drawing and painting, as well as hiking and camping in nearby Glacier Park.
Kent Bales, professor emeritus of English, died October 8 in Minneapolis, at 76. He taught American literature, specializing in Hawthorne, for 41 years before retiring in 2008. As department chair he supported controversial initiatives on creative writing and feminist studies. He directed graduate and undergraduate studies, and chaired important university senate committees -- on faculty affairs and on faculty appointments. He twice won Fulbright Scholar awards, and later served on the National Fulbright Committee. Bales attended Yale University on an athletic scholarship, played football there, and graduated in American studies. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of California-Berkeley.
John French, B.A. '55, interdepartmental major, died August 18 at his home in Minneapolis, at age 79, following a long illness. At Harvard he was president of the law review, then clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Felix Frankfurter. In Minneapolis he joined the Faegre and Benson law firm, practicing for nearly 40 years. An appellate attorney, he argued cases up to the U.S. Supreme Court. He served as associate chair of the Minnesota Democratic party (DFL), a member of the Democratic National Committee, and chair of the Mondale for Senate Volunteer Committee. French also served as president of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association.
Homer Eugene Mason, philosophy professor emeritus, died June 13 in Saint Paul, at age 86. He had earned his M.A. at the U of M, and Ph.D. at Harvard, both in philosophy. He joined the philosophy department in 1957, where he taught, pursued interests in Søren Kierkegaard, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and theories of justice and ethics that dovetailed with his political activities in the Democratic party. He served several years as department chair, and retired in 2000.