In Memoriam

Powertrain control pioneer Moskwa passes away

Jun 20, 2017
photo of John Moskwa

John Moskwa was known not only as an influential mechanical engineer but as a trumpet player and instructor. He taught at UW-Madison for 28 years and led the Powertrain Control Research Laboratory.

Baugh could relate to underrepresented students

Jun 6, 2017
Photo: James Baugh

James Baugh, former director of UW-Madison’s Five Year Program, died earlier this spring. Baugh came here in 1968 to serve as assistant director of a new program intended to increase the number of students of color at the university. He also held positions in the UW System and federal government.

Windsurfer dies in Lake Mendota accident

Jun 6, 2017
Photo: Yu Chen

A collision occurred Wednesday on Lake Mendota between the UW Lifesaving boat and a windsurfer, who suffered fatal injuries. Yu Chen, 43, was a Hoofers volunteer instructor and experienced windsurfer. The Dane County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate.

Richard helmed alumni magazine in 1950s

Mar 2, 2017
Photo: George Richard

George Richard, a UW-Madison graduate and editor of the Wisconsin Alumnus magazine from 1951 to 1959, died Feb. 16 at age 93. He served in World War II, then finished his journalism studies here in 1947. His daughter, Jane Richard, serves as deputy secretary of the faculty.

Stubblefield to receive honorary degree posthumously

Feb 21, 2017
Photo: Clyde Stubblefield

Legendary drummer Clyde Stubblefield, who died Saturday, had been selected before his death to receive an honorary degree prior to spring commencement. He will now receive the award posthumously. Stubblefield called Madison home since the 1970s. Rolling Stone named him the 6th best drummer of all time.

Vansina was trailblazing African history scholar

Feb 14, 2017
Photo: Jan Vansina

Professor Emeritus Jan Vansina, one of the world’s foremost historians of Africa, died Feb. 8. The Belgian-born Vansina’s work led to acceptance in the academic world of oral traditions as valid sources of history, counter-ing the once-prevalent attitude that cultures without texts had no history.

Beyler served campus in University Communications

Feb 14, 2017
Photo: Liz Beyler Kraak

Liz Beyler Kraak, a former UW-Madison broadcast and university relations specialist, died Feb. 9. She earned a journalism degree from the UW, then worked for WIBA radio. She was the first female reporter to become a regular in the all-male press room at the State Capitol. Services will be held Thursday.

Jeff Sauer was winningest UW coach

Feb 7, 2017
Photo: Jeff Sauer

Jeff Sauer, UW’s men’s hockey coach from 1982 to 2002, has passed away at the age of 73. Sauer led the Badgers to 489 victories, the most for a UW coach in any sport. He guided Wisconsin to the 1983 and 1990 NCAA titles. Sauer was inducted into the Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame last year.


Smithies won Nobel for work done here

Jan 17, 2017
Photo: Oliver Smithies

Oliver Smithies, who shared a 2007 Nobel Prize for providing powerful insight into genetic mutations and changes that underpin disease and health, died Jan. 10 at age 91. Smithies was a professor of genetics at UW–Madison from 1960 to 1988. Less well known is his love for teaching, which gave him great joy.

Katele remembered for clear-minded writing

Jan 12, 2017
Photo: Irene B. Katele

Irene B. Katele, a brilliant teacher and artist who touched the lives of many undergraduate and Law School students at UW-Madison, died Dec. 20. Among her accomplishments was a family history blog that included personal accounts of UW events she experienced during her career.

Nursing student showed passion, commitment

Jan 12, 2017
Photo: Brian and Megan Casey

Services will be Sunday in Delaware, Ohio, for a UW-Madison student who died along with her father in a December plane crash. Megan Elizabeth Casey, 19, was a freshman nursing student. “Our faculty saw … her clear passion and commitment to nursing,” says School of Nursing Dean Linda Scott.

Iltis remembered as ‘battling botanist’

Jan 10, 2017
Photo: Hugh Iltis

Passionate, articulate and informed, Hugh Iltis was opinionated, sometimes argumentative, but always a fearless defender of the natural world he revered. Iltis, a noted UW-Madison botanist and mentor to students from across the Americas, died Dec. 19. Related: Iltis inspired student who was in Biosphere 2.

Schutz was former provost’s longtime assistant

Jan 10, 2017
Photo: Colleen Ann Schutz

Colleen Ann Schutz, who retired from UW-Madison as an assistant to then-Provost Paul DeLuca and previously worked in the Depart-ment of Medical Physics, died Dec. 18. According to her family, when DeLuca became provost, his one requirement in taking the position was to have Schutz on his staff.

Alumnus Al Brodax brought Beatles to the screen

Dec 13, 2016
Photo: Al Brodax

Al Brodax, a 1948 UW-Madison graduate who put together the team that created the Beatles’ animated classic film “Yellow Submarine,” has died at age 90. The New York Times recalls the movie as “a Popsicle-colored fantasia devoted to peace, love and the thrilling pulse of the Beatles’ music.”

Jack Fowler, pioneer in radiation biology, dies at 91

Dec 8, 2016
Photo: Jack Fowler

John Francis “Jack” Fowler, professor emeritus of human oncology and medical physics, died Dec. 1 at his home in London. He was 91. A physicist by training, Fowler gradually shifted his research emphasis and is considered one of the founders of modern radiation biology.

Nan Becknell remembered fondly in School of Music

Dec 6, 2016
Photo: Nan Becknell

Nan Becknell, who taught horn in the School of Music for 20 years, documented the school’s history, and performed with the Madison Symphony Orchestra, died Nov. 5. John Aley, professor of trumpet, says she was “remark-able for her talents as a musician and for her genuine care as a teacher and colleague.” 

Barry Teicher was university’s oral historian

Dec 1, 2016
Photo: Barry Teicher

Barry Teicher, who taught at UW-Madison and was former director of its Oral History Project, died in Sister Bay Nov. 25. He created an extensive audio-visual archive of interviews with noted scholars and administrators. Teicher was a playwright, novelist and film producer who won an Emmy in 1982.

Ruth Gruber, who documented life under Nazis, dies

Nov 29, 2016
Photo: Ruth Gruber

Ruth Gruber, a renowned UW-Madison alumna and photojournalist who documented life in Nazi Germany, has died at age 105. “She often crossed the line from journalist to human rights advocate,” said The New York Times. Gruber brought nearly 1,000 Jewish refugees across the Atlantic to the U.S. during World War II. Related: On Wisconsin profile.

Sánchez was advocate for Hispanic students

Nov 10, 2016
Photo: Roberto G. Sánchez

Roberto G. Sánchez, a retired UW-Madison Spanish professor, died in August at age 93. He was noted for his work on the University Task Force on Minority Student Retention and for his legacy of philanthropy supporting Hispanic students in public education. Sánchez was on the faculty from 1950 until 1984.

Paul Peercy was longtime Engineering dean

Oct 25, 2016

As dean of the College of Engineering, Paul Peercy constantly sought ways to help students succeed through diverse and innovative experiences. Peercy, who served as dean from 1999 until his retirement in 2013, died Oct. 20. “Engineering is where science meets society,” he said in a 2012 interview.