1950s Featured Legacies Legacies

John Bell (BSJ55)

John R. Bell, frequent contributor to national financial and real estate magazines, died on January 27, 2020. He was 89.

Born in Hammond, Ind., Bell moved to Chicago as a teenager and lived there for the rest of his life. He wrote the John Carmichael Texaco Sports Final for CBS Radio, and went on to publicize peacetime atomic energy R&D as a member of the first public information staff at Argonne National Laboratory.

While at Argonne, he initiated coverage of the work that Argonne was doing by contacting CBS journalist Charles Collingwood. This resulted in a one-hour program produced and broadcast nationally on CBS.

Bell also worked in corporate PR positions at J. Walter Thompson, General Motors, Montgomery Ward and H. Rozoff and Associates. He added real estate and financial writing to his portfolio when H. Rozoff and Associates obtained a number of real estate and financial accounts.

After he retired, he was a frequent contributor to Mortgage Banking, the official magazine of the Mortgage Banking Association, until it ceased publication in 2016.

His articles for Mortgage Banking included coverage of the growth and recovery of the national office market; profile of Wrightwood Capital, the Chicago-based commercial/real estate finance firm; the growth of mixed use developments; the development of business/industrial parks; the nation’s Downtowns going green; multifamily apartment markets; five-star hotel markets; industrial recovery; the move to Downtowns; and economic growth in gateway cities.

He wrote cover stories for the National Real Estate Investor and his cover story profiles of Chrysler’s CEO Robert Eaton and Wilson Sporting Goods executive Jim Bough appeared in Industry Week (IW).

He was also a contributor to Pension Management, the Journal of Property Management (JPM), Progressive Railroading, Flying Careers, Air Cargo World, and Cahners Assembly Magazine.

Bell enjoyed music, the theater, and raising English Bulldogs—and said he had created the world’s finest barbecue sauce.

He and his wife, Virginia, celebrated their 68th Wedding Anniversary Sept. 8, 2019. They have two daughters, Monica (John) Muhs and Vanessa (Leon) LaSota; three grand-daughters, Dr. Amanda (Alex) Saratsis, Sara Muhs, and Leigh (AJ) Grimberg; and two great-grandchildren, Beckett and Eva Saratsis.

1950s Legacies

Edgar Coudal (BSJ56)

Edgar Franklin “Ed” Coudal died Saturday, December 21, 2019, in Sarasota, Florida. He was 84.

He leaves behind his longtime partner and love, Martha Montague; his five children and their spouses: James Coudal (Heidi), Mary Beth Coudal (Chris Jones), John Coudal (Laurie), Brendan Coudal (Nicole), Mary Kate Sweeney (Jed), and Martha’s children, Kristin (Jack) and Scott (Irene). He was lovingly known as “Bestefar,” to his 12 grandchildren.

Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Ed was the son of Nels and Jenny (Halsor) Coudal. He graduated from Chicago’s Steinmetz High School in 1952, and Northwestern University in 1956.

He married Mary Lou Wade of Chicago in 1957 and they lived in Baltimore and San Francisco while he served in the U.S. Army. Ed later joined the Chicago American newspaper as a reporter and went on to serve as an editor and writer for the Chicago Today newspaper. He worked for the Young & Rubicam advertising agency and the Pullman Corporation as a public relations executive.

He founded Coudal & Associates, a public relations consultancy. The Coudals started family life in Skokie, IL, St. Joan of Arc parish, and then settled in Park Ridge, IL, Mary Seat of Wisdom parish. After divorcing, Ed moved to the Sarasota area 30 years ago, where he met Ms. Montague. He was a long time resident of Siesta Key. Edgar’s love for Chicago and its history never wavered, nor did his passion for the Chicago Cubs.

1950s Legacies

Edmund Lambeth (BSJ54, MSJ55)

Edmund B. Lambeth died May 2, 2020, in Columbia, Missouri. He was 87.

After serving his country in military intelligence during the Korean War, he chose a life of service in journalism and education.

After Medill, he spent six memorable years as a Washington, D.C., correspondent for Gannett News Service. When he left in 1968, Lambeth created the Washington Reporting Program for the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri and directed it until 1978.

A version of his doctoral dissertation in political science from American University in 1976, “The News Media and the Arab Oil Embargo, The Perceived Impact of the Media on Energy Policy Making,” appeared as the lead article in Autumn 1978 of Journalism Quarterly.

He then served as a professor of journalism at Indiana University from 1978 to 1983 and director of the University of Kentucky School of Journalism from 1983 to 1987. Lambeth then returned to MU as associate dean for Graduate Studies and Research and served in that role until 1990, when he returned to full-time teaching, research and writing.

He later served as director of the Center on Religion and the Professions from 2004 until 2006, during which time it was awarded a $1.5 million continuation grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts Inc.

Regarded as an expert in journalism ethics, his books included “Committed Journalism, An Ethic for the Profession” (1986, 1992), “Assessing Public Journalism” (1998) and “Professional Creativity and the Common Good” (2009). He served as president of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication from 1997 to 1998.

A recipient of numerous awards, Ed was a Congressional Fellow (1961-1962), a Nieman Fellow at Harvard (1967-1968) and served as a Fulbright Scholar in Israel from 1997 to 1998 and in Hungary from 2001 to 2002. He was presented the University of Missouri Thomas Jefferson Award in 1995.

Ed is survived by his wife, Fran, with whom he helped found and served on the board of the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network. His volunteer work in the congregations of Missouri and Community United Methodist churches also included Bible study, prison ministry and church vision committees. He also is survived by his two children, Linc Lambeth and Mary Naraghi, and two stepchildren, Aimee O’Connell and Ian Noyes, and their spouses; and 11 grandchildren. He will be missed.

1950s 1950s Class Notes Legacies

Rochelle Distelheim (BSJ50)

Rochelle Distelheim, née Shulman, a west side of Chicago native and long-time Highland Park resident, died on June 1, 2020. She was 92. After graduating from Medill, Distelheim received her master’s degree in Creative Writing from the University of Illinois. She taught creative writing at Mundelein College.

Her short fiction received numerous awards and was published widely in literary journals and anthologies. Her debut novel, “Sadie in Love,” was published in 2018, when she was 90. Her second novel, “Jerusalem As a Second Language,” is due for publication in the fall. \

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Northern Illinois Food Bank and the Medill School of Journalism Scholarship Fund.

Distelheim was the beloved wife of the late Dr. Irving; loving mother of Ellen (Richard Tannenbaum) Distelheim, Laura Distelheim and Lisa (Jefferey Cornett) Barron; cherished grandmother of Nina, Ethan and Isabel Tannenbaum; dear sister of the late Maxine Payne, and adored aunt and great-aunt of many.

1950s Legacies

JoAnn Pizer-Fox (BSJ50)

JoAnn Pizer-Fox, age 89 of Raleigh, North Carolina, died on Sunday, August 30, 2020. She was born November 5, 1930, in Chicago, Illinois.

Joann was the third daughter and youngest child of Ella Goldman Kousnetz and Dr. Selig B. Kousnetz. She attended von Steuben High School, graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in 1950, and later studied graduate English Literature at the University of Chicago.

In 1951, she met and married Wilfred Halperin, a Chicago businessman and patron of the arts, with whom JoAnn spent many happy evenings in the halls of Chicago’s resident theater and music companies. They lived in Europe for a few years and, upon returning to Chicago, in time became the parents of Carl and Michele.

After Wilfred’s untimely death in 1962, JoAnn met a local pediatrician, Dr. Morton E. Pizer. In 1966, she married him, moving south and having children William and Ellen. She and her second husband were indisputably a local “power couple,” and they are highly regarded still, long after Morton’s death in 1989.

Not long after, JoAnn renewed acquaintance with Stanley H. Fox of Oxford, North Carolina, a man who had also recently lost his spouse of many years, and in 1992, they married. She and Stan had 27 joyous years together traveling and enjoying their blended family. Ultimately they relocated to Raleigh, where Stan passed away in 2019.

JoAnn was an avid needlepointer, miniature enthusiast and dedicated tennis player. She served a term as president of Beth Meyer Synagogue’s Sisterhood, where she proved invaluable in the commissioning of art works to enhance the beauty of the building and its sanctuary.

As a former member of the Board of Trustees of the North Carolina Museum of Art, she was a founding co-chair of the Friends of the Judaic Art Gallery, the museum’s permanent installation of Jewish ceremonial art objects, one of only two such collections in the nation.

Along with her late husband Stan Fox, JoAnn was presented with the state of North Carolina’s highest civilian honor, membership in the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, awarded by Governor Bev Perdue in 2012.

JoAnn is survived by her children Carl Halperin, Michele Pizer, William Pizer and Ellen Pizer, her step-children Susan Fox Robinson, Debra Fox Tenenbaum and Martin Fox, her grandchildren Micah Pizer, Levi Slotkin, Sam Pizer, Gideon Slotkin, Naomi Pizer and Mira Slotkin, her step-grandchildren Ryan Robinson, Mark Robinson, Julie Robinson Sheffer, Brittany Tenenbaum, Megan Tenenbaum Bearman, Scott Tenenbaum and Christopher Fox.

JoAnn also leaves behind 27 devoted nieces and nephews, great-grandchildren from her third marriage, several first cousins, and her dearly-loved sister, Marian K. Kaufman. She was predeceased by her sister, Carol K. Sterkin.

1950s Featured Legacies Legacies

Kathleen K. Naureckas (BSJ58)

Kathleen Naureckas, 83, passed away on Wednesday, September 30, 2020, in Oak Park, Illinois. She was born October 12, 1936, in Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania.

Kathleen received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern in 1958, and went on to get a master’s degree in English literature, also from Northwestern. She was the managing editor of the weekly Libertyville Herald and served on the editorial staff of the Chicago Tribune until her retirement. Kathleen was an avid reader and a poet, having published one book of poems titled “For the Duration,” with another poetry book, “Winter Ecology,” under publication. After retirement, she played saxophone for the New Horizons Band and enjoyed playing bridge and watching movies.

Kathleen is survived by her daughter, Karen (Rick) Christiansen; her two sons, Dr. Ted (Dr. Sara) and Jim (Janine Jackson) Naureckas; her six grandchildren, Dr. Lauren (Matthew) Lindquist, Sean Christiansen, Dr. Caitlin (Dr. Edward) Li, Dr. Patrick (Lauren Heeg), June and Eden Naureckas; her three great-grandchildren, Ethan, Reid and Collin Lindquist; her sister, Marie Zelenka; her brothers, Thomas and Patrick Kearney; and her beloved cat, Rosie.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Adeline and Christopher Kearney; her husband, Edward Naureckas; their young daughter, Barbara Naureckas; her brothers Jim and John Kearney; and her sister Adele Kearney.!/Obituary

1950s Featured Legacies Legacies

Kenneth M. Wylie, Jr. (BSJ51, MSJ52)

Kenneth M. Wylie, Jr. (J 51, MSJ 52) died on June 1, 2020, at his home in Evanston following a long illness. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, the former Sarah Hibbard, and three daughters: Clarissa Wylie Youngberg, Mary Barr Wylie and Jennifer Sundy Fallon. 

Ken was born 93 years ago in southwestern Pennsylvania. He moved as a child to the Chicago area and later to Tidewater Virginia. He served in the army from 1945 to 1947, spending 1946 in the U.S. zone of Germany as a radio technician/operator.

After graduating from Medill, Ken’s work was in magazine editing and reporting, university publications work (Northwestern and IIT), freelance editorial work, industrial technical writing, public relations and advertising. He was devoted to his church (First Presbyterian Church of Evanston) and to his community, serving frequently as an officer of the Kiwanis Club of Evanston Breakfast. During the 1960s he was among the founders of the Evanston Ecumenical Action Council, now known as Interfaith Action of Evanston. He published his novel, “Driving to Mercer,” in 2017. 

1950s Legacies

Robert Bradner (MSJ59)

Robert Bradner, beloved brother, father and grandfather, died peacefully on Monday, November 2, 2020. Born in Medford, Massachusetts, in 1932 to Louise and William M. Bradner, Bob was a man who remained faithful to the family, values and institutions in which he was raised.

A son of an Episcopal priest, Bob grew up in New England spending every summer at his family’s home in Rhode Island. Bob sang as a boy chorister at St. Martins Church in Providence and at St. Albans in Washington D.C., and his love for choral music remained with him always. Over more than 40 years as a parishioner at Christ Church in Winnetka, Illinois, Bob served on the vestry, led searches and oversaw building plans. He acted as church historian and proud bass in the choir. With the choir he traveled to York Minster where he sang with two of his grandchildren, a memory he cherished for the rest of his life.

Bob graduated from Holderness School in Plymouth, New Hampshire, and from Yale University in 1953 with a degree in English. He earned a master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from Northwestern University in 1959, placing first in his class and winning the prestigious Harrington Award in the magazine field.

After serving in the U.S. Army, Bob moved to Chicago to work for R.R. Donnelly & Sons. As a young North Sider, Bob jumped into the 42nd Ward Young Republicans where he served as president and, more importantly, where he met his future wife, Jeanne. Together they formed a bond over civic engagement that was a cornerstone of their 54-year marriage.

The Bradners moved to Winnetka in 1968 where Bob served on numerous public boards and acted as campaign manager for Brian Duff in his successful bids for state representative. Perhaps Bob’s biggest role in politics was as a supporter of his wife in all her political activities. Bob was his wife’s confidante, cheerleader, steadfast supporter and chief of staff. Their common belief in the importance of good government, participation and Robert’s Rules of Order informed everything they did.

Bob was equally dedicated in his volunteer work for Yale University. He served first as an alumni interviewer, later serving as a delegate to the AYA (Association of Yale Alumni) and then as chair of the AYA. In 2001 he received Yale’s highest volunteer honor, the Yale Medal, as recognition of his service.

Bob spent the majority of his career at The U.S. League of Savings Association, the trade publishing arm of the Savings and Loan Industry where he served as magazine editor and ultimately publisher. Later, Bob launched his own imprint: Conversation Press, focused on creating an outlet for public policy discussion and thought leadership.

Bob was predeceased by his wife Jeanne in 2012 and his brother William Murray Bradner, Jr. in 2008. He is survived by his adored sister, Helen Reid; three children Anne, Robert (Jerilyn), Lisa (James Burnham) and seven grandchildren: Brian and Connor Gates; Hunter and Joe Lohman; Emily Bradner; and James and Kate Burnham.

1950s Featured Legacies

George Vass (MSJ52)

George Vass, 93, of Morton Grove, IL, died on Tuesday, December 29, 2020. He was born in Leipzig, Germany, as a Hungarian citizen on March 27, 1927, to Aloysius and Minna (Blankfield) Vass. 

After moving to the United States in 1935, George attended public school in Springfield, IL, graduating from Springfield High School in 1945. He then served in the United States Army for two years. Upon return, he graduated from Washington University in 1950 and received a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University in 1952. 

In 1951, George married Theresa Miller, who preceded him in death in 1977. In 1979, he married Joyce Penner, who preceded him in death in 1995. Also preceding him in death were his parents and three brothers: Charles, Samuel and John. 

George was managing editor of the National Jewish Post and Opinion from 1935-55, then was an editor and executive sports editor at the Rockford Register Republic from 1955-58. He was a sportswriter at the Chicago Daily News (1958-78; he was the baseball beat writer from 1965-78 and also covered the Bulls and Blackhawks) and Chicago Sun-Times (1979-94). 

Upon his retirement from newspaper work, he continued to write books and contribute monthly pieces to Baseball Digest. He also contributed to Hockey Digest. He has written over a dozen books on sports subjects, as well as two historical novels, including Tiberius and Our Norman Slander’d King. George was a devoted and loving father and grandfather. 

George is survived by two daughters: Sherry (Vince) Winkler and Cindy (John) Savio; two sons: Kurt (Suzy) Penner and Arnie (Beth) Penner; 10 grandchildren: James (Matt Raskin) Winkler, Tony Savio, Michelle (Mike) Talian, Jack (Sarah Brooks) Savio, Brittany Bennett, Nicolette (Taylor) Cross, Katie Penner, Luke Penner, Kyle Penner and Maggie Penner; and one brother, Joseph Vass.

1950s Featured Legacies Legacies

James Robertson Driscoll (BSJ55)

James Robertson Driscoll (BSJ55), a former advertising executive, died Nov. 9, 2019. Driscoll was born on Jan. 14, 1933 and grew up in Winnetka, Ill. After graduating from Lake Forest Academy in 1951, Driscoll attended Medill, and then began a long and successful career in the advertising business in Chicago before joining New York based Warwick & Legler, Inc. in 1959.

While at Warwick, Driscoll was promoted to Executive Vice President and led the development of international advertising campaigns to market the full portfolio of Seagram’s beverages. Following his retirement, Driscoll and his wife Cookie relocated to Ohio.

Driscoll served through several outreach ministries which included a long-term international mission in Porto, Portugal. He was happiest spending time with his wife Cookie, his six children and his seven grandchildren. Among his many passions were jazz music, photography, golf, skiing, bird watching, nature and the great outdoors.

Driscoll knew how to make friends with people throughout his life. His joy for living and his infectious enthusiasm drew many people close to him. He would greet everyone with his bright smile and his imaginative sense of humor, and he often went out of his way to make others smile and laugh. Driscoll is survived by his wife, his six children, seven grandchildren and six great grandchildren.