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In Memoriam

In memoriam is a page to read featured obituaries of Northwestern alumni, faculty and staff. Visit Remembrances to read memorials of Northwestern community members submitted by their family or peers. Please send obituaries to alums@northwestern.edu.

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L. Edward Bryant Jr.

L. Edward Bryant Jr. ’63, ’67, JD, Evanston, Sept. 20, age 78. An avid supporter of student journalism and former opinion writer for the Daily Northwestern, Bryant served on the board of the Students Publishing Company, the Daily’s governing body for 48 years. He was an influential supporter of the Daily’s transition to a digital business model. Bryant worked as a partner at Gardner Carton & Douglas, where he founded the firm’s health law department in 1979 and won numerous awards for his work in the field. He served on the faculty of the Kellogg School of Management and Loyola University Chicago’s School of Law. A Northwestern football season ticket holder since 1963, Bryant is survived by three daughters, Laura, Diane and Emily; two grandchildren, Sydney and Miles; and brothers Mike, Tom and Jim.

Credit: Loyola University Chicago School of Law

Charles Lippincott

Charles Lippincott ’61, Vermont, May 19, age 80. A pioneering publicist, Lippincott is credited with helping transform George Lucas’ original Star Wars film into a legendary worldwide brand. After switching from law school to film school, he met Lucas at the University of Southern California, and in 1975 he joined Lucasfilm as vice president of advertising, publicity, promotion and merchandising. Before the 1977 release of Star Wars (later subtitled Episode IV: A New Hope), he attracted the interest of science fiction and comic book fans with a presentation at the San Diego Comic-Con and a series with Marvel Comics. In addition to advocating for individual character trademarks, Lippincott arranged to feature the Star Wars brand on television as part of The Richard Pryor Show and in a now-infamous CBS holiday special. He left Lucas’ team after the first film, going on to promote movies such as Alien and Flash Gordon and to produce Judge Dredd. Lippincott is survived by his wife, Geraldine, and a sister, Janet.

Photo: Courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd.

John LaPlante

John LaPlante ’62 MS, Chicago, March 22, 2020, age 80. The first commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation, LaPlante enjoyed a 30-year career with the city, which included helping straighten Lake Shore Drive’s S-curve in 1982 as chief traffic engineer. His work in Chicago continued with the engineering services firm T.Y. Lin International, where he retired in 2015 as director of traffic engineering. Recipient of the 2010 Theodore M. Matson Memorial Award from the Institute of Transportation Engineers, LaPlante was principal author of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ Pedestrian Guide. He is survived by his wife, Linda; daughter, Leslie; and two grandchildren, Elias and Sara.

John F. Carney III

John F. Carney III ’64 MS, ’66 PhD, Cambridge, Mass., April 24, at age 77. An expert on highway safety, Carney designed and ­developed impact attenuation devices, or crash cushions, that help reduce the impact of auto accidents. He also worked to improve safety on passenger trains. Carney held 10 patents and chaired the executive committee of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ highway division. From 2005 to 2011 he was chancellor of Missouri University of Science and Technology, where he led a name change to improve the institution’s reputation. Earlier in his career, Carney was provost and vice president for academic affairs at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He is survived by his partner, Sarah; daughters Anna and Catherine; four grandchildren; and a sister, Judith.

Oswald P. Bronson

Oswald P. Bronson ’65 PhD, Port Orange, Fla., Feb. 17, 2019, at age 91. A dedicated educator, Bronson served as president of Bethune-Cookman College from 1975 to 2004. (The institution became a university in 2007.) Under his leadership, the college expanded its programs of study from 12 to 37 majors and constructed 15 new buildings, most notably the 2,500-seat Mary McLeod Bethune Performing Arts Center. The Bethune-Cookman alumnus oversaw a 950% increase in the school’s endowment, and enrollment increased from 1,520 students in 1975 to 2,794 in 2003. An ordained Methodist minister, Bronson was also pastor of several Methodist churches. He is survived by his wife, Helen Williams Bronson; daughters Josephine and Flora; son Oswald; five grandsons; and three great-grandchildren. Photo courtesy the Daytona Beach News-Journal

David C. Horowitz

David C. Horowitz ’61 MS, Los Angeles, Feb. 14, 2019, at age 81. A consumer reporter, Horowitz hosted the Emmy-winning Fight Back! With David Horowitz, a syndicated program on which he investigated product defects, tested claims made by advertisers and confronted companies about customer complaints. He campaigned to remove sulfites from salad bars and to make rear-window collision-avoidance lights a requirement. Horowitz joined a campaign to outlaw realistic toy guns in California after being held hostage during a broadcast by a man with an empty BB gun. In 1997 Horowitz was inducted into the inaugural class of the Medill Hall of Achievement. He is survived by his wife, Suzanne; daughters Amanda and Tori; and two grandchildren. Photo courtesy of Northwestern University Archives

Lawrence J. Onesti

Lawrence J. Onesti ’62, Bloomington, Ind., July 9, 2018, at age 79. Mr. Onseti enjoyed a distinguished athletic and academic career. An All-American linebacker at Northwestern, Mr. Onesti also earned Academic All-America honors during his senior season in 1961. He was inducted into the Northwestern Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996. After graduating from Northwestern, Mr. Onesti played four seasons for the Houston Oilers before returning to graduate school. He earned his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and later joined the faculty at Indiana University Bloomington, where he taught for 23 years, eventually becoming a full professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. He received fellowships from NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Caltech and the Goddard Space Flight Center. A geologist who specialized in hydrology and sedimentation, Mr. Onesti presented research and pursued projects in Russia, China, Mexico, Japan and throughout the United States, including consulting the Navajo Nation on mine restoration in Tsaile, Ariz., and evaluating avalanche activity for the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company in Anchorage, Alaska. Mr. Onesti is survived by his wife, June Skowronski Onesti ’61; their children, Nina, Alex, Nick and Anthony; a sister, Brenda Copenharve; and brothers Paul and Frank. Photo courtesy of University Archives