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 email@example.com.
Filter alumni by decade:
Charlotte Rae ’48 Los Angeles, Aug. 5, 2018, at age 92. A beloved figure on Broadway and television for more than 60 years, Ms. Rae’s performances were whimsical, heartfelt and poignant. “To think of Charlotte Rae,” wrote one critic, “is to smile.” At Northwestern she performed for three years in the Waa-Mu Show. After moving to New York City in 1948, she landed the lead role in the 1954 Broadway revival of The Threepenny Opera. That role helped launch her career, and she went on to earn Tony Award nominations for best actress in Pickwick (1966) and Morning, Noon and Night (1969). She would become best known as the matronly Edna Garrett on the sitcom Diff’rent Strokes and its spinoff The Facts of Life. Ms. Rae, whose earlier sitcom credits included Car 54, Where Are You?, earned two Emmy Award nominations. In addition to her work on the stage and screen, Ms. Rae published an autobiography, recorded a satirical album and made appearances in movies and on children’s television. She is survived by a son, Larry; three grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. Photo courtesy of University Archives
Victor J. Danilov ’46 MS, Evanston, July 26, 2018, at age 93. After graduating with a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern, Mr. Danilov worked at newspapers in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Illinois, including a stint at the Chicago Daily News. He taught journalism at both the University of Kansas and University of Colorado and published 28 books. To Chicagoans, though, Mr. Danilov is best known for leading the city’s Museum of Science and Industry. He joined the museum in 1971 and became its director in 1972. Under his guidance, MSI became one of the city’s top attractions, welcoming millions of visitors each year. His success in developing hands-on exhibits, most notably a $10 million center devoted to the exploration of space, led Mayor Richard J. Daley to appoint him chair of the city’s first arts council in 1974. Mr. Danilov continued his work on the council under three other mayors, including Harold Washington ’52 JD. In 1987 Mr. Danilov retired and moved to Boulder, Colo., with his wife, Toni Dewey, though they returned to the Chicago area in 2005. He is survived by his two children, Duane and Denise, as well as a stepson, Thomas Dewey. Photo courtesy of University Archives
Richard Elden ’56, Chicago, July 13, 2018, at age 84. Born and raised in Chicago by parents connected to the Esquire Inc. media empire, Elden began his career in journalism. He was a staff writer for the Daily Northwestern and in 1953 joined six other college reporters on a rare reporting tour of the Soviet Union. The experience led him to positions at International News Service and later the Chicago Sun-Times, where he worked as a business reporter. In his early 30s, Elden reinvented himself, earning an MBA at the University of Chicago and later founding Grosvenor Partners (now CGM Grosvenor), an asset management company, in 1971 with $500,000 in capital. During his three decades at the helm of Grosvenor — a period that spanned almost the entire history of the hedge fund industry — he created the first fund of funds in the U.S. and pioneered the diversification strategies that form the basis of modern portfolio theory. He also worked with some of the world’s most prominent investors and managers, including Carl Icahn and Julian Robertson. Elden retired in 2005. In addition to his work at Grosvenor, he served on the investment committee of the Field Museum and was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Elden is survived by his wife of 57 years, Gail; his daughter, Cindy; his son, Thomas; and his sister, Joan Feitler.
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
Mitchell L. Slotnick ’63, ’64 MBA, ’68 PhD, Northbrook, Ill., May 10, 2018, at age 76. A longtime financial consultant for PepsiCo, Mr. Slotnick taught in the MBA program at Loyola University Chicago for more than 20 years. He developed metrics for Pepsi that led to a shift in the bottling business model from a volumetric focus to a focus on marginal contribution dollars. The concept became a core part of the company’s financial management system and was taught in more than 100 countries. In 1969 Mr. Slotnick and his wife, Valerie, launched Educational Tours Inc., which at its peak brought more than 50,000 students each year to Washington, D.C., and other historic U.S. sites. The pair also started two smaller travel companies: Ridgebrook Travel and OmniTours. Mr. Slotnick led philanthropic and foundation work focused on fostering interfaith dialogue and enriching the lives of people who have disabilities. He launched the Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association Foundation and served on the board for the Center for Enriched Living. Mr. Slotnick was a passionate fan and supporter of Northwestern Athletics. He and Valerie were charter members of the Otto Graham Society. In 2015 they made a $5 million gift to Northwestern Athletics to support the construction of the Mitchell and Valerie Slotnick Family Atrium, located inside the new Ryan Fieldhouse. In addition to his wife, Mr. Slotnick is survived by his sons, Barry ’93, ’00 MBA and Jay; a daughter-in-law, Natalie; a sister, Barbara; and grandchildren Ben and Carly.
James H. Cone ’63 MA, ’65 PhD, New York City, April 28, 2018, at age 79. Rev. Cone was a founder of black liberation theology. He spoke out against racial inequality in the forms of economic injustice, mass incarceration and police shootings. In 1969 Rev. Cone wrote the first of his 12 books, Black Theology & Black Power. An African Methodist Episcopal minister, Rev. Cone joined the faculty at the Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary in New York City in 1969. He was promoted to professor four years later. In April Rev. Cone was elected to the 2018 class of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Earlier this year he won the Grawemeyer Award in Religion for his latest book, The Cross and the Lynching Tree. His memoir, Said I Wasn’t Gonna Tell Nobody: The Making of a Black Theologian, is expected to be published in late 2018. In 2010 Rev. Cone won the Eliza Garrett Distinguished Service Award from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. He is survived by his sons, Michael and Charles; his daughters, Robynn and Krystal; a brother, Charles, and two grandchildren. Photo by Filip Wolak. Ⓒ Union Theological Seminary
Kevin M. Moore ’68, ’71 MS, Wilmette, Ill., April 11, 2018, at age 71.
A celebrated journalist, Mr. Moore worked at Chicago’s two largest newspapers for more than 30 years. He spent 12 at the Chicago Sun-Times, starting as editor of “Weekend Plus” in 1974. He was also the Sunday features editor and opinion section editor. In 1986 he moved to the Chicago Tribune, where he edited the Friday section and helped move the newspaper’s entertainment coverage into the digital realm. He created the online “Beat Siskel” Oscar selection contest that pitted readers against famed movie critic Gene Siskel. Mr. Moore retired from the Tribune in 2008 as the paper’s deputy entertainment editor.
Born in Cleveland, Mr. Moore grew up in Texas and Missouri and spent his summers working as an apprentice lion tamer and cotton candy vendor at a circus owned by his family.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications and enlisted in the U.S. Army. Mr. Moore served for two years in Vietnam, where he saw ground combat action and suffered a serious ankle injury. He was awarded a Purple Heart and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. Mr. Moore returned to Northwestern, where he earned a master’s degree in journalism.
After his retirement Mr. Moore studied at Northwestern’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. He is survived by his wife, Constance.