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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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Robert “Bobby” Whiteside

Robert “Bobby” Whiteside ’64, Madison, Tenn., April 21, 2021, at age 79. A singer, producer and songwriter, Whiteside worked alongside artists such as Barbra Streisand and Johnny Mathis. Whiteside co-wrote hit songs such as “Comin’ In and Out of Your Life” and “When the Lovin’ Goes Out of the Lovin’” and also released his own album, Bittersweet Stories, in 1974. He spent 40 years in the commercial advertising business, writing and producing jingles for Harley-Davidson, McDonald’s, 7UP and others. He won three Clio Awards. He also had a passion for fishing and boating. Whiteside is survived by his wife of 54 years, Brenda; his daughter, Wendy; his sons Terry and Tarrey; four grandchildren; and his sister, Mary Whiteside Schuette ’60. 

Louis R. Magor, ’67, ’74 MMus, Seattle, April 11, at age 75. An acclaimed musician, conductor and teacher, Magor began teaching choral music to middle and high schoolers in the Chicago area while he was a student at Northwestern. He arranged music for various choral groups in Chicago at the encouragement of choral professor William Ballard, and soon after earning his master’s degree in music, Magor became the first director of the prestigious San Francisco Symphony Chorus when he was 28 years old. Margaret Hillis, the renowned conductor of the Chicago Symphony Chorus, had recommended Magor for the position, and numerous members of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus wrote letters to then-conductor Seiji Ozawa insisting that Magor be hired. Magor held the position for a decade, after which he replaced Ballard as conductor of the San Francisco Boys Chorus and led them on a national tour in 1985. In 1990 Magor moved to Seattle and became a well-respected elementary school music teacher for 31 years. He served as an accompanist to Seattle’s Total Experience Gospel Choir, as the music director at Wallingford United Methodist Church and as conductor for the Seattle Bach Choir and the West Seattle Children’s Chorus. Magor is survived by nine cousins.

Patricia Hoftiezer Simms

Patricia Hoftiezer Simms ’69 of Madison, Wis., April 5, at age 75. After graduating from Northwestern, Simms spent her entire 42-year career reporting for the Wisconsin State Journal, where she started two columns. Her “Snoop” column, which ran from 1989 to 1998, compiled gossip, insider news and watchdog reporting. In 2007 she launched a consumer advocacy column called “SOS” that continues to this day. During her time at the State Journal, Simms covered five governors and the 1970 bombing of the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Sterling Hall. Simms’ newsroom team was named a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for their breaking news reporting on the 2011 protests at the Wisconsin State Capitol in response to Gov. Scott Walker’s Act 10, an anti-union law. Simms continued to freelance for the paper after her retirement in 2011. She was also the first woman journalist in Wisconsin to demand and receive maternity leave. Simms is survived by her two children, Sara Lander and Joseph Simms, and her six grandchildren.

Photo: Courtesy of Wisconsin State Journal

Elizabeth “Betty” Urbanowski Hibben

Elizabeth “Betty” Urbanowski Hibben ’60, Northbrook, Ill., March 28, 2021, at age 83. Hibben was one of the first women to be inducted into Northwestern’s N Club, an alumni organization for former Wildcat athletes. She played intramural softball, basketball, volleyball and tennis as a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority. She became co-owner and manager of the Ivy Racquet Club in Peru, Ill., and coached the Illinois Valley Community College women’s tennis team, for which she received the National Junior College Women’s Tennis Coach of the Year award. A flautist, Hibben was also a member of the Northwestern University Marching and Band Alumni. She is survived by her children, Kenneth, Timothy and Nancy; and four grandchildren.

Howard J. Sweeney

Howard J. Sweeney ’49, ’51 MD, Northbrook, Ill., March 27, 2021, at age 94. Sweeney was an orthopedic surgeon who worked in the Department of Athletics and Recreation for 38 years. He began working at Evanston Hospital in 1957 and also taught at the Feinberg School of Medicine. In 1964 he became the Wildcats’ team surgeon, then served as the head team doctor, overseeing the treatment of all injuries for every Northwestern athlete until his retirement in 2002. In honor of Sweeney, Northwestern Athletics’ sports medicine department created the Howard Sweeney Award of Excellence in 2004 and inducted him into the University’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007. Sweeney also founded the Global Arthroscopy Foundation, which brings fellows from other countries to Chicago for instruction on arthroscopic surgery. Sweeney is survived by six children, 21 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and three nieces. Photo: Courtesy of Northwestern Athletics

Irvin A. Cross

Irvin A. Cross ’61, Roseville, Minn., Feb. 28, 2021, at age 81. Named Northwestern’s 1961 Male Athlete of the Year in both track and football, Cross played three years as wide receiver and defensive back for the Wildcats. Drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles, Cross played cornerback for nine seasons in the NFL, collecting 22 interceptions. The two-time Pro Bowler joined CBS’ The NFL Today in 1975, becoming the first Black full-time television analyst for a network sports show. He worked for CBS for 15 years, and in 2009 Cross received the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award from the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He is survived by his wife, Liz; his children, Susan, Lisa, Sandra and Matthew; a grandson; five sisters; and three brothers.

Photo Credit: Northwestern University Archives

Carol Gaetjens

Carol Gaetjens ’91 PhD, Fayetteville, Ark., Feb. 27, at age 76. Passionate about education and giving back to her community, Gaetjens worked for 10 years as a clinical social worker at AMITA Health Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston before eventually pursuing a doctorate in Northwestern’s Human Development and Social Policy program. She went on to direct the master’s program in gerontology at Northeastern Illinois University. Beginning in 1999, she taught courses such as Moral Values in Human Development, Adulthood and Aging, and Observing Human Behavior as an adjunct instructor in Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy. Gaetjens also served as a member of Northwestern’s accessibility committee. After moving to Fayetteville, she volunteered at Genesis Church, where she worked with local unhoused people and the working poor. Gaetjens provided her home as a space for those in need, acting as a surrogate mother to adolescents and young adults who were going through difficult times. Gaetjens is survived by her brother, Tony, and her sister, Katie.

Photo: Courtesy of the School of Education and Social Policy