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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

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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

Benno Ndulu

Benno Ndulu ’79 MA, ’79 PhD, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Feb. 22, at age 71. A highly respected economist, Ndulu worked tirelessly to improve Tanzania’s economic stability and became a mentor to young African scholars. He began his career teaching economics at the University of Dar es Salaam before pursuing a doctorate in economics at Northwestern. During Ndulu’s decade as governor of the central bank of Tanzania, the country saw economic growth and reduced poverty. Ndulu also founded and developed the highly influential African Economic Research Consortium, an institution focused on advancing economic policy research and training in Africa. He served on the board of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and was the chair of the advisory board of the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics. After his retirement in 2018, Ndulu joined the University of Oxford as a visiting professor and worked on the World Development Report 2021. Ndulu is survived by his wife, Mariam; his children, Ndulika, Lindu and Sarah; and three grandchildren.

Photo: Blavatnik School, University of Oxford

James Schadt

James Schadt ’60, Vero Beach, Fla., Feb. 3, at age 82. A Northwestern life trustee, Schadt came to the University in 1956 on a swimming scholarship. He and his wife, Barbara Soldmann Schadt ’60, created the James P. and Barbara S. Schadt Swimming Scholarship. James Schadt served on the Northwestern Board of Trustees’ development, alumni relations and steering committees. He was also a founding member of the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences Board of Visitors. Schadt started his career in brand management at Procter & Gamble before becoming president and CEO of London-based Cadbury Schweppes Beverages. He later became the first American to serve on Cadbury Schweppes’ board of directors. Eventually, he became chairman and CEO of the Reader’s Digest Association (now Trusted Media Brands) before retiring in the 1990s. Schadt is survived by his wife, his children, Lauren Schadt Baker ’83, ’86 MBA and Andrew Schadt ’87, ’95 MBA, four grandchildren, and two brothers.