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Remembrances

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

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James A. Kohlstedt

James A. Kohlstedt ’71, 71, of La Grange, Ill., born June 1, 1949, in Evanston; died peacefully Oct. 10, 2020, surrounded by family.

Jim grew up in Evanston and attended Evanston Township High School. Jim’s father, August Kohlstedt, was the lead maintenance engineer in Northwestern’s Technical Institute building in the 1950s. That experience exposed Jim to the school and handiwork at a young age. He received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Northwestern, where he was president of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. He received his JD and MBA from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, where he met and married Pat, his wife of 43 years. 

Jim loved traveling (all seven continents!), practicing law, hiking, skiing in Colorado and Canada as “Jake” and “Hans,” telling jokes, and spending time with family and friends. He was skilled in helping others and making space for the occasional joke while practicing commercial real estate, transaction and estate planning law. He was a mentor and friend to many, and a proud third-generation school board member for 20 years at Lyons Township High School in La Grange, Ill. Jim took exceptional pride in his three children and two children-in-law who received degrees from Northwestern, though it may have just been an excuse to attend more Wildcat football games and tailgates as a longtime season ticket holder. Jim’s greatest joy in life was his grandchildren, whose lives he enriched immensely.

He is survived by his wife Pat; children Katie (Francisco Portillo) Kohlstedt, Matt (Sarah) Kohlstedt, Lindsey (Devin) Meyer and Kevin (Karly) Kohlstedt; grandchildren Kai and Teo Portillo Kohlstedt, Benjamin and Zoe Kohlstedt, William, Luke and Emily Meyer, and Avery Kohlstedt; and ski chairlift jokes awaiting punchlines.

He was preceded in death by his parents, August and Deloris Weichelt Kohlstedt.

Jim tried his best and encouraged others to do the same. 

James Andrew Aull IV '76 MS, 80, of Oak Park, Ill., born Dec. 18, 1938, in West Norriton, Montgomery County, Pa; died peacefully June 8, 2019, surrounded by family and friends.

Jim grew up on a 50-acre farm, with woods, streams and wildlife, and his love of nature never left him. He attended the Hill School college prep. He graduated from Princeton University with a B.A. in history in 1960, and earned an MDiv from Chicago Theological Seminary and an MAT from Northwestern University.  During his professional life, he worked for the YMCA, taught high school in Woodstock, Ill., and spent 25 years with the Chicago Youth Centers, retiring as director of quality improvement.  It was during his work at the YMCA that he became involved in the civil rights and social justice movements which became a lifetime commitment.

Jim is survived by his beloved spouse of 30 years, Jeffrey Jon Smith; his loving sons Gino Aull of Naples, Fla., and James Bradley Aull of Berwyn, Ill., and his granddaughter Rebecca Aull of Chicago. Jim was preceded in death by his father, James Andrew Aull III; his mother, Sarah Helena Aull (nee Longacre); his sister, Jean Kathryn Aull of Lyme, N.H.; and his late partner, Dennis Thompson.

Jim was greatly loved and will be missed. He realized his altruism through word and deed and did what all of us should aspire to do: He made the world a better place.

Americo Bugliani '73 PhD was born 86 years ago in Pietrasanta a small Italian town nestled between the ocean and the Apuan Alps in Tuscany. It is sometimes referred to as the sculpture capital of the world. As an anti-fascist, his father emigrated to the U.S. to seek work, and Americo was born with American citizenship, which he cherished his entire life.

When WWII broke out the front line was to go right through his town. He and his family lost everything suffering hunger and untold hardships during the war. But one day he met an American soldier who gave him his first toothbrush, a tube of Colgate toothpaste and other items. He told him his name was Paul Sakamoto and gave him a picture of himself. 

Americo said that was his only day of happiness during the war. He kept that picture in his wallet for many years.  Fifty years later he tried to find Paul Sakamoto calling all the Sakamotos in California. Someone suggested he call Hawaii. There on the Big Island he was reunited with Paul. The reunion made the front page of the Hawaii Herald in an article titled “A Debt of Gratitude.” But he felt he needed to do more so he organized the leading citizens of Pietrasanta and persuaded them to construct a monument in honor of the Nisei soldiers who had liberated their hometown. The beautiful monument by world renowned sculptor Marcello Tommasi depicts Sadao Munemori who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic death on the Gothic Line. This story is recorded in David Ono’s award-winning documentary for ABC.

Americo’s father was a WWI veteran, and Americo was a veteran of the Korean War, having served in Germany, Austria and Italy. He was immensely honored at having been elected Commander of the Chicago Nisei Post 1183. His liberators had chosen him as commander! Unbelievable. He was also very proud of having become a Kentucky colonel.

Americo began his professional life in the travel industry, ending his career as vice president of an international travel company. He then took a furlough to obtain his Ph.D. at Northwestern University. His academic career as a Professor at the University of Illinois was highlighted by the publication of many articles and three scholarly books. He was also able to secure funding to launch the first Italian-American Studies program in the United States.  He went on to go into business for himself as a wholesale jeweler before retirement. 

In 2001 his wife, Ann, was appointed Director of the Loyola University of Chicago Rome Center Campus for a two-year stint. And so Americo and Ann moved to Rome and after two years they moved to Pietrasanta, where Americo died on Jan. 17, 2019. Americo and Ann had been happily married for 58 years.