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 email@example.com.
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Oswald Werner, who had a joint appointment in anthropology and linguistics at Northwestern University for 32 years, died at the age of 95 in Santa Fe, N.M., on March 26, 2023. Known simply as “Ossy” to his family and friends, as well as to generations of colleagues and students, he was a linguistic anthropologist who specialized in Navajo semantics through an approach to the study of cultural knowledge, which he called “ethnoscience.” His best-known work was the handbook of ethnographic methods titled Systematic Field Work (SAGE, 1987).
Ossy was born in what is now the republic of Slovakia and emigrated to the U.S. after World War II, settling in Syracuse, N.Y., where he opened a successful photography studio and met his wife, June Travers Werner. He later became a professor at Northwestern University in Evanston. There, he founded a summer field school based in New Mexico and Arizona. The Northwestern Ethnographic Field School operated from 1973 to 1994, placing students in Latino and Indigenous communities throughout the region. In 1995 Ossy moved with June to Albuquerque, N.M.. After June’s death in 2015, Ossy moved to Santa Fe, where he continued both his interest in the sciences, social and physical, as well as his passion for photography. Toward the end of his life, he also developed an aptitude for composing haiku.
Ossy had a profound influence on many people throughout his life. His most enduring legacy will be his family, friends and the many graduate students for whom he served as a mentor, inspiration and friend. His love for the Navajo people (Diné), and Navajo culture is emblematic of the values of understanding and appreciation of others that he modeled throughout his life. Ossy was an inquisitive and upbeat soul who listened to others with genuine interest, thoughtfully reflecting on a wide range of topics from culture to astrophysics. A lifelong lover of wordplay, Ossy was always ready with a groan-worthy pun.
Oswald Werner was preceded in death by his wife, June Werner, sister Bella Werner Duffy and brother Roland Werner. He is survived by his brother Bernard Werner, children Deborah Werner Flannery, Derek Werner and Rickard Werner, along with three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
James Edwin Moore died April 14, 2022, of complications from aspiration pneumonia in Vancouver, Wash., at the age of 92. He was surrounded by his children.
Born in Detroit in 1929, Jim was the first of his family to graduate from college after serving stateside during the Korean War. He ultimately received his PhD in music education from the University of Michigan. He taught as a music teacher in Detroit area high schools and later as a professor at Cochise College in Douglas, Ariz., and Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho.
In 1968 he accepted a position at Northwestern University, where he took on progressive administrative responsibilities until he retired in 1993 as director of admissions, career services and summer session at what is now the Bienen School of Music. During his tenure he reorganized and modernized the national admissions office, oversaw the school’s advertising and recruitment campaigns, edited the school’s Fanfare magazine and directed its summer National High School Music Institute. One of his most rewarding roles was traveling the country to audition and recruit new students. He was well liked by all who knew him.
In 1960 Jim met Carol Barney, who was working at Carty’s Music Store in Ypsilanti, Mich. They were married in 1962 and stayed together for 56 years until Carol’s passing in 2018. After Jim’s retirement, the two returned to Arizona where they built a house in Tucson. They traveled extensively, were active bridge players and enjoyed the weather and mountain views in their new home. Jim sang in the choir at Saint Philip’s in the Hills Episcopal Church.
Jim is survived by his children, sons Colin and Clay Moore and daughter Harker Brautighan, and sister Garlin Green.
James Arthur Ibers, emeritus professor of chemistry and former Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry, Chicago, Dec. 14, 2021, at age 91. Ibers joined the faculty at Northwestern in 1965 and retired after more than 50 years but continued his research and involvement with the University throughout the rest of his life. Ibers was a pioneer in the field of X-ray crystallography as it applied to inorganic chemistry. Chemistry department chair Teri Odom told Chemistry & Engineering News that Ibers’ work made “the determination of metal complexes possible, encouraged the synthesis of new compounds and led to powerful synthetic methodologies.” He and two other members of the chemistry department, Fred Basolo and Ralph G. Pearson ’43 PhD, both now deceased, formed the group known as BIP (Basolo-Ibers-Pearson), where inorganic chemistry students would gather regularly to present research papers. Ibers continued to attend meetings up until his retirement, and the group continues to meet today. Ibers received numerous honors throughout his career, including the American Chemical Society’s Linus Pauling Medal, the California Institute of Technology Distinguished Alumni Award and the American Crystallographic Association’s Martin J. Buerger Award. Born in Los Angeles, Ibers earned his bachelor’s degree and his doctorate from the California Institute of Technology. He worked as a chemist at Shell Development Co. in Emeryville, Calif., and at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York before joining the Northwestern faculty. Ibers and his wife, Joyce, were married for 69 years and had two children. Read a remembrance of Ibers by Mercouri G. Kanatzidis, the Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry, and see Ibers’ memoir for the American Crystallographic Association History project.