Skip to main content


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

Filter alumni by decade:

Narrow to:

Karen P. Smith '86 PhD was a talented and dedicated psychologist who provided excellent care to her clients for over 30 years.

Smith was a lifelong Chicagoan — only leaving the city to attend Grinnell College (Class of 1969) — who enjoyed the city as home to her unapologetic life as a brilliant Black woman, doctor, lesbian and advocate.

Initially drawn to public service through legal aid, Smith received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago (Law School, 1974). She utilized her legal scholarship in public interest law to serve as a Staff Attorney at the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, and at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago.

Understanding that her legal work was meaningful, but too far removed from the service she always felt most drawn to, Smith committed herself to fulfilling her longtime aspiration of becoming a clinical psychologist. Smith excelled in Northwestern’s doctoral psychology program and combined her experience in legal aid and psychoanalytic therapy early in her career as a psychologist within the Psychiatric Institute of the Circuit Court of Cook County.  

Holistically, Smith cultivated a career defined by the research and practice of self psychology. Bringing the theory of “mirroring” to the center of her work, she effectively facilitated the ability of others to see accurate, worthy, and well versions of themselves throughout their therapeutic journeys. 

As a practitioner with a core philosophy of analyzing through empathy and reflecting existing bases for self-worth, Smith was significantly ahead of her time as a culturally competent care provider to people of color as well as LGBTQI community members. During her tenure as a professor at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, she expanded the praxis of clinical cultural competencies through her leadership as Director of the Center for Intercultural Clinical Psychology.  

As a consummate professional and tremendously giving person, Smith genuinely desired to provide therapy to others until the end of her life. And that she did.  She acutely understood her life’s purpose through the counseling and affirmation of others and she uncompromisingly lived that purpose.   

Although Smith’s work was defined by the private nature of counseling, her life openly achieved what we all desire:  to do what we are called to do and to live the life we are called to well. Her indefatigable ability to apply brilliance, resolution, kindness, justice, and -- above all -- love to the manifestation of being who she knew she needed to be epitomized her well-lived life.  Undoubtedly, Smith’s life will be remembered in the way that we all hope to be memorialized: known for the ways in which she bettered the world because of her reverberating presence within it.   

Karen leaves behind a community of chosen family, including the people who live their lives as a direct result of the healing she facilitated. The transformative power of her mind, her courage, and her care genuinely changed the world for innumerable people who benefited greatly from all that she offered so generously.

Saul Needleman

Saul Needleman ’57 PhD, Chicago, July 18, 2019, age 91, was a biochemist, teacher, author and artist.

He earned a Bachelor of Science in Organic Chemistry, Illinois Institute of Technology, 1950; a Master of Science in Biochemistry, Illinois Institute of Technology, 1955; and a Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry and Medicine, Northwestern University in 1957.

His career as a biochemist includes: VA Research Hospital, Chicago, 1965–1973; coordinator science affairs at Abbott Laboratories, North Chicago, 1974–1979; director clinical affairs at Schering-Plough, Memphis, 1979–1981; director medical affairs at Hollister Inc., Libertyville, Ill., 1981–1985; consultant with the United States Naval Dental Research Program; medical expert with the United States Navy Drug Program, Great Lakes Naval Station; legal-medical consultant with the Drug Abuse Program, United States Navy, 1986-1995. Needleman retired after 10 years as a civilian working at the Great Lakes Naval Station Drug Lab and serviced with United States Naval Reserve from 1945 to 1947.

Additionally, he was an associate professor of biochemistry and neurology at Northwestern University, Evanston, 1960—1973; chairman, department of biochemistry at Roosevelt University, 1973–1975; and taught nutrition at Oakton Community College, 1995–2000.

While his career was biochemistry, his passions were the arts and numismatics. He worked in various media from painting, sculpture, stained glass, woodworking, furniture and photography. His books include detailed research in protein analysis and various books on numismatics. He is well known for the Needleman–Wunsch algorithm, used in bioinformatics to align protein or nucleotide sequences.

Achievements include patents in biochemistry and medical fields; recipient Presidential Award, Abbott Laboratories, 1979; RESA Science Research Award, 1960; Toni Research Fellow, 1954-1955; and Gillette Research Fellow, 1953-1954. Additionally, there were many achievements in the arts and numismatic fields.

Diana Dahl Norlander '56 passed away peacefully on July 14, 2019, surrounded by generations of her family, reciprocating the love she showed them. She is survived by her loving husband, John; four children, Lisa, Erik, Krist, and Britt; 10 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. Born on February 25, 1933, she was the adored child of Edor and Donna Dahl. She graduated from Northwestern University and was an accomplished actress, pianist and real estate agent — facts that remained hidden to many because of her modesty and nature of always turning the spotlight to the people around her. But the roles she cherished most in life were as wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She and John were a perfect match and accomplished more together as a loving couple than either could dream of on their own. She loved her children fiercely and found immense joy from watching them grow and spread their wings. As “Nana” she made sure her grandchildren could always find freshly made cookies or brownies in the kitchen. As her family mourns this great loss, they are incredibly grateful that she and John made it a priority to nurture a family in which everyone loves and supports one another deeply. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations to the Hilton Head Heroes organization.

Jessica Erin Martin of Denver, Colorado passed away on June 19, 2019 at University of Colorado Hospital.

Martin was married to Nicholas C. Houck, and the couple have two children, Margaret and Michael.

She was born in Joliet, Ill., attended Minooka High School and earned her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University in Evanston. She moved to the Denver area to pursue her master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

lMartin taught at Boulder for several years and was beloved by students and colleagues alike. She was known for her highly intelligent presentations and quick wit.

Martin was diagnosed with colorectal cancer (CRC) in April 2013. An educator to the end, Martin advocated for CRC in Washington D.C. and through her blogspot “Drjlifethisway.”  Her highly personal, and at times humorous, examination of dealing with all the indignities and trials of cancer has enhanced the lives of cancer patients and their families.

Martin is the daughter of P.J. Danneker of Navarre, Fla., and Gerald P. Martin of Edmund Okla. 

She is survived by her spouse, children, parents and brother Josh Martin (Karen) along with numerous aunts, uncles and cousins living across the country.

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.

Richard Alan Feldon '53, age 87, went to a Super Bowl in heaven after passing away on Friday, June 7, 2019. His enthusiasm for sports, military history, music and travel was surpassed only by his love for his family and friends, who will miss and never forget him.

An avid fan of the Cincinnati Bengals and one of the first season-ticket holders, Feldon rarely missed a game – even during his worldwide travels. When football season was over, you’d find him playing golf or watching tennis, baseball, basketball, or at least a great Jeopardy show.

Feldon spent 39 years at The Procter & Gamble Company, retiring in 1994 as Managing Director of World Strategic Planning for the Paper Products Division. He was particularly proud to have been on the team that created Mr. Whipple (“Please don’t squeeze the Charmin”), to have labeled Bounty as “the Quicker Picker-Upper,” and also to have introduced Pampers to the U.S., Europe and the world. His career started in sales, then brand management, and eventually strategic planning, where he voyaged across the globe and eventually transferred with his family for several years to Germany and Belgium, kindling his strong interest in international travel.

Known for his smile and laughter with friends, Feldon’s greatest joy was his family. He is survived by his dear wife — the sun to his moon — Diane Kozlove Feldon; sons Richard Alden Feldon and R. Andrew Feldon and his wife, Leah Koss Feldon (the daughter of Dick’s second wife, Candy Koss); daughter Jill Feldon LaNouette and her husband, Greg LaNouette; grandchildren Evan LaNouette and his wife, Annick Aubin-Pouliot, Trevor LaNouette, Charlotte Feldon and Ryder Feldon; nephews Justin Skala and his wife, Ann, and Christopher Skala and his wife, Emma; and niece Katri Skala and her husband, John Cook.

Born August 15, 1931, in Darien, Connecticut, Feldon was close to his sister Barbara and brother Bob. He attended Valley Forge Military Academy and Pomfret School, and then became a life-long Wildcat fan and Sigma Nu, receiving his degree in business administration from Northwestern University in 1953. He met Joan Sorge there and married her in 1954, shortly after he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he served at Quantico, Virginia, and then in Japan and Korea.

Moving to Terrace Park, Ohio, Dick became a councilman and vice mayor, and was active with the Terrace Park Players and Cincinnati Music Theater as a producer, director, and actor (and occasional singer). Broadway musicals continued to be his favorite, especially Mame, Carousel, Music Man and Mama Mia.

After he retired, Feldon and Diane cruised much of the world and then moved to Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, where they made an amazing number of warm and wonderful friends. Feldon served on the board of the BallenIsles Country Club. At the club, he challenged many of the members in bridge.

Feldon was the embodiment of an open-minded intellectual who held competence and integrity above political affiliation. His friends and family will always remember Feldon’s affection for animals, way with words, sense of humor, intellect, love of people, and especially his smile.

A memorial service and celebration of life will take place on Saturday, October 19, 2019, in Palm Beach Gardens — details to come.

Robert E. Peckenpaugh ‘49, ‘52 MBA of Hinsdale, Ill., passed away on May 4, 2019, at age 92. After serving as a quartermaster in the U.S. Navy during the conclusion of World War II, Mr. Peckenpaugh began his career, which ended up spanning 70 years as an investment professional. One of the earliest holders of the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation, he was a past president of the CFA Society Chicago. Mr.Peckenpaugh served the community by helping to lead the referenda to establish College of DuPage and build Hinsdale South High School, as well as working with the local Easter Seals organization. He is survived by his six children, 19 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.