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Frederick Hemke

Frederick Hemke, professor emeritus of saxophone, died April 17 at age 83. Hemke was born in Milwaukee on July 11, 1935. In 1956 he became the first American to receive the Premier Prix du Saxophone from the Conservatoire National de Musique in Paris. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, a master’s in music education from the Eastman School of Music, and a doctor of music degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Hemke joined the Northwestern faculty in 1962 and in 2002 was named the Louis and Elsie Snydacker Eckstein Professor of Music. He chaired the Department of Music Performance Studies until 1994 and served as senior associate dean for administration. After 50 years of teaching, Hemke retired from the Bienen School in 2012 and was named professor emeritus. His career was celebrated that June at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall with a Saxophone Orchestra Monster Concert featuring some of the world’s premier saxophonists, many of them his former students. Hemke presented a master class for school’s saxophone studio in November 2018.

An internationally recognized saxophonist, Hemke performed and gave master classes and lectures throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. He appeared as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Minnesota, Stockholm Philharmonic, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony, New Zealand Philharmonic, and Korea Philharmonic Orchestras. Having appeared on many occasions as an invited soloist for the World Saxophone Congress, he also coordinated the event when it was held at Northwestern in 1979. Hemke served as an adjudicator for numerous national and international competitions and as a visiting professor at the Conservatoire National de Musique in Paris, the Sweelinck Conservatory of Music in Amsterdam, the Basel Conservatory of Music in Switzerland, and several US universities.

His recordings include solo albums, chamber music, and six recordings with the Chicago Symphony, including Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. He was a contributor to Keiser Southern Music Company and a consultant for the Selmer Company and La Voz Corporation, which manufactures the Frederick Hemke Premium Reed.

Hemke received many distinctions during his distinguished career. In 2004 he was named a Northwestern University Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence. Other honors include the Northwestern Alumni Association’s Excellence in Teaching Award, the Bienen School’s Professor of the Year award (1987, 1989, and 2002), and the Kappa Kappa Psi Distinguished Service to Music Award.

Taimur Sullivan, Bienen School associate professor of saxophone, said Hemke’s boundless knowledge, energy, and wit were infectious. “There is quite literally no aspect of our profession, in any corner of the globe, that has not been profoundly shaped by his artistry, pedagogy, vision, and leadership over the past 60 years. He was an inspiration not only to countless students over his long and distinguished teaching career but to his Northwestern family in particular and the classical music community as a whole,” said Sullivan. “Our world is emptier without him, but incredibly richer because of him.”

Hemke is survived by his wife, Junita Borg Hemke; daughter, Elizabeth Hemke Shapiro (Nicholas); son, Frederic John Borg Hemke (Rachel); and grandchildren Daniel, Martin, Charlotte, and Peter.

William John Davis

Major General William John Davis ’59 passed away on March 14, 2019, at the age of 85 while being hospitalized not far from his farm in Wadsworth, Ill. William Davis was a lifelong Chicagoan, born Aug. 4, 1933. He was a native of the North Side, raised a family in the western suburb of St. Charles, and retired to his farm in Wadsworth, just north of Gurnee.

After graduating high school, he joined the U.S. Air Force in 1953 and began his flying career as a navigator for reconnaissance missions. He then returned to Chicago, joined the Reserves, and attended school at Northwestern University where he graduated in 1959 with a degree in political science.

After briefly attending law school at the University of Miami, he decided to pursue a flying career full time and took a job with American Airlines.

In 1971 he married Sandra Marie Richter of Hopkins, Minn., and they started a family raising two children, Kristen Marie and Michael William.

William Davis served 35 years with the United States military before retiring as the commander of the Illinois Air national Guard in 1989. After 30 years of service with American Airlines, he retired as a captain in 1993. He became a widow when his wife, Sandra Davis, died of cancer in 2000.

He was a curious, compassionate and scholarly individual. He was a car and motorcycle enthusiast, a philanthropist and a public servant, but he’ll be remembered most as a wonderful father and a loving husband. He is survived by his two children, Kristen and Michael.

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.

On Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018, Suzanne Sherman Trotter ’50 passed away peacefully among her family and friends.

Suzanne, or Suzie, is survived by four children, 10 grandchildren and nine nieces and nephews who adored her for her spirit and energy.

Suzie was born in Kansas City, Mo., on Feb. 16, 1928, to Charles and Marian Sherman. Suzie attended New Trier High School in Kenilworth, Ill. In 1950 she graduating from the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University, where she met Hugh Trotter. They married in 1951 and ultimately settled in San Marino, Calif., with their four children.

Suzie led her daughters’ Girl Scout troops and played an active role in leadership and fundraising for the scouts. In 1967 she helped found the Lacy Park Tennis Center with friends Franny Brossy and Char Wachtel. Suzie also founded the Huntington School tennis clinic, an after-school program for middle schoolers. In addition, Suzie was active in the Pasadena Junior League, participating in the follies and as an auctioneer at the Garden Club’s annual event. She was the first mother to coach Little League Baseball; she mentored the boys Gray Y Soccer; and she co-coached her grandchildren in AYSO. Suzie was an avid skier and saw to it that her children and extended family enjoyed the mountains too. She skied all over the world on trips with the Over the Hill Gang and Pepe’s Wedel Week.

In her later years, Suzie took up watercolor painting, and her still-lifes and landscapes of the California coastline hang in the homes of friends and family.  Suzie also thrived on debate and discussion of politics.

Suzie is survived by her daughter, Melinda Montano, and her children, Brad and Chase; her daughter, Katy, and husband Dean Kitchens and their children, Alex, Dana, Sarah and Anne; her daughter, Suzanne Trotter, and husband Henry Edmonds and their children, McCoy, Elizabeth and Henry; and her son, Scott Trotter, and wife Kim and their son, Benjamin. She is also survived by her sisters Jackie Barnes of Evanston and Julie Whitaker of Laguna Woods, Calif.

Our memories of Bill Froehlig ’50, ’65 MA/MS, known as “the Sandwichman,” go beyond the homemade sandwiches he brought to our residence halls every night in his two-wheeled cart, from the late 1940s to his retirement in 1988. Froehlig died Sept. 29, 2018, in Tallahassee, Fla., at the age of 92.

The tracks of his cart in the North Campus snow are long gone, but generations of Northwestern graduates remember his generosity, kindness, tireless work ethic and that distinctive boatswain’s whistle announcing his arrival.

Gabe Fuentes ’86, ’93 JD

Angela Kristine Nielsen Park

Angela Kristine Nielsen Park ’01 WCAS,’02 MS, Chicago, Aug. 9, at age 39.

Angela earned her bachelor’s degree in human development in 2001 and master’s degree in education in 2002. She was also a member of Alpha Phi sorority.

After teaching for a few years in the Chicago and Boston public schools, Angela found her true calling as a personal trainer, working for Chicago Athletic Clubs and eventually starting her own training business, Spark Multisport.

Angela swam competitively for 12 years and was a top age group swimmer in Wisconsin and the Midwest. While attending Northwestern, Angela taught swim lessons and began dabbling in the sport of triathlon, participating in her first triathlon there. She had since completed more than 100 triathlons, including multiple half Ironmans (Ironman 70.3), Ironman Arizona, Ironman Wisconsin and Ironman Santa Rosa. She had numerous top 3 age group and overall female finishes during her triathlon career and was a 2013 Ironman All World Athlete, a member of Team USA at the 2015 Age Group Triathlon World Championships in Chicago and a USA Triathlon National Championship qualifier consecutively since 2010.

She built Spark Multisport with the belief that adopting a healthy, active lifestyle starts with small changes and motivation. She helped all find his/her inner athlete. Angela was a top personal trainer and triathlon coach. She earned popular recognition in the hit reality show The Biggest Loser as the personal trainer to the show’s 2008 at-home winner. Through her company, she organized group races and women’s health retreats. When she was not running, biking and swimming, she loved to travel and spend time with her husband and daughters. Angela enjoyed every moment with her children.

Angela was born in Waterbury, Conn., and was primarily raised in Kenosha, Wis.

Angela is survived by her loving husband, Eugene ’01; her daughters, Alexandra Grace (8) and Olivia Kate (3); her parents, Richard ’64 and ’70 MBA and Gloria Nielsen; and a brother, Scott (Samantha) Nielsen.

Kristin Rose Lentfer Pancner

Kristin Rose Lentfer Pancner ’61, 80, passed away Saturday, July 7, 2018, at Lake Wawasee, Ind.

Kristin Lentfer was born and raised in Livingston, Montana and attended Park County High School, graduating Valedictorian. She graduated from Northwestern University in 1961, majoring in nursing and sociology. Kristin further advanced her education, earning her master's degree in counseling psychology in 1978, and her doctorate in psychology in 1992 at Adler University of Chicago. She was employed at Pancner Psychiatric Associates throughout her career as a counselor and psychologist.

Kristin was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority while at Northwestern. In Fort Wayne, she served as vice president of the Newcomer's Club, a camp nurse at the Episcopal Church Camp and volunteered at the American Red Cross as a mental health counselor. She was also co-chair of a national convention for the North American Society of Adlerian Psychology and President of the Pastoral Education Advisory Committee at Lutheran Hospital. She was a published writer for a number of publications, including The Individual Psychologist and the International Journal of Individual Psychology.  

Kristin was known as an intelligent, charismatic, caring and compassionate person. She was a devoted and caring wife, mother and grandmother who enjoyed travel, reading, learning and entertaining. Kristin particularly loved spending time at Lake Wawasee, Ind., and Sanibel Island, Fla., where she spent winters with her husband and family.

Surviving are her spouse of 58 years, Ronald J. Pancner; two children, Paul Pancner and Jennifer Ennis; as well as five grandchildren, Austin, Dominique, Cameron, Alexa and Olivia. Her companions Tux and Diablo survive as well.

Please send memorials to Fort Wayne Children's Zoo and the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission. There will be a private Celebration of Life scheduled at a later date.