Robert Bunting, who developed the curriculum of Cornell’s economics and business department as chair from 1961–69, died May 18, 2006, in Wilmington, N.C. He was 85.
“He was my mentor. He’s the reason I came to Cornell and stayed,” said Don Cell, emeritus professor of economics and business. “He built the department.”
Besides bringing Cell to Cornell in 1962, Bunting recruited T. Hardie Park in 1963 and Lee Layton in 1964. Many leading economists, including Milton Friedman, were brought in to lecture. Bunting left Cornell for Macalester College.
James McWethy ’65 cited Bunting’s influence at the dedication in October of the Berry Center for Economics, Business, and Public Policy, endowed with a $5 million gift from McWethy as a tribute to his grandfather, Lester Berry. “Don Cell and Dr. Bob Bunting were my mentors in economics. Without them I’m not so sure this would be happening.”
Bunting is survived by his wife, Anne, a daughter, five grandchildren, a stepdaughter, two stepgrandchildren, a brother, and several nieces and nephews.
Helen Sprigg Tracy '40
Helen Sprigg Tracy ’40, secretary to Gen. George S. Patton Jr. in World War II, died July 31, 2006, in El Cajon, Calif. She was 88.
Soon after the United States entered the war, she joined the War Department general staff in Washington, D.C. She was assigned to “Old Blood and Guts,” as Patton was known. “He was always supposed to be so mean and cantankerous. Underneath it all, I thought he was like a piece of wet spaghetti,” she later told the San Diego Tribune.
Tracy went overseas with the Women’s Army Corps in 1943. She survived a V-2 rocket barrage outside London in 1944, spent part of her tour in France, and was finally reassigned to Patton in Germany at the war’s end. He presented her a Bronze Star for meritorious service, just days before he was severely injured in an automobile accident. Tracy transcribed the general’s war diaries after his death.
She is survived by three children and three grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, a retired Navy officer.
Edward Daniels ’41
Edward Daniels ’41, a researcher who helped develop cancer therapies used today and supplied the space program with the first living organisms to leave the Earth’s atmosphere, died June 30, 2006, in Naperville, Ill. He was 89.
Following service in the Navy and Marine Corps during World War II, he earned an M.S. in embryology and Ph.D.s in zoology, physiology, anatomy, and microbiology at the University of Illinois. His research on the effects of radiation on the cell helped lead to its use in cancer treatment.
In the 1950s, as the race toward manned space flight quickened, his experimental protozoa were the first living organisms shot into space by the United States Air Force Radiation Laboratory.
His career included stops at the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, and the University of Illinois Medical School in Chicago.
He is survived by his wife, Harriet, four children, eight grandchildren, two sisters, and three brothers.
Dr. Gordon Rahn ’43
Dr. Gordon Rahn ’43, who spent his career serving patients in Mount Vernon, Lisbon, and surrounding communities, died Aug. 17, 2006, in Anamosa. He was 84.
He was known for making house calls, rushing to an emergency or to deliver a baby, often interrupting his own family events. He allowed patients to barter with labor and food or simply gave them free medical care.
He was raised in Mount Vernon and Lisbon, where his father was a school administrator and superintendent and his mother taught home economics. He completed medical school at the University of Iowa, served as a Navy physician in World War II, and then set up his practice in 1948. He was active in the community and earned distinguished citizen honors in 1983. He retired in 1989.
He is survived by his wife, Kathryn; a daughter and three sons; a brother, Sheldon Rahn ’39; a stepsister; nine grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Among those preceding him in death were his parents, Lloyd Rahn ’31 and C. Elizabeth Carter Rahn Southard ’32.
Maryann Mahaffey '46
Longtime Detroit City Council member and three-time council president Maryann Mahaffey ’46 died July 27, 2006, in Detroit. She was 81.
She planned a career as a librarian, but after volunteering a summer at a concentration camp for Japanese-Americans in Arizona, she determined to work to end discrimination. She earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Southern California and moved to Detroit in 1952. She held a number of positions in social work and eventually joined the faculty at Wayne State University.
She was first elected to the Detroit City Council in 1973 and served as president—a title awarded to the top vote-getter—from 1990–98 and 2002–05. She retired from the council in 2005 after being diagnosed with leukemia. During her council tenure, she pushed the city to create and fund a rape crisis unit, fought for legislation regulating homeless shelters and apartment rentals, and expanded the city’s health-care benefits to include gay couples. Pro-labor, she was arrested during a sit-in for striking employees of Detroit’s two newspapers in 1996.
The National Organization for Women named her Feminist of the Year in 1974 and Cornell awarded her an Alumni Achievement Award in 1974 and an honorary degree in 1995.
She is survived by her husband, Herman Dooha, a daughter, a brother, and a granddaughter.
J. Donald Gruenwald ’52
J. Donald Gruenwald ’52, a hall of fame high school basketball coach who won over 400 games and led six teams to the state tournament, died June 25, 2006, in Des Moines. He was 75.
He was a member of high school state championship and runner-up teams at Davenport, a three-year starter and letterwinner who was named team captain his junior and senior years at Cornell, and an Iowa high school basketball coach and educator for 35 years. He took four Harlan teams and two Clinton teams to the state tournament. His career coaching record was 409–262. He was inducted into the Iowa Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Cornell Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.
He is survived by four children and three grandchildren. Memorial gifts to support Cornell athletics may be sent to the Office of College Advancement, 600 First St. SW, Mount Vernon, IA 52314.