JASON WOLFE, 73, professor of biology emeritus, died Dec. 23, 2014. He joined the Wesleyan faculty in 1969 after receiving his BA from Rutgers and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and completing two post-doctoral fellowships at Kings College, University of London, and Johns Hopkins. He taught cell biology, human biology, biology of aging and the elderly, and structural biology at Wesleyan for 39 years.
In his research, Wolfe asked big questions about how reproduction and aging are regulated. With funding from NIH and NSF, he produced an enviable body of work published in the major cell biology journals—always mentoring undergraduates and graduate students with compassion and insight. He led the effort that resulted in Wesleyan’s first Howard Hughes Medical Institute Grant for Undergraduate Life Science Education, establishing a program that has provided decades of support for hundreds of undergraduates. In retirement, he twice offered his popular general education course in human biology and published his last Biology Open research paper in 2014 with four former Wesleyan undergraduate co-authors.
He is survived by his wife, Vera Schwarcz, the Mansfield Freeman Professor of East Asian Studies, professor of history, as well as three children and five grandchildren.
GEORGE R. CREEGER, 89, professor of English, emeritus, died Nov. 1, 2014. He joined the Wesleyan faculty in 1951 after receiving his B.A. at DePauw University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. at Yale. He taught American literature in the English Department for nearly 50 years. An expert on romantic poetry—particularly Wordsworth, Keats, Shelley, and Byron—and on the works of Herman Melville, he was also a generalist who brought some of his other passions into the classroom through courses on Early Connecticut Houses and Opera as Myth and Literature. He served as Dean of the College from 1971–1973 as well as chair of the faculty from 1991–1992. He was a brilliant teacher whose deep resonant voice was instantly recognizable, and he was much beloved by a devoted following of students. He was the first recipient of the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching when it was inaugurated in 1993.
He is survived by a son, Christopher (Kit); his daughter, Katie; and two grandsons. He is predeceased by his wife, Elva, and by a son, Carl.
FRANKLIN A SEVERANCE MALS’73, an educator and administrator, died Dec. 31, 2014. He was 75. A graduate of Harvard University, he earned master’s degrees at Wesleyan and at the Muskie School of Public Service. He served with the U.S. Army National Guard. His long teaching and administrative career included positions at schools in Nigeria, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, and Maine. In addition to his career in education, he served as a chief deputy sheriff of Fairfield County (Conn.), assistant commissioner for the Connecticut Department of Insurance, and regulatory board coordinator for the State of Maine. He also volunteered with a variety of non-profit organizations. His wife, Irene Severance, survives, as do his son; two brothers, including John B Severance MALS’69; several nieces; and four stepchildren.
ARMAND P. MAZZETTI MALS’68, a science teacher, died Sept. 11, 2014. He was 80. A U.S. Army veteran, he received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut. In addition to receiving his MALS from Wesleyan, he also received a master’s degree from Southern Connecticut State University. He taught science at Cheshire (Conn.) High School for 25 years and zoology at the UCONN Waterbury branch. He also founded The Caboose, a distributor of handcrafted model trains. He was predeceased by his wife, Dolores Kramer Mazzetti, and by his son. Survivors include his wife, Tara Rupsis Mazzetti, his daughter, two grandchildren, and his brother.
ROBERT M. SANDOE MALS’62, who founded Robert M. Sandoe and Associates, now Carney Sandoe and Associates, the teacher placement agency and head of school recruitment firm in Boston, died Aug. 10, 2014, at age 90. He received his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College. During World War II he served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a navigator and during the Korean War as an instructor of navigation. He taught for several years at Choate Rosemary Hall before holding headships at the American School of Manila, Texas Military Academy, the Cranbrook School, and the Cambridge School of Weston. Subsequently he founded Sandoe and Associates. A leader in the world of independent education, he was also the founding first Chair of Independent Educational Services, a non-profit teacher placement agency. His first wife, Nancy Kane Sandoe, predeceased him, as did one son. Among those who survive are his wife, Frederica Lawrence Sandoe, two children, five grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.
REX L. BERNSTEIN, a government major who minored in history at Wesleyan, died Jan. 10, 2015. He was 22 and died peacefully in his sleep. His parents, Karen Close and Steven Bernstein; his sister; his grandparents; and a large extended family, including his aunts, Sarah H. Porter ’86, and Alison B. Bernstein ’87, survive.
MARC J. AUGUSTINE, an artist who specialized in structural displays and graphics, died Oct. 26, 2014, at age 38. He also studied at Dartmouth College and received his BFA degree from the University of Connecticut. An award-winning artist in creative design concepts, he created unique environments for Urban Outfitters and had won numerous best of show awards throughout the Northeast for his unique sign-making, structural displays, sculpture, and graphics. He also carried on his grandfather’s roofing business in Middletown, Conn., and was an avid street rod enthusiast. Among those who survive are his wife, Cynthia Bland Augustine, two brothers, two aunts, and several cousins.
MICHELLE L. SALISBURY, a senior project manager for the State of New York, died Nov. 9, 2014. She was 38. After receiving her degree in government and psychology with honors, she worked for the Cadmus Group as a project manager. In 2007 she received a master’s degree in public policy from Duke University. She then returned to the Albany, N.Y., area, where she was selected as a Carey Fellow for the New York State Division of Budget, and later joined the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority as a senior project manager. She was killed when the car in which she was riding was hit from behind. She was 31 weeks pregnant with her son, who later died. She is survived by her husband, Jon D. Orris, her mother, her grandfather, her brother, and two nieces.
ANTHONY I. STEPHENSON, a freelance writer, died Sept. 30, 2014. He was 47. Among those who survive are his parents, Tracy and Charles Stephenson, two sisters, seven nieces and nephews, and many loving friends, including Annie Rush.
ANNIE RAVITZ, who worked in children’s theater and television, died Jan. 26, 2015. She was 48. Stricken with Lupus at age 11, she faced constant health problems. After graduating from Wesleyan she became an assistant to a New York City Councilman and then worked in children’s theater and television. Her father, Robert J. Ravitz, survives, as do her brother and several nieces and nephews.