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2008 OBITUARIES

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Some of these individuals participated in the ASC Oral History Project. For more information, please go to the Oral History Project page.


LAURA WINTERFIELD, 1947-2008

Laura A. Winterfield, 61, a criminologist and senior research associate with the Urban Institute who had also worked at the National Institute of Justice and other policy research agencies, died December 28 of cancer at her home in Columbia, MD.

Winterfield was born in Miami, FL, and spent most of her childhood in Denver, CO. She studied with Delbert Elliott receiving her PhD in sociology in 1980 at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and she completed a post-doctoral program with Professor Alfred Blumstein at Carnegie Mellon University.

After serving as a consultant to correctional and judicial agencies in Colorado, Winterfield moved to New York City in 1984, where she began a career as a policy researcher at the Vera Institute of Justice and later at the New York City Criminal Justice Agency. In New York, her research helped to advance the city’s network of alternative-to-incarceration programs and her work on crime prediction instruments helped to make the courts’ processing of juvenile offenders more efficient and just. At the Vera Institute, Winterfield carried out one of the earliest studies of juvenile offenders to explore the extent to which they went on to adult criminal careers.  She evaluated the attempts by New York City prosecutors to decrease times to disposition for defendants held in pretrial custody and the Department of Probation’s Drug Treatment Initiative.  Some of her research was in collaboration with her husband, Douglas Young.

Winterfield came to Washington in April 1997 to work for the U.S. Department of Justice where she was Division Chief for Justice Systems Research at the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). During her years at NIJ, she oversaw an expanding portfolio of national research on drug treatment in correctional settings and community-based crime prevention, as well as the national evaluation of the Violent Offender and Truth in Sentencing legislation. She was part of the NIJ editorial team for Volume 3 of Criminal Justice 2000, “Policies, Processes, and Decisions of the Criminal Justice System,” and served on the editorial board of the NIJ Journal.

As Division Chief at NIJ, Winterfield managed a research staff with diverse portfolios on courts, corrections, and criminal behavior. Her work with colleagues in other NIJ research divisions was marked by a tireless commitment to ensuring the policy and practice relevance of research. Her talent for articulating transparent models to link programs to outcomes made her a valued and trusted colleague in many research ventures, especially those in the area of corrections and community supervision of offenders. She was a key contributor to the agency’s work on prisoner reentry and reentry program evaluation.

During her career, Winterfield fostered partnerships between researchers, practitioners, and policymakers and worked to improve the criminal justice system through systematic research and policy analysis.

Survivors include her husband of 19 years, Douglas Young, and two children, Risa Young and Joseph Young, and a sister, Lisa Skillington.

Submitted by:
Terrence Dunworth, The Urban Institute
Thomas E. Feucht, National Institute of Justice
Christy Visher, University of Delaware

(Posted 3/2/09)


STUART HUNTER PALMER, April 29, 1924 – August 26, 2008

Stuart (“Stu”) Palmer was born in New York City where he resided until his service in the Army Air Corps during World War II where he was the Wing navigator for a squadron of B-17 bombers that flew in the European theater (1942-1945).  Following World War II, Lieutenant Palmer completed his undergraduate degree at Yale University but was called back into the service (U.S. Air Force) during the Korean Conflict where he served in the Strategic Air Command facilities in Iceland from 1951-1953.  He was subsequently discharged as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force.  He continued his education at Yale earning his Ph.D. in Sociology in 1955.  Stu spent his entire academic career at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) in Durham beginning as an instructor in 1955, assistant professor in 1957, associate professor in 1960 and as full-professor from 1964 to 1997.  He retired as Emeritus Professor of Sociology in 1997.  During his illustrious career he served three terms as Chair of the Department of Sociology creating the doctoral program in sociology in 1968.  He later served as the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts from1982-1995.  During his tenure, he enticed Murray Straus to bring his family violence research to UNH resulting in the internationally acclaimed Family Violence Institute.  He was also the inspiration for the Justiceworks Institute and the Justice Studies academic program at UNH.   

Stu was a contemporary of Robert K. Merton and Gresham Sykes and a friend and colleague of Thorsten Sellin.  He was one of the first forensic criminologists to blend sociology, psychology, psychiatry, anthropology, law and government into a comprehensive perspective for the analysis of both normative and deviant behaviors.  He was a student of the works of John Dollard, Neal E. Miller, Leonard W. Doob, O.H. Mower and Robert Sears, the Yale team that conceptualized Sigmund Freud’s anxiety classification into the “frustration/aggression theorem.”  Palmer provided the empirical research testing this theorem with the study of murders and a control group based on ethnicity and socio-economic status resulting in a best selling book – The Psychology of Murder (1960).  He was a tenacious researcher who widely used the Human Relations Area File in his cross-cultural analysis of homicide and suicide.  His 12 books reflect his theoretic contributions to the social psychological and forensic analysis of human behavior.  Stu served on numerous international, national and state agencies that dealt with crime, deviant behavior and crowd control and played a role in the Boston Strangler case in the 1960s.  Those of us who were recipients of his tutelage as Stu’s graduate assistants received an invaluable apprenticeship in research and teaching techniques.  Dr. Palmer was predeceased by his wife, Ann and their only child – Catherine.

Submitted by Laurence Armand French

(posted 10/30/08)


ELMER "HUE" JOHNSON

Carbondale, IL. - Elmer H. Johnson, 91, passed away at 7:52 a.m.Thursday,Aug. 28, 2008, in Carbondale.

He was born April 10, 1917, in Racine, Wis., to Elmer D. and Lucinda(Hinderholtz) Johnson.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years Carol (Holmes) Johnson; daughter and son-in-law, Joy J. and John E. Boyden; daughter, Jill C. Lewis; grandson, Alexander B. J. Lewis and wife, Heidi M. Lewis; granddaughter, Suzanne J.Boyden; and great- granddaughter, Amelia A. Lewis (Mia).

He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Marjorie C. Johnson and son-in-law, Richard B. Lewis.

He will be missed by his Carbondale families of the McGuires, the Schills and the Swindells.

He was a veteran of World War II and had served in the Army Air Corps from 1941 to 1946. He retired as a colonel after 28 years in the Air Force Reserve.

He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1950. His professional career started in Raleigh, N.C., at North Carolina State University in 1949. He was the assistant director of the North Carolina Prison System in charge of rehabilitation from 1958 to 1960.

He and his family moved to Carbondale in 1966 where he became the Assistant Director of the Center for the Study of Crime, Delinquency and Correction.

He has been a mentor for 40 years to Japanese graduate students at the Crime Study Center earning their MS degree from Southern Illinois University. He developed the international branch of the American Society of Criminology and was a member of numerous professional associations in both sociology and criminology.

He was a member of the board of WSIU from 1979 to 1986 and served as president in 1986. He was awarded Teacher of the Year at SIU in 1982 and honored as Distinguished Professor in 1984. He retired from SIU in 1987. In 1990 he was the oldest Fulbright Scholar in Tokyo.

His professional writing accomplishments include nine published books and 81 journal articles in sociology and criminology.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Elmer and Carol Johnson Criminology and Criminal Justice Library Fund, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Published in The Southern Illinoisan on 8/29/2008.

(posted 9/8/08)


WILLIAM P. HECK

The world lost an intelligent, caring, compassionate, non-judgmental, and very unique person when William Pipes Heck (known to many as Bill or Wild Bill) was killed in a motorcycle accident in Tulsa, Oklahoma on May 4, 2008. William "lived large" and was a proud veteran, passionate teacher, amazing sharp shooter, great guitar player, karate black belt and avid biker who enjoyed life more in one day than many people do in a lifetime.

William was born October 26, 1951 to Berlin and Elsie Pipes Heck of Calhoun, Louisiana. From the time he was young, he was always kind and caring, and would give away his clothes or any possessions if he thought someone needed them. His zest for living was evident in his activities over the years and he always treasured his many friends he acquired along the way. Through the years, he tried to maintain contact with his childhood friends as well as those from his years working in the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office and in the Monroe Police Department, his buddies from his years in the U. S. Navy Seabees, from his Karate Clubs, and from his college years (B.A. and M.A. at Northeast Louisiana University in Monroe, LA and his PhD at Sam Houston University in Huntsville, TX). He was passionate about his work as a professor in the Criminal Justice Department at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and truly enjoyed the students there. William especially derived pleasure from playing his guitar (and writing songs like "Classical Dog" and "Mr. Blue"). He and Edi, his wife and the love of his life, always looked forward to the time they spent target shooting and riding with their motorcycle group of veterans.

William was preceded in death by his parents, Berlin and Elsie Heck, niece, Kerry Heck, and nephew, Robert Shipp. He is survived by his wife Edi, with whom he shared a home in Park Hill, OK, sons Justin Heck and Garrett Heck, and the mother of his children, Janice Feazel Downey, of Stillwell, OK, siblings: Elizabeth & Don Yielding, Charles Heck, and Kay Shipp of Monroe, LA, Berlin & Pat Heck of Broken Bow, OK, and Mary Ida Kay of Georgetown, TX.

(posted 8/21/08)


ELIZABETH PIPER DESCHENES, July 1, 1953 – April 20, 2008

Libby Deschenes, a beloved wife, daughter, sister, professor, colleague, athlete, “Hash House” runner and wonderful friend passed away peacefully on April 20, 2008 following a two- year battle with ovarian cancer. She was born to Wilson and Peggy Piper on July 1, 1953 and died at the too-young age of 54. She is survived by her husband, Raymond Deschenes, of Orange, CA. While most criminologists and other professionals know her as Elizabeth Piper Deschenes, her many, many friends knew her as Libby.

After attending Colby College and earning a Ph.D in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania, she moved to California, working for several prestigious research organizations. At URSA, UCLA and the Rand Corporation, Libby developed a rigorous research agenda, including program evaluations and studies of drug users, and violent offenders.

In 1994, she made the leap to an academic employment, beginning her 14 year career in the Department of Criminal Justice at California State University, Long Beach. Libby was a true champion of student research and worked tirelessly to mentor her students. She served several terms as Graduate Advisor and shaped the careers of many students who have become professionals themselves.

With her excellent research background, Libby brought increased recognition to her department through her teaching and mentoring skills, her active research and evaluation program, and her many publications and proposals. Her recent accomplishments include expanding the department’s graduate program, overseeing the Orange County Drug Court Program, and procuring a large grant for the evaluation of repeat offenders. She brought both a rigorous understanding of advanced statistics and a practical understanding of real world needs.

Libby also contributed greatly to the profession. Many criminologists knew Libby as the editor of Crime and Delinquency, a position she held from 2002 until her illness forced her to step down. She served the Western Society of Criminology in many capacities, including President from 2002-2003.

In addition to her stellar accomplishments in academics, she was a life-long swimmer, a successful sprint tri-athlete, trail runner and an active member of the Hash House Harrier running club. In 2001, she completed the Great Wall Half Marathon. A nationally ranked Masters swimmer in 2005, she was voted Irvine Novaquatics Swim Club’s Competitor of the Year. She continually amazed everyone by her commitment to fitness and her impressive athletic drive.

A beautiful memorial service was held on a warm Sunday morning; April 27, 2008 at the Japanese Garden on the campus of CSULB. Her family and many friends spoke in moving detail, celebrating her life, her friendships and her accomplishments. These comments have been archived at the website: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/libbyd

It is important to remember that Libby was a lot of fun. She was a warm, generous friend and collaborator. Everyone who worked with her became her friend as well as her colleague. We were all lucky to know her.

A Memorial Scholarship in Libby's name is being established through the Western Society of Criminology. This fund will provide support for students traveling to WSC meetings. Contributions should be sent to:

The Elizabeth Deschenes Memorial Fund
Sue Escobar, Secretary/Treasurer
Western Society of Criminology
Division of Criminal Justice
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819-6085.

Questions regarding the Fund may be sent to Barbara Owen at barbarao@csufresno.edu.

Submitted by:
Barbara Owen, California State University-Fresno
Jill Rosenbaum , California State University-Fullerton

(posted 6/13/08)


MARGUERITE Q. WARREN

Marguerite WarrenDr. Marguerite (Rita) Warren, a pioneering figure in personality development and a renowned scholar in the field of criminology, passed away in her home outside of Charlottesville, Virginia on March 19, 2008. She was 88 years old.  Rita Warren received her doctorate degree from the University of California, Berkeley.  For 11 years (1972-1983), Rita, a clinical psychologist, was a popular professor at the School of Criminal Justice at the University at Albany.  She taught courses in the School’s nature of crime and planned change sequences that dealt with psychological perspectives of crime and its treatment. In her courses and through various funded research opportunities for her students, Rita stressed the importance of constructive research partnerships with criminal justice agencies. Rita was the first, and for most of her career, the only female professor at the School and one of very few women at the University holding the rank of Full Professor. She instituted the School’s first course on Women and Crime.

Rita is best known for her work as the Research Director of the California Community Treatment Project (CTP), a large 12-year study of youth assigned to differential treatment and therapeutic protocols on the basis of personality and developmental attributes. Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, CTP was one of the first large experiments to be conducted in an applied criminal justice setting.  It became well-known nationally and internationally. The research influenced later research and practice on “responsivity,” and the notion of matching offender clients to interventions intended to optimize their chances of success.  The CTP model was based on a typology known as the Theory of Interpersonal Maturity (I-Level) which was formulated by Rita and colleagues from the School of Psychology at Berkley and further developed by colleagues at CTP.  I-level and the CTP research also informed later research on personality and crime causation, and is still used in the United States and many other countries.

At the national level, Rita Warren worked on President Johnson’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice. She served for a number of years on the Crime and Delinquency Committee of the National Institute of Mental Health. Rita was an active member of the American Society of Criminology and served as an Executive Counselor and later Vice President of the Society.  She was among the early organizers of the ASC Division of Women and Crime and credited her elected positions to support afforded by the Division.  In more recent years, she and her esteemed CTP colleague, Ted Palmer, established an award in their names that is given through the Division of Corrections and Sentencing.

While at the University at Albany, Rita supervised the dissertations of 12 doctoral students, many of whom have gone one to have distinguished careers in their own right.  Through graduate school and throughout their careers, Dr. Warren’s students considered her a beloved mentor, known for her sound academic guidance, her wisdom about life, and her festive social gatherings.

In 1983, Rita retired with her partner, Martin Warren, to a home they built at the Monroe Institute in Virginia. Her retirement was an active one in a community she cherished to the fullest. For many years, she played a central role in research activities at the Monroe Institute. Until shortly before her death, former students and colleagues continued their relationship with Rita through visits to her retirement home and correspondence.  To those who knew her, Rita will be remembered as a wise mentor, a gifted teacher, a devoted and loving friend, a principled and genuine human being, a fellow traveler, a good listener, and a gracious host.

She is survived by three daughters Laurie Grant, Lesley Grant, and Lisa Warren as well as six grandchildren, and one great grandchild.

Pat Van Voorhis
Kathleen Heide

(posted 5/19/08)


EUGENE V. LUTTRELL, passed away on January 1, 2008. Please click here for his obituary which appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle on January 5, 2008.

(Posted 1/29/08)