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Obituaries/Transitions will remain posted for 2 years.

StoutA. Kathryn Stout

Kate Stout passed away peacefully on 21 July 2015 at the age of 58 in her hometown of New Orleans, following a long struggle with respiratory problems. A hurricane Katrina survivor, Kate had been Associate Professor of Sociology at Manhattan College since the autumn of 2012.

Kate dedicated her life to teaching and to promoting progressive social change. Her research focused on social movements and the legal limits of protest, which she pursued from a critical, sociology of law approach. Her study of the mid-1980s Sanctuary Movement brought her to the field along the southwest border with Mexico where she came face to face with contradictory US responses to recurring migratory crises. Subsequent travels brought her to Nicaragua and Cuba where she expressed an unconditional solidarity with peoples under attack by misguided US foreign policy. Everywhere she went, Kate established ties of friendship and mutual learning that fueled her exemplary interactive classroom teaching. Her enormous skills at translating complex social and legal processes into plain English are now legendary.

In earlier decades, Kate was active in a variety of professional associations, including the Association for Humanist Sociology (AHS), the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP), American Sociological Association (ASA) and the Division on Critical Criminology of the Section of the American Society of Criminology (ASC). Over recent years, however, her declining health made it increasingly difficult to attend professional meetings. Prior to coming to New York City, she was an Associate Professor at the Southern University of New Orleans (SUNO), where she participated in post-Katrina reconstruction. She held earlier posts at Dominican University and Northeastern Illinois University, along with visiting posts at SUNY- Plattsburgh, Purdue University and Central Michigan University. Her doctoral work under the direction of the late Bill Chambliss was completed at the University of Delaware following her MA at Boston College, where she was influenced by mentors such as Richard Quinney and Stephen Pfohl. Kate was in the process of editing a collection of critical criminology scholarship dedicated to the legacy of Chambliss when her health took a dramatic turn for the worse.

In the end, the tenacity with which Kate struggled for survival was surpassed only by the uncompromising lifelong stance she took on demanding social justice. She felt that sociology was at its best when it provided a voice for the voiceless. She will be greatly missed by her students, friends and colleagues.

Dr. Stout's obituary was written by R.A. Dello Buono, Manhattan College, NYC.  

(Posted 8/19/15)


Leonard Gordon

Len Gordon, 79, of Scottsdale, AZ unexpectedly passed away on March 4th, 2015 from a heart attack. He was preceded in death by his wife Rena Joyce Feigelman Gordon and is survived by his wife Dorthy Levy Herzberg, children Melinda Sue Gordon, Matt Gordon and his wife Brenda Nard and Malka Melissa (maBliss) Verbena, step children David and his wife Dana Herzberg, Matt and his wife Amber Herzberg, grandchildren Jake, Hal, Lily, Jordan and Nathan along with many family, friends, university students, colleagues and fellow softball players. Len was an alumnus of the University of Michigan and Wayne State University where he earned his Ph.D. in Sociology.

Len moved to Arizona in 1967 to teach at Arizona State University where he worked tirelessly as a professor, chairman, dean and champion until the day he died. He was instrumental in the establishment of the ASU Emeritus College and currently sat on the University Senate. Len loved Dorthy, baseball, dancing, Gershwin and jovial conversation. He will be sorely missed.

In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial donations to benefit the Len and Rena Gordon Spunky Award for ASU students. You may make a gift online at http://asufoundation.org/spunkyaward or send a check, payable to the ASU Foundation, to Jill DeMichele. 

To send remarks or condolences visit http://www.tributes.com/obituary/show/Leonard-Gordon-102251823?f_e=1.  

(Posted 3/10/15)


JoAnn R. L. MillerJoann

JoAnn R. L. Miller, 65, of West Lafayette, died on December 25, after a 9 month battle with primary peritoneal cancer. She lived a very full life, and was brave to the very end, surrounded by family. She touched the lives of many people, and will be missed sorely. She was an educator, and later administrator at Purdue, and worked hard in the nearby communities to put her knowledge to work for the betterment of all.

JoAnn was born JoAnn Rita Langley on July 12, 1949, to John Rogers and Rita Violet Langley, (both deceased) of Manchester, New Hampshire. She attended Villa Augustina Academy, and Mount St. Mary Academy, both in Manchester, and distinguished herself early as a state debate champion. She matriculated at Ithaca College (NY) in 1967, left school to marry Douglas Miller in 1968, and in 1969 gave birth to her son Jonathan. She resumed her education with a B.A. from Keene State College in 1978, a M.S. in sociology from William & Mary in 1980, and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) in 1984.

She joined the Purdue sociology faculty in 1984 and quickly distinguished herself. Her work in academic programs, on committees, and her many publications are too lengthy to list here. She founded the Law and Society section, which soon held the largest enrollment in the Department of Sociology.

JoAnn met Scott Frankenberger in early 1988, and they married that summer. Theirs was a very happy and passionate marriage. They loved each other very much. They loved to be with family. They loved to work in the community and to travel. Italy became their favorite destination. At work, JoAnn continued to win teaching awards, was a visiting scholar in Jakarta, Indonesia, and at the University of Hamburg, Germany, and a Fellow in Law and Society at Harvard Law School, where she was in residence from 1999-2000.

Rising through the ranks at Purdue, JoAnn achieved Full Professor of Sociology in 2008, serving as Interim Head from 2009-2010. At about the same time, she was appointed Associate Dean for Interdisciplinary Studies and Engagement in the College of Liberal Arts (2008). Over her career, she published 7 books, as well as numerous book chapters, articles, and reviews. She was also active in national and international professional societies. She gave the keynote address at a national conference on family violence in Jakarta, Indonesia (1991), and chaired a presentation at the International Congress on Mental Health and the Law in Berlin, Germany (2011). Active in the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP), she was the President of this international organization for 2009-2010. And, most recently, she proposed the formation of the School for Interdisciplinary Studies at Purdue, and became the Head of this school in April, 2014.

JoAnn's intensity was not confined to Purdue or far-flung locations. She was a strong advocate of faculty bringing their expertise to bear on their local community, to be engaged and give back. She worked with the community of Lafayette over the years in many ways, with court programs, jail issues, housing problems, and much more, authoring many grants that brought federal and state money into the community. She advocated for evidence-based practices, diversion programs, prisoner re-entry, and "fresh-start" housing, all with neighborhood improvement and crime reduction in mind. She authored the successful Weed and Seed grants from the US Department of Justice in cooperation with Mayor Roswarski's office, a major United Way grant, several Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority grants, as well as a Duke Energy Grant for a community diversity study.

In her home life she was the loving wife and partner of Scott, devoted mother to Jonathan, daughter-in-law Maura, and especially her grandson Gus. They were kindred mischievous spirits. Also, warm stepmother to Jennifer (Frankenberger) Segovia, and stepson Casey Frankenberger. She loved helping others, reading, good cooking (someone else's), comedy, the music of Shirley Horn, NCAA sweet 16, fashion, and travel. She loved riding in the Queen's car, and the occasional Jack double on the rocks. She loved especially Italy, where she and her husband visited when they could. Despite her cancer, she was able to visit there one last time between the end of chemotherapy in August and surgery in October. She seemed especially at peace on this trip. In late November the cancer returned, and in spite of her courage and determination it took her on Christmas Day.

Besides her immediate family, she is survived by her three sisters, Donna Lee Leinsing, Debra Lou Fuchs, and Ruby Margaret Stephens, and her brother John Richard Langley, and many nieces, nephews, and other grandchildren. She was adored by her husband, loved by many others, and she loved and adored unselfishly right back.

A memorial scholarship fund will be established in the College of Liberal Arts in her name. The nature of the scholarship is still to be determined. If you wish to contribute to this fund, please contact Lori Sparger in the CLA Development office at lsparger@prf.org or 765-494-9314. Checks to the Purdue Foundation can be mailed to the CLA Development Office, 100 N. University St., West Lafayette, IN 47907 with "JoAnn Miller" in the memo line.

Her life is to be celebrated and praised, not mourned. A memorial celebration will be held at Purdue Memorial Union on Friday, March 6, from 4-6PM, in the Anniversary Drawing Room (Room 304). All her friends, relatives, and colleagues are invited to attend and share stories about her remarkable life.

Dr. Miller's obituary was written by her husband, Scott Frankenberger.

To send remarks or condolences visit http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/jconline/obituary.aspx?n=joann-r-l-miller&pid=173838625

(Posted 1/15/15)


On Christmas Day 2014 JoAnn Miller, age 65, lost her battle against primary peritoneal cancer. She joined the Department of Sociology at Purdue in 1984, after receiving her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Earlier, she had earned an Associate of Arts degree from the Merrimack Valley Branch of the University of New Hampshire in 1976, a Bachelor of Arts degree from Keene College, in New Hampshire in 1978, and a Master of Arts degree from the College of William and Mary in Virginia in 1980.

From the moment that she arrived in West Lafayette, as an Assistant Professor of sociology, Professor Miller has served Purdue and Greater Lafayette, bringing together academics and community leaders to address social problems and implement solutions. Her life embodies scholarship in pursuit of social justice.

As part of her contribution to building the Law and Society program in the Department of Sociology at Purdue, she worked with the local prosecutor’s office, obtaining a substantial ($121,000) grant from the National Institute of Justice in 1988. Later she turned to more general community development efforts, building on a series of relatively small grants to develop the “Downtown Lafayette Weed and Seed Program” (2007-2008), which brought in over a half million dollars in funding for a five year program. At the same time (2007), she developed a two-year program, studying sex offenders returning from state prison ($168,136), and another project focused on “Affordable Housing: A Tool for a Successful Re-entry Problem Solving Court” ($256,485). Even in failing health she managed to secure a grant to study rental assistance, to complement the affordable housing project, as another aspect of the “Re-entry Court.”

Meanwhile, back at Purdue, Professor Miller rose through the academic ranks, achieving national and international distinction, as Associate Editor, from 1994-1996 (with Robert Perrucci), of Social Problems, the official journal of the Society for the Study of Social Problems, and as co-editor, from 2001-2005 (with Robert Perrucci), of Contemporary Sociology, the journal which publishes reviews of record for the American Sociological Association. In 2008, she was named Professor of Sociology and appointed Associate Dean for Interdisciplinary Studies and Engagement for the College of Liberal Arts. In 2009-2010, she served as Interim Head, for the Department of Sociology, stepping back temporarily from the dean’s office in a moment of departmental need. Then, after years of noteworthy scholarship and invaluable national service, she was elected President (2009-2010) of the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Most recently, she became head of the newly created School for Interdisciplinary Studies at Purdue, in April 2014.

Her published works includes six books. These include two edited collections (1984 and 1986) for Research in Social Problems and Public Policy. (Volumes III and IV), two books (1991 and 2007) on child abuse and family violence (with Dean Knudsen), and two books (2009 and 2011) on “Problem Solving Courts” (with the honorable D. C. Johnson). This last project epitomizes her effort to bring academics and community leaders together in developing better ways to serve the noble goal of social justice within the context of civil and criminal law.

Her scores of shorter papers include numerous publications coauthored with her many students.

JoAnn was born July 12, 1949, in Manchester, New Hampshire, the second of five children born to John Rogers Langley and Rita Violet Langley (née Carrier), both deceased. She is survived by four siblings, Donna Lee Leinsing, Debra Lou Fuchs, Ruby Margaret Stevens, and John Richard Langley. She was the loving wife and partner of Scott Frankenberger, devoted mother to Jonathan Miller, and his wife, Maura Smale, and was especially devoted to their son, her grandson, August (“Gus”). JoAnn was also a warm stepmother to Jennifer (Frankenberger) Segovia, and stepson Casey Frankenberger. She will be sorely missed by her family, her colleagues, and her many friends locally and nationally.

A memorial scholarship fund will be established in the College of Liberal Arts in her name. The exact nature of the scholarship is still to be determined, but if you wish to contribute to this fund, please contact Lori Sparger in the CLA Development office at lsparger@prf.org or 765-494-9314. Checks to the Purdue Foundation can be mailed to the CLA Development Office, 100 N. University St., West Lafayette, IN 47907 with “JoAnn Miller” in the memo line. 

Dr. Miller's obituary was written by Richard Hogan, Purdue University and Carolyn Cummings Perrucci, Purdue University.

(Posted 1/13/15)


GusfieldJoseph R. Gusfield

Joe was one of the giants of the great generation of sociologists that came to the discipline after World War II and whose work defined the discipline as we know it today. Joe was not just an outstanding, world renowned sociologist, one of the leading figures in cultural sociology, the author of such classics as Symbolic Crusade: Status Politics and the American Temperance Movement and The Culture of Public Problems: Drinking-Driving and the Symbolic Order and countless other books and articles, but he was a true intellectual interested in a wide variety of subjects as befits someone who, as a young man, started out as a movie critic.

Joe was still teaching in the department when I got on board in 1989. He was skeptical about the kind of sociology I was trained in, preferring the humanistic bent of the discipline, but from the first moment he has been nothing but generous, warm and supportive of his young colleague. While I have never been to the races with Joe, (one of the few areas where Joe did connect with probability theory and quantification), I visited his home many times and we met at countless art exhibits and other cultural events. (It might have helped that I too started out as a movie critic.) He and his wife, Irma, who passed away exactly two years before Joe did, followed with great interest my wife’s artistic career and even took interest in my son, Adam, who they knew as a small child.

The last time I met Joe was this August. He already had lived up in the Bay Area for several years. He came to ASA and we ran into each other at the hotel lobby. He was in a wheel chair, pushed by his computer scientist son. We went to have lunch at a small sandwich place nearby. Joe was in ill health but mentally he was still the old, brilliant Joe. He was curious, witty, engaging. We talked about the discipline, the department and we, naturally, gossiped. He said he was going to come down to La Jolla, in October, and I asked him if he would like to give a talk in the department. He immediately agreed. There was a book manuscript he was working on about sociology and the humanities. We shook hands, but he never came. He was too frail for the trip.

In a conversation, Joe described Erving Goffman, a friend, he wanted to hire at UCSD in 1969, as a “brilliant scholar and a mensch.” If I had to describe Joe in four words, I would just repeat what he said about Goffman: “brilliant scholar and a mensch.”

In a 2006 interview Joe offered this insight: “As a sociologist I have always been interested in how things become problems. My interest has been in the contexts of problems—how they come to be matters of public concern and how they become defined. I like to say that if I am pressed to the wall, and asked, ‘How do you solve this problem’, I say, ‘Why do you ask?’

Dr. Gusfield served as SSSP President during the 1988-1989 term. 

Dr. Gusfield's obituary was written by Dr. Ákos Róna-Tas, Professor and Chair of Sociology, University of California, San Diego.

(Posted 1/12/15)


Albert CohenAlbert K. Cohen

Albert K. Cohen, the noted criminologist and sociologist whose work and life enlightened and inspired scholars and law enforcement practitioners around the world, passed away unexpectedly on November 25 in Chelsea, MA. Al was born in Boston on June 15, 1918. He attended Boston Public Schools and graduated from the Boston Public Latin School in 1935. He attended Harvard University beginning in 1935 and graduated in 1939 with high honors as a Sociology major. Al noted in his personal biographical sketch that at Harvard he had the good fortune to take courses offered by outstanding sociologists including Pitirim Sorokin, Talcott Parsons, and Robert Merton.

Despite his outstanding academic record, Al was denied admission to most of the graduate Sociology programs he applied to. One department explained they were not allowed to admit Jews. However just as Al was preparing himself for an alternate career as a journalist, he received an acceptance letter from the Sociology Department at Indiana University. The Chairperson there was Edwin H. Sutherland, the leading criminologist of his day whom Al described as another powerful influence on his intellectual development. Al received his M.A. from Indiana University in 1942 and worked for nine months at the Indiana Boys School, a state institution for juvenile delinquents. He then served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army until June 1946, including one year in the Philippines where he met and “instantly” fell in love with his future wife Natividad Barrameda Manguerra (Nati), who worked at the Army’s Office of Information and Education. After being discharged from the Army in 1946, Al returned to Harvard as a Ph.D. candidate spending one year in residence before leaving A.B.D. for a teaching position at Indiana University in 1947. Nati joined Al in 1948 and they were married in December of that year. Al completed his thesis, Juvenile Delinquency and the Social Structure, and received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1951 while continuing to teach at Indiana University. His most famous work, Delinquent Boys: the Culture of the Gang, considered an instant classic explanation of delinquency and gangs and a major breakthrough in criminological theory, was published in 1955 (and later republished internationally in many languages). In his research and theorizing on delinquency, Al ingeniously blended major aspects of Merton’s social structure - culture incongruity theory (anomie theory) of crime with Sutherland’s learning subcultural theory of crime to explain why so much delinquency occurred in groups (gangs), was committed by lower income kids, and included a lot of vandalism. Al’s theory explains how the frustration of working class juveniles failing to achieve standards presented to them by a middle class dominated society and school system leads them to reject those standards and middle class authority figures and collectively create an alternative delinquent subculture. The delinquent gang subculture includes a number of values and norms in some ways opposite to those of middle class culture (like rejection of the importance of doing well in school, less respect for private property, and acceptance of violence as a way to achieve status). Thus many working class juveniles engage in vandalism and interpersonal violence (non-utilitarian forms of deviance not predicted by Merton’s theory) as a way to escape frustration, achieve status in the eyes of peers, and feel good about themselves.

Al’s theory explains how social conditions experienced by a group of persons can lead them to create a collective solution to their mutual problem, a criminal subculture, which then becomes an additional cause of crime. Al later wrote Deviance and Control, a textbook on the Sociology of Deviance. He also authored many scholarly papers published in journals or as book chapters, most on delinquency, criminal organizations, and theories and concepts in criminology.

In 1965, Al moved from Indiana to accept the position of University Professor of Sociology at the University of Connecticut where he taught until he retired in 1988. Al was also a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Palo Alto and a Visiting Professor or Visiting Scholar at the University of California at Berkeley, the University of California at Santa Cruz, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Arizona State University, the Institute of Criminology (Cambridge, England), Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland), the University of Haifa, the University of the Philippines, and Kansai University in Osaka. Al also served as the President of the Society for the Study of Social Problems and the Vice-President of the American Society of Criminology, and was active in the American Sociological Association. In 1993, Al was given the American Society of Criminology’s Sutherland Award. Al and Nati often had a graduate student living in the downstairs section of their house in Storrs, Connecticut and their home was always a warm and welcoming gathering place for faculty members, graduate students and visiting scholars.

After retiring, Al and Nati moved for the sake of her health first to Arizona and then to San Diego. Nati passed away there in 2003. Al moved back to Storrs where his friends greatly enjoyed having dinners with him. Al was always in great physical shape. As a teenager in Boston he was adept at the art of running alongside a truck, hopping on to catch a ride, and jumping off as the truck slowed down anywhere near his destination. In Storrs he enjoyed walking many miles, and, despite the distress of friends and family, kept hitchhiking into his 90s. Sometimes policemen picked him up and drove him home only to discover that he was the author of the famous book on juvenile delinquency they had read in their criminal justice programs.

Amazingly, after his return to UCONN, Al assisted in an FBI surveillance investigation and federal prosecution. Al was informed by the FBI that a supposed legitimate financial planner he was working with was in reality suspected of stealing from him and other clients. Al consented to having his condominium bugged and the FBI gathered important evidence that, with Al’s testimony and that of others, led to the perpetrator’s conviction and imprisonment in the federal prison system. Ever the criminologist, Al expressed interest in interviewing the incarcerated con man who was accused of spending tens of thousands of dollars of his victims’ money on night clubs, multiple expensive vehicles, trips to Las Vegas and expensive gifts for exotic dancers.

Anyone who met Al soon realized he had a tremendous love of life, enormous compassion and an incredible wit and sense of humor. He kept everybody laughing at his jokes even while lying in a hospital bed. He loved to take pictures of flowers on his walks and enjoyed crafting all sorts of household items into pendants and other works of art. And he wrote many amusing poems. Al was enormously kind and helpful to everyone he knew. He was a strong supporter of the ACLU and contributed to many charities and to the universities where he studied and taught.

Al is survived by his loving niece Gerianne who took great care of her beloved Uncle Al after he could no longer live independently and by his nephews Richard Segal, Philip Segal and Marc Cohen, his niece Cindy Peterson, and Al and Nati’s niece Therese Eckel.

We all love you and miss you Al.

Authored by Al Cohen (University of Connecticut), Gerianne Cohen, Arnold Dashefsky (University of Connecticut), Jim DeFronzo (University of Connecticut) and Jungyun Gill (Stonehill College)

(Posted 12/07/14)


Sarah L. Boggs

Sarah Lee (“Salle”) Boggs, a longtime faculty member in the Department of Anthropology, Sociology and Languages at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, died on Tuesday, Nov. 25, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. She lived in Clayton, Mo.

Boggs first arrived at UMSL as a part-time assistant professor of sociology in 1965, at a time when the young university was beginning to build a strong faculty. She brought with her a series of sociology degrees from Washington University in St. Louis, including her doctorate, completed in 1964.

Highly regarded in her chosen field of study, Boggs’ research and teaching interests ranged from urban sociology to women and crime. Boggs became a full-time assistant professor at UMSL in the fall of 1967 and two years later was promoted to associate professor.

After she retired in 1992, Boggs remained actively engaged in professional service and teaching. She served as secretary for the Society for the Study of Social Problems from 1993 to 2000, and she was also an active member of the Midwest Sociological Society.

Boggs will be buried Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014 in a family plot in the Maple Hill Cemetery in Fairfield, Ill. There are no funeral arrangements. She is survived by a sister in Seattle, Wash., who also suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.

(Posted 12/04/14)