The Memorial Wall

Richard Horowitz

Richard Horowitz

January 6, 1949 - April 13, 2024

Richard Horowitz, the composer and pianist who won a Golden Globe Award for his soundtrack, with Ryuichi Sakamoto, to The Sheltering Sky, died in Marrakesh, Morocco, on Saturday, April 13. A post on the Instagram page of his wife, Sussan Deyhim, written by his daughter Tamara Melnik, confirmed the news. In its own tribute, the New York label Rvng Intl., which reissued Horowitz’s album Eros in Arabia, heralded the “incredible tapestry of music [Horowitz] was a part of,” adding, “now you are all around us, reborn in the ultimate dimension.”

Horowitz was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1949, and spent much of his young adulthood traveling Europe performing music. In the 1970s, he studied electronic music in Paris and the ney (a traditional flute) in Morocco. He, in turn, released a series of albums based around the ney between the late 1970s and early 1980s

In 1981, Horowitz entered two important partnerships: the first with vocalist, dancer, and composer Sussan Deyhim—his future wife—and the second with Jon Hassell, who swiftly invited Horowitz to join his touring operation and work on records, including Power Spot, that synthesized ancient mysticism and modern music technology. The same year, he released Eros in Arabia, his formal debut album, under the moniker Drahcir Ztiworoh; it has since been heralded as a formative work in the development of American minimalism.

Throughout the decade, Horowitz collaborated with artists including David Byrne and Brian Eno and jazz greats such as Anthony Braxton, before partnering with Sakamoto for the North African–set romance movie The Sheltering Sky in 1990. He spent much of his life in Morocco, and, in 1998, co-founded the Gnawa and World Music Festival in the city of Essaouira, now attended by some half a million people each year. Around the same time, he was working on the score for what would become his best-known soundtrack, to Oliver Stone’s 1999 sports thriller Any Given Sunday.

In addition to his musical legacy, the family’s Instagram post honored Horowitz as “a seeker, a master linguist (most especially fond of a good double entendre), a master pianist and ney player, a humorist, trickster, a loving partner, father, and grandfather, sometimes a critical snob, a traveler and world citizen who believed in our shared humanity. He will be missed beyond measure or time and we ask that he continue to guide us in the melody and tone of the universe.”

Remembering Richard Horowitz

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Ted Wilson

Ted Wilson

January 1, 1940 - April 11, 2024

Ted Wilson, who was elected to three terms as mayor of Salt Lake City and narrowly lost a bid for governor, died Thursday due to congestive heart failure and Parkinson’s disease. He was 84.

Wilson was elected mayor in November 1975 and served 10 years in the office, leaving to become the director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah. He ran for U.S. Senate against incumbent Sen. Orrin Hatch in 1982 and, in 1988, was the Democratic nominee for governor.

“He changed this city,” said Tim Chambless, a long-time friend and former staffer in Wilson’s administration. “He changed lives.”

In the closing weeks of the race, polls showed Wilson with a sizable lead over Republican Norm Bangerter and independent Merrill Cook in a three-way race, but Bangerter eked out the victory by barely 11,000 votes.

“I’ve always said to myself that if you have to hatch out better things for yourself through public office, you’re in it for the wrong reasons,” Wilson said reflecting on the defeat in 2017. “If you can’t retreat back to where you were before, you’ve cheated reason.”

No Democrat has held the office since.

Wilson was an accomplished mountaineer — climbing peaks in the Alps, Alaska and the Andes — and was a founding member of the Alpenbock Climbing Club. In 1961, Wilson and club member Bob Stout made a first ascent in Little Cottonwood Canyon on a route they later named Chickenhead Holiday, introducing the world to the canyon’s premier climbing

He was also a leader on environmental issues, serving as director of the Utah Rivers Council, environmental advisor to Gov. Gary Herbert and director of the Utah Clean Air Partnership, among other other roles.

In a statement Thursday, his family said Wilson died surrounded by his family.

“As the eternal optimist, he loved people and they loved him back. We are honored that his memory will live on in the legacy he built as Salt Lake City mayor, through the countless people he has taught and mentored, his decades of humanitarian service, and his mountaineering accomplishments,” the statement read. “Ted’s lifetime priorities were his family and public service. He built and nurtured many deep and meaningful friendships and would remind us all to ‘never sweat the small stuff.’”

On Thursday, Salt Lake Mayor Erin Mendenhall said Wilson “was my mentor, my cherished friend and someone I could always count on.

“To this city, he was a giant and a champion. His legacy is a permanent thread in our City’s story,” she said. “He was a committed leader, a driver of progress and someone willing to listen, learn, and evolve.”

Wilson launched his mayoral bid in 1975, after having worked on political campaigns, pulling off an upset against an incumbent mayor and sitting city commissioner.

During his tenure as mayor, Wilson oversaw the reconstruction and expansion of the Salt Lake City airport and the city’s response to massive flooding in 1983 that saw City Creek turn part of downtown into a river.

Palmer DePaulis, who served on the city council and later as Wilson’s public works director before being his successor as mayor, said Wilson’s cool head and unifying leadership helped rally the community to respond to the torrential runoff.

“He just had an instinct to make people just relax and feel like their lives weren’t coming apart,” DePaulis said Thursday. “He conveyed confidence, and within days the city under him had put bridges over the water, the sandbagging. He brought everyone together and made people feel like, ‘OK, we’re all in this together and we’re going to make it.’”

Amid a corruption scandal involving the city commission, Wilson initiated a change to the current council format that also saw council members representing specific districts for the first time.

“He used to joke that all of the commissioners lived within a block of each other, so there was no representation for the rest of the city,” said Cindy Gust-Jensen, who was a young staffer in the Wilson administration and now is the executive director of the council. “[The change] really brought a lot of transparency and accountability.”

Wilson spearheaded the efforts to preserve the Salt Lake City and County Building when it began to crumble, create a historic district to preserve The Avenues neighborhood and build a new sewage treatment plant to replace one that was prone to overflowing.

He led a movement to preserve the city’s foothills and helped to lay the groundwork for the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.

“He was just able to make fast friends and he genuinely cared about people. I really wouldn’t have the job I have today but for his mentorship and kindness and support. He’s just one in a million,” said Gust-Jensen.

Born May 18, 1939, in Salt Lake City, to working-class parents — his mother was a hospital switchboard operator, his father owned a tent and awning shop — Wilson grew up steeped in Democratic politics.

“The only time we dressed up was on Sundays — to listen to FDR Fireside Chats,” he recalled in a 2003 interview. “I was 14 before I realized ‘damn Republicans’ was two words.”

He graduated from South High School, earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Utah and a master’s degree in education from the University of Washington. In 1962, he married his high school sweetheart, Kathy Carling, and the couple had five children.

He served in the Utah Army National Guard from 1957 to 1963 and taught economics at Skyline High School for seven years, spending several of his summers as a park ranger in Grand Teton National Park.

In the summer of 1967, Wilson and six other climbers executed a harrowing rescue of a climber who had broken a leg scaling the treacherous north face of the Grand Teton. He received a reward for valor from the U.S. Interior Department the following year for his role in the rescue and his daughter, Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson, made a documentary about the rescue in 2012.

“We spent three days on the face,” Ted Wilson later recalled. “At the time it was the most technical rescue in North America.” He worked as chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Wayne Owens before being appointed as director of the Salt Lake County Department of Social Services in 1975 and then being elected mayor later that year.

As director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics, he helped shape the political lives of many young people, said Utah House Minority Leader Angela Romero, who participated in a Hinckley internship in 1994 during Wilson’s tenure.

“Mayor Wilson’s support and guidance have been invaluable throughout my career, instilling in me a deep sense of compassion and commitment to making a positive difference in the world,” Romero said.

Thursday afternoon, Gov. Spencer Cox ordered flags to be lowered across the state in Wilson’s honor.

“Ted Wilson devoted most of his life to public service,” Cox said in a statement. “As a Utah National Guardsman, Salt Lake City’s mayor, director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics and a trusted advisor to Gov. Gary Herbert, Ted always put people over politics.”

He later married Holly Mullen, a former editor and columnist at The Salt Lake Tribune, and was stepfather to her two children.

Remembering Ted Wilson

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Jane Hoffman Banister

Jane Hoffman Banister

February 27, 1947 - April 9, 2024

Janie Banister, 77, died on April 9. 2024 from complications of Parkinson’s disease and dementia. She passed away peacefully in her home with her family at her bedside.

Janie was born February 22, 1947 in Salisbury, North Carolina. She was a Proud Pirate graduating from East Carolina University in 1969 with a degree in education. With her diploma in hand, Janie headed north for Virginia where she taught second grade for Chesapeake Public Schools primarily at E. W. Chittum elementary from which she retired after thirty years of service.

While living in Virginia Beach, she met Fred at a party hosted by her and her roommates. They wedded seven months after this encounter and enjoyed fifty one years of marriage which produced three children and four grandchildren.

Janie was predeceased by a son, Stephen, her parents, Burt and Nancy Hoffman, and a brother, Scott. She is survived by her loving husband, Fred, a son, John (Ellen), a daughter, Anne (Cora), and four grandchildren, Vivian, Sammy, Bryn, and Oliver, two sisters, Cynthia and Beth, a sister-in-law, Lina, and five nephews and nieces.

A visitation will be held at Sturtevant Funeral Home, Bennetts Creek Chapel, 2690 Bridge Road, Suffolk, from 6:30 to 8pm on Monday, April 15th followed by a graveside service at Meadowbrook Memorial Gardens, 4569 Shoulders Hill Road, Suffolk at 11am, Tuesday, April 16th.

Her family wants to thank her long-time team of caregivers and the staff of Gentiva Hospice for their loving care.

Remembering Jane Hoffman Banister

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Ralph Puckett

Ralph Puckett

December 8, 1926 - April 8, 2024

Retired Col. Ralph Puckett Jr., an Army Ranger who received the Medal of Honor in 2021, 71 years after the valiant combat actions in the Korean War for which he was decorated, and who became one of the most honored soldiers in U.S. military history, died April 8 at his home in Columbus, Ga. He was 97.

The cause was complications from Parkinson’s disease, said his wife, Jean Puckett.

At age 94, Col. Puckett traveled to the White House to receive the Medal of Honor, leaving behind both his wheelchair and walker to stand straight as President Biden draped the military’s top award for valor around his neck. The decoration for Col. Puckett was years in the making, championed by close and influential friends in the military community who wanted to upgrade his Distinguished Service Cross. He had been presented with the DSC, the second-highest award for valor, soon after a fierce battle on a Korean hilltop.

Starting on Nov. 25, 1950, then-1st Lt. Puckett and fellow soldiers with the Eighth Army Ranger Company assaulted and took command of Hill 205, frozen high ground about 60 miles from the Chinese border. It was near the outset of what became known as the Battle of Chongchon River, in which senior U.S. commanders were caught by surprise by China’s full-scale entry into the Korean War.

To succeed in his objective, he was credited with deliberately braving enemy machine-gun fire to help his men locate and kill a Chinese sniper.

The Chinese launched swarming wave attacks of small-arms and mortar fire for hours in bitterly cold temperatures. The American soldiers were outnumbered 10 to 1, according to Army accounts, but Lt. Puckett, despite being wounded by a hand grenade, helped his men defeat five successive Chinese counterattacks that stretched into the early morning of Nov. 26.

On the sixth Chinese counterattack, the Rangers were overrun after Lt. Puckett was told that further artillery fire was unavailable to support them. He and his men engaged in hand-to-hand combat, and Lt. Puckett suffered additional wounds from mortars that left him unable to move. He ordered his soldiers to abandon him to enable them to have a better chance of withdrawing alive.

Two privates first class, Billy G. Walls and David L. Pollock, carried him to safety. They later received the Silver Star for their valor in saving him.

In an oral history project, Lt. Puckett recalled seeing Chinese soldiers attacking U.S. service members with bayonets 15 yards away from him when Walls and Pollock arrived by his side. He said that he was glad the men disobeyed his order to leave him.

“I wouldn’t be talking to you today,” Lt. Puckett said. “They saved my neck.”

For 18 years beginning in 2003, retired Army Lt. Col. John Lock, a historian who had written extensively on the Rangers, sought to have Col. Puckett recognized with the Medal of Honor.

In 2021, Jean Puckett told The Washington Post that her husband felt the Distinguished Service Cross was “honor enough,” but Lock and other members of Col. Puckett’s immediate family wanted to see the effort through. It required extensive research on what happened during the battle and the Army reassessing whether Col. Puckett’s actions deserved the Medal of Honor.

Among those who advocated Col. Puckett’s Medal of Honor were Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and some of the Army’s top officers, including Gens. Joseph Votel and Stanley McChrystal, according to documents previously reviewed by The Post. Both generals had encountered Col. Puckett as Rangers.

At the White House ceremony, Biden recalled with a smile that Col. Puckett wondered if it would be possible to mail him the Medal of Honor, rather than holding an event with fanfare.

“Korea is sometimes called the ‘Forgotten War,’ but those men who were there under Lieutenant Puckett’s command, they will never forget his bravery,” Biden said during the White House ceremony in 2021. “They will never forget that he was right by their side for every minute of it.”

Col. Puckett, in remarks at the Pentagon that week, called for unity in the United States.

“While we have many enemies of this country today who want to see us fall, there’s no greater enemy than ourselves,” he said. “We have divided ourselves into tribes and closed our ears to all who would not think we would do what we needed to do.”

alph Puckett Jr. was born in Tifton, Ga., on Dec. 8, 1926. His father ran an insurance business and wholesale grocery, and his mother was a homemaker. He graduated from the Baylor School, a preparatory school in Chattanooga, Tenn., and then in 1949 from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., where he was captain of the boxing team. War broke out in Korea the next year.

His deployment in Korea ended prematurely with his injuries. After returning to the United States, he convalesced at a hospital at Fort Benning, Ga., where he met his future wife, Jean Martin. They married Nov. 26, 1952 — two years to the day after he was nearly killed.

After healing from his wounds, Col. Puckett returned to duty and held assignments in Georgia, at West Point and in West Germany. In 1967, he deployed to Vietnam as a lieutenant colonel with the 101st Airborne Division and was awarded a second Distinguished Service Cross. That honor was for landing by helicopter during an active firefight, maneuvering through a heavily mined area, and then personally occupying a foxhole and braving enemy fire throughout the night on Aug. 13, 1967.

“He heard cries for help during an intense mortar barrage later that night and dashed through a hail of flying shrapnel to give aid,” according to a copy of his award citation. “He personally carried the two wounded soldiers back to safety and used his skill and experience as a truly professional soldier to treat their wounds. When rescue helicopters came in, he repeatedly refused extraction for himself and directed that the casualties be evacuated.”

His other decorations included two awards each of the Silver Star and Bronze Star Medal, and five awards of the Purple Heart, according to his Army biography. Combined, the decorations make him among the most decorated soldiers in U.S. military history, Lock said.

In addition to his wife, survivors include two children, Martha Lane Wilcoxson and Thomas M. Puckett; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Another daughter, Jean Raney, died in 2004.

Col. Puckett retired from the military in 1971, then spent years working for Outward Bound, a nonprofit focused on outdoor education. When the Army Ranger Hall of Fame was established in 1992 at Fort Benning (renamed Fort Moore last year), Col. Puckett was a member of the inaugural class.

Well into his 80s, he hiked training ranges at Benning and mentored younger soldiers. He stressed the need for Rangers not to talk down to other soldiers in the Army, Votel said.

“He always reminded me: Show your class. Show your civility. Don’t let things get you down and distract you from your mission,” Votel said.

Remembering Ralph Puckett

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Trevor Oldroyd

Trevor Oldroyd

January 1, 1936 - April 7, 2024

A VETERAN of the Falklands War who was appointed as an Associate of the Royal Red Cross by Queen Elizabeth has died after a battle with Parkinson’s.

Trevor Oldroyd was born in Walton, however moved to Carlton at a young age and grew up on Wood Lane.

He joined the Royal Navy after a stint working at Wharncliffe Woodmoor 123 Colliery, serving in the medical branch as a registered general nurse, before eventually becoming a registered clinical nurse tutor.

During this time he served in hospitals in Malta, Mauritius and Plymouth, as well as the Royal Hospital Haslar in Gosport where he trained junior members and was responsible for the clinical training of members of the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service.

In the Falklands War he was part of a medical team mainly responsible for repatriating injured personnel, and following the war was posted to the Naval Board of Survey which decided on the future of injured and sick soldiers.

Many were unable to continue in the navy following their service, so Trevor helped them readjust to civilian life and make sure they had all the benefits and help available to them from their local services.

In the June 1985 Queen’s Birthday Honours List Trevor was appointed an Associate of the Royal Red Cross – he received his decoration at Buckingham Palace from Queen Elizabeth II.

He returned home to Carlton in 2002, where he lived with his wife Beryl till his death at 88 years old.

Beryl said: “His family – wife Beryl, son Trevor, daughter Tina and their families and his step daughters Vanessa and Ann – will miss him and have been overwhelmed by messages from current and ex Naval personnel remembering how he helped them during his service life.”

Remembering Trevor Oldroyd

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Dr. Paul James 'PJ' Kuhnmuench

Dr. Paul James 'PJ' Kuhnmuench

April 22, 1948 - April 6, 2024

Kuhnmuench, Dr. Paul "PJ" James Devoted physician, husband and father Paul James Kuhnmuench, 75, died peacefully on Saturday, April 6, after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. Paul was born on April 22, 1948, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Joan and Andrew Kuhnmuench. He grew up primarily in Lansing, Michigan. Paul received his BA degree from John Carroll University and MD from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He moved to Minnesota in 1974 to do his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Minnesota. It was here that he met his wife, Toni Magnuson and they were married on August 2, 1975. Paul was passionate and committed to affordable quality care for seniors as a geriatric specialist in Maplewood, Minnesota throughout his career. Paul enjoyed spending time with his family, golfing, playing tennis, skiing, watching his children and grandchildren play sports and was a daily jogger for most of his life. Paul is survived by his wife Toni Magnuson, children Emily (Brian Walvatne) Kuhnmuench, Timothy (Shannon McLeland) Kuhnmuench and Stefanie (Alex Liu) Kuhnmuench, his adored grandchildren Otis, Selby and Hank Walvatne, Grace and Hazel Kuhnmuench and Willow Liu, as well as his ten siblings. 

Remembering Dr. Paul James 'PJ' Kuhnmuench

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Edward Nelson Smolar

Edward Nelson Smolar

January 1, 1944 - March 30, 2024

Doctor Edward Nelson Smolar, 80, died on March 30, 2024. The cause of his death relates to complications from Parkinson’s Disease. Dr. Smolar, born and raised in Brooklyn and a 44-year resident of Boca Raton, worked as a medical doctor for more than 50 years in New York City and South Florida, specializing in Endocrinology and Internal Medicine. After earning a Bachelor of Science in biological science, with honors, at Union College in 1964, Dr. Smolar completed a Doctor of Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in 1968. A true Renaissance man, he achieved a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Science from Nova Southeastern University in 1985 and 1990, respectively. Dr. Smolar was board-certified in internal medicine, endocrinology and metabolism, and geriatric medicine. He was also a chartered life underwriter, chartered financial consultant and a certified financial planner.

Dr. Smolar dedicated himself to a life of learning and serving others. Recognized in the medical community as a master diagnostician, Dr. Smolar – revered by his patients and colleagues as “the Midnight Cowboy” – was known for keeping late hours and taking as much time as needed with his patients, often at the expense of his schedule. Dr. Smolar served his country on behalf of the U.S Public Health Service as a surgeon between 1968 and 1971; honorably discharged with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. His research has been published in various medical journals; he was named by Research Council of America as one of America’s Top Doctors, and he has been cited in approximately 20 editions of Marquis Who’s Who, including Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare, and Who’s Who in the World.

In addition to his medical practice, Dr. Smolar enjoyed teaching, including as an adjunct professor of medicine at the State University of New York, the University of Miami and Nova Southeastern College of Osteopathic Medicine. His hobbies included studying history and competitive ballroom dancing.

Dr. Smolar is survived by his wife of 50 years, Sharon Smolar, his sons, Todd and Gregory, his daughters-in-law, Jennifer and Roben, and his grandchildren, Jocey, Joshua, Gabriel and Daniella.

Remembering Edward Nelson Smolar

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Christopher B. Nelson

Christopher B. Nelson

June 16, 1936 - March 28, 2024

BLUE HILL, MAINE—Christopher B. Nelson died on March 28, 2024, from advanced Parkinson’s disease.

Chris was born in Winchester, Mass., on June 16, 1936, the son of John and Kathleen Nelson. He grew up in Quincy and went on to earn a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from MIT in 1958. Young daughters of his family’s friends set him up with his future wife, Roberta “Bobbie” Martin. She was the love of his life, and they married in June of 1960.

Chris retired in 2001 after 36 years of service with the federal government, first at the Lexington Lab (HHS), and then with the newly established EPA in Washington, D.C. In its Department of Radiation Programming, he was an expert in modeling radioisotope transport and estimating radiation dose and risk from exposure. His work provided an important basis for EPA’s radiation protection regulations and their guidance to other agencies and the public. In addition to his own work, he was an integral part of Bobbie’s ministry, from co-writing curricula to teaching Sunday school.

In 2001 he and Bobbie built their dream home on the Bagaduce River. Chris volunteered at the Sedgwick Elementary School, tutoring students in math and listening to them read. He sang with the Bagaduce Chorale for many years and served as their treasurer for several years. He was an active participant in town meetings.

Chris enjoyed sailing, kayaking, traveling, reading and keeping up with the news. He and his wife were lifelong proponents of social justice.

In 2015 he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. As the disease progressed, he moved to Parker Ridge Assisted Living where he received wonderful care and support from the staff.

Chris was predeceased by his wife of 54 years and is survived by their daughters Heather of Surry, Maine, Jennifer of Portland, Maine, Joy and her husband John Saams of Gambrills, Md.; their three grandchildren: Jack Saams and his wife Margaret Zelenski, James Saams and his wife Franki Wilson, and Julia Saams of Md.; and his brother John Nelson and his wife Irene of Amherst, Mass. He was predeceased by his brothers Peter and Mark.

Remembering Christopher B. Nelson

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Donald N. Bersoff

Donald N. Bersoff

January 1, 1939 - March 26, 2024

Donald N. Bersoff, 85, of Philadelphia, law school professor emeritus at Villanova and Drexel Universities, groundbreaking lawyer and psychologist, author, consultant, mentor, volunteer, and veteran, died Tuesday, March 26, of complications from Parkinson’s disease at his home in Center City.

A renowned expert in criminal and mental health law, professional ethics in psychology, and how they interact, Dr. Bersoff was director of the innovative joint law and psychology program at Villanova and Hahnemann Universities from 1990 to 2001. He taught students, colleagues, and others how to navigate conflicts between law and psychology, and conducted pioneering research in the law’s overall application to all behavioral sciences.

He returned to the program in 2007, after Hahnemann merged with Drexel, as director of the graduate program in law and psychology at what is now Drexel’s Thomas R. Kline School of Law. He became a visiting professor in 2012.

Dr. Bersoff championed legal and mental health services for all, diversity in law and psychology graduate programs, and robust international collaboration among lawyers and psychologists. “He educated us all to the importance of the interaction of the two fields,” a former colleague said in an online tribute. “He contributed greatly to the field and moved it forward.“

A former student who became a colleague said in a tribute: “An entire generation of law-psychology scholars, researchers, and practitioners owes their professional lives to you.” His wife, Deborah Leavy, said: “He was brilliant.”

Earlier, from 1976 to 1986, Dr. Bersoff was coordinator of the joint law and psychology program at the University of Maryland School of Law and Johns Hopkins Department of Psychology. He was inspired to focus his attention on both law and psychology after seeing legal and ethical problems in unfair public school student placement policies while teaching psychology at Ohio State University and the University of Georgia in the 1970s.

So he earned his law degree at Yale University in 1976 and began investigating the intersection of law and psychology. He represented the rights of women, racial minorities, and people with intellectual disabilities as an appellant lawyer and partner at two Washington law firms in the 1980s, and was president, general counsel, and lifetime member of the American Psychological Association.

He also taught at Mansfield State University in north central Pennsylvania and held workshops at many schools across the country. Former students said he was their “shining star” and “father figure.”

He authored the best-selling textbook Ethical Conflicts in Psychology and contributed book chapters and more than 100 articles to scholarly journals. He also wrote or contributed to more than 50 briefs to the Supreme Court and other courts regarding privacy rights, women’s and adolescents’ reproductive rights, and other issues.

He was quoted often in The Inquirer and other publications, and appeared on CBS, CNN, NPR, and other TV outlets. He served on many boards, committees, commissions, and panels, and was active with the National Academy of Sciences, American Civil Liberties Union, and other groups.

He was a consultant, lecturer, and expert witness in court cases, and he won awards from the American Psychological Association, Pennsylvania Psychological Association, and other organizations. He also was a captain and clinical psychologist in the Air Force in Texas and the Philippines from 1965 to 1968. “He remains my role model,” a former student said.

Born March 1, 1939, in New York, Donald Neil Bersoff graduated from the prestigious Stuyvesant High School at 15 and went straight to nearby New York University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English education in 1958, a master’s degree in educational psychology in 1960, and a doctorate in school psychology in 1965.

He married Janice Daniels, and they had son David and daughter Judith. They divorced, and he remarried, and then divorced.

He met Leavy at a party in Washington in 1987, and she thought he was handsome and funny. They married in 1988, and had son Benjamin, and lived in Washington, Haverford, Radnor, and Philadelphia.

Dr. Bersoff played tennis and golf, and enjoyed interesting conversation and watching sports and shows on TV. “He was thoughtful and gentle,” a friend said in an online tribute. Another said that he “was a good and kind person.”

Remembering Donald N. Bersoff

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Robert Moskowitz

Robert Moskowitz

January 1, 1935 - March 24, 2024

Robert Moskowitz, a painter who used the New York City skyline to stake out a unique position on the border of abstraction and representation, died on Sunday in Manhattan. He was 88.

His son, Erik Moskowitz, said the cause of death, at a hospital, was complications of Parkinson’s disease.

Mr. Moskowitz first came to broad notice with collagelike paintings in which he glued window shades to canvases that had been painted various shades of off-white. Some of these works, which evoke stripped-down Rauschenbergs, were exhibited in the 1961 Museum of Modern Art show “The Art of Assemblage.” He later made a series of similar collages with envelopes.

From the mid-1960s into the ’70s, after an interlude painting Surreal interiors, Mr. Moskowitz settled on views of empty corners, which again flirted with the limits of legibility — they were usually one color, sometimes even black on black.

He also experimented with shapes that were easily recognized but of ambiguous status, like a smiley face or a white swastika on a black background; made a pastel version of Piet Mondrian’s own very minimal “Red Mill,” as well as an oil paint version in black; riffed on Rodin, Giacometti and a 2,500-year-old fresco known as “Tomb of the Diver” in Paestum, Italy; and painted a peculiar view of the Wrigley Building in Chicago, inspired by a souvenir matchbook, in which the building’s two white towers seem to be falling through space.

Even at their most high-concept or severe, though, Mr. Moskowitz’s paintings were always more expressive than he let on. However flat and endless a given field of brown or yellow might be, the works were always constructed with vibrant brushwork and a kind of quiet glee at odds with his stark aesthetic. Mr. Moskowitz’s gallery, Peter Freeman, Inc., which had just begun to represent him and opened their first show with him shortly before he died, called him, in a statement, “a rare bridge between Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism.”

Beginning in the late 1970s, Mr. Moskowitz began painting the Empire State Building, the Flatiron Building and, most indelibly, the World Trade Center. Those three buildings appear over and over through the decades, in black on blue, lavender, orange, yellow or white; in white on black; surrounded by smudgy fingerprints or plumes of smoke; naked in fields of color; rendered in oil, ink, graphite or pastel.

They all had the shimmering, self-contained quality of letters or numbers. But the distinctive crenelated spire of the Empire State, at once ornament and monument, was impossible not to recognize. Two little bumps for cornices made the simple shape of the Flatiron equally unmistakable, while also adding a disorienting uncertainty to its scale.

It was in the imposing modernist stripes of the Twin Towers that Mr. Moskowitz found his great subject. Whether appearing as two black bars huddled in the corner of a modest sheet of drawing paper or rearing up as bold red dashes 10 feet high, the towers seemed to transcend the usual distinctions among genres of art, even among genres of mark making. (It’s worth noting that among drawings called “Flatiron” or “Empire State,” the Twin Towers pieces are invariably called just “Skyscraper.”) The towers were a specific architectural reference that didn’t look specific at all, a forceful abstract pattern with the subtlest of concessions to perspective, a taut graphic device that hit the eye like a logo — a logo for nothing but itself.

After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, these works took on a darker resonance, and Mr. Moskowitz, whose TriBeCa loft was only a few blocks from the towers, regretfully moved on to other motifs.

“Now the images seem unbearably grim,” he told The San Antonio Express-News in 2007, when he showed some of his paintings in the San Antonio area. But, he added, “I was always happy when I was painting them.”

Robert Stephen Moskowitz was born on June 20, 1935, in Brooklyn to Louis Moskowitz, who owned two dry-cleaning shops, and Lily (Sandman) Moskowitz, who managed the home. His father left the family in 1948. His mother periodically disappeared, too, leaving Robert to look after his younger sister. He recalled constant financial insecurity and, starting in high school, taking various jobs, both part and full time, to make ends meet, like working at a Woolworth’s soda counter and selling socks.

He never considered college, but his older sister worked for an engineering firm and he had always liked drawing, so he attended the Mechanics Institute in Manhattan to learn to be a draftsman. In 1954, he got a job at Sperry Gyroscope in Lake Success, N.Y., the former site of the United Nations, on Long Island. Sperry paid for him to study graphic design at the Pratt Institute, where classes with the artists Robert Richenburg and Adolph Gottlieb changed the course of his life. Soon he was visiting museums, renting a studio and quitting his job.

In 1959, Mr. Moskowitz traveled to London, intending to continue on to Paris and stay there until his money ran out. Instead, he found a studio in a decrepit artists’ community north of London. There, he began making collages. One day, as the curator Ned Rifkin recounted in a catalog essay, Mr. Moskowitz noticed a window shade with “a lot of character and history.” He glued it to a canvas and painted over it.

After he returned to New York, he met and married the painter Hermine Ford, whose father, the painter Jack Tworkov, became a friend and supporter. In the mid-1970s, Mr. Moskowitz and Ms. Ford began traveling to Nova Scotia, where they joined a community of artists that included Joan Jonas, Philip Glass, Richard Serra and Robert Frank. They eventually bought a house and divided their time between the islands of Cape Breton and Manhattan.

In 1962, just after the MoMA assemblage show, Mr. Moskowitz had a sold-out solo exhibition with the influential dealer Leo Castelli — but Mr. Castelli didn’t like the direction Mr. Moskowitz’s work was taking, and they parted ways soon after.

Mr. Moskowitz received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts and exhibited in biennials and at numerous museums, including the Whitney in New York, which included him in its influential 1978 show “New Image Painting,” and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, which mounted a retrospective in 1989 that traveled to MoMA.

In addition to his son, Erik, an artist and filmmaker who collaborates with his wife, Amanda Trager, Mr. Moskowitz is survived by his wife, Ms. Ford; and his sisters, Elaine and Karen Moskowitz.

During long periods when painting brought in no money, Mr. Moskowitz taught at the Maryland Institute College of Art, in Baltimore, and the Yale Norfolk School of Art, in Litchfield County, Conn.; assisted the photographer Walker Evans, who was a friend of Mr. Tworkov’s; stretched canvases for other artists; and took up other odd jobs.

For Mr. Moskowitz, the one consistent through line, in a career of drastic stylistic changes and unusually dramatic ups and downs, was his devotion to his artmaking.

“All he did was paint,” the sculptor John Newman, a longtime friend, said in a phone interview. “It’s all he wanted to do. And when he couldn’t paint, he drove a cab, so he could paint some more.”

Remembering Robert Moskowitz

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Updated: August 16, 2017