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Obituaries

03 June 2004

Ernest Greenwood
Ernest Greenwood, a professor emeritus of social welfare whose work in research methodology has influenced generations of social scientists, died of lung cancer on May 4, at the age of 93.

Greenwood joined Berkeley’s faculty in 1953 as an associate professor in social welfare. He co-chaired a committee to establish a doctoral program in the School of Social Welfare. The program was approved by the campus and became operational in 1960.

Before coming to Berkeley, Greenwood held various government and academic positions, most notably as assistant director of the Research Department at the Welfare Council of Metropolitan Los Angeles and as associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Social Work.

Greenwood is survived by his sisters Olga Schwartz of Vancouver, B.C., and Magda Grunwald Klein of New Mexico; six nephews and nieces; and 36 grand- and great-grandnieces and -nephews.

A memorial service was held on May 16. Contributions in Greenwood’s memory, payable to the UC Berkeley Foundation, can be made to the Greenwood-Emeritus Faculty Prize for Excellence in Writing, c/o the School of Social Welfare, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-7400.
—Sarah Yang

John Rowe
John Howland Rowe, professor emeritus of anthropology and an authority on Peruvian archaeology, died May 1 in a Berkeley nursing home due to complications from Parkinson’s disease. He was 85.

Rowe started Berkeley’s anthropology department library, the second oldest and largest anthropology library in the United States, and served as department chair from 1963-67. He also helped found the Kroeber Anthropological Society, a student-run professional society composed of anthropology graduate students.

Rowe co-founded the Institute of Andean Studies in Berkeley, and served as its president until earlier this year. The institute is the oldest scholarly Andean society in the United States and draws Andean scholars in a wide range of fields.

Douglas Sharon, director of the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at Berkeley and a Peruvian scholar, noted that Rowe was the emeritus curator of the museum’s South American collection. He described Rowe as “the dean of Andean studies” and an “incredibly erudite and learned leader in the field.”

Born in Sorrento, Maine, in 1918, Rowe attended Brown University, majoring in classical archaeology. There he learned to study texts as well as objects and to look at objects as an art historian does, emphasizing the style. He received his M.A. from Harvard University in 1941 and his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1947. He joined the faculty of Berkeley’s anthropology department in 1948, was promoted to full professor in 1956, and retired in 1988.

Rowe was married to Patricia Lyon, a scholar of Amazonian ethnology, and together they researched that field and Andean archaeology and history. Besides his wife, Rowe is survived by two daughters from a former marriage to Barbara Burnett: Ann Pollard Rowe, curator of Western Hemisphere textiles at The Textile Museum in Washington, D.C., and Lucy Burnett Rowe, a molecular geneticist at Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine; and a sister, Edith Talbot Rowe of Seattle.

A small family memorial will be held this summer. A public memorial is planned for January 2005, in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Institute of Andean Studies.
—Kathleen Maclay

Ruben Zelwer
Ruben Zelwer, a Berkeley alumnus and long-time employee, died in a glider accident near Reno, Nev., on May 8. He was 63 years old.

Zelwer was born in Bogota, Colombia, grew up in Caracas, Venezuela, and came to the United States when he was 18, first to Pasadena and then to Berkeley in 1960. He loved Cal, the town, and the Bay Area from the first day he arrived, and he never left Berkeley. He graduated from the campus with a bachelor’s degree in engineering geosciences in 1963 and received a Ph.D. in the same field in 1971.

He worked for the Space Sciences Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the campus offices of Institutional Research and Environment, Health & Safety, and Information Systems & Technology. He had more than 32 years of service to UC and was planning to retire this summer.

He was a gentle, courtly, good man, with an intense interest in everything. He could focus and listen to people on any subject, even “boring farm stuff,” according to his Dakota sister-in-law. He studied Torah; he loved music; he was smart and athletic; he could cook and fix things, and sail and fly, and he was known for his most excellent guacamole.

Ruben is survived by his wife, Barbara Morgan, also an employee in Information Systems & Technology; his daughter Colette Zelwer of Berkeley; his sister Manuelita Zelwer and niece Sara Margarita Valero, both of Caracas; his stepson Gavriel Pilorget of Mulino, Ore.; and many members of the Stockhammer family in Switzerland. He will be greatly missed by his family and his many friends in the campus community and beyond.

Memorial and burial services were held on May 14. Contributions in his memory may be made to Congregation Beth El, 2301 Vine Street, Berkeley, CA 94708, or to the contributor’s favorite charity.
— Barbara Morgan

Reginald Zelnik
Reginald Zelnik, a distinguished scholar in Russian and Soviet history who courageously defended students during the Free Speech Movement and mentored countless young Russian history scholars, died on May 17, at age 68. He was killed when a delivery truck accidentally backed into him as he was walking on campus.

Chancellor Berdahl called Zelnik’s death “a terrible tragedy for the campus that has left us greatly saddened. Reggie Zelnik was an extraordinarily popular professor for over 40 years and a personal friend of mine. He will be terribly missed by the entire community.”

Born May 8, 1936, in New York City, Zelnik received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University in 1956. After a two-year stint in the U.S. Navy, he began graduate studies at Stanford University, receiving a master’s degree there in 1961 and his doctorate in 1966, two years after joining the Berkeley faculty. He was a pioneer in the field of Russian labor history who produced numerous books on the subject. His 1971 book, Labor and Society in Tsarist Russia: The Factory Workers of St. Petersburg, 1855-1870, was extremely influential among scholars in the then-emerging field. His 1999 book, Law and Disorder on the Narova River: The Kreenholm Strike of 1872, used that incident to analyze Russian social history in general and the life stories of Russian workers in particular. He continued researching and writing until his death.

“He devoted much of life to nurturing and teaching students,” said departmental colleague Yuri Slezkine. “A lot of people teaching Russian history in America today are Reggie’s students or people who consider themselves Reggie’s students. He was really an unbelievable person.”

Zelnik served as chair of the history department in the College of Letters & Science from 1994-97 and also as vice chair and acting chair during the 1980s and 1990s. In the late 1970s, he was chair of the campus’s Center for Slavic and East European Studies.

During the 1960s, Zelnik, as a young assistant professor, was part of a group of faculty members known as the “Committee of 200.” In support of students, the professors advocated broader free speech rights on campus— in opposition to campus administrators, many senior faculty, and the UC Board of Regents.

The Free Speech Movement marked an important episode in the life of the Berkeley campus and in Zelnik’s own life, colleagues said. In 2002, Zelnik co-edited with Robert Cohen of New York University a collection of essays on the movement, The Free Speech Movement: Reflections on Berkeley in the 1960s (University of California Press). Zelnik included his own essay on student leader Mario Savio, who became a lifelong friend, and another on the role that Zelnik and other faculty members played during the movement. He titled that essay “On the Side of the Angels: The Berkeley Faculty and the FSM.”

Zelnik is survived by his wife, Elaine Zelnik; daughter, Pamela Zelnik; son, Michael Zelnik; son-in-law, Mark Stuhr; and grandson, Jaxon Zelnik-Stuhr, all of Berkeley. He also leaves a brother, Martin Zelnik, of New York City. Services are pending; History department chair Jon Gjerde says plans for a memorial later in the summer are being developed.
—Janet Gilmore