Arthur J. Quinn, noted historian of California and professor of rhetoric, died at his home in Berkeley Thursday, May 15, after a long illness. He was 54 years old.
A third-generation Californian, Quinn was a native of Marin County, born and reared in San Rafael. After graduating from Marin Catholic High School, he studied at the University of San Francisco, where he also played baseball, and then at Princeton University, which awarded him a PhD in the history and philosophy of science in 1970.
Quinn began his teaching career at the University of Oregon in 1968 and moved to Berkeley two years later.
Once described by Berkeley colleague and Nobel laureate Czeslaw Milosz as "the Ecclesiastes of the West Coast," Quinn published books on many subjects, including the history of the United States and especially his native California.
Quinn wrote three books on California history: "The Broken Shore," "The Rivals" and "Hell With the Fire Out." "A New World: An Epic of Colonial America from the Founding of Jamestown to the Fall of Quebec" is considered his master work.
His Berkeley service was marked by reorganization of the undergraduate major in rhetoric and terms as chair of the department and director of college writing. He was known especially for his passion for teaching good writing and for the wide range of subjects he taught.
His many honors included Woodrow Wilson, National Science Foundation and Danforth fellowshipsand a fellowship of Clare Hall, Cambridge, England, where he was living with his family when he fell ill.
Quinn is survived by his wife, Barney Roddy Quinn, and four children, Edward, Mary, Joseph and Elizabeth, all of Berkeley; his mother, Roselyn Quinn of San Rafael; and a sister, Susan Woodall of San Rafael.
A funeral mass was held May 20 at St. Mary Magdalen's Church in Berkeley. Friends are invited to donate in his name to a charity of their choice.
William Dulaney Gwinn, professor emeritus of chemistry, died May 5 at the age of 80.
Gwinn's achievements included research on molecular structure, microwave spectroscopy and quantum mechanics. He did his thesis work at Berkeley with Kenneth Pitzer on measuring barriers to internal rotation. When he returned to campus after several years of war-related work, he first did Raman spectroscopy and then he entered the new field of microwave spectroscopy.
"As one of the few chemists doing this work, he chose to study molecules with interesting bonding, and the molecular structure of ethylene oxide was his first accomplishment," said emeritus professor of chemistry and former student Rollie Myers.
"He and his students established the molecular structures of many molecules with unusual bonding," Meyers said. "Some of these molecules had strong interactions between vibration and rotation, and he developed an important theoretical method to threat this problem."
After his retirement in 1979, Gwinn was active in research and consulting in several energy-related fields.
A native of Slater, Mo., Gwinn received his undergraduate and master's degrees from the University of Missouri. He earned his PhD from Berkeley and joined the faculty here in 1942, becoming a full professor in 1955.
Gwinn is survived by his wife, Margaret; a son, Robert Gwinn of Coshocton, Ohio; daughters Ellen Hart of Austin, Texas, and Kathleen Walsh of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and eight grandchildren.
A memorial service was held Monday, June 2 at the Faculty Club. Contributions in Gwinn's memory may be made to the College of Chemistry.
William H. McCullough, emeritus Agassiz professor of Oriental languages, died April 23 at the age of 68.
McCullough was born in Dallas and served in the Army as a Japanese language interpreter. He earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Berkeley, receiving his PhD in 1962. He then taught at Stanford until 1970, when he returned to his alma mater as professor of classical Japanese language and literature and remained until his retirement in 1991.
Several of his scholarly works have become classics in the social and cultural history of early Japan. He was also associate editor of the Cambridge History of Japan.
McCullough served on numerous national and international educational committees and helped develop the field of Japanese studies in the United States. He was visiting professor at Harvard in 1978-79 and at the National Institute of Japanese Literature in Tokyo in 1982.
A popular teacher, McCullough trained several generations of graduate students in the close reading of classical texts, in literary theory and in bibliography. He was also instrumental in shaping the undergraduate program in Japanese literature.
He is survived by his wife, Helen Craig McCullough, professor emeritus of Oriental languages; his son, Dundas Craig McCullough of Manassas, Va.; his father, John A. McCullough of Denver; and his brother, John P. McCullough of Princeton, N.J.
A memorial was held Sunday, May 25 in the Faculty Club.