D. Roger Willis
D. Roger Willis, professor emeritus of mechanical engineering, died Dec. 3 of Lou Gehrig's disease. An expert on nonlinear dynamics, Willis was 64.
Willis was born in 1933 in Warwickshire, England. He earned his MA in 1957 from Wadham College at Oxford University in mathematics, and an MSE and a PhD in aeronautical engineering at Princeton University in 1957 and 1959 respectively
From 1959 to 1961, Willis worked as a researcher in the Kungliga Tekniska Hogskolan in Stockholm, Sweden, and later shared the benefits of this experience by advising many Berkeley students on research opportunities in Sweden.
Willis joined the mechanical engineering faculty in 1963 and retired in 1991. His research interests included the development of numerical tools for exploring nonlinear dynamics.
He served as vice chair for instruction in the department in the early 1980s, and also chaired the admissions committee for the department and the college in the late 1980s.
Willis was a member of Sigma Xi, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the American Physical Society.
He is survived by his wife, Birgitta Maria Willis of Berkeley, as well as a son and a daughter. A memorial service was held in December.
Professor emeritus of law Friedrich Kessler died in Berkeley Jan. 21 at the age of 96.
One of the last surviving German legal scholar/refugees who fled Nazi Germany for the United States in the 1930s, "Fritz" Kessler, as he was known, taught the law of contracts, negotiable instruments, insurance, jurisprudence and anti-trust.
Most of his career in the United States, starting in 1935, was spent at the Yale Law School, with a few intervening years at the University of Chicago and short terms as visiting professor at Harvard and Berkeley.
After retiring from Yale in 1970, he taught as a member of the faculty at Boalt for seven years.
Kessler is widely respected by legal scholars in the United States, Germany and internationally for his research and analysis of the concepts and doctrines of freedom of contract, contracts of adhesion, contract law in its social context, capitalism and human autonomy.
He is remembered by generations of law students for his classroom use of a benign version of the Socratic method, his enthusiasm for the rational enterprise and his gentlemanly courtliness. He published many law review articles and was co-author of a casebook on the law of contracts.
Kessler was a life member of the American Law Institute and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1969 he was awarded the Knight Commander's Cross of the German Order of Merit.
Born in Hechingen, Germany, in 1901, he was educated in Germany at the universities of Tübingen, Munich. From 1926 to 1934, he was a research member of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Foreign and International Law in Berlin, and a Privatdozent at the Handelshoch-schule (1933 to '34).
He and Eva Jonas married in 1930 and in 1934 fled with their two daughters, Inge and Maria, to the United States with the aid of a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship.
His wife and daughters preceded him in death. He is survived by four grandchildren, Ann Hubbird of Eugene, Ore.; Jack Radey of Oakland; Paul Bessemer of Israel, and Gregory Bessemer of San Diego, and their families.
Plans for a memorial occasion are pending.