Eugene Black, of Waban, Mass., a professor emeritus of history who played a critical role in building the history department’s national stature, died on Oct. 18, 2013. He was 85. His research focused on modern European history, particularly the political and social institutions of Britain. He retired from the faculty in 2006. After serving as a U.S. Air Force pilot during the Korean War, he earned his MA and PhD at Harvard. In 1958, he joined Brandeis’ history department as an instructor, eventually becoming the Springer Professor of History in 1971. “Gene played a critical role in building the department into one of the strongest at the university and in the field, chiefly by raising the quality of new faculty,” says Gregory Freeze, the Victor and Gwendolyn Beinfield Professor of History. “His basic principle was that every new appointment should not be a mere replacement but must raise the stature and standards of the department.” Gene served as dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, as well as — on multiple occasions — chair of the history department and the graduate program in comparative history. In 2012, the history department established two E.C. Black Prize internships for students majoring or minoring in history. Gene leaves his wife, Frances Malino, MA’70, PhD’71, P’89; sons Alexander and Andrew; daughter Rebecca; stepson Daniel; stepdaughter Elizabeth ’89; brother John; and six grandchildren. Paul Dorain, of Hanover, N.H., a chemistry professor from 1958-81, died on July 19, 2014. He also taught at Amherst, and was a research scientist at Yale and dean of the faculty at Colby. He leaves his daughter, Melanie; his son, Doug; his sister, Harriet; his brother, Alfred; and eight grandchildren. Leonard Fein, of Watertown, Mass., a prominent voice of Jewish liberalism, known as the father of the Jewish social-justice movement, died on Aug. 14, 2014. He was 80. In 1975, while serving as the Klutznick Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies at Brandeis, he established Moment magazine with Elie Weisel. He also founded the National Jewish Coalition for Literacy; Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger; and Americans for Peace Now. He was the author of numerous books on Jewish issues and politics and a longtime columnist for The Forward. He leaves his daughters Rachel and Jessie, and five grandchildren. A third daughter, Nomi, died in 1996. Joachim Gaehde, of Arlington, Mass., professor emeritus of fine arts, passed away on Nov. 24, 2013, of pneumonia. A scholar of Carolingian illuminated manuscripts, he was the éminence grise of the Department of Fine Arts for most of his long tenure at Brandeis, according to colleague Nancy Scott. He immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1950 and later earned his doctorate from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. In 1962, he joined the Brandeis faculty as an associate professor and was promoted to full professor in 1969. He also served as dean of the faculty in the 1970s. He is survived by his sons, Stephan and Nicholas, and five grandchildren. His wife of 56 years, Christa, died in 2002. Elaine Loeffler, of East Providence, R.I., professor emeritus of fine arts, died on Feb. 4, 2014. She joined the faculty in 1967 and was known as an extraordinary teacher with a special ability to inspire her students. She graduated from Smith College and served as the chief curator at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum before coming to Brandeis. Luis Yglesias, of Rindge, N.H., professor emeritus of Spanish and comparative literature — whose interests ranged from writing poetry, to gardening, to playing Cuban congas — died of a heart attack and renal failure on March 30, 2014. He taught at Brandeis for 42 years, frequently challenging his students to teach him something new. “He wanted his students to use their imaginations, because he believed that imagination is the gateway to true compassion and understanding,” Alison McGurrin ’95, MA’01, PhD’04, told The Boston Globe. “He approached literature from the standpoint that stories heal and are meant to teach us and inspire us to be our best.” He celebrated cultural diversity at Brandeis and worked with fellow faculty members Karen Klein and Maurice Stein to integrate African texts into the study of humanities. He was also involved with Brandeis’ Upward Bound program. For about 15 years, he co-owned Lilly’s on the Pond, a restaurant in Rindge, with his wife, Suanne, and another couple. Born in Ann Arbor, Mich., he grew up in Havana, Cuba, then came to the United States for boarding school at age 12. He earned his bachelor’s degree and doctorate from Harvard in romance and comparative literature. In addition to his wife, he leaves his son, Pablo; his brother, J. George; and two grandchildren.
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