1960-69

Beverly Weinger Boorstein ’61, P’89, of Sharon, Massachusetts, an attorney, judge and mediator who championed the rights of women and families during her career, died on April 24, 2016, after a yearlong fight against lung cancer. She was one of two women in her graduating class at Boston University Law School in 1964, and always advanced the cause of women throughout her career. In the 1980s, she was active in the political campaigns of her close friend Evelyn Murphy, who became the first woman to hold constitutional office in Massachusetts when she was elected lieutenant governor. In 1978, Beverly represented a woman with Alzheimer’s in a case that established the right of a physician and family to decide not to resuscitate someone with an “unremitting, incurable mortal illness” without first securing a judge’s permission. She served as justice of the Middlesex County Probate and Family Court from 1992-2007. To bring attention to the decrepit condition of the court building, she appeared in a photo on the front page of The Boston Globe vacuuming her own office in her black robe. She is survived by her husband of 53 years, Sidney ’62, P’89; her children, Michelle and Robin ’89; her siblings, Ronald ’66, P’00, and Susan ’69; and three grandchildren. Her nephew Joshua ’00 also graduated from Brandeis. Beverly was a member of the Brandeis Board of Fellows, and generously supported the Alumni Annual Fund and the Friends of Brandeis Athletics. Sabina Harris ’61, of Brookline, Massachusetts, a child psychologist who helped many children and parents lead happier, more productive lives, died peacefully of heart failure on March 19, 2016. She leaves her brother, Charles. Barbara Weiner ’62, of Framingham, Massachusetts, an interior designer who helped others turn their houses into comfortable homes filled with color, beauty and love, died on Feb. 20, 2016. She leaves her husband of nearly 55 years, Stephen ’59; her children, Wendy, Robert and Daniel; three grandchildren; and two siblings. Peter Elkin ’63, of New York City, a city planner and developer, died on Jan. 12, 2016, after complications from vascular disease. He was honored for his work to preserve the facades of buildings. He leaves his former spouse of 29 years, Joanne; his children, Katherine, Noah and Samson; and two grandchildren. Sharon Leiter ’63, of Charlottesville, Virginia, a former U.S. government analyst in Russian affairs and consultant at the RAND Corp., died on Jan. 16, 2016. She taught literature and writing as an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia. Daniel Laufer, PhD’64, of Newton, Massa­chusetts, a longtime chemistry professor, died on June 26, 2016. A member of the UMass Boston faculty for more than 30 years, he co-founded the school’s biochemistry major. He leaves his wife, Beth '74; his children, Alexander, Matthew, Deborah and Abigail; four grandchildren; and his sister, Ruth. Yoon Yong Oh, MA’64, PhD’65, of South Korea, formerly of Altoona, Pennsylvania, died on March 23, 2016, after a battle with cancer. He leaves his wife of 27 years, Hye Kyung Lee; his children, Seyung, Semoon, Dan and Grace; and two stepsons. Betty King ’65, of Alexandria, Virginia, a scientist and teacher, died on June 2, 2016, after a brief illness. After earning a PhD in microbiology from Harvard, she taught biology at Bard and Skidmore before moving to the Washington, D.C., area, where she was involved in the formation and development of Northern Virginia Community College’s biology department. She taught at the school for more than three decades. After retirement, she continued to tutor students, who often called her “Miss Betty.” She ran for Alexandria City Council as an independent in 1991. She leaves son Geoffrey; granddaughter Alexandra; and her siblings, Nancy and Bill. Michael Ratner ’65, of New York City, head of the Center for Constitutional Rights and a fearless civil-liberties lawyer, died on March 11, 2016, of complications from cancer. He was involved in a number of high-profile cases, including the successful challenge of the U.S. government’s detention of terrorism suspects at Guantánamo Bay without judicial review and the voiding of New York City’s wholesale stop-and-frisk policing tactic. He traced his activism to his days at Brandeis, influenced by the teachings of Professor Herbert Marcuse and the preachings of Angela Davis ’65. Michael leaves his wife, Karen; his children, Jake and Ana; and his siblings, Bruce and Ellen. Three of his cousins — Susan ’68, Ron ’69 and Stacy ’94 — also graduated from Brandeis. He generously supported Brandeis, including funding an endowed scholarship for students interested in investigative journalism. Dwight Earl Acomb, MA’66, of Fresno, California, died on Feb. 14, 2016, after a multiyear battle with myelodysplastic syndrome, which progressed to acute myeloid leukemia. From 1991-2007, he taught at what is now known as Saint Petersburg Christian University, located in Saint Petersburg, Russia. He leaves his wife of 54 years, Joan; his children, Frederick, James, Rebecca, Philip, Brenda, Elizabeth, Jonathan and Timothy; his siblings, Georgianna, Merlin and Roy; and 12 grandchildren. Kenneth Silk ’66, of Laguna Hills, California, a retired psychiatrist at the University of Michigan, died on April 18, 2016, after a one-year fight with myelodysplastic syndrome. After graduating from Brandeis, where he was politically active, he attended the Albert Einstein School of Medicine and then completed his training in psychiatry at Yale. He joined Michigan’s Department of Psychiatry in the early 1990s, and held various posts and garnered many accolades and awards until his retirement in 2014. Kenneth created the personality disorders team at Michigan’s Ambulatory Care Clinic to provide services to patients with moderate to severe personality disorders, his specialty. He leaves his wife, Joan; his children, David and Barbara; Joan’s children, Megan and James; his siblings, Sandra and Gerald; and two grandchildren. Herbert Hyman, Heller PhD’67, of Woodland Park, New Jersey, a retired professor at the Graduate School of Urban Affairs at Hunter College, City University of New York, died on May 6, 2016. He leaves his wife of 60 years, Marilyn; his children, Susan and Mark; and two grandchildren. Donald Drapkin ’68, of New York City and Aspen, Colorado, founder and chair of Casablanca Capital and a Brandeis trustee for 25 years, died on Feb. 22, 2016, in Denver, a week after suffering a brain injury in a skiing accident. During his 40-year career, he was an adviser and a principal in many significant securities transactions and business combinations. He served as vice chair of Lazard International, and vice chair and director of MacAndrews & Forbes. A graduate of Columbia Law School, he began his career as an attorney with Cravath, Swaine & Moore, and was a partner in the New York office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. He was a regular guest on CNBC and a frequent panelist at financial events. He served on the boards of several public companies. Donald was a philanthropist who generously supported a number of initiatives at Brandeis, including the Alumni Annual Fund. He leaves his partner, Sue; his wife, Bernice, from whom he was separated; his children Matthew, Dana, Nicole, David and Amanda; and seven grandchildren. He was predeceased by his son Dustin. Phyllis Silverman, Heller PhD’69, of Lexington, Massachusetts, a scholar who authored many books on bereavement, died on June 10, 2016. At the time of her death, she was emerita professor at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions and a scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis. She taught that grief is a normal life-cycle transition and that mourning means finding a new sense of self that incorporates a continuing bond with the deceased. She leaves her husband of 50 years, Sam; her children, Ann, Bill, Nancy, Gila and Aaron; nine grandchildren; and her sister, Sondra.
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