In Memoriam: Alumni Classes of 1952-59

Lora Levy Heller ’52, of Oakwood, Ohio, a college English professor, died on May 26, 2012. After earning an MA in English literature from the University of Arizona, she taught middle school in Boston. She later taught English at the University of Colorado in Denver. Lora took up skiing — much to the surprise of college friends who remember her skipping every physical education class possible. In 1977, she moved to Dayton, where her husband, Abraham Heller ’53, taught at the Wright State School of Medicine and Lora taught advanced English to foreign-born medical and psychiatric residents. According to her Brandeis classmates and friends, she loved the smallness of Brandeis, the closeness of the student body, and the intimate relationship between Brandeis’ brilliant faculty and students. She was always grateful to the university for giving her both her husband and the education that defined the rest of her life. She will be remembered for her quick wit, high-spirited stories and an infectious laugh that delighted everyone she met. She leaves her daughter, Judy. She was predeceased by her husband of 51 years, who died in 2008. Arnold Sable ’52 of Kabri, Israel, who managed libraries before making aliyah to Israel in 1970, died on July 12, 2012. He graduated with Brandeis’ first class, earning a degree in French and music. He went on to receive a master’s degree in French literature from the Sorbonne in Paris and a second master’s in library science from Simmons College. When he and his family made aliyah, they settled at Kibbutz Kabri in northern Israel. On the kibbutz, he became “Aharon,” the Hebrew name given to him at birth. He worked in the avocado orchards, in the cow shed and as a high-school English teacher before moving to the dining room and kitchen, where he served as the kibbutz chef for 25 years. He leaves his wife, Aura; three daughters, Lisa, Jane and Teddy; and a son, Eric. June (Caplan) Gordon ’53, of Canton, Mass., died on Oct. 18, 2012. She leaves her husband, Donald ’52; two daughters, Penny and Beth; and her brother, Marvin. Leslie Paul ’53, of San Francisco, a women’s rights and civil liberties activist, died of cancer on Nov. 25, 2012. Her love of education, music, art, fashion, cooking, gourmet food and wine led her on travel adventures around the world. She lived in Longmeadow, Mass., for many years before moving to the West Coast. She leaves her husband of 57 years, Leonard; two sons, Gary and Jeremy; her daughter, Lauri; her sister, Doris; her brother, Melvin; and five grandchildren. Richard Flink ’55, of North Venice, Fla., and Harwich, Mass., a counterspy who helped expose two Russian agents in the 1960s, and later the vice president and general counsel to C.R. Bard Corp. for 30 years, died peacefully on Dec. 24, 2012, after a brave battle with lung cancer. After graduating from New York University School of Law, he ran for the New York State Assembly on the Republican ticket and was approached by two Russian employees of the United Nations. They told him that Moscow would contribute to his political campaign if he agreed to advocate certain policies in speeches if he were elected. They also wanted him to provide information about the operations of U.S. government agents and personal information about influential members of the Republican Party. Dick immediately reported the incident to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and, at its request, became a counterspy, meeting frequently with the two Russians and reporting back to the FBI. As a result of his efforts, on Sept. 16, 1962, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy announced to the nation that the two Russian espionage agents had been expelled from the United States for “illegitimate intelligence activities.” The operation was subsequently the subject of a made-for-television movie and a chapter in the book “Red Spies in the U.N.” Dick was an avid golfer and was active in the affairs of the town of Harwich, where he served for many years on the Board of Appeals. He leaves his wife, Janet; his children, Andrea, Gary, Jordan and Royale; and six grandchildren. Brandeis football star Bill McKenna ’55, the university’s first All-American in any sport, died on Oct. 18, 2012, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. An end on both offense and defense, Bill earned Associated Press All-American honors following his senior season. He owns Brandeis records for points scored in a game and over a career, and is the school’s all-time leader in receiving yards. A 1993 inductee into the Joseph Linsey Brandeis Athletic Hall of Fame, Bill was chosen by the Philadelphia Eagles in the seventh round of the 1955 National Football League draft. He played six seasons with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League from 1955-63, racking up 88 receptions for 1,436 yards and 10 touchdowns while also playing on defense. A physics major at Brandeis, he joined Texaco in 1955 and retired in 1989 as chief geophysicist. He leaves his wife, Myken; three daughters, Lisa, Michelle and Susan; two brothers, Dick and Jake; and six grandchildren. He is also survived by his nephew Bob McKenna ’77, a standout athlete who played for the Brandeis basketball and baseball teams. (For more about Bill, see page 94.) Barbara Lazar Wiesenfeld ’55, of Santa Monica, Calif., died on May 10, 2011. She was beloved by her friends, active in her temple and a lifelong voracious reader. Barbara was known for her keen sense of style, love of art and vivacious spirit. She leaves her son, Nathan; her daughter, Mimi; two grandchildren, Sara and David; and her ex-husband, Marc Wiesenfeld ’55.