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posted May 13, 1998

William Brandt

William Jeans Brandt, professor emeritus of rhetoric, died April 27 at his home in Pleasant Hill. He was 80.

Brandt co-founded the Bay Area Writing Project in 1973, served as assistant dean of the College of Letters and Science from 1974 to 1976, and chaired the Department of Rhetoric from 1977 to 1979. He retired in 1986.

He received his BA in English from UCLA in 1949 and his PhD in English from Berkeley in 1956. He joined the faculty in 1965 as an associate professor, after teaching at Ohio State and San Jose State.

Brandt is survived by his wife, Kimberly, and three children, Elizabeth, Jane and David.

Jack Kent

City and Regional Planning Professor Emeritus T. J. (Jack) Kent died Sunday, April 26, of heart failure and a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Kent was the founder and first chair of the Department of City and Regional Planning, established in l948. A faculty member for 30 years, he served as department chair for 12. When he retired in 1974, he was awarded the Berkeley Citation.

Kent was active in the formation of the College of Environmental Design, founded in 1959.

He was a member of the Berkeley City Planning Commission from 1948 to 1957 and a Berkeley City Council member from 1957 to 1965. He was the second city planning director for the City of San Francisco and wrote the city’s first master plan.

In the early 1960s, Kent helped organize the Association of Bay Area Governments. He served as president of People for Open Space and president of the American Society of Planning Officials, receiving the society’s Gold Medal Award in 1975.

His publications include “The Urban General Plan,” published in 1964 and still in print.

Kent received his bachelor’s degree in architecture from Berkeley in 1938 and a master’s in city planning from M.I.T. in 1943.

“Most of all I will remember Jack for educating me about the college in my first months here at Berkeley,” said Harrison Fraker, dean of the College of Environmental Design (CED). “His insights were invaluable as I learned about the history of CED.

“His death is particularly poignant,” Fraker continued, “as he was to have been one of four CED alumni to receive the CED/CED Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus Award at graduation May 24, the first time such an award has been given in the history of the college. Certainly his ideas and spirit will continue to be a guiding presence in the evolution of the college.”

The Department of City and Regional Planning’s 50th Anniversary Celebration the weekend of May 9-10 was dedicated to Kent’s memory. A tribute by three of his colleagues, Allan Jacobs, Larry Orman and Joel Rubenzahl, opened the proceedings. The department also mounted an exhibition in honor of Kent as part of the weekend activities.

Sunny Low

Sunny Low died April 27, at the age of 66.

Low dedicated his skills to the campus for more than 30 years, serving as associate registrar in the Office of Admissions and Records and the Office of the Registrar before retiring in 1992.

“Sunny approached his job in a very principled way,” recalled LaVern Lazzereschi, a senior administrative analyst in the Office of the Registrar. “He cared deeply for each person who worked with him. You could always talk to Sunny about anything, even the most personal or painful problems.”

Senior administrative analyst Russell Low (no relation), who worked for Low for many years, said, “Nothing pleased him more than to see his staff get promoted or to move on to bigger and better things.”

Low was a member of the Order of the Golden Bear and a founding member of the Asian and Pacific American Systemwide Alliance. In recognition of his contributions to campus, the Alliance later created the Sunny Low Outstanding Service Award, presented annually to recog-nize extraordinary service to the campus community and members of APASA.

Low is survived by his wife, Mabel, a former staff member in the ASUC executive director’s office, a son and daughter, two grandchildren, three brothers and three sisters.

For information on making a memorial donation, call Walter Wong at 643-1640.

Yakov Malkiel

Yakov Malkiel, professor emeritus of linguistics and romance philology, died April 24 of a heart attack. He was 83.

Malkiel was born in Kiev in 1914, but civil war forced the family to move to Berlin. As a Jew in prewar Germany, he overcame serious difficulties before he was admitted into Berlin’s Friedrich-Wilhelms Universitat, earning his PhD in Romance linguistics, magna cum laude, in 1938.

In 1940 he emigrated with his parents to the United States, and in 1942 joined Berkeley’s faculty as a lecturer. Later he became assistant professor of Spanish and Portuguese, then professor of romance philology. In 1952 he helped found the Department of Linguistics, and in 1965 became a member of that department, where he taught until his retirement.

In 1948, Malkiel married María Rosa Lida, a scholar from Argentina. After her untimely death in 1962, he devoted himself to the completion of her unpublished works.

Malkiel’s publications include works on historical linguistics, the history of linguistics, etymology, linguistic typology and Romance linguistics. He published in English, German, Italian, French, Portuguese and Spanish, and lectured as well in Russian. In 1946, he founded the international journal “Romance Philology” and was for many years its editor-in-chief.

Malkiel’s honorary degree from Salamanca, Spain, made him the first Jew to be honored there since the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492.

Malkiel is buried beside his wife and parents. Condolences may be sent to Isabel Lida Nirenberg, #6 Oak Drive, Albany, NY 12203.

David Straube

David Straube, lab manager for Environmental Engineering and Health Sciences Laboratory operations at the Richmond Field Station, died Sunday, May 3.

Straube started working for the School of Public Health in 1966, at 19. Except for the two years he served in Vietnam, he spent his entire career with the university. In 1981 he transferred to the Sanitary Engineering Research Laboratory, and became lab manager of EEHSL in 1992.

Straube helped establish most of the laboratory’s safety management programs, created a chemical inventory database to improve chemical waste management, and developed the standard operating procedure manual that the lab uses today. He was responsible for day-to-day operations at the field station and trained new personnel in safety matters. Under his management, the field station has operated without a major accident.

Straube was born in Dobbs Ferry, NY, graduated from De Anza High School in Richmond, Calif., and lived in the Bay Area most of his life.

For information on making a memorial donation, call EEHSL at 642-8324.

Garff Wilson

Garff Wilson, the self-described “unidentified man on the right” who welcomed kings, presidents and other world figures to Berkeley, died May 6 in Berkeley. He was 89.

Over the course of 33 years, Wilson was professor of rhetoric and dramatic art and head of public ceremonies. He retired in 1976.

A native of Ogden, Utah, Wilson graduated from Berkeley in 1931, earned his PhD at Cornell, and returned to Berkeley in 1941 to teach before joining the army.

Early in his Berkeley career, Wilson designed a campus visit for poet Robert Frost, followed over the years by visits from two U.S. presidents, seven kings, six prime ministers and countless other newsmakers.

“I was like a stagehand,” he said, “opening doors, moving people around, handing out medals. I was always there, the invisible man hovering nervously in the background.”

Other notables whose visits to campus Wilson planned and directed included President Harry S. Truman, Gen. George C. Mar-shall, Adlai Stevenson, Jacques-Ives Cousteau, Alex Haley, Barbara Tuchman, Dylan Thomas, the kings of Denmark, Greece and Morocco, and the queen of Holland.

Wilson published two popular memoirs: “The Unidentified Man on the Right: The Story of Fabulous People and Events on the Berkeley Campus of the University of California During the Past Four Decades” and “Color Them Blue and Gold: Memories of Students, Athletes, Housemates, and Rascals I Have Known at Cal.”

Wilson’s dramatic flair came naturally as a scholar of drama, director of plays, and actor in summer stock theater. Wilson’s house, along with all his mementos and honors, was destroyed in the 1991 East Bay hills fire. He was an ardent backer of the UC swim team and the Cal Marching Band, whose new uniforms are a recent gift from him. Wilson is survived by his sister, Janice Hamilton, of Los Angeles.
Services will be private.

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