Posted February 10, 1999
John Lysmer, professor emeritus of geo-technical engineering, died of a heart attack at his home in Berkeley Jan. 25. He was 67.
A native of Denmark, he came to Berkeley in 1965, where he helped develop the computational underpinnings of modern geo-technical earthquake engineering.
His pioneering work brought him lasting international recognition through the computer programs he developed to predict earthquake ground motion and acceleration. He took early retirement from UC in 1991 and continued a very active consulting and teaching life.
"Those of us who knew him remember his joy of life," said Professor Nicholas Sitar. "He was a great storyteller and, in particular, his lectures based on his stamp collection will be remembered by all who were fortunate to enjoy them."
Lysmer was born in 1931 in Copenhagen. From 1955 to 1961 he worked in Nigeria on construction of roads and many bridges.
He came to the U.S. in 1961, earned a PhD at the University of Michigan in 1965 and then joined the Berkeley faculty.
Lysmer is survived by his third wife, Mary Smith Flint, of Berkeley; and by three daughters from his first marriage, Susanne Rapella of Albany, Annette Lysmer of Alameda and Marianne Fogle of Walnut Creek.
A memorial service was held Feb. 6 at the Oakland First Baptist Church. A John Lysmer Fellowship Fund is being established in the civil and environmental engineering department. Contributions in Lysmer's name should be sent to the department, MC 1710. Proceeds will be used to fund graduate students in geo-technical engineering.
Maxwell Rosenlicht, a distinguished professor emeritus of mathematics, died Jan. 22 of a neurological disease while on a visit to Hawaii. He was 74.
Rosenlicht was widely known for his many research contributions to algebraic geometry, algebraic groups and differential fields. In 1960 he was awarded the Frank Nelson Cole Prize in Algebra by the American Mathematical Society for his 1954 paper on generalized jacobian varieties. This prize is awarded every five years by the society to honor outstanding research contributions in algebra.
Born in Brooklyn in 1924, he joined the math department in 1958 and served as its chair from 1973 to 1975. He retired in 1991.
"Max Rosenlicht was one of the leaders of the department and contributed ... to building the department to its premier status," said Calvin Moore, math department chair.
To the last, he maintained his burning interest in travel, art, music and history. He died rereading "Anna Karenina."
Rosenlicht is survived by his wife of 45 years, Carla Zingarelli Rosenlicht; son Nicholas of Berkeley; daughter Elizabeth Regan of Oakland; son Alan of Seattle; daughter Giovanna Marley of Davis; three grandchildren; and his sister Estelle Stolovy of Washington, D.C.
A memorial service will be held at Alumni House, Sunday, Feb. 28, at 2 p.m. Contributions may be made to the UC Berkeley Foundation for the Maxwell Rosenlicht Graduate Fellowship Fund and sent to the Department of Mathematics, MC3840.
John S. Service, the first of the "old China hands" purged from the State Department during the McCarthy era and later library curator of the campus's Center for Chinese Studies, died Feb. 3 in Oakland. He was 89.
Born in China of missionary parents in 1909, Service grew up in Sichuan province and studied art history at Oberlin College.
In the early '30s he returned to China and joined the Foreign Service. During World War II, his job was to gather information from all factions.
Service filed prescient reports on the rival forces fighting the occupying Japanese -- Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalists and Mao Zedong's Communists. After the war, some in the US government blamed the Nationalists' fall on what was said to be a pro-Communist conspiracy in the State Department. Service was one of the victims: accused of disloyalty by Sen. Joe McCarthy, he was dismissed on the last day of 1951.
Service fought his dismissal, and in 1956 the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the Department of State had had no right to dismiss him.
At age 53, Service enrolled in Berkeley, where he earned an MA and became library curator of the Center for Chinese Studies. The development of the library has been a key factor in Berkeley's prominence in the China field. Service established the foundation of the collection, which grew from a tiny collection of newspapers to the leading research library on post-1949 China.
"Jack Service as the first archivist shaped and guided that development in the late 1960s," said Emeritus Professor Joyce Kallgren, chair of the center from 1983 to 1988. "He played a key role in the acquisition and classifying of materials. His command of the Chinese language and developments was essential."
Annie Change, who now heads the library and has known Service personally for almost 25 years, called him "very warm and very calm. For what he experienced through McCarthyism," she said, "he was never bitter. He was a real gentleman."
After stepping down as curator in the 1970s, Service served as editor for the Center's publications.
Service is survived by three children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.