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UC Davis Magazine

Volume 28 · Number 4 · Summer 2011

In Memoriam: Faculty

Portrait photos

From left: Keith Aoki, Perry Cupps and Costa Issidorides

Keith Aoki, a law professor and artist who produced both scholarly publications and legal comics, died in April after a long illness at age 55. He came to UC Davis as a visiting professor in 2006 and joined the faculty in 2007 after teaching at the University of Oregon, Lewis & Clark, Columbia and Boston College law schools. He was an authority on civil rights, critical race theory, intellectual property and local government law, and a member of the prestigious American Law Institute. He authored the book Seed Wars: Cases and Materials on Intellectual Property and Plant Genetic Resources, and co-authored two books in comic book format, Bound by Law and Theft: A History of Music. King Hall students this spring changed the name of the annual Cardozorama talent show to Aokirama in his honor.

Dean Cliver, a veterinary medicine during 1995–2008 and an expert on food-borne diseases, died at his Davis home in May from cancer. He was 76. He advised state and federal agencies on a variety of food-safety issues and was quoted widely by news media on topics such as mad cow disease, bacteria in kitchen sponges and food irradiation.

Perry Cupps, an animal science professor during 1947–82 who researched cattle reproduction and helped pioneer cattle embryo transfer, died from complications of Parkinson's disease in December 2009 in St. Louis, Mo. He taught a popular "Physiology of Reproduction" course and co-edited, with Harold Cole, Reproduction in Domestic Animals through four editions.

Costa Issidorides, a professor emeritus of chemistry who held 45 patents in 20 countries, died last November in his Woodland home. He was 89. He taught organic chemistry at UC Davis during 1995–98 after retiring from the American University of Beirut. He co-discovered with colleague Makhluf Haddadin the Beirut Reaction used in making an antibacterial agent for animal feed.

Marion Miller, an environmental toxicologist and expert on men's reproductive health, died in February from pancreatic cancer. She was 55. Born and raised in Scotland, she joined the faculty in 1986 and chaired the Department of Environmental Toxicology during 1998–2003. In 2002, she received the Outstanding Mentor of the Year award from the UC Davis Consortium for Women and Research. That same year, she also chaired a state committee that evaluated chemicals for their reproductive hazards.

Donald Owings, a psychology professor who studied interactions between ground squirrels and their predators, died in April in his home after a long battle with prostate cancer. He wrote or co-wrote more than 60 scholarly papers, reporting in recent years that ground squirrels can heat their tails to send warning signals to rattlesnakes and that they smear chewed snake skin to their fur to mask their scents to their predators. A faculty member since 1971, he was a past chair of the Department of Psychology, as well as the Graduate Group in Animal Behavior. Among many honors were his 1994 election as fellow of the Animal Behavior Society and a 2010 Exemplar Award from the society for his contributions to the field. He also received a campus award in 1995 for mentoring students.

Sefton Wellings, a medical professor during 1970–87 and former chair of the pathology department, died in March in Palm Desert, at age 83. He was the author of a landmark atlas in breast pathology. In recent years, Sefton and his wife, Carol, divided their time between Palm Desert and Friday Harbor, Wash.

In Memoriam: Friends

Jess Jackson, a celebrated winemaker who popularized Chardonnay and whose gifts are helping to make UC Davis' teaching winery a model of sustainability, died from complications from cancer in April at his Geyserville home. He was 81. He founded Kendall-Jackson wines in 1974; its Chardonnay soon became an American best seller. He went on to found Jackson Family Wines, which owns and operates more than 35 wineries around the world. He was a founding member of Family Winemakers of California and a 2009 inductee into the Vintners Hall of Fame. He and his wife, Barbara Banke, recently pledged $3 million to construct a Jess S. Jackson Sustainable Winery Building at UC Davis' Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science.

Roberta Kenney, who worked 25 years as an academic adviser in international relations, died in April at a Davis convalescent home. She was 94.

Louise "Lou" McNary of Woodland, a longtime cellist with the UC Davis Symphony orchestra, died in Woodland in April after a long battle with cancer. She was 82. A former special education teacher and lifelong musician, she traveled with the orchestra to Australia, New Zealand and Tahiti in 1989. In 2005, she donated her cello, "Timothy," dated 1752, to the Department of Music. Survivors include her husband of 60 years, Don, a retired campus fundraiser; a sister; five children; and 10 grandchildren.

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