Fall 2020
In Memoriam

Passings: Fall 2020


Carlos J. Amaya ENGR ’57, ’59G, April 2020, age 85, of Bogotá, Colombia. He began his long career in higher education at Pitt, where he worked as an electrical engineering instructor. Upon returning to his native Colombia, he finished his PhD and joined the engineering faculty at the Universidad de los Andes. He was the first director of the university’s electrical and electronic engineering department and later served as dean. Additionally, he worked in engineering consulting and supported project development for major power initiatives in Colombia.

Christopher J. Baker A&S ’90, March 2020, age 55, of Carnegie, Pennsylvania.

Carol A. Booth EDUC ’76G, ’77G, July 2020, age 67, of Seabrook, Texas. At the University of Pittsburgh, she was appointed to the Graduate Council of Students and received the Chancellor’s Research Award. A nationally respected child and adolescent psychologist, she served in many impressive professional capacities in her chosen home state of Texas, including forming her own consulting company that served school districts and organizations throughout the state. She also belonged to a number of professional organizations, enjoyed reading and loved baking cookies with family.

Kuang-Tsan (Kenneth) Chiang A&S ’75G, ’80G, May 2020, age 69, of Agoura Hills, California, and Helotes, Texas. After completing his undergraduate studies at National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan, he earned a master’s degree and doctorate—both in physics—from Pitt. A materials science engineer and research scientist for 30 years, he held many patents, one of which was for a high-temperature carbon coating for corrosion sensors. The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics recognized him as an associate fellow in 2011.

Bernard Gottlieb A&S ’52, MED ’56, July 2020, age 89, of Los Angeles. He held many roles throughout his life, including Air Force veteran, medical researcher, dermatologist, dermatopathologist, professor, husband, father and grandfather. Known for his devotion, humility and love for learning, he was a defining figure in the field of dermatopathology and a longtime faculty member at the University of Southern California. A dedicated family man, he enjoyed 54 years of marriage with his wife, Lillian, with whom he had three children.

Max J. Lash A&S ’78, July 2019, age 64, of Beavertown, Pennsylvania. While at Pitt, he was a member of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity and chaired the homecoming committee in 1977 and 1978. He was dedicated to serving the community and held positions on the Beavertown Borough Council as well as the council for St. Paul’s Reformed Church. Known to be kind, generous and vibrant, he was considered the heart and soul of his family and was always willing to devote time and energy to helping others.

Linda Lee McKeever A&S ’61, August 2020, age 81, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. After earning a bachelor’s degree in English from Pitt and a master’s degree in linguistics from American University, she began a career as a program editor at Voice of America in Washington, D.C. Following her retirement, she alternated between homes in Boca Raton, Florida, and Avery County, North Carolina, where she had many good friends. Always a proud mother, she later took great pride in being a grandmother as well.

Patrick J. Murphy II ENGR ’53, ’59G, June 2020, age 89, of Newtown, Pennsylvania. As a Pitt student, he was an ROTC cadet and first baseman for the Pitt Panthers. He worked for many years as an engineer and held positions in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and later the U.S. Department of the Navy. A committed Catholic, he valued community and was a frequent volunteer. He and his wife, Virginia, were married for 62 years and raised five children together. Always proud to say “Hail to Pitt,” he was delighted when two of his grandchildren decided to attend his alma mater.

Ethel E. Grant Rollins SOC WK ’58G, May 2020, age 88, of Denver, Colorado. The first in her family to attend college, she earned a bachelor’s degree in social science from Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins, Texas, where she also met her husband, Edward. She graduated from Pitt with a master’s degree in social work and excelled professionally, despite, her family notes, the pervasive challenges she faced as an African American woman. A civil rights activist and a devout Christian, she was known for her steadfast beliefs and unshakable courage.

William Hayes Thies MED ’72, August 2020, age 77, of Lake Forest, Illinois. After earning his PhD in pharmacology from Pitt’s School of Medicine, he began his career in academia as an assistant professor in the school’s Department of Neurology. At the American Heart Association, he created a new stroke division that became the American Stroke Association. He then held senior leadership roles at the Alzheimer’s Association, where he ran the world’s largest private, nonprofit Alzheimer’s disease research grants program, including facilitating significant partnerships with Pitt researchers. He is remembered as humble, intellectually curious and an influential mentor.

Zigmunt Walkiewicz Jr. A&S ’60, June 2020, age 87, of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. He graduated from Pitt after serving in the Army during the Korean War. His career in engineering and sales took him many places, but he finally settled in Ohio, where he retired after serving as president-owner of Clamco Corp. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather who enjoyed fishing, golfing, traveling and entertaining others with tales of his countless adventures.