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Alumni Necrology...

Robert W. Alrutz (obituary in Newark, OH, Advocate, Oct. 17, 1997). Robert Willard Alrutz, former professor of biology at Denison University, died in Riverside Hospital, Columbus on October 14, 1997. He was born August 20, 1921 in Pittsburgh, PA to the late Willard and Margaret Alrutz.

During World War II, he served in the US Army and conducted a parasitological survey in the Pacific. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh in biology (1943), his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois in entomology and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in entomology and para-sitology (1952). He was a member of Sigma Xi, Ohio Academy of Science (Fellow), American Association for the Advancement of Science, Ohio Environmental Council (former President), National Parks & Conservation Association, Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Conservation Foundation, The Wilderness Society, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Audubon Society, Nature Conservancy, Ecological Society of America, and American Forestry Association.

Dr. Alrutz taught biology at Denison University from 1952 until his retirement in 1990. His teaching responsibilities included general zoology, environmental biology, vertebrate field zoology, entomology, parasitology, and environmental seminar. From 1961-66 he directed summer institutes in ecological studies. In 1965 he created the Denison University Biological Reserve and served as its director until his retirement. He also coordinated the Denison Environmental Studies Program (1972-90), founded and served as faculty advisor to the Denison University Homestead (1977-90), and advised the Denison Recycling Program (1984-90).

Bob’s research and interests in the environment, along with his favorite organisms, dragonflies and woodland mouse, have been recognized with Certificate of Recognition from the Ohio House of Representatives for his work to preserve Cranberry Island (1963); Governor’s "Ohio Conservation Achievement Award" from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (1985); Certi-ficate of Recognition from the Ohio House & Senate (1990), and the Environmental Education Achievement Award by the Ohio Alliance for the Environment (1991).

Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Wilma (Schmoock) Alrutz; one daughter and son-in-law, Gloria and Dean Kocian; and three grandchildren, Mark, Brian, and Sara.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Robert Willard Alrutz Internship Fund, Denison University, Granville, OH 43023.

Howard B. (Pete) Petty. Howard Petty passed away on Sunday October 26, 1997, at 6:30 pm following an extended illness. The visitation was held on Wednesday, October 29, 1977, at the Renner-Wikoff Chapel on Philo Road in Urbana from 4 to 7 pm. The funeral was private.

Pete was the first extension entomologist for the Uni-versity of Illinois Cooperative Extension Service. He also served as Assistant Director, Agriculture, from 1973 through 1979. He served from 1941 through 1979 and was among the first to receive the Paul A. Funk Award. He was also the recipient of the USDA Superior Service Award and was the first recipient of the IEAA Hall of Fame Award.

Janet Rapp (obituary found in The Crete News, April 29, 1998). Dr. Janet Rapp, 76, died Sunday, April 26, 1998, at Lincoln General Hospital Lincoln, NE. Janet Lorraine Cooper, daughter of William H. and Florence L. (Ohmey) Cooper, was born November 3, 1921, at Newark, NJ. She attended Newark Public Schools, graduating in 1939 at the head of her West Side High School class where she was awarded the Bamberger prize for the highest Latin grade in Newark high schools. She earned a bachelor of science degree with a double major in zoology and botany, graduating with honors, from New Jersey College for Women, Rutgers University, in 1943, and received a fellowship from the Carbon & Carbide Chemical Corporation which led to her par-ticipation in team development of a leading insect repellent (marketed as OFF Repellent) in 1943-44.

On Sept. 30, 1944, Janet Cooper married fellow scientist William F. Rapp at Newark, and continued her educational pursuits. She did her graduate work at the University of Illinois, teaching botany and doing research in entomology. She received her master of science degree there in 1945 and a doctorate degree in entomology in 1948. She was one of the first from the University of Illinois to get a degree in insect physiology.

Rapp moved to Crete, NE in the fall of 1947, and taught biology and chemistry at Doane College from 1948 to 1952. She then became associated with Feed Service Corporation as director of the research labora-tory and spent the next 24 years there, providing leadership for the development of Morea, the first liquid feed supplement worldwide, and working on various other phases of livestock nutrition. She was the author of a number of papers in entomology and animal nutri-tion which were published in technical journals, and her name appears on numerous patents. In 1964, she was one of 10 outstanding women in the state selected for inclusion in Who’s Who of American Women, a biographical reference dictionary of women outstanding in their fields. Memorials may be directed to the Crete Public Schools Trust, 920 Linden Avenue, Crete, Nebraska 68333.

Robert Traub (obituary in Flea News, Iowa State Uni-versity, Dec. 1996). Born Oct. 26, 1916; died Dec. 21, 1996. Bob Traub was born in New York City, NY, and died in the Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. He received the Bachelor of Science degree, cum laude, in biology in 1938 from the City College of New York (now City University of New York). He earned the M.S. degree from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, in 1939 with a major in medical entomology and a minor in veterinary bacteriology. Later that year he entered the graduate program in entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana, IL, but interrupted his studies to join the U.S. Army in 1942. He returned after the war to receive the Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 1947 with a major in medical entomology and a minor in helminthology. His dissertation, titled Siphonaptera from Central America and Mexico, a morphological study of the aedeagus, with descriptions of new genera and species, was published by the Field Museum of Natural History in 1950 as Memoire No. 1. However, he remained in the Army and retired in 1962 with the rank of Colonel. He then joined the faculty of the Department of Microbiology of the University of Maryland Medical School as a professor of medical entomology and research. There he remained for the next 20 years, formally retiring in late 1983. He then assumed the role of Honorary Curator of Siphonaptera at the United States National Museum of Natural History, a position he occupied until 1994.

At the University of Illinois and in the Army, Bob was a part of a generation of young biological scientists who have collectively made as great or greater impact in the fields of medical entomology and acarol-ogy than had any generation before them. Most were military service personnel during World War II, and many remained in the military after the end of hostilities. Practically all subsequently pursued advanced degrees in the biological sciences, and most retained an appreciation of the basic science of arthropod systematics throughout their career. Bob Traub was preeminent among them.

The bulk of Traub’s research activity centered in geographical areas other than North America north of Mexico, and particular emphasis was directed toward southern Mexico, northern Africa, and especially southeast Asia. During his career Bob described 30 new genera or subgenera, and 114 new species or subspecies of fleas alone, in addition to his work on mites and other medically important arthropods. He authored, co-authored, or edited over 200 technical publications, at least 93 of which dealt with fleas or flea literature. He was a member of many professional societies and the recipient of numerous citations, honors, and awards, both foreign and domestic.


Integrative Biology University of Illinois