The University Record, May 7, 2001


Russell T. Woodburne

Russell T. Woodburne, professor emeritus of anatomy and former chair of the Department of Anatomy, died April 11 at Ann Arbor’s Glacier Hills Retirement Community. He was 96.

Woodburne devoted his entire career to teaching, research and service in the Medical School. He began teaching U-M medical students in 1936 as an instructor in anatomy and continued until his retirement in 1975. He was a gifted and enthusiastic teacher who introduced thousands of medical students to human anatomy during his long and productive career.

“He was known internationally as the author of one of the first regional anatomy texts, which represented a new approach to teaching,” said William E. Burkel, professor of cell and developmental biology. “He made many original contributions to the field, including many fundamental anatomical descriptions of areas that had previously been poorly described.”

Woodburne held three degrees from the U-M—an A.B. (1932), a master’s in psychology (1933) and a Ph.D. in anatomy (1935).

He joined the Medical School’s anatomy faculty as an instructor in 1936 and was promoted to assistant professor in 1939, associate professor in 1944 and professor in 1947. Woodburne served as department chair 1958–73. He retired and was named professor emeritus in 1975.

Woodburne’s influence on medical students continues today through his textbook, co-authored with Burkel, Essentials of Human Anatomy, now in its ninth edition.

Woodburne was active in the American Association of Anatomists, serving on its executive committee 1955–59. He was secretary-treasurer for the society 1964–72 and president 1974–75. He also was an active member of many other professional organizations—including the American Association of Clinical Anatomists, the American Academy of Neurology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the U-M Research Club, the Frederick A. Coller Surgical Society (honorary member), the Galens Medical Society and the Washtenaw County Medical Society.

His interest in anatomical terminology led to his service on the International Anatomical Nomenclature Committee 1960–90. Woodburne also was a consultant and visiting professor in anatomy for several universities, the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Army.

Woodburne is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Osgood Woodburne, of Ann Arbor; a son, Michael (Janice) Woodburne of Running Springs, Calif.; two daughters, Jean (Jim) Nelson of Ypsilanti and Susan (Jim) Huff of Naples, Fla; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. May 12 at the Glacier Hills Retirement Center. Visitation will take place 10–11 a.m. Donations in memory of Woodburne can be made to the Russell Woodburne Endowed Scholarship Fund, U-M Medical Development Office, 301 E. Liberty St., Suite 300, Ann Arbor, MI 48104-2251.

Submitted by the Medical School

Ernst J. Siegenthaler

Ernst J. Siegenthaler, associate professor emeritus of environmental health, died recently at age 78. Memorial services were held in Davis, Calif.

Siegenthaler served on the faculty of the School of Public Health (SPH) 1967–85 and is remembered for his contributions to improvements in food safety, particularly the safety of milk products.

In a feature focusing on 10 great public health achievements of SPH, Findings, the School’s magazine, wrote last year, “Siegenthaler oversaw a program for the training of food sanitarians who came to Michigan from throughout the United States. His experience overseas had taught him that ‘the problems of sanitation in America do not necessarily apply to other parts of the world’—a perspective he sought to convey to his students. ‘When you are in a developing country, you cannot throw away food if you don’t trust it,’ he learned. ‘Instead, you have to solve that problem.’ ”

“Prof. Siegenthaler brought to our faculty and students not only breadth of knowledge and academic competence of high order, but also an old-world concern for food taste as well as safety,” said his former colleague, Myron Wegman, dean emeritus and the John G. Searle Professor of Public Health Emeritus. “Eating at his home was always a delight, both intellectually and gastronomically.”

A native of Zurich, Siegenthaler was a naturalized U.S. citizen. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1947 from the College Juventus in Zurich. He spent five years at the Swiss Federal Institut of Technology, receiving an “ingenieur agronom” degree and earning his doctorate in scientific technology in food science in 1965.

In 1954, Siegenthaler was appointed an officer with the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, and in 1960–65, he conducted bacterial research and consulted for the Swiss Federal Institute of Dairy Research. He accepted a research associate position in the Food Science Department at Cornell University in 1965.

He joined the University in 1967 as an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Health. He was promoted to associate professor in 1971. Four years later, he became a faculty member in the Program for Human Nutrition.

In his retirement memoir, the U-M Board of Regents called Siegenthaler one of the few experienced specialists in the world for dairy development in Third World countries. It noted that he had provided advice to newspapers, shop owners and private individuals locally, in addition to doing international consulting and advising governments in the areas of agriculture development, food handling and processing, and in planning and establishing milk collecting centers and cheese factories.

The family requests that donations in Siegenthaler’s name be made to St. James Catholic Church in Davis, Calif., or to the American Heart Association.

Submitted by the School of Public Health

Gregory K. Metz

Gregory K. Metz, Power Plant manager, passed away suddenly on April 21. Loving husband of Karen, and father of Stephen, David, Kenneth and Lynn, he was born in Petoskey on Nov. 22, 1957, to Earl and Evelyn Metz. He grew up in Sturgis and graduated from Sturgis High School in 1975.

Greg received his bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the U-M in 1979. He had worked for the University since 1979 in the Utilities Department and worked as chief engineer of the Power Plant for the past 14 years.

“Greg had a long and strong and varied impact on Plant Operations for the University,” said Bill Verge, associate director for utilities and plant engineering. “Besides his recent service as manager of the Power Plant, Greg was also an intregral part of the development of energy management programs for the U-M in the early ’80s.

“In the late ’80s,” Verge continued, “Greg participated in the early stages of the deregulation of the natural gas business for the U-M, leading to the savings of millions of dollars. As manager of the Power Plant, Greg oversaw the installation and operation of gas turbine generators, designed to operate in a combined cycle, a very efficient process.

“Greg was respected and well liked by his staff and his peers at the U-M as well as in the industry. He will be missed by many as a professional engineer, colleague and friend.”

Added Rich Robben, director, Plant Operations, “During my time here at the University, I came to know Greg as an excellent co-worker and manager—truly a man of character and strong personal beliefs and integrity.

“Greg was the kind of co-worker that activities are built around. He will be greatly missed, and the Metz family’s loss is shared by Greg’s friends and co-workers in Plant Operations.”

Greg had been a Parks and Recreation coach for both soccer and baseball, and a den leader for the Cub Scouts. He was a teacher in the Religious Education Program at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Dexter. He was a past member of the Society of Professional Engineers.

Along with his wife and children, he is survived by his mother, Evelyn; two sisters, Christine (David) Bakeman and Karen Fennell; a brother, Gary (Nancy King) Metz; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Earl, along with several aunts and uncles.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Metz Children College Fund.

Submitted by Facilities and Operations and Hosmer-Muelig Funeral Chapel