The University Record, September 5, 2000

Obituaries

Nathan B. Gross

Nathan B. Gross, professor emeritus of physiological psychology, otolaryngology, and also of the Kresge Hearing Research Institute, died at University Hospital July 3, one day after a heart attack.

Born March 16, 1916, in Buffalo, N.Y., he took his B.A. in biology at the University of Chicago and his Ph.D. at the University of Rochester, with Prof. Elmer Culler in the Department of Psychology, at that time one of the few major centers in North America devoted to auditory studies.

After a year of post-World War II research at Harvard University’s Psycho-Acoustic Laboratory, directed by Prof. S.S. Stevens, Gross taught for some 15 years in the Department of Psychology at Lehigh University. Before joining the U-M, he spent two years of renewed postdoctoral training at the University of Wisconsin’s Laboratory of Neurophysiology under Profs. Clinton Woolsey and Jerzy Rose.

In fall 1963, Gross was one of the first faculty appointees to join Dr. Merle Lawrence’s staff at the brand-new Kresge Hearing Research Institute. He set up a laboratory for neurophysiological study of central processes in hearing, working especially with pigeons and gerbils. He was an enthusiastic and effective teacher, much appreciated by residents in otolaryngology and graduate students in physiological acoustics, who came to him for hands-on experience in the arts of auditory research.

Having become an emeritus professor in 1986, Gross was free to stay at home and pursue his life-long hobby as a master floriculturist. Even so, he frequently knotted one of his trademark bow ties and visited the Institute, bringing handsome bouquets in season, to tap away at his computer for the further analysis of data recorded in long-ago experiments.

Gross is survived by his wife, Marcelle Smith Gross, an Oberlin graduate in music, as well as an accomplished piano accompanist and gourmet chef. He had two daughters, Marcia G. Powers of Evanston, Ill., trained in the law and with two daughters, and Dana G. Kuttenkuler, a professional instrumentalist in Nashville, Tenn., with two sons. His sister, Rebecca Gross of Pompano Beach, Fla., also survives.

Submitted by the Kresge Hearing Research Institute

Josephine B. Wenk

Josephine B. Wenk, age 77, passed away Aug. 9 at University Hospital. She was preceded in death by her husband, Aldolph J. Wenk.

Josephine was born in Brighton. After attending Cleary College, she moved to Ann Arbor in 1942 to work for the Ann Arbor News. After her marriage on Sept. 23, 1949, she worked for the University, starting in 1950, for 38 years until her retirement in 1988. During that time she was the administrative manager for the U-M Television Center/Michigan Media.

For many years, Josephine was active in the Women of the Moose Lodge #1253, and was a life member of Elks Lodge #325. She also was a longtime member of Zion Lutheran Church, to which memorial contributions may be made.

She is survived by her mother, Kathleen Bidwell; her son Ronald J. (Karen); three grandchildren, Colleen M., Sarah L. and Amy Lynn; her sister, Mary (Richard) Taylor; sister-in-law, Joyce Bidwell; brother-in-law, Robert (Bernice) Wenk; and several nieces and nephews.

Submitted by the family