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Francis Cope Evans

Francis Cope Evans, retired ecologist and professor emeritus of biological sciences, died on Aug. 16 following a short illness. He was 87.

Francis Evans was born in Phildelphia Dec. 2, 1914. He was educated at Germantown Friends School and Haverford College. He participated in the first group of the Experiment in International Living, spending a summer in Germany in 1932.

Upon graduation from Haverford in 1936, he was named a Rhodes Scholar and studied at Oxford University (Oriel College) with ecologist Charles Elton, earning a D.Phil. In 1939, he returned to the United States to pursue a career of research and teaching of zoology, specializing in ecology. He held fellowships and assistantships at the University of California (U-C), Berkeley, the Hooper Foundation in San Francisco and U-C, Davis. He was called back to Haverford in 1943 to serve on the teaching faculty, and as acting dean in 1944.

In 1948, Francis joined the faculty of U-M and was appointed a professor of zoology in 1959. During his tenure at Michigan, he served as associate director of the E.S. George Reserve and as editor of publications of the Museum of Zoology.

Upon his retirement in 1982, he was named emeritus professor and served in 1983 as president of the Ecological Society of America, from which he received the Distinguished Service Award in 1987. Francis was a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, to which he was elected a fellow; the British Ecological Society; the American Society of Naturalists and the Society of the Study of Evolution. He also was a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Francis met his wife, Rachel Worthington Brooks of Milton, Mass., during college, when she was at Bryn Mawr. They married in 1942 and had four children: Kenneth Richardson Evans (Mary May) of Hurley, N.Y., the Rev. Katharine Cope Evans of Wakefield, Mass., Edward Wyatt Evans II (Deborah Dawson) of Logan, Utah and Dr. Rachel Howe Evans (Steven Julius) of Tempe, Ariz. He had five grandchildren.

A service to celebrate Francis’ life will be held at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 306 N. Division St., Ann

Arbor at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28, with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Robert Whittaker Travel Fund of the Ecological Society of America, 1707 H St., NW, Suite 400, Washington, D.C., 20006, or to the U-M Matthaei Botanical Gardens, 1800 N. Dixboro Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48105.

—Submitted by the Rev. Katharine Cope Evans, daughter

Vincent Massey

Vincent Massey, the J. Lawrence Oncley Distinguished University Professor of Biological Chemistry, died Aug. 26. He was 75.

Massey was known as one of the outstanding biochemists of his generation. He joined the U-M Medical School in 1963 and remained active there until his death.

Massey was recognized nationally and abroad as a scientist whose research focused on the biological oxidation mechanisms of proteins that contain riboflavin (vitamin B2). He was thought to be the foremost authority in this field. His scholarly investigations are considered models of originality, precision and integrity.

Massey’s contributions to his discipline include research, as well as the training and mentorship of many talented scientists who now are making their own contributions in the field of biological chemistry. Many undergraduate students and postdoctoral scholars also have benefited from his example as a scientist and teacher.

He received his bachelor’s degree in 1947 from the University of Sidney in Australia. After earning a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Cambridge in England in 1953, he held several post-doctoral appointments before joining the U-M Medical School faculty.

He was elected to the Royal Society of London in 1977, and in 1979 was the first recipient of the U-M Biomedical Research Distinguished Lectureship. From 1975–1980, he was a senior fellow of the Michigan Society of Fellows, and in 1984 he received the Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award from the University.

He was chosen to be the 1995 Henry Russel Lecturer, the highest honor the University bestows on a senior member of its faculty. In the same year, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

The Biochemical Society of Great Britain awarded Massey the Harden Medal in 1999. A recipient of the Humboldt award, he was a permanent guest professor at the University of Konstanz in Germany and a guest lecturer at several American universities.

He is survived by his wife, Margot; brother, Sonny; three children, Rachel, Charlotte, and Andrew (and Janice); and by four grandchildren, Brittany, Erik, Daniel and Owen. Gifts in honor of Massey can be directed to establish the Vincent Massey Endowed Professorship, and sent to the Department of Biological Chemistry, U-M Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0606.

—Submitted by Mary Beth Reilly, Medical School Communications

 


 
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