Faculty

James Swan

James Swan, 71, of Denton, professor in health services, died May 30. He was known for his passion for research in public health studies in aging populations. He published numerous articles on the issue, mentored applied gerontology students and was a member of the Gerontological Health Section of the American Public Health Association. He taught at the University of California in San Francisco, California State University in Long Beach and Wichita State University before coming to UNT in 2004. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Wichita State University and his doctorate at Northwestern University. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama from 1969 to 1971. Colleagues remember him for his love of puns and statistics.

Peggy A. Richardson

Peggy A. Richardson, 79, of Denton, Regents Professor of Kinesiology who taught physical education at UNT for 32 years, died July 26. She coached the women's softball and tennis teams, then served as assistant chair for 10 years and interim chair in kinesiology. She authored more than 40 articles in national and international journals, 10 book chapters and co-authored two books. She received the League for Professional Women Annual Award, served on the Women's Sports Foundation Advisory Board, was a certified consultant in sport psychology, was a fellow in the American Association for Applied Sport Psychology and was placed in the United States Olympic Committee Sport Psychology Registry. She retired in 2002 and established the Peggy A. Richardson Scholarship in Kinesiology. She was a member of the 1890 Society. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, master’s degree from Ohio State University and doctorate from Texas Woman's University.

 

Charles Jack Cross, Sr.

Charles Jack Cross, Sr., 92, of Denton, Emeritus Professor of Education, died May 12, 2017, in Denton. He worked at UNT from 1955 to 1990 in a variety of positions, including professor of secondary education and chairman of the division of secondary and elementary education. He also served as the first president of the Faculty Senate and received the President’s Service Award. He was a mentor for 19 doctoral students. He also was active in the Denton Rotary Club and American Heart Association. After he retired, he enjoyed traveling, playing golf and spending time with his family. Before coming to North Texas, he worked as a high school science teacher and instructor at the University of Arkansas. He received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Arkansas and served three years in the U.S. Army Air Corps. 

John Boyd Corbin

John Boyd Corbin (’57), 83, of Albuquerque, Professor Emeritus in the UNT School of Library and Information Sciences, died June 3 in Albuquerque. He was a member of the faculty from 1973 to 1977 and from 1987 to 2000. When he arrived in 1973, he was an industrial engineer hired because his expertise in automation, systems design and library-based networks would help libraries adapt to computerization. He also wrote numerous books and publications, and he was named the Texas Library Association Librarian of the Year in 1981. In 1990, he received what is now the College of Information’s Hall of Fame award, and in 1989 and 1990 he was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award. While a student at North Texas, he was editor of the Call Number newsletter. After graduation, he served in the U.S. Army from 1957 to 1959, and later earned his master’s degree at the University of Texas at Austin and his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma.

Larry Byrom

Larry Byrom, 70, of Pilot Point, who had worked in the UNT Facilities Department, died Aug. 21 in Taos, New Mexico. Larry enlisted and served as a Medical Corpsman in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1970 and also served as a medic during the Vietnam War. He retired from UNT in 2017 after 14 years of service during which time he also worked as a farmer/rancher, He was an avid hunter, fisherman and gardener.

Lorraine Berger

Lorraine Berger, 88, Professor Emeritus of art, of Chanhassen, Minnesota, died Aug 6 in Minneapolis. She worked at North Texas from 1964 to 1995, teaching classes in advertising design, medical illustration and drawing. She was director of the Summer Art Education Institute. Her experimental artwork was often featured in exhibitions. She was a lifetime member of the 1890 Society, established the Lorraine E. Berger Visual Arts Studies Scholarship and the Lorraine E. Berger Endowed Scholarship Fund, and donated her art collection to UNT. Before she came to North Texas, she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Minnesota. She worked in the school systems in Indianapolis; Fargo, North Dakota.; Minneapolis; and the University of North Dakota at Valley City. She returned to Minneapolis after her retirement, but said when she heard "Texan" spoken there, she'd make any excuse for a conversation.

Laura Bruton

Laura Bruton, 59, who served as an adjunct professor of viola at UNT for several semesters between 2007 to 2014, died March 17. She was the principal violaist for the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra from 1988 to 2019, and also performed with many of North Texas’ chamber music groups, as well as with orchestras around the country. She received her Bachelor of Music from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and attended graduate school at the St. Louis Conservatory of Music. She is survived by her husband, Donald Little, Regents Professor of Tuba at UNT; daughter, Grace Little (’18); and sons Nathan Little and Oren Bruton. A Celebration of Life will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. April 6 at The Village Church in Denton.

David B. Kesterson

David B. Kesterson, 81, of Denton, who served as provost and vice president for academic affairs among his many positions in nearly four decades of service to UNT, died March 12.

He taught at North Carolina State University before joining the English faculty at North Texas in 1968 and later was chair of the English department and associate, acting and interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He was named vice provost and associate vice president for academic affairs in 1993 and served as provost and vice president from 1998 to 2003. He then was named special assistant to the president for humanities and retired as Professor Emeritus in 2007.

An expert on 19th century literature, he wrote books and journal articles on American authors and co-founded and served as president of the Nathaniel Hawthorne Society. He specialized in American humor and served as president of the American Humor Studies Association. In 1985, he received a Senior Fulbright Fellowship to teach courses in English and American literature at the University of Wurzburg in Germany.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from Missouri State University and master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Arkansas. Growing up in Missouri inspired his love for Mark Twain and humor. In his youth, he was a percussionist and, as a retiree, he frequently attended College of Music performances. He also was a member of the President’s Council.

Survivors include his wife, Cheryl, and sons Aubry (’89, ’89 M.S.) and Chad (’98). His memorial service will take place at 11 a.m. March 30 at DeBerry Funeral Directors. Memorials in his name may be made to the Department of English or College of Music.

Martin Schwartz

Martin Schwartz, 72, Regents Professor of chemistry, died Dec. 26 in Lewisville. He had taught at UNT since 1974. Known for his expertise in molecular dynamics and thermochemical properties of molecules, he published more than 125 refereed scientific papers, and his research was supported by the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Robert A. Welch Foundation. He was a mentor for many undergraduate and TAMS students and previously taught at the University of Utah and the University of Wisconsin. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Case-Western Reserve University, a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Utah. Memorial gifts can be made to the Martin Schwartz Chemistry Scholarship fund in the UNT College of Science. Memorial services will take place at 1 p.m. Jan. 13 at DeBerry Funeral Directors in Denton.

Larry Austin

Larry Austin (’51, ’52 M.M.), 88, of Lewisville, Emeritus professor of music who was a world-renowned composer and served as director of the Center for Experimental Music and Intermedia, died Dec. 30. He was known for his compositions via computer, and his works garnered the praises of The New York Times, an appearance on television with the New York Philharmonic under conductor Leonard Bernstein and a performance that he conducted at Carnegie Hall at age 82. He was the first American to win the magistere at the International Electroacoustic Music Competition. He earned degrees from North Texas and the University of California, Berkeley, where he also taught. He then taught at the University of California, Davis, and the University of South Florida before working at North Texas from 1978 to 1996. He founded the magazine Source: Music of the Avant-Garde.

Rosary will at 6 p.m. Jan. 3, followed by family visitation until 8 p.m., both at Bill DeBerry Funeral Directors in Denton. Mass will be at 10 a.m. Jan. 4 at St. Mark Catholic Church in Argyle, with interment to follow at Roselawn Memorial Park in Denton.

Larry Austin

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