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Obituaries for December 2014

1 December 2014 One Comment

Leon F. Burmeister

Leon F. Burmeister from the University of Iowa passed away October 29 at his home in Iowa City.

Burmeister spent 42 years at The University of Iowa as an instructor in the former department of preventive medicine and environmental health and later as a professor of biostatistics and associate dean for research and academic affairs in the college of public health. His research included examining the epidemiology of cancer deaths in Iowa farmers, drinking water quality in rural Iowa, epidemiology of occupational health, biostatistical methods in clinical research, surveillance of respiratory illnesses and accidents in Iowa residents, pesticide use in Iowa farmers, and sample survey theory and methods. He was also highly regarded for his skills as a teacher and consultant.

Online condolences may be left for the family at the Lensing Funeral Home website.

Read more about Burmeister at the Iowa City Press Citizen.

Kathryn M. Chaloner

Kathryn Chaloner, 60, recently passed away surrounded by her family. She was a professor and head of the department of biostatistics at The University of Iowa.

Chaloner was born in Crewe, in Cheshire, England. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Oxford University and a master’s degree in statistics from University College London before moving to the United States to study at Carnegie Mellon University, where she earned a PhD in statistics.

After nearly 20 years on the faculty at the University of Minnesota, Chaloner moved to The University of Iowa in 2002 to become head of the department of biostatistics. She was an accomplished researcher, teacher, and mentor. She advanced the study of HIV/AIDS and Bayesian statistics while improving the faculty and student body at the university by advocating for the inclusion of under-represented groups. The University of Iowa gave her the Diversity Catalyst Award in “recognition of innovative and distinctive efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion.” She also received national recognition for her efforts.

At the 2014 Joint Statistical Meetings, Chaloner received the 2014 Elizabeth L. Scott Award “for her commitment and success in developing programs to encourage and facilitate women to undertake careers in statistics; for extensive mentoring of women students and young faculty; for work to identify and remove inequities in employment for under-represented components of the profession; and for serving as a role model, balancing work and family while excelling as a teacher, researcher, and academic administrator.”

Chaloner loved to travel with her family, especially to destinations offering the opportunity to experience unusual scenery and birds. She enjoyed creating a garden that year after year attracted legions of humming birds. She recently rediscovered her love for playing the flute, and the opportunity to play with the Hospital Concert Band provided a wonderful escape from work and other worries.

Chaloner is survived by her husband, Luke; her sons, Graham and Patrick; her sister, Deborah; and her brother, Christopher. A memorial fund has been established in her honor through The University of Iowa Foundation to support under-represented minority students in the College of Public Health Department of Biostatistics. Contributions to this fund can be sent to Kathryn Chaloner Student Scholarship Fund, UI Foundation, P.O. Box 4550, Iowa City, IA 52244-4550.

Read more about Chaloner’s life or share a memory at the Lensing Funeral Home.

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