James Linnane MD’88, 59, died October 25. As a gastroenterologist for more than 30 years, he dedicated himself to performing his best and cared for others more than himself. A Boston native who practiced in Atlanta, Dr. Linnane was an avid Red Sox fan and would catch games when he had time. While he wholeheartedly dedicated his energy and care to his patients, he finally found the love of his life in 2014 and married her in 2021. A big kid at heart, Dr. Linnane was always open to new experiences. He experienced his first hiking adventure in 2015 and then hiked every year. He loved music and played his drum set when he got home from work. He faithfully believed in Jesus Christ and formed a bond with Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta. During his battle with cancer, Dr. Linnane reassured his family with the brightest smile and the sweetest love for life. Until his last moments, he wanted to make sure everything was in place for his family, patients, and friends. Dr. Linnane is survived by his best friend and wife, Kim Thuy; his four sisters; and nieces and nephews.
Andrew W. Holowinsky, PhD, 85, died November 13. He was an associate professor emeritus of molecular biology, cell biology, and biochemistry at Brown. Born in Ukraine, Dr. Holowinsky and his family fled Eastern Europe after World War II and settled in Philadelphia. He earned his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania and then went to Harvard for a research fellowship. He worked there until 1968, when he accepted a tenured professorship at Brown. Dr. Holowinsky studied plant physiology, especially the development of Euglena chloroplasts. He served on numerous committees at Brown until his retirement in 2003.
A loving father, grandfather, and husband, Dr. Holowinsky enjoyed fishing with his son, taking his grandchildren with with him to collect seaweed specimens, and traveling with his wife of 62 years, Motria. He was an active member of Christ the King Ukrainian Catholic Church. Dr. Holowinsky is survived by his wife; son and daughter-in-law; two grandchildren; and dozens of nephews, nieces, grandnephews, and grandnieces.
John Coleman, PhD, 88, died December 14. He was a professor emeritus of biology at Brown. Dr. Coleman earned his PhD at Johns Hopkins and completed postdoctoral training at the University of Connecticut. In 1963 he came to Brown, where he studied the role of DNA in the development of muscle cells both in and out of embryos. He chaired the section in Cell and Developmental Biology and served on the promotions and tenure committee.
As one of the first professors to teach in the exchange program at Tougaloo College when it was established in 1965, Dr. Coleman was passionate about civil rights and equal rights for women. He advocated for changes to increase representation from underrepresented groups among the Brown faculty and in the sciences as a whole. He was an influential mentor to countless students and colleagues, and received the Elizabeth H. LeDuc Award for Teaching Excellence in the Life Sciences. He is well remembered for arriving on campus by foot and by bicycle, with his handlebar basket filled with his lunch and his dog, Little.
Dr. Coleman is survived by his wife of 64 years, Annette Coleman, PhD, the Stephen T. Olney Professor Emerita of Natural History at Brown; their three children; and two grandchildren. Donations in his memory may be made to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank or Planned Parenthood.
Walter R. Thayer Jr., MD, 92, died January 8. The chief of gastroenterology and professor of medical science emeritus at Brown, he was one of the nation’s leading experts on Crohn’s and other gastrointestinal diseases. Dr. Thayer led the gastroenterology department at Rhode Island Hospital and started its residency program. He cherished being known by his family as “The Poop Doctor.”
He was a caring and empathetic physician and a much-loved and respected professor at the Medical School. He emphasized the recruitment and support of doctors of color, understanding that more diversity could have a great impact on the treatment of patients across all cultural and ethnic communities.
His research focused on the causes of and treatment for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, seeking remedies to reduce people’s pain. He received the Distinguished Clinician Award from the American Gastroenterology Association and the Humanitarian of the Year Award by the Rhode Island and New England chapters of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, as well as the W. W. Keen Award from the Brown Medical Alumni Association.
Upon retiring in 2004, he cut the ribbon at the Walter R. Thayer Inflammatory Bowel Disease Laboratory at Rhode Island Hospital. He remained an active volunteer, at the Providence Veterans Affairs Medical Center; at the Medical School, where he was recognized as Teacher of the Year in 2016; and at Rhode Island Hospital.
Dr. Thayer’s professional reputation was, perhaps, eclipsed by his adventurous spirit. He survived a small plane crash in Labrador, Canada, where he was providing indigenous medical care. He ran away from a grizzly bear in Alaska, and broke a leg while descending Mount Washington. He swam all over the planet, including a frozen lake in Sweden—after cutting a hole in the ice. He visited every continent but Australia and he climbed mountains throughout North America and Europe. A passionate cyclist, he rode his bike to work most of his life. He was also passionate about preservation and wildflowers. Later in life, he received a degree in botany from the University of Rhode Island. During retirement he loved gardening, birding, reading, and political debate. However, his happiest times were spent with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Dr. Thayer is survived by his two children and their spouses; four grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; a sister; and many nieces and nephews. Donations in his memory may be made to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, which he helped to create.
Joseph A. DiLorenzo ’71 MMSc’73 MD’75, 72, died January 12. Born in Providence, he practiced internal medicine and pediatrics at his own practice in Cranston, RI. He had a great love for the outdoors; he was an avid camper and hiker and he loved to canoe.
Dr. DiLorenzo is survived by his sister and brother-in-law, nieces and nephews, and several extended family members. He was predeceased by his wife, Kathleen, and his brother. Donations in his memory can be made to the American Cancer Society or to Hasbro Children’s Hospital.
Henry G. Magendantz, MD, 85, died January 27. He was a clinical associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Brown.Born in Boston, Dr. Magendantz graduated from Duke University School of Medicine and served as a major in the Army Medical Corps at Fort Campbell, KY. In Rhode Island he was a fertility specialist and an attending at The Miriam, Rhode Island, and Women & Infants hospitals. He helped deliver more than 3,000 babies over the course of his long career.
A longtime member of Central Congregational Church in Providence, he served as a deacon and on numerous committees. He was a member of the Nature Conservancy, the Audubon Society, the American Fertility Society, and the ACLU. Dr. Magendantz is survived by his wife, Kathy Jellison; four children and their spouses; nine grandchildren; and his sister. Contributions in his memory may be made to Planned Parenthood of Southern New England or to NARAL.