Obituaries

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Dick A. Leabo, professor emeritus of statistics, passed away Oct. 8 in Seattle. He was 94.

Born in Walcott, Iowa, he earned his BS, MA, and PhD from the University of Iowa. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, and six Battle Stars for his 26 missions in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater. He played semi-professional baseball in Iowa and Illinois; also an avid golfer, he shot a hole-in-one on five different courses.

Professor Leabo was a member of the Ross Community since 1957. He served as director of the business school’s doctoral studies program from 1965 to 1981 and as chairman of the student-faculty committee on doctoral studies. In his role as doctoral advisor, he earned the fond affection and regard of hundreds of students, and it is through these students that his legacy lives on.

In 1975, he received the University's Outstanding Service Award, and in 1979 he was appointed Fred M. Taylor Endowed Distinguished Professor. He authored nine books and published articles on both economics and statistics. He also served the school in many capacities, including as associate dean and member of the executive committee, research committee, scholarship committee, operations and planning committee, and curriculum committee. Professor Leabo served on the editorial board for the U-M Business Review, and as chairman of the committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty.

Professor Leabo was a member of Omicron Delta Epsilon and Phi Kappa Phi. In 1997, he was elected to the Office of National Vice President of Phi Kappa Phi.

He is survived by his best friend and loving wife of 61 years, Artis Van De Voort Leabo; and many nieces and nephews.


Fr. Henry ("Hank") Chamberlain, SJ, MBA '64, passed away Jan. 12, 2017 in Pontiac, Mich.


Ajay Gupta, MS/MBA ’03, passed away Aug. 13, 2016, at age 45. Ajay founded Sport365 India, a fitness and sports management company that develops innovative ways to engage people. He spearheaded multiple new sports products in India, ranging from event properties like the XWarrior Obstacle Race, Skyscraper Dash (stair run), India’s first open triathlon, to sports videos and proprietary chip timing solutions.

Prior to setting up Sport365 in India, he worked with Cummins Inc. in global corporate strategy and marketing roles, setting up new ventures in renewable energy. Earlier in his career, he spent two years setting up enterprises in the Brazilian rainforest and Indian Himalayas, and he also spent several years developing, financing and managing projects around the globe for the United Nations Development Programme.

Ajay graduated from Pennsylvania’s Allegheny College in 1994 with a BS in environmental sciences. At the University of Michigan, he earned a dual degree––an MBA in finance and MS in resource policy and behavior from the Ross School of Business and Erb Institute for Sustainable Enterprise.

Ajay leaves behind his wife, Aparna; 1-year-old son, Kabir; and his parents, Chandra Prakash and Lalita Prakash.


John Robert Nichols, MBA ’88, passed away at his home in New Canaan, Conn., Feb. 5 at the age of 54 after a two-year battle with stage IV gastric (stomach) cancer.

John is lovingly remembered by his wife, Susanna, and daughter, Anne; his parents, Robert and Carole Nichols; sisters Beth (Blair) Crump and Nancy (Brad) Wright; father-in-law Keith (Janet) Polk; mother-in-law Marie Polk; brother-in-law Eugene (Virginia) Polk; and nieces and nephews Katherine and Emily Crump; Thomas and Jonathan Orr; and Max, Elena and Olivia Polk.

He was born in Evanston, Ill. on March 26, 1962. He graduated from Brunswick School in Greenwich, Conn., and earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Kalamazoo College, followed by an MBA in finance from the University of Michigan. His wife, Susanna Nichols, MBA ’88, and his father, Robert Nichols, BBA ’53/MBA ’54, were also Michigan business alumni.

His career in finance began at NBD Bank in Detroit, followed by SPP Capital and BlackRock in New York and Fannie Mae in Washington, DC, where he served as EVP and the chief risk officer, and was part of the team that turned that organization around. After his retirement in 2015, he served as a member of the board of directors of Genworth Financial until recurrence of his illness in July 2016.

He was known especially for his sense of humor, love of literature, his kindness and generosity, and knowledge of trivia. Most of all, he loved spending time with his family or hosting friends at home in New Canaan and Warren, Vermont.