Memorials

 

Doris Burton

Doris Burton graduated from Purdue University with an MS degree related to residential interior design. In 1949, she began her college teaching career, most of which was spent as an interior design educator and later Department Chair at the University of Alabama. During her tenure there, she was instrumental in the growth and accreditation of the interior design program and a well-known advocate for interior design education. In 1983, she was recognized with the Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award at the university. In 1986, she retired as a Professor Emeritus from the College of Human Environmental Services, University of Alabama. Subsequently, the university Board of Trustees established the Doris Burton Endowed Interior Design Scholarship.

Doris is most remembered for her service to IDEC and the development of the Foundation for Interior Design Education Research (FIDER, now CIDA). She was a founding member of IDEC and a strong voice for it in the profession. Her IDEC service included FIDER liaison, Corresponding Secretary, Newsletter Editor, and Historian. She made presentations on the IDEC history at the Annual Conferences in 1982, 1987, and 1992, and all of them were accurate, humorous, and memorable! She also was the first historian to truly organize materials for a presentation to the members. In 1993, she was recognized as a Fellow of IDEC.

Her service to FIDER was equally as committed, and started in the early 1970s as she guided its growth and direction, and served on the first accreditation teams. Later, she served on the FIDER Board of Directors and was Chairman of it in 1981-1982 and Secretary-Treasurer in 1984. During 1986-1991, she was Editor for the Accreditation Committee and a member of the Task Force on Implementation of New Standards, and during 1988 she served for 6 months as Acting Executive Director of FIDER. She also was instrumental in FIDER’s office relocation from New York City to Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Joy Dohr remembers her association with Doris in both IDEC and FIDER: “She, along with so many Fellows, seamlessly communicated news and happenings of FIDER to IDEC and back. She, and this team, were truly visionary in their understanding of what needed to be accomplished and worked tirelessly to act on those goals for interior design education. … She was a leader who reached out to those of us coming up.” Doris Burton died on September 17, 2014 at age 93 in Birmingham, Alabama.

(Memorial: Buie Harwood)

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Ben Gunter

Ben Gunter died in Richmond, Virginia on 8/14/09 after suffering with Alzheimers for several years. He was a graduate of Bridgewater College, Richmond Professional Institute (now Virginia Commonwealth University/VCU), and the University of Virginia. Throughout his professional career, he worked hard to enhance the growth of IDEC, establish liaison relationships with other interior design organizations, and promote professionalism. He was on the VCU faculty for over 20 years, and served as Department Chair of interior design during 1970-1984. In 1973, the interior design program at VCU was one of the first six programs to receive accreditation by the Foundation for Interior Design Education Research (FIDER; now the Council on Interior Design Accreditation/CIDA). His service to IDEC included serving as the South Regional Chair, South Regional Conference Co-Chair, Annual Conference Chair, IDEC President in 1973-1977 (the longest serving President that IDEC has had), and IDEC Chairman of the Board in 1977-1981. During his term as President, IDEC inducted its first Honorary Members, those who were instrumental in establishing FIDER accreditation processes and forming the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), and produced the first issue of the Journal of Interior Design Education and Research (JIDER; now the Journal of Interior Design/JID). Because of these many firsts, his term as President will forever be linked with significant milestones in IDEC's history. In recognition of his accomplishments, he was made an IDEC Fellow in the early 1980s. Ben will always be remembered for his friendly personality, wonderful spirit, good humor, graciousness to younger members, and conscientious leadership. He was the epitome of the true Southern gentleman. We will miss him.

(Memorial: Buie Harwood)

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Joan Harland

Joan Harland matriculated from the Toronto Conservatory of Music in 1933, and later graduated in 1938 with the Bachelor of Architecture (Gold Medal) from the University of Manitoba. Soon after in 1939, she began teaching in the Architecture/Interior Design School at the University of Manitoba. With an increased enrollment due to the influx of returning veterans after 1945, she was charged to establish interior decoration as department within the faculty. During the 1950's, she oversaw the transition into the Department of Interior Design which, at that time, was the only degree program in interior design in Canada. It was later one of the early programs accredited by Foundation for Interior Design Education Research (FIDER, now CIDA). She served as Chair of this Department for 23 years until her retirement as Professor in 1980. But, she did not leave the university for 10 more years as she completed 52 undergraduate credits in Religion. In 1981 the University of Manitoba awarded her Professor Emeritus status.

Joan was a founding member of the Professional Interior Designers of Manitoba and a member of the group of educators who founded IDEC, and later she played an instrumental role in the development of FIDER. She worked tirelessly over her many years in interior design to raise the standards and recognition of our profession, and that of the University of Manitoba. Her many honors over these years of dedicated service include Fellow of IDEC, Fellow of the Interior Designers of Canada, Fellow of Interior Designers Institute of Manitoba, and most recently induction into the Manitoba Order of the Buffalo Hunt.

Joan was reserved, engaging, committed, and inspiring in her dedication to interior design education. She fostered strong allegiances, helped shaped younger faculty, and supported numerous students while in school and after they graduated. She will be most remembered for being the first professional identity for the interior design program at the University of Manitoba during her tenure there as Department Chair.

Joan Harland passed away on July 17, 2016 at the age of 101 years. Memorials at her death confirm that she was a passionate and inspiring educator, a strong role model, and an advocate for the interior design profession.

(Memorial: Paul Petrie and Buie Harwood)

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Jerry Nielson

Jerry Nielson died in Louisiana on 4/14/09 after suffering his third stroke. He had been in poor health for several years. Throughout his professional career, he was a strong supporter of high quality interior design education, the growth of IDEC, and the profession as a whole. He taught at the University of Oregon, Purdue, and Louisiana State University where he served as Department Chair in Interior Design and later Dean of the College of Design. He subsequently moved to the University of Florida to serve as Department Chair, a position he held for about 16 years. His service to IDEC was extensive including work as an annual conference coordinator, Treasurer 1968-1970, Vice President 1970-1973, and President 1995-1997.

He was the first Chair of the FIDER Accreditation Committee 1973-1983, and later served as a member of the Board of Visitors 1987-1990. He was the IDEC liaison to NCIDQ, and served NCIDQ in various capacities including Treasurer, Secretary, and President in the early 1990s. In recognition of his accomplishments, he was made an IDEC Fellow in 1979. His ability to lead others and collaborate with them on worthwhile projects became legendary, as evident from his many leadership roles. His warm, friendly, engaging personality, and gentlemanly demeanor endeared him to all. His high standard of excellence was an inspiration and guiding light for those he mentored and supported. He was well respected and will be missed by all who knew him, and particularly by one who was a close friend and fortunate enough to know and work with him over many years. I hope that he dances to a really good tune up there.

(Memorial: Buie Harwood)

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Dick Rankin

Dick Rankin died on September 25, 2013 in Lexington, Kentucky where he had lived for many years. His professional design practice began in 1954 and continued throughout his teaching career. He was a strong supporter of high quality interior design education, the growth of IDEC, and the profession as a whole. He taught and/or was the interior design Department Chair at Purdue University, University of Missouri, University of Kentucky, and North Dakota State University.

As a founding member of IDEC, Dick participated in the first IDEC annual conference in 1963. Later he served as IDEC Secretary/Treasurer 1964-1966, President 1967-1969, and Chairman of the Board 1969-1971. During his term as President, IDEC was incorporated as an organization and the groundwork for interior design accreditation was formulated. In 1970, IDEC published the Guidelines for Accrediting Interior Design Educational Programs, which became the footprint for accreditation development. Subsequently, he was one of the first two IDEC representatives to the newly formed Foundation for Interior Design Education Research (FIDER; which became the Council for Interior Design Accreditation in 2006), and served as one of its six Board members. Later, he served as Chairman of the FIDER Board 1976-1977 and became a member of the Sub-Committee on Accreditation 1978. Throughout his lengthy professional service, he collaborated with numerous interior design educators, design practitioners, government officials, and professional leaders to help establish interior design educational standards for a variety of programs in the United States and Canada.

Because of his many accomplishments, Dick was recognized as one of the first four Fellows of IDEC in 1979. His ability to lead others and collaborate with them on worthwhile projects became legendary, as evident from his many leadership roles. His warm, engaging, humorous personality endeared him to all. Former IDEC President Arnold Friedmann stated: "Dick gave good advice when I started the " Critical Study," … [insisting] that I get an electric typewriter. … It was the demise of my old manual typewriter. Dick was a friend who was fun to be with. He had a great sense of humor and we had many good times, meals, and meetings over the years." Former IDEC President Curt Sherman commented: "His leadership in the early days of IDEC helped make the organization what it was to become."

Dick's death reflects the passing of a generation of leaders in interior design education. He and others formed our foundation, guided our early development, enhanced our mission, and shaped our vision. He truly was a friend to all, mentor to many (including me), advocate for the profession, and a role model for those who served with and after him. Many will miss his friendship and guiding hand.

(Memorial: Buie Harwood)

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Don Sherman

Don Sherman, who enjoyed a long and extensive career in interior design education and was an IDEC Fellow, died August 14, 2018 in Colorado.

He received his BFA degree in interior design from the University of Colorado and his MA degree from UCLA in Environmental Design. Many Fellows remember him as Chair, Interior Design, Maryland Institute in Baltimore, MD where he served for about 18 years. And, it was there that he hosted, with Marge Kriebel, a fabulous IDEC Annual Conference that many still talk about “including the final dinner in the fabulous library.” He later moved West to be the Director, Graduate Studies, Interior Design at the University of Colorado, Denver. He retired as Professor Emeritus, Interior Design, Dept. of Design and Merchandising, College of Applied Human Sciences, Colorado State University. He practiced interior design from 1960 until he retired, and wrote many articles on painted floor cloths for numerous journals and professional publications.

His service to IDEC was significant. He was a Regional Chair, Membership Chair, Corresponding Secretary, and Secretary of the IDEC Foundation. Subsequently, he served as IDEC President (1987-1989), and later Chair of the IDEC Board. He was also very active and served many years on the Foundation for Interior Design Education Research (FIDER), now the Council on Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), as a member of Visiting Teams, and on the Standards and Guidelines Committee, where he also served as Chair of the Standards Committee. And, he was very active in the International Interior Design Associate (IIDA), where he was recognized as a Fellow member.

Comments from various IDEC Fellows include many words that characterize his character, humanness, and strong commitment to the profession: “gentleman with integrity and humor,” “wonderful person and colleague,” “teacher,” “mentor,” “friend,” “wonderful role model,” “quiet manner and soft smile,” “he was among the greats that forged our way forward,” and “a leader in the field.” And, for those who had the opportunity, he was a great dancer! On behalf of IDEC, and his many friends and associates, we all “feel fortunate to have known him for so many years.” And, I will miss all the great conversations we had about interior design education and the profession.

(Memorial: Buie Harwood, with help from Stephanie Clemons)

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Betty Treanor

Betty Treanor graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA degree and Iowa State University with an MA degree. Later, she served as a Mormon missionary and nurse in South America for a few years. Subsequently, she worked in interior design in Arizona and California. In the mid 1970s, she joined the faculty in interior design as an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. She then moved to Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, where she served on the interior design faculty and was Department Chair for many years. She retired from the university in 2004 as a Professor Emeritus. Betty was instrumental in the program being accredited by the Foundation for Interior Design Education Research (FIDER, now CIDA). She retired from that college in the early 2000s.

Betty was an active member of IDEC, and worked diligently as Chair of the Bibliography Committee to develop a comprehensive Bibliography for IDEC. This project involved collecting, checking, and then publishing literature/research/works for interior design educators to use in teaching as well as in research and creative performance. It was a monumental task, and totaled close to 100+ pages. She also served as South Regional Chair, and made several creative/research presentations at IDEC conferences. In 1993, she served as Chair of the IDEC Annual Conference in San Antonio. Due to her contributions to IDEC and FIDER, she was recognized as a Fellow of IDEC.

Betty’s most active participation was with FIDER, where she served on the Committee on Accreditation during 1982-1985, and later was Chair. As Joy Dohr states: “I remember Betty, not only as a leader and doer, but as someone who would meet with an individual whose program had been denied accreditation and would take the time (permitted then) to go over ideas of how the program could improve based upon their review and then reapply once problems were corrected.” During 1987-1993, she served on the FIDER Board of Trustees, and was Chair of it for a year. In 1991, she participated on the Task Force on Reorganization and Structure and the Task Force for the Implementation of the New Standards.

Betty died May 11, 2012 in Utah at about 72 years old. Many people remember her as caring and dedicated, and committed to improving interior design education.

(Memorial: Buie Harwood, with help from Joy Dohr and Josette Rabun)

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