Joan Aldous, 88, Professor Emerita of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame, died on October 29, 2014, at Signature Healthcare of South Bend. She was born January 9, 1926 in the District of Columbia to Alfred Evan Aldous and Coral Kerr Aldous, both of whom were university professors. Her grandfather, William Jasper Kerr, served as president of both Utah State University and Oregon State University. She is survived by a nephew, Stephen Dildine, of Alexandria, Virginia.
Dr. Aldous completed her undergraduate studies at Kansas State University and received her Ph.D. in family sociology from the University of Minnesota. She was the first woman to become a full professor in the Sociology Department at Minnesota and also taught at Tulane, the University of Georgia-Athens and Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. She arrived at Notre Dame in 1976 and was the first woman to become a full professor and receive an endowed chair, serving as the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology for many years.
Throughout her long and distinguished career, she frequently presented at both national and international academic conferences, including those at the University of Chicago, Case Western Reserve University, the National Council of Family Relations and the International Sociological Association. Her papers appeared in numerous professional journals and she served a term as president of the National Council on Family Relations. She was also a member of the Sociology Panel of the Graduate Record Examination for the National Testing Service and a panel member of the Population Research Review Section for the National Institutes of Health. In 1988, she received the Ernest W. Burgess Award for her contributions to the field of family sociology.
Dr. Aldous is also remembered for (and was particularly proud of) her work in helping create gender studies programs at the University of Minnesota and later at Notre Dame. Locally, she served for a time on the Boards of REAL Services, the Notre Dame Credit Union, the YWCA and the St. Joseph County Library system.
Palmer Funeral Home-River Park, 2528 Mishawaka Avenue, South Bend is entrusted with arrangements. Visitation will be held for Dr. Aldous at the Funeral Home on Saturday, November 8, at 1:00 pm. A memorial service will follow immediately at 2:00 pm. Dr. Aldous’ cremains will be interred at Sunset Cemetery, Manhattan, Kansas. Online condolences may be left at www.palmerfuneralhomes.com.