Thomas Gordon, 84, a clinical psychologist who...


Thomas Gordon, 84, a clinical psychologist who developed a system to train parents, teachers and business people in no-lose conflict resolution to improve relationships in families, schools and the workplace, died of prostate cancer Aug. 26 in Solana Beach, Calif.

The founder of Gordon Training International, which has tutored more than 1 million people in 40 countries, Mr. Gordon developed his technique in the 1950s while working as a management consultant with Edward Glaser & Associates in Pasadena, Calif.

When he moved into private practice amid the anti-establishment hippie and drug culture of the 1960s, he began teaching paying couples - beginning with a class for 14 parents in a Pasadena cafeteria - to use his methods to deal with their rebellious teen-agers.

Eschewing both authoritative and permissive approaches to child rearing, Mr. Gordon advised parents to practice nonjudgmental "active listening" and express their own needs in statements beginning with "I" rather than an accusative "you." Finally, he suggested, the parent should encourage the child to propose a solution to compare with the parent's solution, and then they should arrive at a "no lose" compromise satisfactory to both.

In 1970, Mr. Gordon described his plan in the book Parent Effectiveness Training: The No-Lose Way to Raise Responsible Children. In a 1976 follow-up volume, P.E.T. in Action, he wrote about parents' experience with his techniques, but it was the original how-to book that remained most popular.

Applying the model to schools and business, Mr. Gordon also wrote the books Teacher Effectiveness Training and Leader Effectiveness Training.

Dr. Janusz Bardach, 83, a Polish immigrant who suffered five years in a Siberian prison camp and later became one of the most respected plastic surgeons in the world, died of pancreatic cancer Aug. 16 in Iowa City, Iowa.

He retired in 1991 after leading the facial and reconstructive surgery program at the University of Iowa College of Medicine. He also wrote more than 200 scientific articles and 12 books on plastic surgery.

Dr. Bruce Gantz, who heads the medical school's otolaryngology department, said Dr. Bardach pioneered a surgical technique for repairing cleft lips and palates. It allowed the patients to have many fewer surgeries than they would have needed otherwise.

Dr. Bardach was born in Russia and his family moved to Poland soon afterward. In 1940, he was drafted into the Russian Red Army, but in 1941 he was arrested for criticizing Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and spent five years at a Siberian prison camp.

After his release, Dr. Bardach returned to Poland, where he led the country's first department of plastic surgery. In 1972, he accepted an invitation to join the faculty at the University of Iowa.

Bill Heitz, 66, a producer who won Emmy awards for his NBC Sunday Night Specials, died of cancer Thursday in Chicago.

Mr. Heitz's television career began in 1957 at Boston University's WGBH-TV, where he helped produce drama and classical music programs before being drafted into the Army. While in the service, he produced documentaries ranging from wounded soldier rehabilitation to space travel.

He was hired in 1962 as an associate director at NBC in Chi- cago. In the mid-1960s he was promoted to producer-director at NBC. He was tear-gassed while directing coverage of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

Bill Wassmuth, 61, a former priest who created one of the country's leading anti-hate organizations after members of the Aryan Nations firebombed his Idaho home, died of Lou Gehrig's disease Tuesday in Ellensburg, Wash.

Mr. Wassmuth was a Roman Catholic priest active in human rights campaigns when his rectory-home and three other sites in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, were bombed by members of the white supremacy group Aryan Nations in 1986. No one was injured. Four Aryan Nations members were convicted of the crimes.

Undaunted by the attack, Mr. Wassmuth helped found the Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment, a six-state network of groups devoted to combating prejudice. He played a central role in turning public opinion against the Aryan Nations and was a key force behind a civil lawsuit that bankrupted the group and closed its compound in the north Idaho wilderness.

"In my book, he's a true hero," said Morris Dees, the legendary civil rights lawyer who tried the case.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad