Edward Lee Deam, 90

Architect and educator, Professor Edward Lee Deam, FAIA, was born on Nov. 10, 1928, to Arthur Francis and Thyra (Soderberg) Deam.

The eldest of three, Ed particularly cherished his early summers with siblings Martha (Severt) and Norman at the lively family Lighthouse in Saugatuck; his days as proud Captain of the basketball team at Uni High in Urbana, Ill.; and his formative years at the University of Pennsylvania, where he completed both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in architecture. 

In 1950, Ed met his beloved Doris (Prohl) when both were painting students at Ox-Bow in Saugatuck. Different in personality but like-minded in artistic and academic commitment, this “true-blue” pair embarked on a 67-year marriage. 

Ed was attentive to his children, Karin (Deam-Mengozzi), Norman, Nancy (Spear), and Judy, and to his four grandchildren, who always looked forward to sports outings, architecture hops, and lake walks with their Bapops.

Ed served in the Korean War as a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy. As an architect and architectural consultant, Ed’s repertoire included residences, schools, churches, and courthouses. He worked with seven significant architectural firms over time, including O’Donnell Wicklund Pigozzi & Peterson and Walter H. Sobel & Associates.

Known as “Professor Deam,” Ed’s happiness in architectural practice was matched only by the joy he experienced teaching architectural design for 44 years to hundreds of talented and award-winning future architects. 

After four years at UIUC, Ed joined the faculty of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in 1962, and there he helped develop the young School of Architecture’s undergraduate and graduate programs and initiate the foreign study program in Versailles. 

Ed served as the School’s first Director of Graduate Studies, as an Associate Dean, as Faculty Representative for Intercollegiate Athletics, and as a sought-after mentor and studio critic. 

Extremely student-focused, Ed was a master of the desk crit and the aphorism, and in his classrooms the “appropriate translation / transformation of image, idea, context, and the vocabulary” was always in dialogue with “7 plus or minus 2 layers of gauze.”

Ed was an enthusiastic board/committee member, and he accumulated many teaching and distinguished service awards and honors. In 1999 he was invested as a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

Ed sang a final song of sub-optimization on April 5, 2019, but he leaves a legacy of optimism and optimal presence. We will dearly miss this honorable, creative, and loving man. 

Celebrate Ed’s life with us at a Memorial Service on May 4, at 11 a.m., at Highland Park Presbyterian Church, 330 Laurel Ave., Highland Park, IL, 60035.  For information or directions, please contact Kelley & Spalding Funeral Home at 847-831-4260 or www.kelleyspaldingfuneralhome.com




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