Deaths in the Notre Dame Family

Author: Notre Dame Magazine staff

Denis A. Goulet, professor emeritus of economics and policy studies, and William and Dorothy O’Neill Chair in Education for Justice, died December 26, 2006, in South Bend. He was 75 years old.

A much admired lecturer with an endearing weakness for puns and wordplay, Goulet taught at Notre Dame from 1979 to 2002. He was profoundly influenced by the writings and example of such intensely religious French intellectuals as Charles de Foucauld, Simone Weil and the “worker priests” of the last century. In his career, the “hunger and thirst for justice” exalted in Matthew’s gospel found precise and compelling academic description.

A pioneer in the interdisciplinary study of development ethics, Goulet, who often described himself as a “philosopher of development,” conducted field research in Algeria, Lebanon, Brazil, Guinea-Bissau, Sri Lanka and Mexico. He wrote more than 160 articles and 11 books. At Notre Dame, in addition to holding the O’Neill Chair, he was a faculty fellow of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies.

One former student praised Goulet as a teacher “who has this powerful intellect, can talk your ears off and leave your brain throbbing, but who will also just as easily, just as effortlessly, just as naturally, approach one of his daughters, stroke her hair, take her face in his hands and smile into her eyes like he’s beholding the greatest creation of all—intellect, affection, love—all in one person, all to a profound level.”

Esmee Marian (Cromie) De Bellalta, emerita professor of architecture at Notre Dame, died February 15 at age 79.

A native of London, Bellalta was a 1952 graduate of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and taught for many years at the Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago before joining the Notre Dame faculty in 1976. She came to Notre Dame accompanied by her husband, Jaime Juan Jose Bellalta, professor emeritus of architecture. He survives, as do their 10 children, 26 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

An internationally celebrated landscape artist with a reputation for regarding her students not only as colleagues but as dear friends, she retired in 1995 but soon began coordinating the Justice Education Program at Saint Mary’s College. One colleague spoke with special admiration for Bellalta’s gardens as a living testimony to the beauty of her work. Several still flourish in the South Bend area. She and her husband of 54 years were said to be inseparable as they presided over a tumultuous and endearing family in whose home students and faculty often were splendidly entertained.