Jack B. Oruch
Jack B. Oruch

Jack B. Oruch, 76, passed away in Columbus, Ohio at Westminster Thurber Retirement Community on June 6, 2013 following a long illness.

Jack was born March 22, 1937 in Omaha to the late Albert and Rose Oruch and graduated in 1955 from Central High School. He received his BA with High Distinction from the University of Nebraska (Lincoln) in 1959. During his graduate studies, Jack was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, and he received his PhD, specializing in English Renaissance Literature, in 1964 from Indiana University in Bloomington.

Jack joined the faculty of the Department of English at the University of Kansas in Lawrence in 1963 and retired in 1997. His service included terms as Associate Chairman of the Department. He received the Burlington Northern Foundation Faculty Achievement Award for Outstanding Classroom Teaching, a recognition of his deep devotion to his students and the art of classroom teaching.

Jack's academic research and publications included articles in the 1980s in which he concluded that Chaucer was the first to associate St Valentine with romantic love and that Chaucer was essentially the originator of Valentine's Day. This research continues to receive recognition in academic and popular media.

Jack's passions included gardening, pets, reading and family. He greatly enjoyed his friends and colleagues at the University of Kansas. He had a commitment to social justice and equality and served as secretary/treasurer of the Lawrence Chapter of the ACLU from 1967-68. He is survived by Elaine, his loving wife of 54 years; daughter Morna and her husband Gary Smith and grandchildren Max and Nick of Columbus; son Tobin Oruch of Santa Fe; sister Laurie Elewitz of Dallas, and many nieces, nephews and cousins. At the request of the family, memorial services were private.

Please sign this guestbook at Obituaries.LJWorld.com.
Published by Lawrence Journal-World from Feb. 14 to Feb. 16, 2014.
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8 Entries
As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.
Rev. 21:3, 4 ~ Kim
February 21, 2014
Professor Oruch was one of an outstanding English Department Faculty while I worked there from 1967 - 1991. We will miss him. My heart goes out to you and your family, Elaine.
Barbara Paris
February 19, 2014
Dear Elaine,
Nan Scott had passed on updates about Jack's condition over the years, so we were generally aware of what you were going through as a couple. We can't remember anything that you or Jack did during the time we knew you in Lawrence that wasn't kind and thoughtful. I think of your hospitality to Beth when she was little, and of Jack's care of my weird voluntary teaching overloads when he was Associate Chair. It's odd that our faculty rarely discussed their own work with one another, so I had little feel for Jack's scholarship, or he for mine, though I had a sense that he had done excellent stuff. But I certainly knew that he worked hard, tactfully and effectively in that tiny office on the third floor of Wescoe.
Susan and I retired in 1992; she worked for ten years as a KU administrator. Beth--she now prefers "Becky"--is semi-retired; she and her husband decided to live in a university community, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where they have surprised us by becoming very Jewish, very active in their temple. Her daughter and granddaughter are nearby. Our older son and his family are in south Florida; our younger son lives in Lawrence, where he strives to keep us out of trouble.
Please accept our condolences. We remember Jack as a good, good man.
Susan and Stuart
February 17, 2014
Dear Elaine,
We remember Jack with much affection. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Fondest regards,
Herb Friedson
Martha Taylor
February 17, 2014
Dear Elaine,
I'm so sorry about your loss. You and Jack used to walk by our house on Sharon Drive. Around the blocks was exactly a mile, Jack said. I miss those days when we walked with our husbands and paused to exchange greetings. With deepest sympathy, ---Elaine
February 16, 2014
Elaine, I want to express my sorrow for you and your family. Just spending the time I did with you I could see how much you loved Jack. Hopefully these memories will help pull you through this tough time. Again, my best to you. Sincerely, Pam Lewis
Pam Lewis
February 16, 2014
May you look forward to the day when no resident will say I am sick.
February 14, 2014
Dear Elaine, Morna and Tobin--Jack's death just came to my attention, and so I am thinking of all of you and remembering him...it seems a million years since the hours spent in your driveway and your living room, Elaine--a place in which all of Tobin's friends were made to feel very
welcome. I am saddened and sorry for your loss--
hugs to you all, Katie Hocker(Stammler)
Kate Stammler
February 14, 2014
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