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.
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Published by Lawrence Journal-World from Feb. 14 to Feb. 16, 2014.