In Memoriam: Professor Emerita Judith de Luce

Dr. Judith de Luce
June 09, 1946 - February 12, 2023
Judith de Luce, Professor Emerita of Classics at Miami University and former affiliate of the Women’s, Sexuality, and Gender Studies program and the Scripps Gerontology Center, passed away on February 12, 2023 while she was residing briefly in hospice care. She was 76.

Judith received her bachelor's degree in Latin from Colby College and her doctorate in Classics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Her scholarly and teaching interests included aging studies; Latin literature of the Late Republic and early Empire (Cicero, Ovid); women's studies; dramatic literature in performance; reception of Greek and Roman mythology and literature, especially Homer, animal behavior and language studies; Hippocrates and medical humanities; and creativity in old age.  She was named Miami’s 2006-2007 Alumni Association Effective Educator.

The family has requested no service at this time.
If you wish to leave a remembrance, memorial, thoughts, words of comfort, etc., please send a message to Daniel Meyers and he will include your words into the memorial below.

13 February 2023

Judith was an amazing educator and ally to so many! I’m so sorry to hear of her passing. She will be missed.
— J Andrew Zeisler

14 February 2023

Judith de Luce was a part of my professional career from the beginning. She was a wonderful role model and mentor. Later we began to work on various committees and I gained a personal friend. I am a better teacher because of Judtih and my life has been enriched. Ave atque vale, amicissima
— Sherwin Little

Dearest Jud. You have been an esteemed colleague but most importantly a wonderful friend. I remember all of the mornings when we would meet outside of our offices and share our thoughts for the day. God bless you. Love, Jack
— John Dutra

Judith was always kind and extremely generous with her words of support and encouragement when I felt battered and bruised by the misogynoir of the field. We were often roommates at ACL and I still have earrings I purchased at our shopping forays together. She set the standard for me as Chief Reader for AP Latin. And, although we disagreed about Cleopatra, she always treated me and my position with respect. I will miss her.
— Shelley Haley

Dear Jud -- life took us on separate journeys the last 3 years but, dear friend, thank you for the 35+ years of friendship, laughter, theater, chair meetings, breakfasts at Patterson's, Women's Studies, Classics and History, beloved pets (Lolly's ears!!), beloved friends. We may have looked like an unlikely pair* but bonded fast and deep. Love you, old friend. Be at peace. The picture attached [...] was when she threw me a bridal shower (May 1988). The invitation indicated "hats and gloves" ...because we were all SO ladylike! I met Jud in 1984 at the beginning of my 1st semester at Miami. She contacted me to introduce me to the nascent Women's Studies program that she co-founded, and welcome me to (and “warn me” about) the all-male the History department. Shortly afterwards, she arranged a writing support group for myself and two other women from other departments in the tenure chute so we kept up our scholarly schedules. * (for those who don’t know me, my height when we met was 5’)
— Charlotte Newman Goldy

I have such fond memories of working professionally with Judith over the years. We shared interests in women's issues, Latin poetry, and pedagogy. Her warmth, good humor, and overall support for others were really distinctive. She will be missed by so many.
— Ronnie Ancona

Professor de Luce was my academic advisor as a Classics major in the late 80's. Anyone lucky enough to take her classes will probably remember a few things: – the split pea soup in a pressure cooker anecdote, – when she introduced herself in class she would say "call me Judith or Professor de Luce - 'professor' means I have a job," – when talking about her youth and describing being raised as a Unitarian, she always called it "a weird and wonderful thing to be." She was an amazing person, professor, and leader.
— Kristen Fife

Good bye, Judith.
— Carl Rubino

I'm sorry for the loss of this great scholar and colleague, and I join you in creating a community that celebrates her life and legacy.
— Victoria Pagán

15 February 2023

I am trying to figure out how to believe that Judith has died, since she always seemed so very alive. Enthusiastic, boisterous, and maybe occasionally a bit overwhelming, she was always warm, welcoming. She and i shared an overlapping taste in reading, and had spent time with the same authors. We often found to our delight that we each had zeroed in on the same particular passage in a novel. Judith's great grace was the delight she found all around her. Her generosity and kindness blessed us.
— Susan Bennett

Thank you for your tremendous work in the field. My deepest condolences to the family. Your work will live on. God speed, Ruth
— Ruth Dickinson

Judith was a force to be reckoned with for as long as I can remember. She was an important scholar, a strong supporter of feminist scholarship and action, had a genuine interest in pedagogy/teaching/students, and was someone who made all of us and our field much better. She will be very much missed.
— Barbara Gold

Vale Magistra et Requiescat in Pacem. I was a history and classics double major and had Dr. de Luce as both an undergraduate and graduate student. She was a phenomenal teacher and scholar. Miami University has lost a beautiful human being.
— Christopher Maraschiello ’88 ’91.

16 February 2023

I knew Jud as a colleague, an innovative teacher and researcher. With interests in gerontology and other fields, with a taste for compelling, smart interdisciplinary topics, Jud always had something new to ponder, teach, and write about. She won what (for scholars in the Humanities, especially) were major grants for research. But she never forgot what it's like to be a beginner. The students in her mythology classes were so lucky to see a scholar-teacher in action. She was one of a kind. I wish I'd had a Jud De Luce teaching me when I was an undergrad!
— Liz Wilson

We were saddened to learn of the passing on Sunday of our wonderful colleague and dear family friend. We have taken many photographs of Judith over the years, and this is the only one we ever took with her not smiling. She is having fun here, as always, recreating the expression on the face of an Archaic Greek kore. Requiescas in pace, amicissima nostra. Pete, Ephy, and Caroline Howard
— Pete, Ephy, and Caroline Howard

17 February 2023

Judith was unique among the feminist classicists of my generation, simultaneously iconic and iconoclastic. We owe so much to her pioneering collaborations with a diverse group of colleagues—Latinists and Hellenists, female and male, at both secondary school and university levels—to create new realms of research: personal voice narrative; literary representations of old age; and the fusion of canonical texts with high tech. The “deep purple” photo, from her 1997-1999 VRoma partnership days with Suzanne Bonefas, is how I will always remember this dear, dear heart and soul: in living color and elegant repose.
— Judith Hallett

I will never forget my first day as Dean of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies or Western College Program because of one extraordinary event. Monday, August 25, 2003, was sunny and warm, and I spent most of its morning in talks with Sharon Long, Assistant to the Dean, and Charles Nies, Assistant Dean. It seemed more than fitting to remind myself that Judith had once been Dean in the same office to which I had moved my books and in the same building that was nearly entirely unfamiliar to me. At about 11 am, a delivery arrived from a local florist. When I opened the florist's box I found one dozen long stemmed roses and a characteristically warm and generous note. It would be wonderful to report that Mrs Dalloway had sent the roses, but the truth is more delightful: Judith said she would buy the flowers herself.
— Bill Gracie

20 February 2023

It is with a heavy heart that I write to inform you of the death of Professor Emerita Judith de Luce. Dr. de Luce was a Professor of Classics at Miami and an affiliate of the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program and the Scripps Gerontology Center. [...] While I knew Judith casually as a colleague during my years at Miami, I came to know her more closely in the last couple of years as a resident of the Knolls, where my parents also reside. She taught courses for the Institute for Learning in Retirement and my father was a regular student and a great fan. She will be missed by colleagues at Miami, her friends at the Knolls and in the community, and all whose lives she touched.
— Elizabeth Reitz Mullenix

Yesterday, I volunteered at the Knolls with other Miami students. We spoke to a nice lady who mentioned Professor de Luce. I am a Classical Studies major and was very interested in hearing about her and her life. The lady we spoke to seemed to be especially fond of her shock of blue hair. I am too. Although I never knew Professor de Luce, I can tell that she was a remarkable woman. I would have liked to have been in one of her classes. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and those who knew and loved her at this time.
— Madeline Northup

21 February 2023

Judith was intensely curious and I always admired her for that. I admired her "joie de vivre". She was such a strong feminist in a way that made me proud to be in that group too. I never had Judith as a professor, hence why I call her by her first time - but I hardly ever left her house without a book she had assigned me to read. Sometimes that made me feel guilty, knowing that I did not have enough time, but now I smile thinking that I have reading homework that will bring me closer to her in spirit.
— Shawn Vanness

We have lost a shining star.
— Holly Wissing

I returned to my Alma Mater to teach in 1992. Judith offered many tips that helped me immensely. I had been a Classical Humanities major ‘back in the day’ and found her to be a very engaged scholar, quick to help all of her colleagues. She will be missed!
— John W. Altman

I was one of Professor de Luce's students as an undergraduate back in Fall 1979 (is that possible?). She was a fantastic teacher and I loved the classics ever since.
— Douglas Havelka

I always loved it when Judith came to the Middletown Campus for advising new students. I worked in the advising office and all the advisors would welcome the Oxford advisors and enjoy working side-by-side with them. She always helped make the day joyful! We shared many laughs. Son Paul was fortunate enough to have Judith for a Classics class on the Oxford Campus! Great memories of a super lady!
— Janet Sauter

I will always be grateful to Judith for the support she offered to me and others teaching Latin in Cincinnati high schools. Her assistance and advice as we prepared students for AP tests was always very helpful and encouraging. Judith always treated high school teachers as her colleagues in sharing the classics with students. Multas gratias, Magistra.
— Carol Ihlendorf

22 February 2023

Dear Judith, You welcomed me into the Miami community when I was a young faculty, and I especially remember your engagement with our theatre productions. You were a passionate lover of the arts, and I so appreciated your opinions, even the unfiltered ones.... I remember your visits to my WGS classes and it was great to hear about how your experiences shaped your feminist perspective. I admired and appreciated your deep commitment to life long learning and teaching! Yours was a life lived to the fullest. We will miss you!
— Ann Elizabeth Armstrong

 23 February 2023

It was always such a privilege to work with Judith. She manifested in everything she did such a deep love of humanity and a personal commitment to extend that love as far as was humanly possible.
— Steve DeLue

Dr. Judith De Luce was my Latin professor in the early 80's. But she was so much more than that. She brought so much to the classroom. She Challenged me to really think and not take things at face value. I worked in the news department at WMUB at the time and interviewed her and another professor about their study of commercials and how they objectified women It was one of the most fascinating interviews I had done as a student. She brought so much enthusiasm to her teaching and her research, even sharing etymology whenever she got a chance. She was a regular supporter of WVXU/WMUB where I now work. I was so excited to see her name, every time she pledged during the fund drives. I know she touched many lives and will be missed.
— Maryanne Zeleznik

Dirge Without Music
By Edna St. Vincent Millay

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains,—but the best is lost.

The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,—
They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

Farewell, sweet Judith. You were always so wonderfully brilliant, elegant, audacious, and kind. I will always remember seeing you on campus, around Oxford. My special memory is the time we spent together in Sofia, Bulgaria at a Women's Studies conference. Rest easy, dear one: you were stunning.
— Cheryl Johnson

More than 25 years ago, a group of women met for lunch at the 1809 Room in Shriver Center at Miami University. A tradition of weekly Monday lunches was born. Judith was a founding member of that group and was always the first to arrive, holding forth at the “feminists table” dressed in purple or red. Discussions throughout the years were wide-ranging, from university politics, to teaching successes and problems, to the best local restaurants. Of course, Judith had an opinion on every subject. Male colleagues must have been curious about what went on at that table, because one once stopped by to ask what conspiracy was being discussed. Judith was quick to reply that comfortable bras was the topic that day. Over time the weekly lunches evolved into dinner parties, lunch outings, shopping trips and even weekends at a spa.

Like Cher, everyone at Miami knew Judith by her first name – and by her red hats and blue hair. She was a leader in women’s issues, active in campus politics, and probably a thorn in the side of many an administrator. A long-time member of University Senate, she always made her opinion known in an insightful and to-the-point manner. She was devoted to teaching and adopted new strategies and techniques before many of us. She loved Classics and took every opportunity to promote the department.

Today our lunch group met to remember Judith while wearing her signature colors of red and purple, some with blue in their hair. We told many Judith stories - some that cannot be told publicly. We described our dear friend using these words: vibrant, enthusiastic, brilliant, outspoken, articulate, colorful, risk-taker, curious, flamboyant, principled, unique, spirited, intelligent, engaging, FUN. We will miss her terribly but will keep her in our group by remembering her always.

— Linda Ade-Ridder, Anne Bailey, Sara Butler, Jane Goettsch, Sally Lloyd, Barbara Rose, Karen Shaffer, and Dionn Tron

24 February 2023

I took a Greek Mythology course to fulfill a Miami Plan requirement that Dr. de Luce taught. I remember how I became immersed in her lectures and her ability to draw one into the classics. By far one of my favorite courses outside of my major due to Dr. de Luce!
— Lori A. Minges

I took several classics courses from Dr de Luce and they were some of my favorites! "The rosy fingers of dawn..." is a phrase I can't forget after our study of the Aeneid. She brought so much passion to her classes that we couldn't help but be carried along on the wave! Not everyone can convey that excitement and joy over a subject they've taught for many years, but she never failed to make us laugh while we learned.
— Trish Percy

26 February 2023

Judith truly made a difference - as a scholar, professor, women's advocate, and very dear friend to many people. She approached life with vibrancy and inspired others along the way. Her incredible kindness, humor, and sense of adventure was always present. Judith and I met at Miami University shortly after she arrived on campus as an Assistant Professor. I was working in Student Affairs at the time when our paths crossed and we immediately found common ground since we both grew up on Long Island, NY. Our friendship continued for over 40 years. As many friends are feeling it is really hard to deal with the loss of Judith in our lives. She was loved and will be missed.
— Diane DeVestern

27 February 2023

I will remember Judith for her humor, energy, and scholarly commitment. Ave atque vale.
— William Owens

28 February 2023

My classical education at Miami is something that I will cherish for the rest of my life, and though I wasn’t close to her, Dr. de Luce was a big part of that. I attended a lecture she gave at my freshman orientation the summer before I started college and that coming semester, I signed up for her Introduction to Mythology course the first chance I got. During my time at Miami, I wrote a paper comparing the three Greek heroes: Achilles, Odysseus and Jason and I am more proud of that paper than any other academic achievement. I presented it at the Undergraduate Classics Conference in Oxford in 2003 and she was in the audience that day. I believe she was very much appreciative of my presentation. Thank you, Dr. de Luce, for being a wonderful educator and helping me find my voice and believing in myself.
— Bradley Goble

3 March 2023

Judith de Luce was a strong, friendly, intelligent, and beautiful presence in Ohio's Classics community. I will always associate her both with Miami University's Classics Department and the Ohio Classical Conference (OCC). The first time I attended OCC was in fall 1995 as a young faculty member at Boston University (who happened to be an Ohio native!) and Judith DeLuce was a prominent member. After the conference, she wrote me a personal letter commenting on the paper that I read about Euripides's Rhesus. Her letter was supportive, professional, and unexpected. I was delighted that she took the time to respond in writing to a young, unknown person such as myself. Years later in 2010, now well into my career and after I had returned to Cleveland to teach at Case Western Reserve University, I was invited to Miami to give a talk on the occasion of her retirement. She was still the same gracious, thoughtful person, admired and respected by her students and colleagues. She was a kind and generous woman, and I will remember her fondly. Requiescas in pace, Magistra.
— Timothy Wutrich

Judith de Luce
Submitted by Charlotte Newman Goldy

Judith de Luce
Submitted by Daniel Fairbanks

Judith de Luce
Submitted by Suzanne Bonefas

Judith de Luce
Submitted by Suzanne Bonefas

Judith de Luce
Submitted by Suzanne Bonefas

Judith de Luce
Submitted by Suzanne Bonefas

Judith de Luce
Submitted by Suzanne Bonefas

Judith de LuceSubmitted by Peter Howard

Judith de Luce
Submitted by Peter Howard

Judith de Luce
Submitted by Peter Howard