Ross M. Jewell

English Faculty

Ross M. Jewell, 1917-1995 Ross M. Jewell, a former faculty member in the Department of English Language and Literature, died Sunday, May 7, at the Good Samaritan Nursing Center in Davenport. Professor Jewell received his bachelor's degree from Wabash College in 1939. He completed a master's degree in 1947 at Indiana University and did additional graduate work at the University of Michigan. He began teaching at this institution in 1951 when it was known as the Iowa State Teachers College and taught here for some 29 years until the 1980-81 academic year when he assumed disability status. He then retired in 1985. Sadly, during his last years, he was afflicted with Alzheimer's Disease. Those who knew and worked with Ross Jewell have the warmest memories of his gentle and kindly manner: we remember his gracious welcoming of new faculty, his deep and affable voice, and his generous and enthusiastic sharing of his knowledge about the complexities and wonders of language and of writing. In particular, he was devoted to the teaching of writing; with lively interest and good nature, he served as mentor for both students and younger faculty. His research included a large project with other scholars that explored issues related to how composition could best be taught. Four graduate assistantships in the Department of English carry Ross Jewell's name, thus commemorating his commitment to learning about and teaching writing. We remember also the joviality and camaraderie that Ross Jewell combined with his dedication to learning and teaching. He found much to enjoy in life and among his colleagues and friends, whether in lap swims at noon or playing the piccolo or tracking down a word's etymology. The delight he took in all his varied interests and the good humor with which he shared his interests conveyed his warmth and his care for others. Ross Jewell's legacy includes his cordial geniality and good cheer as well as his curiosity and excitement about language and using language in writing. There was genuine gentility in his bearing as teacher, scholar, and friend. Professor Jewell was born July 20, 1917, in Lowell, Indiana, and he married June F. Whitman on August 5, 1943. She died February 19, 1995. He is survived by three daughters--Judy Karstens of Davenport, Jill Heard of Omaha, and Jeanine Jewell of Bellingham, Washington--as well as three grandchildren and a brother, Benson M. of Danville, Illinois. Memorials in the name of Professor Ross Jewell may be directed to the University of Northern Iowa Foundation, Cedar Falls, Iowa, or to the Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Association. A memorial service on the U. N. I. campus is being planned for the weekend of June 24-25.