John Kuhn
John Kuhn

Obituary of John Gottlieb Kuhn

JOHN GOTTLIEB KUHN, III, PhD, 85, WRITER, TEACHER John G. (Jack) Kuhn, III, passed away peacefully at his home in Ocean City, NJ, on Friday evening, January 22, 2021, after a long illness. He was 85 years old. John was born in West Philadelphia, June 2, 1935, to John G. II and Helen (Wright) Kuhn. After graduating from West Catholic High School in 1953, he earned his BA in English from St. Joseph’s College (1957) and his MA in English from Purdue University (1959) where he also met the love of his life, Janice Rose McFadden, a math student there. The two married in 1960 and lived in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where he taught at New Mexico State University before returning to the Philadelphia area to complete his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania and begin a 30 year teaching career at Rosemont College. He taught English, writing, and poetry and developed the Rosemont theatre program, directing an annual student theatre production before retiring in 2002, becoming Professor Emeritus. He was a dedicated writer and throughout his career published poems, plays, and scholarly papers on Greek theatre, Walt Whitman, and Eugene O’Neill. Everything--his family, nature, politics, world crises--became fodder for his writing. In particular, his year-long sabbatical in Montalcino, Italy, inspired a volume of poetry, Some Stolen Pavingstones. John’s home office, overlooking the Pennock Woods in Lansdowne, served as his writing haven. Most days when not at Rosemont, he would be found working at his old typewriter and smoking his pipe in his office, a den too small to move about and overloaded with hundreds of books he had collected (and read) and sorted into wooden boxes alongside scores of playbills, notes, clipped articles and class outlines, all stuffed into its proper book. John loved teaching and for 37 years relished introducing students to the joys and mysteries of literature, poetry, and theatre. He was highly regarded by colleagues and by students who, decades later, spoke lovingly of his influence and inspiration. In addition to his wife of 60 years, John Kuhn is survived by his children, John IV (Suzanne Flynn), Kirsten Campbell (Jed), Gregory (Gillian Thackray), and Claudio (Jami Fisher); grandchildren Connor and Dylan Campbell, Kara Kuhn, Annalise and Elias Kuhn; and step-grandchildren Jack McMahon, Conn, and Aine Twomey, and Evan Clark; two sisters, Nancy Kirkpatrick (Douglas) and Mary Kuhn; his brother, Frank Kuhn (Karen); sister-in-law, Joan Kuhn; and numerous beloved nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brother William Kuhn. There will be graveside services for the immediate family at Holy Cross Cemetery, Yeadon on Saturday, January 30. Plans for a memorial service will be announced at a future date. Donations may be made to MusicWorks or Rosemont College. Memories and condolences may be shared at www.godfreyfuneralhome.com.
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