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Stefan Morgenschweis PUGH

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News Death Notice

PUGH, Stefan Morgenschweis On the evening of Tuesday, October 8th, 2013, after a 10-month battle with pancreatic cancer, Stefan Pugh passed away peacefully at the age of 57. Beloved husband of Linda M. Pugh. Cherished father of Charlotte Pugh (Kris Zutis). Stefan is also survived by his father, William H. Pugh, and by sisters Melanie Donohue (Keith Donohue), and Valerie Larson (Rich Larson). Uncle to Rose, Eilis, and Owen Donohue, and Christina Larson. Nephew to Helga and Gunther Ludwig of Ulm, Germany. Stefan was predeceased by his nephew Robert Larson, and by his mother, Luise Pugh. Born in 1956, Stefan was the son of a U.S. diplomat and spent nearly his entire childhood living in various Latin American and Western European countries. Stefan considered this international upbringing a great privilege, for it inspired his deep interest in foreign cultures, his life-long love of travel, and his keen interest in foreign languages. Educated at Duke University where he was transformed into a very enthusiastic Duke basketball fan, Stefan went on to earn his M.A. in Slavic Languages from Yale University, and his Ph.D. in Slavic Languages from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Stefan began his academic career as a linguist at Duke University, a place he always held dear. He later moved to the University of St. Andrews as Reader in Russian, before returning to the United States in 2008 to assume a position as Professor and Chair of Modern Languages at Wright State University. Stefan had a profound interest in language, in historical linguistics, contact linguistics and sociolinguistics, and he delighted in intellectual discourse of any nature. In addition to being fluent in English, Russian, Finnish and German, he possessed working knowledge of an impressive number of languages: Spanish, French, Italian, Swedish, Polish, Ukrainian, Czech, Slovak, Macedonian, Bulgarian, Belarusian, Estonian, Karelian, Latin, and Old Church Slavonic. A talented and highly prolific scholar, Stefan authored eight books and many articles during his career; his last book, a practical grammar of Rusyn, will be published with Slavica in 2014. Stefan enjoyed numerous honors during his academic career, and was most recently named a 2013 Brage Golding Distinguished Professor of Research by Wright State University. Stefan's natural curiosity fed many interests outside of his professional life: he loved archaeology (one of the great highlights of his life was a summer dig in Israel), good food and wine, films, music (he was a classical guitarist in his youth), painting, beach walks, tennis matches with his wife, and time with loved ones. Stefan's legacy - and the measure of his loss - lies in his family, former colleagues and students, and many good friends in different corners of the world who will miss him. A very special thank you to Dr. Mark Daniel Romer, whose professionalism, advocacy on behalf of his patients, and genuine kindness will not be forgotten. In keeping with Stefan's wishes, a private celebration of his life has been planned, and his ashes will be scattered at his favorite place on earth, the Outer Banks, NC, in early spring 2014. In memoriam donations to a are appreciated.

Published in Dayton Daily News on Oct. 30, 2013
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