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1966 - 2012
It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Ian Crystal, on Wednesday, November 14, 2012. A brilliant scholar and dedicated teacher. Beloved son of Phyllis and the late Louis Crystal, and cherished brother and brother-in-law of Michael Crystal and Dr. Tracey Thompson. Uncle to Julia and James Crystal; grandson of the late William and the late Freida Crystal, and the late Louis and the late Jenny Whitzman; nephew of Hy and Charlotte Crystal, Delores Breitman and Eddie Helpman; Bert and Tanya Whitzman, Earl and Dollie Whitzman. He will be missed by his special cousins Nancy and Louis Breitman, and by his other cousins and family. Ian Crystal's passion for ancient philosophy was ignited in his first year of undergraduate studies at the University of King's College in Halifax, N.S. His graduate studies took him to King's College in London, England, where he earned his PhD in 1996 and that same year joined the faculty at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge where he taught until his death. His primary interest as a researcher and teacher was Plato, Aristotle, and the later Greek tradition. His publications include a book on the problem of self- intellection in Greek thought from Parmenides through Plotinus, which is considered to be an important contribution to the literature on cognition and the philosophy of mind. He wrote articles on Plato and Plotinus, and produced translations of the Neo-Platonic philosopher Proclus and the Greek commentator Elias. For several years he did extensive editorial work on the series Ancient Commentators on Aristotle. Faculty colleagues recall Ian Crystal's wicked and irreverent sense of humour, his pursuit of justice and dedication to his students. He insisted that junior faculty members be treated fairly, and set high standards for his students, a number of whom have gone on to pursue graduate studies around the world. Students recall that he was a fierce advocate for them inside and outside the university, and would organize special classes in Ancient Greek for students who wanted more than the regular course offerings allowed. A new book on Plato's Gorgias was in progress at the time of his passing. Funeral service from Paperman & Sons, 3888 Jean Talon St. W. Burial at the Beit Abraham Congregation Section, Kehal Israel Cemetery, D.D.O. Shiva strictly private. Contributions in his memory may be made to the "Dr. Ian Crystal Ancient Philosophy Scholarship Fund at Louisiana State University", care of the law firm of Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann L.L.C., 546 Carondelet Street, New Orleans, LA, 70130-3588, (504) 581-3200. For date and time of service, please call (514) 733-7101 or visit www.paperman.com.
Published in The Gazette on Nov. 20, 2012