PAUL M. CUBETA - WASHINGTON, D.C. - Paul M. Cubeta, age 87, of Washington, D.C., died Saturday, July 14, 2012, of complications from pneumonia. He was born on March 12, 1925, in Middletown, Conn., the son of Salvatore and Marion (Bacon) Cubeta. Mr. Cubeta graduated from Williams College in 1947 with a BA in English, served in the Navy during World War II, then received his Ph.D in English Language and Literature from Yale in 1954. He taught English at Middlebury College from 1952-1989. He served as the Assistant Director of The Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and was the Director of The Bread Loaf School of English from 1964-1989. While there, he expanded the program to include Lincoln College at Oxford University. He was married to Elizabeth Brown Cubeta until her death in 1990. Paul was best known for his inspired teaching of Shakespeare and 20th century poetry. In the words of former student Jon Hart, "He was a brilliant and dynamic lecturer who also took the time to engage with students individually, helping them discover that those familiar Shakespeare plays he taught had more meat in them than they'd ever imagined. But his greatest impact was on those whose educations he shaped indirectly. Year after year, he assembled at Bread Loaf a faculty as passionate about literature and as devoted to teaching as he was. The graduate students they taught at Bread Loaf went home each fall to teach thousands of high school students and did so far better for what they had learned at Bread Loaf." Paul continued teaching after his official retirement, holding classes for adults at Johns Hopkins and American University. Right up until his death he was teaching Shakespeare and contemporary poetry. He is survived by his three sons, Philip Cubeta, of Bryn Mawr, Pa., and his wife, Katie, David Cubeta, of Falls Chuch, Va., and his wife, Barbara, and Jim Cubeta, of Arlington, Mass., and his wife, Kate; also by his sister, Jeanne Shatzman of Tarpon Springs, Fla.; and his brother, Charles Cubeta of Middletown, Conn.; and by his companion, Franz Jaklitsch of Washington D.C.; and six grandchildren, Tom Cubeta and his wife, Mamiko, Anne Beckley Cubeta and her husband, Jacob, Jeffrey Cubeta and his wife, Ulyana, and Nate, Charlie, and Robert Cubeta. Private services will be held. Memorial contributions may be made to The Bread Loaf School of English, c/o Middlebury College Advancement, Painter House, Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT, 05753.
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Published in The Burlington Free Press on July 19, 2012