HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - Frank Loyd Stallings Jr. was a consummate teacher who loved his students, loved to lecture and loved words. His teaching career spanned nearly 30 years beginning in Texas and culminating at Northern Kentucky University.
"He had sparkle, warmth and wit. He had precision, imagination and a brilliant personality," said his friend Bob Wallace, regents professor of English at NKU. "He was multifaceted in so many ways. You could talk literature with him, sports, go to concerts or have chili cook-offs - he was up for anything with good spirits and a warm heart."
Dr. Stallings died Nov. 26 in Cincinnati from Alzheimer's disease. He was 83.
He was born in Clarendon, Texas, and raised in Pampa, Texas, the eldest of three sons of Frank Loyd and Carrie Wilder Stallings. He graduated from Pampa High School in 1946.
He served in the Army 1951-52 and was stationed in Germany. When he returned to Texas, he worked for a time as a press operator for a printing firm.
He earned bachelor's and master's degrees in English from West Texas State College in Canyon, Texas, and his doctoral degree in English from the University of Texas.
His teaching career began at the University of Texas at Austin and then he spent 10 years teaching at the University of Texas at Arlington. In 1970, when he learned of a teaching position at Thomas More College in Edgewood, he moved to Northern Kentucky.
Dr. Stallings was among 70 teachers who helped found Northern Kentucky University, taking it from a small community college to a growing four-year university.
His specialties were Mark Twain and Henry David Thoreau. Along with teaching, he was chairman of the Literature and Language department, faculty regent, and president of the Friends of Steely Library. He also received the Outstanding Professor Award. He retired as professor emeritus in 1991.
He was a member of the Friends of Campbell County Public Library and the library's Book Club. A concrete bench was dedicated in his honor in 2010 and stands outside the Cold Spring branch.
"He wanted to take the things he loved - literature, imagination, beauty and truth - out to a broader audience. He continued to give and give whenever the opportunities came up," Wallace said.
"He leaves a legacy as an outstanding faculty member, a lover of the library, a regular contributor to the Gold Times, an author, a great supporter of the Benevolent Fund, an ardent supporter of our student athletic teams and an amazingly positive and productive member of the NKU family," said Gail Wells, vice president for academic affairs and provost.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia McCann Stallings.
Survivors include a son, David Stallings of Arlington, Va.; a daughter, Diane Homer of San Antonio, Texas; three stepdaughters, Deborah Wilson of Covington, Cyndy Erickson of South Bend, Mich., and Kim Black of Frankfort; a stepson, Tony Powell of Independence; and 12 grandchildren.
Memorial service is 1 p.m. Saturday, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 326 Madison Ave., Covington. His body was donated to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Don Catchen & Son Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Memorials: Frank and Virginia R. Stallings English Scholarship Fund, c/o University Development, Nunn Drive, AC221, Highland Heights, KY 41099.
By Mary Lu Strange, firstname.lastname@example.org
Published in The Cincinnati Enquirer from Dec. 4 to Dec. 6, 2011