David Arthur Gugin
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David Arthur Gugin, 79, passed away at his home on Wednesday, January 9. He was born in Brookings, South Dakota, on August 6, 1933 to the Reverend Arthur W. and Bernice (Bushan) Gugin. He was a larger-than- life figure for all who knew and loved him, and he will be missed dearly by his family and his friends. He leaves a lasting legacy to the University of Evansville, to which he devoted thirty-three years of his life, and to the many students whom he taught.
A native of South Dakota, and the son and grandson of Methodist ministers, the values of the prairie and Methodism were deeply engrained in him. His belief in the common man, his compassion for those who are less fortunate, and the obligation to accept responsibility for one's own actions and choices in life were values shaped by his upbringing. He was the product of public schools in South Dakota, from grade school through college, but his educational route was not direct. He graduated from Milbank High School in 1951 and attended the University of South Dakota from 1951 to December 1952, at which time his lack of educational attainment suggested he should take some time off from college, which he did. He enlisted in the Air Force and was stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi and Chanute Air Force Base in Illinois before being sent to Japan. Although he served during the Korean War, he was never in combat. Despite earning three medals - National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, and United Nations Service Medal - his most significant contribution was perhaps serving as coach of "Gugin's Goosers," his unit's basketball team. Friends and family endured listening to many tales about his Japanese experiences.
Following his service in Japan David completed his education, getting a B.S. degree from the University of South Dakota, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin. He received an African Studies Program Fellowship in 1964 to do research in Uganda in East Africa. Other than his service in Japan this was his first travel abroad and it instilled in him a life- long love of learning through travel. He travelled to over 35 countries. He taught three semesters at Harlaxton College, the University of Evansville campus in Grantham, England, two semesters at Tokoha Gakuen University in Shizuoka, Japan, and one summer at Franklin College in Lugano, Switzerland. He also spent a summer in India in 1982 studying the political implications of Indian art and Hindu philosophy.
After receiving his Ph.D., David taught at the University of Georgia and the University of Massachusetts before coming to the University of Evansville in 1971 as the Director of the John L. Iglehart Center for the Study of Urban Affairs. Among his many roles at the university were pre-law advisor, the Director of International Admissions, Chair of the Department of Political Science and Public Policy, Assistant for International Programs to the Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Director of the Urban Government Intern Program. To him, his most important role was as professor of political science and international studies. He relished his interaction with his students, both inside and outside the classroom. It would be an understatement to say that his teaching style was unorthodox, but the toughest students prevailed and were the better off for his "unique" instruction. . He was especially adept at engaging and mentoring international students. His favorite spot on campus was a bench outside Hyde Hall, now called Gugin's Bench, where he entertained students with his wit and wisdom. Countless numbers of his students kept in touch after leaving the university, and he took immense pride in their accomplishments.
David was pre-deceased by his parents, his brothers Robert and Jim, and his son Jonathon. He is survived by his wife, Linda (Carstarphen), his daughter Patricia (Ron) Cleghorn and son David Larkin (Lwin), a sister, Mary (Joe) Maheras, and his five grandchildren, Zack, Jessica, and Daniel Cleghorn and Sanda and David Gugin. He leaves a large number of loving friends to mourn his passing. He participated in the weekly Friday "Seminar"at the Acropolis Restaurant with close colleagues and friends from the University of Evansville, and he enjoyed the camaraderie of friends at Harbor Bay North, where he and his wife came to love being entertained by the many gifted Karaoke singers. He had other close friends beyond these associations. All of these friends enriched his life enormously.
The family is indebted to Dr. Ward Neff, David's primary care physician for about 25 years. He was not the most compliant patient, but as a result of Dr. Neff's patient and compassionate care, David probably enjoyed a few extra years of life. The family is also deeply grateful to David's wonderful caregivers in the last months of his life - Chantel Elzer, Ruth Wilson, Krystle Berry, and Steven Harlan. He could not have more understanding and accommodating people to look after him.
Visitation will be Sunday at Browning Funeral Home, 738 Diamond Avenue, from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The funeral service will be in Neu Chapel on the University of Evansville campus on Monday, January 14 at 11:00 a.m. Burial will be at 10:00 am on Tuesday, January 15 at Oak Hill Cemetery.
Those wishing to make a contribution in David's honor may make it to the David A. Gugin Memorial Fund at the University of Evansville, Indiana, 1800 Lincoln Avenue, Evansville, Indiana 47722, or to a
. Contributions to the memorial fund will support the costs of students who study abroad.
Published in Courier Press on Jan. 12, 2013