Dell-Hymes-Obituary

Dell Hathaway Hymes

Charlottesville, Virginia

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Jenny; Sorry to hear the sad news of the passing of Dell Hymes. He was a tremendous friend of the Tribal Peoples and his work acknowledged the First Literature of the Americas, the Tribal Folklore/Stories. He will be missed, but never forgotten. Deni Leonard

During the late 1960's, it was the work of Dell Hymes that interested me in doing graduate work. I spent part of a year as a visiting graduate student at U. of Pennsylvania taking his courses. Later, he never failed to respond to my questions from the field in S. W. Louisiana. I owe him so much! His death is a great loss to us all.
My condolences to his family.

Dell Hymes was the most memorable teacher, scholar, and human being I have met. I have fond memories of his last class at the University of Virginia. He introduced us to great poems and a whole new way of appreciating the world. Instead of grades, we received long comments, letters, and lots of sincere advices. What impressed me most was his profound humility. He will always be my model scholar and I will miss him.

Thank you to Dell Hymes for expressing for all time what it means to know human language in the fullest sense. I thank him for his inspiration and treasure his contributions.

As Chair of the Department of Linguistics at Indiana University, I would like to express on behalf of the linguistics community here our deepest sympathy on the passing of Dell Hymes. Dell received his PhD at Indiana in 1955 when Indiana University was at the forefront of the study of Native American languages with the presence of Carl and Florence Voegelin. In 1994 Dell returned to Indiana University being honored by both the University and the Department as a distinguished alumnus. To...

From Dell Hymes I learned two things, I think. First, that all children are special, even after we grow up. We are unique because of the many dimensions along which we differ; but we also have a shared human heritage. Second, that we must listen not only to the person, but to the entire context. These two truths have implications for researchers, but also for managers-and for citizens.

To Virginia, Ken and other family members. Please accept my sympathy for the death of Dell.
Max Davis
(Friend of Ken)

Dear Virginia and family: I am extremely sorry and saddened to hear about Dr. Hymes' passing. His informative instruction in the Ethnography of Speaking courses and seminars and insightful and generous guidance always refresh my sweet memories about the old days at Penn. His fatherly images will always be missed and treasured. I will forever be grateful for his patient and profound instruction. Please accept my whole-hearted condolences. With all my best regards.

Dear Virginia: Dell was not only a titan in linguistics and anthropology, and someone from whose work I learned so much, but one of the nicest and most selfless people in academia. But you knew that. He and you are in my prayers.

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