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Dr. William W. Chmurny

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Dr.  William W. Chmurny Obituary
Chmurny, Dr. William W. SAN MARCOS -- Dr. William W. Chmurny, retired Professor of Anthropology and Chief Academic Officer for various institutions of Higher Education, died at home on October 16, 2013, at age 72. He was born in 1941 in Oak Park, IL. His parents were Anne G. and William C. Chmurny. His younger brother was Alan B. Chmurny. Dr. Chmurny (Will) had been in declining health for many months, but was able to remain at home during his illness, enjoying the sights and sounds of the surrounding wildlife, the company of his cats, music, books, and artwork. During this time he developed close bonds with several of his caregivers, teaching them about his broad interests in many fields. A life-long student, Chmurny was awarded many prestigious grants and fellowships during his academic career. He earned his undergraduate degree in Anthropology at The University of Illinois Champaign- Urbana, did cultural anthropology fieldwork in Ecuador, did graduate work in Archaeology at The University of Pennsylvania, and received his PhD in Anthropology and Zoology from The University of Illinois, having written his dissertation on the excavation and analysis of one of the Middle Mississippian Cahokia Burial Mounds. Years later he did graduate course work at the Harvard School of Business. Dr. Chmurny joined the Department of Anthropology faculty at the State University of New York College at Potsdam, and became Department Chairman there. Next he was named Dean of the College at Plymouth State College in Plymouth, NH. From there he was called to be Vice President for Academic Affairs at Idaho State University in Pocatello, ID. His next appointment was as Chancellor at The University of Wisconsin Platteville. Having worked for many years in higher education administration, he chose to return to the full-time teaching of Physical and Forensic Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin Parkside. From that position he retired in 2005. A highly private man, Will enjoyed the peace and seclusion of his California home, reading widely in many subjects. He derived great pleasure from studying and deciphering the puzzles of fragmented ancient texts, sharing his observations with colleagues around the world. He cherished memories of travel to the cathedrals and universities of Great Britain, and to the island of Maui. He loved his cats, foreign food, and classical music, and was an avid reader whose body, unfortunately, could not keep pace with his mind. May he rest in Peace. Will is survived by his wife, Kathryn (Kate); her brothers; several aunts and many cousins; nephews and nieces. Funeral arrangements were with California Funeral Alternatives. Private burial was at the San Marcos Cemetery. Memorial gifts may be made to any of the universities with which he was affiliated, or to the The Elizabeth Hospice, to the ASPCA, or to a .

Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on Oct. 27, 2013
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