John L. BINGHAM

Obituary
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BINGHAM, John L.VU Professor Emeritus Dies. Born Sept. 19, 1919 in Pineville, KY to John Matt and Myrtle Sarah Bingham who predeceased him, died May 2nd. Mr. Bingham graduated from East High School in 1936 where he was honored in 1960 as Alumnus of the year. He earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees (Phi Beta Kappa) in Romance Languages at Vanderbilt University during which time he was awarded the Taft Teaching Scholarship in Romance Languages at the University of Cincinnati. WWII interrupted his educational endeavors, when he was drafted into the Army (Signal Corps) serving 1942-46. He was deployed to the South Pacific, rank of Sgt., then to North Pacific as an officer, rank of 1st Lieutenant. After the war, he went to UCLA as a teaching assistant of Romance Languages and as a Ph.D. candidate. As part of his work there, he prepared a lengthy analysis of a major work of 19th century Spanish fiction and was awarded Del Amo Scholar at U. of Madrid, summer of 1949. In 1950, he returned to Vanderbilt where he spent the next 40 years as Professor, Administrator (25 years as Associate Dean in the College of Arts & Science while continuing to teach) and leader on a wide range of committees. Among his many achievements, he served as Director of Summer School at Instituto Technologico, Monterrey, Mexico; Director, Vanderbilt-in-Spain, summer, 1977; Director of Foreign Programs (18 yrs.); Dir. of Undergraduate Studies, Dept. of Spanish & Portuguese (17 yrs.), numerous leadership positions in Phi Beta Kappa Society and several other societies as well. During his years in the Dean's office, he advised hundreds of students and parents on academic and personal matters and was a productive liaison between the faculty and administration. He was honored with the Chancellor's Cup in 1982 for outstanding service to students outside the classroom, the Round Table (Peabody) for major influence on a student's life, and the Edgar A. Jones Faculty Advisor Award. Through his extraordinary gift of teaching, he was instrumental in the spectacular growth of undergraduate majors in Spanish & Portuguese. He co-authored with Monica Morley a grammatical guide of the Spanish language for students and teachers, and prepared for publication a paper for the Mountain Interstate Foreign Language Conference. He has been lauded for his pioneering efforts in the University's programs of study abroad, and described as a stalwart citizen of the University. His devotion to his students is surpassed only by his love for his family, which has benefited greatly from his example, counsel and generosity. At his retirement in 1986 he was awarded title of Professor Emeritus of Spanish. After his official retirement, he continued to teach in the Freshman Honors Program for 4 years. He later tutored high school students in Spanish and Latin. He enjoyed working at his computer where he learned to play chess online, competing with other chess players, and where he wrote his memoirs --a cherished treasure for his family. He was a devout catholic and parishioner at St. Henry's Church. After moving to Mary Queen of Angels assisted living in 2008, he continued attending Mass there regularly. The eldest of six children, he was the beloved Patriarch, whose intelligence and wealth of knowledge were constantly being tapped. Mr. Bingham was also predeceased by brothers, Charles Beverly Bingham (WWII casualty), Billy Ray Bingham; sister Myrna Kintgen Stone; nephews John Roy Kintgen, and Paul Kintgen. He is survived by brother Stanley (Mary) Bingham, N. Palm Beach Fl; sister Gwen Gibson, Hendersonville, TN; nephews Michael Bingham, N. Palm Beach, Fl; Earl Kintgen, Jr. (Anna), Fresno, CA; Stephen Kintgen, Milaca, MN; Mark (Stephanie) Gibson, Hendersonville, TN; Keith (Melinda) Gibson, Huntsville, Al; nieces Elaine (John) Nivens, Germantown, TN; Beverly Bingham, N. Palm Beach, Fl; Lynn (Don) Stafford, Collierville, TN; Pam (Tom) Morris, Coarsegold, CA; Teri Bingham, Santa Barbara, CA; Lisa (Dan) Palmer, Nashville TN; and many great and great-great nieces and nephews. Visitation will be Tuesday, May 7th, 5 to 7 p.m. at Marshall, Donnelly & Combs with rosary at 7. Funeral Mass will be held at St. Henry's Church on Harding Road, May 8th, 11 a.m. with visitation one hour prior. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery. Thanks and appreciation to the kind and caring staff at Mary Queen of Angels as well as Life Care Center of Old Hickory Village where he left this world to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The world he left is a much better place because of his life.


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Published in The Tennessean on May 5, 2013
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