Thomas J. Jambeck, 78, of Storrs, retired and longtime University of Connecticut professor and director of Medieval Studies, died November 14, 2014. Born October 17, 1936, in Minneapolis, Minn., the son of Elmer J. and Valeria (Bischoff) Jambeck, he was proud of his Minnesota roots and his Finnish heritage. He earned his bachelor's degree from St. John's University and his master's degree from St. Cloud State College, both in Minnesota. He also served in the U.S. Army. Among Dr. Jambeck's many fellowships and honors was the Teaching Excellence Award in 1967 from the University of Colorado, where he was a graduate assistant and a teaching associate at the time. Passionate about medieval English literature particularly medieval drama, he earned his Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1969. His dissertation, "The Elements of Grotesque Humor in the Passion Sequences of the English Medieval Cycle Drama" appeared the following year and has been widely cited. Dr. Jambeck was an associate professor of English and Medieval Studies at UConn since 1976. His published works include numerous articles, among them "Everyman and the Implications of Bernardine Humanism in the Character 'Knowledge' " and "The 'Day Star' Allusion in the Secunda Pastorum." He also co-authored two books, Grammar and the Strategies of Writing with David Sonstroem and Reading Old English: A Primer and First Reader with Robert Hasenfratz. In 1986, he was married to Kathy Shaughnessy, who predeceased him. He is survived by two sons, Mark David Jambeck of Storrs and Per Jambeck; and many relatives and friends. Calling hours are Thursday, November 20, 2014, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, at Potter Funeral Home, 456 Jackson St. (RTE 195), Willimantic. A Funeral Mass will be held Friday, November 21, 2014, at 10:00am, at St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel in Storrs. Burial will follow in Storrs Cemetery. Flowers may be sent or donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Association or to cancer research. To sign the online memorial guest book, please visit www.potterfuneralhome.com
To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Hartford Courant on Nov. 19, 2014.