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Eugene Cruz-Uribe

1952 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Eugene Cruz-Uribe Obituary
Eugene Cruz-Uribe

Richmond, IN - Eugene Cruz-Uribe, aged 65, of Richmond, passed away unexpectedly on March 12, 2018 at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. He was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, to Lillian and Antonio Cruz-Uribe on December 22, 1952.

Cruz-Uribe is the husband of IU East Chancellor Kathryn Cruz-Uribe. He is survived by their daughter, Alicia "Cici" Cruz-Uribe and her spouse Greg Harkay, and a granddaughter, Sofia Mariana Harkay Cruz-Uribe, of Orono, Maine; and his daughter, Mariana "Mari" Cruz-Uribe and her spouse Ry Penniman, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is also survived by his sister Linda, brothers Antonio (Ellen Chappell), Federico (Alden Willard), Benjamin (Barb), and David (Gabrielle), as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Cruz-Uribe joined the faculty of IU East as a professor of history in July 2013. He retired from the university in May 2017 but continued his research on ancient Egypt.

Often by each other's sides at campus events or Red Wolves athletics, Gene and his wife Kathy have been dedicated supporters of the IU East campus and students. Their philanthropic contributions have benefitted scholarships, internships and the Student Events and Activities Center.

Cruz-Uribe received his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago. An Egyptologist who traveled frequently to Egypt, Cruz-Uribe's specialty was the recording of ancient Egyptian graffiti for what they reveal about personal piety, late period religious practices and pilgrimage. During the course of his career, he worked at the Seattle Art Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as serving as a faculty member at Brown University, Northern Arizona University, Monterey Peninsula College, and California State University Monterey Bay before coming to IU East.

He also extended his expertise to community groups, such as the Wayne County Historical Museum, where he was chair of the board. He was instrumental in guiding the Museum's 50th anniversary memorial of the Richmond Explosion and had conducted many interviews over the past year. However, one of Cruz-Uribe's more enjoyable roles with the museum was playing "the Mummy" each year during the Haunted Museum tour.

Cruz-Uribe was known for his sense of humor, outgoing personality, and love of bicycle riding, alligators, bow-ties, bad disaster movies, reading (especially history and science fiction), playing games like Boggle and Candy Crush Saga, and the Green Bay Packers. But he loved his wife, daughters, and granddaughter most of all.

The Cruz-Uribes attend St. Andrew Catholic Church in Richmond.

Memorial services and visitation for Eugene Cruz-Uribe are this week. A visitation will be from 4-8 P.M. on Thursday, March 22, in Whitewater Hall Lobby, located on the IU East campus. Liturgy of Christian Burial will be at 11 A.M. on Friday, March 23, at St. Andrew Catholic Church, 235 S. 5th St., in Richmond. Arrangements are being handled by Stegall-Berheide-Orr Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be given to the IU Foundation c/o IU East External Affairs Springwood Hall Suite 103, 2325 Chester Boulevard, Richmond, Indiana 47374, designated in remembrance of Eugene Cruz-Uribe. Condolences may be sent to the family via the guest book at
Published in The Palladium-Item on Mar. 18, 2018
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