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JAMES MICHAEL, 71, of Phila-delphia, died after a brief illness on Wednesday, June 5, 2013. Born in Pittsburgh on June 9, 1941, he taught at the University of Pennsylvania since 1971. A lover of books, nature and travel, he is survived by Marie, his wife of 44 years, and sons Colin and Jonathan. Jim's legacy is also carried forward in the hearts and minds of the many students he has inspired over the years. His Viewing at JACOB F. RUTH FUNERAL HOME, 8413 Germantown Avenue, Phila-delphia from 10 A.M. to Noon on Monday, June 10th will be followed by a reception at the Larkin home.

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Published in Philadelphia Inquirer/Philadelphia Daily News on Jun. 7, 2013.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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85 entries
August 8, 2020
Dear Jim and Family, I simply cannot believe I just learned of Jim's death. I am shocked and saddened. Jim and I worked together at GSE and came to regard him a friend. I left GSE in 1986 and Jim, I still owe you.
Peter Bent
December 11, 2014
I had not been in regular contact with Hatch for the last 20 or 30 years but for some reason, a week or so ago, I looked him up on the Internet and found that he had passed away! A big shock. For some reason I took him for a guy that would go on forever-he always seemed to know what he was doing and what he was about.
I feel privileged to be his friend at Edinboro. I met him in 1960 and roomed together with him for a time in 1961 and also in 1963. After college, I remember visiting him in New Brunswick when he taught in the Job Corps. Once he invited me down to Moon Township, near Pittsburgh. I met his parents and his siblings and stayed over for a few days. I remember thinking-What a great family!
We had a lot of things in common. Love of books, politics, and above all, discussion. Hatch, as he was known then was a fierce individualist and even at a young age did not take any guff from authority figures when they were off base. That quality alone endeared him to me since I was not at that place yet. He was ahead of his time. He was a rare person and unforgettable even though we went our separate ways in later years. Sometimes people say " They broke the mold" Not true in most cases but when it comes to Hatch, YES.
Axsel Bjorklund
August 22, 2014
Dear Marie, Colin, and Jonathan,
We are shocked to learn, just today 8/22/14, of Jim's passing over a year ago. We should have known something was awry when we did not hear from him for a while. We are driving back to PA and were hoping to have a visit. Unable to reach you by telephone or email, we resorted to the internet and learned of Jim's death.
Please know that we are feeling your loss anew and that are hearts are heavy for having lost a lifelong friend. Please call or email us (480-809-5402; 480-250-2070; maggiemangini@email.arizona.edu)as our words at this time are not adequate to express our devastation.
We love you all,
Bob and Maggie Mangini
9215 E. Olive Lane S.
Sun Lakes, AZ 85248
August 22, 2014
Hatch has been a friend since 1962 at Edinboro State College. He was such an individualist. I can see him now with a long winter scarf wrapped round his neck. I was on the debate team with him and his depth of knowledge and dry humor remained through his life. He came out here to AZ several times. I send much love and thoughts to you' his beloved family.
July 15, 2014
Reading Jim Larkin's condolences reminds me of the essence of what he taught me about leadership: "The best measure of a true leader is if they matter when they are NOT there". Jim, you clearly matter when you are not here! You have greatly influenced me as a father, husband, and business professional. Your family should be very proud of your legacy. Thank you!
George Dickson Jr
May 8, 2014
I recently learned that Jim had passed away. He was one of my favorite teachers in the graduate school of education. One afternoon, he, Marilyn Cochran Smith and I plotted how to get my boyfriend to propose to me! Jim told me to play hard to get!
April 24, 2014
Dear Marie, Colin and Jonathan,

I have been living in Ireland for the last number of years and regretfully just learned of Jim's passing. Jim was my Secondary Education Professor back in 1997 and for many years after he used to check in on me at University City High School where I taught Social Studies. He was always inspirational - encouraging us to challenge injustice head on and push out boundaries. His teaching was humane, ethical and just. He was a fantastic role model for how to be a teacher; but also a person in this world. Until we meet again Jim - Slainte!

Martin Galvin, Galway, Ireland.
October 9, 2013
Jim was one of best teachers ever. I just found out about his passing last night and am so, so sad. Every time I passed the Larkins' house, I thought, I should stop by and have a chat. How I wish I had! Jim welcomed me to the Independent Schools Master's program with open arms. When I went back to class, 28 days after having my daughter, he made sure I was "with him." Jim gave me all the time I needed to finish the work, while I was learning to be a new mother, which he deemed the most important task. He smiled so broadly as he handed me my diploma! I was lucky enough to work for him and with him for 7 years as his assistant program director and supervisor in the secondary certification program at GSE. He'd follow me to my car as I rushed to pick up kids, with "just one more point." I still use his expressions ("Be happy in your work," "Now, when Matilda . . . ."). I am so sorry for the loss to all of us and most especially to Marie, Colin, and Jonathan. Thank you all for sharing this wonderful man. He made a difference in my life, and I'll miss him.
Eleanore Pabarue
October 1, 2013
It was with great sadness that I recently heard the news of Jim's passing. He was a member of my dissertation committee, and I also had the pleasure of knowing him as a mentor, teacher and friend. I remember walking down the street at Penn one sunny afternoon and seeing him watching workers feeding cables down a man hole. He seemed completely absorbed by the whole process, and this seemed to speak volumes to me about the man. Where most would pass by without a second thought, Jim found something to capture his attention. He was an astute observer of the human condition, seeing the serious in the commonplace. He was someone deeply concerned by issues of social justice and fairness, skeptical of authority, and mischievous and intelligent enough to tweak established ways of thinking and acting. That perspective was reflected in the syllabi he put together for his courses, his teaching, and much of the advice he gave me. His courses were not only entertaining, but joys of intellectual eclecticism. I will miss him as a friend and a teacher.
Anton Bodor
July 18, 2013
It was a joy to b in the the world with him. Passionate, impassioned, outraged and outrageous - he gave it all away. A hug to Paul, Allen, Ryda, Dick Gibboney .. sad to meet again under these circumstances. We were fortunate to have him. And to Marie and the boys, please know your grief is shared.
Bob Berley
June 29, 2013
It was a pleasure working with Jim as a colleague at GSE.
It was also great having Jim on my dissertation committee in 1975. His influence will live on in generations of students. I'll miss him. Plato and Dewey are further removed from us without him. Paul Dickler
Paul Dickler
June 23, 2013
Dr. Larkin was a gift to all who had the privilege of knowing him. His love of people and deep caring for all made him extremely special to everyone who knew him. He was and always will be my all time favorite professor. He encouraged me to love teaching. I was his student in 1979 and still today I love teaching. He believed in me which is a gift in my life. I will remember and admire him forever.
Renee Spelman
June 22, 2013
As a '87 GSE student, I was privileged to have shared my journey to become a teacher with Dr. Larkin. Seminars with him were thought-provoking, but also relaxed and fun -- he taught me the importance of humor in education! My sincere condolences to his family.
Maria Elena Viglucci
June 19, 2013
I adored every class I had with Dr. Larkin. I count myself lucky to have known him.
Carla Krieger
June 14, 2013
I count myself among the lucky ones to have had Jim Larkin as a professor. I was a student in what turned out to be his last class--"Self, Role, and Expectations" in Spring 2013. Not only did he encourage us to explore how the many aspects of our selves and roles affect everything we do, but he shared much of his "self" with us, with quite a mischievous twinkle in his eye. His ideas still make me think, and I'll remember him every time I encounter one of the books or films we discussed.
Beth Olson
June 13, 2013
A professor who helped me be the best teacher I could have been. Even after I retired I remembered his leadership and knowledge. He was a special person who will be greatly missed. My thoughts are with his family and friends.
Susan Kaynes
June 13, 2013
Thank you, Marie, Colin and Jonathan for sharing Jim with us.

The highlight of my masters program was having the great fortune to be in his class. He had an amazing ability to make every person in the room feel as though their thoughts counted. Because of him I pick better books to read, question things to understand them better and appreciate not only what is around me but what came before me.
Diane Lim
June 11, 2013
The only Penn professor's name I still remember...
The only educator who ever encouraged me to think and not recite...
The only teacher who asked me to challenge the status quo and smiled when I did it...
A man who convinced you that you mattered...

RIP Dr. Larkin, you were a transformational educator and helped me become a teacher of whom you would be proud!

Deepest sympathy to Marie, Colin, and Jonathan
Pegi (Goodfield) Leonard
June 11, 2013
I am so sorry for your loss. Dr. Larkin has inspired my teaching. He reminded us as student teachers to set our students up for success, and not to make them miserable. He said even if our students didn't learn all the multiplication tables perfectly they would still grow up and be just fine. He helped us to remember to keep our perspective on what was most important, an interest in people and in great ideas. I will remember him fondly and continue to use his insights.
Tiz Powers
June 11, 2013
One of the most important papers I wrote in the Dynamics program was for Dr Larkin's class. Incredible teacher!
Karen Grasse
June 11, 2013
What a great guy and friend. I will always think of Jim not only as a great teacher but a great person to be with.
Don Kaufman
June 11, 2013
Reading all these wonderful thoughts about Jim is so heartwarming. I, too, had the pleasure of knowing Jim as well as his parents and siblings – what a wonderful, loving family!!! His passing is truly a loss for so many of us; but knowing him has been a true gift for all. He has touched so many lives and given so much to our minds, hearts, and souls. Comfort only comes in knowing his suffering has ended and he has peace at last. My sincere sympathy goes to his many colleagues, friends, and family.
Ruth Ludmann Datish
June 11, 2013
Dear Marie,
We returned from Dubrovnik last night, and Tim and Marianna both told us the sad news of Jim's death. We have so many happy memories of our extended family at the Mews. We're so sorry for your loss at this young age.
Love, Roger and Mary
Mary Allen
June 10, 2013
Dearest Marie, Colin and Johnathan, I was. so saddened to hear the news of Jim's illness and sudden passing . He was such a larger than life person ..he used to call me Katie Mcgork, and it always made me smile . Mom is probably challenging to trivial pursuit already ,,no one. could defeat him. Keep your memories close and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers . Love , Katie Halftown
Katie Halftown
June 10, 2013
Professor Larkin's course was my re-introduction to school after many away. It was always a pleasure to read his selections and discuss them in class. He will be missed in many ways.
Maren Gaughan
June 10, 2013
I had the pleasure of taking Professor Larkin's course this past semester. The course was such an amazing experience and Professor Larkin was such a kind and funny person. I feel honored and blessed that I had the chance to get to know him. He will be greatly missed.
Lacinda Benjamin
June 10, 2013
Dear Marie: Jim was a great neighbor and friend. He was always willing to lend a helping hand and I will miss him and our talks over the fence. May God comfort you and surround you with his love and care. Marie Pogue
June 10, 2013
Jim was a wonderful teacher and friend -- not just back in the 70s when I was at Penn (Jim was my disseration advisor), but over the 40 years since. I come to Phila every few years to see family, but my biggest pleasure in these trips was always to see Jim. His enthusiasm for his family -- for whatever he was teaching at the time -- for all of life -- was inspiring to me. Jim's joy of simply being alive will stay will me forever.
Alan Feldman
June 10, 2013
Dear Marie, Colin and Jonathan;

My deepest sympathies and thoughts for our family. I cherished each time we got together even though it is usually for weddings & funerals now. At Mike's wedding Jim was really tickled over Sherrill -- obviously kindred spirits. Love you guys...............
Jeff & Sherrill Halftown
June 9, 2013
Jim was an inspiration to me as an educator.
When I was preparing for my dissertation defense I was 7 months pregnant with my first child. I remember his words when we were talking about the dissertation: He said, " You'll see when you have your baby--that document you are writing will sit on a shelf and you'll see what is most important." My first baby is now an educator and mother of 2 and Jim was the inspiration for her work as a Social Studies teacher. I'll never forget Jim Larkin--one of the kindest and smartest educators I've ever known.
Bonnie Botel-Sheppard
June 9, 2013
We were shocked to learn of Jim's passing. He was a dear friend, a gifted educator and a marvelous human being. We will hold him in our hearts forever.
Mort & Penny Botel
June 9, 2013
So sorry to hear about Dr. Larkins passing. He was my first boss at Penn and taught me the ropes. I had a great respect for him and I am sure he will be sorely missed.
Rosemary Klumpp
June 9, 2013
Jim and I have been friends and colleagues for more than 25 years, and have met regularly for coffee and conversation. He will be missed more than I can express. My condolences to Marie and his two sons.
Richard (Dick) Polis
June 9, 2013
Dr. Larkin was a man for all seasons. He helped me pass my orals on a very icy and snowy day on January 27,1994. He will be missed.
Polly Van Raalte
June 9, 2013
I took both classes taught by Dr. Larkin in the Dynamics Program and I still have the term papers I wrote, so valuable were his comments. Liz Notte
June 9, 2013
We will cherish those fond (and feisty) memories of Jim - our "over the fence" friend/neigbor...May we extend our deepest sympathies to Marie, Colin and Jonathan -
The Hicks Family
June 9, 2013

Rick and I just want to add our heartfelt thoughts on the loss of Jim. He was a good neighbor and a wonderful part of the Durham Street world we inhabit. We will miss him, and think of you often.
Barbara and Rick Auerbach
Barbara Auerbach
June 9, 2013
As a fellow undergrad I always knew Jim had a great world view and great sense of humor. Miss you Hatch.
Margaret McMahon
June 9, 2013
Dr. Larkin was a great man who challenged the mind while filling the heart with joy. He will be greatly missed. My condolences to his family and friends.
Holly Marrone
June 9, 2013
A long, long friendship: many years of converstaion, humor, and wisdom. "Hatch" is sorely missed from the circle.
MaryAnn Miller
June 8, 2013
I owe so much to Dr. Larkin. He helped me understand the issues I needed to understand in order to be an effective teacher. After 20 years of teaching I still point to Dr. Larkin as one of my heroes. I am so grateful to have known him and learned from him.
Tim Johnson
June 8, 2013
I would not have completed my Doctoral program at Penn without Jim Larkin. He was a perfect adviser and a fine man. My deepest sympathy to his family.
Robert Shapley
June 8, 2013
Dr. Larkin's spirit will live on through every student who ever sat in his classroom. Dr. Larkin did more than teach a class; he made students go beyond themselves and their world. May you find comfort in each and every memory, and may God grant you peace in the days and years to come. Rest in peace Dr. Larkin. Thank you for making me go beyond my boundaries and also for giving me a wonderful reading list!
Alyson Hettenbach
June 8, 2013
My prayers for the loss of a wonderful educator. I had two classes with Professor Larkin and credit him with providing me excellent lessons I will always remember. He will be truly missed.
Patty McInerney
June 8, 2013
I am so saddened to learn of our loss of Jim. I had the good fortune to be one of his students at GSE. A tribute I wish to offer is that throughout my career, Jim's insights, advice, wisdom, and humor offered to a beginning teacher have continued to stay within me, causing me to relect, often as counterpoints, to the culture[s] of schooling surrounding us. My deepest condolences to the family.
Patricia Kelly
June 8, 2013
Rest in peace Dr. Larkin. You have inspired generations of teachers. My condolences to your family.
Brooke Smith, FAS '82, GSE '82
June 8, 2013
He facilitated my admission in 1982, then handed me my diploma in 1983, and I will always remember him with fondness.
Sudee Sanders
June 8, 2013
I had two classes with Dr. Larkin and enjoyed them immensely. He was a wonderful teacher. So sorry to hear this news.
Sharon Pelham
June 8, 2013
Your humor and intelligence made classes fun and interesting. I had 2 classes with you @ Penn. Your comments on papers were always spot on and showed great wisdom and humanity. RIP Jim
Frank Elchert
June 8, 2013
Jim was a new faculty member in 1971-72 when I took his social studies methods class. I was introduced to the pioneering work of Man: A Course of Studies (MACOS) by him. I remember our class being like a bunch of 6th graders and watching the anthropological raw data videos from salmon and baboons to Netsilik Eskimos. I'll never forget the class or the inspiring young prof who really made me think about teaching in a new way. Jim, rest in peace.
Michael Bentley
June 8, 2013
When I began teaching at Penn's Graduate School of Education in the fall of 1995, Jim, as a fellow
anthropologist, took me under his wing. Over the years, he continued to be a wonderful mentor, role model, and friend. I learned many valuable lessons from Jim about the art of teaching, and so enjoyed his wonderful dry wit and refreshingly sensible perspective on academic life. He was an original, truly, as well as a wise, warm, and generous soul. He will be missed by so many. My sincere condolences to his family.
Kathy Hall
June 8, 2013
I never had Jim as a formal clasrrom teacher, just a friend. But he taught me more than any teacher I ever encountered.

Tom Ficarra
June 7, 2013
To borrow from the great Irish labor leader James Larkin, "The great appear great because we are on our knees, let us rise" To a great inspiration to this High School social studies teacher my prayers are with you
Jim McGuire GSE'83
James McGuire
June 7, 2013
Dr. Larkin,
Thanks for being my teacher. You will be missed, always. There's no one like you.
Inam Ur-Rahman
June 7, 2013
Jim was man truly in love with people and ideas. He added a lot of joy to my life.
Dulany Bennett
June 7, 2013
You were one of the best teachers I ever had.

God bless you. Rest in peace.
Nikola Sizgorich
June 7, 2013
I will remember Jim's humor in class and the thoughtful man behind that humor.
June 7, 2013
I was a student of Dr. Larkin's this past fall and he is one of the best teachers I have ever had. His views were so honest and made me personally look at things in a different perspective. He had an impact on me, I will never forget.

I am so deeply sorry for your loss. My prayers are with your family.
Christina Basciano
June 7, 2013
When I was a Junior in 1982 I met Jim Larkin for the first time. He has been an inspiration for me ever since...The finest professor I have ever met, he provided me with the gift of fresh eyes to see the world. He will forever have a place in my heart...To the Larkin family, thank you for sharing this wonderful man with the rest of us...
Mike Devitt
June 7, 2013
Jim was a terrific professor. I got so much out of his courses, I heard him say many times that his courses showed us the many different sides of life. He will be missed. I think I will re read a book from his course to honor him.
Melissa Killeen
June 7, 2013
Jim was a really authentic educator. He treated me with the respect I expected as a learner. Knowing that I was headed for rough seas in the School District of Philadelphia in 1990, he pronounced that I had the "moxie" to make it work. I loved working with Jim.
Vicki Oswald
June 7, 2013
Loss of Jim Larkin
Vicki Oswald
June 7, 2013
Jim Larkin was bright, colleagial,and industrious member of our faculty, possessed of a fine sense of humor and judgement. I much regret his passing.
Robert Boruch
June 7, 2013
I was in the Secondary Ed teacher certification program and had Jim as one of my primary teachers--along with the great Ryda Rose. Our readings and discussions were provocative and went deep. Jim's imprint has stayed with me all throughout my 30 years of teaching high school biology.
Mary Maxfield
June 7, 2013
Dr. Larkin was one of my dissertation advisers back in the early 1990's. His humor and lack of artifice were truly inspiring. I could tell that he was one of those teachers who truly cared for all students and believed that teaching was a "calling," not just a job. My sympathies go to his family, friends and colleagues.
Mary Lou Folts
June 7, 2013
Dr. Larkin was the most awesome teacher. He had a true sense of knowing how the material he was teaching would change the way the students would think about life. I am thrilled to have been a student of his and I am very sad to hear of his passing.
Joe Breslin
June 7, 2013
I was fortunate enough to have taken Dr. Larkin's class in the Organizational Dynamics program this past semester and, as everyone always says, it was a life changing experience. He was always fully engaged with his students and taught us all as much about life as he did about the academic material of the class. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.
Tiffany Hanulec
June 7, 2013
Jim Larkin was the smartest guy on the GSE faculty. He was reader and a thinker not a writer. He lived humane and intellectual principles. I shall always miss him. Hey! Jim: In a few years we'll have two drinks and one hell of a good Conversation. Dick Gibboney, Profssor Emeritus, Graduate School of Education.
June 7, 2013
Dear Marie, Colin, and Jonathan:

Kim Ridley and I had the deep privilege of getting to know both Jim and Colin through the Penn Organizational Dynamics program. Jim was a gifted teacher creating magic in the classroom and opening up many different points of view to his students. His warmth and compassion toward humanity came through in every session. He will be missed by all that were touched by him. Our condolences to the family.

Sue Wharton and Kim Ridley
June 7, 2013
Jim Larkin was my absolute favorite professor in the Organizational Dynamics program. His unique approach to the world, his hysterical stories, and his ability to make you not take yourself quite so seriously will be missed.
Deanna Hiltner
June 7, 2013
Words fall short of expressing my regret for the loss of Dr. Larkin, Organizational Dynamics (OD) Upenn faculty member. Unfortunately, I haven't taken any of his classes, but I knew how great and brave person he was through my OD colleagues.
May God bless and comfort him and his family at this time.
Ahmed Chirouf
June 7, 2013
I am forever grateful I had the privilege to learn from a man of such experience, candor, and humility.
June 7, 2013
I have nothing but amazing memories of Jim. Growing up with Colin since we were literally age 0, Jim was a constant presence during my formative years. One of my favorite memories is from one evening when "the four boys" were playing baseball in the University Mews courtyard. I nailed a ball, home run, which... broke a neighbor's window. Jim was sitting out, and yelled, "Tim! Get over here!" I was pretty scared. Then with the sly smile we all know well, he said, "That ball was outta here!" One of many great moments. I will miss him, and you will all be in my thoughts. My parents are out of the country right now, but have asked me to pass along their regrets as well.
Timothy Allen
June 7, 2013
It was an absolute privilege to have been able to have Dr. Larkin as a professor. His classes were engaging and forced everyone to reconsider their already established thoughts about life. He will be missed. My deepest condolences to his family.
Patricia Shenk
June 7, 2013
Dr. Larkin had a unique perspective on the world around us, which he shared with enthusiasm. I will forever embrace the lessons that he taught me.
Samuel Godfrey
June 7, 2013
Dear Aunt Marie, Colin and Jonathon
Uncle Jim was such a special person and one that I looked up to as I was growing up. I will miss him very much. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
June 7, 2013
Professor Larkin's encyclopedic knowledge was unparalleled and I am filled with gratitude to have known him. My deepest condolences.
Win Preechawutthidech
June 7, 2013
Dr. Larkin class was a true epiphany. He started us all on a real search for ourselves. He was the most profound and inspiring professor in the OD program by far and in'01-'03 there were many excellent instructors. Everyone said you should take his class before you finish the program. I still have the final paper I wrote for him and it is a touchstone in my life. Peace and Blessings to his family. Thank you for sharing him with us.
Jean Lavassaur
June 7, 2013
Jim Larkin was a great teacher because he taught from life experience. His candor and wisdom touched me in the brief time that I knew him last summer. Godspeed.
Steve Larzelere
June 7, 2013
Terribly sorry to lose Jim as a valued colleague in Organizational Dynamics. I know students valued their learning with him and will miss him greatly.
Janet Greco
June 7, 2013
My first course at Penn was taught by Professor Larkin... "Self, Role & Expectations". Larkin brought us all on a journey of self realization. That class was a true gift, as was he. I am so upset to never get that chance to have class with him again. I will forever be grateful for the time we had, and all he taught me.
Kristin Dudley
June 7, 2013
I am saddened to learn of Dr. Larkin's passing. I found him to be an inspiring professor that challenged each student to let go of those thoughts, ideas, and past situations which can hold a person back from reaching his/her fullest potential. His mentorship and kindness will be greatly missed.
Rachel Delgado
June 7, 2013
My condolences to the family, Marysusan Villa University of Pennsylvania MSOD degree candidate
Mary Susan Villa
June 7, 2013
'Twas a great, good, meaningful journey we all had together, Jim. Rest in a well-deserved peace. Smiling at the multitude of memories,
Your Friend and Colleague, Ryda Rose
June 7, 2013
Dr. Larkin was an inspirational teacher and terrific friend during my time as a Penn Student in Organizational Dynamics. He will be greatly missed. My deepest condolences to his family during this difficult time.
Jake Silverman
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