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Alfred A. Cave


1935 - 2019
Alfred A. Cave Obituary
(News story) Alfred A. Cave, a University of Toledo history professor emeritus and former dean who studied the ethnohistory of colonial America and Jacksonian democracy, died Sunday in his Sylvania Township home. He was 84.

He had Parkinson's disease the last five years, his wife, Mary Koslovsky, said.

His last book,'Sharp Knife: Andrew Jackson and the American Indians,' was published in October, 2017.

"Writing was integral to his life and his nature," his wife said. "Up until a couple weeks before he died, he said, 'I have an idea for another book.'"

Mr. Cave retired from UT in 2007. He was selected "distinguished historian" for the 2012 Ohio Academy of History's spring conference.

He was hired in 1973 as dean of UT's largest college, arts and sciences, a job he had at the University of Utah.

Mr. Cave was credited with appointing committees to develop a "writing across the curriculum" and women's studies programs.

He also helped develop an exchange program with Salford University in Manchester, England. His everyday duties included overseeing budgets and developing core curricula for more than 20 departments, from biology to economics.

He stepped aside in the late 1980s, saying that he preferred to teach and do research.

"The problem is there just aren't enough hours in the day to do the things I want to do. It is a matter of deciding on some personal priorities," Mr. Cave told The Blade in 1988.

He was a mentor of students, including Jim Seelye, an associate professor of history at Kent State University at Stark. Mr. Seelye came to UT in 2004 as a master's student and chose Mr. Cave as his thesis adviser.

"He knew how to take my work, no matter how good or terrible in some cases it was, and work with me to make it better," said Mr. Seelye, who has a doctorate.

He tries to emulate Mr. Cave's approach in the classroom, to make history a "fascinating, relevant story... He would lecture in paragraphs. He knew when to pause. He knew when to change his voice. He drew it all together."

He was born Feb. 8, 1935, in Albuquerque, N.M., to Jane and Robert Cave and grew up in Oregon under the care of his maternal grandmother, Ruth Harscher. A graduate of Linfield College in Oregon, he received a master's degree and doctorate from the University of Florida, where he taught. He was a former history instructor at the City College of New York.

He was a former chairman of the Consortium for Health Education in Northwest Ohio. Well versed in opera, from Mozart to Wagner, he formerly was on the Toledo Opera Association board. He was a former vice president of the Toledo Area Phi Beta Kappa Association.

His marriage to Jesse Bennett ended in divorce. Their daughter Ruth Voyles died June 13, 2012. Their son, Laurence Cave, died March 17, 2016. His second wife, Mary Sue Deisher Cave, died Jan. 24, 2004.

Surviving are his wife, Mary Koslovsky, whom he married Sept. 1, 2011; daughters Elizabeth Kanous and Rachel Cave; sister, Diane Butler; brother, Richard; five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at Corpus Christi University Parish, where the family will receive visitors after 10 a.m. Arrangements are by Walker Funeral Home. The family suggests tributes to the Point Foundation, pointfoundation.org, or to the Parkinson's Foundation, parkinson.org.

This is a news story by Mark Zaborney. Contact him at [email protected]">[email protected]">[email protected]">[email protected] or 419-724-6182.
Published in The Blade on Sept. 12, 2019
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