Tuesday, March 3, 2009

In Memoriam

I've held off on this for a day because I wanted to give the last post time on the front page, but no longer, please.

Late two nights ago, or perhaps early in the morning, fellow medievalist scholar June Mecham passed away from a long illness, far too young, and far too soon for those of us who knew her.

June earned her Ph.D. only a few years ago, so was a relative newcomer on the scholarly scene. Still, even in that short time, her work on the material culture and performative piety of nuns earned her the respect of eminent scholars in her field.

But that's June's CV, not June herself. Those of us who knew her were blessed by a genuinely kind, warm, and loving friend. She always seemed to have a positive outlook on life, and was always willing to help others. She was the kind of person who you expected to rescue kittens, but she also was the only person I knew who knew what a Jake Brake was. Her work may have inspired us to be better scholars, but her open and genuine personality, devoid of the egoism that often seeps into the academic life, inspired us to be better whole people. Our lives are better for having had her in them, even if it was too short a time.

My love and thoughts are with her husband and daughter.

I will miss her.

6 comments:

New Kid on the Hallway said...

I thought of you when I saw this news - so terrible, so tragic. I never met her officially, but I saw her around Kzoo a few times, and she seemed super nice. It's just horrifying to think that she was probably younger than I am! Anyway, I'm so sorry.

hilary said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. From your lovely words about her, I can tell she was a wonderful person.

Susan said...

Oh, Notorious. I'm so sorry. And thank you for going ahead with the symposium. . .

Sharon said...

I stopped by for the History Matters discussion, and I was so touched to discover your comments about June. She has been my friend and colleague for the last four years, and we will miss her terribly. Her strength, her dedication to her scholarship and her students in the face of devastating illness, have been a wonder to behold. Such a warm, witty person--she should have had many more years.

Carrie said...

I am so sorry to learn of this today. June was a Ph.D. student with my husband at KU. She and her husband were some of my favorites of his fellow students, maybe because she knew about Jake Brakes. Our thoughts are with all of her friends, family, her husband and daughter.

secblog said...

Great blog I love the medieval history. I read about that period at here