Richard E. Prior (2010)

Richard E. Prior, Furman University (August 24, 2010)

RICHARD EDMON PRIOR was born in Syracuse, New York, to Edmon and Stella Beaulieu Prior in 1962. At Baldwinsville High School in 1980, he accomplished the rare feat of receiving a New York State Regents diploma in four languages. His amazing Sprachgefühl ultimately gave him fluency in French, Spanish, German, and Italian and a working knowledge of Japanese, Sanskrit, Finnish, Portuguese, Russian, and Chinese. He graduated as a Latin major with a certification in teaching from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (1985) and taught in junior and senior high schools in North Carolina and Virginia, initiating the study of Greek at the high-school level in the Southeast in 1986. He received an M.A. from the University of Maryland (1991), and a Ph.D. from SUNY-Buffalo (1994), after which he taught at Furman University until his death, chairing the Department of Classics in 2009-10. He was a Life Member of CAMWS and Vice-President for South Carolina from 2001-2010. His summer expeditions with devoted students traversed Italy and offered the same wealth or knowledge and good humor that he displayed as a commentator for programs on the National Geographic and History channels. His research specialty was Latin pedagogy, beginning with 501 Latin Verbs (1995) through Latin Demystified: A Self Teacher (2008). He was a Buddhist who played the French horn and ice hockey. He adored Virgil, all dogs, winemaking, Buddhism, and his painting of Elvis on black velvet. He and his partner, Scott Henderson, were together for 24 years. He died at 47 from pneumonia on 24 August 2010.

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