Donald Luckin, 89, a professor of Victorian literature who taught at Temple University for 33 years, died at his home on November 23, the day before Thanksgiving, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. Rackin lived in northwest Philadelphia for his 58 years, in Roxborough for his 26 years, and in Germantown for his 32 years.
“Don was brilliant and witty, but those who knew him valued his warmth and generosity above all else,” said his wife of 68 years, a University of Pennsylvania graduate. said Phyllis, a former English professor. “Even in his final illness, he had kind words and a beaming smile to everyone. He was the kindest, most generous, warm-hearted person I have ever met. ”
Rackin was a gifted teacher, well known in academia as Lewis Carroll’s academic excellence, and loved by his students. One of his, widely-published Travel Her writer Janet Fallon, wrote in her tribute: I loved him as a human being. Another, Jude Nixon, now a world-renowned scholar of Victorian literature, wrote, “I owe the success of my personal and professional life to Don.”
family friend Marsha Ferguson and Tim Corrigan commented: I feel so lucky to have known him and his wonderful family. ”
When asked what she wants people to know most about her father, Rebecca, 63, daughter of Mount Airy artist Luckin, said: She is loved by the earth and everyone who has met him. He was also an avid reader of local papers. ”
Don and Phyllis Rackin have a second daughter. Poet Ethel Rackin, 50, and Bucks County Community College professor and grandson of musician Max Hoenig, 27, live in South Philadelphia.
Born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, Rackin received a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University in 1954, a master’s degree from Columbia University in 1955, and a doctorate from the University of Illinois in 1964. Most of his poems and short stories remain unpublished, but his family plans to publish many as posthumous books to be published in the near future.
However, he was noted and widely admired as the author of influential articles and books on Victorian literature. In 1967 he received the William Riley Parker Award. It is the oldest award given by the Modern Language Society, the leading professional organization in the United States and Canada for scholars of language and literature.
The Parker Prize is awarded annually for the best paper published in the association’s flagship journal, PMLA, and is widely considered the most prestigious in the study of contemporary language and literature.Don He has lectured widely not only in the United States but also overseas, including lectures at Oxford University in the UK and Tel Aviv.. He was also featured in a 1994 episode of the television series Great Books, dedicated to the work of Lewis Carroll.
At Temple University, Don was the editor of the Faculty Herald. “He was one of the best editors he ever had,” recalls Germantown colleague Bob Salomon. He was also editor of Academe, the national journal of the American Association of College Professors.
After retirement, she continued her editorial work as a volunteer for the Philadelphia Great Hunger Coalition, where she prepared grant proposals, enlisted to support other projects, and contributed to the Coming of I participated in Age.
Don was also a lifelong activist. According to Phyllis, “He was an early opponent of nuclear proliferation and the Vietnam and Iraq Wars, and an active supporter of civil rights and the Temple Teachers Union, where he chaired the Complaints Committee. rice field.
As one of his friends wrote, “He lived according to his convictions.” He was a feminist before the word feminist was common. He fought hard for women’s rights, and in his private life, he never thought he would be responsible for sharing the household and child care equally. When I struggled with sexism at work, it was Don who encouraged me to fight back, and he actively supported the precedent-setting lawsuit I eventually filed (Lakin v. University of Pennsylvania). Did.
Don also knew how to have fun. His family tells us that at his high school in Newark, he was known as the best Jitterbug his dancer in the class and later became an accomplished sailor, cook and carpenter. Don single-handedly built part of a summer cottage on Prince Edward Island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada.
According to his family, Don values his Jewish heritage, taking Yiddish courses after retirement and reading Jewish jokes, Jewish food, klezmer music, and Jewish-themed books and movies. I was enjoying myself.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. Len Lear can be reached at his email@example.com.