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Volume 60, Number 22    February 11, 2013         

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In Memoriam

Rosemary Patton
Emerita Lecturer in English Rosemary Patton died Oct. 23, 2012. Patton was part of a remarkable group of composition teachers who saw writing requirements as an opportunity rather than a burden. Her gifts as a teacher were bound up with her enthusiasm for books, the natural world, the richness of other people's lives and the deep pleasure to be found in sharing thoughtful, humorous responses to life. Part of her childhood was spent in England where her father was a British naval officer. Her mother, Ruth Dundas, had also lived in Europe as a young woman before studying at SF State as a mature student; Dundas received a degree in classics. Patton followed in her mother's footsteps, earning her M.A. in English from SF State.

Patton joined SF State in 1978 and taught in the composition program for 14 years until her retirement in 1992. She then became a serious leader of book groups, helped edit two collections of women's autobiographical writing, and hiked and travelled widely. She also co-authored the textbook Writing Logically with her friend and colleague Sheila Cooper; that book is now in its seventh edition.

A memorial gathering that she had planned was held in the Presidio on January 5, 2013.

George Tuma
Professor Emeritus of English George Tuma passed away Jan. 14, one month after the death of his wife, Dinah Hazell. Tuma and his wife were medievalists and together they edited Medieval Forum, an electronic journal hosted by the Department of English for a number of years.

As an undergraduate at Harvard, Tuma studied architecture; he took a degree in divinity before turning to graduate studies in English literature at Michigan State, where he earned a doctorate. Tuma joined San Francisco State in 1970 and taught a variety of courses in medieval English literature, as well as classes titled The Bible as Literature, Detective Fiction, The Literature of Revolution, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Fairy Tales and Sherlock Holmes. He took teaching seriously and his courses were challenging, but he was also generous with his students. Tuma's publications include two volumes on the fourteenth-century English mystics. A reminiscence by one of his former students, Greg Roensch, may be found at


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