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John Hay Stroupe

November 8, 2019
Kalamazoo, MI

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John H. Stroupe died in Kalamazoo on Friday, November 8th, 2019. He was a man of many facets: husband, father, teacher, grandfather, author, critic, musician, editor, publisher, academic entrepreneur and administrator, director, chairman, president, advisor, mentor, and counselor. A modest man of integrity and compassion, Stroupe was inpatient with cant and hypocrisy, pretensions and posturing. In short, he did not suffer fools gladly. Born 30 October 1935 in Chicago, Illinois, he was the only child of Clarence and Leona (Hay) Stroupe, both professional musicians (Clarence had studied with Busoni in Berlin and Isidor Phillip in Paris). An accomplished pianist, Stroupe attended Oak Park and River Forest High School, and spent much time during his teen years at Orchestra Hall in Chicago, listening to his favorite pianists: Horowitz, Arrau, Rudolph Serkin, Kapell, Novaes, Hess, Schnabel, Moiseiwitsch, Brailowski, among many others. And in his late teens he recorded works of Bach, Scarlatti, Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, and Brahms. He also frequently escaped for afternoon games at Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. After high school John attended Grinnell College, where he met his future wife, Nancy Homan. Stroupe earned his doctoral degree in English literature from the University of Rochester in 1962 and taught at Rochester, Iowa State University, and Western Michigan University, from which he retired in 2001. In addition, he was visiting Professor of English at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada during the summer of 1974. Stroupe co-founded and edited COMPARATIVE DRAMA, an international journal of dramatic criticism, from 1967-1998. He also edited or co-edited ten volumes of critical essays, authored some 100 professional articles, reviews, and free-lance pieces, and among other achievements, directed several National Defense Education Act (NDEA) federal institutes for advanced study in English, served as president of the WMU chapter of the American Association of University Professors, and as Director of Graduate Studies in English, also at Western Michigan University. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Nancy Homan Stroupe, and three sons: John (Melinda) of Santa Fe, New Mexico, James, (Valerie) of Kalamazoo, Michigan, Nathan, (Maryam) of Kabul, Afghanistan -- and three grandchildren, all of Kalamazoo. There will be a celebration of his life at a later date. If desired, donations may be made in memory of John H. Stroupe, to Ministry with Community in Kalamazoo, United Farm Workers, or the library of one's choice.