James D. Strauch, 1934-2001
James D. (Jim) Strauch, professor emeritus of educational psychology, died of heart failure on Dec. 8. He was 67. During more than 30 years as a faculty member of the Neag School of Education, Strauch dedicated his professional life to helping those with special needs and teaching others to do the same.
Even after retirement, he remained active as an adjunct professor and participated in department activities right up until the time of his death.
"Jim Strauch was an incredible gentleman with expertise in special education," said Richard Schwab, dean of the Neag School of Education. "He was a loving man who had a balanced way of looking at problems, and he took great joy in both his teaching and his family. Jim was a dedicated teacher who always strove for excellence and he was instrumental in making our special education program one of the top 20 in the country. The outpouring of gifts to the University in his honor has been a tribute to his lasting legacy."
"Jim Strauch was a wonderful man," says Sally Reis Renzulli, professor and chair of the educational psychology department. "For all of the 21 years that I had the privilege of knowing him, I found him to be a compassionate, kind, and caring person. He was an inspiration to his students, a gentleman, and a scholar. Jim was loved and respected by everyone in our department and by all who knew him."
Born in Buffalo, N.Y., Strauch graduated from SUNY-Buffalo in 1959 and completed his master's and doctoral degrees at Syracuse University in 1968. He was one of the founders of Hockanum Industries in Vernon, Conn., a workshop/outreach and job training program for people with developmental disabilities.
Throughout his life, Maine was Jim's favorite retreat. He was a contemplative man who spent a lot of time thinking and reading about the meaning of life. He also had a wry sense of humor. His hobbies included playing with his grandchildren, tinkering with the family houses, and listening to the blues.
Strauch is survived by his wife, Catherine, his three children, and eight grandchildren.
Donations may be made to the UConn Foundation, J. Strauch Fund, c/o Dean Richard Schwab, Neag School of Education, U-2064, 249 Glenbrook Rd., Storrs, CT 06269-2064.