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Russian language expert dies

- December 12, 2005

Borys Bilokur, professor emeritus of modern and classical languages, died Nov. 19 of cancer. He was 73.

Bilokur, of Mansfield Center, joined the University’s Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages in 1967, teaching Russian language and literature. His interests were Russian poetry, East European studies, and independent language instruction. He retired in 1997.

Born in the Ukraine, he came to the United States with his family and served in the army. He attended Temple University and the University of Illinois, where he earned his doctorate.

“Borys Bilokur was an accomplished scholar, a popular teacher, and a strong promoter of the study of Slavic and East European Languages and Literature in the United States,” says Norma Bouchard, head of modern and classical languages.

Herbert Lederer, professor emeritus of German studies, says Bilokur established lasting friendships with his colleagues in modern and classical languages.

A specialist in stylistic analysis, Bilokur was the author of a book, essays, and book chapters on the language of poet and diplomat Fedor Tyutchev.

Bilokur’s pioneering work in computerized application of stylistic criticism achieved international recognition and earned him guest professorships and fellowships in the Soviet Union and Bulgaria.

Bilokur’s commitment to teaching extended far beyond the classroom, Bouchard says.

In 1973, he was named president of the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages for the Connecticut chapter.

During the next 20 years he held important charges in the Connecticut Council of Language Teachers and the National Slavic Honor Society.

Bilokur was an avid collector of many things, including Jaguar automobiles.

He is survived by his wife, Lida Skilna Bilokur, two sons, a brother, and three grandchildren.

Donations may be made for the establishment of a scholarship fund at UConn. Please make checks payable to The University of Connecticut Foundation Inc., Borys and Lida S. Bilokur Fund, 2390 Alumni Drive, Unit 3206, Storrs CT 06269.

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