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Professor Emeritus of English Charles Ruhl Dies

Charles Edward Ruhl, 73, of Norfolk, professor emeritus of English at Old Dominion University, died Dec. 25, 2009, after a long illness.

He is survived by his wife, Janet Bing, professor of English at ODU.

After graduating from the Milton Hershey School, Ruhl received his B.A. in philosophy from Gettysburg College in 1960, his M.A. in English from Purdue University in 1965 and his Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 1972.

He taught linguistics at UNC Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central. From 1974 until his retirement in 1999, he taught at ODU, where he served as both graduate program director and department chair of English. He was active in a number of professional organizations and published many articles as well as a book, "On Monosemy." His passion was his work, but he was also an avid Giants fan (both teams), a poet (who published four chapbooks of poetry), and a kind and loving man.

Survivors include his daughter, Jennifer Ruhl; stepson, Eric Bing; granddaughter, Claire Bing; brothers and sisters, David Ruhl, Theodore Byers, Ruth Byers, Jack Byers, Margaret Anne Byers and Nancy Byers; his cousin, Bobbie Myers; his aunt, Kathryn King; Donna Brogan and Connie Eble; and many grateful former students.

A memorial service in his honor will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in his name to the Department of English, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529-0078 or to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation.

This article was posted on: January 4, 2010

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