Bowling Green - Dr. John Algeo, UGA Emeritus Professor of English, died October 13 in Bowling Green, KY, age 88. Born in St. Louis, Missouri. U.S. Army, 1951-1954, with service in Korea.
John met his future wife, Adele Silbereisen, in graduate school. He was sitting on the UFL quad, trying to study, when he was distracted by the swish of a calf-length skirt and the lithe figure who wore it. When she showed up in his Old English class, a love match was made over ancient words and contract bridge.
John taught, lectured, and published on linguistics, fantasy literature, and religion. He is author or editor of 29 books, including the widely-used textbook, Origins and Development of the English Language. At UGA, he was Alumni Foundation Distinguished Professor, Department Head, and Director of Linguistics. He was President of the American Dialect Society, the American Name Society, and the Dictionary Society of North America. He edited the journal American Speech for ten years and, with Adele, for another ten years wrote its "Among the New Words" column on neologisms. He was a Fulbright Research Fellow and a Guggenheim Fellow at the University of London, Visiting Professor at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, and seminar leader for English teachers in Jerusalem.
John was fascinated with ritual, symbolism, and life's existential mysteries. A 70-year member of the Theosophical Society, he served as American President and International Vice-President. He rose to Thirty-Third Degree in the Eastern Order of International Co-Freemasonry.
He lost his beloved Adele in 2010 and is survived by daughter Katie, Scottsville, KY; son Thomas, Cincinnati, OH; and five grandchildren.
J.C. Kirby & Son Broadway Chapel has been entrusted with arrangements. Cremation was chosen.