William Lucht, professor emeritus of English, died April 12, 2019, in his Portland home. He was 96.
Lucht, an infantryman in World War II, was among the early beneficiaries of the GI Bill®, graduating from Harvard and returning to his native Iowa for graduate study. At the University of Iowa, he and his wife, Valerie, met William and Dorothy Stafford. Stafford was teaching at L&C at that time, but had gone back to school in Iowa when then President Morgan Odell encouraged faculty to pursue further graduate study. The Luchts and Staffords became close friends, and Stafford encouraged Lucht to consider working at Lewis & Clark. When he completed his doctorate, Lucht applied and started teaching at the college in 1960.
Lucht’s curricular focus was Shakespeare and 17th-century British literature. He also carried his teaching beyond the classroom, leading L&C students on several overseas study programs to Britain, and for years sustaining the summer “Shakespeare in Ashland” program that drew both students and alumni.
Lucht retired from Lewis & Clark College in 1987. He is survived by his wife, Valerie; daughters Wendy BA ’72 and Sarah; and sons Philip BA ’89 and Alec. The family suggests donations to Aubrey R. Watzek Library.
—Adapted from a tribute written by Jack Hart, professor emeritus of English.