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Obituary: Dr. Del Ivan Janik

Dr. Del Ivan Janik, adjunct professor at Farmingdale State College, SUNY, and professor emeritus of English at the State University of New York at Cortland, passed away at Crouse Memorial Hospital, Syracuse, on June 22 after a brief illness. 


Dr. Janik was born and raised near Chicago in Berwyn, IL. He earned a BA in English from Northwestern University, an MA in English from the University of Michigan, and a PhD in English from Northwestern University. 


He was a valued member of the English department at SUNY Cortland from 1971 to 2006, where he served as chair for 12 years. He also chaired the Study Abroad Committee for 15 years, and in 1983-84 he taught at the University of North London. He moved to Stony Brook in 2006 and was teaching part-time at SUNY Farmingdale.


Dr. Janik was a noted expert in the field of Modern British Fiction. He published over 23 articles and reviews in professional journals and was a frequent conference presenter and keynote speaker. He was the author and editor of several books including The Curve of Return: D.H. Lawrence’s Travel Books, Studies in Ruskin: Essays in Honor of Van Akin Burd (co-edited with Dr. Robert Rhodes), and Modern British Women Writers: An A to Z Guide (co-authored and edited with Dr. Vicki K. Janik).  He was also honored at SUNY Cortland with the Del Ivan Janik Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Shakespeare Studies.


In addition Janik was an active unionist, serving as the Cortland chapter president of the United University Professions (UUP) from 1997-99. He was an advocate and activist for education, the environment, peace, human rights, and other progressive causes.  


Janik loved to visit the Chicago area whenever he could, and was a lifelong Cubs fan. He was a music lover, a fan of classical, jazz, folk, and pop. He enjoyed playing the bassoon, performing with the Cortland College Community Orchestra and attending concerts regularly. He loved to travel throughout the United States and Europe, including a recent trip to his ancestral homeland, the Czech Republic.


Janik is survived by his wife, Vicki, six children and stepchildren Kathleen, David, Victor, Tyra, Mary, and Carolyn, and five grandchildren Juliet, Francis, Kevin, Lillian, and Daniel.


In his memory, contributions may be sent to the Del I. Janik Award for Excellence in Student Writing at Farmingdale State College. Checks should be made payable to: Farmingdale College Foundation (#242801) and sent to 2350 Broadhollow Rd., Horton 120, Farmingdale, NY 11735.