News - 7/14/09

Rest in Peace, John Steven Paul

John Steven Paul, 58, of Valparaiso, died Friday, July 10, 2009, at Porter Memorial Hospital. He was born February 22, 1951, in Fort Wayne, IN. He received a B.A. with distinction from Valparaiso University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in theatre and drama from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Joining the Valparaiso University faculty in 1979, he was Professor of Theatre and served for 15 years as department chair. He taught courses in dramatic literature, playwriting and screenwriting, drama and the church, and non-Western theatre. He directed more than 60 plays, musicals, and operas for the University Theatre, including Long Day’s Journey into Night, King Lear, The Yellow Boat, The Pirates of Penzance, Accidental Rapture, The Book of the Dun Cow, A Little Night Music, and The Magic Flute.

He was the founder (in 1987) and director of Soul Purpose, the University’s student liturgical drama troupe, which creates new plays and performs them in churches throughout the country. In 2001 he received Valparaiso University Alumni Association’s Distinguished Teaching Award. He served since 2005 as Program Director of Valparaiso’s Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts, the largest national, ecumenical association of church-related colleges and universities.

He was an active member of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and its religion and theatre focus group. He was a member of the Bach Choir of Valparaiso University.

He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Margaret Franson, along with his parents, Robert and Betty (Steffen) Paul of Fort Wayne, IN; two sisters, Jane (Reverend David) Boedecker of Marshall, MI, and Joanne I. Paul (Reverend Wendy Vander Hart) of Arlington, MA; two nieces, Sara Boedecker-Johnston (Kelley James Johnston) and Emily Boedecker; several beloved godchildren and many friends.

A funeral service will be held Thursday at 11:00 AM at the Valparaiso University Chapel of the Resurrection, Reverend Frederick Niedner officiating. Visitation will be held Wednesday from 4:00 to 8:00 PM at Moeller Funeral Home, 104 Roosevelt Rd., Valparaiso, and from 9:30 to 10:30 AM Thursday at the Chapel of the Resurrection. A memorial service will be held in September. Memorials may be made to the Department of Theatre or to Christ College, Valparaiso University.