James Gordon Reynolds, 82
James G. Reynolds, 82 of Ashland, Professor emeritus of Ashland University, died April 27, 2018, at University Hospitals Samaritan Medical Center in Ashland, following a period of declining health.
Jim was born in Hamilton County, Indiana, in 1935 to Harold and Roberta Gordon Reynolds. The family lived in several Indiana towns during WWII. In 1948 they settled in Greencastle, Indiana, where Jim graduated from high school in 1954.
At DePauw University (BA, 1958) he was a Rector Scholar, an English and speech major, and a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon social fraternity.
He was an English teacher at Kendallville (IN) High School in 1958-59.
At Indiana University (MA, 1961) in Bloomington (IN) Jim studied playwriting under Professor Richard Moody and dramatic literary theory under Aristotelian world authority Professor Hubert C. Heffner.
As an instructor at The College of Wooster (1961-1964) he taught speech and theater courses and directed several dramas (most notably “The Crucible”).
Jim spent two years as a freelance playwright in New York City during 1964-1966.
In the fall of 1966 he started teaching at Ashland College and retired from Ashland University as a Professor Emeritus of English in 1998. He was a member of Modern Language Association, American Association of University Professors, and Educational Theatre Association.
As well as teaching literature and writing courses (especially modern drama, the essay, existential literature, and playwrighting), he was occasionally an advisor for “The Collegian”, the university student newspaper. In the theater department Jim directed 43 productions. His presentations of Shakespeare’s (“Hamlet, “Twelfth Night”, and “Othello”) were especially memorable, as were his contemporary interpretations of “Master Harold and the Boys,” “Waiting for Godot”, and “The Cherry Orchard”.
Over the years Jim had various interests: he was a life-long fan of the Chicago Cubs; in the 1970’s he constructed crossword puzzles for Dell Magazines, in the 1980’s he played tournament bridge; in the 1990’s he studied Shakespeare at Oxford University, England, and attended Shakespearean productions at Stratford-upon-Avon, the Globe Theatre in London, and the festivals in Stratford, Canada.
In his retirement he continued his interest in New York Times Sunday puzzles and was a Sudoku enthusiast; he walked daily at the Ashland Family YMCA. He was a biannual participant in Almanac, the national trivia contest sponsored by The World Almanac (placing first in the state of Ohio in 2008). He was vociferous reader of contemporary noir detective fiction, Shakespearean criticism, and memoirs.
He was preceded in death by his parents and twin sister, Judith Duane Reynolds, who died in 1995.
He is survived by many cousins in Indiana and close friends in Ashland, Wooster, Lakeside, and Maryland.
There will be no memorial services in Ashland. A private graveside burial took place in Cicero, Indiana on May 5, 2018.
Online condolences may be shared on the funeral home’s website at denbowfh.com.
Denbow-Gasche Funeral Home & Crematory handled the arrangements.