Obituary of John Rouse

January 20, 2024

John Junior (Jay) Rouse was born April 28th, 1926, and passed away January 20th, 2024 in his New York home. A graduate of Syracuse University, John was preceded in death by his parents, John Rouse, Mildred Rouse, and his brother Henry Rouse. John is survived by his other two siblings, Marylou Lechler and Richard Rouse.

John had many passions throughout his life, some of which were teaching, classical music, and writing. His adolescence was spent in Preble, New York and Gouverneur, New York. He graduated from Gouverneur High school and went on to graduate from Syracuse University and advanced degree in education at New York University.

John dedicated his life to teaching, educating in many different schools across New York and New Jersey. John was adored by many of his students, who kept in touch with him decades after attending his lectures.

John retired from teaching in the English Department of St. Peter’s College just before his 90th birthday. Alongside this dedication to education, John was also the first director of the Oceanics program, a school for troubled youths aboard a square-rigger, which sailed in the Atlantic Ocean.

John was also a published author, with many articles and teaching aids to his name. Some of his books include The Complete Gesture: Myth, Character and Education, and Provocations, The Story of Mrs. M, and Unexpected Voices with co-author Edward Katz.


In several of John’s books he found this to poem interesting as he underlined and highlighted by William Wordsworth.


“…I love a public road: few sights there are That please me more: such object hath had power O’er my imagination since the dawn O childhood, when its disappearing line, Seen daily afar off, on one bare steep Beyond the limits which my feet had trod, Was a guide into eternity, At Least to things unknown and without bound. Even Something of the grandeur which invests The mariner who sails the roaring sea Through storm and darkness, early in my mind Surrounded, too, the wanders of the earth: Grandeur as much, and loveliness far more.” William Wordsworth from The Prelude

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An early meeting with John was as a student in his sociolinguistics course at NYU (1983). There was electricity in that classroom, and one or two students had already left in a huff. Some of John's remarks seemed to search for an honesty and depth of response that was uncommon in the calm halls of Academia. My life, and maybe the lives of the remaining classmates, were to be changed forever. It has been so wonderful, John.

Posted by: Ed Katz - South africa, South africa - Friend January 28, 2024
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