Professor Katharine O. Aston passed away in the early morning of May 16. She was 101 years old.
Funeral arrangements are made by Owens Funeral Home, but there will be no visitation.
A memorial service (mass) will be held at 10 am, Friday, May 24, at St. John's Catholic Church (Newman Center), at 604 E. Armory, Champaign IL.
An obituary appears in News-Gazette, Sunday, May 19, page B4.
After receiving her Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr in 1958, she was hired to teach in the Department of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in the program of English as a Second Language. She became director of the program in 1959.
Milestones during the 29 years of her academic career showed her in the vanguard of her profession.
- Kay was one of the founding members of the international professional organization, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages in the mid-1960s.
- She instituted the MA in TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) at UIUC in 1966.
- She created one of the first Minors in TESL in the country, which met the academic and practical requirements for teaching ESL in the public schools of Illinois.
- She established off-campus internships in Puerto Rico (1968-75) and Iran (1970-78), and was the director of the latter program in the mid-1970s.
The Katharine O. Aston Award for Outstanding Masters Thesis was established in her honor.