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January 9, 2003

Obituary — Willard William Korth

Willard W. Korth, emeritus associate professor in the School of Education, died Dec. 12, 2002, of renal failure due to diabetes. He was 74.

A native of Pierce, Nebraska, Korth came to Pitt in 1970 as associate professor of science education and associate director of Pitt’s earth science program. In addition to his teaching duties at Pitt, from 1973 to 1975 Korth served as a program development specialist at the Pittsburgh Board of Education.

In 1976 Korth became director of early childhood, elementary and middle school programs at Pitt’s education school, and in 1983 he was named a center associate at the Learning Research and Development Center. He also held an adjunct associate professorship at the School of Dental Medicine from 1980 to 1984. Korth retired from Pitt in 1998.

According to Korth’s daughter Holly McIntire, “He had a passion for flower gardening, with dahlias as a particular favorite. He also had an insatiable interest in the religions of the world and served as an educator at his church,” teaching adult Sunday school at Perry Highway Lutheran Church for 30 years. Korth also served on the archives committee at the Lutheran Synod.

“Teaching, family and church were his great loves,” said Korth’s son Terry Fischer. Fischer encouraged friends and colleagues to sign the guest book established by the family, which is accessible on line at

Following service in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Korth earned an A.B. in 1950 in physical science and mathematics from Wayne State Teachers College, an M.S. in natural science in 1958 from Oklahoma State University and a Ph.D. in science education in 1968 from Stanford University. He also studied physics at the University of Minnesota.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Joyce (Epperson) Korth, five sons, four daughters, his mother, one sister, one brother, 16 grandchildren and five great grandchildren. He was predeceased by two sons.

The family requests that memorial contributions be made to Perry Highway Lutheran Church, Maintenance Endowment Fund, 11403 Perry Highway, Wexford, Pa, 15090.

Filed under: Feature,Volume 35 Issue 9

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