Posted May 20, 2020
Professor Norman Chaney died May 6, 2020, surrounded by his wife Freda and his family. Norman joined the Department of English at Otterbein as in instructor in 1964, having earned an M.A. in Comparative Literature from Indiana University and an M.Div in Theology from Yale University. After two years at Otterbein, he left to earn a Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, where his fields of study were religion and literature. He returned to Otterbein in 1970 as an assistant professor and spent the better part of five decades teaching early British literature, Shakespeare, creative writing, Environmental Literature, and courses in the Integrative Studies program. He is the author of books such as Theodore Roethke: The Poetics of Wonder, Six Images of Human Nature, and most recently The Appointed Earth. In addition, he wrote numerous papers and presentations. He served on countless university committees and was the chair of the Department of English from 1992-1999. His distinguished career as an educator and author at Otterbein spanned more than 50 years.
Norman was a modern Renaissance man with varied interests. He was a philosopher, poet, minister, naturalist/farmer, world traveler, private pilot, singer (opera: Aida, chorus, church choir), carpenter, and, most important to his family, a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He will be deeply missed by students, colleagues, and countless members of the Otterbein family whose lives he touched. His family will share memorial plans in the days to come.