Sept. 10, 2004 • Volume 13 Number 1

Joseph Figurito

BC Mourns Passing of Five

The Boston College community this summer mourned the deaths of three retired faculty members and a long-time Graduate School of Social Work administrator.

Prof. John R. Eichorn (LSOE), Asst. Prof. Paul T. Banks (Mathematics), Prof. Joseph Figurito (Romance Languages) and former GSSW Director of Admission Ruth O. Fallon passed away since the end of the 2003-04 academic year in May.

The University community is also mourning the death of Christopher J. Catanese '05, who died in an automobile accident near his Dover, Mass., home on July 6. It was his 21st birthday.

Prof. Eichorn, 90, who died on June 9, organized special education curricula at Boston College for visually impaired and deaf-blind children and, in 1970, established the Boston College Campus School for multi-handicapped children.

A former faculty member at Fitchburg State College and Indiana University, Prof. Eichorn joined Boston College in 1962 as a professor of education and director of the University's peripatology program. He retired from BC in 1983.

Prof. Banks, who died from heart failure on July 12 at age 87, taught at the University from 1948 until his retirement in 1982. He was instrumental in establishing the Army ROTC program at the University during his teaching career.

A 1939 graduate of Boston College, Prof. Banks enlisted in the US Army after receiving a master's degree in mathematics from the University in 1941. After the war, Prof. Banks remained in the Army Reserve, retiring from military service with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Prof. Figurito died from lung cancer on Aug. 6 at age 82. He had taught Italian, French and Spanish literature and language courses during a 52-year teaching career at Boston College that began in 1947. He also served as founder and moderator of the Italian Academy.

An accomplished violinist, Prof. Figurito organized a faculty orchestra in the 1950s and performed for many years. He also served as a marshal at University Commencement and was a spotter for the public address announcer at Boston College football games from 1959 through the 2003 season.

Prof. Figurito, who was born in Italy, came to Boston College as a freshman in 1941, but left to serve as a US Army intelligence officer in Europe during World War II. He completed his degree at the University after the war and was hired as a Boston College faculty member in 1947 while studying for his master's degree at Middlebury College. He later added a doctorate in romance languages from Middlebury.

Mrs. Fallon, who died of heart failure on June 17, joined BC in 1958 as a member of the School of Social Work faculty. Eight years later, she was named GSSW's first director of admission, a post she held for 30 years until her retirement in 1996.

A graduate of Radcliffe College, she earned a master's degree in social work from Catholic University in 1936. She worked as a hospital social worker for several years and during World War II, Mrs. Fallon was associate director of Foreign Hospital Service for the American Red Cross.

Mr. Catanese had been selected for membership in the University's Order of the Cross and Crown, an honor society for students in the College of Arts and Sciences with grade point averages of 3.5 and higher who demonstrated outstanding levels of service and leadership within the University community. A communication major in A&S, Mr. Catanese had planned to attend law school after graduation. -Reid Oslin

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