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In Memoriam

In Memoriam

Daniel Ross Reedy (1935-2023)Daniel Ross Reedy (1935-2023)  Born in Wabash Township, Clark County, IL, May 21, 1935, the son of Ralph Reedy and Nellie Milbourn Reedy. He was predeceased by his parents, daughter LaRae Lynn Reedy, two brothers: William James Reedy and Robert Frederick Milbourn. Survivors include his college sweetheart and wife of 64 years, Nancy Ann Dunham Reedy, two daughters: Lisa Maria Reedy Loeffler (Lexington), Lucinda “Cindy” Ann Reedy Hall (Nashville), sons-in-law: Andrew Loeffler and Tim Hall; five grandchildren: Madeleine Broox Loeffler, Emma Maria Loeffler, Daniel Ramsey Hall, Hadley Francis Hall, Henry Marshall Hall, a special niece, Linda Sue Milbourn Poorman of Moore, OK, and his adoptive Familia Mariategui, Lima, Peru.

Dan was a member of Lexington’s Central Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, having served as Deacon, Elder, and Chair of the Board of Elders.

Educated in one-room country schools, Dan discovered Spanish language, Hispanic culture, and literature at Marshall High School. His desire to become a teacher led to Eastern Illinois University, graduating in 1957 with Honors (B.S.Ed., Spanish, English, Latin). He studied for the M.A. in Spanish (1959) and the Ph.D. (1962) in Latin Ameri-can Literature, Linguistics, and Latin American History at the University of Illinois and the Universidad Nacional Mayor del Peru as a Rotary International Scholar (1959-60). When doors of opportunity opened, he was fortunate to encounter pathways for potential fulfillment of life’s purpose.

His professional career began at UNC-Chapel Hill in 1962 before moving with colleagues to the University of Kentucky in 1967 to revitalize the doctoral program in Spanish and Hispanic literatures. He mentored forty-five successful Ph.D. graduates during his thirty-nine-year academic tenure and received UK’s William B. Sturgill Award for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate Education. His research and publications on Latin American Literature, with specialization in Peruvian culture, earned him international recognition. For eighteen years he was a Contributing Editor to the Library of Congress’ Handbook of Latin American Studies. He was a Fulbright Research Scholar in Peru and President of the Southeastern Latin American Studies Association.

At the University of KY, Dr. Reedy served as Department Chair, Acting Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and Dean of the Graduate School (1983-1996). He was a member of the UK Athletics Board, Senate Council, the University Press of Kentucky Advisory Board, Senior University Marshal, and President of the Hilary J. Boone Faculty Center.

Under the mentorship of UK President Otis A. Singletary, he was an American Council on Education Fellow in Administration. With the support of President David Roselle and in his capacity as Graduate Dean, Reedy enlisted the personal cooperation of Dr. Lyman T. Johnson in 1988 to create the LTJ Fellowship Program for Outstanding Minority Graduate Students. Nationally, Reedy was a member of the Minority Affairs Committee of the U.S. Council of Graduate Schools.

During 1995-96 he was President of the Association of Midwestern University Graduate Deans. He also served as a field consultant on graduate studies for the Washington D.C. Academy for Educational Development projects in Panama and Mexico. The Conference of Southern Graduate Schools recognized him in 1999 for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate Education in the Southern Region.

After his return to the classroom in 1996, Reedy was twice selected by faculty colleagues to membership on the UK Board of Trustees where he was elected Secretary. In that role, he was Board liaison in the search for UK’s Eleventh President; with Trustee Joetta Wickliffe, he co-chaired the Inaugural Committee for installation of Dr. Lee T. Todd as UK President.

Dan’s professional accomplishments were recognized in 1981 by Eastern Illinois University with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters and the University of Illinois College of Liberal Arts and Sciences honored Reedy with its LAS Alumni Achievement Award in 2001. He was a Corresponding Member of the Hispanic Society of America. Memberships included Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Tau Delta, Kappa Delta Pi, and Omicron Delta Kappa. In 2017, he was named to UK’s College of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame.

In addition to his many academic accomplishments, Dan was a loving and devoted husband, father and Poppy. He never met a stranger. He wanted to know everyone’s story and likewise wanted everyone to know his. Food was his love-language and his friends and family were recipients of his delicious offerings. He leaves behind a wonderful legacy and will be so dearly missed.


We are so sorry you never had the chance to know DRR (as he would initial his memos).  His obituary is daunting but doesn’t tell all.

He and other young hires at UNC-Chapel hill were surprised and dismayed at the insular attitude of the older professors. The final straw was when these new hires got into trouble for publishing their research.  “You don’t want to make the others look bad, do you?”  That did it!  In a coup that made national headlines, DRR, 9 young professors and 40 graduate students picked up stakes and decamped to the University of Kentucky to set up a department that soon became nationally recognized.

DRR embodied everything we envisioned for a department: openness, integrity, collegiality and a mentorship that went beyond the classroom.  Research and teaching thrived under his leadership.

His joy of research and teaching permeated his lectures and not surprisingly amassed a large following of students fascinated with the (at that time) often neglected field of Hispanic literature and culture.  His students learned more than facts from him and went on to become respected professors in their own right.

There are many stories of how he fearlessly confronted all levels of the administration when he thought they were trying to undermine Hispanic studies.

If you met him, you would be surprised that this paragon of academic and administrative achievement would want to sit down with you, have a chat, talk about his latest research, and encourage you in your interests.

We are so sorry you never had the chance.

Joseph and Margaret Jones
Professors Emeriti

Brian J. Dendle (1936-2013)

Brian J. Dendle (1936-2013) Born in Oxford, England, Brian Dendle received a degree from Oxford University and a Ph.D. from Princeton University. He taught Spanish at the University of Kentucky for over thirty years from 1971 to 2005 and served as Editor of the scholarly journal Romance Quarterly. His contributions to the study of language and literature, through numerous books and articles, are known internationally. Some of his books are:
The Spanish Novel of Religious Thesis (1876–1936). Castalia. (republishing of his doctoral dissertation), 1968
Galdós: The Mature Thought. The University Press of Kentucky, 1980
Galdós: The Early Historical Novels. The University of Missouri Press, 1986
Galdós y Murcia: Epistolario de Benito Pérez Galdós y Alberto Sevilla Pérez. Universidad de Murcia, 1987
Galdós y "La Esfera". Universidad de Murcia, 1990

John Esten Keller III

John Esten Keller III Medieval Spanish scholar, professor emeritus in Hispanic Studies at the University of Kentucky, author of some 40 scholarly books and 50 articles in the fields of Medieval, Renaissance and Hispanic literature and culture and several works of fiction, and lecturer of renown. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees in Spanish from the University of Kentucky and his Ph.D from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he taught for 18 years before returning to his Alma Mater as director of the College of Letters and Languages and chairman of Spanish and Italian. It was he who in 1967 formed the Department, now known as Hispanic Studies, at Kentucky. Five professors and 25 graduate students to serve as teaching assistants transferred from the Department of Romance Languages of the University of North Carolina to Kentucky, where a full graduate program was soon instituted, attracting new faculty and students. Dr. Keller retired from the classroom in 1988 at age 71 due to the University's retirement policy at the time but continued to conduct research, write books and lecture throughout the United States and abroad. In 2007 he was inducted into the College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame for his lifetime achievements and for his contributions to the University of Kentucky. During his active career at the University he received the Sang Award (1972-73) for outstanding contributions to graduate education at UK; the College or Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor Award, the highest professional recognition offered by the College (1977-78); served on the Board of the Medieval Academy of America and on the editorial board of its publication Speculum; was editor in chief of Kentucky's Studies in Romance Languages and of Kentucky Romance Quarterly; and was president of the South Atlantic Modern Language Association. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Kentucky, the University of Granada in Spain and Plymouth State College in New Hampshire. He has lectured on the Canticles of Alfonso X, the Learned, a 13th century Spanish king, at more than 60 institutions in the U.S. and abroad, in English and Spanish. In 1985 King Juan Carlos of Spain conferred upon him the Order of Alfonso X, one of the oldest and top awards Spain offers, for his long outstanding work in furthering the understanding of Spanish literature and culture. Dr. Keller edited numerous important medieval Spanish and Latin texts and wrote critical studies of early Spanish literature as well as a popular and widely used students' history of Spanish literature, several novels, one of which was published in Spain, and translated and published numerous short stories from Spanish and French.

Dr. John Jay Allen

Dr. John Jay Allen, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Hispanic Studies and named Corresponding Member of the Spanish Royal Academy of the Language (Real Academia Española de la Lengua). Professor Allen taught in the Department of Hispanic Studies (formerly Department of Spanish and Italian) from 1983 to 1999 and was Emeritus Professor since 2000. Dr. Allen´s accomplishments are too numerous to list, but the most salient are: NEH Fellowship for Independent Research, 1981-82; NEH Summer Seminar for College Teachers, 1989; Residential Fellowship to the National Humanities Center, North Carolina, 1989-90; Albert D. and Elizabeth H. Kirwan Memorial Prize, University of Kentucky; and Doctor of Letters honoris causa, Middlebury College, 2004. He was honored with two journal-homages, Bulletin of the Comediantes 53.1 (2001) and Cervantes 23.1 (2003), and one book, Corónente tus hazañas: Studies in Honor of John Jay Allen, ed. Michael J. McGrath. Newark, Del.: Juan de la Cuesta Press (2005). Another posthumous homage book is being prepared and edited by Moisés R. Castillo titled: La vida como obra de arte: Essays in Memory of John Jay Allen (forthcoming Juan de la Cuesta, 2021). Dr. Allen was Visiting Professor at the Reijsuniversiteit te Utrecht, The Netherlands in 1977, Visiting Mellon Professor at the University of Pittsburgh in 1982, and Visiting Professor at Middlebury College in 2004. In addition, he was an Honorary Fellow for the Hispanic Society of America; Founding Editor of Cervantes. Bulletin of the Cervantes Society of America (1979-85); and President of the Cervantes Society of America (1995-97). In 1989 the City Hall of Alcalá de Henares, Cervantes´ birthplace, appointed him member of the Commission on the Preservation and Reconstruction of the Teatro Cervantes to advise the Spanish government on matters of conservation. His publications dealt with two main fields of scholarship: Cervantes’ masterpiece, Don Quijote, and the archaeology of playhouses in Europe in the early modern period, from the late sixteenth- to the early-eighteenth centuries. Dr. Allen authored major studies on Don Quijote: Don Quixote: Hero or Fool? and Don Quijote: Hero or Fool? Part II, which were merged and published in 2008 as Don Quixote: Hero or Fool? Remixed; and Don Quijote en el arte y pensamiento de Occidente, co-authored with Patricia S. Finch in 2004. Dr. Allen was also responsible for the standard edition of Don Quijote, used by universities and centers of higher learning throughout the world. This publication has over 26 revised and updated editions. In a parallel fashion, his work on Spanish theaters of the Golden Age earned him international renown. His books on the subject include two major studies: The Reconstruction of a Spanish Golden Age Playhouse. El Corral del Príncipe, 1583-1744 (1983); Los teatros comerciales del siglo XVII y la escenificación de la comedia, co-authored with José María Ruano de la Haza (1994); and one scholarly edition of Pedro Calderón de la Barca´s El gran teatro del mundo (1997). In addition, during his career he published more than a hundred articles, primarily on Golden Age poetry, prose, and drama in top-drawer venues such as Modern Language Notes, Cervantes, Hispanic Review, Journal of Hispanic Philology, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, Anales Cervantinos, Ínsula, Nueva Revista de Filología Hispánica, Symposium, Revista Hispánica Moderna, Edad de Oro, Bulletin of the Comediantes, and Comparative Literature Studies, among others. Far from being limited to scholarly publications and lectures, Dr. John Jay Allen’s accomplishments included interesting archaeological research. For instance, a model of the theater Corral del Príncipe (Madrid, 1583-1744), based upon his research design and commissioned by the Teatro Español, was placed on exhibit in the Museo Municipal de Madrid in 1986; it is now on permanent display in the Museo Nacional del Teatro in Almagro, Spain. Dr. Allen´s own model was on display in the Royal Castle, Warsaw, from July through October 2003, as part of the exhibit Teatro y fiestas en las tierras europeas de los Austrias, directed by José María Díez Borque of the Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain. In addition to serving as consultant for the redesign of the Casa de Cervantes in Alcalá de Henares, 2000-2001, his expertise was requested for the archival project titled 20 documentos cervantinos en el Archivo Histórico de Protocolos de Madrid, for which he also wrote the Prologue (2001). Dr. John Jay Allen gave invited lectures on Cervantes and on Spanish theater at more than two dozen colleges and universities in this country, including the annual Cervantes lecture at Fordham (1978), the annual Raimundo Lida lecture at Harvard (1987), and the Donald Dietz Keystone Address at the annual meeting of the Association for Hispanic Classical Theater, El Paso, Texas, 2006. Dr. Allen directed many dissertations and his superb teaching left an indelible mark on his students. He also rendered service to the university as chairman of the department. Even though he was retired since 1999, Dr. Allen kept up his remarkable productivity in writing and lecturing, with occasional teaching.