David Unumb ’55 P81 P11

23 February 2022

Class: 1955

Major: English

Residence: Arlington Heights, IL

Deceased: February 22, 2022

Alumni survivors: Mr. William E. Unumb ’62 (Sibling), Mr. Daniel R. Unumb ’81 (Child), Ms. Caitlin E. Unumb ’11 (Child)


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  • 2022-03-03 09:35:23
    Provided by the family to Alumni Relations

    Contrary to Welsh wisdom, David F. Unumb, 88, did go gently into that good night on February 22, 2022, surrounded by his beloved family.
    Born July 2, 1933 in Alexandria, MN to Frederick M. and Neva (Macfarlane) Unumb, David was a lifelong supporter, contributor and patron of both the arts and education.
    After receiving his B.A. at Carleton College (Class of ‘55), David continued on to Johns Hopkins (M.A., ‘57) and finished his Ph.D. studies at both Cornell University and Loyola University Chicago. David’s professorships spanned the East— from Kent State University, to Brown University, to Boston University, and finally to Northeastern Illinois University, where he was a tenured communications/theater professor from 1969 to 2007. As a testament to his love of literature and history, David also served on the Arlington Heights Memorial Library board of trustees for over two non-consecutive decades, beginning in 1983 up to his retirement in 2017.
    As a gifted theater director, professor and piano player, David was the embodiment of a true Renaissance man. His dry sense of humor and deadpan delivery were trademarks of his idiosyncratic Scandinavian sensibilities and Scottish wit. Never an enthusiast of digital technology, David remained a champion of the common landline telephone and the USPS to the very end.
    He is survived by his sons David (Sharon) and Daniel (Lorri), daughter Caitlin, grandchildren Dave (Jess), Alyssa (Andrew), Jackie, Erik, Ryan, Christopher, Jonathan and great-grandson Orion. No public memorial will be observed, but if you would, go see a live theater production in his honor.

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