RU loses two professors

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Radford University has recently lost two professors: Edward LeShock, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art, and Janice Mooney, an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing, both passed away on Sunday, September 1st this year.

Ms. Mooney, originally from Roanoke, received degrees as a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Special Needs Patient Care provider from the Catholic University of America. She received her BS in Nursing from the University of Virginia. and her MS in Nursing from Ohio State. She has been part of the RU community since 1978, and was close to many members of the RU Nursing department.

Her memorial will be held this Saturday the 14th at 2:00 PM at Our Lady of Nazareth Catholic Church in Roanoke, VA.

The Art Department held an informal memorial service for Professor LeShock on Friday at 12 pm for the students and staff of RU to come talk about his impression on their lives before his formal service on Saturday at St. Jude’s church in Radford.

Professor LeShock, who worked in graphic design and illustration, taught at Radford for upwards of 30 years. He was in an induced coma state before he passed away on Sunday. He is remembered fondly by the Radford community as a profoundly talented artist whose works have made a mark on the RU campus.

“He is one person who I can honestly say never said anything bad about anyone…students wrote to me and said it’s because of him that I chose to study watercolors. It’s because of him that I chose to study graphic design,” Department of Art chair Dr. Barris said at the introduction of his on-campus memorial.

LeShock, described as “old-school” in his commitment to the principle foundations of art and willingness to be honest with his students, was also incredibly kind. Professor Pack, who teaches classes in metalsmithing and jewelry, recounted a story where one of her pets ran out of her house and LeShock, who lived nearby, called her in and consoled her. “He really was like a father figure,” Professor Pack said.

Though LeShock’s illustrations are featured in the library and on several posters around campus, Dr. Philpot describes him as “very humble about his work.” Though a prolific artist whose work has been reproduced in numerous publications and featured in artistic exhibitions, he didn’t often point out work he had done. Though LeShock struggled with his health, Bill Ratcliffe says he never let it keep him down. “Every day I’d say, ‘hey Ed, how are you doing?’ and he would say, ‘You know, Bill? I’m doing really well.’ ” Other friends said he would also say, “Never better.”

His students profess a great deal of respect for his artistic ability and talents. “He always pushed me to the limits and challenged me. He always wanted me to work bigger, and because of him, I am working bigger now. He gave me a lot of confidence,” EMFA watercolor program student Bonnie said.

Graphic Design student Alyssa says that LeShock was “definitely a very intriguing man” who was incredibly knowledgeable about his teaching subjects. “If you approached him, he was always willing to help,” graphic design student Jacob said.

“It’s easy to assume that artists leave their art as a legacy, but I think his real legacy was his students,” Dean of Visual and Performing Arts Joe Scartelli said. Indeed, many students have written in on his online memorial page to express their sadness and give LeShock’s family their condolences, and that his influence has had lasting influence in their artistic and professional lives.

It is sad when teachers pass away, especially since Radford has lost two professors in a very small amount of time. The students of Ed LeShock and Janice Mooney have been touched by what they have learned from their classes and from them as people. They will be dearly missed.