Feb. 6, 1997
Vol. 16, No. 10

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    Obituary: Ruth House Webber, Romance Languages

    Ruth House Webber, Professor Emeritus in Romance Languages & Literatures, died Jan. 13 at her home in Berkeley, Calif. She was 78.

    Webber was known as a professor who cared deeply about her students.

    "She reached out to anyone who needed her," said Lou Deutch, professor of Hispanic languages and literatures at SUNY-Stonybrook, who described Webber as her mentor. "She was a woman in a man's world who helped many other women aim toward a career in academia. She was wonderful."

    Webber's work focused on medieval and renaissance literature in Spain, with special emphasis on the form and characteristics of traditional poetry. Her books included several pedagogical works, such as Spanish I (1963) and Spanish II (1964), published by Britannica Schools Inc. She is also the author of Formulistic Diction in the Spanish Ballad (1951) the co-author of Brief Course in Spanish (1955) and Shorter Spanish Grammar (1941). Her many articles and lectures primarily focused on Cantar de Mio Cid, a Spanish ballad.

    The Associate Chairman of Romance Languages & Literatures in charge of the undergraduate program from 1965 through 1969, Webber was a faculty member at the University from 1958 until her retirement in 1981. She was a Willett Fellow at the University in 1963-64. Before coming to the University, she taught at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Oakland City College in Oakland, Calif., and in the Berkeley Public Schools.

    Webber received her B.A. in 1940 and her M.A. in 1941 from the University of Iowa. She was a University Fellow of the University of California from 1945 to 1947 and received her Ph.D. from Berkeley in 1948.