Baylor Mourns Deaths Of Retired Faculty

June 21, 1999

by Lori Scott Fogleman

The Baylor University family lost two highly regarded faculty members-Beulah (Chris) Burckhardt, emeritus professor of German, and Dr. Ray Luper, emeritus associate professor of church music and music literature-who both passed away in June.

Luper died June 16 in Waco at the age of 67. Funeral services were held Monday, June 21, at Lake Shore Baptist Church.

Luper was born in 1931 in Corsicana. He received his bachelor's degree in 1953 from Wayland Baptist College, a master's degree in music from North Texas State University in 1957 and a master's in church music from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1968. He completed his doctorate in 1976 at Tulane University. He taught at William Carey College from 1961-66 and again from 1970-74 before embarking on a 25-year teaching career at Baylor's School of Music. He retired in May 1999 as emeritus associate professor of church music and music literature.

"The School of Music has deeply appreciated Dr. Luper's leadership in the church music program," said Dr. Donald Bailey, acting dean. "He'll be sorely missed. He was not only a strong member of the faculty, but he was also completing an oral history of the School of Music."

Fellow music colleague Dr. Robert Young first met Luper when he was working on his dissertation. "Through these years he's been a personal friend and also made enormous contributions to Baylor as an associate professor of church music. He also performed a wonderful service for the community by directing church choirs temporarily while they searched for permanent directors," Young said.

"His office was just down from mine, too, so we would see each other frequently. He had a good sense of humor," Young added.

Luper was a member of several prestigious organizations, including the American Musicological Society, for which he served as Southwest Chapter president from 1985-87; Southern Baptist Church Music Conference; Hymn Society of America; American Guild of English Handbell Ringers; Mu Phi Epsilon; and Pi Kappa Lambda. His research interests included sacred choral literature, pre-Schubert lieder, hymnology, and worship practices. His reviews have been published in the Journal of Church Music, The Hymn, and the Southern Baptist Church Music Journal.

Luper is survived by his wife, Myrl, and four children, Robert, Judy, Terri and Janet.

Burckhardt died June 8, 1999. A memorial service was held Friday, June 11, at First Presbyterian Church in Waco.

Burckhardt was born July 18, 1933, in Chicago, and graduated there from Carl Schurz High School. After completing an undergraduate degree in 1955 in art history and philosophy from Baylor, she continued her studies at the University of Vienna with an emphasis on German existentialism and cultural history. Returning to Baylor in the late fifties to act as assistant foreign student advisor and to do further graduate work in German literature and philosophy, she met and married Jochem F. Burckhardt, an instructor in Baylor's department of German. After three years together in Germany, they returned to Baylor in 1963 where they taught together for more than 30 years until their retirement in 1996. He passed away in September 1996.

The Burckhardts developed and taught a number of innovative foreign language programs, including Baylor's first intensive summer language program. They also taught in Baylor's study abroad programs in both Austria and Germany.

She is survived by two sons, Rolf and Marc; two granddaughters; her mother; and two brothers.

Memorials may be made to Caritas, the American Cancer Society or the Burckhardt German Scholarship Fund at Baylor.

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