It is with great sadness that the College shares the news of the passing of Emeritus Professor Richard Impola (English). He was 91.
Impola was born in Ahmeek, Mich., and graduated from Calumet High School in Calumet, Mich. After high school, he was inducted into the U.S. Army. He served in the European Theater in the Second World War and was wounded twice, earning a Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster. After leaving the Army, he enrolled at Columbia University, where he earned a BA and MA, and later a Ph.D. He came to SUNY New Paltz in 1963 and taught at the College until his retirement in 1983.
After retiring, he began translating Finnish poetry and novels into English. His translations were published in the U.S. and Canada, and the Finnish government recognized his dedication by awarding him the medal of Knight First Class of the Order of the Lion of Finland at the Finnish Embassy in Washington, D.C. in 2003. He was an avid runner, and he enjoyed running in the Shawangunk Mountains, especially the Minnewaska State Park. He ran in many races, including the New York and Boston marathons, and made good friends among the members of the Onteora Runners Club. He also loved music, and enjoyed singing and dancing.
He is survived by his wife, Helvi (Thors); his sons, Paul (Pamela) and Thomas; his daughter, Karen (David Gibson); and his grandchildren, Hanna Gibson and Leo Gibson.