John was a highly respected teacher with a reputation for helping spark students’ interest in topics related to American history.
“John was a rock star in the classroom,” said Hamilton M. Stapell, chair of the Department of History. “He had a bright shining energy and a deep desire to share his deep knowledge of American history and the world. I never met a student who didn’t absolutely love being in one John’s classes.”
He held a master’s degree in history from Western Connecticut State University and worked for about three decades in financial planning and administration prior to his career as a history instructor.
John had just begun teaching the Department of History’s “Business and Society” course for the spring 2021 semester. The department and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences are developing a plan for sustaining the course and will keep enrolled students updated throughout that process.
Update: A newly published obituary notes that John’s family will hold visitation hours tomorrow, Thursday, Jan. 28, from 4 – 6:30 p.m., at Edward F. Carter Funeral Home, 41 Grand Street, Croton-on-Hudson, New York. Guests are asked to please adhere to all Department of Health COVID-19 guidelines.
The online obituary also invites friends and colleagues to share memories of John. A number of SUNY New Paltz students, faculty and alumni have already done so; these moving tributes paint a picture of “Professor P.” as a passionate and inspiring educator, a great storyteller, and a caring and honest friend.
If you are a student who needs assistance in processing this sad loss, the Counseling Center is available at (845) 257-2920. Employees are encouraged to contact the Employee Assistance Program at (845) 257-2886.