Dr. Thomas Andrew Israel, 91, of Cape Girardeau died Friday, Nov. 28, 2008, at the Lutheran Home, with his wife and daughter at his side.
Mr. Israel was born on Aug. 27, 1917, in Chicago, son of the late Charles Edgar and Decima Phoebe Chapman Israel. He married the former Miss Kilja Cho in Seoul, Korea, on Sept. 4, 1962. She survives.
Mr. Israel taught political theory and philosophy for 26 years at Southeast Missouri State University. He was a dedicated scholar who encouraged critical thinking among his students and took great pleasure when his students excelled. He retired as professor emeritus in 1988, but continued to pursue his interest in political science by researching and writing a comprehensive study of American foreign policy from World War I through the War in Iraq. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in philosophy from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., where he played the clarinet in the marching band; his master's degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago; his Ph.D. in political theory from the University of Illinois.
Before he arrived at Southeast Missouri State University, he was an education adviser for American servicemen in Korea from 1960 to 1961. He also taught at MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Ill.; Dickinson College in Carlisle, Penn.; the University of Illinois in Chicago; Central College in Pella, Iowa; Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind.; and Westminster College in New Wilmington, Penn. Between teaching positions and while working toward his degrees, he worked at numerous jobs to support his aged parents, to whom he was a devoted son.
Mr. Israel was a World War II veteran, having served in the Army Air Corps as a radio operator. He flew in 31 missions over Europe. He was honorably discharged in 1945.
Throughout his life, he was a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He attended and taught Sunday school at Abbey Road Christian Church in Cape Girardeau, and also served as a deacon. He was a member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Political Science Association, the Citizens of Greater Chicago and the American Association of University Professors. He loved to play tennis and enjoyed listening to classical music. He was devoted to his wife and he adored his three daughters. His eleven grandchildren brought him much happiness.
Other survivors in addition to his loving wife of 46 years are his three daughters; Decima Panitch (Richard) of Northbrook, Ill.; Dorothea Wolfson (Adam) of Kensington, Md.; and Deborah Silver (Marc) of Lake Forest, Ill.; 11 grandchildren: David, Rebecca and Sarah Panitch; Margaret, Thomas, Alexander and Rachael Wolfson; Charles, Oliver, August and Phoebe Silver.
Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. today at Ford and Sons Mount Auburn Funeral Home in Cape Girardeau.
A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at Abbey Road Christian Church in Cape Girardeau, with the Rev. Roger Kiepe officiating.
A graveside burial will be conducted by the Rev. Kiepe at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008, at the Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Abbey Road Christian Church or a charity of one's choice.