When justice studies professor Linda Markley was diagnosed with terminal cancer, she was asked if she wanted to be relieved from teaching.
She said she wanted to finish out the semester.
And she did until Sunday, when she notified Department of Sociology Chair Richard Serpe she wouldn’t return to the classroom.
“It just caught up with her sooner than she expected,” Serpe said.
Markley died Tuesday at the age of 60 from her illness.
Despite her declining health, Markley managed to teach three sections of Law and Society and Homeland Security in Bowman Hall. Her Wednesday classes were canceled this week.
Serpe said the fact an article memorializing her life is running in the paper speaks to her impact on students.
“This is a big place, and there’s a lot of people that pass away,” he said. “Institutionally, we don’t normally run obituaries.”
He said there has been an unusually proactive reaction among students to make an announcement.
“Honestly, we were caught a little off guard,” he said, adding he knows of few other deaths that have initiated such a response from the student body.
“She was very dedicated to her students and committed to teaching,” Serpe said. “Many students are mourning her passing.”
Serpe reassured students Markley’s replacement would stick to her syllabus, and he would personally “make sure that they are taken care of.”
Before teaching at Kent State, Markley obtained a law degree from University of Akron and served as a defense attorney and prosecutor.
The family will receive friends for calling hours from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday. The funeral will be held immediately afterwards at the Hilliard-Rospert Funeral Home on 174 N. Lyman St., Wadsworth.
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