Academic journal article International Journal of English Studies

Francisco Gutiérrez Díez (1945-2012): IN MEMORIAM

Academic journal article International Journal of English Studies

Francisco Gutiérrez Díez (1945-2012): IN MEMORIAM

Article excerpt

On January 23 Dr. Francisco Gutiérrez Díez, a professor in the Department of English at Murcia University, had a heart attack and died in the Faculty of Arts at the age of 67. He was invigilating an examination that morning when he suddenly felt unwell and had to leave the room; unfortunately, despite the immediate and invaluable assistance of several of his colleagues, nothing could be done to save him.

Francisco Gutiérrez was born in a village in northern Leon (La Ercina), but his parents soon moved to Oceja of Valdellorma, a nearby village, where he spent his childhood. The fifth in a family of eight children, he began his secondary education at a Dominican college in Leon. From there, he moved to Valencia to study Philosophy. It was in Valencia (where I was studying English Philology at the time) that we first met, although we did not immediately become close friends. This would happen years later when he was working as a lecturer at the Gerona Teacher Training College, a branch of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, having returned from Georgetown School of Languages and Linguistics where he had spent some time improving his knowledge of English. It was in 1976 -when we met again at a conference- that he told me of his anxiety and concern about the language policy that was being implemented at the college where he was working. Since the then budding department of English at the University of Murcia was in need of teachers at that point in time, as head of department I encouraged him to join us and he did so, moving to Murcia in 1985 together with his wife, Ruth, and their two children, Gemma and David. From this date onwards until his recent death, Professor Gutiérrez became a key figure in our department, obtaining tenure as a senior lecturer in 1988, and eventually being appointed a professor of English in 2000. …

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