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Janis Crowe: A gentle but firm style

Janis Adams Crowe, longtime instructor in the Furman English department, died December 23 after an extended battle with endometrial cancer.

Born in California, she earned her undergraduate degree summa cum laude from Vassar College and a master’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis. Besides Furman, she taught for several years at Clemson University.

Gil Allen, Crowe’s departmental colleague, described her as “a generous spirit” who worked “to convince freshmen that good essays needn’t conform to the simplistic five-paragraph template they’d learned in high school. She had genuine affection for her students, and she gently but firmly demanded the best work they were capable of producing.”

Active with the Greenville Literacy Association and the county Democratic Party, Crowe served for six years on the book selection committee of the South Carolina Association of Librarians. She sang with the Greenville Chorale and the local Quodlibet Singers, and was described in her obituary as “a lifelong animal lover, a supporter of humane farming, and a loyal fan of the Atlanta Braves.”

In addition, she was a U.S. figure skating test judge at the gold level in singles and pairs and at the international level in ice dancing. She was president of the Greenville Figure Skating Club for seven years and was an ice skating instructor with Special Olympics.

She is survived by her husband Stanley Crowe, professor emeritus of English at Furman, and by her children, Simon ’96 and Kirbie.

Last updated March 1, 2013
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Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director