Dr. Ava Chitwood, formerly Deborah Jean Tipton Chitwood, died Nov. 1, 2012.
Dr. Chitwood was an associate professor, classics department head and advisor in the Department of World Languages of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa, Fla.
Dr. Chitwood’s parents, Dr. Ed Chitwood and Dr. Sarah Chitwood, predeceased her. Also, predeceasing Dr. Chitwood was an infant sister, Sarah Chitwood. Dr. Chitwood’s four siblings survive her: Bryan Roberts Chitwood and his wife, Monica, of Greensboro, N.C., Susan Howard Chitwood and her husband, Henry Smyth, of Cortland Manor, N.Y., Dr. Edmund Madison Chitwood, his wife, Suzanne, and their son, Dawson, of Charlottesville, and the Hon. H. Lee Chitwood, his wife, Pam, and their four children, Rachel, Ed, Madison and Riley, all of Pulaski.
Dr. Chitwood was born in Charlottesville. She received her undergraduate degree in 1982 from the University of Massachusetts. She received her masters and doctorate degrees in the classics from John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md. Her area of specialization was philosophical death. Dr. Chitwood taught at several institutions before settling at USF in 2001. While she focused primarily on the classics such as Greek civilization and classic mythology, Dr. Chitwood also taught a wide variety of other subjects, including language, culture and film and scientific/medical terminology.
Dr. Chitwood was known as a strict, but fair, professor who enjoyed teaching large classes and challenging pupils. Her students held a candle light vigil and libation in her honor on the USF campus. Her department also held a ceremony to honor her memory and her good works. Speakers at this ceremony included department Chair Stephan K. Schindler, former student Casey Moore, Dr. Gaetan Brulotte and Dr. Chitwood’s brother, Bryan Chitwood. Dr. Steven Turner read a moving letter from Joanne Waugh, one of Dr. Chitwood’s closest friends and colleagues.
The family plans a private ceremony in Virginia to celebrate Dr. Chitwood.