[bio][music][family photos][prose writings][poetry]

Welcome to this Website in Memory of

Richard Morse Eastman

Teacher, Writer, Composer

Professor Emeritus, North Central College (Naperville, Illinois)


August 20, 1916 - June 17, 2009

Richard Morse Eastman, a prolific writer who taught English during his 36-year tenure at North Central College, died Wednesday, June 17, 2009 at his longtime home in Naperville. He was 92.  Born on Long Island, New York and raised in Chicago, Eastman served as a major in the U.S. Army during World War II.

He came to North Central College in 1946 with a bachelor's degree in political science from Oberlin College and graduate study at the Yale School of Drama. He later earned a master's degree and doctorate, both with honors, from the University of Chicago. After teaching for many years, he served North Central as dean of faculty, chairman of general studies and vice president for academic affairs. Eastman authored several textbooks and works of fiction, including A Guide to the Novel (1965); Style: Writing and Reading as the Discovery of Outlook (1970); Aging in Literature: A Reader's Guide (co-authored with Robert Yahnke, 1990); Catching Fireflies (1991); Tangled Tassels: Tales of Academe (1996) and The Eastman Tales (2006).   In 1980 he won the Dissinger Award for Excellence in Teaching.  In 1992, North Central named him an honorary alumnus and in 1993 awarded him with an Honorary Doctor of Humanities.  North Central College also created the Dr. Richard M. Eastman Reading Room in Kiekhofer Hall in 2006.

After his retirement, Eastman co-founded the Naperville Writers Group in 1987. He wrote guest editorials that were published in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and other newspapers. He took up the recorder and composed nearly 150 pieces for the instrument. He founded and performed with the ensemble The West Winds.  He also composed and published many musical compositions for the recorder (House of Porter; Loux; American Recorder Society) and has won awards for his work from the Chicago chapter of "http://www.americanrecorder.org/">American Recorder Society.  He switched to playing a synthesizer and percussion with the group after his left arm had to be amputated in 1997.

Eastman was the beloved husband of Vivian Bolger who died in 2007. He was a loving father and is survived by daughters Clare Eastman of New York City; Susan Eastman of Santa Fe, N.M.; Julie Eastman (Mike Sollins) of Chapel Hill, N.C., and dear friend ArLynn Presser and family of Winnetka, IL.

If you wish to make a gift to North Central College
in memory of Richard Eastman, please mail to  
Office of Development
North Central College
30 N. Brainard St.
Naperville, IL 60540

Please visit the music link to learn more about Dick's compositions and to hear selected excerpts. 

 Please visit the prose writings and poetry links to learn more about Dick's writings and to read selected excerpts. 

This website was designed and developed by Mike Sollins and Julie Eastman.
Julie Eastman can be contacted at jeastman@nc.rr.com

Last updated :June 29, 2009

  Copyright 2004-2009  by Richard M. Eastman.  

All rights reserved.  No material in this website may be used without written permission.