David S. Noss, 89, of Tiffin, died Jan. 7, 2010.
He was born May 28, 1920, in Japan, to Christopher and Carol Day Noss.
David is survived by a daughter, Jeanne (Tracy) Kline; a son, Roger (Joy) Noss; and seven grandchildren. David was the last surviving of 12 children and leaves numerous nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his wife of 56 years, Elizabeth, in 2004, and a son, Richard (Mary) Noss, in 2009.
While Dr. Noss's passion for learning took many forms, including reading, travel, and attendance at cultural events, his formal education included studies at Franklin and Marshall College, the Pacific School of Religion, Lancaster Theological Seminary and the University of Chicago Divinity School, where he earned a Ph.D. in Religion and the Arts in 1952.
Dr. Noss joined the Religion and Philosophy Department of Heidelberg College in 1950, and continued his work there well beyond his retirement in 1989, not only teaching students, but also as a leader and advisor to faculty and administration. He is well known for his authorship of "A History of the World's Religions," a textbook used on college campuses throughout the U.S.
Dr. Noss was a member of Trinity United Church of Christ, the Tiffin Kiwanis Club, Planned Parenthood and the League of Women Voters. He gave of his time freely over the years to many other organizations seeking to enhance the knowledge and well-being of others.
By Jill Gosche, firstname.lastname@example.org
A retired Heidelberg University professor whose involvement with the school spanned about six decades was remembered Friday as a faithful "Heidelberger" until the end.
David Noss, 89, of Tiffin, died Thursday. A professor emeritus of religion and philosophy, Noss served at Heidelberg from 1950 to 1960 and from 1961 until his retirement in 1989, but his academic pursuits continued.
Percy Lilly, a Tiffin resident and E. R. Kuch professor emeritus of microbiology at Heidelberg, said Noss loved the school.
"The college is going to miss him a lot, as well as his friends, his great circle of friends," he said.
Noss authored "History of the World's Religions" college textbook and was involved in organizations such as League of Women Voters, Planned Parenthood and Tiffin Kiwanis Club.
Leanne Wolff, co-vice president for communication for the League of Women Voters, said Noss was a longtime member of the league and was its program co-vice president.
Wolff took Noss' "Life and Teaching of Jesus Christ" class at Heidelberg, and the two later became colleagues. They taught together for about 25 years, and Wolff described him as a funny and knowledgeable colleague.
Noss founded a course about literature in fine arts. It became a required course and still is being taught, she said.
"He was very interested in the arts (and) loved theater," she said.
Wolff said Noss, who had been ill recently, will be sorely missed because he was vibrant and an exceptional leader. It is a great loss for the community, she said.
"He was a kind, gentle person," she said.
Lilly recalled his family arriving in the area in 1956 after he received his doctorate degree and quickly meeting Noss, a faculty member. Noss served as one of his mentors, or someone he would look to for advice.
Lilly said his family and the Noss family became close. The families had children about the same age and who were in some of the same classes at Columbian High School.
"The Noss family, Dave Noss and (his late wife) Beth Noss ... are some of our closest friends," he said. "Dave was a real scholar."
The Noss family hosted a student through American Field Service Intercultural Programs. Vilay Chaleunrath came from Laos in 1966 and enrolled at Columbian.
In August 2008, Chaleunrath and his wife, Chanhmaly, traveled to Tiffin for his 40th class reunion and visited with Noss at his home.
Chaleunrath said he returned for the reunion because he wanted to see "Dad," old friends and Noss' son, Rick, who was a classmate and died last year. The visit marked Chanhmaly's first time in Tiffin.
"Very excited to see Dad," she said during the visit.