Dr. Johnye Cannon Sturcken passed away at Providence St. Peter Hospital, Olympia, Washington, on April 24, 2014, at the age of 90 after a struggle with congestive heart failure. She was born Dec. 7, 1923, in Kenedy, Texas, to John Bunton Cannon and Lola Reasoner Cannon.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Clem Reasoner Cannon; her sister, Jeanne Cannon Leslie; and her niece, Jerrye Cannon Arnold.
Johnye was a graduate of Kenedy High School. In 1944, while attending Baylor University, she married Edward Butler Sturcken of Kenedy who predeceased her. She graduated from Baylor in 1945. In the early 1950s, she taught at Kenedy High School and coached the girls’ basketball team there before pursuing her graduate degrees. She received her Ph.D. in British literature and history from the University of Texas at Austin in 1964. After teaching English at Central Missouri State College, Warrensburg, Missouri, she became an associate professor of Literature and Languages at East Texas State University, now Texas A&M University-Commerce, where she spent the rest of her career. In 1972, she was appointed Dean of ETSU’s Graduate School. In 1973, she was appointed Dean of the College of Liberal and Fine Arts, becoming the first woman to serve as an academic dean in the university’s history. In 1976, she resumed teaching English as a full professor in the Department of Literature and Languages at ETSU, retiring as a Professor Emerita in 1993. Her academic specialties were English Renaissance literature and Shakespeare. She was a talented, respected and dedicated teacher who always maintained high academic standards for the benefit of all her students. The Texas A&M University–Commerce flag was flown at half-staff on May 1, 2014, in her memory.
During her career, she was active in the International Modern Language Association, the American Studies Association of Texas, the Shakespeare Society, the Southwest Modern Language Association, the Western American Literature Association and other academic organizations.