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Professor Emeritus Bob Ours passes away at 77

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Dr. Robert M. ‘Bob’ Ours, 77, of Morgantown, passed away on Tuesday July 29, 2014 at his home. He was born September 15, 1936, in Parkersburg, WV, son to the late Henry and Grace Simon Ours. He found great joy in his family, friends, music, nature, and bringing history to life.

A woodwinds player at Buckhannon-Upshur High School and an excellent piano student, Bob could read parts or play by ear.

He attended West Virginia Wesleyan College from 1954-55, serving as sports information director, and graduated Cum Laude from the WVU School of Journalism in 1958. Working for the Associated Press in Richmond, he became Supervisor of Virginia AP Radio-TV News Report.

Then his love for learning changed his path. Pursuing graduate studies in History, Bob received his M.A. from the University of Virginia in 1966 and his Ph.D. from the College of William and Mary in 1974. Discovering that he enjoyed helping students find their way, Bob taught History at UVA’s Eastern Shore Branch from 1966-68. He joined WVU’s Journalism faculty in 1972, reaching the ranks of Professor and Professor Emeritus. Heading the news editorial sequence in the 1990s and advising J-School students in the WVU Honors Program from 1983-1996, Bob served on nearly 100 master’s and Ph.D. Committees and delighted in working with students from around the world.

An avid reader and writer, Bob authored several books outside the academic realm. College Football Almanac and College Football Encyclopedia (four editions) were go-to resources before we had internet searches.

He added to football lore with Bowl Games: College Football’s Greatest Tradition in 2004, and blended history with fiction in his 2010 Civil War novel The Choice Was Gray (inspired by an actual Upshur County regiment).

In his middle and later years, Bob became active in community theater and especially loved portraying Hector Nations in Foxfire. He held memberships in the First Presbyterian Church of Morgantown, where he was a former member of the voice and bell choirs; Kappa Tau Alpha (Journalism Honorary); the Cousteau Society, The Planetary Society, and The American Legion. Bob was a member of the Air Force ROTC while attending WVU and later served in the US Army and Army National Guard.

Bob is survived by his wife Ann M. Ours; daughters, Dorothy Grace Ours and Linda Anne Ours; sisters Juanita Hodges and Evelyn Tonkin; nephews, James Hodges and Shelby Grant; nieces, Michelle Tonkin and Sally Grant. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by one sister, Norma Jean Ours.

Honoring Dr. Ours’ wishes, graveside services will be held at 2pm on Thursday July 31, 2014, at the West Virginia National Cemetery, Pruntytown, WV with full military honors conducted by the Taylor County Honor Guard and WVANG, Camp Dawson.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to: the American Indian Education Foundation (