Celebrating the life of James I. Kittredge
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Jim earned his B. A. from the College of the Holy Cross in 1966 and his M. A .in English from Bucknell University in 1968. After teaching at Shippensburg State University and then studying briefly at Tulane University, he moved to Providence in 1970 and began several years of doctoral study in English at Brown University. While at Brown, he served for four years as editorial assistant to the journal NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction, and throughout the seventies as research and editorial assistant for literary scholar Austin Warren. He taught at several local colleges, including UMass-Dartmouth (then SMU), Brown University, and Providence College. He was an adjunct professor of English at Rhode Island College from 1988 until 2016. He also worked in library services at Brown University until very recently, first at the Rockefeller and then at the Sciences Library.
As a teacher, Jim was dedicated to bringing classical literature, especially drama, and modern literature together, in dialogue, for his students. In his library job at Brown, he took great delight in giving encouragement to and sharing reading materials with the numerous students he met. Jim was fiercely supportive of his adjunct colleagues at Rhode Island. College, working for many years to establish an adjunct faculty union. He helped write the union constitution and the first contract, and served as the founding Vice President of the RIC Adjunct Faculty Union.
He believed in athletics as well as academics as potentially important foundations for everyone, especially during one’s student years. He officiated R I school boy lacrosse games for many years and was a member of RILOA. And at RIC, he helped students found a golf club and served as organizer and coach. For several years, the club competed successfully with established golf teams from colleges in the area. He was a decent golfer, and a committed“foul weather” golfer.
Jim is also survived by his daughter Erin Gavin Spencer and his grandson T. J. Spencer, as well as by his sister Mary Gagne and his niece Kate Elwell, nephew Luke Gagne, and two great-nephews.
At Jim’s request, there will be no service and burial at Swan Point Cemetery will be private.
Contributions in his memory can be made to: Bucknell University (specify Bison Club: Women's or Men's Lacrosse; or specify Dean's Fund for the Liberal Arts & Sciences), Office of the Annual Fund, One Dent Drive, Lewisburg PA 17837; The Miriam Hospital Foundation (specify Cancer Fund), Development Office, PO Box H, Providence RI 02901; Special Olympics Rhode Island, PO Box 7550, Warwick RI 02887.
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