Jean-Louis Cattaneo

Death of former staff member


On Friday from Utah, USA came the sad news that Jean-Louis Cattaneo had died that morning. Much of his long life (93 years) was devoted to the teaching of French language and literature at Rhodes University.  He was appointed lecturer in the Department of French in 1952, and served as Professor and Head of Department from 1958 until his retirement in 1985.  In addition to being a fine scholar of the French language, he was well versed in Greek and Roman authors, whom he read daily into his 90s.  After their time at Rhodes, his wife Donna, a former member of the Rhodes University Library staff, joined the US diplomatic corps.  Postings all over the world meant opportunities for travel, which did much to make his retirement a most fulfilling period.  His visits to Grahamstown over those years were frequent, and a source of delight to his friends, who found him just as erudite, entertaining and mischievously witty as he had been 50 years ago, when at the end of a French oral exam he told the candidate that he had "a beautiful French accent without a trace of the language".


He is survived by his wife, his sister Antoinette, his three children - Jacqueline, Nicolette (who, together with her husband David teaches in the Economics department of this university) and Marc-Louis - and his five grandchildren.




Last Modified: Mon, 08 Aug 2016 14:57:39 SAST