Chapel Hill: Obituaries

Richard William Pfaff

Richard Pfaff, 79, of Chapel Hill died July 10, 2016 at NC Memorial Hospital.The son of Frederick Erwin and Kathryn Soergel Pfaff, Richard was born in Oklahoma City on August 6, 1936, and graduated from Central High School in Omaha, from Harvard College, and from Oxford University, by which he was awarded the degrees of Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Divinity. He married Margaret Campbell in Oxford in 1962. After studies at the General Seminary in New York, he was ordained to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church in 1966, and was curate at Christ Church, Suffern, NY. In 1967, they came to Chapel Hill, where he was a professor in the History Department, with primary responsibility for Medieval England, until retiring in 2006. Within the University, he served, among other offices, as Secretary of the Faculty, Chairman of the Library Board, and member of the Chancellor’s Executive Advisory Committee. In addition to his work at UNC, he was active in the wider scholarly world, particularly in England, where much of his research centered and where he was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. His many scholarly studies focused upon liturgy, culminating in his book The Liturgy in Medieval England: a History, which was awarded the 2012 Haskins Medal of the Medieval Academy of America, of which he was a Fellow, and sometime President. In addition to his scholarly and academic work, he was a Priest Associate at the Chapel of the Cross from 1968 until his death. In the integration of his academic and ecclesiastical passions, he lived in the tradition of the scholar priest, an ideal which so deeply formed his character and work. Following Margie’s death in 2010, he moved to Carol Woods Retirement Community. In recent years he found profound love and companionship with Jeanette Falk Pfaff, whom he married in April of this year, and by whom he is survived.In addition, he is survived by son David (Emily) and their children Andrew, Helen, and Edward, all of Milwaukee; sister, Barbara Finlayson (John); nieces Ann Haggstrom and Kathy Kresin, and their families, all of Omaha; brother-in-law Edward Campbell (Phyllis); nephew Thomas and niece Sarah Campbell and their families, all of Portland, Maine. He is mourned by all members of the West Omaha Soft Ice Cream and Walking Society (WOSICWS), of which he was the founder.A funeral was held at the Chapel of the Cross, on Saturday, July 16, 2016. Appropriate destinations for any memorial contributions are the Chapel of the Cross, 304 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, or the Friends of the Library, UNC-CH, 208 Raleigh Street, CB#3900, Chapel Hill, NC 27514-8890.Condolences may be shared at <a href="" target="_new"></a>