Sunday, January 25, 2015

Samuel Gordon Armistead

From page A5 | September 05, 2013 |

Aug. 21, 1927 – Aug. 7, 2013

One of the world’s leading scholars of Spanish literature and language, Samuel G. Armistead died peacefully at home on Aug. 7, 2013, at the age of 85. He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Annie Laurie, a local yogo teacher of Davis; brother Harry Armistead and his wife Liz; nieces Anne and Mary; nephew George; and sister-in-law Sarah Meltzoff.

Sam grew up in Philadelphia and attended the William Penn Charter School, guided by his mother who was an avid reader, historian and fluent speaker of several world languages, a talent that Sam inherited and would cultivate as an adult. As a young man, Sam expressed a desire to learn Spanish and went to Cuba to stay with family friends. This trip sparked a lifelong curiosity about Hispanic culture, languages and literature, which later became the subject of some of Sam’s most productive scholarly work.

Sam Armistead attended Princeton University as an undergraduate (Phi Beta Kappa) and graduate student (M.A. and Ph.D.). While at Princeton, he met Américo Castro, the renowned Spanish historian, who would become his mentor and leave an indelible mark on Sam’s academic formation. Sam went on to specialize in Spanish medieval literature and folklore, publishing widely on these topics and more. His scholarly studies ranged from the ballads of Spain and North Africa, to the Faroe Islands; from improvised poetry of the Canary Islands, to the dying language of the Isleños of St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. He authored some 30 books and more than 500 articles — an astounding achievement for his field. His work on the Spanish Romancero (oral tradition and ballads), especially Sephardic folklore, is considered by his colleagues a crowning achievement.

He was a distinguished professor of Spanish at UC Davis from 1982 until his retirement as emeritus in 2010, serving as co-chair of Spanish and Classics from 2000 to 2002. Sam taught at Princeton, UCLA, Purdue and the University of Pennsylvania before coming to Davis. He was in demand as a visiting professor and served at many other institutions. Among his numerous academic awards, Professor Armistead received an honorary doctorate in 2010 from the Universidad de Alcalá (Madrid), he was named a corresponding member of the Real Academia Española in 2009 and in 1999 he received the highly prestigious Antonio Nebrija award from the University of Salamanca.

A loving husband and a kind friend to animals (especially his beloved cats), he believed all forms of life were to be treasured (even once rescuing a garden snail to care for it inside during the cold winter months). The epitome of a generous and supportive colleague, Sam Armistead will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

Friends and colleagues universally remember and appreciate his great sense of humor, prodigious memory and warm interest in their work. Sam was often known to burst into song, regaling friernds with a traditional ballad or a recitation of some long and delightful passage of poetry in one of the many languages he loved. He set an example for his colleagues and is remembered as an excellent mentor of students. His influence as a teacher will continue to affect future generations of students.

In more than 50 years of university teaching, he shared his vast knowledge and enthusiasm with thousands of undergraduate and graduate students, many of whom became renowned scholars in their own right. They will remember him spontaneously singing medieval ballads in class, bringing to life for them the language of medieval Spain.

A celebration of Sam Armistead’s life will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at the Buehler Alumni & Visitors Center on the UC Davis campus.



Special to The Enterprise



Bridges of Yolo County: Wear, tear … repair?

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Four days of unusual, adventuresome music

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Spanish police arrest 4 suspected members of a jihadi cell

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Rockets kill 30 in Ukrainian city as rebels launch offensive

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Abe ‘speechless’ after video claims IS hostage dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

GOP presses state bills limiting gay rights before ruling

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Abortion opponents express renewed hope at California rally

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Share your love (story) with us

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sip wines at St. James’ annual tasting

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Fake schools draw federal scrutiny

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Winter produce available at Sutter market

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Donations to be distributed during homeless count

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

Speaker will share computer security tips

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Logos Books celebrates 5 years, offers language groups

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Australian olive oil company opens U.S. headquarters in Woodland

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Explore at the YOLO Outdoor Expo

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Yolo animal shelter seeking rawhide donations

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5

Woodland Healthcare employees take Great Kindness Challenge

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

At the Pond: Nest boxes give birds new homes

By Jean Jackman | From Page: A6 | Gallery

California ranks worst in nation for guidance counselors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Davis, Woodland are saving water

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A12

Words and Music Festival events

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A12



Family isn’t keen on relationship

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A8

Caring for the aging mouth

By Samer Alassaad | From Page: A8

Big utilities’ nightmare begins to play out

By Tom Elias | From Page: A10

Mayor’s Corner: Let’s renew Davis together

By Dan Wolk | From Page: A10

We have the right to choose

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

We don’t have to suffer

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

City helped immensely

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Rick McKee cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

When measles spreads from Disneyland, it’s a small world after all

By New York Times News Service | From Page: A11

From innovation parks to innovative buildings and planning

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11



Wildcats’ inaugural kids development league exceeds expectations

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Aggies get top 2015 gymnastics score, but fall short

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Loud crowd sees DHS boys win

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Lady Devils hold off Pacers, stay perfect in league

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

UCD men take two tennis matches

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

Watney in ninth at Humana Challenge

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8







Davis man focusing on cannabidiol business

By Will Bellamy | From Page: A9

Marrone Bio’s Regalia approved for new uses in Canada

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

UCD grad makes insurance ‘hot 100′ list

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Yolo County real estate sales

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9





Comics: Sunday, January 25, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8