John Zarker, a professor of classics emeritus at Tufts University, died Sept. 12, 2009, of complications from a brain tumor. He was 80.
Zarker graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in 1950 and received a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina in 1952. He then spent three years in the Navy as an intelligence officer. In 1955, he came to Princeton and earned a Ph.D. in classics in 1958.
He taught for a year at the University of Texas before spending a year at the American Academy in Rome. In 1960, Zarker began teaching at Dartmouth, moved to Vanderbilt in 1966, and in 1971 accepted the chair of the classics department at Tufts. In 1989, he became professor emeritus at Tufts and went to Duke as a senior lecturer in classics.
While Zarker received numerous teaching and research awards, he also was very involved with summer workshops for high school Latin teachers. He and his wife had a second career teaching classical history and archaeology to senior citizens, which included visiting Roman and Greek ruins.
He is survived by Katherine, his wife of 57 years; five children; and seven grandchildren.
Graduate memorials are prepared by the APGA.