Ross Eckler, retired editor and publisher of a small quarterly on linguistics, died Dec. 9, 2016, at the age of 89.
In 1950, Eckler graduated from Swarthmore College, and he earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from Princeton in 1954. He was at Bell Labs for 30 years, retiring in 1985.
In 1970, he began as editor and publisher of Word Ways, a small quarterly journal of logology, a word coined to describe recreational wordplay and letter play. During the next 40 years, Eckler became a world authority on this, and created a number of new ways to juggle words and letters into patterns. He wrote several books on the subject, including Making the Alphabet Dance (St. Martin’s Press, 1996).
He was devoted to outdoor activities, and for many years he and his wife hiked in many major mountain ranges in the United States and the British Isles. Among his volunteer activities, he served as carillonneur for 30 years at St. Peter’s Church in Morristown, N.J.
Eckler is survived by his wife, Faith, whom he married in 1951; their three daughters; and five grandchildren.
Graduate memorials are prepared by the APGA.