Andrew J. Von Hendy, Instructor of English from 1960 to 1963, died on June 6, 2018, in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.
The following was published in the Boston Globe.
Boston College English Professor Andrew J. Von Hendy died peacefully on June 6 after suffering from Parkinson’s disease for several years. He was eighty-six. From 1963 until his retirement in 2005, Andy was a much-beloved teacher of undergraduate and graduate students in the English Department at Boston College. His wide range of reading and erudition astonished everyone who knew him. But those who admired his intellectual gifts and passions were quick to recall his quiet kindness, his singular ability to listen, and his whimsical humor. As one colleague put it, Andy’s presence made people feel safer in the world. While most professors settle in to become expert in a particular area, Andy never stopped learning new fields and inventing ambitious new courses. When asked, he would say that his primary field was English and Continental fiction of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He also taught courses in long poetic narratives, literary theory, autobiography, poetry writing, myth in modern literature, and the conquest of the Americas. He initiated or participated in a number of experimental and team-taught courses, directed countless theses and dissertations, and read his colleagues’ manuscripts with a shrewd and generous eye. His scrupulous attention to each of these commitments was legendary. In 2002, Andy published his major work, The Modern Construction of Myth, a sweeping and readable history of theories of myth from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. His intellectual curiosity, his love of beauty in the arts and the natural world, and his verbal wit were dear to his family. Andrew John Von Hendy was born to Andrew and Helen (Kinsley) Von Hendy on April 13, 1932, in Elmira, New York. He attended Catholic schools and received his B.A. from Niagara University in 1954. After serving in the army, he went to Cornell University on the G.I. Bill, where he earned his doctorate in English. He taught as an instructor at Bowdoin College before coming to Boston College as an assistant professor in 1963. He served as department chair, as director of the Ph.D. program, and on several major university committees. In 1956 he married Janet Goodrich, with whom he had three sons; the marriage later ended in divorce. In 1986 he married his colleague Rosemarie (Ti) Bodenheimer, with whom he shared a life of teaching and writing. He leaves his wife Rosemarie, his sons James and wife Kelly Tyler (Ben Lomond, CA), Andrew (Brighton, MA), Matthew and wife Ann Ferrero (Rockville, MD), his brother Frank (Blossburg, PA)