Spiritus has lost her Quartermaster!
My wife, who has been my best friend and love for more then 45 years passed away March 26, 2017 at Hospital General Civil in Manzanillo, Mexico.
She is survived by me, her husband, by her daughter Bryanne Arnot who lives in Australia, by her grandchild Evan Arnot, by her brother Jim Burns and her sister Debbie Helms both of whom live in Arkansas.
She was the daughter of Francis and Sue Burns of Fort Smith, Arkansas. Born Mary Carolyn Francis Burns, she became Carolyn Harper, marrying me in 1972.
She was a gifted teacher and mentor to hundreds of theater and drama students through her teaching career.
She held a Masters Degree from University of Arkansas Fayetteville and a Phd from University of Colorado Boulder.
She was the author of three works and several scholarly articles and conference presentations in her specialty which was William Shakespeare. She wrote Measure for Measure, Twix’t Will and Will Not. It is a work on the influences of the Jesuits on the writing of Shakespeare and the English culture of his times. She adapted a version of A Mid Summer Night’s Dream for performance by children. It is a highly popular script published by Dramatists Plays. And, finally, she translated and co edited a Spanish Language Version of ‘A Mid Summer Night’s Dream’ for performance by school children in Mexico or other Spanish speaking countries.
At the time of her death she had finished the draft of her next book, ‘The Passion Dancers’, yet to be published.
In a teaching and directing career that spanned four decades, she taught at Saint Mary of the Plains College in Dodge City Kansas in the 1980s. Then served as an Assistant Professor of Theater for five years at University of California Chico before returning to Graduate School at University of Colorado Boulder where she ran the Box Office for the Colorado Shakespeare Festival for several seasons.
Receiving her Phd in Literary Criticism and Theater, she took a position at Adams State College, now Adams State University as Chairman of the Theater Department. For the next twenty years, she taught Theater and English there until her retirement in 2007. She also served as the Costumer and one of it’s Technical Directors for many of those years.
Her passion was directing and teaching acting. In that capacity, she was without peer.
I speak with some authority on this as she was my Freshman Speech Teacher at University of Arkansas 45 years ago. I married her as soon as I completed her class. That is right, she married one of her students.
When she retired, we bought Spiritus, which is an Atkins-Archer Ingrid 38 ketch, and began learning to sail her. After three years of learning her habits, we began cruising Mexico’s West Coast where we have spent the last five years.
I am still too raw to say more than I love her and miss her. She was my heart.
Her body was cremated and her ashes were scattered in the sea near Barra de Navidad, Mexico.