Eileen P. Kuhns, professor emeritus

March 26, 2013

Eileen P. Kuhns passed away, leaving this world for a better place, on the morning of Friday, March 15, 2013.


Mrs. Kuhns born April 7, 1923, in Portland Ore. and led an exceptional life. She overcame tough obstacles and soared to an extraordinary life of superior education and achievement, despite her humble beginnings. Eileen was orphaned at the tender age of 2 years old when her mother succumbed to tuberculosis in 1925. She was raised by her paternal grandmother who died within eight years.


After her 10th birthday Eileen lived for short periods with different relatives until she packed up and struck out on her own at 15 to live with a great uncle in Portland, Joseph Dye. Within two years she had a full scholarship to Reed College and never looked back. She earned the highest educational achievements in Syracuse University graduate school, finishing with a PhD in sociology and anthropology. As a young woman she was a teacher, a gifted researcher, a writer of numerous textbooks and papers.


She married her college sweetheart, Edward Douglas Kuhns, whom she found to be a kindred soul. She went far in academia, climbing the ladder of success in university settings, becoming first the dean of students, and then executive dean of Montgomery College in Maryland. She was dean of faculty of Mount Vernon College. She was co-founder of Washington International College in Washington, D.C. in 1969. She taught sociology, anthropology and statistical methodology at American University, George Washington University and later Catholic University, where she retired as an emeritus professor in education. At her retirement, the president of Catholic University and her graduate students begged her to stay, but she was beginning to feel the effects of Alzheimer’s.


Eileen Kuhns is survived by her husband E. Douglas Kuhns; four children, John D. Kuhns, D.C. Kuhns, Paul G. Kuhns and Anne Kuhns Gude; and eight grandchildren. She taught them all that the world is an open and beckoning place, waiting to give you what you seek to find. She taught them the importance of giving back; always striving to leave the world a better place than you found it.


She was an avid gardener and a rescuer of stray animals and other living things. This April 7 her garden will be awash with the colors of spring for her 90th birthday. She will be missed by all of those who knew her.


A memorial service for Eileen Kuhns is scheduled at 11 a.m., Saturday, April 20, at St. George's Chapel, 20274 Beaver Dam Road (Route 23) Harbeson.

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