Theodore L. Agnew Jr. (1916-2007)
Elizabeth A. Williams, December 2007
Theodore L. Agnew Jr., longtime member of the Department of History at Oklahoma State University and a life member of the AHA, died April 15, 2007, in Tucson, Arizona. Ted Agnew was born in 1916 in Ogden, Illinois; he attended Ogden High School and graduated in 1933. He attended the University of Illinois and received the BA degree in history in 1937. He was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. In 1938 Agnew received the MA degree in history from the University of Illinois, and in 1939 he began doctoral study at Harvard University. His study at Harvard was interrupted by service in the U.S. Navy (1942–46). Agnew returned to Harvard after the war, and worked with Arthur Schlesinger Sr. He completed his PhD in history in 1954.
In 1947 Ted Agnew took up a position as assistant professor at Oklahoma A&M College, which later became Oklahoma State University (OSU). He was a beloved teacher of history and was also very active in campus affairs. He was a long-term member of the American Association of University Professors and in the early 1950s helped to reactivate the local chapter. He was also active in the Faculty Council at OSU, serving in 1963–64 as chair. In 1960, Agnew was promoted to professor in the OSU history department.
Agnew was the author of a chapter on local church history in OSU's Centennial History volume and of biographical sketches published in American National Biography and Notable American Women. He also wrote a history of the Methodist Church's South Central Jurisdiction and worked with the Will Rogers Project on collecting and editing a record of Rogers's writings, talks, and performances. He was a longtime member of the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, and the Southern Historical Association.
In 1942 Agnew married Jeanne LeCaine of Port Arthur, Ontario. They had five children. Jeanne was a professor of mathematics at OSU, and Ted and Jeanne retired from OSU at the same time, in 1984. She predeceased Ted in 2000. Survivors include four children, seven grandchildren, and many other family members.
—Elizabeth A. Williams
Oklahoma State University