Professor enhanced students' opportunities
By Rick Wills
Published: Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, 8:04 p.m.
In 42 years of teaching math at Duquesne University, Charles Loch taught more than 300 courses over 81 semesters to 7,800 students during 16,800 classroom hours.
“That was calculated by Frank D'Amico, a statistician at Duquesne, at the time my father retired in 2003,” said Ellen Davis, Mr. Loch's daughter.
Charles A. Loch of Shaler, a former chairman of the mathematics and computer science department at Duquesne, died on Wednesday Dec. 26, 2012. He was 75.
Though he had health challenges for about a decade, Mr. Loch spent much of Christmas Day playing games with his grandchildren. He downloaded photographs from the holiday on Wednesday.
Mr. Loch grew up in the North Side and Shaler, and graduated from North Catholic High School and Duquesne University. He did graduate work at the University of Illinois.
After working for IBM for about a year, Mr. Loch started his long teaching career.
“He loved Duquesne. He loved the sense of community. He was a calm and gentle and patient man. Anyone who can get people to understand math is patient,” his daughter said.
As a tenured professor, Mr. Loch worked to develop ways of transferring credits that students earned at community colleges.
In 1980, he helped set up a joint program with Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland that allows students in five years to earn a bachelor of arts degree from Duquesne and a separate bachelor's degree in engineering from Case Western. Duquesne does not offer engineering degrees.
Mr. Loch had a number of hobbies, including gardening, genealogy, golf and technology.
“He embraced technology. He was even better with his iPod and with the computer than his children and grandchildren,” said Cathy J. Peoples of Franklin Park, Mr. Loch's youngest daughter.
Mr. Loch often tutored neighborhood children in math — as well his own children and grandchildren.
Yet one case stands out.
In the 1990s, Mr. Loch spent hours helping Kurt Weiss get through high school math. Weiss, who wanted to attend Notre Dame University, had missed months of school because of cancer treatments.
“He was a tremendous help to my son. He was here at least once a week. They studied on the living room floor. Kurt missed all kinds of school and lost his leg. Chuck wouldn't take a dime for any of this,” said Frank Weiss Jr., Kurt Weiss' father and a high school classmate of Mr. Loch.
Kurt Weiss attended Notre Dame, and works as an orthopedic cancer surgeon at UPMC.
In addition to his two daughters, Mr. Loch is survived by another daughter, Nancy C. Adreon of Canonsburg; by his wife of 47 years, Lois Loch, and by eight grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Duquesne University, Attn: Duquesne Society or the Parkinson's Foundation.
Rick Wills is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7944 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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