In Memory

Dan Hursh

Dan Hursh


Dear friends and family of Dan Hursh,

Dan passed Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015 at home peacefully at 12:45 pm. His daughters Sarah and Megan were by his side as well as his long time partner Mandy.

Please forward this information to his friends, colleagues and family.

With peace and gratitude,
Meg Hursh Murray

Picture was taken in May, 2006, Buckskin Gulch Slot Canyon.

Continuation of Life Celebration
Saturday, August 1st
2pm to 4pm
The Morgantown, West Virginia Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship
429 Warrick Avenue, Morgantown, WV 26505.



March 11, 1947 - July 22, 2015

WVU Professor Emeritus Daniel Eugene Hursh passed away peacefully at home in Morgantown, WV on July 22, 2015, at the age of 68. Dan was a gifted and respected academic whose legacy will continue through the many students he taught and mentored in his distinguished career. Above all, he was a kind and loving father and grandfather who treasured the time he spent with family.

Dan was born March 11, 1947, in Des Moines, Iowa, to Paul Eugene Hursh and Estella Loretta Cox Shackelford (both deceased). He was raised in Corvallis, Oregon, and spent most of his professional life at West Virginia University in Morgantown. His sister, Lori Hursh Rathie, and his brother, Nicholas Paul Hursh (deceased) were dear to him, as were his nieces and nephews. He cherished the time he spent with his children, Megan Hursh Murray and Sarah Hursh Huling; with their husbands, Jerry Murray and Jason Huling; with his grandchildren, Matilda, Sofia, and Sage; and with his loving partner, Mandy Putnam.

Dan earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Oregon; a master’s in Human Development from the University of Kansas; and a PhD in Developmental and Child Psychology from the University of Kansas. He served as an assistant professor of psychology at Western Michigan University; and as a research psychologist and director of school programs at the Carolyn Center in North Carolina, before finding his long-term academic home in 1975 at West Virginia University.

At the time of his retirement in 2014, Dan was serving as a professor and department chair in WVU’s Department of Learning Sciences and Human Development, and as an adjunct professor in the Department of Psychology. He was a teacher of teachers whose students are carrying on his legacy of educating children throughout the world. Among his many accomplishments, Dan was the founding editor of the professional journal Education and Treatment of Children.

He was nationally known for his expertise in the area of behavioral theory and interventions; for conducting research on and teaching students about designing positive supports for challenging behaviors using Applied Behavior Analysis; developing academic knowledge and skills through direct instruction; and applying evidence-based practices in education via the application of the Competent Learner Model with both typical and atypical learners. He engaged in a variety of collaborative projects with colleagues within the College of Education and Human Services as well as in Health Sciences and Psychology. He most recently helped to design the College’s new graduate program in Applied Behavior Analysis. He chaired and served on numerous doctoral committees, and maintained close relationships with many individuals who went on to become leaders in higher education and business across the country.

Dan was a practitioner of yoga and meditation and was a longtime member of the Morgantown Zen Buddhist Temple, where he was an inspirational role model.

A Continuation of Life Celebration is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 1, 2015, at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Morgantown. The Church is located at 429 Warrick Street, Morgantown, WV.  In lieu of flowers, Dan’s family requests that donations be made to the Dr. Daniel E. Hursh Development of Competent Learners Fund, Fund # 2W883.

This Fund shall support general education teachers and those who assist them to develop competent learners. Funds shall be awarded in the name of the Dr. Daniel E. Hursh Development of Competent Learners Fund.

To make a gift online follow the below link.  Select the designation as other and reference fund #2W883.

To mail a check, send to the address below, referencing fund #2W883 in the memo line.

WVU Foundation
One Waterfront Place
PO Box 1650
Morgantown, WV 26507







go to bottom 
  Post Comment
    Prior Page

07/23/15 03:14 PM #9    

Larry Thornburgh

Dan is as kind and selfless as anyone can get.  What a role model at any age.  God bless Dan and his family.

07/23/15 04:34 PM #10    

Tami Oberson (Markham)

I am saddened by the news that Dan has lost his valiant battle against cancer.  I love seeing Bob's picture of Dan's enjoying a beautiful hike.  My condolences to his family.  Very tough loss of a talented and truly kind gentleman.   

07/24/15 08:30 AM #11    

Judy Hennings (Butler)

The CHS Class of 65 will be making a donation to the WVU fund created in Dan's name.  Thank you so much to all of you who have donated to the newly created Memorial Fund to allow us to honor our classmates. Dan was, himself, one of the first enthusiastic donors to the Memorial Fund.  He was a dear and supportive friend to so many of us.

07/24/15 11:42 AM #12    

Gary Larson

What a gentle soul. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

07/25/15 03:47 PM #13    

Michael Lyne

Sad day for FRANKLIN GRADE SCHOOLERS! Dan told me a few months back that his protocols with his cancer were responding but thanks for the alternative suggestion. Comforting to know that John 5:28,29 is a reality in the near future.

07/25/15 11:45 PM #14    

Terry Linn

Denice and I are visiting and heard of Dan's passing.  We are so sorry to hear that he won't be coming to the reunion as he had hoped and our prayers go out to his family.  He was a wonderful kind soul and will be greatly missed.

07/30/15 12:58 AM #15    

Susan de Meules

On Wed, Jul 22, 2015 at 7:04 PM, John Wittmayer wrote:

My dear friend & your classmate Dan Hursh died today in Morgantown, West Virginia.  Dan Hursh, PhD was a Professor Emeritus & retired Chair of the Dept. of Learning Science & Human Development at West Virginia University.

08/06/15 03:27 PM #16    

Alan Richards

Dan and I shared an apartment during our junior year at U of Oregon (1967-68).  This was an emotionally turbulent time for both of us: we knew we had only a year left before facing The Draft after college was over.  We considered many options, some of them pretty desperate, until we both decided to become Conscientious Objectors.  We eventually went together to see the man who had been our minister in Corvallis; he helped us a lot, we achieved CO status, and then we went our separate ways.

It wasn’t until 1994, at a chance meeting at a Riders in the Sky concert (in the Columbia River Gorge at Stevenson, WA), that we renewed our friendship and my wife Ann got to meet him.  We had some contact in the years following, and Dan repeatedly invited  my wife and me to visit him in West Virginia, where he had been on the faculty for many years already.  Finally,  in 2007, we made it a priority to visit Dan, after putting it off for so many years.  He received us warmly, made us feel at home in the midst of his busy schedule, which then included flying most weeks back and forth to/from California where he also was teaching.  I have always felt extremely glad that we went while we had the chance, as our own travel plans are gradually less energetic  each year.  Peace and Farewell, Dan, from your friends Alan and Ann. 

08/21/15 12:57 AM #17    

Judy Hennings (Butler)

The Class Memorial Fund sent a donation to the  West Virginia University Foundation, as Dan's family suggested (see above).  Yesterday we received a lovely handwritten thank you note from Gypsy M. Denzine, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Education and Human Services:  " Class of 1965, We are grateful for your recent gift in memory of Dr. Daniel E. Hursh.  The College of Eduation  and Human Services appreciates your support of Dr. Hursh's 'Competent Learner's Fund'.  What a beautiful way to honor Dan.  Thank you!"

A number of other classmates asked about honoring Dan, and this can be done as personal donations to the fund using the information above in Meg's note. 

We plan to honor each classmate who passes away with a similar donation from the Memorial Fund to a charity of their family's choice.  Please help us by sharing news of deceased classmates via the website.  Our classmates have already been quite generous in their donations but future donations to the Memorial Fund are always welcomed (see "Contact us").  With grateful thanks from your class Treasurers. 

09/05/15 09:33 PM #18    

Judy Hennings (Butler)

Another thank you note to the class for our donation to Dan's memorial fund, this time from his daughters, Meg and Sarah:

"The West Virginia University Foundation informed us of your kind donation in memory of our father Dan Hursh.  Thank you for your thoughtfulness and generosity.  As you know these funds will be used to further his work building competent learners.  This means a lot to my sister and I as we would like his work and memory to carry on.  Thank you again.  Warmy, Meg"

go to top 
  Post Comment
    Prior Page