John P. Augelli

Professor John P. Augelli, 96, died Monday, March 20, 2017 at Brandon Woods Retirement Facility in Lawrence, KS.

He was born January 30, 1921 in Celenza Valfortore, in the Apulia region of Italy, and immigrated to the US at age 8. John was the first-born son of Pasquale and Antonetta Augelli. He graduated class salutatorian from Crosby High School in Waterbury, CT, completed his bachelor’s degree from Clark University and received his master’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard.

Survivors include his sons John (Gloria), Galveston, Tx and Bob, Lawrence; two granddaughters, Dianne Augelli, New York City and Jennifer Augelli Hunter (Tim), Edmund, OK; two great grandchildren, Max and Mila, Edmund, OK; and two sisters Marie, Waterbury, CT and Dianne, Naugatuck, CT. His parents, wife Conchita and brother Raymond preceded him in death.

As a member of the Army Air Force during World War II, Augelli had tours of duty in the South Pacific including the Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands. John rose to the rank of lieutenant in the Army Air Force and was always proud of his service in defense of the United States of America during WW II.

Dr. Augelli taught at the University of Puerto Rico, the University of Maryland, the University of Illinois and completed his career at the University of Kansas (KU). He established the Center for Latin American Studies at KU, where he also served as the Chair of the Department of Geography, and the Dean of International Studies. He was a popular instructor and a consummate researcher. Dr. Augelli authored seven books including two seminal texts on Central American and Caribbean geography as well as numerous journal articles. He was elected Secretary of the American Association of Geographers, was an invited lecturer at many colleges and universities, taught at the Pentagon, was a contributor and principle consultant on several projects with the National Geographic Society and served as a consultant to the Ford Foundation.

John loved to read and devoured thousands of books over his lifetime. He was particularly interested in the topic of the American Civil War. In 1976, he purchased a farm in rural Douglas County, KS and spent many wonderful hours there maintaining fences, clearing brush and herding his cattle to various pastures around the property. After retirement, John began a long second career lecturing on cruise ships which allowed him to continue two of his passions – teaching and traveling all over the world, as he would delightedly say, “On someone else’s nickel!” When not traveling with his friend Katy Conley, John would invite family members to accompany him. This led to some exquisitely memorable trips for both his sons and his granddaughters.

A memorial mass will be held at St. Lawrence Catholic Center at 11:00 on April 8. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to the KU Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies sent in care of the KU Endowment Association.