The Department of English remembers Elizabeth "Lizz" Ketterer
Posted: March 2, 2011
The Department is mourning the loss of our graduate Elizabeth Ketterer, known to her many friends as Lizz, who died recently from complications related to diabetes.
Lizz was a graduate of the UT English Department and a participant in the Shakespeare at Winedale program. She also studied in the Literary and Cultural Studies program at Carnegie Mellon University, and at the University of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Institute in England, where she recently earned her doctorate. She was teaching as Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico.
The following are some memories of Lizz from Professors who taught her.
Professor Mia Carter: Lizz was a fabulous, fabulous student whom I was so fortunate to have in my large E316K class years ago. I asked for volunteer readers on day one and Liz had just returned from her summer at Winedale. We were starting with Chaucer and Liz came up and told me that she had always wanted to perform the Wife of Bath. She asked if she could read one of the Wife's speeches; I said yes, absolutely. Liz said, ok, where can I change?
She came to class the next day and changed in the bathroom; she entered the auditorium dressed in the Wife's clothes, barefooted, with large fake breasts, and stomped onto the stage where she recited by heart one of the Wife's speeches and then went stomping off the stage in character. The whole class went berserk, all 320 cheering and clapping. That kid was a life force and she was so good and pure of heart and full of joy and delight. I saw Lizz at the Winedale Anniversary and she was so thrilled to be there. She represented the best of us, of Winedale, of the department. I mourn for us, for losing a great and passionate lover of literature and life.
Professor James Loehlin: Lizz was one of the sweetest, kindest, most enthusiastic people I have ever known. She almost always had a smile on her face, and a hug or a kind word for people she met. Literature and music filled her with delight. At Winedale, when she had a new thought about a scene or an idea she wanted to try out, her eyes would light up and her whole presence would sort of inflate with excitement. Her energy was absolutely infectious.
Lizz loved Renaissance drama and music, and made the study of those two subjects the center of her scholarship. I was very proud of the work that she pursued after graduation, and the way she realized her dreams, and made for herself the opportunity to study and teach the subjects she loved. It was wonderful to see her at the Blackfriars Conference last year, a lively, laughing presence among other bright young Shakespeareans, enjoying her new status as Dr. Ketterer and the prospect of a rewarding career. Since she loved Chaucer, as Mia attests, we might borrow for her the final words in the description of the Oxford Clerk: 'And gladly would she learn, and gladly teach.'
She was studying at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-Upon-Avon when the Winedale students visited there in 2006. She was wonderfully supportive of our students, eager to help them along in their study of Shakespeare and to share with them the pleasures of a life of learning. She led us on a Sunday morning walk through the fields to the neighboring village of Shottery, to the cottage where Anne Hathaway, Shakespeare's wife, grew up. It is how I want to remember her, as a kind of pied piper for Shakespeare.
Lizz was cherished by friends and colleagues for her warmth, kindness, and merry heart. Her smile and her voice will be sorely missed.