In Memoriam: Irmgard Joan Lorch Staple, 1923-2022

Irmgard Joan Lorch Staple, a long-time faculty member at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, died late last month at her home in Williamsville, New York. She was 99 years old.

Dr. Staple, who was known professionally as I.J. Lorch, was a native of Offenbach, Germany. She earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of London in England.

Dr. Staple moved to the United States in 1963 to join the faculty at the Center for Theoretical Biology at the University at Buffalo of the State University of New York. She joined the faculty at Canisius College in 1973 and served as professor and chair of the department of biology. Dr. Staple was also a driving force in the establishment of the women’s studies program at Canisius, now called women and gender studies. In recognition of her devoted advocacy for women, in 1992 the college established an annual I. Joan Lorch Award to “honor a person who has made a significant contribution to women and who exemplifies the pursuit of liberation and justice regarding sex, gender, and sexuality.”

After retiring from Canisius in 2003 and serving on the faculty for 30 years, she authored a two-volume memoir Chance and Choice: My First 30 Years (2007) and Change and Challenge: My Life After 30 (2009).

Filed Under: In Memoriam


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  1. Andy Achenbaum says:

    An extraordinary friend

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