Donald Gilbert Eisen

May 11, 1937 ~ December 15, 2018 (age 81)


Donald Eisen died peacefully in his home in Leisure World, Silver Spring on Saturday, December 15, 2018. He is survived by his beloved wife of 59 years Barbara (Handler), his son Sam, his daughter-in-law Suzanne Koopmans, and grandchildren, Lennard and Tessa.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio on May 11, 1937, Donald attended Western Reserve University for both his bachelor and master degrees in English. He taught honors English at Euclid High School. In 1966 he started teaching in the English Department of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He was the founding chairman of the IUP Theater Department in 1977. He earned his Ph.D. in theater at the University of Pittsburgh in 1982. His dissertation on the stories and plays of Anton Chekhov won the University and College Teaching Association honor for best dissertation of that year. He directed and acted in many plays, bringing classics and modern theater alive to his students, who include successful actors, directors, playwrights, and theater technicians. He retired in 1994 and in 2002 moved to Leisure World in Silver Spring, where he was one of the founders of the Leisure World Center for Lifelong Learning. He taught many classes to a large and loyal group of residents. In his condo building he ran the monthly Matinee Theater, which showed and analyzed older films.
Funeral service will be held on Wednesday, December 19, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. at Judean Chapel, 16225 Batchellors Forest Road, Olney, MD. with interment to follow at Judean Memorial Gardens. Family will be observing Shiva in Leisure World after the burial and in the evening. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Foundation for IUP, Sutton Hall, 1011 South Drive, Indiana PA 15705, specifying that the contribution is for the Donald G. Eisen Scholarship for Theater.

Chapel Service at Cemetery

DEC 19. 1:30 PM

Judean Chapel
16225 Batchellors Forest Road
Olney, MD, 20832

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