Robert Panara, who lost his hearing as a child and became a leading educator of the deaf and a pioneering scholar of deaf culture, has died. He was 94.
Panara died of natural causes July 20 at the Rochester, N.Y., nursing home where he lived, according to longtime friend and colleague Harry Lang, who recalled Panara as an educator whose influence went well beyond the classroom.
"Bob was passionate about his teaching," Lang said. "He would often say [in sign language], 'My classroom is my stage.' I have never met a person so happy with life, so inspirational to both students and colleagues, and so respected and loved."
Panara's career included teaching...