Paul Joseph Ferlazzo, professor emeritus of English, died April 2, 2015. He was 70.

Dr. Ferlazzo was born Aug. 27, 1944, in New York City, N.Y. to Grace and Joseph Ferlazzo. He received his bachelor’s degree from Saint Francis College and his master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Oklahoma.

Dr. Ferlazzo’s academic career spanned four decades. He taught at Michigan State University, the University of Bologna and Montana State University before coming to Northern Arizona University in 1985. As a scholar of American poetry, Dr. Ferlazzo wrote two books on Emily Dickinson and most recently Poetry and the American Presidency.

Dr. Ferlazzo was a Fulbright lecturer in American Literature at the University of Bologna, National President of the Phi Kappa Phi College Honor Society and a co-director of NAU’s College of Arts and Letters Film Series.

After retiring in 2010, he pursued his lifelong interest in art and took classes at The Drawing Studio in Tucson, Coconino Community College and NAU. On most days, he would be found in his study working on a canvas.

Dr. Ferlazzo found joy everywhere, but especially in his family. He is survived by his wife, Carole; son Michael (Dessia); four grandchildren, Mike Jr., Olivia, Julia and Anna; his sister, Frances; and many nieces and nephews all of whom he cherished. He was preceded in death by his beloved son John Paul.

A celebration of his life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 11, at Flagstaff Federated Community Church, 400 W. Aspen Ave. A reception will follow the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in Dr. Ferlazzo’s name to New Life Christian Church, PO Box 3959, Flagstaff, AZ 86003.