Barbara Melzer, professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, died from pneumonia Feb. 17 in California.
Melzer had been hospitalized since early January after becoming sick on a trip to visit friends in California. Faculty senators had been updated prior to Melzer’s death her health was reportedly improving and she was being taken off medication.
Melzer was the director of clinical education and thechair. Melzer had practiced and taught physical therapy for about 38 years, according to a eulogy written by Eric Robertson, assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy.
Melzer was 63 and planned on retiring in May.
Debra Feakes, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, served with Melzer on the Faculty Senate. Feakes said Melzer was a “woman of all trades” and was dedicated to both her family and work.
“She was just remarkable,” Feakes said. “All the characteristics you want in a faculty member, she had. She was open and caring.”
Melzer had won the Texas State University Presidential Award for Service multiple times. Barbara Covington, associate professor in the School of Nursing, said Melzer was a champion of the nursing school.
“She was already going to start her bucket list,” said Valerie Anderson, Faculty Senate administrative assistant. “She had planned a trip to the Grand Canyon over spring break.”
Anderson said Melzer had recently adopted four cats and was active in her church in San Antonio.
“She jumped in with both feet,” Anderson said. “She had no fear.”
Melzer frequently flew to visit her sister with terminal brain cancer, said Gwynne Ellen Ash, associate professor of curriculum and instruction.
Feakes said Melzer loved jewelry and art. Melzer’s office was decorated with numerous art pieces, and she collected decorative pins for all of her outfits.
Melzer’s ashes will be sent to San Antonio, and a celebration will be held in her memory in April, Covington said.