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NIU mourns passing of Halbert E. Gulley

January 12, 2011
Halbert E. Gulley

Halbert E. Gulley

Halbert E. Gulley, chair of the Department of Speech, Speech Correction and Theater at NIU from 1970 until his retirement in 1979, died Wednesday, Jan. 5, at Oak Crest-DeKalb Area Retirement Center. He was 91.

The gifted orator and author of seven books was born Nov. 21, 1919, in Sesser, Ill.

He earned a Bachelor of Education degree from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale in 1940 and completed a Master of Arts degree in 1941 from the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

In the fall of 1941, he accepted a position at Hannibal Missouri High School. Shortly thereafter, he was inducted into military service and served four years in the U.S. Army. He was wounded in action in Germany, but survived and retired as a captain in the infantry.

After leaving the military, he returned to the University of Iowa to pursue a Ph.D. in speech communication. He received the degree in August of 1948 and accepted a position as assistant professor of speech at the University of Illinois, where he stayed 19 years.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 18, at Oak Crest Chapel. The Rev. Blake Richter of Westminster Presbyterian Church, DeKalb, will officiate. Private family burial will be at Elmwood Cemetery in Sycamore with full military honors provided by DeKalb County Honor Guard.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Halbert E. Gulley Memorial Fund for the Samaritan Fund at Oak Crest-DeKalb Area Retirement Center in care of Anderson Funeral Home, Ltd., P.O. Box 605, DeKalb, IL 60115. For more information, visit or call (815) 756-1022.