Anthony Joseph Lisska, 82, died peacefully in Granville, Ohio on September 19, 2022. A funeral Mass will be held at 10 A.M. on Saturday, September 24, at The Church of St Edward the Confessor, 785 Newark Granville Road, with Msgr. Paul P. Enke as celebrant. A private burial will follow at the College Cemetery, Denison University.
The family welcomes friends to call on Friday, September 23rd, from 2-4 P.M. and 6-8 P.M. at The Church of St Edward the Confessor. There will be a brief blessing at 2 P.M. for those who would like to attend.
Tony Lisska was born in Columbus, Ohio, to the late Joseph Anthony and Florence (Wolfel) Lisska. He was a graduate of Aquinas College High School class of 1958. He graduated from Providence College in 1963 with an AB degree in Philosophy, and later received an MA from St. Stephen’s College and a Ph.D from The Ohio State University. He joined the faculty in Philosophy at Denison University in 1969, beginning a career that would span 52 years as professor and administrator until his retirement in May 2021.
Tony was a pillar of both the Denison and Granville communities, as much known and loved for leading local history “Tony Tours” and organizing breakfast groups in Granville, as for his incisive teaching style at Denison. His accolades were many but his “intellectual avocation,” the study of Aquinas and Natural Law, was his guiding force. He was rewarded for his academic work with two endowed Professorships at Denison and numerous associated honors. His greatest joy, however, was sharing his passion for learning with his students. In this spirit, he founded the Denison Honors Program in 1987 and served as its first Director. He received the Sears Foundation Teaching Award in 1990, and was honored as the Carnegie Foundation Professor of the Year in 1994. In 2016, the Gilpatrick Center at Denison was rededicated as the Lisska Center for Intellectual Engagement in his honor. It continues to embody his vision as a space to not only support students in their scholarly pursuits, but to allow for and nurture the friendships that create true interdisciplinary scholarship.
Tony is survived by his wife Marianne, his daughters Megan (Peter Bryan) and Elin (Sean Christensen), and his grandchildren James, Gretel, and Eleanor Antonia; brother and sister-in-law, Lawrence and Emily Lisska, and their children, Joseph and William, as well as countless friends, colleagues, and generations of former students worldwide.
In addition to his parents, Tony was preceded in death by his brother, Dick Lisska and his wife, Shirley.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Anthony J. Lisska Endowed Fund for Faculty Support. Secure gifts may be made online here at support.denison.edu/give
Alternatively, should you wish, you may mail a check in the name of the fund to Institutional Advancement, Denison University, P.O. Box 2007, Mt. Vernon, OH 43050, and please include “Dr. Anthony J. Lisska Endowed Fund for Faculty Support” in the memo line.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.mcpeekhoekstra.com.