Alexander Lamis, associate professor of political science, passes away

Alexander P. Lamis, associate professor of political science, died Feb. 10 after a seven-month battle to overcome a reaction to medications. He was 65.

Born May 10, 1946, in Charleston, S.C., Lamis earned his undergraduate degree in history from the College of Charleston, He went on to earn  a Ph.D. in political science from Vanderbilt University as well as a J.D. from the University of Maryland Law School.

An expert on Southern politics and an enthusiast for all things political, Lamis began teaching at Case Western Reserve University in 1988 after stints at University of North Florida and the University of Mississippi.

His scholarly works include the book The Two-Party South, which was the co-winner of the V.O. Key Award from the Southern Political Science Association when it first was published in 1984. He also wrote various articles and book chapters on the politics of the American South and served as co-editor of Ohio Politics. His unfinished book, Politics for the Spectator, attempted to help students “observe the booming, buzzing confusion of our political life,” said Joseph White, chair of the Department of Political Science.

“Alec tried to share his sense that politics was the most important of activities; that it was about people struggling to make the world a better place—with very different ideas of what that meant—and to cope with the huge challenges that faced our country over the course of its history,” White said. “His view of politics was grounded in big swings—particularly the dramatic changes in the South in which he grew up and ideas about realignments in other parts of the country throughout its history.”

At Case Western Reserve, Lamis was a member of Faculty Senate and various university committees. He founded the Friday Public Affairs Discussion Group in 1989, and in 1992, he helped organize a university-wide public policy initiative that sponsored more than a dozen two-hour forums under his direction. He also initiated a network of Northeast Ohio political scientists in 1989 that promoted collaborative contact among area political scientists for nearly two decades.

Lamis is survived by his wife Renee and his three sons, Peter (10), Alexander (8) and Nicholas (2).

Friends are invited to call at Brugger Funeral Homes & Crematory (1595 W. 38th St., Erie, Pa.) Feb. 15 from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m., and to attend a funeral mass at St. George Catholic Church in Erie on Feb. 16 at 11 a.m.

Donations can be made to the Department of Political Science at Case Western Reserve University in memory of Professor Alexander P. Lamis; the fund will be used to help students. Contributions to a college fund for his children may be sent to Renee Lamis, c/o Brugger Funeral Homes & Crematory, 1595 W. 38th St., Erie, PA 16508.