EASTON — Dr. Gerald Clifford Weales passed away at The Pines in Easton on Aug. 30, 2013, at the age of 88.
Gerald was born on June 12, 1925, in Connersville, Ind., to the late Mary and Frank Weales. Gerald is survived by his sister, Sally Clyde; and sister-in-law, Helen Weales; and six nieces and three nephews, Becky Milhollan, Bob Rauch and his wife Dale, Jenny McGuirl, Vickie Hall, Shannon Clyde and his wife Lori, Marsha Bingaman and Ron Weales. He will be remembered by many great- and great-great nieces and nephews. Gerald was preceded in death by the love of his life, Nora Magid; his parents, Frank and Mary Weales; two brothers, William Weales and Fred Weales; his sister, Lousie Rauch (who took him to his first play); a niece, Pam Shively; and nephew, Dave Milhollan.
Gerald grew up in Connersville and graduated from Connersville High School. Following graduation, he entered the U.S. Army. While serving in Europe during World War II, he received a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. Following his service in the Army, Gerald attended Columbia University in New York City, receiving his B.A., M.A. and PhD. When his education was completed, he moved to Philadelphia, where he lived and worked for over 60 years until moving to Easton.
Dr. Weales taught English and drama at the University of Pennsylvania for 30 years. He held a permanent spot as a theater reviewer at The Reporter magazine from 1964 to 1968 and at Commonwealth from 1968 to 1993. Gerald authored the annual “American Theater Watch” in the Georgia Review from 1978 to 2010. He is revered throughout Philadelphia (and beyond) for his essays, articles, reviews and other writings, which have appeared in dozens of periodicals, including The Atlantic, Harper’s, The Los Angeles Times, Life magazine, The New York Times, The Village Voice and The Nation. Gerald’s numerous books include important historical surveys of modern American and English drama, as well as several children’s books and a novel. His awards include a George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Grant and extended stays at Yaddo, an artists’ community located in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Gerald generously supports editors and editorial work through the PEN/Nora Magid Award.
Gerald’s greatest joy was the theater. He shared this love with family, friends, students and readers of his many articles and books. Dr. Weales was widely recognized as an expert on English and American drama. Gerald loved animals and traveled the world to observe those which he found most interesting. Some of the animals he found particularly interesting were the mountain gorilla, the Tibetan yak and the orangutan. He was very supportive of the Philadelphia Zoo and enjoyed sharing this wonderful zoo with family and friends.
A memorial service will follow at a later date.