A. Julian Valbuena

In memoriam

Memorial service set Feb. 20 for A. Julian Valbuena, professor emeritus


3:04 p.m., Feb. 7, 2014--A memorial service will be held Thursday, Feb. 20, for Angel Julian Valbuena, an internationally known scholar and long-time member of the University of Delaware faculty. He died Feb. 5 at the age of 86.

Dr. Valbuena served as Elias Ahuja Professor of Spanish in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures from 1960-99 and was given emeritus status after he retired. A well-known author, professor and lecturer in Spanish and Spanish American literatures, he wrote under the pen name of Angel Valbuena-Briones. 

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Feb. 20, in the chapel of Saint Mary of the Assumption Church in Hockessin, with a reception afterward at Cokesbury Village, 726 Loveville Rd., Hockessin. 

Born in Madrid, Spain, Dr. Valbuena became a U.S. citizen in 1963 in Wilmington, Del.

Dr. Valbuena received his Licenciatura, summa cum laude, from the University of Murcia in 1949, and his doctorado, cum laude, in romance philology, from the University of Madrid in 1952. 

He taught at the universities of Murcia and Madrid in Spain, Oxford University in England, the University of Wisconsin at Madison and Yale University. He was a visiting professor at New York University, University of Madrid, University of Mexico at Aragon, and the Instituto Caro y Cuervo in Bogota, Colombia. 

He received postdoctoral fellowships from the University of Wisconsin, the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (Madrid), and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He was a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Delta Pi, the Modern Language Association of America, the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, the International Association of Hispanists, the Anglo-German Association of Calderonists, the Comediantes, the Philological Association of the Pacific Coast, the Marquis Biographical Library Society and the University of Delaware Library Associates.

Prof. Valbuena was on the editorial board of Arbor, Bulletin of the Comediantes, Hispanic Journal, Juan de la Cuesta , Editions Reichenberger  and Chadwyck-Healey. He served on the Fulbright national screening board for awards in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, the National Endowment for the Humanities Research project, and the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (Madrid). He chaired the Division of 16th & 17th Century Spanish Drama of the Modern Language Association of America and was vice president of the national Sigma Delta Pi honor society. He founded the University of Delaware Kappa Upsilon Chapter of Sigma Delta Pi in 1974.

He is the author of 19 books on Spanish and Spanish American literatures, including  Obras Completas de Calderón (Madrid, Aguilar), Literatura Hispanoamericana (Barcelona, Gustavo Gili), Calderón y la comedia nueva (Espasa-Calpe, Madrid) and editions of Calderón's La Dama Duende  and El alcalde de Zalamea (Catedra, Madrid). He was an editor of Teatro Español del Siglo de Oro, three CD-ROM discs of Spain’s Golden Age playwrights issued by Chadwyck-Healey.

The University of Delaware presented him with the Excellence in Teaching Award in 1988, and the College of Arts and Sciences named him Outstanding Scholar in 1996. The national honor society, Sigma Delta Pi, honored him with the Don Quijote Distinguished Scholar Award in 1999. His edition of Calderon's La Dama Duende was presented at the Library of Congress in 1965 and at the National Theatre in Madrid in 1990 and 1991. 

Prof. Valbuena was a member of the Greenville Country Club in Wilmington, Del., St. Francis Xavir Church of the Old Bohemia Historical Society in Warwick, Md., and St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Hockessin. He enjoyed book collecting, researching special collections in famous libraries, travel, theatre, opera, tennis and walking at Longwood Gardens.

Prof. Valbuena is survived by his wife of 57 years, the former  Barbara Northrup Hobart; two daughters: Teresa Hobart Duke and her husband, Harry Max Duke II, of  Fort Washington, Md., and Vivian Hobart Valbuena and her husband, David W. Buxbaum, of Sydney, Australia, and Carmel, N.Y.;  three brothers in Spain: Francisco Valbuena-Briones and his wife, Maribel Medina Carles, Carlos Valbuena-Briones and his wife, Elena Diaz Breijo, and Agustin Valbuena-Briones, and his wife, Maria Lina Vicente Hernanz. He was predeceased by his brother, Rafael Valbuena-Briones of Madrid. 

Burial will be private for the immediate family. 

The Valbuena family gives their thanks to the medical staff at Cokesbury Village, Christiana Hospital and Vitas Hospice for their assistance and caregiving.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in A. Julian Valbuena's name to:  The Old Bohemia Historical Society, Box 61, Warwick, MD 21921; or to The University of Delaware Library Associates, Morris Library, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19717-5267.

For online condolences, visit Chandler Funeral Homes and Crematory

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