Obituary: Kevin Herbert, professor emeritus of classics, 93

Kevin Herbert in the Danforth University Center. (Credit: Catherine Herbert)

Kevin Herbert, professor emeritus of classics in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, died Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015, of heart failure. He was 93.

Born in Chicago in 1921, Herbert earned a bachelor’s in classics from Loyola University in 1946 as well as both a master’s and a doctorate in classical philology from Harvard, in 1949 and 1954 respectively.

Prior to arriving at Washington University, in 1962, Herbert taught at Marquette University, Indiana University, St. Paul’s School and Bowdoin College. He served as curator of the Wulfing Coin Collection — one of the largest university collections of ancient Greek and Roman coins — from 1968-94, and as chair of classics from 1982 until his retirement. He was named professor emeritus in 1992 but continued to teach, primarily through University College, until 2008.

A fellow of the American Numismatic Society, Herbert was the author of numerous books, monographs and catalogs, as well as dozens of articles and reviews. Major publications include three volumes on the Wulfing Collection (in 1979, 1987 and 1996) as well as “Maximum Effort: The B-29s Against Japan” (1983), a memoir of his experiences as a tail gunner during World War II — service for which he received a Distinguished Flying Cross, among other honors.

Herbert is survived by his daughter, Catherine, and her husband, John Reilly; by two grandchildren, Jane and David; and by his siblings William Herbert and Jean Wilson. Another sister, Patricia McKillip, died in 2011. His wife, Margaret, died in 2013 and his son, John, in 1995.

Visitation will take place from 4-8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 20, at Kreigshauser Mortuary West, 9450 Olive Blvd. A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 21, at Our Lady of the Pillar Church, 410 S. Lindbergh Blvd.