Port Townsend author Jack Cady, 71, died Jan. 14, 2004, of cancer, at Jefferson General Hospital.
Born in Hartford City, Ind., he was a man of many skills, working as a truck driver intermittently until his late 30s and, for a time, running his own landscape business in Port Townsend, Wash., his home since 1973. He spent four years with the U.S. Coast Guard in Maine, then earned a bachelor's degree in sociology at the University of Louisville in 1961.
Four years later he received the first of many awards for his fiction writing. Subsequent awards included the Nebula, Phillip K. Dick Award, World Fantasy Award and Bram Stoker Award.
Cady published more than a dozen novels and short fiction collections, including The Hauntings of Hood Canal (2001), The Night We Buried Road Dog (1998), The Off Season (1996), and Inagehi (1993). His fiction often featured vivid depictions of real-life settings from areas around the Olympic Peninsula. The fictional community of Vestal Point portrayed in The Off Season is modeled on Port Townsend.
He also wrote a nonfiction book - a survey of American literary thought from 1620 to the 1970s - titled The American Writer and published in 1999.
From 1968 to 1973 he was an assistant professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, then taught in Illinois, Pennsylvania and at the University of Alaska in Sitka.
For the 13 years prior to his retirement in 1998, he taught creative writing at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, where he won a distinguished teaching award in 1992 and was named professor emeritus upon retirement.
His creativity, generosity and spontaneous enthusiasm for others' ideas and writing was manifested in his teaching. After learning of his death, one student wrote: "He has finished his best work - his life."
Additional honors were a 1986 Pacific Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award for education reporting, and a 1992 creative writing fellowship of $20,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Cady was married for 27 years to writer Carol Orlock, who survives him. He also leaves four children from a previous marriage and two sisters.
A Port Townsend celebration of Cady's life and art is planned in March.
Remembrances in his name are suggested to the Jack Cady Scholarship Fund at Pacific Lutheran University, Development Office, 1010 - 122nd St. S., Tacoma, WA 98447. The scholarship is what Orlock calls "a promise award," to nurture students who, like Cady, "show a promising young mind that does not naturally lead to greatness.
"No one would have expected the promise that was inside him as a young man," said Orlock, "but he knew how to make greatness out of the promise he had. It was nurtured, he worked awfully hard at it, and he gave back as others had given to him."