Dr. Jack Pace: Friend, Colleague, Teacher

Jack Wayne Pace, a retired professor who worked at Northwestern State University for 40 years, died Aug. 3 at Cabrini Hospital in Alexandria, Louisiana, following a heart attack on July 23.

Pace began teaching at NSU in 1974 for the Department of Animal Science and retired in 2014.

During Homecoming in 2015, the longtime teacher was honored with the position of professor emeritus of the Department of Biology, Microbiology and Veterinary Technology.

During his career Pace became an associate professor and interim chair of the Department of Biological Sciences. He also taught human nutrition and human anatomy and physiology.

“He was renowned for his engaging teaching style in the classroom,” said Jonathan Akin, a professor in the Department of Biology, Microbiology and Veterinary Technology. “He frequently used humor and stories in his lectures and made learning fun and memorable for generations of students.”

He went on to say that only a few of the teachers “left as large a mark” on the Department of Biology, Microbiology, and Veterinary Technology as Pace.

Francene J. Leonine, an associate professor for the School of Biological and Physical Science, credited Pace with her working at the university.

“When I applied for a faculty position here in the Department of Biology in 2006, I didn’t have any teaching experience,” Leonine said. “Jack took a chance on me, and for that, I will be forever grateful. His faith and confidence in me changed my career track!”

“I felt like he was an excellent teacher,” said John Byrd, an assistant professor for the Biology Department. “He knew his material and he was personable with students.”

Byrd said Pace would “take the edge off” of his classes during the more stressful parts of the courses.

Pace was also a veteran of the U.S Army and worked with state and local organizations, including the Natchitoches Parish 4-H Advisory Board, and the Scottish Rite of the Free Masons.

He was also on the board of the Natchitoches Farm Bureau Federation.

Pace was survived by his wife Bonnie, their sons, and grandchildren.

A memorial service for Pace will be held on Wednesday at the Blanchard-St.Denis Funeral Home in Natchitoches, Louisiana, with visitation lasting from 4 to 9 pm.