Jesuit Father George W. Traub died on Oct. 27, 2018, at Colombiere Center in Clarkston, Michigan. He was 82 years old.
Fr. Traub was born on January 30, 1936, in Chicago, Illinois. He entered the Society of Jesus on September 1, 1954, at Milford Novitiate in Milford, Ohio. He was ordained on June 8, 1967 in North Aurora, Illinois. He took final vows on April 14, 1979 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Fr. Traub attended Loyola Academy in Chicago before entering the Society (1950-1954). After entering the Society, Fr. Traub earned a bachelor’s of letters in Latin and Greek from Xavier University (1958). He earned a master’s degree in English from Loyola University Chicago (1963). He earned a Doctorate in English from Cornell University (1973). He also earned a Licentiate in Philosophy from West Baden College in West Baden, Indiana, (1961) and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from Bellarmine School of Theology in North Aurora, Illinois (1968).
During regency, Fr. Traub taught Latin, Greek, and English at Loyola Academy (1961-1964). After earning his doctorate, he taught English and Theology at Xavier University (1972-1980) before moving back to his hometown where he was the Provincial Assistant for Formation and Continuing Education (1980-1985) and studied at Loyola University Chicago’s Institute of Pastoral Studies (1985-1986).
In 1986, he moved to Cincinnati and, after a year sabbatical, spent over 30 years at Xavier University teaching theology and working on the Jesuit mission of the school. During his time in Cincinnati, he was the coordinator (1987-1989), director (1989-2004), and executive director (2004-2011) of Ignatian Programs at Xavier University. In 2011, Fr. Traub became a Jesuit Scholar in Xavier’s Center for Mission and Identity. Fr. Traub’s work at Xavier involved empowering lay faculty, staff, and administrators to live and work in the Ignatian/Jesuit tradition. In 1997, he published the pamphlet “Do You Speak Ignatian? A Glossary of Ignatian and Jesuit Terms” which has been used by countless Jesuit institutions to help people become familiar with “Jesuit talk.” In addition, he published two collections of short essays on St. Ignatius of Loyola and Ignatian Spirituality: An Ignatian Spirituality Reader and A Jesuit Education Reader. In 2017, he moved to Colombiere to care for his health.
Fr. Traub was a faithful and caring friend, a compassionate listener. He stayed in touch with Jesuits, colleagues, and former students. Fr. Traub cared passionately for his ministries, especially his work in Mission and Identity at Xavier University. He really loved language, enjoying an extraordinary sense of the value of just the right word. With his usual attention to detail, Fr. Traub hung on his office walls photos of his favorite literary and theological “muses,” including Karl Rahner, S.J. He loved nature, especially the beauty of northern Michigan. Throughout his life, Fr. Traub struggled with health issues. Even when his health issues intensified in recent months, he still enjoyed the poker games at Colombiere.