Retired Morehead State University professor Dr. Donald Franklin (Don) Flatt, age 80, of Parkersburg, WV, passed away Monday, Dec. 4.
Dr. Flatt joined the Morehead State University faculty in 1962 and retired after 40 years as faculty member and department chair. Specializing in American history, he utilized strategies to make historical periods come alive for his students. He also conducted student study tours in Great Britain and France.
“Teaching is in my blood,” he said. Recognized for excellence, Flatt was the recipient of the 1996-97 Distinguished Teacher Award and the first Outstanding Teaching Award given by MSU’s Greek Councils. Colleagues remember Flatt as a generous man who placed the needs of the institution ahead of his personal interests, counseled students in addition to teaching and mentored younger faculty members.
A frequent contributor of feature articles to regional newspapers, Flatt also conducted numerous oral history interviews, presented papers at professional meetings and published scholarly works.
Additionally, he authored three books: “Footsteps Across the Commonwealth,” a tribute to MSU President and Mrs. Adron Doran upon their retirement; “A Light to the Mountains,” a history of MSU from 1887 to 1997; and “Winning Through to Fame and Glory: African-Americans and MSU,” the first official account of integration at Morehead State.
A participant in six Hofstra Presidential Forums, Flatt was a member of numerous historical honor societies, including the Filson Club and the Disciples of Christ Historical Society. He served on the Kentucky Preservation Board and the Kentucky Bicentennial Commission.
A Church of Christ lay minister for more than 50 years, Flatt began serving as the minister in Morehead in 1957.
Flatt was salutatorian and president of the Student Council at Freed-Hardeman College, earned his B.A. (summa cum laude) and M.A. degrees from MSU and his Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky.
Don’s devoted wife of 54 years, Carolyn P. Stephens Flatt, passed away November 9, 2010.
He is survived by two children, Dr. Missy Spivy and her husband Joe of Vienna, WV and Judge David Flatt and his wife Kathy of Grayson; 11 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be conducted 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, at Northcutt & Son Home for Funerals Memorial Chapel with Joe Spivy, Bob Stephens and Bill Flatt officiating. Interment will be in Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens in Morehead.
Visitation is 11 a.m. until 1p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, at Northcutt & Son Home for Funerals.
In lieu of flowers, contributions are suggested to Mountain Top Ministry Children’s Home scholarships at http://mtnhonduras.org, MSU Foundation (designated to the Carolyn Flatt Scholarship fund), Ohio Valley University or Freed-Hardeman University.