Dr. Edward C. Appel, age 86 of Leola, passed away on Tuesday, January 29, 2020, at his home. Born in Philadelphia, he was the son of the late James R. and Mabel Darlin Appel. He was the husband of Ruth Anne Yuninger Appel with whom he celebrated 63 years of marriage. Dr. Appel was a member of Leacock Presbyterian Church in Paradise. Surviving besides his wife are 3 children: Beth, Lauren and Dalin Appel, and a granddaughter, Jillian Piper, all of Lancaster County. Dr. Appel was a graduate of West Lampeter High School, now Lampeter-Strasburg. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Elizabethtown College and Magna Cum Laude from the Lancaster Theological Seminary. He earned a Master of Arts in communication from the University of Delaware and a PhD in rhetoric and communication from Temple University. For 34 years, Dr. Appel taught English, theatre, and public speaking at Conestoga Valley High School. He taught public speaking and other subjects in his field of communication at Lock Haven University and other universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Dr. Appel also served for 15 years as supply preacher in the Donegal Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church, USA. Dr. Appel’s research and publications in the fields of rhetoric/communication and Kenneth Burke studies earned him the Distinguished Service Award from the Kenneth Burke Society at the 10th Triennial Conference of that academic association in 2017. His published rhetorical critiques included studies of the discourse of Rev. Jerry Falwell, William F. Buckley, Jr., Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rush Limbaugh, Donald J. Trump, and the former pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lancaster, Rev. Dr. Wallace E. Fisher. Dr. Appel’s theoretical publications included work on the importance of negation in philosopher Kenneth Burke’e theory of dramatist, the nature and impact of various genres of rhetorical drama in political and social polemic, Burke as theologian, Burke’s philosophy of language as supported, yet also modified, by the semiotics of anthropologist Terrence W. Deacon, and the varied roles of the scapegoat process in public address. Dr. Appel’s book, Language, Life, Literature, Rhetoric and Composition as Dramatic Action: A Burkean Primer, has been used in undergraduate and graduate classroom instruction in North America and in Europe. Dr. Appel served as Associate Editor of the Quarterly Journal of Speech and as Associate Editor and Conversation Editor of the KBJournal, a publication of the Kenneth Burke Society. He served as ad hoc reviewer for various other journals in the communication field, as well as respondent at conventions of the National Communication Association and regional associations, as well.
Funeral service will take place from Leacock Presbyterian Church, 3181 Lincoln Highway East, Paradise, PA 17562, on Friday, January 31st at 11 a.m. with a viewing from 10 a.m. until the time of service. Reverend Robert Birch will be officiating. Interment will be in the adjoining cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Chanceford Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 56, Airville, PA 17302 or New Harmony Presbyterian Church, 2295 Delta Road, Brogue, PA 17309.