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Death Of An Adjunct | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Heywood-Wakefield, Duquesne University Science Center, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. 1968 Nov 26. Exteri
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Heywood-Wakefield, Duquesne University Science Center, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. 1968 Nov 26. Exterior building. (Photo by: Hedrich-Blessing Photographers/Chicago Historical Society/UIG via Getty Images)

On Sept. 1, Margaret Mary Vojtko, an adjunct professor who had taught French at Duquesne University for 25 years, passed away at the age of 83. She died as the result of a massive heart attack she suffered two weeks before. As it turned out, I may have been the last person she talked to.

On Aug. 16, I received a call from a very upset Margaret Mary. She told me that she was under an incredible amount of stress. She was receiving radiation therapy for the cancer that had just returned to her, she was living nearly homeless because she could not afford the upkeep on her home, which was literally falling in on itself, and now, she explained, she had received another indignity -- a letter from Adult Protective Services telling her that someone had referred her case to them saying that she needed assistance in taking care of herself. The letter said that if she did not meet with the caseworker the following Monday, her case would be turned over to Orphans' Court.

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