U. Prof focused on human sexuality

Among researchers he gave academic worth to the study of human sexuality, to students and faculty he approached each day with a smile and gave you something to think about.

David Lee Weis, professor of family and consumer sciences, died Friday in St. Vincent Medical Center. He was 52.

Weis died shortly after suffering an unexpected cerebral hemorrhage in his home, despite his long-term struggle with diabetes. Weis was legally blind from the disease.

A University faculty member since 1986, Weis co-edited numerous books including “Sexuality in America: Understanding our Sexual Values and Behavior” and also contributed sections to the third volume of the “International Encyclopedia on Sexuality” in 1998.

For Molly Laflin, family and consumer sciences professor who co-taught with Weis, there wasn’t a moment when those around him weren’t laughing or being challenged intellectually.

“He was not dull,” Laflin said. “He made us think and he made us laugh. I will miss that like crazy.”

According to Laflin, Weis served as her mentor even though she started her career at the University years before he arrived on campus. She’ll especially remember his respect for opinions varying from his own.

“He did not expect that you would always agree with him,” she said. “He would never have insisted on giving you his opinion. He was very tolerant of different opinions.”

Weis, a Toledo native, received his bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from the University in 1973. He earned a master’s degree in family studies from Purdue University in 1976 and a Ph.D. in 1979.

To students, Weis had a humorous and unorthodox teaching style that made him a favorite on department evaluations, Laflin said. “He was unusual in teaching undergraduates…because he would talk about how we know what we know,” she said. “He had a fabulous ability to take a complicated subject and put it in a context people could understand. I don’t know how we’re going to replace him.”