Ernest Carl Houck, professor in the Department of Business Information Technology at Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business, died on May 22. He was 61.

Houck, who earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech, joined the faculty in 1972. In 1995, he was appointed R.B. Pamplin Professor of Management Science. He directed the MBA program from 1978 to 1982. Since 1983, he had been his department’s graduate programs director.

An outstanding educator and scholar, Houck received the college’s Certificate of Teaching Excellence on three occasions. He was the college’s first faculty member to be elected to the university’s Academy of Teaching Excellence, in 1976. He was the college’s first recipient of the prestigious Wine Award, given for teaching excellence, in 1977. In 2002, he received the college’s Doctoral Teaching Award.

The author of numerous research articles published in leading academic journals in statistics and business, Houck was selected as a Fellow of the Decision Sciences Institute in 1994, in recognition of his career achievements in research, teaching, and service to his profession.

Houck was born in Springfield, Ohio, and grew up in Tuscaloosa, Ala. He excelled in sports and was a member of his high school’s undefeated, state championship basketball team. He was recruited to play basketball for the University of Alabama, where he earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree.

He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Cherry Kendrick Houck; their son, Ernest Scott Houck, and his daughter, Heather Lynn, of Alexandria; two grandchildren, Austin Kendrick and Ashley Elizabeth Houck; one brother, David Jeffrey Houck, and his wife, Freida Nan, of Taft, Tenn.; one sister, Rose Mary Spradley, and her husband, Clarence Victor, of Petersburg.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 3, at 11 a.m. at the Christ Episcopal Church, 120 Church Street, in Blacksburg. In lieu of flowers, donations to fund cancer research can be made to the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. For more information, please call (919) 966-5905.

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