David Sciulli

David Sciulli, Professor of Sociology at Texas A & M University, 60, passed from this life on September 17, 2010. He was preceded in death by his father, Oreste Sciulli, and is survived by his wife, Cynthia Sciulli, of College Station, Texas, mother, Julia Fernandez Sciulli, sister Lydia Scappucci, and younger brother Dino Sciulli, along with many nieces and nephews who reside in northern Ohio. Born January 11, 1950 in Amherst, Ohio, David will be remembered for many things not the least of which was his extraordinary intellect.

David Sciulli and Cynthia Ann Rutkowski were married on September 11, 1971, in Lorain, Ohio and soon after the young couple set out for Columbia University in New York City where David, having been awarded a full academic scholarship, earned his PhD in Political Science in 1983. Subsequently, David taught at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, University of Michigan, Georgetown University in Washington D.C. and University of Delaware.

In 1990 his academic reputation drew the attention of Texas A&M University where, after accepting a tenured professorship, David’s innate talents for teaching and writing blossomed. Sciulli, known as much for his discerning tastes in dining and travel as he was for his intellectual prowess, was unique unto himself. He possessed a natural curiosity about the social aspects of the human condition, which inspired the academic body of work that will serve as his legacy for decades to come.

Sciulli was a prolific writer whose contribution to the field of sociology is renowned and respected. As the author, co-author, and editor of over forty-five books, articles, and manuscripts concerning the historical social impact and interaction of culture, professions, law, and political theory, Sciulli served on the board of the International Sociological Association (ISA) and was Editor-in-Chief of the esteemed publication Comparative Sociology and International Studies in Sociology . Over the years, Sciulli was a participant at ISA conferences in Italy, France, Poland, Austria, Spain, and most recently in September of 2008, in Oslo, Norway. It was the last of many trips abroad for the Sciulli’s, and stands at the pinnacle of his sterling career as a teacher, writer, and student of humanity.

There are few words that can capture the true essence of a person like David Sciulli, but Shakespeare came close, ” To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” Or as a modern bard expressed just as well – “I did it my way”. Whether described best by Shakespeare or Sinatra, one thing remains clear: David Sciulli will be remembered as a person of true integrity, remarkable intelligence, and genuine honor. Rest in peace, dear man, yours was indeed a life worth living.

There will be a private memorial service. In lieu of flowers donations may be given to Hospice Brazos Valley for their caring service.


  1. Cynthia – My sincere condolences for your loss. Please know that I will be praying for you during this difficult time.

  2. Dear Cynthia, I am saddened to learn of David’s death. I liked him and have many good memories of him. I especially remember the summer 1993 conference in Paris that David organized; he was so very proud of that meeting. Also, I remember the evening after David’s promotion when you and he and your little dog dropped by our home and we had a wonderful celebration together. Pat and I send you our thoughts and condolences at this most difficult time. .. Dudley

  3. Dear Cynthia: Professor Amitai Etzioni, one of David’s friends, and former President of the American Sociological Association, sent me the message below, intending it for David to read. Sadly it reached us after David’s death. But I wanted you to read it (I wish David had been able to read it before he died):
    David, I am very sorry to learn that you are not well. It is time to tell you why I held you –for decades–in such high regard and affection. It was not for your mastery of sociological theory, although by my lights you had and have a better understanding of it than most of my colleagues, RKM included. What made me hold you in such high esteem was that you are stubborn in the best sense of term. You locked in on what you found as true and nothing would distract you. you followed your bright inner light, which so few people do. In that you set a model for many, for many years to come. Moreover, the best sociologists bridge our theory world with that of other intellectual bodies of thought. Here too you led the way. For all this and your humanity we owe you big time.
    Yours, amitai

  4. When we lose a loved one, the pain, grief and feelings of helplessness can seem unbearable. At such times, we can go to God for help to cope through prayer and His Word the Bible. Not only does the Bible tell us how God feels about death, it also tells us what God is prepared to do about it. This we find as we read Isaiah 25:8; John 5:28,29; Psalm 37:11,29. It is my wish that you can draw comfort from these scriptures. Please accept my sincere sorrow for your loss.

  5. Dear Cynthia:

    Words seem rather puny at a time like this I think, but they are all friends can offer sometimes. David had many friends, and I counted myself among them. It has been sometime since I spoke to him, but I fondly recall our conversations. We met a time or two after work at his suggestion just to visit. He could be so excited about some trip or event or project.

    He will be missed in the department and the discipline and certainly by his friends. Please know that Nancy and I extend our deepest sympathies to you and family members.

    God bless,

  6. Dear Cynthia,

    I am so sorry to hear of your great loss. My thoughts have been with you and David since I heard of his situation and my thoughts continue to be with you during this difficult time. I wish you the very best while making this adjustment.

    Sincerely yours,

    Harland Prechel

  7. Cindy,
    Shocked when I read the paper this morning to learn that Dave had passed. I am so so sorry and will keep you in my prayers. What accomplishments Dave had made and how proud you must be of him. You and Dave were blessed to have such wonderful experiences of travel and dining together – what wonderful memories to have. I know I am proud to say I knew him and was blessed to be a part of your wedding. Time has gone by so fast from the good olde days on 29th street and Admiral King. Take Care and if you ever come to Lorain, we need to get together to catch up. Home phone (440)960-2770.

  8. Both Chuck & I were so very sorry to hear about David. Seems like the only time we hear about family is when something like this happens. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Please take the time to take care of yourself. When you feel up to it please drop me an e-mail and let me know how you are doing.
    Also our class of 1968 from Admiral King sends their thoughts and prayers.

    God Bless and Watch over you,
    Your cousin from Ohio


  9. Deepest sympathy to the family for your loss. May God be with all of you during this time of sadness. I lost my brother Danny last year and know how difficult loss can be…the only thing of comfort I can say is…the suffering is over, and his spirit is free, he is with God.

  10. Aunt Julia, Lydia, and Dino, I am so sorry for your loss. David is now at peace and will be remembered fondly. I only wish we could have been closer in distance, so that we could have been closer as a friend and family. How proud you must be of all his accomplishments.

  11. Dear Cindy,

    I am so very sorry that Dave has passed on. The last I saw you two was in San Francisco and Fair Oaks, Ca, in the 80s, when you delighted me by staying for a visit in our home. What a great time we all had, and that memory has never left me. I have always enjoyed Dave’s perspective on the world, which I first learned in seventh grade. He amazed me then, and I am sure he amazed so many in his lifetime. My thoughts are with you in your sorrow.

    Chris (Ehrlich, Mann)Ross

  12. Cindy,
    Terry and I have been out of the country and only recently heard of your loss. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your/his family. My heart cries for you….

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