Dr. James “Jim” Maruniak, passed on Monday, October 14th, at home surrounded by his family. He is survived by Ale, his loving wife of 24 years, daughter Alina, son Alex and siblings, John Jr., Carole, Joel (Carole), Dan (Donna), and Nick.
Jim was born in Tampa, FL on February 19, 1950. He was the fourth child of John and Christine (Holley) Maruniak. After growing up in Florida and North Dakota, he graduated from Florida State University with a B.S. in Biology and an M.S. in Biochemical Genetics. He received his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in Invertebrate Virology and did a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University in Molecular Virology, before coming back to his home state of Florida.
Jim was a faculty member of the Department of Entomology & Nematology at the University of Florida for 36 years where he did research in insect virology and taught several courses. He was a beloved mentor to numerous students, member of the TKE fraternity, advisor for the UF Virology Club, and a passionate lifetime educator. His “open door” policy did not stop at his lab but continued into his everyday life, where he shared his enthusiasm of viruses and vaccines with all.
Visitation will be at Forest Meadows Memorial Park, 4100 NW 39th Avenue on Friday October 18th from 2:30-3:30pm followed by a Celebration of Life. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to UF Health Cancer Center at https://www.uff.ufl.edu/give-now/?fund_id=000737.