Jacqueline Steck liked short leads.
Miss Steck, 85, a beloved journalism teacher for 45 years at Temple University, died Sunday at Riddle Memorial Hospital in Media. After going to the movies Wednesday night, she felt tingling in her hands, then pins and needles in her head, friend Lee Carl said. He took her to the hospital, where she died of a hemorrhagic stroke. She lived in Riddle Village in Media.
"Jackie Steck was a consummate teacher," said Howard Shapiro, Inquirer travel editor and theater critic. "She praised you with a huge smile, and chided you with the same smile. She was a fabulous listener, and taught me to be a good listener as a reporter. She looked you straight in the eye and encouraged you to keep going just with the slightest cock of her head."
Miss Steck graduated in 1939 from Notre Dame Academy, then on Rittenhouse Square, before earning a bachelor's degree in journalism in 1944 and a master's degree in history in 1947, both from Temple.
A daughter of Jack Steck, a Philadelphia television producer and entertainment promoter, Miss Steck said in a 1989 Inquirer article that she had wanted to major in music.
"I was told, 'Don't do that. You will wind up a teacher,' " she said after breaking into her characteristic hearty laugh. "God knows, I don't want to be a teacher. Well, a funny thing happened on the way to the newspaper business."
Miss Steck began teaching journalism while an undergraduate during World War II.
"There were not many men around to teach, so Temple hired her," said her sister, Betty Bonaduce. "They didn't pay her as much as men."
Miss Steck earned $150 a month in the beginning. She also was an adviser to the Temple News.
In newswriting, journalism history, short-story fiction and other courses, Miss Steck taught generations of future journalists.
"I am continually amazed at the number of professionals who equate Temple's journalism program with Jackie Steck," Thomas Eveslage, a Temple journalism professor and former chairman of the department of journalism, said at her retirement celebration in 1989. He estimated 8,000 students had taken her classes during her 45-year teaching career.
Miss Steck encouraged women to break through barriers that restricted them to peripheral roles in newsrooms. "In the days when there were few women to emulate, Jackie stood out as a beacon of hope and encouragement," said Arlene Morgan, associate dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a former Inquirer assistant managing editor.
Miss Steck never married. "I'm too smart to do that," she told her sister.
"She was engaged to a handsome football player, but that didn't work," Bonaduce said.
"Jackie was very settled. She lived in her parents' home in Havertown and stayed at Temple her entire life," Bonaduce said.
Her nephews include Danny Bonaduce, a television star on The Partridge Family in the early 1970s.
After retiring, Miss Steck pursued her love of music. She led choral groups at churches of several denominations.
She has no survivors besides her sister, nephews and niece.
A Memorial Mass will be said at 1 p.m. today at Daylesford Abbey, 220 S. Valley Rd., Paoli. A reception will follow at 2. Burial is private.