Tamerlan, of Ossetian nationality, was born February 28, 1922, in Kardzhin, near Vladikavkas, Republic of North Ossetia, Russia. His parents were Zambolat and Madinat K. Salaty.
In 1942 Tamerlan became a partisan resistance fighter who was captured after the German invasion of the Soviet Union during WW II. He escaped from the Germans, was wounded in a bombing attack, and recaptured. He survived the war in captivity and ended up in a refugee camp in Ingolstadt, near Munich, Germany. There he learned a trade as an electrician. Not wanting to return to Communist Russia, he became a displaced person. He eventually was sponsored by the World Church Organization and immigrated to America in 1949. He worked for the California citrus growers, picking oranges, for the first 6 months in his new country. Later, he moved to New York, attended Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute for an Electrical Engineering degree. Having one year left for his EE degree, he had to quit school for economic reasons. He was hired as an engineering aide for the Sperry Gyroscope Company where he worked on the B-58 bomber program. After three years he left the company and moved to Lawrence, Kansas, where he finished his EE degree in 1963. While finishing his degree, he was offered a part-time position teaching a Russian language course and thus began his career at KU in the Slavic Languages and Literature department. He received his Master's degree in Slavic Languages and Literature in 1968, and taught courses in Russian grammar and composition and translation. Tamerlan retired in 1992.
He was fluent in four languages and was a member of the Kansas Foreign Language Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic
Studies, the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages and the American Association of University Professors. In addition to teaching at KU, he taught summers at Cornell University, University of Colorado, Indiana University, and Middlebury College in Vermont.
Tamerlan was an avid tennis player and enjoyed swimming almost everyday. He was a devoted husband and father, and would have been a most caring and fun grandfather if his failing health had not prevented him. He was passionate about helping people, especially new immigrants. He was a very dedicated teacher. He was well-known among his students for his anecdotes and sense of humor. One student wrote, "He has a wonderful way of presenting things and making grammar clear. He only gets impatient when he sees you're not working up to your potential. "
His survivors include his wife of 47 years, Caroline, two daughters, Madina, and husband, Zunu, of Lawrence, and Tamara, and her husband, Ben, and two granddaughters, Wrenn, and Maren, of Manhattan, Kansas. Also a cousin, Sergei Ardasenov and his wife, Zalina, and their son, Tamerlan, of Shawnee, Kansas, and a brother-in-law, David Logan, his wife Cathy, and nephew, Tim, of San Antonio, Texas.
His family wishes to thank the staff and caregivers at Brandon Woods and Grace Hospice for their care and compassion.
A memorial service at Danforth Chapel on the KU campus will be held at a later date, to be announced. Private inurnment will be in Pioneer Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to the University of Kansas Endowment Association in care Warren-McElwain mortuary.