Photos, events, and information of interest to members of the DePaul Emeritus Society will be posted to this blog. Please take a look, add your comment, offer to be an "author" or just enjoy.
Monday, May 8, 2017
Sunday, April 30, 2017
Our next book will be "A Tale for The Time Being" by Ruth Ozeki. Here is a link to one of the many reviews of this novel, this one from the New York Times.
Friday, April 7, 2017
|Irwin Peters, DES Luncheon, Oct. 2014|
It is with sadness that we have learned of the death of J. Irwin Peters, retired professor of marketing. Irwin passed away on March 19 at the age of 93. He taught at the university from 1969 to 1988.
Irwin was a Holocaust survivor with a fascinating history, which his family shares with us:
But for Adolph Hitler, J. Irwin Peters, Ph.D, probably would have lived a life of refined contentment as a history professor at the University of Vienna. Irwin Peters, whose name was originally Imre Erwin Popper, was born in Vienna, Austria, July 28, 1923, to Jewish parents, Wilhelm and Irma Popper.
Though not particularly religious, his family did observe the main Jewish Holidays and participated in high Austrian culture, as did a disproportionately large number of the Jewish Viennese community. Most of their friends were Jewish, but they felt and believed themselves to be very Austrian. After all, Irwin's father had served the "fatherland" in the absolute carnage of World War I, three years on the Russian front, and one year on the Western front, and received two boxes of medals in the process. Like most combat veterans from every country who have seen the horrors of war, Wilhem Popper rarely talked about it.
On March 12, 1938, Hitler entered Austria, to the acclaim and exuberant celebration of many, perhaps most Austrians. Irwin remembered the pro-Nazi Archbishop of Vienna welcoming Hitler into Vienna by having all the church bells rung and declaring a school holiday. Shortly thereafter, the terror began.
On March 17, 1938, Wilhelm Popper was jailed for the crime ofbeing a Jewish lawyer. Irwin remembered being permitted to visit his father in jail once per week. On July 4, 1938, Wilhelm was released based on his agreement to leave Austria by mid-September. As Irwin and his parents left the West Bahnhoff train station to travel to Slovakia, Irma told Irwin, then 14, "You'd better take a good look at your Uncle Berthold because you may never see him again." Indeed, Irwin's Uncle Berthold died in Auschwitz with his wife and child.
Upon Irwin's arrival in Slovakia he remembers his mother's family greeting them and taking them to the village of Spisk Nov Ves. Shortly after arriving, some of the townspeople in their new homeindulging in the tradition of hatred of Jewsarrested Irwin and his parents and locked up his family, along with other Jewish families in a room in the City Hall. After a day or two, the town leaders let them go because they were not sure what to do with the Jews.
Irwin was both a survivor and lucky. He had a passion for history and politics, and a remarkable gift for political prescience. While he never imagined the horrors of the concentration camps, he could see the direction that society was headed. So he applied to a boarding school in England, and was accepted on condition that he obtain the necessary visas. While most of the Jews in the area were writing to Winston Churchill, desperate for visas, Irwin wrote instead to Alfred Duff Cooper, a member of British Parliament known to be critical of Chamberlain's appeasement policy, asking for help with the visas in order to attend the boarding school, Duff Cooper did send him a visa, and thus Irwin was able to escape the disintegrating world around him. Irwin never met Duff Cooper, but Duff Cooper's non-publicized benevolence to Irwin served to inspire Irwin to a lifetime of generosity and kindness to others.
So, in December 1938, at the age of fifteen, Irwin boarded an airplane for the very first time, to fly to London. He did not see his parents again until 1946. He said, "my mother was heartbroken, but thought it was a good idea for me to go to England. I was very lucky, very fortunate."
Irwin's primary focus upon arriving in England was to study hard, and to try to fit in with his new peers. Ever the survivor, by July 1939 when Irwin took his school exams, he received the highest rating possible at his school on his English O-level exams, which involved Coleridge, Wordsworth, and Shakespeare. In seven months, he had become fluent in English, and in receiving the highest grades; he took more pride in this than in almost anything else in his life.
As the war years went by, he lived through the Battle of Britain, was turned away from the military for fear that he might be a spy, worked summers in a potato field, studied a lot, made lifelong friends, and grew up. Although his first love was history, he studied chemical engineering, because that was what sustained his academic scholarships; in 1949, he received his PhD in chemical engineering from Imperial College, University of London, where he was mentored by Sir Alfred Egerton, F.R.S. Sometime in the early 1940's, with anti-German sentiment rising in England, he changed his name to the more English-sounding J. Irwin Peters.
Meanwhile, before the Final Solution was actually implemented in Austria, Irwin's father was arrested again. This time he was sent to work building railroad tracks but was released when he got sick. Through fortitude and sheer luck, Irwin's parents managed to evade the Nazis: while they were standing on a rail platform to be deported, a plane strafed the platform, killing people to their left and right; somehow, they managed to slip away. Toward the end of the war, they hid in a tree trunk for 2 weeks, and then lived in a cave in the mountains for six months.
After the war, Irwin's parents moved back to Vienna, and his father returned to his law practice, where he prosecuted Nazi war criminals, and also served as the nominal head of the Austrian Zionist organization. Wilhelm and Irma wanted Irwin to return to Vienna, but for Irwin, living in a city with people who had so enthusiastically welcomed Hitler was unthinkable.
Instead, in February of 1953, Irwin decided to come to America, accepting a job as chemical engineer at E. I. du Pont de Nemours. While at DuPont, he was credited with 2 patents. Soon after arriving in Wilmington, Delaware, he met 19-year-old Sylvia Hurwitz, and proposed marriage three months after meeting.
Irwin had some intellectual wanderlust, and while working at DuPont, he received a master's degree in economics at the University of Delaware in 1960. A job with the Kawecki Chemical Company in New York was followed by a position at Liquid Carbonic in Chicago. A few years later, he began working as a consultant, and also became a tenured professor of marketing at DePaul University, where he taught from 1969-1988. He found great joy in teaching, and was a frequent recipient of DePaul's "Atta Boy" award for most popular instructor.
Despite his new life in America, the war and central Europe were never far away from Irwin's thoughts, or even from his life. German and German-accented English was often a part of his family's home in Glencoe, Illinois, as relatives and many friends of similar background were frequent visitors. Stories of the past, both wonderful and awful, but always intriguing, were often heard. One such story was of his favorite cousin, Ivan Jarny. The two were close in age, and grew up together, until the war. To this day, Ivan, who survived by fighting with the Partisans and now lives in Australia, never celebrates New Year's Day, because on January 1, 1944, he saw his mother and sister carted off by the Nazis; he never saw them again.
Some of Irwin's favorite activities included subscriptions to the Chicago Symphony, the Lyric Opera, and, of course, watching Cubs games with his son, and later with his grandson, Derek. For years, he attended Great Books discussion groups, where he made many good friends. A man of diverse interests, Irwin also partnered with Jack Huck in 1971 to start a girls' soccer league through the Glencoe Park District.
In 1986, Irwin purchased an industrial lubricant manufacturing plant on Chicago's Southwest side. The company had its struggles, but even when it was doing poorly, Irwin partnered with a social service agency to hire those down on their luck, such as recovering drug addicts. His honesty and forthrightness drew numerous people from all backgrounds towards him.
For example, he became friends with former Chicago Bull Tom Boerwinkle, who became a regular lunch companion. Irwin had some interest in basketball, but was deeply interested in Latin. Tom Boerwinkle's mother had been a leader in Latin language studies in Ohio, which led to an ongoing meaningful connection which engendered many years of great (non-basketball) conversation.
Irwin leaves behind Sylvia, his wife of nearly 63 years, son Ken Peters, an attorney with a successful Chicago law practice, and daughter Alison Peters Fujito, a violinist with the Pittsburgh Symphony. Most importantly, he leaves behind six wonderful grandchildrenDerek, Melissa and Josh Peters; and Michael, Danny and Emily Fujito-- whom he loved deeply and who adored him. He also leaves behind many friends, relatives, and university colleagues who will sorely miss his charm, wit and menschkeit. May he rest in peace.
Source: Mission and Values email, April 7, 2017
Photo: Elaine M. Beaudoin, DES Luncheon, October 31, 2014
Friday, March 10, 2017
It is with great sadness that we have learned of the death of Charles (Charlie) Doyle. Charlie served as Associate Dean of the School of Education for 24 years, retiring in 2000. He passed away on March 6 at the age of 84. He and his wife, Pat, helped to found a faith-based home for men returning from incarceration called Isaiah House of El Paso. Charlie is survived by his wife, three children, and six grandchildren.
A funeral mass will take place on Saturday, March 11 at 12 p.m. at St. Patrick Cathedral, 1118 N. Mesa, El Paso, TX. A private inurnment will be held at a later date in Chicago. Online condolences may be submitted at www.sunsetfuneralhomes.net. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are appreciated in Charlie's name to Isaiah House of El Paso at www.isaiahhouseelp.org.
Our sympathy goes to the family, friends, and former university colleagues who mourn the loss of Charlie. May he rest in peace.
Source: Mission and Values, March 10, 2017
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Our next book will be "The City of Falling Angels" by John Berendt.. Here is a link to one of the many reviews of this novel, this one from the New York Times.
Friday, February 17, 2017
REMEMBERING KRIS GARRIGAN
(November 16, 1939 – February 10, 2017)
Professor Garrigan maintained a busy scholarly life throughout her years at DePaul. She was the author of Ruskin on Architecture (1973), the first study of Ruskin’s writing in this area, and of Victorian Art Reproductions in Modern Sources (1991), an exhaustive bibliography that is likely to remain the standard reference work in this field for many years. She also edited a collection of critical essays titled Victorian Scandals: Representations of Gender and Class (1992) and was herself the author of numerous articles, chapters, and reviews on Victorian literature, art, and architecture. She regularly gave scholarly papers at conferences, and she served on several advisory boards and over many years as an officer in the Midwest Victorian Studies Association. She was generous in her service to DePaul as well, taking an active role in the Liberal Studies program, the English Department’s M.A. committee, and the Art Gallery Advisory Board, among other appointments. She will be remembered by her colleagues as a voice for the close study of literary works in their historical contexts and as an outspoken critic of lazy thinking and uninformed speech.
Kristine Ottesen Garrigan was an active presence in the DePaul community for more than thirty years, from her arrival as a part-time lecturer in English (1979) through her appointments as Assistant Professor of English (1981-84), Associate Professor (1984-1990), and Professor (1990-2010). In addition to teaching many courses in writing—including the writing component of Common Studies and courses in Literary Writing and Research and Composition and Style—Professor Garrigan developed and taught a number of courses in her areas of specialization, Nineteenth Century British Literature and Art, the Victorian Novel, and Women Writers. Her courses for majors and graduate students in The Brontes, John Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites, Charles Dickens, and Virginia Woolf were legendary for their mastery of cultural contexts and their intellectual rigor. A generous if demanding mentor, Professor Garrigan directed numerous independent studies and sent many of her students on to graduate work and university careers.
Professor Garrigan received her B. A. in English with Highest Honors from Denison University, her M.A. from Ohio State, and her Ph.D (with a dissertation on John Ruskin) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1971). In a time not always friendly to women in higher education, she forged an important academic career and became a standard-bearer to generations of DePaul students—and to her colleagues as well. She will be very much missed. Professor Garrigan is survived by her son Matthew, daughter-in-law Brooke, and three grandsons, Matthew, Quinn, and Graham.
Source: Helen Marlborough and Jerry Mulderig, DPU faculty