Obituaries

In memoriam
From John Berthrong - Donald Berthrong's son

Donald J. Berthrong
Emeritus Professor of History
University of Oklahoma & Purdue University

It is with great sadness that I write to inform you of the passing of Professor Emeritus Donald J. Berthrong. After a brief battle with pneumonia, Don passed away in Alexandria, VA on July 30, 2012. In a few months time Don's ashes will be placed in a columbarium next to his wife of over 60 years, Rhio Berthrong, in their small crypt at Arlington National Cemetery. Don is survived by his two children, John and Sherri, and his three grandchildren, Sean Berthrong, Michael Killeen, and Kerry Killeen.

Having earned his doctorate at the University of Wisconsin in 1952 in labor history and constitutional law, he switched to the study of trans-Mississippi history with a focus on native Americans, especially the Southern Cheyenne. He spent his academic life as a teacher, author and administrator at the University of Oklahoma and then Purdue University.

Don was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, friend and a scholar to the end. Don reminded his grandson, Sean, of a quote by Solon told through Herodotus: "…[M]any who have but a moderate living are fortunate;…while he is sound of limb, free of disease, untouched by suffering, the father of fair children and himself of comely form; and if in addition to this he shall end his life well, he is worthy to be called that which thou seekest, namely a happy man; but before he comes to his end it is well to hold back and not call him happy but only fortunate" (Herodotus, 32.6-7, trans Macaulay). Don was fortunate enough to have all those good things, and lived a long and rewarding life.


In memoriam

Published in the Journal & Courier from July 14 to July 15, 2012 

Gordon Young photo

Gordon D. Young, 76

Gordon D. Young, a.k.a. Grampy, 76 of West Lafayette, passed away at 5:45 p.m. Thursday, July 12, 2012. Born May 20, 1936 in Philadelphia, PA, he was the son of the late G. Douglas. and Georgina (Squires) Young.

He was married to Barbara Young who preceded him in death on July 14, 2005.

Gordon received his PhD from Brandeis University in Massachusetts. He was a Professor Emeritus in the Department of History at Purdue University where he taught for 43 years, retiring in 2009. He was a past member of Faith Presbyterian Church and the Greater Lafayette Rotary, a member of the Midwest Historical Society and the Biblical Archaeology Society. In 1978 he joined the American Oriental Society. In 1988 he became a founding member in the Midwest Jewish Studies association. In 1982 he was a founding member of The Jewish Studies program at Purdue, he was interim co-director from 1994 to 1997 and then in 2002 he was the director. Gordon won the Excellence in Teaching Award in 1982 and was inducted into the Book of Great Teachers on August 28, 2008. After retirement Gordon was involved with Walla in West Lafayette.

Grampy never knew a stranger. He will be remembered by many and forgotten by few.

Surviving are his two daughters Susan Young of Los Angeles, CA and Kristin Harbert, husband, Landon of West Lafayette; and five grandchildren, Ivana and Ivan Vazquez, Jr., Isabel Diaz, Kiara and D.J. Smith, and seven adopted grandchildren Brittany, Whitley and Lindsay Sease, Glenys and Coral Vazquez of Puerto Rico and RC Smithand Michael. Two great grandchilden, Jeremiah and Jacobe Smith.

A memorial service will take place at Faith Presbyterian Church on Wednesday July 18 at 5pm. Reception to follow. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the American Cancer Society or the American Diabetes Association .



Gordon Mork photo

Gordon Robert Mork, 73, of Lafayette, passed away on Friday, April 27, 2012, at his home from complications arising out of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Gordon was born on May 6, 1938, in St. Cloud, Minnesota to Gordon Matthew Alfred Mork and Agnes Gibb Mork. Gordon married Dianne Jeannette Mork (née Muetzel) on August 11, 1963, at Glenwood Lutheran Church in Glenwood, Minnesota. The couple has lived in the Perrin Historic District in Lafayette since 1970 and has raised three children together.

Gordon graduated from Hopkins High School in Hopkins, Minnesota, in 1956, and was a Phi Beta Kappa member of the Yale College Class of 1960. He earned an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis in 1963 and 1966 and his graduate studies included a year at Heidelberg University in 1964-1965. After completing his doctoral work, Gordon was an assistant professor at the University of California, Davis, and had a post-doctoral research fellowship in the humanities at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Gordon brought his family to Lafayette when he joined the Department of History at Purdue University in 1970. He ultimately served as department head from 1998-2003 before becoming professor emeritus in 2010. Gordon's topics of scholarly inquiry included modern German history, the Holocaust, the Oberammergau Passion Play and history education. Gordon also authored or contributed to various books and articles, including the textbook Modern Western Civilization: A Concise History.

Gordon served in various professional associations, including as an officer in the International Society for History Didactics, as a member of the Jewish Studies Committee at Purdue and as chair of the European History Advanced Placement Test Development Committee for the College Board. Gordon will be particularly remembered for his devotion to teaching and was recognized with various honors and awards including Purdue's highest undergraduate teaching honor, the Amoco Foundation Award. Gordon enjoyed using his foreign language skills and academic background in history and culture to lead study tours to Germany and other international destinations. Highlights included being the resident director of the Purdue University-Indiana University Study Program at Hamburg University in Germany in 1975-1976, four trips to the Oberammergau Passion Play and most recently being a destination lecturer for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines in the Baltic, Mediterranean and Caribbean.

Gordon was active in the local community, having served in various community capacities including as a deacon, elder and trustee at Central Presbyterian Church in Lafayette, on the Board of Governors of the Tippecanoe County Historical Association, as a board member of the Scottish 42nd Royal Highlanders reenactment group, as secretary of the board of directors of the Murdock-Sunnyside Building Corporation of the Lafayette School Corporation, as a member of the Fortnightly Literary Society and as a long-time supporter of the Perrin Neighborhood Association. Gordon and his wife Dianne also restored the 1880 Perrin-Wymer-Mork House where they have lived since coming to Lafayette. Gordon enjoyed traveling, summers at the lake, attending musical and theatrical performances, exploring his Norwegian and Scottish heritage, mentoring his students, playing musical instruments ranging from the piano to bagpipes and spending time with his family.

Gordon was preceded in death by his father and mother. Gordon is survived by his wife, their three children Robert Gordon Mork (wife Jill Elizabeth Wiley), of Indianapolis, Kristiana Dianne Roberts (husband Jeffrey Allan Roberts), of Lafayette, and Elizabeth Anne Mork, of Indianapolis; his grandchildren Madeline Elaine Roberts, Meredith Anne Roberts, Matthew Alfred Roberts, André Ryan Wiley, Elizabeth Rose Mork and Gordon Theodore Mork; and by his sister Mary Agnes Mork of Mesa, Arizona.

Visitation will be held at Hippensteel Funeral Home on Saturday, May 5, from 3:00 to 6:00. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, May 6, at 3:00 at Central Presbyterian Church. Memorial contributions may be made to the Gordon R. Mork Scholarship in History, Purdue University, 100 N. University Street, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, or to the Buzz's Bunch team for the September 22 Indianapolis ALS Walk at www.ALSA.org. Hippensteel Funeral Home entrusted with care. Share memories and condolences online at www.hippensteelfuneralservice.com.

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