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University community mourns death of longtime German language professor

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas community is mourning the death of Helmut Huelsbergen, professor emeritus of German. He died Jan. 5 in Battle Creek, Michigan. He was 87.

“Professor Huelsbergen served KU well as a teacher and a scholar in his field for 36 years,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. “On behalf of the entire university, I offer our condolences to his family, friends and all who knew him at KU.”

A German native, Huelsbergen came to KU’s German department in 1958. He researched American neologisms of the 19th century, German Baroque literature, in particular the German poet Andreas Gryphius, and German mysticism.

At KU, Huelsbergen helped establish the German Summer Language Institute in Lawrence’s sister city of Eutin, Germany, and directed the Max Kade Center for German-American Studies. He was a longtime editor of the "Yearbook of German-American Studies" published through the center. He retired in 1994.

“Helmut Huelsbergen was a genuinely caring person and truly interested in each and every one of his students as an individual,” said German Professor William Keel. “He wanted his students to succeed and was most generous with his time and advice outside of the classroom — and this was reflected by the admiration and respect he received from several generations of KU students.”

No services are planned.