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Wendell John Josal Obituary

Josal, Wendell John age 91. Passed away March 28, 2013. Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota, Dept. of Theatre Arts and Dance. Born on June 11, 1921 to Christian Josal and Flossie May (Townsend) in LaMoure, ND. Attended public schools in Elmhurst, IL and LaMoure. Received a B.A. in English from Jamestown College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. Served in WWII as a 2nd Lt. Radar- Bombardier stationed in Italy with the 15th Army Air Corps. Founded and became Executive Director of The Prairie Players, a touring theatre company made up of former classmates and volunteers operating for 5 summers out of Jamestown College. He taught high school in Halliday and Bismarck, ND during the school year, coaching drama and debate. Professor at the U of MN for 38 years and was Distinguished Visiting Professor at SUNY, Plattsburgh NY for 1 quarter. In addition to being scene designer for the University Theatre and teaching courses in scene design, stage lighting and technical theatre, he served as Department Director of Graduate Studies for 11 years and Department Chair for 8. He designed the renovation of the original Showboat converting it from a passenger ship to a theatre. Wendell was cofounder and Managing Director of The Stagecoach Players which produced melodramas with olios in the opera house of the Stagecoach complex in Shakopee for 18 summers. University colleague Bob Moulton served as Artistic Director for the first ten years followed by colleague Lee Adey for the next 8. Dr. Josal served on the Board of Directors of the Guthrie Theatre and the Friends of the Goldstein Gallery. He was Vice-President and Chairman of the Committee on Accreditation of NAST, Department Theatre Consultant for Rarig Center, the U of MN Centennial Showboat and a consultant on the original Guthrie Theatre Architectural Planning Committee. He was instrumental in helping to bring "the Dance" to the Department of Theatre Arts before retiring in 1991. In retirement, Wendell traveled, enjoyed time with old friends, operated an antique business at Antiques Minnesota and served on the building committee for the Reiland Fine Arts Center at Jamestown College. Survived by Elizabeth, wife of 65 years; daughter, Margaret (Stephen & Adam Freund); sister, Margaret (Dan) Miller; brother-in law, David J. Robertson and nephews, Mike (Eliese) and Scott (Juli & Scotty) Miller, Thomas and William (Elizabeth) Robertson. Preceded in death by his parents, nephew Chris Miller, beloved relatives, cherished colleagues and friends. A Celebration of Wendell's Life will be held on April 28th, 2013 at 3 PM (Visitation 1 hr. prior) on the University of MN Centennial Showboat, St. Paul, MN ( Memorials preferred to The Wendell and Elizabeth Josal Scholarship in Theater (Jamestown College), The Wendell and Elizabeth Josal Travel Fund (U of MN Foundation) or donor's choice. "Radiant Days. Do not weep that they are gone, but smile that they have been." - Victor Frankel
This obituary was originally published in the Star Tribune.
Read Full Obituary for Wendell Josal
Published online on April 5, 2013 courtesy of Star Tribune.

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