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Fred Kersten

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Fred Kersten Obituary
Kersten, Fred

Frederick Irving "Fred" Kersten passed away December 16, 2012. He was born September 26, 1931 in Niagara Falls, NY to Margaret (Hendricksen) and Irving Wilhelm Kersten. He received a B.A in 1954 from Lawrence College in Appleton, an M.A. in 1959 and Ph.D. in 1964 from the Graduate Faculty for Political and Social Science, The New School for Social Research, New York. He married Raquel (Brik) in Havana, Cuba in 1955. She preceded him in death. He married Karen (McKie Prevetti) in Green Bay in 1994. He was a professor of philosophy from 1962-1969 at the University of Montana at Missoula, 1969-1988 at the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay. He went on to be the Frankenthal Professor of philosophy from 1988-1995 at UW-Green Bay. He also was a philosopher in residence from 1988-1995 during the summers for the Graduate School of Nursing, University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Fred was a founding director of the Center for Advanced Research in Phenomenology, a member of the board of trustees of the National Research Institute for Psychoanalysis and Psychology, and active in three other professional organizations. For many years, he served on the boards of, and contributed articles and book reviews to, five professional journals. His published works also include translations of the words of Aron Gurwitsch, Alfred Schutz, and Edmund Husserl, as well as papers and other studies in various fields of philosophy and phenomenology. His published books include Phenomenology: Theory and Practice (1989; second edition soon to be published under the original title Space, Time and the Other) and Galileo and the Invention of Opera (2001).

Fred was a voracious reader and collector of books on every conceivable subject. He maintained a voluminous correspondence, finally using a word processor (but never e-mail). His other passions, in addition to his family (feline, human and canine) were his model railroads and music, particularly opera. His wry, subtle sense of humor was treasured by all his friends. Using his knowledge of history, literature, and the arts, he taught the UWGB Humanities course for 10 years with his good friend and music professor Irwin Sonenfield. Living with Fred made Wikipedia unnecessary, for he was truly a "Renaissance Man."

Survivors include his wife, Karen, sons: Stephen Julius (Michael Kingery) of Columbus, OH and Andrew Edmund (Victoria) of Green Bay; brother, Peter Andrew (Linda) of Olathe, KS; nieces Amy (New York City) and Margaret (Leatherhead, England); sisters-in-law Lineve McKie of Ann Arbor, MI and Esther Zilberstein of New York City; Nieces: Maren Jensen of Ann Arbor, MI, and Miriam Ketani of Brooklyn, NY; nephews: Sten Jensen of Arlington, VA, Gil Zilberstein and Israel Zilberstein, and his cairn terrier: Paragon's Hamish MacKay.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Margaret and Irving, and wife, Raquel.

A celebration of Fred's life, followed by a reception, will be held at Cotter Funeral Home, 860 N. Webster Ave, De Pere (920-336-8702) at 2:30pm on Saturday, December 29. 2012. Online condolences may be expressed at www.cotterfuneralhome.com.

Fred's family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to Unity Hospice, 2366 Oak Ridge Circle, De Pere, WI 54115; or at www.unityhospice.org.

We are deeply grateful to the staff at Unity, especially Carrie and Molly, for their outstanding care and loving concern for Fred. We'd also like to thank Laurie Hockers and all his doctors and nurses, especially those at St. Vincent Radiation Oncology. We so appreciate our dear friends who selflessly provided love, comfort, understanding, and patience during this time.


Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette from Dec. 23 to Dec. 25, 2012
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