Jan Bakker was born to Albert and Elsie Bakker on Jan. 27, 1936, and returned to his parents March 18, 2013. Jan passed away quietly on his own terms surrounded by as many friends as were able to fit into his room at the hospital. Jan Bakker was the definition of a true friend to all with whom he came in contact, and will be missed by all who had the fortune to have known him.
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Jan Baker began his career as assistant professor teaching American literature and technical writing for the English Department at USU in August 1977. He came to USU with a bachelor's and master's degree from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., and a doctorate from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tenn. In addition to teaching, he served as the consulting editor for Children's Literature, published by Yale University Press. In 1993, Jan was promoted to the position of professor in the Department of English in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
In 1989, his published work Pastoral in Antebellum Southern Romance, Louisiana State University Press, which was nominated for the Study of Southern Literature C. Hugh Holman Award for the best book on southern literature, as well as American Studies Association John Hope Franklin Prize for an outstanding book in American studies. Jan also published multiple articles in journals such as The Southern Literary Journal, Southern Studies, Studies in American Fiction, and Early American Literature. During Jan's teaching career, he received two Fulbright awards, one sending him to Indonesia's Gadjah Mada University (1980-'81) and the other to Germany's Heidelberg University (1990-'91).
In his words:
Jan Bakker: Doctor of philosophy (UNT), Professor of American literature (Emeritus, USU), Fulbright professor (U Gadja Mada, Indonesia; Heidelberg U, Germany), Captain of infantry (USAR), Theta Delta Chi fraternity (Nu charge, UVA), Phi Pi Theta (Jefferson society, UVA), Harmony Lodge #21, F&AM (Logan), Knight Templar (El Monte Commandery #2). Adept at epée, "adequate" ahorse and on cross-county skis. Wretched at tennis, but good at twaddle and witty remark. Teacher, scholar, traveler, toper: the whimsical old fellow has wandered his course…
Funeral service will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 6, 2013, in St. John's Episcopal Church, 83 E. 100 North in Logan.
Condolences may be shared on line by visiting www.allenmortuaries.net.
Published in Logan Herald Journal from Apr. 2 to Apr. 5, 2013