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Kurt K. Bohnsack


1920 - 2013 | Obituary Condolences
Kurt K. Bohnsack Obituary
Bohnsack, Kurt K. 03/23/1920 ~11/12/2013 RANCHO BERNARDO Dr. Kurt Bohnsack, 93, beloved father, grandfather and devoted husband will always be remembered. He embraced life and always maintained a curiosity for the universe around him. His devotion to teaching, love of nature, friends, music and the arts were his inspiration. He was born in Germany, March 23, 1920 and his family immigrated through Ellis Island when he was three. He met the love of his life (Julie Low) in Cleveland Ohio and they were married after graduating from Ohio University (1946). Kurt Bohnsack was an emeritus professor of Zoology at San Diego State University where he taught for 34 years and was the Chairman of the Department for three and one-half years. Before coming to SDSU, Kurt taught one year at the University of Michigan where he got his P.H.D., and five years at Swarthmore College. He also taught as a summer visiting professor at John Carroll University, Arizona State University, Pennsylvania State University and Michigan State University. Kurt taught primarily Comparative Anatomy and Embryology. Kurt's research specialty was the ecology of arthropods and his fieldwork extended to many states, including Alaska and Hawaii. He spent two summers at the Oak Ridge Nuclear Laboratory monitoring the effect of radiation on soil arthropods. Also living four summers at the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory at Pt. Barrow, Alaska, doing research on the tundra in the early 60's. He served on the Editorial Board for Pedobiologia, an international journal of soil biology, for 10 years. Kurt served as a Trustee of the San Diego Natural History Museum for twelve years being Vice President for two years and chairman of the Research, Library and Activities Committee for a number of years. He held official positions in local and statewide faculty organizations such as Association of California State University Professors, American Association of University Professors, President (1994-1996) San Diego State University Retirement Association. He was a member of a number of professional and honorary organizations; American Association for the Advancement of Science, Sigma Xi, Kappa Delta Pi, Phi Eta Sigma. Kurt was also a Honored Mortar Board recipient presented by students and SDSURA. Kurt enlisted in the U.S. Army in March, 1942 and served for 3-1/2 years during World War II. Most of his overseas time was spent on the Aleutian Islands, operating a variety of small watercraft for the Army. Kurt retired from the service as a "buck" sergeant. The day before his passing he made his last hurrah playing his beloved tuba for a Veterans Day concert at his retirement home, CASA de las Campanas. Kurt is survived by daughters, Mary Ellen Zuur and Linda Venuti; son, Richard Bohnsack; and granddaughters, Rose Ellen and Annie Mae Bohnsack; sons-in-law, James Zuur and Steve Venuti and daughter- in-law, Sally Bohnsack; step-grandson, Jason Zuur, his wife Cindy Siu, and two great-grand children, Bryson and Samantha. Memorial service at Fort Rosecrans will be arranged at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to SDSU Retirement Association Scholarship Fund, 5500 Campanile Dr., Gateway Center, San Diego, CA 92182-5250.
Published in U-T San Diego on Nov. 17, 2013
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