ROBERT V. "BILL" DANIELS

Obituary
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ROBERT V. "BILL" DANIELS BURLINGTON - Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Vermont, passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 28, 2010 at Fletcher Allen Health Care. Born in Boston on Jan. 4, 1926, he was the son of Robert W. Daniels, a career army officer, and Helen Hoyt Daniels, both Burlingtonians by birth. During his childhood, Bill lived on many military bases, but often spent summers in Burlington at the home of his grandparents, where he later lived while teaching at UVM. In 1943, he graduated from St. Albans School in Washington, D.C., and began his freshman year at Harvard University. While at Harvard, he joined the U.S. Navy in 1944 and after a time in the V-12 program, he was assigned to serve as paymaster on the USS Albany, a heavy cruiser. In 1946, Bill received an A.B. degree magna cum laude in economics from Harvard University, and then earned an M.A. and Ph.D. degree in Russian History also from Harvard. He taught at Bennington College and the University of Indiana before coming to the University of Vermont in 1956. Bill was the first director of the Area and International Studies Program, 1962-65, director of the Experimental Program of the College of Arts and Sciences, 1969-71, a cofounder of the Center for Research on Vermont, and a University Scholar for 198283. From 1964 to 1969, Bill served as Chair of the History department retiring in 1988. He was the author of many scholarly books and articles on Russian History, including The Documentary History of Communism, Red October: The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, Russia: the Roots of Confrontation, The Conscience of the revolution, and the Rise and Fall of Communism in Russia. In 2004, UVM honored Bill with an honorary Doctor of Law degree and created the Robert V. Daniels Award for Outstanding Contributions in the field of International Studies. Bill was a trustee of the Vermont Historical Society, and a past President of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. In 2001 he was corecipient of the AAASS award for distinguished contributions to Slavic Studies. For many years, Bill was active in the Democratic Party. From 1973 to 1982, he served in the Vermont Legislatures as State Senator from Chittenden County. In 1945, Bill married Alice Wendell, and they celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary last year. In addition to his wife, Bill is survived by two sons, Robert H., husband of Sophie Daniels of San Francisco, Calif., and Thomas L., husband of Amy Moreno of Lancaster, Pa., two daughters, Helen, wife of Jeffrey Turcotte of South Burlington, Vt., and Katelyn of Schaumburg, Ill., four grandchildren, and a brother, Daniel, of Beaufort, S.C. Bill's positive attitude, generous sense of humor, and keen intellect will be missed by all who knew him.

Published in The Burlington Free Press on Mar. 31, 2010
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