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H. Paul Friesema

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H. Paul Friesema Obituary
H. Paul Friesema, age 77 of Evanston. Husband of Jane; father of Sarah (Alan Lynch), Peter and Susan (Rami Karjian); grandfather of Kelsi, Danielle, Lucy, Rebecca, Jad and Skye; brother of Gail Farnham. Paul had been a professor of Political Science at Northwestern University since 1968 and was instrumental in developing the Program in Environmental Policy and Culture. He was on the Board of Directors for the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian and was an avid book collector. For many years he collected books about Native Americans and environmental issues which eventually found a home in the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian. An Evanston resident for 45 years, he died Friday, March 8th in Evanston Hospital. Memorial Service Tuesday, March 12th, 2013 at 11:00 a.m., followed by a reception, at Northminster Presbyterian Church, 2515 Central Park Ave., Evanston, IL 60201. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, 3001 Central St., Evanston, IL 60201. Paul started his career at Northwestern in 1968. He used his law degree from the Detroit College of Law when he contributed to briefs on environmental issues and Native American rights that were presented to the U.S. Supreme Court. He earned his master's degree in political science from Wayne State University, followed by a PhD in political science from the University of Iowa. His interest in environmental issues endured throughout his 45-year career at Northwestern. He played a key early role in the development of the environmental movement, and built a library of 20,000 Environmental Impact Statements, which he donated to Northwestern. They have been required since 1969 to describe positive and negative impacts of development, ranging from oil and gas development to transportation and urban land projects to the protection of wildlife habitat. He organized and chaired the innovative Environmental Policy and Culture Program and co-chaired the Northwestern University Environmental Council. He was named Professor Emeritus in 2009 and the university annually presents the H. Paul Friesema Award for Environmental Leadership and Academic Achievement to an exceptional student. "Paul was a gifted scholar, a wonderful mentor, a superb departmental citizen, and an exemplary champion of the natural environment," said Payson S. Wild Professor Emeritus Kenneth Janda, who taught aside him for over four decades. Thirty years ago, Paul decided that he would dedicate his free time to collecting books to aid scholarship about Native American culture, art, and history, as well as environmental issues, the National Park system, energy development, wildlife, and related subjects. Visiting used bookstores and trading with other used and rare book dealers in the Chicago area and everywhere he traveled, he amassed a collection of 35,000 volumes. Among them are rare early editions of the scholarly works of Henry Schoolcraft, 19th century annual reports of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs as well as books published by university presses ranging from Oklahoma to Oxford. For several years he sought an appropriate library to house the collection, when he learned about the establishment of the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian. "Paul was pleased with the opportunity to give the Smithsonian his books," said his wife. "He wanted them to wind up where Native Americans could go to research their history and culture." Paul was active in his church, Northminster Presbyterian, including serving on mission committees and directly serving homeless people in Evanston. He was always generous with his time and vast range of knowledge, inspiring his students, children, grandchildren, and others who came in contact with him to pursue their passions and become global citizens of integrity and commitment, as he was. Info: 847-675-1990 or www.donnellanfuneral.com.
Published in Chicago Tribune from Mar. 10 to Mar. 11, 2013
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