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Lynn Bartlett

Obituary
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Lynn Conant Bartlett

POUGHKEEPSIE - Lynn Conant Bartlett, professor emeritus of English at Vassar College, died at the age of 92 on March 18, 2014 at The Pines Nursing Home in Poughkeepsie, NY. The son of Fay Conant Bartlett and Marie Agnes McGuiness Bartlett, he was born on December 14, 1921 in Bethlehem, PA. On his father's side, he was directly descended from some of the earliest British settlers of New England, including Roger Conant, who landed at Plymouth, Mass., in the early 1620's and went on to become one of the founders of Salem, Mass. On June 29, 1946, in the Lehigh University chapel in Bethlehem, he married Margaret Emma Johnson, who predeceased him. Also surviving are their daughter, Anne E. Bartlett, Mr. Bartlett's brother Bertram F. Bartlett, nephew David Bartlett, and nieces Jane Bartlett Trotman and Katherine Bartlett Brebbia. A son, Jeremy died in infancy. Mr. Bartlett's early education was in the Bethlehem public schools. In 1943 he received his B.A. degree from Lehigh University, where he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. In 1947 he received his A.M. and in 1957 his Ph.D. from Harvard University. In 1952 he received the degree of B. Lit. from Oxford University where he had been a member of Magdalen College. During World War II he served in the Army of the United States, entering active service as a private and leaving as a captain, having been stationed mostly in Australia, New Guinea, and the Philippine Islands. He received a Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service. He later reached the rank of Major as an Air Force reservist. Before Mr. Bartlett came to Vassar College in 1952, he had taught at Lehigh and at Harvard. At Vassar he taught a variety of courses, ranging from Shakespeare to Dickens, and he rose through the academic ranks from Instructor to fill professor and retired as Professor emeritus in 1992. He also held administrative posts, and from 1966 to 1976 was Secretary of the College with senior responsibilities in fundraising and public relations. During his many years as a local resident, Mr. Bartlett engaged at one time or another in various civic activities. In his earlier days in Poughkeepsie, he was a member of the Town of Poughkeepsie Democratic Committee, served on the Town of Poughkeepsie Zoning Board of Appeals, and, in 1960, ran, unsuccessfully for the New York State Assembly. Later he was a member of the Environmental Management Council of Dutchess County and of the boards of the Southeastern New York Library Resources Council, the Bardavon Opera House, the Dutchess County Landmarks Association, Hudson River Heritage, the Cuneen-Hackett Cultural Center, and the Community Foundation of Dutchess County. His volunteer activities also included fund-raising work for the Mid-Hudson Civic Center and for the United Way, as well as service on the Liberal Arts Advisory Committee of Dutchess Community college. One of his principal recreations was extensive travel in dozens and dozens of countries all over the globe, and he visited all of the seven continents, including Antarctica. He traveled around the world by himself when he was nearing 70. Another of his hobbies was the study of a variety of foreign languages, including Italian, Greek, Russian, Chinese, Persian, and Sanskrit among others. In his eighties he tackled Irish. Of special interest to him was Esperanto, the international auxiliary language. In 1996, he earned from the New York University School of Continuing Education a certificate in German-to-English translation. He was also a member of the American Society of Geolinguistics. Over the years he especially enjoyed social gatherings with the local friends who shared his interests in literature and drama, and he took particular pleasure in gatherings devoted to the discussion of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories of Sherlock Holmes. He was a long-time member of the Harvard Club of New York City, the Mid-Hudson Harvard-Radcliffe Club, and the Circumnavigators Club. Burial will be private and at a later date there will be a memorial service. Arrangements are under the direction of Wm. G. Miller & Son Funeral Home, Inc., 371 Hooker Ave., Poughkeepsie, NY 12603. If you would like to leave an online condolence please visit www.wmgmillerfuneralhome.com

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Published in the Poughkeepsie Journal on Mar. 23, 2014
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