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Dwight Y. King


1942 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Dwight Y. King Obituary
Dwight Yost King

Born: Sept. 24, 1942

Died: Sept. 10, 2015

Dwight Yost King, 72, retired Northern Illinois University professor of political science, passed away on Thursday, September 10, 2015, at the DeKalb Area Retirement Center-Oak Crest from complications associated with Lewy Body disease.

He was born on September 24, 1942, in Hutchinson, Kansas to Sanford and Zella King. Dr. Dwight King held degrees from Hesston College, Goshen College, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Chicago where he received the Ph.D. in Political Science in 1978 after three years of field research in Indonesia funded by the Social Science Research Council, National Science Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. He held professorships at Connecticut College and at Northern Illinois University.

He taught at NIU for 32 years, distinguishing himself as a teacher, mentor, and researcher. He served as Director of Graduate Studies in Political Science and Director of the renowned Center for Southeast Asian Studies. Dwight was internationally known in academic and governmental arenas as a scholar and expert on Indonesia.

He spoke Bahasa Indonesia fluently and taught at prestigious universities throughout the archipelago. While in Indonesia he actively recruited students to NIU and many of these students returned to Indonesia to assume key political posts. When Dwight became ill, the Indonesian Ambassador to the United States, along with his entourage that included some of Dwight's former students, visited Dwight at Oak Crest and awarded him with Indonesia's highest honors. Dwight was known as Pak King throughout Indonesia, a term of honor and endearment.

While at NIU Dwight taught courses on comparative politics, public administration, and international relations. He supervised numerous dissertations and was an outstanding mentor to his students. His expertise brought him to the attention of former President Jimmy Carter. Dwight served as senior advisor to Carter who monitored national elections in Indonesia. He also served as advisor to the Mennonite Central Committee, Ford Foundation, World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Indonesian Government.

He authored books, journal articles and book chapters focusing primarily on Indonesia. He was a strong advocate of studying abroad and he taught more than 50 courses on international issues. He supervised numerous dissertations on international topics. He was awarded the Outstanding International Educator Award at NIU for his work with international students and his voluminous research on Southeast Asia.

Dwight was an accomplished athlete. He ran in marathons, bicycled throughout the Rocky Mountains and across the states of Iowa and Wisconsin, and was ranked as NIU's premier faculty tennis player. He swam countless pool lengths at NIU's Recreation Center and at Hopkins Park in DeKalb.

Dwight is survived by his two children, Jonathan (Nikole) and grandson, Connor of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; his daughter, Sarah (Neal Yoder), granddaughter, Madison and grandson, Carson of Goshen Indiana; two sisters, Sharon (Howard) Brenneman of Hesston, KS, and Julia (Maurice) Barnes of Nashville,TN; brother, Karl King of Hesston, KS; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

A Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, October 4th at 1:30 p.m. at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, 615 N. First St., DeKalb, IL, with Rev. Joseph Gastiger and Rev. Judith Harris officiating.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to the Oak Crest Good Samaritan Fund, 2944 Greenwood Acres Dr., DeKalb, IL 60115.

Arrangements were completed by the Butala Funeral Home and Crematory, Sycamore, IL.

For info or to sign the online guest book, go to www.ButalaFuneralHomes.com
Published in Daily-Chronicle on Sept. 12, 2015
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