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Susan J. Herlin Ph.D.

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Susan J. Herlin Ph.D. Obituary
HERLIN, SUSAN J. PH.D., born in Port Arthur, TX, on May 26, 1939 to Robert and Jean Herlin, died in Louisville, KY on May 21, 2014.

Graduating from Trinity University in San Antonio, she went on to take her doctorate in African History at Boston University. From 1975 to 2004 she taught in the departments of History and Pan-African Studies at the University of Louisville, where she was also an Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences from 1993 to 2003. She frequently wrote and lectured about Africa for the benefit of public schools and other institutions throughout Jefferson County. In 1973 she became co-owner of Café Kilimanjaro on Fourth Street, and later CEO of Kilimanjaro Foods, producing African-inspired, Kentucky-made sauces. At her death she was president of Sustainable Foods Alliance. The achievement she was most proud of was the title Zo-Simli Naa, "Chief who multiplies friendship," conferred upon her in 1995 by the city of Tamale in northern Ghana, jointly with the traditional kingdom of Dagbon, in recognition of her service in reviving the Sister Cities link between Tamale and Louisville. Taking her title seriously, Dr Herlin built a "palace" in Tamale and resided there for part of every year, fulfilling her traditional responsibilities. The Tamale Scholarship and Aid Fund, the most successful scholarship program in northern Ghana, was one of the many development projects she supported.

Dr. Herlin is survived by her three sons, Alexander, Jeremy and Matthew Broadhead; her sisters, Sarah Olfers and Margaret Harter; her brother, Bruce Herlin; her husband, Wyatt MacGaffey; and seven grandchildren.

A memorial service will take place at Christ Church Cathedral on a date to be announced. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to Sister Cities of Louisville Inc., Suite 100, 620 South Third Street, Louisville, 40202. Please note on the check "Tamale Scholarship Fund."


Published in The Courier-Journal on May 25, 2014
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