Carl Peter Resek (1929 - 2016)

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Service Information
Adobe Creek Funeral Home
331 Lakeville Street
Petaluma, CA
94952
(707)-789-9000
Obituary

Carl Peter Resek, Ph.D. died peacefully in his home in Petaluma, California on May 27, 2016 with his wife, Shirley Blum, at his side. The cause of death was leukemia.

Dr. Resek was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia on June 29, 1929, to Drs. Felix and Sonya Resek, both successful pediatricians. The family owned a large home in the center of the city where Carl lived with his parents and older sister Judith. He fled Prague with his parents and sister, within six-weeks of the Nazi invasion. Their escape started when the S.S. came to their home, searching for Felix, an active Zionist. Fortuntely, Felix was not at home and the family left the city that night. Their escape route took them through Germany to Denmark, Great Britain, and then to Kew Gardens, NY where the family settled.

Carl graduated with honors from Brooklyn Technical High School where he was on the Chess team. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and received his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester. Dr. Resek was a scholar of American Social and Intellectual History, with a particular interest in the progressive movement of the early 20th Century. His publications included "Lewis H Morgan, American Scholar" " The Progressives; and War and the Intellectuals," and "The Collected Essays of Randolph Bourne." He received several academic awards and fellowships including a Guggenheim fellowship, Wilson Center Fellowship, and a Fulbright. He taught American History at Columbia, Sarah Lawrence, SUNY Binghamton, and Northwestern University before becoming the Dean of Humanities at SUNY Purchase where he built the first humanities department and served on the faculty until 1991. He also taught American History at the Ionian University in Corfu, Greece.

Carl and his first wife, Kate Resek, raised their family in Leonia, New Jersey. They were divorced in 1985.

An avid outdoorsman, Carl retired to Westport, New York on the shore of Lake Champlain where he led a rich and satisfying life hiking, sailing, pursing his love of music with his beloved companion and wife, the art historian Dr. Shirley Blum. Carl might be seen paddling on Lake Champlain or hiking up an Adirondack trail.  Late in his life he began rock climbing.

Along with Shirley, Carl is survived by his children Dr. John Felix Resek and Jason Blum, his step son, as well as his three grandchildren, Anna Resek, Ethan Miller and Roxy Blum. He will be deeply missed by his family and friends.
Published on NYTimes.com from June 13 to June 14, 2016
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