Dr. Jules Zanger, age 86, of Frankfurt, Germany, formerly of Edwardsville, died Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 in Frankfurt.
He was born August 16, 1927, in Brooklyn, New York, the son of the late Harry Zanger and Beatrice (nee Seidmann) Zanger.
A proud veteran of WWII, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1944. After the war ended, he attended Colorado University in Denver, earning a bachelor's degree. He received his master's degree from the University of Chicago, and his PhD from Washington University in St. Louis, where he met his first wife, Mary (Mimi) Proctor. They were married in 1954 and moved to Columbus, Ohio, where he taught English and American Literature at Ohio State University. While in Ohio, sons Francis and John were born, in 1955 and 1957. In 1958, they moved to Chicago, where Jules taught at the Illinois Institute of Technology, as well as hosting a weekly talk show on local television. Son Michael was born in Chicago in 1958.
In 1961, daughter Hope was born, and the family moved to Alton, Illinois, where Jules accepted a teaching position at what was to become Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville. He taught at SIU for 35 years and retired as professor emeritus. While at SIU, he also received multiple Fulbright grants to teach abroad, including two years in Brazil, a year in France, and two years in Czechoslovakia. He also published and lectured extensively throughout his career, not stopping after retirement from SIU.
In 1991, his first wife Mimi died. Some time after her passing, he traveled to Czechoslovakia for a teaching grant. While in Europe, in a chance encounter on a train, he met his second wife, Widulind Clerc, of Frankfurt, Germany. They were married two years later and Jules moved to Frankfurt permanently. In Germany, he continued to research and publish, as well as to lecture at various German universities. His final lecture was given in 2013 at the University of Wurzburg, at age 86. He was still working on several literary articles at the time of his death.
Jules was a great lover of good books, good food, good wine, good music, and good conversation. He loved fine restaurants, but was also a skilled home chef, preparing many memorable meals for friends and family. He loved and frequently attended the opera, never understanding why everyone didn't. He and Widulind traveled extensively throughout their marriage; new places (and cuisines) fascinated them both and they traveled fearlessly. They made frequent trips to the U.S. as well to visit family and friends.
Memorials may be made to the 'Mimi Zanger Memorial Award Endowment' scholarship fund at the SIUE School of English Language and Literature Department.
Gatherings to celebrate Jules' life will be held both in Frankfurt and in Edwardsville at a later date.
Published in The Recorder from Feb. 18 to Feb. 19, 2014.