Theodore Stern ’39

Theodore Stern ’39 died on June 20, 2005, in Los Angeles, California.

Born on July 27, 1917, in Ossining, NY, he prepared for college at New Rochelle (NY) High School and graduated from Bowdoin cum laude in 1939. In 1941, he received a master of arts degree in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and then served in the U.S. Army for four years during World War II, attaining the rank of first lieutenant. After the war, he was a graduate student and instructor at the University of Pennsylvania for three years and in 1948 received his doctor of philosophy degree in anthropology. He taught anthropology at the University of Oregon from 1948 until 1987, when he retired, focusing on linguistics and social anthropology and spending sabbatical years in Burma in 1954-55 and in Thailand in 1964-65. In 1992, he was the recipient of the Distinguished Bowdoin Educator Award, the citation for which said, “Your book on Klamath Indians remains a landmark in anthropological research. Colleagues and students recognize your dedication to teaching, your wide range of intellectual endeavor, and your contributions to our understanding of anthropology.” In 2004, having spent summers with the Klamath tribe and the Umatilla tribe, he was honored by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indians for his work in preserving their heritage. He was a volunteer with the Boy Scouts, served as a member of the board of directors of the Eugene Symphony in Oregon, and was a member of the Obsidians Club and of the choir at the First Congregational Church in Eugene, OR. He was married in 1942 to Mary Capuzzi, who died in 2004, and is survived by a son, Theodore A. Stern of Los Angeles; a daughter, Holly Stern of Portland, OR; three brothers, Roger Sheridan of Santa Rosa, CA, Peter Stern of Huntington, NY, and John Stern of New York City; and one grandchild.