Edward R. Weismiller '38
Edward R. Weismiller '38, a poet, author, scholar, one of the world's foremost experts on Milton, and beloved English professor at George Washington University, died Aug. 25, 2010, in Washington, D.C.
Weismiller first won recognition for his writing while an undergraduate at Cornell. In 1936, he won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize for his collection of poetry "The Deer Come Down." At age 20, he was the youngest poet to win the prize, a record that still stands.
He earned a master's degree from Harvard in 1942, served with the Office of Strategic Services in counterespionage during World War II, and in 1950 earned a Ph.D. from Oxford University in England, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. After his experience during World War II, he wrote the espionage novel "The Serpent Sleeping."
Weismiller taught at Pomona College in southern California before joining the faculty at George Washington University in 1968. While there he continued to write, and his third collection of poems "The Branch of Fire" was published in 1970. His final book of poetry "Walking Toward the Sun" was published in 2002.
After retiring from GWU in 1980, he continued his research, and in 2002, he was Scholar in Residence at the Library of Congress, producing "A Variorum Commentary on the Poems of John Milton" and a line-by-line analysis of the versifications of Milton's minor poems. He won numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Rockefeller Foundation Grant, a National Endowment for the Humanities Grant, and, in 2001, the Robert Fitzgerald Award for lifetime contribution to the study of metrics and versification.
He is survived by five children, nine grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Helen Danforth '42
Helen Danforth '42, an educator, volunteer, and writer, died July 29, 2010, in Mount Vernon, Iowa. She was 89.
Danforth graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in education, earned a master's degree in education from Northwestern University, and taught throughout the Midwest as well as at schools in Germany. After retiring from the schools in Winnetka, Ill., she returned to Mount Vernon and taught and supervised student teachers at Cornell from 1979 to 1987. After that, she did the same for Mount Mercy and Coe colleges.
She was active in the community, especially with the League of Women Voters and the Mount Vernon United Methodist Church. She also published instructional material for elementary school students and their parents. A longtime supporter of the college, she won the Alumni Award of Merit (now the Leadership and Service Award) in 1987.
She is survived by many cousins.
A full obituary on Glenn W. Bostrom '37 will run in the spring issue.