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George W. Bahlke, 1934 – 2011

February 2, 2011

We learned the sad news that one of our beloved Kirkland professors passed away on February 1. As Sam Babbitt observed, “A fine man and a solid, first-rate member of Kirkland’s charter faculty.”

Many of us had the privilege of taking one of George’s literature classes. For me, it was the unforgettable Virginia Woolf Seminar in the spring semester—the last semester of Kirkland College—in 1978. I still have one of my papers, “The Marriage of Rainbow and Granite,” which was an analysis of Orlando. George’s gentle style, wry humor, and quiet enthusiasm made us all fall in love with Woolf’s work, a connection that stayed with me all these years.

I’m so very glad George was able to attend some of the 2007 All-Kirkland Reunion. I recall that he appeared at Natalie Babbitt’s talk in what was formerly the TV lounge of McEwen. We chatted briefly, and I remember thinking how dapper he looked in his ivory-colored jacket and fashionable hat. I appreciate all that he taught me, but I also feel grateful for our sporadic yet consistent communication over the years.

We hope you will share your recollections with us—and join us in extending our condolences to George’s family and friends.

Jo Pitkin, ’78

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