Greetings and best wishes for a fun and successful reunion and anniversary celebration. I am writing to fill in a wee bit about John Tobias (Marburg 62) to any of his fellow travelers that might be interested.
John told our family and friends many stories about his time in Marburg. He got himself in trouble frequently--one story involved getting arrested on a bridge. He joined a beer drinking fraternity, so beer played a part in many of the stories. Nevertheless, he claimed that is what helped him become fluent in German. He went on to do a M.A. and Ph.D in European History at the University of Alberta in Canada. His dissertation on Eugen Schiffer, a German Democratic Party politician required that he delve into German archives in 1969, and I still have thousands of his research cards in hand written in German.
Coincidence, and employment led John's path into Canadian history, particularly treaties and government relations with the native people of the plains. He wrote several academic articles which have been used in Native Studies courses across Canada and in treaty research for land claims. I believe his time with BCA in Germany and the observation and participation in another culture was relevant in his work in native studies and Canadian history. It was much more than an opportunity to learn a language.
John was an instructor and dean at Red Deer College in Alberta for over 30 years.
In case you wonder, John was not a draft dodger--had a student deferral. He ended up in Canada because of the reputation of the University of Alberta, affordable tuition, a teaching assistance grant, and a spirit of adventure and travel, which was awakened and nurtured by his travel to Germany with BCA. He arrived in Canada in late August, and within a few days, a new friend took him shopping for a real winter parka, gloves, and boots. In spite of the sometimes severe, long winters, he loved Canada, especially the Rocky Mountains.
John passed away in 2009 from complications of diabetes and kidney disease. We were married for 44 years.
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada