Durango resident Jurgen Herbst died Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, at Sunshine Gardens West. He was 84, and had lived in Durango since 1994.
Mr. Herbst was born to Annemarie and Hermann Herbst in Wolfenbuttel, Germany, on Feb. 22, 1928. At the end of World War II, he received a fellowship from the Quaker American Friends Service Committee to study at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in geography.
On Sept. 16, 1951, he married Susan Lou Allen in a Quaker wedding in Lincoln.
Early in their marriage, the couple lived in Hannover, Germany, for several years, where Mr. Herbst served as an education-affairs specialist for the U.S. Information Agency. He went on to earn a master’s degree in American studies from the University of Minnesota and a doctorate in the history of American civilization from Harvard University.
He taught history and education at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., before moving to Madison, Wis., for 30 years. Mr. Herbst was a professor in the University of Wisconsin History Department, and was named professor emeritus of the UW Educational Policy Studies Department of the School of Education, which his family said he helped make into one of the leading producers of scholars in the history of American education and social science scholars trained to study educational issues and problems.
Mr. Herbst was a member of the National Academy of Education, president of the History of Education Society and chairman of the International Standing Conference for the History of Education. His publications include a memoir about his childhood in Germany and books about various aspects of the history of American education.
He served as chairman of the city of Madison Ethics Board, and as a member of the First Congregational Church’s executive board.
Mr. Herbst was a guest professor at several major universities and a Fulbright lecturer at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.
In Durango, he was an active member of the Professional Associates of Fort Lewis College and La Plata County Search and Rescue.
Mr. Herbst was preceded in death by his wife of almost 61 years, Susan Herbst, in July 2012.
He is survived by his daughters, Stephanie Herbst of Durango and Anne Herbst of Boston; son, Kris Herbst, of Arlington, Va.; and one granddaughter.
A celebratory open house will be held between 2 and 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, at Durango Public Library, 1900 East Third Ave.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Friends Service Committee, AFSC Development, 1501 Cherry St., Philadelphia, PA 19102.