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Oscar H. Horst

July 13, 2010

Dr. Oscar H. Horst, a retired educator and specialist in Latin American geography, died Friday, July 9, at the Hospice of the Comforter in Altamonte Springs, Florida. He was 86.

A professor emeritus at WMU, he taught there from 1956-87 and chaired the geography department from 1972-75 and again from 1977-78. He was also a visiting professor at state universities in Florida, Kansas and Michigan and at universities in the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Mexico, Ecuador, Guatemala and Japan. He led numerous educational fieldtrips to Mexico, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.

While at WMU, he was the recipient of the Alumni Teaching Excellence Award and the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award. He also received an Annual Achievement Award for Contributions in Teaching, Research, and Service from the Conference of Latin Americanist Geographers. He wrote many scholarly articles on Latin America, Central America, and Guatemala for geographical journals and for the Encyclopedia Britannica.

He was an avid and talented photographer who documented landscapes and captured timeless images of people throughout his travels. The Center for Mesoamerican Research is the benefactor of his notable collection of materials on Guatemala.

Born in Newark, Ohio, he was a World War II veteran with the U.S. Army and received an honorable discharge with the rank of staff sergeant.

A family gathering is planned in July, and there is no public service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:

Dr. Oscar Horst Memorial
WMU Foundation

1903 W. Michigan Ave.
Kalamazoo MI 49008

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Media contact: Deanne Puca, (269) 387-8400, deanne.puca@wmich.edu

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