NWU Remembers Professor Emeritus & State Poet Bill Kloefkorn
Former professor and Nebraska State Poet William "Bill" Kloefkorn died May 19, 2011 at his home in Lincoln. He was 78.
A memorial service will be held Wednesday, May 25 at 2:30 p.m. in O'Donnell Auditorium in the Rogers Center for Fine Arts on the Nebraska Wesleyan University campus. A reception will follow in the dining hall located in the Story Student Center.
Viewings will be held Tuesday, May 24 from 3 to 6 p.m. at Lincoln Memorial Funeral Home at 6800 South 14th Street, and on Wednesday, May 25 from noon to 2 p.. in Old Main on the NWU campus.
Kloefkorn was born August 12, 1932 in Attica, Kan., to Katie Marie and Ralph Kloefkorn. He graduated from Attica High School. He married his high school sweetheart Eloise Ann on January 25, 1953. He served in the United States Marine Corps and attended and graduated from Emporia State Teachers College in Emporia, Kan. He and Eloise moved to Lincoln in 1962, where he taught writing and literature at Nebraska Wesleyan University until his retirement in 2002. He has published more than 30 collections of poetry, two collections of short fiction, four memoirs and an assortment of children's Christmas stories.
Kloefkorn initiated Nebraska's Poets-in-the-Schools program in the early 1970s talking and writing with hundreds of young students throughout the state. He was named the Nebraska State Poet by proclamation of the Nebraska Unicameral in the fall of 1982. He fulfilled his commitment as State Poet from the sandhills to the suburbs with countless readings, seminars, and workshops; teaching, inspiring and entertaining thousands of Nebraskans across the state. He was also one of the founding fathers of the Loup River Expeditionary Force (LREF) where he served as Captain and as a member of the Council of Elders.
Survivors include: wife, Eloise; daughters, Terry Hansen of Lincoln, Tracy Vuchetich of Overland Park, Kan.; sons, John Kloefkorn and Robert Kloefkorn of Lincoln; 11 grandchildren; and two great grandsons.
The family wishes, in lieu of flowers, that memorials be sent to one of the following: Nebraska Wesleyan William C. Kloefkorn Endowed Fund; Kloefkorn Elementary School Endowment; Nebraska Public Radio.