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Warren E. Roberts ’48

Warren Roberts ’48, February 1, 1999, at his home in Bloomington, Indiana. He entered Reed in 1941, but left in 1943 to join the amy, where he served with the 10th Mountain Division Ski Troops. After the war, he was stationed in Korea along the 38th parallel. He returned to Reed and earned a BA in 1948. He then entered the graduate program in English at Indiana University, where he developed a specialty in folklore. He earned a master’s degree in 1950 and a PhD in 1953, and then joined the faculty of the university, where he remained throughout his career. He became professor of folklore in 1963 when the university established the department of folklore. In 1959–60, Warren received a Fulbright fellowship to study folktales in Norway, and his research there led to publication of his book, Norwegian Folktale Studies, which is still used as a textbook in Norway. While there, he developed a new interest in folk museums and folk architecture and expanded his studies to include folk arts and crafts. A Guggenheim Fellowship in 1967 enabled him to return to Norway to do further research in folklife study. He retired from teaching in 1990. His later publications included Log Buildings of Southern Indiana, published in 1985, and Viewpoints on Folklife: Looking at the Overlooked, published in 1988. He was an active member of the Pioneer America Society and the American Folklore Society. His many interests included woodworking and restoration of historic buildings, and acting in Gilbert & Sullivan productions. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, a brother, four grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.

Appeared in Reed magazine: May 1999

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