Alan Eder, a longtime education professor at Northern Arizona University, died Oct. 9, 2009, at home with his wife, Mary Jane, by his side.

Dr. Eder was born on Aug. 7, 1928, in Buffalo, N.Y. He taught philosophy of education at NAU from 1972 until 1991, and was a foster father to 52 children in Flagstaff.

“In his many years as an education professor at NAU, Al Eder earned a reputation as an outstanding teacher,” said Harlan Johnson, a professor emeritus of library science and education. “His students frequently commented about the value of his instruction and the effect he had upon their professional and personal lives. Dr. Eder was a caring and highly motivational person who often expressed appreciation for his students, his colleagues and his family.”

Prior to joining the faculty at NAU, Dr. Eder taught high school English in Nebraska from 1962 to 1970. He also served in the U.S. Navy from 1946 to 1950.

Dr. Eder is survived by his wife, Mary Jane, three children: Jon Eder, Shelley Slay and Fred Eder; three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, at Lozano’s Flagstaff Mortuary, 2545 N 4th St.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to Northland Hospice and Palliative Care, PO Box 997, Flagstaff, AZ 86002.

Dr. Eder asked that his life be commemorated with these words by Virginia Woolf:

“I have sometimes dreamt, at least, that when the Day of Judgment dawns and the great conquerors and lawyers and statesmen come to receive their rewards—their crowns, their laurels, their names carved indelibly upon imperishable marble—the Almighty will turn to Peter and will say, not without a certain envy when He sees us coming with our books under our arms, ‘Look, these need no reward. We have nothing to give them here. They have loved reading.’”