Professor emeritus Thomas Wenstrand dies at 78

Thomas Edward Wenstrand, a Northern Arizona University professor emeritus of humanities and longtime Flagstaff resident, died in New York City on April 5, 2008. He was 78.

Dr. Wenstrand taught at NAU from 1960 until his retirement in 1988.

“I remember his boundless curiosity,” said┬áTom Cleman, an NAU professor emeritus of humanities. “He loved beautiful things and arranged his life in such a way as to do those things most important to him. He loved the outdoors and loved the city.”

During his tenure at NAU, Dr. Wenstrand served on numerous committees, advised the university hiking club, played cello with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra and served as a consultant and member of numerous organizations dedicated to the outdoors.

Upon his retirement from NAU, he relocated to New York City for the city’s cultural resources and lived on Roosevelt Island, where he served on the board of the Architectural Society and was active in the New York Chapter of the Architectural Historians.

Born May 31, 1929, in Chicago, Dr. Wenstrand earned a bachelor’s degree from Northern Iowa University, a master’s in music from Northwestern University, a master of arts in English literature from the University of Chicago and a doctorate in stylistics from Columbia University. From 1952 to 1956, he served as a staff sergeant in Alaska for the U.S. Air Force.

He is survived by his brother, John A. Wenstrand (Pat) of Birmingham, Mich., a niece and nephew and their families.