William H. Clark Jr., a former associate dean of education at the University of Rochester, died Monday, March 18, at Highland Hospital after a brief illness. He was 78.
Clark came to the University in 1946 as an instructor in German. He became an associate professor of German in 1955. After teaching German language and literature for more than a decade, Clark became interested in educational approaches to language instruction. He conducted extensive research in German literature, especially from 1750 to 1850, and in foreign language teacher training.
He was appointed to the education faculty in 1961, and was named professor of German and of education in 1969.
Clark became a respected authority on the teaching of foreign languages, and helped what is now the Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development build a master's program in teaching English to speakers of other languages, as well as a master's degree program in teaching the deaf. He became assistant dean of the education school in 1972, and associate dean in 1974. He also served as acting dean of the school briefly, beginning in 1979. He retired from active teaching in 1983, but retained a title as professor emeritus.
"Bill Clark was a very gentle and learned person," said Philip Wexler, dean of the Warner School. "He was collegial and supportive, and really cared about students. I remember him with great fondness."
Clark was a member of many professional groups, including the Modern Language Association, American Association of Teachers of German, the New York State Federation of Foreign Language Teachers, and Foreign Language Teachers Association. He also was an active member of St. John the Evangelist Church, and the local St. David Society, a group promoting Welsh language and culture.
Born July 19, 1917 in Washington D.C., Clark earned a bachelor's degree from Haverford College in 1938, and a doctorate from Columbia University in 1954.
He married Margaret Garmey in 1941, and the couple had five sons. Clark is survived by his wife, and sons William III of Randolph, NJ; John of New York, NY; Stephen of Laurens, NY; Peter of Brooklyn, NY; and Christopher of Culver, IN.
There will be a private family service out of town a few weeks from now. Those wishing to make a memorial gift in Clark's name may contribute to UNICEF or to the charity of personal choice.