In Memory of Julie Klassen


In Memory of Julie Klassen


Obituaries; College teachers; Women--Societies and clubs


Julie was a longtime active and activist member of Women in German who frequently attended the annual meetings (and helped script the Cabaret!), took care of printing and mailing the Newsletter for several years, co-organized the 1990 annual meeting, and served as president from 2006-2008. She was a supportive and enthusiastic mentor to many younger Wiggies over the decades of her engagement with the organization. We recall Julie’s work and presence at WiG with fondness and admiration. While we are sad to know that we will no longer see her there, we will celebrate her life and her contributions to our profession. We remember and will remain inspired by her sharp intellect, her generosity, her care for and support of junior faculty, her humour, her commitment to feminism, her work as an activist, and her deep love for literature.

Northfield—Julie Anne Klassen, age 74, of Northfield, passed away peacefully with family at her side on Saturday, January 13, 2018, at Northfield Hospital. Julie was born May 17, 1943, in Nederland, Colorado, the daughter of Donald and Margaret Grover. When Julie was six the family moved to Glendale, California, where she graduated from Glendale High School in 1961. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in German from the University of California – Santa Barbara and received her Masters and Ph.D. in German Literature from Stanford University. Julie moved to Northfield in 1968. She spent two years as assistant Professor of German at St. Olaf College and seven fulfilling years working at the Northfield Daycare Centre, before joining Carleton College in 1978. Julie retired in 2009 as a tenured Professor of German Studies. Julie married Hanno Klassen on August 6, 1971. The couple made their homes in Northfield and the idyllic island of Manitoulin, Ontario. Hanno died December 2, 2004. Julie met Will Kershaw in 2012. Their loving companionship, travels and adventures in nature enriched them both in the last six years of Julie's life. Julie was a lifelong student, startlingly intelligent, a wonderful storyteller, a loyal and generous friend. She loved literature and culture, natural history, bird watching and cooking. Her professional passions were teaching German and environmental studies, and accompanying her students to Germany. Julie is survived by her partner Will Kershaw, her stepson Christopher (Amanda) Klassen of Kaslo, British Columbia; stepdaughter Renata Klassen of Kaslo; and two brothers: Philip (Susan) Grover of Concord, CA, and Scott (Cecilia) Grover of Walnut, CA. She was predeceased by her husband and her parents. Memorial service will be held at Skinner Memorial Chapel on Saturday, April 14, 2018, at 2:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Minnesota Land Trust or a favorite environmental organization.


[who took the photo]


Julie Klassen's memorial service




[date of photo]


Rachael Huener




still image





[who took the photo], “In Memory of Julie Klassen,” Women in German Herstory Project, accessed September 26, 2023,