Dr. Helmut Liedloff died peacefully at his home in Carbondale on Tuesday, May 29th 2018. Born in 1930 in Bremen, Germany, Professor Liedloff received his Doctorate in German and English at Philipps Universität in Marburg before accepting a teaching assistantship at Southern Illinois University in 1957 where he completed a master’s degree in English (with a specialization in American literature) in 1962. After teaching at Milwaukee’s Downer College, he was hired in 1964 as Assistant Professor of German at SIU, where he remained as a very dynamic and much beloved teacher and Department Chair.
In and out of the classroom, Dr. Liedloff was witty, with a sense of humor especially attuned to language and plays on words. To student’s fortunate enough to get to know him well, he was a loyal and life-long friend. This and his great love of music made the early loss of his hearing difficult to bear. Yet he remained active and especially devoted to long walks, swimming, and Ti Chi.
During his years at SIU, Dr. Liedloff published six German textbooks, one of which, Deutsch heute, co-authored with Jack Moeller in 1974, was one of the most innovative and popular textbooks ever written. It was republished in ten editions. Dr. Liedloff’s fields of specialization included second language acquisition, comparative cultures, and translation. In these fields he published monographs on: Steinbeck in German Translation: A Study in Translational Practices and, most recently, Briefe zwischen Deutschland und Amerika, a memoir about his experiences growing up during the Third Reich and a New World perspective on post-war Germany.
In 1989 Dr. Liedloff received the Illinois Council on Foreign Languages Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Contributions to the Profession. And in 1986, together with his wife Mary Liedloff, he generously established the Liedloff Scholarships, nine full-tuition awards for students pursing degrees in German Studies at SIU.
He is survived by two nieces: Hilde Liedloff of Mannheim, Germany, and Almut (Liedloff) Rimmasch of Radebeul, Germany. A Memorial service will be held at Walker Funeral Home, 112 S. Poplar St., Carbondale, Il 62901. The receiving line will begin at 4:00 and the memorial service at 4:30 pm on Thursday, June 14, 2018. Burial will take place in the Steubenville, Ohio, Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the “Helmut and Mary Liedloff Endowed Fund in German” https://cola.siu.edu/languages/give/ or The Southern Illinois University Foundation, Carbondale, IL 62901