The Passing of George Soule

Members of the Cannon Valley Elder Collegium were recently saddened to learn of the death of George Soule,  who was an important teacher as well as contributor to the leadership of the organization.    A portion of his obituary is as follows:

George Alan Soule of Northfield, age 81, died on December 24, 2011, at United Hospitals, St. Paul, after a short illness.  George was born on March 3, 1930, in Fargo, ND, to George Alan Soule and Ruth Georgina Knudsen Soule.  At Fargo High School, he was editor of the newspaper and played the saxophone in the band.  He also was a member of the concert band of the Interlochen Arts Camp. He graduated from Carleton College, Summa cum Laude, in 1951, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. In 1952 he won a Rotary Fellowship to attend the University of Cambridge.

George earned an M.A. in 1956 and a Ph.D. in 1960 in English Literature at Yale University where he was awarded a Sterling Fellowship.   In 1958, he became an Instructor in English at Oberlin College, and in 1960, an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  He joined Carleton’s faculty as an Assistant Professor of English in 1962, and during 1966 he directed Carleton’s Centennial Celebration.  In the 1980’s, he established the Carleton Summer Writing Program, a pre-college course in composition for high school juniors and seniors.  He was Chair of the Carleton English Department from 1980 to 1983 and retired as a Professor Emeritus in 1995.

From 1998 to 2009 he taught in Northfield’s Cannon Valley Elder Collegium, serving as its Vice Chair from 2003 to 2005, Chair from 2005 through 2007, and as a member of the Board of Directors.  From 2003 to 2007, he was a lecturer at the Wordsworth Winter School in Wordsworth’s home village of Grasmere, in England’s Lake District.

George enjoyed traveling, dining out, going to the theater, cooking, and watching The Young and the Restless and Jeopardy, becoming Champion of the Senior Tournament in 1990.  He is survived by his wife, Carolyn Soule, of Northfield, his daughter, Kate Soule, and two granddaughters, Taylor and Zoë, of Etna, NH.  A memorial service will be held during Carleton’s reunion weekend, on June 15, at 9:30 a.m. in the Carleton Chapel.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to a memorial fund that has been established at Carleton College and contributions in his memory may be sent to Carleton College, One North College Street, Northfield, MN 55057, or contributions may be sent to the Cannon Valley Elder Collegium, addressed to Barbara Jenkins, CVEC Finance Committee,  514 Sumner St., Northfield, MN, 55057.