Wellisch, William J., 1938-2015
July 3, 1938 to November 19, 2015. Born in Vienna, Austria on July 3,1938. His father, Max Wellisch (January 27, 1898 to January, 1973), was born in Lackenbach, a small Jewish settlement in what was Austro-Hungary where he spoke both German and Hungarian. Bill's mother was named Zelda Schanzer, born in April 26, 1907. Both parents became US naturalized citizens in 1945. Bill was multi-lingual throughout his life, as well, and spoke German and Spanish besides English, often teaching English along his travels. Bill left Europe with his parents in 1940 on the vessel, Vulcania, and was listed in the February 19, 1940 Transport Census Index as Hebrew. They were the last to leave before the Nazis stopped such migration from Jewish families. They located in Minneapolis, Minnesota where Bill was given special language lessons to remove his German accent and to learn to speak English. Bill was an only child. His legal documents show no middle name, but he did use J. or Jeremiah later on in life … William J. Wellisch. He earned a BA Degree in 1959 from the University of Minnesota in Sociology, as well as a BA in 1965 in Secondary Education. In 1968, Bill obtained a MA Degree from the University of Missouri at Columbia in Sociology. Also, he had finished his course work for a Doctorate, but never did the dissertation. He taught at the Community College of Denver, Red Rocks Campus, and Metro State Universtiy of Denver, traveled widely in Latin America, was a member of Amnesty International and promoted dog rescue efforts in many states.
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Found in: Special Collections and Archives