Dr. Arnd Bohm (PhD)

20-Jul-1953 - 22-May-2020

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Remembering Arnd...


Dr. Arnd Bohm (PhD)
July 20, 1953 – May 22, 2020

It is with profound sadness that we announce the loss of Arnd Bohm. He passed away peacefully, with his friend Marc Harris by his side, on May 22, 2020 in Ottawa, following a courageous three-year battle with cancer. He was 66. 

He leaves behind to mourn his loss his immediate family: Waltraut Bohm (mother); Martin Bohm (brother); Barbara and Vincent Morban (sister/brother-in law); his nieces and nephews: Marla Bohm (Stephen Pollard, son Seth), Warren Bohm (Courtney Palmer), Garrett Bohm, Theresa Bosko (Stephen, daughter Oriana, son Peter); and numerous relatives, friends, and colleagues in Edmonton, Ottawa, elsewhere in Canada, and in the United States and Germany. Among those mourning his loss are long-time friends Norman Gee (Moira Day), Christopher Head, Jennifer Head, Jean Strong, Joan Neilson, and Marc Harris. 

Arnd was predeceased by his infant sister Angela (in 1953), father Arno (in 2016) and sister-in-law Lyda (in 2019). 

To his growing family, Arnd was always fondly known as Uncle Arnd. He returned to Edmonton annually for more than 40 years to share Christmas with family and friends. He was always thoughtful about others’ milestones and never forgot anyone’s special days, making sure to call and send a card that reflected his love of flowers. He was our family’s ambassador to Germany, helping us stay connected with relatives on our father’s side. 

After graduating from the University of Alberta (BA, MA), Arnd spent a year in Germany as an academic exchange fellow and went on to earn his doctorate in German from the Johns Hopkins University in 1984. He taught at the U of A, Medicine Hat College, Haverford College, and Bryn Mawr College before accepting a position at Carleton University in Ottawa, where he was a valued faculty member in German, Comparative Literature, and English and was also elected to serve a term as president of the university’s faculty association. He retired in 2015 after a 30-year Carleton career. 

He was internationally recognized for his scholarship in both German and English literature, noted for the breadth of his interests and the depth of his knowledge and research. He published a wealth of academic articles (always sending a copy to his mother), and presented dozens of regional, national, and international conference papers, on topics ranging from English Romantic-era and 19th-century German poetry to East German and 20th-century English literature. Poetry was an abiding passion, and he was early in recognizing the works of women authors of earlier periods. His 2007 book, Goethe’s Faust and European Epic: Forgetting the Future, was named a Choice magazine Outstanding Academic Title, a rare accolade. He brought the same range and depth to his teaching and mentoring, both undergraduate and graduate, and he was resourceful and inventive in the classroom, a pioneer in televised instruction in the region. 

We would like to thank the staff and management at the Revera Colonel By Retirement Residence in Ottawa, where he resided for the past year, for their support and care, and to thank Dr. Rebecca Auer and Dr. Shaheer Tadros of the Ottawa General Hospital, whose skills, in 2017, extended his life.

A Private Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. His final resting place is in Edmonton’s Westlawn Cemetery in a niche near the cremation garden plots of his parents. 

At his core, Arnd was a teacher and nurturer and he will be forever in our hearts. 

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Alberta Cancer Foundation, the Ottawa Hospital Foundation Cancer Research, or a charity of your choice.

Posted by David Pugh | 15-Jun-2020

I'm so sorry to hear of Arnd's death. He was a scholar of enormous erudition, and also remarkable for the creativity and ingenuity with which he deployed his learning. I knew him on and off for years, but spent most time with him during the 2000s, when he came to Queen's regularly to teach graduate courses, which were appreciated by both students and faculty. He was gregarious and an excellent conversationalist, and was particularly good company at conferences, where he always seemed to know the most amusing people. I shall never forget driving down with him once to a conference in New England. A memorable weekend.

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Posted by John McCarthy | 14-Jun-2020

I just learned of Arnd’s passing. I had wondered what became of him after Carleton eliminated his department and revoked his tenure. Before then I would run into him all the time at conferences, for he was very active and respected in academia. I remember his smile, his warmth, the vigor of his lectures. Indeed, he was a mensch, thoughtful and insightful, generous and open, productive and inspiring. Now I know that he was resilient too. In more ways than one. While his passing is an acute loss for family and friends, he obviously left an indelible mark. That is a sign of a life well lived. He will be missed by all who knew him. Please accept my deep-felt condolences to his family.

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