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Obituaries

September 11, 2013

Donald R. Vosburgh

Donald R. Vosburgh

ONEONTA — Donald R. Vosburgh, professor emeritus at Hartwick College and a veteran of World War II, died Saturday at the A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital after a brief stay. He was 91.

Vosburgh taught sociology and classes in other social science disciplines for 37 years, the last 29 at Hartwick. He started the college’s sociology department and was named as the Margaret Bunn outstanding teacher in 1985. In 1992, he received the Meritorious Service Award.

“I cannot imagine having chosen any other line of work,” he said at the time. “It would be my hope that young people about to launch their careers might be able to say, at the time of their retirement, as I did, ‘I believe that I made the most rewarding choice.’”

He began his career in 1955, with a teaching position at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, W.Va. He also spent five years at Elizabethtown College, in Elizabethtown, Pa., where he taught and served as an interim dean.

A resident of Oneonta for 50 years, he was born in the Fulton County community of Vail Mills, a son of Ralph E. and Nellie C. (Hyde) Vosburgh. He graduated from the high school in neighboring Broadalbin, where his family had moved, and was elected senior class president.

In September 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. After basic and specialized radio training in New York City, Fort Dix, N.J., Camp Crowder, Mo., Fort Monmouth, N.J. and Camp Miles Standish, Mass., he was shipped to the European Theater on July 5, 1944.

During the war, he served with the 121st Signal Radio Intelligence Co. in England, France and Belgium. He then served with the Army Security Agency of Europe in Germany.

After returning to Broadalbin, he married the girl next door, Elsie R. Daggett on Jan. 15, 1949. Two years later, with the help of the G.I. Bill, he earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Utica College. Syracuse University awarded him a master’s degree in journalism in 1953, and a doctorate in social sciences in 1958.

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