Dr. Roger Daniels Forseth
Dr. Roger Daniels Forseth, 89, of Superior passed away Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, at Harmony House in South Superior. Roger was born June 15, 1927, in Aberdeen, S.D., son of Fritz and Lillian (Daniels) Forseth.
An insurance salesman who himself never attended college, Roger's father started the Forseth Insurance Company, became one of the first millionaires in the Dakotas, and with his resources funded the higher educations of his 20 grandchildren.
The eldest of three boys, from his earliest days Roger was passionate about learning and literature and chose to pursue an academic career rather than take over the family business. After graduating from Central High School in Aberdeen, Roger went away to Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., where he met his future wife, fellow English major Grace Bahr. Prior to Carleton, Roger served as an electrician in the Navy from 1945 to 1946, during which he was based in Chicago and Corpus Christi. After marrying Grace and graduating from Carleton in 1950, Roger completed his Ph.D. in English at Northwestern University in 1956 with his dissertation on "The Function Of Imagery In The Lyric: Pope To Wordsworth."
Dr. Forseth's first teaching post was at Louisiana State University of Baton Rouge (1955-57), where he became the youngest professor in that university's history. Following posts at Southern Illinois University ('57-'61) and LSU New Orleans ('61-'64), in 1964, Forseth accepted an offer from the University of Wisconsin-Superior and moved his wife and three young children to their beloved home in Superior where they welcomed a fourth child and resided the rest of their lives.
A recovering alcoholic since 1975, in sobriety Forseth dedicated his scholarship to the study of the writer and addiction, founding and editing the influential journal "Dionysos" that ran from 1989 to 2000, and is credited with pioneering the field of addiction and literature. In his tenure at UW-Superior, Forseth was instrumental in transitioning the campus into the digital age, motivated by the service he believed it would be to writers and students. He enjoyed several sabbaticals, including two in London, and with the academic support and expert editing of his wife, wrote numerous articles and talks that he delivered at literary conferences in the U.S. and England. Dr. Forseth retired from full-time teaching in 1991 but continued online for 23 more years, completing his last course in 2014. Dr. Forseth's most significant writings are being published as a book, "Alcoholite at the Altar: The Writer and Addiction," which will be released early 2017.
Roger was possessed of a beautiful, powerful mind and was thought to have "total recall." He was a font of information whose breadth of reading and knowledge turned most conversations into a mini education. Roger was a doting husband, parent, and grandparent who, as recently as last week, puffed his chest with pride at the way his big happy family was turning out. During the past week, Roger was escorted out of this world by his family, the loving caregivers at Harmony House, and the spiritual guidance of Father Steven Burns of St. Alban the Martyr Episcopal Church. Roger was a man of faith who greatly loved the Anglican Church and its traditions. He passed away surrounded by love with his eldest daughter and grandson by his side.
Roger was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Grace in 2012; and his siblings John Forseth and Rudy Scheidel in 2016. He is survived by his brother Fred Forseth, his children William Roger (Lorrie Fox) Forseth, Kristina Marie (Eugene) Johnson, Ellen Dunn (Daniel) Pioro, and Daniel Edward (Toni) Forseth; grandchildren Cassandra Ellen (Bret) Csencsitz, John Trask, Sarah Kristina Pioro, Brittany Marie Fox, Bethany Grace Pioro, Deven John Forseth, Shaye Marie Forseth, and Bria Jean Forseth; great-grandchildren William Thomas and Cordelia Grace Csencsitz.
The family would like to thank Roger's best friend, Dave Lull, whose regular Saturday morning "coffee hours" were the greatest stimulus of Roger's last years.
Visitation: 10 a.m. until the 11 a.m. Mass of the Resurrection in the Church of St. Alban the Martyr Episcopal Church on Monday Dec. 5, followed by a reception.
Burial will be at Greenwood Cemetery, Superior, at a later date.
Sign the online guest book or send condolences at www.downsfh.com .