Bernard Nachbahr, 63, taught philosophy at Loyola College

September 21, 1993|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,Staff Writer

Bernard Nachbahr, professor of philosophy at Loyola College and director of the school's foreign study program in Leuven, Belgium, died at his home there Sept. 15 of cancer. He was 63.

He came to Loyola in 1966 to teach philosophy of religion and social and political philosophy. He was chairman of the department from 1970 to 1973 and from 1980 to 1984.

"From the moment he came on campus, he had a tremendous influence on both the faculty and the students," said Dr. Carol Abromaitis, an English professor at Loyola. "He was a man of great intellectual strength and was very charming. He also had a well-honed sense of humor and recognized irony when he met it, and was able to wield ironic rhetoric when needed."

Dr. Nachbahr once wrote, "Teaching is to make room for wonder . . . to destroy what is taken for granted in search of truth . . . to lead from the known to the unknown."

Frank J. Cunningham, assistant provost at Loyola, said, "He would go the extra mile to make people feel at ease and would invite his students to his home in the Winston/Radnor area to spend an evening socializing. He was an intellectual who was very devoted to the life of the mind, and he was very interested in getting his students to understand that."

Known for his caring and helpful nature, he was named in 1975 the college's distinguished teacher.

A native of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, he earned his bachelor's degree in 1957 from Willebrord College in classics. He studied theology at several seminaries of the Franciscan friars in the Netherlands before studying philosophy at Cambridge University in England from 1957 to 1960. He was awarded his Ph.D. in philosophy from Athenaeum Antonianum in Rome in 1961.

He taught philosophy from 1961 to 1966 at Christ the King Seminary in Karachi, Pakistan, and founded and became assistant director of the Institute of Religious and Social Studies there. In 1966, he briefly returned to the Netherlands, where he was an editor for a publishing company.

During the 1970s he established Loyola's first foreign study tours, which became the foreign study program. He was teacher and guide four years ago for the first 22 students from Loyola who studied at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium. Since then, he had continued as program director in Belgium.

He was a founder of Loyola's Center for the Humanities and its first director, from 1985 to 1988.

He enjoyed camping with his family. He also spent leisure time reading and playing chess and bridge.

A memorial service is to be held at 12:10 p.m. tomorrow at the Loyola College Memorial Chapel, 4501 N. Charles St.

Dr. Nachbahr was divorced from his wife in 1990. He is survived by a son, Erik Nachbahr, who is a sophomore at Loyola College; five sisters; and his friend, Reit Nijs.

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