posted June 2, 2012

Prof. David Klooster of English Faculty Dies

Dr. David Klooster of the Hope College English faculty died on Saturday, June 2, at age 58.  Cause of death was a brain tumor.

A professor of English, he had been a member of the Hope faculty since 2000.  Through the years, his tenure at the college had also included serving as chairperson of the department of English and as faculty moderator.

His scholarly interests included American literature, especially of the 19th century; composition; pedagogy; literature of the American Civil War; American conversion narratives; American travel narratives; and the work of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville.

For several years, he was actively involved as a volunteer, with his wife, Dr. Patricia Bloem, with the Reading and Writing for Critical Thinking Project (RWCT), an international effort to use reading and writing to help students become better democratic citizens.  He presented collaborative workshops and seminars for educators in multiple nations, including Armenia, China, Russia, Liberia, Turkey and the Czech Republic.

He and Bloem, along with Dr. Jeannie Steele, co-edited the 2000 book “Ideas Without Boundaries: International Education Reform Through Reading and Writing for Critical Thinking,” which describes the program.

Klooster was twice the recipient of awards through the Fulbright Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.  He won a Fulbright Scholar award to teach and conduct research at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria, in 2005, and was a Fulbright Fellow at Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia, in 1992 93.

He had received a Ruth and John Reed Faculty Achievement Award from Hope in 2008.  He was featured in the Hope alumni magazine “News from Hope College” in December 2009, and in a profile in the “Hope People” section of the college’s 2004-05 catalog.

In addition to “Ideas Without Boundaries,” his books included “The Writer’s Community” (1995), which he co-authored with Bloem; and “Phantoms of a Blood-Stained Period: The Complete Civil War Writings of Ambrose Bierce” (2002), which he co-edited with Russell Duncan.

Prior to coming to Hope, Klooster was a member of the English faculty at John Carroll University in Ohio, where his responsibilities had included directing the writing program for 11 years.  He had also taught at DePauw University in Indiana, from 1984 to 1989.

He graduated from Calvin College in 1975 with majors in English and philosophy.  He completed his Master of Arts degree at the University of Chicago in 1976, and doctorate at Boston College in 1985.

Visitation will be held Friday, June 8 from 7-9 pm at Dykstra's funeral home, 295 Douglas Ave, Holland MI. A memorial service will be Saturday, June 9 at 10 a.m. at Dimnent Chapel at Hope College.