Cover photo for Donald Mehus's Obituary
Donald Mehus Profile Photo

Donald Mehus

February 9, 1925 — May 30, 2019

Grahamsville, New York

Donald Mehus

Donald Vincent Mehus of Grahamsville, NY was born on Feb. 9, 1925 in Minneapolis, MS. His parents Oscar Myking Mehus and Emma Hille Mehus, were both children of immigrant parents from Western Norway. Donald was the loving brother to Dorothy Lovret of Pasadena (her son David and daughter Anna Christine); loving brother to Orion Myking Mehus of Lynbrook Long Island. Donald was very close to a number of other friends and relatives including: Charles Studness of Manhasset, NY; Anne Marit Bergstrom of Minnesota; Thomas and Elsie Martin of Grahamsville, NY; Col. Knutbjorn Medhus of Hol Norway and his wife Laila and son Kent Medhus of Albany, NY.; Patricia Harszlak of Cheektowaga , NY; Paul Popieniek of Queens, NY.  Donald served in World War II in the 99th Infantry. He was decorated the Silver Star for valor in combat at the Battle of the Bulge. Donald was an outspoken pacifist and Democrat. He enjoyed a long career as a journalist, publishing books on the English language and Shakespeare, as well as hundreds of articles in many leading global newspapers. He graduated from Columbia College on the GI Bill, and later earned a MA from Columbia University. He was awarded a grant from the Scandinavian American Society in New York. He studied history and literature at the University of Oslo. Donald was a member of the Shaw Society, the Sons of Norway, the parish of the Norwegian Seaman’s Church in NY, the Vocal Record Society, and the James Joyce Society. Donald was a major opera lover and was a frequent contributor to the Opera News, having uncovered the mystery of the setting of Wagner’s Flying Dutchman in Norway. Donald as a young man performed in operas at venues such as Carnegie Hall.  He was a world traveler and visited many countries, and later he published his acclaimed “Rules of Travel”. He volunteered much of his time to help immigrant students often struggling with English. Donald had an impressive career as an English professor at Cooper Union and CUNY where he taught his beloved NYPD officers in evening classes. Donald was a major researcher on the Vikings role in colonizing Ireland, and medieval Irish genetic and cultural influences in Norway, and lectured on the topic at Oxford University’s English Speaking Union, The Leif Ericsson Society of Brooklyn , St Ansgar Scandinavian Catholic League , and elsewhere. Donald was a very active member of the Brooklyn Norwegian community (at one time the largest outside of Oslo). He was a regular contributor to the Brooklyn based Nordisk Tidende, sharing the masthead with the likes of Sigrid Undset. Donald was a true scholar and held a love hate relationship with higher education. He often jokingly quipped “academia is as ruthless as Machiavelli’s Italy, but the amenities are observed “.  He was a true internationalist and ecumenism was at the center of his spiritual beliefs, often boasting that although raised a Lutheran, he delighted in having been given blessings of the Pope when visiting Rome. May he Rest In Peace.

Graveside services with military honors and burial will be Monday, June 3, 2019 at 11AM in the Sullivan County Veteran’s Cemetery, Sunset Lake Road, Liberty, NY.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Harris Funeral Home West Street at Buckley, Liberty, NY. 845-292-0001 or 845-439-5200

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Past Services

Graveside Service

Monday, June 3, 2019

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Sullivan County Veteran's Cemetery

Sunset Lake Rd, NY 12754

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