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University of Pittsburgh

November 11, 2010

Obituary: Jean W. Sedlar

sedlarLong-time Pitt-Johnstown history professor Jean W. Sedlar died Nov. 7, 2010, after an extended illness. She was 75.

A Johnstown campus memorial service for Sedlar will be held at 2 p.m. Nov. 16 in the J. Irving Whalley Memorial Chapel.

Friends and colleagues remembered Sedlar as a private person who was ardent about her scholarship and teaching.

UPJ president Jem Spectar said, “Pitt-Johnstown has lost a dedicated and long-serving professor, prolific scholar and friend with the passing of Dr. Jean Sedlar. Her loss will be felt not only by her colleagues and students at Pitt-Johnstown, but in the community where she was a passionate classical violinist and champion of music education.”

Ray Wrabley, chair of the UPJ Social Sciences Division, said, “Jean was a private person, she was independent and soft-spoken. She was a steady, dependable member of the faculty for many years who highly valued education and what it can do for young people.”

Sedlar came to Pitt-Johnstown in 1972 as an assistant professor of history. She was promoted to associate professor in 1978 and to professor in 1983. She taught courses on European history, world politics and Western civilizations, and published extensively in her field.

Among Sedlar’s books are “Hitler’s Central European Empire,” “The Axis Empire in Southeast Europe,” “East Central Europe in the Middle Ages (1000-1500),” “India and the Greek World: A Study in the Transmission of Culture” and “India in the Mind of Germany: Schelling, Schopenhauer and Their Times.”

In addition to her scholarly activities, Sedlar was a long-standing member of the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, performing for more than 35 years as a classical violinist. The orchestra plans a musical tribute to Sedlar at its Nov. 13 concert.

Sedlar also was an avid traveler.

A Wisconsin native, she earned both her MA in international relations and PhD in history at the University of Chicago.

Sedlar is survived by her children, Eric Sedlar and Janet Sedlar; two granddaughters, and her sister, Judith Amos Whitenack.

—Peter Hart

Filed under: Feature, Volume 43 Issue 6

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