Pershing Benard “Jack” HofslundPershing Benard “Jack” Hofslund, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, died Saturday, April 21, 2012, at the Benedictine Health Center in Duluth, Minn.
Pershing Benard “Jack” Hofslund, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, died Saturday, April 21, 2012, at the Benedictine Health Center in Duluth, Minn. He was born April 13, 1918, son of the late Peter and Betsey (Kulseth) Hofslund in Jeffers, Minn.
Jack graduated from Jeffers High School in 1936, and received his B.S. Degree from Mankato State Teachers College in 1940. He taught in Pequot Lakes and Milaca, Minn. In Milaca, he established the school forest that is still in existence.
On Oct. 24, 1940, he was united in marriage with Elaine Warner in Decorah, Ill. She preceded him in death on March 23, 2009.
From April 1945 until April 1946, he served in the United States Navy at Great Lakes Naval Station in Illinois and the U.S. Naval base in St. Louis, Mo.
He received his Master of Science Degree in 1947 and his Ph.D. in 1954, both from the University of Michigan. His degree was in zoology with a specialization in ornithology. Beginning in 1949, he taught a variety of life science classes at the University of Minnesota Duluth, retiring as a full professor in 1982.
In the 1950s, Jack was instrumental in recognizing Hawk Ridge in Duluth as a major hawk migration route in the United States, and establishing an annual official hawk count at that site.
He belonged to many ornithological associations, including the Duluth Audubon Society, the Minnesota Ornithologists Union, the American Ornithologists Union, and The Wilson Ornithological Society, serving in many positions in the organizations. He served on the boards of the Raptor Research Foundation and the Hawk Migration Society of North America.
He served on the board of the Lake Superior Zoological Gardens (formerly the Duluth Zoo) for 40 years and on the Duluth Park and Recreation Committee. In the early 1970s he was appointed to the Board of the Minnesota State Zoo by the Governor of Minnesota. He was the first naturalist at Gooseberry Falls State Park.
Jack was a member of Lakeside Presbyterian Church, where he had served as a church elder. He was also very active in the University for Seniors and the local chapter of AARP.
Jack loved traveling with his wife, Elaine. They visited all 50 states, several Canadian provinces, and over 50 countries on every continent except Antarctica.
He is survived by one son, Jeffrey (Lynn Tofte) Hofslund of Duluth; one daughter, Jennifer (Peter) Burla of Ironwood, Mich.; and five grandchildren, Heidi and Annette Hofslund, and Martha, Angela and Andrew Burla; a sister, Avis Piper; and numerous nephews, nieces, and cousins.
In addition to his parents and wife, Jack was preceded in death by three sisters, two half-brothers, and two half-sisters.
Cremation has taken place at the Range Crematory in Hurley, Wis. A memorial service is planned for a later date. Arrangements are with Range Funeral Service and Crematory, Ketola-Burla Funeral Home of Ironwood, Mich.
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