Early Saturday morning, our dear colleague, professor emeritus of History, and University Archivist, Dr. Frederick Boehlke, went Home to God after living 95 productive, faithful years.
His faith in Jesus was the root of all he did and was. For the last several years Dr. Boehlke had been living at The Wayne Center near Eastern's St. Davids campus, but we were really Dr. Boehlke's 'family' as he had no living relatives.
When I worked in the undergraduate dean's office, he would come over a lunch break to share photos from one of his amazing trips abroad. My student workers and I were fascinated; they even came to lovingly refer to him as "Uncle Fred"! Not only did Dr. Boehlke know probably literally everything there is to know about Eastern's history, as you can read in his book Faith, Reason and Justice: The First 50 Years of Eastern University 1952-2002, but he also served Eastern in many capacities, as he was always willing to step in and assist capably whenever needed. He had an amazing encyclopedic mind for all things historic.
Dr. Boehlke's time at Eastern spanned from 1967-2019, when he retired. Several members of our community have stayed in touch with Dr. Boehlke, visiting him and bringing him news from "his" Eastern over the years.
To say he will be missed is an understatement, but his life is so woven together with Eastern's life that his legacy will definitely live on. We will take time at Chapel this week to honor Dr. Boehlke's life and legacy; we hope you'll join us in thanksgiving to God for the gift of this man who quietly served Eastern most of his life.
In addition, all are welcome to attend a graveside service on Friday, April 16 at 1:30pm at Northwood Cemetery, 1501 Haines Street (entrance on 15th Street), Philadelphia, PA 19126. The interment will take place in the Ivy North section of the cemetery.
When I think of Dr. Boehlke Psalm 1:2-3 comes to mind:
[His] delight [was] in the law of the Lord,
and [he] meditated on God's law day and night.
[He was a] person [who was] like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yield[ed] its fruit in season
and whose leaf d[id] not wither-
whatever [he did] prosper[ed].
May the sturdy "tree" of Dr. Boehlke's life stand strong and grow within "his" — and our — Eastern.