OBIT HDTrautlein

“Founding Dean of Herkimer College"

  1. David Trautlein, Ph.D. died on January 13, 2018 at 11:20 AM in Merced, CA with his wife, Angela, by his side. He was born in Buffalo, NY on March 10, 1927, son of William J. and Helen Peabody Trautlein and was the youngest of six children.

In 1941, he graduated from St. James School and in 1945 from Kensington High School where he was an honor student and champion swimmer. After service in the U.S. Navy during the last year of World War II, Trautlein attended Cornell University where he received the A.B. degree in English in 1951. He attended graduate school at Niagara University and Alfred University. He received his M.S. degree from Alfred in 1955.

Also in 1955, he married Angela Visentin, daughter of Frank and Linda Visentin, at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Wilkes-Barre, PA. The couple had three children, Vaune (Mrs. Steve Newvine), David (Karen) and Sharon (Mrs. William Luciw).

In 1964, David was granted a one-year sabbatical leave for further graduate study at Florida State University from which he received the Ph.D. degree in Higher Education Administration in 1968.

  1. David Trautlein began his professional career as an English teacher at Canisteo New York Central School and in 1956 joined the faculty at Alfred State College as instructor of English and Director of the Reading Laboratory. Following promotions to Assistant Professor in 1957, Associate Professor in 1961, and Professor in 1965, he left Alfred State in 1967 to become the Founding Dean of the College of Herkimer County Community College (now Herkimer College) retiring in 1984 with the title of Dean of the College Emeritus. He was a member of several professional organizations and was a novelist and historian.

He was active in community affairs including the Alfred Village Planning Commission and the Alfred-Alfred Station Community Chest. He was a lector and choir member at St. Brendan's Church in Almond, a charter member of the Alfred Lions Club, Third Degree of the Hornell Knights of Columbus, and President of the Southwestern District Swimming Officials Association.

After moving to Herkimer County, Dr. Trautlein served on the Oneida-Herkimer Health Systems Council, Herkimer County Area Development Corporation, and numerous Village of Ilion committees. He was a lector, greeter, and Finance Committee member at Annunciation Roman Catholic Church in Ilion. He also served as Midget League Baseball Coach, Past President of the Ilion Kiwanis Club, Charter Member of the Herkimer Lions Club, and member of the Ilion Community Club.

He enjoyed fishing for trout in the Adirondacks and bass in the Finger Lakes. He also enjoyed music, reading, writing, and swimming. He authored a history of the first twenty years of Herkimer College and a novel.

In 2004, Dr. Trautlein was recognized as a Torchbearer for his leadership in the formative years of Herkimer College.

Dr. Trautlein was predeceased by his parents, three brothers (William Jr., Robert, and George), and two sisters (Helen DeGraff and Louise Cronin). He is survived by his wife Angela, daughters Vaune (Steve) Newvine, Sharon (William) Luciw, one son David W. (Karen), and four grandchildren, Alison, Colleen, Matthew, and Philip, and one great grandson Kasper.

He and his wife moved to Merced, California in November 2016 to live with his daughter and son-in-law, Vaune and Steve Newvine.

In lieu of flowers, friends may wish to make memorial donations to the H. David Trautlein Endowment at Herkimer College, Friends of the Ilion Free Public Library, or Annunciation Roman Catholic Church, Ilion.

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