Arlin D. Fentem - 91
9/6/1924 - 4/21/2016
Arlin D. Fentem died Thursday, April 21, 2016, at Wesley Village in Macomb. HE was 91. He was born September 7, 1924, to Damon and Grace Fentem of Colchester, Illinois. He married Virginia Lee Hoyt on November 10, 1946. She survives. Arlin also is survived by a son, Thomas H. Fentem of Quincy, Illinois, a brother, Larry L. Fentem of Colchester, a brother-in-law, Joseph Hoyt of Colchester, and granddaughters, Claire Elaine Click of Quincy and Sarah Lynn Fentem of Lafayette, Indiana. He was preceded in death by a sister, Shirley Savary of Megalia, California, and daughter-in-law Jayne A. Fentem.
Arlin served in the U.S. Army in Europe during World War II. He received a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a PH.D in geography. Arlin taught geography courses in Indiana University and from 1958 until his retirement in 1987, at Western Illinois University, where he served the geography department as chairperson and a graduate committee chairperson.
He taught agricultural geography and research methods courses, but his enduring concern was to nurture young geographers, who knew him as a exacting but kindly editor and advisor. An inquisitive, tolerant and generous teacher, Arlin helped many a graduate student see their thesis through to completion.
Arlin served on the editorial boards of Western Illinois Regional Studies and the Journal of Developing Areas, acting as book review editor for the latter, and additionally contributed chapters and articles to other scholarly publications. He was also very active in WIU’s International Travel-Study Program. Among his professional honors, he received the Distinguished Geographer Award from the Illinois Geographical Society in 1991.
In retirement, Arlin volunteered for many years with the Illinois Senior Health Insurance Program, and co-taught “The Book Class” in the Macomb Learning is Forever program.
Arlin was devoted to his family. In later life, he took particular delight in entertaining his granddaughters, teaching them how to read maps and pointing out different landforms on family field trips.
Visitation with the family will be from 3:00 to 5:00 P.M. Saturday, June 25, 2016, at the Jones Mortuary in Colchester. Memorials may be made to the WIU Geography Departments’s Ronald Nelson and Arlin Fentem Graduate Student Scholarship Fund, or to any public college or university.
3:00 to 5:00 P.M. Saturday June 25 at the Funeral Home
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