Published December 10, 2015
Byron J. Koekkoek, a retired professor of modern languages and linguistics, died Nov. 28 in Beechwood Home. He was 91.
A native of Jennison, Michigan, Koekkoek earned a BAfrom Olivet College in Michigan and an MA from the University of Michigan. He earned a doctorate in German and Germanic linguistics from the University of Vienna in Austria while on a Fulbright Fellowship.
A specialist in the German language, Koekkoek taught at the University of Illinois and the University of Texas before joining the UB faculty in 1953. He served as chair of the Department of German and Slavic Languages from 1971-76, and was a member of both the Faculty Senate and University Senate. He retired in 1995.
Koekkoek authored numerous reviews and articles in journals on the histories of the German and English languages. He was a member of the American Association of Teachers of German, the Linguistic Society of America, the Modern Language Association of America and the Niagara Linguistic Society.
A philanthropist, he established the John H. Koekkoek Foundation for Housing Opportunity and supported the Western New York Peace Center and Trinity Church. He was a trustee of the Park School of Buffalo.