Dr. Glen Alton Newkirk

Dr. Glen Alton Newkirk

August 23, 1931 – January 9, 2024

Glen Alton Newkirk was born in Kansas, on August 23, 1931. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Peg; son, David Newkirk; daughters, Rebecca Newkirk, Heather Ireland; nephew, Stanley Birkbeck.

Glen grew up in rural Kansas, listening to Harry Caray call the Chicago Cubs games on a crystal radio. He lived a childhood and adolescence filled with the love of his parents Brice and Lena and his three sisters, Maxine, Alexma and Nadine. His days were divided between the chores of the farm and the thrill of learning. In school, he first encountered what would become the passion of his life, English literature and the works of William Shakespeare.

Glen transitioned seamlessly from the farm to academia and earned his Bachelor of Science at Emporia State University in 1953; his Master of Arts at Emporia State University in 1956, and his Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Denver in 1966.

While teaching at Emporia State University in 1957, he met the love of his life, Peg Myrick, and proposed to her on the second date. She accepted, and Glen and Peg were married on March 24, 1957.

Glen taught English Literature at Emporia State University, Colorado State University, Southwestern State University, and the University of Denver before settling into a thirty-three-year career at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. At UNO, In Omaha, Glen became a fully tenured professor of English, specializing in Shakespeare and Renaissance literature. In 1971, he edited the book “Contemporary Issues,” published by Scott Foresman & Co. For many years, he led winter tours of England, making the world of his favorite authors come alive for students. He was later honored as a visiting professor, spending a semester doing post-graduate work and teaching at St. Peters College, Oxford.

In 1997, he retired, remaining as a Professor Emeritus at UNO. He enjoyed travel, gardening, the company of his wife, and his beloved dogs Diamond and Bogie. After many years of pleasant retirement, he died peacefully on January 9, 2024 at the age of 92.

Family will receive friends Friday, February 9th from 5:00PM – 7:00PM at West Center Chapel.

Funeral: Saturday, February 10th, 10:30AM at West Center Chapel.

Interment: Evergreen.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Siena Francis House, 1117 N. 17th St., Omaha, NE 68102.

6 Comments

  • Gordon & Judi Boe Posted January 28, 2024 9:48 am

    Dr. Newkirk was a wonderful teacher and I was fortunate to become his friend after his retirement. I will miss our visits to his home and our lively conversations with he and Peg. Great times!

  • Rick Moore Posted January 28, 2024 10:53 am

    Sorry to learn of his passing. Peg was a dear friend and colleague; I’d met Glen a few times over the years; he was always pleasant to converse with.

  • Martha Bruckner Posted January 29, 2024 1:33 pm

    Dr. Newkirk was a wonderful professor. Seeing his name brought back very pleasant, long-past memories of time in his UNO classes for me. God bless him and his family.

  • John McKenna Posted February 1, 2024 12:49 pm

    Glen and Peg were lifelong friends of ours since he and Bruce Baker hired me. We will miss his sense of humor and wonderful laugh! We will remember and treasure Glen and Peg’s kindness and thoughtfulness. Blessings to you, Peg, as well as David, Heather, and Becky. John and Barb

  • Julianne CROTTY-Guile Posted February 3, 2024 4:30 pm

    What a fine man and receptive professor who I cherished while completing my fellowship and studies at UNO. A stable influence and an encouraging mentor. Dr. Newkirk will always be remembered with great love and admiration for what he said and how he handled what he could not say. Peace to his family.

  • Terence Thielen Posted February 4, 2024 3:27 pm

    I had Dr. Newkirk as my instructor at UNO in my first Masters degree class, Shakespeare’s Contemporaries. He humorously referred to himself as “Newkirk the Nitpicker” when he discussed how he’d grade our papers. A scholar and a really good teacher. Rest in Peace, Dr. Newkirk.

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