Goerner passes away
Observer Staff Report | Monday, October 8, 2012
Edward Goerner, professor emeritus of political science, died Oct. 2 at Memorial Hospital in South Bend. He was 82.
A Brooklyn native and a 1952 alumnus of Notre Dame, Goerner served in the U.S. Navy and earned a doctoral degree in political science from the University of Chicago in 1959, according to a University press release. He also taught at Yale for a year before he joined the Notre Dame faculty in 1960.
Goerner, whose academic interests included the interaction of religion and politics, was one of Notre Dame’s most popular teachers. According to the release, he was once characterized in a student publication as “a compelling lecturer who discusses political theory not in the intricate language of the academician, but rather in terms of the layman” and “one of those unique individuals you can build an education around.”
In the release, law professor Donald Kommers said Goerner was an invaluable asset to the political science department.
“Ed Goerner was a towering figure in Notre Dame’s political science department and one of its most respected and conscientious members,” he said. “Ed was more than an esteemed colleague. He was an accomplished political theorist, a brilliant teacher, a friend and mentor to hundreds of students, a Notre Dame loyalist to the bone and a person of enormous personal grace and elegance.”
Kommers said Goerner’s personal interests extended beyond politics and the classroom.
“Ed was also much more than a political scientist. He was a person steeped in liberal learning and Catholic thought and totally committed to the liberal arts,” Kommers said. “We cherished him for his broad intellectual perspective and ever-inquiring mind.
“I shall miss him not only for the colleagueship we shared over the decades, but also for the conversations we have had in recent years owing to our common interest in opera and symphonic music.”
Goerner contributed to several political science journals and authored and edited books on political theory. He also served as associate editor of Notre Dame’s journal of political theory, “The Review of Politics.”
He is survived by his wife, Iris Mensing Goerner; daughters Liza, Meg, Kate and Becky; son Peter; ten grandchildren and two sisters.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9:30 am Monday in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Memorial contributions may be made to the Center for the Homeless, Sacred Heart Parish or the Snite Museum of Art.