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Dick Meisler '60

Richard (Dick) Meisler, 76, of Ann Arbor, MI, died on Tuesday, February 21, after complications from cancer surgery. Dick was born in New York City, the oldest son of Simon and Rose Meisler.

After attending the Bronx High School of Science and Antioch College, he received his Ph.D in Philosophy from Columbia University. His teaching career included Antioch College, Buffalo State University, and the departments of English and American Culture at the University of Michigan.

For several years he stayed at home raising his two sons. Dick was a beloved teacher and colleague who enjoyed a wide network of friends and family. His interests and vision spanned a broad range of cultural and social issues. At the time of his death, he was fully engaged with his courses on AIDS, poverty, immigration and mass incarceration.

Colleagues describe him as kind, open-hearted, insightful, and generous with his time and caring. Many students consider him an important influence on their lives. His MOOC on HIV/AIDS is available at coursera.org/learn/aids-fear-hope and a new MOOC on mass incarceration is forthcoming. His book Trying Freedom: The Case for Liberating Education was published by Harcourt Brace in 1984.

Dick was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Arthur. He is survived by his wife Miriam; his sons Joshua (Tobi Hollander), and Daniel (Laura); his beloved granddaughters Sylvia, Rosie, Sadie and Paula; sisters-in-law Susan Meisler, Susan Horowitz, and Rey and Gabrielle Horowitz-Prisco; brother-in-law Mark Horowitz; nephews Saul, Jason, Joseph and Bennett; nieces Sarah and Becca; and a large circle of devoted family and friends.

A memorial event will be hosted by the University of Michigan Department of American Culture later this spring. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Youth Arts Alliance, a local organization for incarcerated youth.