In Memoriam: Mary C. Hoogterp (1950 – 2013)

I did not know Dr. Hoogterp, but I know that as a dedicated adjunct, that she deserves our recognition, in that when many adjuncts retire or pass, they simply don’t appear on the class schedule for the following term.  This was sent to me by a colleague of my in the History Department at San Diego Mesa College:

In Memoriam:  Mary C. Hoogterp (1950 – 2013)

Our colleague Mary C. Hoogterp, Ph.D. has died, on 1 November 2013, from complications associated with leukemia, which was diagnosed in March.  Mary served as an adjunct history instructor for over nineteen years, before being afflicted.

A native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Mary graduated from Ottawa Hills High School, in 1968. Employment in the Veterans Administration led Mary to move across the country to Albuquerque, New Mexico.  A later transfer to the VA office in Silver Spring, Maryland allowed Mary to reside with her sister Ruth Ashley.  When Ruth subsequently relocated to San Diego for work in computer programming, Mary also was able to shift her VA employment to San Diego.  In time, she started undergraduate studies in the UCSD Open University.  Ultimately Mary entered the UCSD Graduate Program in History, culminating in her dissertation, “Among My Own People: Patterns of Community in Five American Cities in the Early Twentieth Century” (1990), a study which reflected her keen interest in social history.  Dr.  Hoogterp joined the history faculty at San Diego Mesa College in 1993.   Consistent with her scholarship in the US history field, she taught largely US history survey courses, though she also had an interest in offering sections of World History, using comparative world religions as one thematic focus.

Mary was an enthusiastic historian and teacher, both in the classroom and in informal consultations with students struggling with historical geography, trying to understand causality in history, or needing encouragement in writing essays.   A supportive colleague, Mary helped her peers generously, in their times of need.  As a proud union member, Mary served as one of the Social Sciences Department’s Liaisons on the AFT Guild Mesa College Liaison Council.

Central to her life, Mary was active in the Clairemont Lutheran Church, where she sometimes sang in the choir and, for a period, was choir director.

She is survived by her husband Jim Brewer and daughters YinYin and Ruike, as well as a large extended family based in Michigan.

Rest in Peace Mary and my Condolences to your family.  You were clearly a “good” adjunct.



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