Unfortunately, we are announcing the passing of Dr. Neil C. Hultin, who spent many productive years in the English Department at UWaterloo.
HULTIN, Neil C. 1934 – 2017 Neil Hultin, a longtime professor in the Department of English at the University of Waterloo, passed away on November 21, 2017 after a brief illness. For the last two years he resided at the Columbia Forest Long Term Care Home in Waterloo. He is survived by his wife Beryl, their children Philip, Geoffrey and Karen, and grandchildren Aidan, Cameron, Ethan, Michael, David, Sarah and Benjamin. Neil was born in Kenmare, North Dakota, the youngest child of Clarence Philip Hultin and Edith Eleanor Johnson Hultin. Neil’s brother Carmen Philip (“Buddy”) and sister Eileen were already teenagers when he was born. Neil’s father died quite young in 1937, as a consequence of being gassed during WW1, leaving Edith to raise the family single-handedly through the last years of the Depression. Neil’s brother left home to serve in the US Army Air Force during WW2, and his sister married. Edith and Neil lived in a tiny apartment above a shoe store in Minot, N.D. through the 1940s, although Neil spent summers in Donnybrook, N.D. on a relative’s farm. He never forgot his North Dakota roots even though his life took him far from where he started. Neil discovered strong intellectual interests in school, which led him to pursue post-secondary education, the first of his family to do so. He obtained a B.A. from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota in 1955, and the following year he married Beryl Helen Juhala. Together, they moved to Chicago where Neil earned an M.A., and then to Baltimore where he studied at Johns Hopkins University to obtain the PhD. His decision to pursue an academic career led to a brief teaching appointment at the University of Arizona, but the offer of a tenure-stream assistant professorship at the University of Western Ontario induced him to move the family to Canada in 1963. In 1969 he relocated to the University of Waterloo, where he remained in the English Department until his retirement. His scholarly focus expanded and changed over the years from his initial interest in Medieval English literature, to include linguistics, folktales and fairytales, folk medicine, and the activities of various 18th and 19th Century British intellectuals. Neil also maintained a deep interest in theology and religions. Books on these topics featured prominently in his library. He published several scholarly books, as well as articles in international academic journals. He was a popular teacher and mentor to both undergraduate and graduate students. At home, he welcomed and encouraged family discussions of history, current affairs, or philosophy around the breakfast table or late at night in front of the fireplace. Neil was a devoted husband and father. He valued home and family above all, and was happiest sitting in his house or garden with his family around him. He gave generously whenever friends, neighbours or family asked for his help, but rarely asked for anything himself. He was proud of everything his children and grandchildren did but humble about his own accomplishments. The family extends deepest gratitude to the staff at Columbia Forest for the love and support they gave to our father. We also are most grateful for the friendship and assistance given by Joe Brito of Aurora Home Care over the past two years. A Celebration of Life will be held in the Fireside Room of the Erb & Good Family Funeral Home , 171 King St. S., Waterloo on Saturday, November 25, 2017 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to Parkinson Society Canada may be arranged by contacting the funeral home at www.erbgood.com or 519-745-8445.