Campus News

Obituary: Lothar Tresp

Lothar Tresp

Lothar Leo Tresp, professor emeritus of history and director emeritus of the Honors Program, died Jan. 22 at age 91.

Born in Ortelsburg, East Prussia, on March 4, 1927, he attended public schools in his hometown and the Herman Lietz School on the Frisian Island of Spiekeroog, where, at age 15, he and his fellow students were drafted to auxiliary military service for anti-aircraft duty. He was subsequently called up to regular military service in the German Wehrmacht and was wounded during combat in East Prussia in February 1945.

After World War II, he continued his education at the Herman Lietz School in Bieberstein, Germany, the Philosophical and Theological College in Regensburg, Germany, and the University of Wurzburg. In 1950, he received a Fulbright Scholarship for one year of study at the University of Georgia, where he met Lucy Elizabeth Nickerson, his wife of 67 years. They were married in 1951, prior to Tresp’s return to Germany, where he completed work at the University of Wurzburg in 1952 for his doctorate in German history and German and English literature, graduating magna cum laude. That same year, he emigrated to the U.S.

Tresp taught at various colleges in the Southeast prior to joining the faculty of UGA’s history department in 1957, where he taught for many years primarily in the area of modern German and European history. He helped to establish UGA’s Honors Program and served as its director from 1967 until his retirement from the university in 1994. He also served as acting associate vice president for academic affairs from March 1979 to June 1980. 

In addition to his wife, Lucy, Tresp is survived by one daughter, Lucy Anna Tresp Sheftall, and her husband, John McKay Sheftall, of Columbus; three grandchildren, Lucy Banks Sheftall of Los Angeles, California, John McKay Sheftall Jr., of Boston, Massachusetts, and Andrew Tresp Sheftall of Columbus; a sister-in-law, Regina Tresp of Hamburg, Germany; and a host of relatives, friends and former students.

Graveside services were held Jan. 26 at Oconee Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the UGA Honors Program or a charity of one’s choice.