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Erhard K. Dortmund

Erhard K. Dortmund January 11, 1929 – February 10, 2016

Erhard K. Dortmund, of Camp Sherman, teacher and journalist, died on February 10. He was 87 years old.

Erhard was born on January 11, 1929, in Omaha, Nebraska, the son of Walter and Wilma Dortmund. He grew up in Denver, Colorado, and then struck out on his own by joining the U.S. Army at the age of 17. He graduated from the University of Colorado with a bachelor’s degree in history, and later obtained a master’s degree at the University of California at Berkeley. He married Elke Peters in San Francisco, California, in 1958.

Erhard began his professional career as a teacher, first in high school, then as a professor of history at what is now Western Oregon University. In 1998, he and Elke moved to Camp Sherman to be closer to the mountains they loved.

Erhard lived a life of the mind and had a broad range of interests including history, film, sports, and politics. Throughout his life, he wrote extensively for several Northwest newspapers. His contributions consisted of book reviews, commentary pieces, editorials, and feature stories. He loved the outdoors, and he and Elke spent many years traveling and hiking throughout the West. 

Erhard leaves behind his wife, Elke, and their three children: Inge (Michael) Wells of Camp Sherman, Brigitte (Justin) Ting, of Portland, and Larry (Rebekah) Dortmund, of Portland. He is also survived by his three grandchildren: Daniel, Allison, and Oliver.

Memorial contributions may be made to Deschutes Land Trust.