Frederick C. Luebke, 94, Charles J. Mach Distinguished Professor of History (emeritus), died Nov. 27 at Cascade Manor in Eugene, Oregon.
He was a member of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln faculty for 26 years, becoming a respected and celebrated educator and historian. Luebke’s many contributions include serving as the founding director of the Center of Great Plains Studies and founding editor of Great Plains Quarterly.
Luebke, the youngest of nine, was born Jan. 26, 1927 in Reedsburg, Wisconsin. He received a Bachelor of Science from Concordia Teachers College (River Forest, Illinois) in 1950; a Master of Arts from Clarement Graduate School (Claremont, California) in 1958; and a doctorate from the University of Nebraska in 1966.
Luebke and his wife, Norma, married in 1951. While the couple lived in California, Luebke taught in Lutheran elementary and high schools.
He joined the University of Nebraska–Lincoln faculty in 1968, advancing to full-professor in 1972. He spent his entire career at Nebraska, teaching generations of Cornhuskers before retiring in 1994.
Among his many contributions, Fred was the founding director of the Center for Great Plains Studies at UNL and the founding editor of Great Plains Quarterly. He served as a William Robertson Coe fellow at Stanford University in 1961; a Scholar in Residence at the Rockefeller Foundation Study and Conference Center in Italy in 1971; and as a Senior Fulbright Research Fellow at Germany’s University of Stuttgart in 1974-75.
Luebke’s honors include the Leland D. Case Award in Western History (1981); Outstanding Teaching Award for grants and fellowships (UNL, 1983); Outstanding Research and Creative Activity Award from the University of Nebraska (1985); and the Louise Pound/George Howard Distinguished Career Award (1994).
Luebke wrote numerous works on Nebraska, German immigration and the immigration history of the Great Plains. An overview of his writing is available through the Nebraska Authors website.
In August, Luebke and Norma celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. The event was attended by their entire family.
A man who devoted all of his energy to his marriage, his children, and his career in education, Luebke is survived by his wife, four children and three grandchildren.
The family requests memorials in Luebke’s honor to the University of Nebraska Foundation for the UNL History Department Development Fund (01025860), 1010 Lincoln Mall, Suite 300, Lincoln, NE 68508.
A family obituary, which includes an opportunity to submit memorials and condolences, is available here.