Alexander Rudolph Stoesen
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Alexander Rudolph Stoesen
  • April 9, 1932 - November 30, 2017
  • Greensboro, North Carolina

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Alexander R. Stoesen died on November 30, 2017 at Friends Homes in Greensboro following a stroke. Born in Austin, Texas on April 9, 1932, he moved to Pensacola, Florida in 1935 when his father was transferred there with the U.S. Weather Bureau. After completing Pensacola High School in 1950 he entered The Citadel where he won gold stars, and graduated with honors in history. Also, he was awarded the Francis Marion Cup for excellence in history. He was on the college wrestling team, a master of the glockenspiel in the regimental band, and a founder of The Citadel History Club.

He was a member of the Piedmont Triad Citadel Club and life member of the
Citadel Alumni Association.

A qualified army parachutist, and an ordnance ammunition specialist, he was division ammunition officer of the 101st Airborne Division at Ft. Campbell Kentucky in 1956-7. He earned a Master's Degree at the University of Rochester in 1958 and a Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina in 1965. His master's essay was on the American Occupation of the Rhineland after WWI. At Chapel Hill his Ph.D. dissertation was on Florida Senator Claude Pepper and was written under the direction of Chancellor J. Carlyle Sitterson. He taught American history at Guilford College for 33 years beginning in 1966 and received the college's teaching award in 1995 and was honored in retirement as an Exemplary Educator by the Guilford College Alumni Association. As Guilford's principal pre-law advisor for 32 years, he sent more than 300 students to law school and was a founder and later president of the Southern Association of Pre-Law Advisors. He served for twenty-three years on the Membership Committee of the Organization of American Historians including seven as its chairman. In 1998 he was elected president of the Historical Society of North Carolina, having previously served as its secretary and vice-president.

He was instrumental in obtaining a number of North Carolina highway historical markers for Guilford County (and other counties), including the Sit-Ins marker on Elm Street. He served for three five-year terms on the North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Advisory Committee --- the last term at the request of the Division of Archives and History. He also served as chairman of the marker committee for a one-year term. He worked at this interest until his death. He was a Bronze Level ballroom dancer. He was a member of the N.C. Literary and Historical Society, the Southern Historical Association, and the American Historical Association, and was listed in Who's Who in America.

His books include "Guilford County: A brief History," and "Guilford College: On the Strength of 150 Years" as well as articles and many book reviews. He was the recipient of the 2001 Christopher Crittenden Award --- the highest award given to an historian by the N.C. Division of Archives and History. In November 2013 he received the "Voices of a City Award" from the Greensboro Historical Museum for "exemplary contributions to local history".

He married Carol A. Cronk of Wellsville, NY, on August 22, 1959. After Carol's death, in 1999, he went on 28 Habitat for Humanity International missions on the six inhabited continents. He also went to with two Quaker/Guilford College work teams to do volunteer projects at the Friends School of Ramallah. He served on many committees of the Unitarian-Universalist Church of Greensboro and for two terms as chairman of its board of trustees. He was awarded the Congregational Leadership Award of the Thomas Jefferson District of the Unitarian Universalist Association in 1991.

He is survived by his children, Robert of Greensboro, Lyn (Anne Stom) of Washington, DC, and Bill of Santa Cruz, CA.

The family would like to extend its gratitude to the staff of Friends Homes and Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro.

A memorial service is pending and will be announced on a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Habitat for Humanity, PO Box 3402, Greensboro, NC 27402.

Hanes Lineberry North Elm Chapel is assisting the Stoesen family with arrangements.