REVERE, Mass. — Victor Niles Paananen, age 75, of Revere, Mass., died of cancer on Sunday, March 24, 2013, in Cambridge, Mass.
He was born in Ashtabula, Ohio, on Jan. 31, 1938, to Niles and Anni (Iloranta) Paananen. He was a graduate of Ashtabula Harbor High in 1956, Harvard University AB magna cum laude in 1960, and University of Wisconsin, MA and PhD in 1964 and 1967. Victor was married to Donna Jones from 1964 until her death in 2002. Later, he was married to Diane De Santis in 2011.
Victor retired in 2002 from Michigan State University, where he was a professor since 1968, and served as Assistant Dean of the Graduate School for 5 years, and as the English Department Chairman for 8 years. He had previously taught at Williams College in Massachusetts and Wofford College in South Carolina. He was named honorary fellow at Roehampton Institute, London.
He was the author of two books, William Blake and British Marxist Criticism, and numerous articles, reviews, and papers. He was a dedicated political activist, served for many years as a member of the Committee for a Workers’ International, and was a founding member of the Labor Party in the United States. He was loved and respected by many.
Victor is survived by his two sons, Karl of Lansing, Mich. and Neil (Randi) of Royal Oak, Mich.; and was grandfather of Erik and Ava.
Per his request, a small Graveside Ceremony will be performed at Bethel Cemetery, Columbus, Wis., where he will be interred next to his first wife, Donna.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in Victor’s memory can be made to the Harvard College Fund, Office of the Recording Secretary, 124 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge, Mass. 02138. Arrangements entrusted to JENSEN FUNERAL & CREMATION, Columbus, Wis.
Obituary and condolences at jensenfuneralandcremation.com and starbeacon.com.