Obituary — Nelson Thomas Potter Jr.

May 23rd, 2013 | By | Category: 2013, Issue, May 23, Obituaries

Nelson Thomas Potter Jr., 73, of Lincoln, emeritus professor of philosophy, died May 12.

Born to Nelson and Hazel (Park) Potter, he was raised in Mount Morris, Ill. He graduated summa cum laude from Monmouth College in 1961 with degrees in philosophy and English. In 1961, Potter was named a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. He received a doctorate in philosophy from Johns Hopkins University in 1969.

Potter joined the University of Nebraska philosophy department faculty in 1965. He directed UNL’s Centennial Educational Program from 1974 to 1976. Potter chaired the department from 1980 to 1985. He retired from UNL in 2010.

Potter’s scholarly areas of specialization were ethics, aesthetics, and Immanuel Kant. He also taught history of philosophy, philosophy of law, and social philosophy.

Potter served as president of the North American Kant Society from 1997 to 2000. He was also a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

In addition to his academic career, Potter contributed to the Nebraska Committee for the Humanities in various capacities from 1974 to 1982. He was active in Nebraskans Against the Death Penalty and ACLU Nebraska, and was president of Lincoln Friends of Chamber Music (1971-1986).

Survivors include his wife, Kathy, and daughter Sophia; brother James (Ann) Potter; nieces Beth Zarring and Jennie Fraser; and cousins Chuck Newburg, Dick Newburg, Paul Park, and Claudia Guenther. He was receded in death by his parents and sister, Barbara Potter.

Memorial service is 11 a.m. June 22 at Wyuka Funeral Home, 3600 O St. The family is also sponsoring a concert in Potter’s honor at 3 p.m. Sept. 29 at the Sheldon Museum of Art.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made in Potter’s name to the ACLU Foundation of Nebraska, 941 O St., Suite 706, Lincoln, NE 68508; Monmouth College, Department of Development and College Relations, 700 E. Broadway Ave., Monmouth, IL 61462; or Sheldon Friends of Chamber Music, Sheldon Museum of Art, P.O. Box 880300, Lincoln NE 68588.

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