Peter O. Wacker Obituary

Peter O.   Wacker
Peter O. Wacker

August 7, 1936 - March 24, 2020
Born in Orange, New Jersey
Resided in Martinsville, New Jersey

Obituary

Peter O. Wacker

Historical Geographer, Rutgers Professor

Rutgers University Professor Emeritus Peter O. Wacker of Martinsville passed away on March 24, 2020 at the age of 83. The son of immigrants, Peter grew up in Irvington, graduated from Montclair State College, and earned his PhD from Louisiana State University. A faculty member at Rutgers for more than 40 years and author of several books, his research focused on the vibrant intersection of land and people in New Jersey from the colonial era to the present day.

Dedicated to the preservation of the state’s history, he served on the State Review Board for Historic Sites for more than 30 years, and received a Guggenheim Fellowship and the New Jersey Historical Commission’s Richard J. Hughes Award, the commission’s highest honor for lifetime achievement in New Jersey history, among other honors. Generous with his time for students and the public, Peter thought it was important for people to understand not only world geography but also their own local geography, history and culture.

Peter possessed a boundless curiosity about the world, most of which he had visited. He loved travel, fishing, gardening, and a good joke.

He is survived by Arlene, his wife of 57 years; a daughter, Jill (Thomas Corlett) of Philadelphia; a son, Craig (Amy Sprague) of Seattle; and grandchildren Lucy Corlett, Wiley Corlett, Linnea Wacker-Sprague and Corbett Wacker-Sprague.

Donations in his memory can be made to NJ Audubon or any organization working to preserve and protect the natural world.

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