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 Erwin Jost

Erwin Jost

Birth
Hooker, Texas County, Oklahoma, USA
Death 22 Oct 2014 (aged 95–96)
Salem, Marion County, Oregon, USA
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 138131449 · View Source
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Erwin Jost was born in 1918 in Hooker, Oklahoma, to Abram and Kathryn Jost, Mennonite farm pioneers. When he was 7, his family moved to Hillsboro, Kansas, a German-speaking Mennonite community, where he grew up and graduated from high school in 1936. Because of the droughts and dust storms during the 1930s, the Josts migrated to California in search of a better life.

Erwin found employment in San Jose, where eventually he worked his way through San Jose State College, graduating with distinction in 1941 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in a combination of philosophy and psychology. Also in 1941, he married Frances Strom.

During World War II he did wartime defense work until he enlisted in 1943. He served in the U.S. Army as a German translator and interpreter with the 5th Corps Headquarters in Europe. Later he was appointed Special Agent in the U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps until the end of the war.

After his Army discharge, he earned a master’s degree and secondary teaching credential at Stanford University. From 1947 to 1955, he taught German and English at the College of the Sequoias in Visalia, California. From 1955 until his retirement in 1977, he taught the same subjects on several campuses of the College of San Mateo Community College District in California. In 1962-63, he was a Fulbright Exchange teacher in Schweinfurt, Germany.

His first wife, Frances, died in 1975. His second marriage was to Mary Jeane Rockas. They eventually retired near Corvallis. Among Erwin’s hobbies were photography and woodwork. To continue his professional interests during retirement, he did numerous translations, including pieces for the German Mennonite Church and family records from previous centuries.

He was a member of Calvin Presbyterian Church in Corvallis, and never ceased to be grateful for his fellow members’ support when his wife Jeane’s health declined and part of her leg was amputated. She passed away in May of 2009. Subsequently Erwin moved to Applewood Retirement Community in Salem. He peacefully died on Oct. 22, 2014, in Salem, at the age of 96.

He is survived by two daughters, Gayle Jost of Seattle, Washington, and Cordelia Dilg of Berlin, Germany; one son, Larry Jost of Seattle; and his sister-in-law, Evelyn Jost of Harrisonburg, Virginia. He was preceded in death by his brother, Levi Jost of Virginia; and his sister, Blondine Strauss of Indianapolis, Indiana.


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  • Created by: Dennis Johnson
  • Added: 1 Nov 2014
  • Find A Grave Memorial 138131449
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Erwin Jost (1918–22 Oct 2014), Find A Grave Memorial no. 138131449, ; Maintained by Dennis Johnson (contributor 47692696) Unknown.