Willard Misfeldt

Willard E Misfeldt

Willard E. Misfeldt, Ph.D., age 87, of Bowling Green passed on Tuesday, April 18, 2017, as a result of injuries sustained in a single vehicle accident. Willard was born March 14, 1930, as the third child of Edward and Jennie (Williams) Misfeldt, in Aitkin County, Minnesota. A 1948 graduate of Aitkin High School, Willard’s parents took a loan to enable him to attend his first quarter of college at St. Cloud State University.  After successful completion of the first quarter, he was eligible for a scholarship awarded by his high school for his second quarter.  Willard then transferred to the University of Minnesota – Duluth where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 1952.  He was very proud of his undergraduate degree and the fact that he worked to finance his way through college. In 1952, he joined the Army and was stationed at Camp Chaffee, near Fort Smith, Arkansas.  Willard served during the Korean Conflict with the 5th Armored Division of the U.S. Army Artillery as a training instructor, heavy army artillery for the 105 mm Howitzer, for those soldiers being sent to Korea. He received an honorable discharge in 1954 with the rank of Sergeant. He continued his education after leaving the Army, pursuing a Masters in Fine Arts at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.  He received his Ph.D. in Art History from Washington University at St. Louis.  His first university level position was at Gustavus Adolphus College, in St. Peter, Minnesota.  In 1967, he joined the faculty of the Bowling Green State University serving as Professor of Art History in the School of Art.  Much of his ongoing research revolved around the 19th century Victorian artist James Tissot, which was the basis for his doctoral dissertation in 1971 and also the subject of his published book, The Albums of James Tissot, 1982.  He retired in 1998, but continued to teach part-time until 2001, as Professor Emeritus. Throughout his professional career, Dr. Misfeldt pursued his passion of Community Theater as an actor, set designer, and director/producer.  He also enjoyed attending community and professional theater performances. Involved in Community Theater through his lifetime, he was active with the Toledo Repertoire Theatre, the Village Players, and Fort Findlay Playhouse.  He had a long-term relationship with the Black Swamp Players serving as a Board Member and Past President. He was the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions through the years for both his professional and recreational activities.  Most recently, he was honored in September by the Ohio Community Theater Association (OCTA) as the 2016 OCTA Lifetime Achievement Recipient. His other hobbies included: painting, traveling throughout the world for both research and recreation, and more recently traveling the United States including a recent 13-day tour to the Bad Lands with Star Tours. He was a member of the Scandinavian Club of Toledo, and the Archaeological Institute of America – Toledo Society where he served as a Trustee. In retirement he found other interests to pursue, including serving on the Governing Board of the Wood County Committee on Aging and engaging in programs and activities at the Wood County Senior Center.  A life-long learner, he was proud of his success adapting to the ever changing world of technology and became proficient with his tablet, using email, Facebook and challenging both…


Misfeldt honored at the 2016 OCTA Conference

At the sixty-third annual conference of the Ohio Community Theatre Association (OCTA), held at the Holiday Inn in Independence, Ohio, over the Labor Day weekend, Willard Misfeldt of Black Swamp Players was one of three OCTA members inducted into the state organization’s Hall of Fame.  This is an honor which recognizes outstanding achievements, contributions, and support by members of the organization. Willard has been involved in amateur theatricals since his high school senior class play and has been a member of Black Swamp Players since 1975, serving the group in various capacities including as President and as representative to the state organization.  He has been a regular attendee at regional and state OCTA conferences and has brought home a number of awards. In February and March of this year his more than forty years of theatre design work was surveyed in an exhibition at the Four Corners Center gallery in downtown Bowling Green. Dr. Misfeldt was a professor of art history in BGSU’s School of Art for 31 years.  For him theatre was a strong hobby and good way to have fun away from the job.