Wolfgang Ahrens (1940-2022)

DR. WOLFGANG AHRENS (January 4, 1940 – February 18, 2022) was a long-time member of ICOS, one of the organisers of the 23rd ICOS in Toronto, as well as one of the editors of the corresponding proceedings.

Born in Germany, he moved with his family to Schwetzingen, a few years after World War Two, and then to Toronto in 1953, attending Bloor Collegiate, then the University of Toronto, earning a BA (German and Italian, 1963). He was an active member of the air cadets (travelling with them across Canada and to Germany). He then went to Ohio State University, earning an MA (1965) and PhD (1969) in German. He returned to Toronto to become a professor of German at York University, teaching a wide range of language, literature, and culture courses, from 1969 until his retirement in 2005. He was an engaged member of the York community, serving on committees at all levels of the University, founding chair of the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics, and enjoyed mentoring younger colleagues. He remained an active researcher, particularly in the field of name studies, with his last publication currently in press.