In Memoriam: Clarence Minkel

Clarence_MinkelA memorial service will be held next week for a beloved former UT administrator who challenged faculty and students to travel and explore the globe to expand their worldview.

Clarence Minkel, former dean of the graduate school and a professor of geography, passed away Monday. He was eighty-six.

A memorial service will held at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 30, at Rose Mortuary Mann Heritage Chapel, 6200 Kingston Pike. The family will receive friends from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Minkel will be interred in East Lansing, Michigan.

Minkel worked at UT from 1979 to 2003 and retired as dean of the graduate school.

“He loved every minute of his job and absolutely loved Knoxville and UT,” said his widow, Phyllis Minkel, who worked at UT from 1979 until her retirement from Human Resources in 1998.

A professor of geography, Minkel specialized in Latin America. He helped establish a program that allowed faculty to take a language course at UT and then travel abroad to have an in-country experience. He also encouraged students to participate in numerous exchange programs.

In 1998, Minkel was appointed by the US Department of State to negotiate a settlement of a 100-year border dispute between Peru and Ecuador, which he achieved. He traveled widely in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. He was an author and consultant for Encyclopedia Britannica for twenty-eight years and Compton’s Encyclopedia for thirteen years.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Minkel’s name to the Lori Mayor Re-Entry Women’s Graduate Fellowship, care of Joy T. DeSensi, UT Graduate School, 111 Student Services Building, Knoxville, TN 37996.

Read his obituary at the Knoxville News Sentinel.