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Mills Edgerton, Jr.

The campus community mourns the passing of Mills Edgerton, who died on Monday, Dec. 6. Mills retired as professor emeritus of languages, cultures & linguistics after 32 years of service to the University, which included 21 years as director of the Bucknell University Press.

Mills’ son Michael is an alumnus of the class of 1983.

Included below is the complete text of the obituary, as provided by the family.

I encourage you to visit our In Memoriam site to share personal notes of sympathy and remembrance with others.

On behalf of our entire University community, I extend our deepest sympathies to Mills’ family, as well as to all who knew him at Bucknell.

Mills Fox Edgerton, Jr. of New Haven, CT, passed away peacefully on December 6, 2021.  He was born in Hartford, CT on June 11, 1931 to the late Mills Fox and Miriam (Reynolds) Edgerton.  He earned his master’s degree and doctorate at Princeton University; his undergraduate work was completed at the University of Connecticut and included studies at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Mills then embarked on a career in higher education, teaching at Princeton University and Rutgers University before accepting a tenure track position at Bucknell University in 1960.  He served as a professor of Spanish as well as chairman of the university’s department of modern languages, literature and linguistics. He proudly served as director of the Bucknell University Press from 1976 to his retirement in 1997.

In addition to his work at Bucknell, Mills held several positions associated with Middlebury College, including director of the Middlebury College Spanish program in Madrid, Spain from 1971 to 1972 and the Middlebury College Intensive Language Program in 1973. He served as the interim director of The Madrid Center of the Institute of European Studies from 1993 to 1994.

After retiring from academia, Mills established himself as a renowned poet and author in Europe, publishing over 40 books in Spain and France.  In recent years, he spent about half of his time in Spain.  He looked forward to each trip and was very happy to be there one last time in the fall of 2021.

Mills received numerous awards and recognition throughout his life of teaching and writing, including: the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation grantee in 1961, the Lindback award for distinguished teaching in 1971, 1st prize Prix Vitrail Francophone from the Society of Poets and Artists of France in 1997, the 2019 Stefan Zweig prize for biography from publisher Sial Pigmalión and a lifetime achievement award in 2021 from the editorial board of Sial Pigmalión.

He was predeceased by his wife, Marianne Simonson Edgerton and his son, Nicholas Mills Edgerton. He is survived by his son, Michael Andrew (Lisa) Edgerton of Guilford, CT; his brothers, John David Edgerton of North Conway, NH and James Merwyn Edgerton of Elizabethtown, KY; daughter-in-law Elizabeth Edgerton of Kalamazoo, MI; grandchildren Peter (Anshumita) Edgerton of Carolina, PR; Christopher (Heena) Edgerton of Branford, CT; Samuel Edgerton of Brooklyn, NY; William Edgerton of Kalamazoo, MI and Lily Edgerton of New York, NY.  He is also survived by his great-grandson Liam and numerous nieces and nephews.

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