Frank N. Dauster
Frank Nicholas Dauster, 90, a retired Spanish professor and a pioneer in the field of Latin American literature, passed away on October 3, 2015, at the Stonebridge at Montgomery community in Skillman, N.J.
Born in Irvington, N.J., he served in the U.S. Army during World War II, then attended Rutgers University–New Brunswick, also earning a master's degree there in 1950, and then earned a doctorate from Yale University. He taught at Wesleyan University from 1950 to 1955 and joined the faculty at Rutgers–New Brunswick in 1955. He also taught at Fairfield University, Middlebury College, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Universidad de Guadalajara.
Dauster taught Spanish and was a pioneer in the field of Latin American literature, championing writers of the region at a time when it was little studied. His many publications in academic journals and books explored the work of Latin American playwrights and poets. His work gave particular emphasis to writing in Mexico, where he had many lifelong friends.
He supported libraries, helping to obtain rare volumes for the university's Alexander Library special collections and serving for decades as contributing theater editor for the Library of Congress’s Handbook of Latin American Studies.
While he enjoyed academic research and writing, he was also passionate about sharing his love of poetry and theater with students, with whom he formed many enduring friendships, inspiring many to continue studying Latin American literature. He saw teaching as a mutual learning experience and after retiring he remained active in teaching through Rutgers’s lifelong learning center and later at Stonebridge, where he expanded the subject of his classes to other subjects that he loved, such as English poetry and drama, and helped start the Stonebridge library, working there for 11 years. He loved Dixieland jazz and avidly collected recordings and sought out performances of his favorite musicians.
Dauster is survived by his wife of 66 years, Helen; two sons, Robert (and his wife, Marjorie) and Nicholas (and his wife, Victoria); a brother, Robert; and two grandsons.
Memorial contributions may be made to UNICEF or the Mary Jacobs Memorial Library, 64 Washington Street, Rocky Hill, N.J., 08553.