Weekly Feature

2008-01-02 / Obituaries

Lester W. Milbrath, professor

Milbrath Milbrath Lester W. Milbrath, 82, of Williamsville, died Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2007 at Canterbury Woods, Amherst.

Born in Bertha, Minn., Mr. Milbrath served as an electrician in the U.S. Navy at the end of World War II.

He earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Minnesota, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. He received a doctoral degree in political science from the University of North Carolina.

Mr. Milbrath began his career with a fellowship at the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C., and then taught at Duke and Northwestern universities.

He was a professor at the University at Buffalo from 1965 to 1991. During his academic career, he taught abroad on sabbaticals and Fulbright scholarships in Poland, Norway, Denmark, Taiwan and Australia. He also taught at the University of Southern California at Irvine from 1992 to 1994.

Mr. Milbrath was committed to the study of environmental issues and became the director of the UB Environmental Studies Center in 1976. He was the author of six books related to both political science and environmental studies. As a result of his work, he received several awards, including the lifetime environmental achievement award, a graduate fellowship award in his name and a political science award for his work on sustainability. He also served on the Town of Amherst Conservation Committee.

An avid outdoorsman, Mr. Milbrath enjoyed hiking, fishing and sailing - activities he participated in at summer homes at Cuba Lake and Crosswinds on Chautauqua Lake.

He is survived by his wife, Kirsten M.; one son, Erik J.; one daughter, Linda Rinaldo; one brother, William; and one sister, Dorothy Refsell.

Arrangements were made by Dietrich Funeral Home.

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