University mourns passing of Oordt

The University community offers its most sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the late Dr. Martin (Marty) Oordt, a founding member of the U of L faculty community, legendary professor of English, and well-known writer, poet, magazine publisher and community volunteer.

The man credited with the birth of the Meliorist, the U of L campus newspaper, passed away Friday, April 8 at age 73. He is survived by his wife Mary, and a daughter, Marya (Oordt) Helm, BA'85, BEd '89.

A celebration of Marty's life will take place on Saturday, Apr. 30, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Galt Museum.

Condolence notes may be left at the Martin Bros website:

He was born in Lynden, WA, in 1938, and received his undergraduate degree at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1960. He took both his masters and doctoral degrees at the University of Kentucky.

During his more than 30-year career at the U of L, Marty influenced many writers and poets through his classroom and on Whetstone, a literary magazine he founded.

He is described by former students as one of those people, that no matter how much time had passed between the last time you chatted with him, you could pick up right where you left off when you saw him next.

A former student who is now a reporter at a major daily newspaper recalled a particularly memorable experience:

"When I was a student at the U of L, I submitted a particularly lazy paper on Alan Ginsberg to Marty. Rather than let it ride, he gave me a little lecture I've never forgotten. It made a big difference and I never thanked him for it. But, Mary, I want you to know how grateful I am for having had Marty as a professor. He will be missed."

With his spouse and long-time business partner Mary, they published Lethbridge Living Magazine from 1997 until 2006, and for years produced the Faculty of Management's magazine, Management Matters, among other publication.