A celebration of life for the late WKU professor, Dr. Ed Bohlander

Published: Jul. 27, 2018 at 7:40 PM CDT
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WKU professor Dr. Ed Bohlander passed away in Vietnam after being in a coma for over a month while on vacation there. On Friday, the community remembered his legacy. ​

A roar of laughter is not usually something you hear at a memorial service -- or in this case, "a celebration of his life," said Dr. James Kanan, an associate professor of sociology.

Over 300 people came together Friday afternoon to celebrate the life of the late sociology professor.

"AKA doc, EB, Bo, Ed, professor B, I'm sure there were other names," Grethen LaGodna, Ed's sister.

Bohlander was described as a man of intelligence.

"EB was a true sociologist. By that I mean a man of the world," said LaGodna.

He shared that wealth of knowledge.

"He loved his work and he loved his students," added LaGodna.

His children, Will and Elizabeth, were his pride and joy.

"Gave meaning to his life and he gave them unconditional love everyday," said LaGodna.

Many would say he was a curious, quirky, compassionate soul.

"When EB listened to you, you could see it in his face that he truly cared about what you were saying," said Walter Wurster, Ed's cousin.

Bohlander had a passion for the incarcerated.

"He was the reason I became a criminology major in the first place because he had such a passion and commitment to justice and you could tell that in his teaching," said Michael Shelton, a former student of Bohlander.

This intelligent minded professor, husband, father and friend sure knew how to laugh, according to his friends and family.

"He brought laughter to any situation, and he always refused to take himself too seriously," said LaGodna.

While playing an old voicemail during the service, loved ones got to hear his voice again and relive his personality.

"Weren't you supposed to call me about two weeks ago at one o'clock in the afternoon. I sat here and waited for the phone to ring," said Bohlander in an old voicemail.

Now, as the world lost a great mind on July 1, his legacy will forever carry on.

The College Heights Foundation has a scholarship set up in Ed Bohlander’s name. To donate to it, either stop by the foundation or click