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Obituary Dr. Edi Gobec (1926 - 2020)

On Saturday, December 13, 2020, Dr. Edi Gobec, an esteemed Slovenian American philosopher, sociologist and anthropologist, a professor emeritus at Kent State University, has died at the age of 94 in his home in Cleveland.

Dr. Gobec was one of the founders and Director of the Slovenian-American Research Center and for decades selflessly researched, collected and archived data on Slovenian immigrants across the Atlantic and their descendants, who left a strong mark in the United States through creative work in various fields.

He collected his findings in the book "Slovenian American Inventors and Innovators" and he also donated an important part of the collected archival documentation to the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia. He was also a prolific author of numerous articles and independent publications on the Slovene national community in the USA and their descendants, the most famous being his publication "I am proud to be a Slovene".

Dr. Gobec was born on July 25, 1926 in Celje, spent his youth in Tržišče near Rogaška Slatina, and in the last years before the World War II as a student in Maribor. In the autumn of 1943 he was forced to go to a German labor camp, a year later he was again forcibly mobilized into the German army. He ended up in southern France, where he fled to the French partisans and then to the British army. After the war, he completed high school in Italy and in 1950 immigrated to the United States. He studied philosophy, sociology, and anthropology at several universities and in 1962 received his doctorate from Columbus State University. He created a family with prof. Milena, née Osenar. As a member of the Slovenian Theological Academy in Rome, the Academy of Sciences in New York, and has been since 1970 inscribed on the national list of famous Americans.

Order of Merit

In August 2020, the Consul General of the Republic of Slovenia in the USA Alenka Jerak, has on behalf of President Borut Pahor, presented him with a high state decoration the Order of Merit for his life's work and contribution to Slovenia's recognition about the achievements of Slovenes in the world.