David E. Kaser

March 12, 1924March 24, 2017

David E. Kaser, Ph.D., age 93, of Bloomington, died at his residence Friday evening. Born March 12, 1924 in Mishawaka, Indiana, he was the son of Arthur L. and Loah (Steele) Kaser. Dr. Kaser held an A.B. degree in English from Houghton College, a master’s degree in English from Notre Dame and an AMLS and Ph.D. in library science from the University of Michigan. He was a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Indiana University. Both at home and abroad, Dr. Kaser led a more varied existence than the title “librarian” might lead one to expect. At home in the United States he was both an administrator and teacher. He consulted on library-related matters on four continents and researched and published more than a dozen monographs and three hundred articles. His autobiography, “Just Lucky, I Guess My Adventurous Life as a Hoosier Librarian” traces his odyssey from his Indiana childhood, through his World War II service where he fought in combat both in France and Germany, thence to library work at Ball State, Michigan, Washington, Vanderbilt and later as director of libraries at Cornell universities. While serving in the administrative positions at these universities he worked on foreign assignments from Ireland to Laos. All this lead up to his teaching in the School of Library and Information Science at Indiana University where he was much loved and respected by his students. He also authored an additional thirteen books and served in many learned and professional societies. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship and numerous other research grants. Dr. Kaser is survived by one son, John Andrew (companion- Gina Nagy) Kaser, of Bloomington, one daughter, Kathleen “Kathi” Abrell, of Bloomington; three granddaughters, Daphne Rose Watts, Eden (Kevin) Slaughter and Laine (fiancé- Loren Clark) Abrell, three great-grandsons, Noah Watts, Westin Watts and Tucker Watts and three step-granddaughters, Kristal (James) Richardson, Chastity (Jermaine) Millard and Rebecha Gillespie. He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Jane Ann (Jewell) Kaser, one brother, Kent Kaser and one sister, Barbara Standiford. The funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday (04/01) at the Day & Deremiah-Frye Funeral Home; 4150 E. Third St. Friends may visit the family on Friday from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home. A private family burial will follow in Valhalla Memory Gardens where the Monroe Veterans Honor Guard will perform military rites.


  • Gathering of Family and Friends

    Friday, March 31, 2017

  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, April 1, 2017


David E. Kaser

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April 10, 2017

I only was able to take one course from Dr. Kaser. It was apparent, though, from that one course, that I was seated at the knee of one whose entire career was one of zest for learning and the institutions that provided it. It is hard not to think that the sterling quality that SLIS and Indiana University achieved when I attended in '82 was not due to a teacher of his caliber and others that I was privileged to learn from. His was a life that served in ever widening ways. Michael Romary 1983, Ada, Ohio

Marcia Witt

April 7, 2017

My deepest condolences to the family of David Kaser. I fondly remember his History of the Book and Academic Libraries courses as well as his personal stories. He always took time to listen and offer advice to his students. What a gem he was for the profession and an inspiration to me. I will always be grateful to him for helping me become a better professional.
Marcia Witt, MLS 1989, IU-Bloomington

Lisa Bodenheimer

April 6, 2017

My deep condolences to Dr. Kaser's family. I attended library school at IU in 1985-1986. I had the chance to take Dr. Kaser's Academic Libraries class my last semester, and hearing him talk about his work as an academic librarian helped to solidify my own ambitions to work in a university library. I remember some of his stories even now, over 30 years later.

Michael Main

April 4, 2017

One of my "shining star" professors when I took my Masters Degree in 1981. Prof. Kaser, your voice, your upbeat yet measured style of presentation, your considered authority of material presented, and much more have always remained with me as an example of how to present one's body of knowledge, how to respect one's audience, and more. I shall hold you ever in my memory. - Michael D. Main, M.L.S., 1981, Indiana University - Bloomington

Eric L. Mundell

April 4, 2017

One of the most memorable and beloved professors in the IU system and beyond. His kindness, professionalism, and fascination with learning and sharing knowledge left a lasting mark on all who knew him. His was a life incredibly well lived and he will not be forgotten. The world was all the richer for having known him!

April 3, 2017

I loved his History of the Book class!

April 3, 2017

Dr. Kaser was a gifted teacher and an inspiration to his students. I took his History of American Libraries course (and any other course that he taught); he helped to make me the librarian I became -- one who understands the importance of the profession to our society. Marlys (Cresap) Davis, MLS 1976

Steve Cochran

April 3, 2017

Dr. Kaser's "History of the Book" course was one that was not to be missed. His knowledge and enthusiasm were contagious. I'm saddened to hear of his passing, but my! what a long and varied life this man had!

Lorelle Swader

April 3, 2017

So truly sad to hear this. Dr. Kaser was one of my favorites. He was one of my first professional references. Even though I was one of many students he taught, he still took the time to do this for me and it meant so much.

Lorelle (Brown) Swader, MLS 1984

Jane Sharka

April 3, 2017

Like many of his former students, I really enjoyed my classes with Dr. Kaser! he was all the things others have already said - delightful, inspiring, interesting, funny, amazing in his breadth and depth of knowledge, challenging and just a really wonderful person and teacher. The world has lost a real gem and his students, friends, and family have lost a precious loved one. Thank you, Dr. K. The world was a better place for having you in it. Jane Snow Sharka, Class of 1975.


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