The Free Press, Mankato, MN

News Ticker


November 2, 2013

Dr. Norman E. Pietan

— Norman E. Pietan, Ph. D.

    Dr. Norman E. Pietan, Emeritus Professor of Art at Mankato State University died, Friday, October 25, 2013 at Mayo Clinic Health System - Mankato.

    A memorial visitation celebrating Norman's life will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 9, 2013 at the Mankato Mortuary.  Burial will be in Lakeside Cemetery in Fairmont, MN at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to an organization that will benefit children, such as CARE, Save the Children, UNICEF or donor's choice.

    Norman was born on November 9, 1920 at the family farm in Silver Lake Township south of Fairmont, the son of Henry and Clara (Sorensen) Pietan.  He attended Amber Lake District 21 rural school, Fairmont High School and then the University of Minnesota where he graduated in 1943.  At the University he served as an undergraduate teaching assistant in the Art Department, and during his senior year was Art Editor of the MINNESOTA DAILY.

    Norman Pietan had a scholarship to Columbia University in New York City where he earned his Master of Arts degree in 1945 and his Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1950 in the area of Humanities.  Later he spent a post-doctoral year studying at the University of California in Berkeley.

    He began his teaching career in 1945 at Silver Spring Intermediate School in Silver Spring, Maryland, where he founded the Inter-Racial Club.  In addition, Norman taught at Mills College also in Oakland, at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, and lastly as Professor of Art at Mankato State University from 1965 to 1983.  At various times during those years he taught English, Social Studies, Humanities, Design, Photography, Art History and Introduction to Art.  During those years, also, he did extensive travel, particularly to study works of art in Europe, Egypt, and the Middle East, Asia and the United States.

    Norman is survived by his adopted family, David (Nancy) Ouyang and their children, Grace, Dennis, Angela, Timothy, and Joshua of Mankato; nephews, Jerry (Mary) Pietan of Jacksonville, FL, Jim (Kim) Pietan of Nicollet, Randy (Marcia) Musser of Fairmont; nieces, Sandy Fritz of New Ulm, Pam Pietan of Mankato, and Jo Pietan of Lake Crystal; and cousins in the USA and Denmark, all of whom he appreciates but are too numerous to mention individually.

    Norman was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Clara Pietan; brother and sister-in-law, Ervin (Irene) Pietan of Wells; sister and brother-in-law, Nina (Warren) Musser of Fairmont; and nephew, Mike Pietan of Mankato.

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