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Dennis E. Showalter, 77

Dennis Edwin Showalter, age 77, of Colorado Springs, CO prominent military historian, died Dec. 30, 2019, from the effects of esophageal cancer.

Showalter was born Feb. 12, 1942, in Delano, to Edwin Showalter and Ann Frances Jaunich. His first public appearance saw him become the Minnesota state spelling champion in 1954. Already entranced by lead soldiers and their orders of battle, the trip to the spelling nationals in Washington, D.C., inspired a love of history that would guide him through life.

In 1959, after graduating from Delano schools, he earned a bachelor of arts degree in history at St. John’s University, Collegeville, in 1963. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota in 1969 with the help of Woodrow Wilson, Danforth, and Fulbright fellowships.

He began his teaching career that year at Colorado College and embarked on a journey that took him to the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, The US Air Force Academy, The US Military Academy, Marine Corps University, Norwich University, and teaching and research institutions all over the world.

In 1993, he and Sir Huw Strachan of Oxford University and the University of St. Andrews (Scotland) were founding co-editors of the journal War in History. He was a past president of the Society for Military History and a fellow of the Alexander Humboldt Stiftung. In 2018, the Pritzker Military Museum and Library honored him with the top international award in his field, the Pritzker Prize for lifetime achievement in military history writing.

He is a professor emeritus of Colorado College and received numerous awards from the college and its students.

His first love was his students. The desire to take them as far as he could in developing thinking and life skills that would lead to their success gave his life meaning and he valued each of them as a special person.

Showalter is survived by Clara Anne McKenna, to whom he was married for 54 years, daughter Clara Kathleen Showalter of Austin, Texas, and son John Edwin Showalter of Colorado Springs; cousin Barbara Magnuson of Minnetonka, Minnesota, his special family of Shelia Armond as well as her grandchildren James and Isadora, and the countless students whom he encouraged to excel with integrity.

Services took place Jan. 28, 2020, at 2 p.m. at Swan-Law Funeral Home, 501 N. Cascade Ave., Rev. Bruce Coriell presiding.

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