You reached this page through the archive. Click here to return to the archive.

Note: This article is over a year old and information contained in it may no longer be accurate. Please use the contact information in the lower-left corner to verify any information in this article.

Hong funeral to be streamed online

By David Gonnerman '90
March 16, 2010

Edna Hatlestad Hong '38 and Howard Hong '34 devoted their lives to translating the work of Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard.

St. Olaf Professor Emeritus of Philosophy Howard Hong '34 died March 16 while in hospice care in Northfield. He was 97 years old. A funeral will be held at St. Olaf Saturday, March 27, at 11 a.m. in Boe Memorial Chapel. The service will be streamed live and archived online.

Hong, who retired from the faculty in 1978, is best remembered for founding, along with late wife Edna Hatlestad Hong '38, the Howard and Edna Hong Søren Kierkegaard Library at St. Olaf. The library was established in 1976 to house what had been the Hongs' personal book collection that reconstituted the 19th-century Danish philosopher's library. Today the research facility, with some 11,000 volumes, is the largest Kierkegaard collection under one roof -- second only to the Royal Library in Copenhagen.

The Hongs devoted their lives to providing a new English translation of Kierkegaard's writings. Their first large-scale Kierkegaard project was the seven-volume Søren Kierkegaard's Journals and Papers, the first volume of which won a National Book Award in 1968. The couple also translated Kierkegaard's Writings, the 26-volume edition of the philosopher's complete works that was completed in 2000.

Read his full obituary, Star Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio stories, and more about the Hongs in the winter 2006 St. Olaf Magazine. Also view a nearly 80-minute oral history video of Hong that was produced by the Northfield Historical Society.

Contact David Gonnerman at 507-786-3315 or