NEWS & UPDATES
Micronesia historian Ballendorf dies at 73
By Joy White
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
HISTORIAN Dr. Dirk Ballendorf passed away in his sleep Monday morning, according to a press release from the University of Guam. He was 73.
Ballendorf, a professor of Micronesian Studies at the University of Guam for 30 years, authored 11 books and more than 200 articles on Micronesian History and Culture. His works include the co-authoring of “A Secret Guam Study,” which required him to sue the Departments of State, Interior, and Defense for documents relating to the political status of Guam.
Ballendorf is survived by his wife Francesca "Paka" Remengesau, daughter Heidi – the Guam Waterworks Authority’s marketing administrator – and son Hans.
Hans Ballendorf recalls his father’s unique sense of humor and wealth of knowledge. “He did a lot with his life. He had a lot of friends around the world,” said the younger Ballendorf. “My dad is a good guy, just a hardworking guy.”
The young Ballendorf recalled that as his father grew older, he was “still always smiling and had a sense of humor and liked to laugh and enjoy sports and things.”
UOG President Dr. Robert Underwood described Ballendorf’s career and contributions to the academic world as “extraordinary.”
“He helped, of course, energize the Micronesian Studies [program],” Underwood said.
Ballendorf served as the president of the College of Micronesia at Pohnpei in the Eastern Caroline Islands in 1977, and then joined the University of Guam in 1979 as director of the Micronesian Area Research Center.
Born in Philadelphia in 1939, Ballendorf received his education at Pennsylvania State College in Westchester and Ateneo de Manila in the Philippines while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer. He received his master’s degree in history from Howard University in Washington D.C. and a doctorate degree in planning and administration from Harvard.