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Kraft Eberhard Freiherr von Maltzahn

Halifax, N.S. — Kraft Eberhard Freiherr von Maltzahn, 87, died peacefully on April 3, 2013, after a sudden illness at the cardiovascular unit of the Halifax Infirmary, QEII, Nova Scotia.

Born in Rostock, Germany, Kraft was a son of the late Heinrich Freiherr von Maltzahn and Marie-Luise, born Gräfin von Bassewitz. His happy childhood in Mecklenberg, Germany, came to be overshadowed by the political developments of the 1930s, the wide destruction of the Second World War, and his eventual service in the German army. Following studies at the universities of Cologne and Zürich, he completed his doctorate in biology at Yale (1954). He went to Halifax in 1954 as assistant professor of botany in the Biology Department of Dalhousie University. He served as Head and then Chair of that department from 1963-1972. In 1979, he joined the faculty of the University of King’s College (Halifax) as Carnegie Professor, from which he retired as Inglis Professor in 1991.

In 1948, Kraft met his wife, Anne McCallum (formerly of Hanover), in Zürich, Switzerland where they were both studying. They were married in 1949 at the Church of Christ at Dartmouth College.

His commitment to education was especially deep and included his contribution as one of the Founders of the Halifax Grammar School.. In mid-career he became ever more interested in the human experience of nature, beyond narrower science, which reflections found expression in his book, Nature as Landscape: Dwelling and Understanding (1994).

Kraft was pre-deceased by his brothers, Hasso and Ekhard. He is survived by his wife, Anne; his brother, Rüdiger; his children, Christopher (Karen), Margaret Kirby (Torrance), and Nicholas (Sarah); his seven grandchildren - Maia,(Sam Stewart), Alex and Anna von Maltzahn; Elizabeth and Kate Kirby; Clara and Isobel von Maltzahn; his sisters-in-law and brother-in-law, Uta Freifrau von Maltzahn, Ingeborg Freifrau von Maltzahn, Alison and Don May, of Norwich, Carolyn McCallum (wife of the late Bill McCallum) of Franklin Park, N.J.; and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service for Kraft will be held in the University of King’s College Chapel, Halifax at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 13. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to The University of King’s College Scholarship Fund or to The Halifax Grammar School, Advancement Office.