Helge Liane Gunther, 88, Former President of the Delaware Valley Translators Association

Helge Liane Gunther

Portions of the following were published on the website of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Helge Liane Gunther, 88, a past administrator of ATA’s German Language Division and former president of the Delaware Valley Translators Association, died on July 21, 2017.

Born on July 27, 1928 in Stettin, Germany (now Szczecin, Poland), she was the daughter of Helmut Hoffmann, a chemist, and Hildegard Bockow, a teacher. Helge grew up in Berlin, but fled to the safety of the Austrian Alps during World War II when the Royal Air Force bombed Germany’s capital.

She received a BS in agriculture (1954) and an MS in agricultural bacteriology (1956) from the University of Leeds. In 1958, she earned a PhD in microbiology from Queen Elizabeth College, the University of London. Soon after finishing her studies, she married Wolfgang H.H. Gunther, and the couple immigrated to America. She became a U.S. citizen in 1964.

Helge joined the pharmacology department at Yale University Medical School as a research associate. While at the university, she studied the effects of radiation on DNA, a new field of scientific inquiry at the time. She juggled her academic life with rearing two children.

When her husband joined Xerox Corporation, the family moved to Webster, New York, where she was active as a Cub Scout leader. She also volunteered as a literacy tutor, helping teenagers struggling with English as a second language.

She served six years on the Webster Board of Education, while also establishing a business as a freelance German<>English translator of scientific documents. Helge moved the family to the Philadelphia area in 1987, when her husband began working at Eastman Kodak Company.

Helge joined DVTA in 1988, and was elected to the association’s board of directors in 1989. She served as DVTA’s president from 1990 until 1993. She also served as the administrator of ATA’s German Language Division from 1998-2000. She was an ATA-certified German>English translator.

Helge authored and coauthored several scholarly articles on translation and microbiology. In addition to ATA and DVTA, she was a member of the American Society of Microbiology.

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