Stanley Insler

stanley insler
It is with great sadness that the Insler family mourns the passing of Stanley Insler, the Salisbury Professor Emeritus of Sanskrit and Comparative Philology at Yale. Son of Clara and Frank Insler, Stanley was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He attended the Bronx High School of Science, leaving at 16 to attend Columbia University on a Ford Foundation scholarship. Graduating in 1957, he received his Ph.D from Yale University in 1963 after two years of postgraduate study at the University of Tubingen, Germany. Joining the Yale faculty in 1963, he served two terms at the chair of the Department of Linguistics. Among his many achievements, he is known for his translation of the Gathas, the sacred text of the Zoroastrians. His translation made this classic text accessible to many Parsees, or modern Zoroastrians, many of whom live in London and Bombay. Long-time treasurer of the American Oriental Society, Professor Insler was an active fellow of Jonathan Edwards College and an enthusiastic participant at the Henry Koerner Center for Emeritus Faculty. He is survived by his sister Thelma (Toby) Koenigsberg, his nieces Carol Koenigsberg and Diane Edwards, his nephew Stuart Koenigsberg, and his life partner William C. Sanford. Professor Insler was interred in All Saints Cemetery, North Haven, CT on January 8. A memorial service celebrating his life and memory will be held on Saturday, April 13 in the Centennial Room at the Quinnipiac Club, 221 Church St., New Haven, CT. Preceded by half an hour of music, the service will begin at 4:00 p.m. and a reception will follow in the library. Contributions in Stanley's memory may be made to CT Hospice or the American Cancer Society.

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  1. Dear Mr. Sanford, and the Family of Professor Insler,
    I was very sorry indeed to hear that he has departed this life. Having lost my husband a few years ago, I know how difficult a time this must be for you. I hope it eases your grief to know that many, many people (who are not scholars) including myself, admired not only his intellect, but also the generosity with which he shared his knowledge, his kindness, and his sense of humor. He made a huge difference in the study of the Gathas of Zarathushtra with his insightful translation (1975), which has evoked (and contiues to evoke) the gratitude and admiration of Zoroastrians world wide. An Indian poet Tagore said .Death is not the end. It is putting out the candle because the dawn has come.. I wish Professor Insler and you the very best in your on–going adventures. Dina G. McIntyre.

  2. So sorry about Stanley. He and I became friends about 10 years ago. We shared many a lunch together. I enjoyed his erudition and humor , and loved to introduce him to films. I’ll miss him very much. Chris Sharrett

  3. Stanley and Bill were true friends with whom I spent many, many enjoyable hours during my time at Yale. I will miss him terribly, and my deepest condolences to Bill and the rest of the family.

  4. Stanley would make us laugh…. like no one else. May his memory be for a blessing to Bill, his friends and family and to all who knew this delightful, brilliant person.

  5. In memory of my dear friend and mentor, Professor Stanley Insler. I will miss you. You taught me so much and I thank you for our friendship and wonderful memories. One of Stanley’s most memorable words to me were .be nice to everyone. from the janitor to the President. He, himself was an accomplished world renowned linguist, well traveled, meeting many dignitaries and status didn’t mean much to him, the human soul was the important piece. He truly embodied a scholar and a gentleman. His legacy lives on in me and those who had the lucky pleasure of knowing him.

  6. What a light in the JE fellowship Stanley was! He will be sorely missed by my wife, Liz, and I, as well as the rest of the JE Fellowship. We deeply enjoyed every conversation we ever had with him. I don’t think I’ve ever finished one without having been enlightened, enlivened, and amused by the end of it. Stanley was a wonderful person and a wonderful friend, I am glad to have been able to spend a little time with him along his journey.

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