Born: March 8, 1941
Died: December 5, 2013

Tom SaineTom Saine was born in Brooklyn but prepared for Yale at Christian Brothers High School in Memphis. He ws the son of Clarence Price Saine and Evelyn Meadows Saine.

He was a resident of Branford and was a member of the Chess Club and Principal Carilloneur, ringing the bells in Harkness Tower. He majored in German and went on for graduate work at University of Tuebingen in Germany and at Rice. He returned to New Haven and earned his M.Ph. and Ph.D. at Yale, finishing in 1968.

Tom was one of those rare and outstanding scholars who stayed on at Yale as assistant and associate professor for six years. After a year at the University of Cincinnati he spent the remainder of his active teaching years at the University of California at Irvine, retiring in 2005. His field was eighteenth-century German culture (history, philosophy, literature and aesthetics) especially in the works of the Sturm und Drang essayist Karl Philipp Moritz, the naturalist who travelled with Captain Cook, Georg Forster, and Goethe.

Tom was active in founding the Goethe Society of North America and the founding editor of the Goethe Yearbook, an important journal dedicated to Goethe scholarship here. The 2014 issue will contain a series of tribute essays. Here is an excerpt by Gail Hart, his colleague in the German Department at U. C. Irvine:

"Tom Saine was not only a scholar of the Goethezeit. He was, as they say, a huge fan of Goethe. He had many books by Goethe, as well as several complete editions. Drawings and Goethe-related images adorned the walls of his study. In the late 1980s, he discovered vanity license plates and was very disappointed to learn from the DMV that someone else in California already had the GOETHE plate. So he ordered GOETHE-1 and proudly affixed it to a series of automobiles. When he bought his first motorcycle in the early 1990s, he did manage to get the GOETHE motorcycle plate; clearly bikers are less interested in the German classics than motorists. After he retired, Tom moved to the outskirts of Dallas in 2010 and soon after he sent me a photo of his Texas license plate. Despite significant German settlement and continued presence in the Lone Star State, no one had yet laid claim to the Texas GOETHE vanity plate and Tom was able to procure this prize. One of the last pictures I have from him shows the license plate on the back of his Infiniti G37S and, reflected in the shiny bumper, triumphant Tom with his camera.

"The sad news from Dallas of Tom Saine's death has brought back some happier memories. Tom became my colleague when he arrived at the University of California, Irvine, in 1975 as an Associate Professor. I had come to Irvine from Yale University a year earlier, fresh out of graduate school. We had barely known one another in New Haven. Tom had been an undergraduate at Yale, then a graduate student, Assistant Professor and, finally, an Associate Professor. With a young family and a demanding research agenda, he arrived in Irvine to join an expanding German Department in a university that had first opened its doors only ten years earlier. Within a year he was promoted to Full Professor and named the department's chair. His academic ambitions dovetailed perfectly with the department's press to establish a top-flight graduate program.

"Tom quickly became a friend. Far more important than the Yale connection was our shared interest in the eighteenth century and in Goethe. Tom was generous in his invitations to join his family on weekends. He proudly shared volumes from his ever-expanding personal library - he was an avid collector - and he loved to talk late into the night about the intellectuals and theological radicals of the German Enlightenment. He happily introduced his friends to one another."

Tom was named a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow in 1983 and a Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies. He was the recipient of the Max Planck Institute Award for History 2009-2010.

Tom, who was divorced, is survived by two sons: Peter, born in 1969 and Jeremy, born in 1973. He resided in Plano, Texas at the time of his death.

Goethe and motorcycles! He had quite a life.

Was man in der Jugend wünscht, hat man im Alter der Fülle.