Cover photo for Kristen Dortheus Juul's Obituary
Kristen Dortheus Juul Profile Photo
1923 Kristen 2020

Kristen Dortheus Juul

August 2, 1923 — March 19, 2020

Carbondale - Kristen “Kris” Dortheus Juul, of Carbondale, died peacefully in his sleep at home on March 19, 2020 following a long illness.

Kris was born on August 2, 1923 in Rjukan, Norway to Hans and Olga (Gjertsen) Juul. The youngest of eight children, he grew up in Årøsund, a small village on an island in the Oslo Fjord. It was there that he excelled in his studies, graduating from the gymnasium (high school) as the top student in Norway. At that time Norway became involved in WWII when it was invaded by Germany. Kris actively participated in the resistance movement and was later recognized as a hero for risking his life to protect his village from the Nazis. Following graduation, Kris escaped to Sweden and then flew to England where he joined the Royal Norwegian Airforce. While stationed in England he oversaw German prisoners of war and served as a geographer, providing maps for Allied forces.

In 1947 Kris was offered a scholarship to Western Michigan College, where he graduated in 1948 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He then moved to Detroit, Michigan, where he worked with disadvantaged and at-risk youth in centers and hospitals while completing his PhD in Educational Psychology at Wayne State University. In 1960 Kris became Special Education Director at Western Michigan University. On April 9, 1965, 25 years after the Nazi’s invaded Norway, Kris married the love of his life, Joan Chapman, a German. They married exactly 25 years after Germany invaded Norway and he often boasted that the marriage was Norway’s counterattack.

In 1970 Kris accepted a position as professor of Special Education at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. After his retirement in 1991, he continued prolific writing for both national and international journals, sharing his ideas and wisdom about how various institutions, both in the U.S. and European Countries, dealt effectively with both children and adults who had special needs.

Kris was active in numerous national and international educational and humanitarian organizations, including the International Council for Exceptional Children and the United Nations Association, where he was instrumental in bringing the US into the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Kris received many awards and recognitions, and one of the most meaningful to him was when, in March of 2018, he was recognized by the Veterans Honor Flight of Southern Illinois for his service as an Allied soldier. Just weeks before his passing he received recognition from the United Nations Association of Southern Illinois for his efforts to improve the lives around him, locally and globally.

Kris was much loved by his family, students, and many friends. He will be remembered for his unconditional love, support, kindness, wisdom, compassion, intelligence, and his incredible sense of humor. He loved making people smile, and had a special place in his heart for animals, especially for his grand dogs. As friends stated, his kind voice and his capacity of calming all those who were near was an inspiration; his believing in people, both as individuals and as a collective, was not only his conviction, but also his practice. He was unique, one of a kind, in humor, intelligence and warmth, and keen understanding. His smile always came with eyes that seemed to sparkle.

Kris was preceded in death by his parents, siblings, and his niece, Karin. He is survived by his wife, Joan, of Carbondale; daughters, Katharine Juul and Bonnie Juul, both of Carbondale; sister-in-law, Jean Morris, of Kalamazoo, Michigan; special nephew, Paul (Tarryn) Sevik, of Fort Montgomery, New York; and many beloved nieces and nephews, in Norway, Spain, and the US.

The family wishes to thank the wonderful care Kris received from his caregivers and nurses from Residential Hospice and the Illinois Division of Rehabilitation Services. Per his request, an “elegant party”/Celebration of Life will be held in his honor, but at a later date due to the COVID-19 restrictions.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship; For Kids’ Sake, a project that helps children, schools and orphanages in Bangladesh; and Camphill Village Copake, a community for people with special needs that celebrates and honors the uniqueness, dignity and spiritual integrity of each individual.

Meredith Funeral Home in Carbondale assisted the family with arrangements.

To leave a story or memory of Jerry visit

To order memorial trees in memory of Kristen Dortheus Juul, please visit our tree store.


Photo Gallery

Visits: 4

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree

Send With Love

Send With Love