Wolter, Jan Dithmar
Jan Wolter, 55, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, passed away peacefully on Thursday January 1, 2015, surrounded by his life-partner, Valerie Mates, and his brothers Klaus Wolter and Niels Wolter. Jan was born on January 31, 1959 in Ann Arbor. He graduated from Huron High School in 1977, and went on to earn a bachelor's degree, master's degree, and, in 1988, a PhD in computer engineering from the University of Michigan.
Jan was active for much of his life in the on-line community, where he was regarded by many as a voice of reason, calm, and thoughtfulness. He had a gift for saying things clearly, and for thinking through an issue to its resolution. He was a talented programmer who helped create and build many online communities, including M-Net, Grex, and WebPBN. From 1988 to 1995 he was a professor at Texas A&M University. Jan was a teacher who cared deeply about making sure his students understood the material. He was also a devoted father who loved his family and wanted them to be happy. He enjoyed reading science fiction and was working on writing his own science fiction novel. He also enjoyed walking in the park every Saturday morning, in all weather throughout the seasons of each year, with people he knew from on-line on the weekly Grexwalk.
Jan is survived by his life-partner, Valerie Mates, and their three children, Arlo Mates, Kendra Wolter, and Corbin Mates; his brothers Klaus Wolter (Deborah) of Dexter, Michigan; and Niels Wolter (Jill Andersen) of Madison, Wisconsin; his sister-in-law, Olivia Mathews (Alexander) of Newton, Massachusetts, his mother-in-law, Barbara Mates, of New York City; and nieces and nephews Keane Wolter, Kara Wolter, Johannes Wolter, Halle Andersen, Sutton Andersen, Ariana Mathews, Damian Mathews, and Torey Mathews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Reimer and Lotte Wolter, and his sister, Maria Wolter.
A memorial service where people can share their memories of him will take place at Cobblestone Farm on Sunday January 11, 2015, at 2:00 p.m.
Some options in lieu of flowers:
• Take a CPR class, and keep your CPR certification up to date over the years.
• Make a donation to Food Gatherers in his name.
• Make a donation to the Specialty Food Pantry at Jewish Family Services in Ann Arbor in his name.
• Make a donation to the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum in his name.
• A group is looking into putting a bench in Gallup Park on the Saturday Morning Walk route, with a plaque remembering Jan.