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Frank Eugene Nacke 










Frank Nacke followed his older sister Marian Nacke Teeter to Black Mountain College in the fall of 1938. He had grown up in Denver, Colorado where his father, a German immigrant, worked as an upholsterer. He also was a fine craftsman and taught his son woodworking in his furniture shop.

Nacke thrived in the intellectual community. In high school he had planned to be a writer but soon decided that with the war raging in Europe, he could best make a contribution by strengthening the American democracy – he was named after the socialist labor leader Eugene V. Debs. He took courses in political science, literature, history, and music. He also worked in the print shop and played basketball, tennis and other sports.

At the end of the first year, Nacke returned to Denver to be with his father in his final illness. After his father’s death he spent the summer at Harvard summer school and sang with the Harvard Choral Society. In Nacke’s second year at Black Mountain he concentrated in his selected area of specialization. He was Student Moderator and thus a member of the governing Board of Fellows in the year that the college had to make a decision about the move to the Lake Eden campus. He also was a student teacher.

Frank Nacke remained at Black Mountain for the 1940 summer to work at the Lake Eden Inn, a summer resort operated by the faculty and students on the college property while the college was still located in the Blue Ridge buildings.

On August 13, 1940 Frank Nacke and Morton Steinau attempted to open the flood gates of the Lake Eden dam in a heavy rain. The boat capsized and both were washed over the dam. Steinau managed to reach land but Nacke did not. His body was found the following morning.








Frank Nacke at Black Mountain College. Photo courtesy North Carolina State Archives, Black Mountain College Papers, 58.12 (detail) 

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