Retired U professor found dead in shed

by Emily Ayshford

A retired University professor was found dead Monday in a burned-out shed behind his house in Amherst, Mass.

A medical examination revealed William Mishler, 62, died of acute smoke inhalation, according to a press release from the Amherst Police Department.

“Nothing was found at the scene to indicate any type of foul play,” said police Sgt. Ronald Young.

Fire Chief Keith Hoyle said the shed had already burned down by the time firefighters arrived at the residence.

Young said investigators were trying to find the cause of the fire.

Mishler was a professor of Scandinavian literature and film at the University. He retired in spring 2002 and moved to Amherst.

Monika Zagar, associate professor in the department of German, Scandinavian and Dutch, called Mishler a “good friend and colleague.”

“We are going to miss him,” she said.

A prize-winning translator of contemporary Norwegian poetry and plays, Mishler specialized in the work of Henrik Ibsen and the films of Ingmar Bergman and Carl Dreyer.

Mishler received his doctorate in Scandinavian from the University in 1971 and became an assistant professor with the department until he was promoted to associate professor in 1976. He remained in that position until his retirement.

“He was a very popular teacher,” Zagar said.