Cliff J. Doerksen, 47, of Oak Park, died on Dec. 17, 2010. A contributing writer to the Chicago Reader and Time Out Chicago, he won the James Beard Foundation Award for best newspaper feature writing in 2010 for “The Real American Pie,” a humorous piece on the history of mince pie.

Mr. Doerksen had recently separated from his wife. An autopsy is being conducted to determine the cause of death.

Born in Canada, he attended Concordia University in Montreal and Princeton University in New Jersey. He published American Babel: Rogue Radio Broadcasters of the Jazz Age in 2005 and taught classes on the media at Northwestern University, Princeton, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. He wrote a humor blog titled, “The Hope Chest.”

Mr. Doerksen married Elspeth Carruthers in 1999 and they had one daughter, Gladys. He is also survived by his parents, Bill and Pat Doerksen, and his brothers, Mark and Mike.

A memorial service is planned for Feb. 10.

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