Art White, a true gentle man and a gentleman. And, yes, he was a scholar. He touched many lives, including mine. I will always remember him with great fondness and respect.
My sympathy to your family. May God bless all of you.
OSF Hospece Volunter
My dad's lifetime spanned an incredible time our in history. He was born into a time where the major mode of transportation, for many, was still the horse. My Grandfather in fact was a postman who delivered the mail by horse drawn wagon. It was a time when airplanes were just starting to fly, where there were no computers or cell phones or televisions and where discrimination against people was practiced and protected in our country.
He would live to see a time where cars are everywhere, his oldest son makes his living programing computers, I make my living flying jet aircraft non-stop 6000 miles around the globe, where we have been to the Moon and back, where kids wear computers on their belts and where a black man was elected as president of the United States. A day, I will add, where dad told me he cried tears of joy.
He was born into a generation, which lived thru the great depression; dad tells of getting an orange as his one and only present one Christmas. A generation, which went off to war; dad served in the Army in North Africa and Italy in WWII. It was a sturdy generation, a hard working generation, and a “don't bother the kids, we can take care of ourselves” generation.
As evidence to that fact, I tell a story from 7 years ago when dad was 87. My family was still living out in Oregon, it was June, and we were planning our summer family vacation to come to Illinois to see mom and dad. It was a Tuesday night and I was on a layover in HNL and talking to my wife Lara in Portland. She said I might want to call mom to work our some logistics for the trip. I called back to Normal and talked with mom for twenty minutes or so and mom finally said, “well your dad is not here right now.” I ask if he was out for a walk perhaps. Mom replied “no he was at church Sunday morning, this is Tuesday night as I mentioned, and was not feeling well so they took him to the hospital,” Oh I replied, did one of the other parishioners take him?, “Well no, I think he may have mentioned he was having a heart attach and they called 911” Have you called Mark I ask. “Oh no your father and I did not want to bother you boys”
I learned many things from dad growing up. But as I reflect on this, it was indeed both mom and dad who taught me equally these many things. That is a lesson in and of itself. To be raised by two strong and engaged parents, working together to raise their children. These ideas have become my core beliefs in life. Ideas, which I hope I have leaned and that I hope I can also impart to their grandchildren, Adam, James and Grace. They taught me mostly by their actions, but also with their words.
Dad taught me to be honest, open and polite in all my dealings with people. He taught me to work hard and to try to be a good husband and father. The most important thing I learned from dad however is this, to respect all people, no matter who they are, how they look, their education or their position in life. In short, he taught me that the worth of a person is not in the title they hold, but in the content of their character.
I will remember many things about my dad. I will remember watching him practice his speeches in front of the mirror. I will remember watching him do a magnificent job teaching a freshman speech class after he retired from being Dean of the Graduate School. I will remember him warmly greeting all of my friends into our home. I will remember us going to Cubs games together. I will remember that he never missed one of my baseball games growing up. I will remember the joy he got from watching his three grandchildren.
I will remember these things and I will miss him greatly.
I am very sorry I could not attend Art's visitation with my husband, John. I have fond memories of Art and just want to express my deepest sympathy to you, Lois, and to your sons and their families. I am thinking about you at this time.
Lois, Mark and John - The Roderick family remembers Art from ISU and the School Street neighborhood. He and Lois were great neighbors. We are sorry for your loss. Becky (Roderick) Ehredt on behalf of the Roderick family