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John Root

John Gower Root Sr.

1925 - 2014 SOUTH EGREMONT John Gower Root Sr., 89, died peacefully in his sleep at home on June 29, 2014. Johnny, as he was known, was born in Paris, France, on April 20, 1925, the first child of Waldo and Jean Gower Root. He grew up in New York City and Egremont, graduated from Bowdoin College, received a master's degree from University of Maryland and began a PhD at Columbia University, stopping to take a teaching job at the Rudolf Steiner School in New York City, where for the next 25 years, he taught history, literature, and many other subjects. In 1948, he married Nancy Mitchell and they spent 66 very happy years together devoted to anthroposophy. After moving to South Egremont in 1981, Johnny helped found the Antioch/New England graduate program in Waldorf Education. He and Nancy initiated and supported progressive projects in agriculture, including the very first CSA, which was conceived of in their living room, land trusts, recycling and wind-energy. They took care of a number of adults with disabilities as part of a life-sharing intentional community. Johnny was a gifted teacher and mentor who inspired generations of students. His idealism and strong principles drew his students and many others to him. His great depth as a thinker and his warm heart were matched by his wonderful wit and love of language. One of his great pleasures was making people laugh. He was a gifted tenor singer and loved cars and vehicles of all kinds. Johnny is survived by his wife, Nancy; their three children and their partners, John (Rose Stanley, and also Christina Palmadesso Root), Ann-Elizabeth (Richard Meyers) and Christina (Don Jamison), 11 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. He also leaves a large community of friends and fellow visionaries whose work he admired. The family would like to thank Stephen Maye, Hospice Care in the Berkshires, and Andrea Black. Donations in his memory may be made to one of the following organizations, all dear to his heart: The Berkshire-Taconic Branch of the Anthroposophical Society, P.O Box 721, Philmont, NY, 12565; The Christian Community Church, 10 River Lane, Hillsdale, NY 12529; The Actors' Ensemble, 1548 Harlemville Road, Chatham, NY 12037; and Common Good Finance, P.O. Box 21, Ashfield, MA 01330.

Published in The Berkshire Eagle on July 9, 2014
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