Samuel Noel Postlethwait
West Lafayette - Samuel Noel Postlethwait, 100, passed away early in the morning on January 15. Sam was born April 16, 1918 in Willeyville, WV. His parents were Mary Etta Mason Postlethwait and Albert Franklin Postlethwait. Sam was married to Sara Madeline Cover on March 22, 1941. Sara passed on June 2, 2010.
Sam grew up on a 180 acre farm near New Martinsville, WV. He met Sara at Fairmont State Teachers College in 1937 and they married 4 years later. Their interdependence and love for each other was indeed special for all of the 69 years of marriage.
He joined the Navy in '42 and served for over 3 years during WWII. After his service in the military Sam used the GI bill to earn a masters degree at West Virginia University and later a PhD at the University of Iowa. In 1949 he came to Purdue and had a "perfect fit" in the School of Agriculture. One of his proudest professional achievements while at Purdue was the development of a teaching system focused on the learner. He called this model the Audio-tutorial system. He attributes much of the design of this system to his excellent students who "owned" its development. Sam retired from Purdue in 1984. It should be noted that Sam continued to teach informally all those that were fortunate enough to know him and have time with him.
Sam and Sara moved to University Place (UP) in West Lafayette in 2004. Together they enjoyed, and fully valued, their neighbors at UP and the wonderful loving culture of this remarkable living facility. During this time at UP Sam was often in the Celery Bog which is adjacent. He has over 30000 pictures of the park taken over the years while walking with his Tuesday morning "walkers" and close friends. This was a very important aspect of the last several years.
Sam and Sara were members of the Elmwood Avenue Church of Christ from their arrival in Lafayette almost 70 years ago. The church was the center of their lives. Their love and appreciation of the church and the members of the church was boundless; the source of so much richness in their lives and provided "a sense of values that gave us so much comfort in all circumstances".
Sam valued highly Kiwanis Lafayette and West Lafayette and its members. The mission "We build: Changing the World, One Child and One Community at a Time" was near to Sam's heart. Time at the Kiwanis lunches was time well spent in his view; special occasions to be with good people doing good things.
Sam is survived by sons John (Nita) and Bob (Kathi), four granddaughters and eleven great grandchildren.
A Memorial service will be held at Elmwood Avenue Church of Christ at a date to be determined.
You may sign the guest book and leave memories at www.soller-baker.com