Tor Faegre was a skilled craftsman, a gifted artist, a curious traveler (with his wife Sue), and a committed activist. He died of leukemia, at home, on October 14, 2009. He was born April 12, 1941. An Evanston resident for more than 30 years, Tor is widely known for his distinctive hand-made rustic furniture, especially twig furniture built using materials gathered from abandoned lots, local riverbanks, and other forgotten places. "The trees and I collaborate to produce a piece of furniture," he would explain. Tor was 16 when he built his first table, using spruce poles cut from the woods near his New Hampshire home, and he has never stopped. Furniture making was the visible expression of wide-ranging interests, academic and otherwise. He studied anthropology at Northwestern, with an emphasis on "material culture." He worked as a union carpenter and independently contracted to build additions and create indoor sculptural pieces of function and beauty. Later, he primarily focused on furniture-making and other arts. Tor's intense interest in furniture led him to India to study Mudha chairs and stools, and to Mexico to learn about equipale, a common latticework peasant chair. Tor wrote and illustrated a book, "Tents, the Architecture of the Nomad", published in 1979 which continues to be considered to be one of the leading sources of information about nomadic tents and their construction. Tor's life-long commitment to equality and social justice led to his active involvement in numerous peace and political initiatives over the years. Most important, Tor had an unswerving and loving commitment to his wife Sue, his family, friends, and the numerous communities of which he was a treasured member. It was a treat to simply share a cup of coffee and conversation with him. A generous, gentle, thoughtful man, Tor will be greatly missed. Tor is survived by his wife, Sue; his stepchildren, Stephanie (Greg), Marc, Cecily (Paul), Christopher; his mother, Meg Barden Cline; his stepmother, Dorothy Faegre; his stepfather, Jerry Cline; his brothers, Dirk, and Aron Faegre, Thad and Josh Cline; his sisters, Margot Faegre and Sarah Cline, a grandson Isaiah Sommers; his nephew, Peter Clinel; wife Patricia and children, Bella, Raven and Axel. There will be a Memorial at Evanston Friends Meeting House, 1010 Greenleaf on November 7 at 3:00 p.m. In honor of Tor, contributions can be made to: St. Francis Catholic Worker, 4652 No. Kenmore, Chicago 60647, Voices for Creative Non Violence, Chicago, SOA Watch (www.soaw.org
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Published by Evanston Review from Oct. 22 to Oct. 29, 2009.