Nathaniel Sisson Eek
NATHANIEL SISSON EEK Nathaniel Sisson Eek, the younger son of Lauris Martin and Donna Sisson Eek, died April 30th in Santa Fe, NM, after a short illness. Born October 16th, 1927 in Maryville, MO, he attended Elgin Academy in Elgin, IL. He went on to receive Bachelor's degrees from the University of Chicago and Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, a Master's from Northwestern and a Doctorate from Ohio State University. He served as the director of the Studio Theater at the University of Kansas and as an Asst. Professor of Speech at Michigan State University before being named Director of the School of Drama at the University of Oklahoma in 1962. He was appointed Dean of the College of Fine Arts at OU in 1976, stepping down in 1991 shortly before his retirement in 1993. Eek served in the US Naval Reserve, mustering out in 1946 as a Seaman First Class and later in the US Army as an Artillery officer in the Korean conflict after which he received an honorable discharge as a 1st Lieutenant. He met Patricia Ann Fulton while attending Northwestern and married her in May of 1952. Together they had three children; Robert, Konrad and Erik. Active throughout much of his life as an author, he wrote the column Musings for the Norman Transcript in Norman, OK starting in 1979. He produced a number of works related to his professional field, the theatre. Eek also recently completed his memoirs, entitled "Life is to be lived". Eek served on numerous boards related to the Fine Arts and Higher Education including those of the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute and the International Association of Fine Arts Deans. He remained active in ASSITEJ, International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People, throughout much of his life, serving as its President from 1972 to 1975 and penning much of the organization's history in a three volume collection. He attended this organization's world congresses religiously including the most recent one in Warsaw, Poland in 2014. He established a second home in Santa Fe, NM in 1989 and slowly increased the time he spent there until he became a fulltime resident in 2009. A regular attendee of the Santa Fe Opera as well as other local cultural events, he also attempted to increase the amount of available theater in the community by organizing performances and directed readings. He also mentored children through ReCAP school reading program at the Aspen public school as well as serving in other local service and social organizations. A gracious host and creative chef, invitations to his parties were a widely coveted commodity. Whether clad in sartorial splendor or engaged in witty repartee or merely playing a game with acuity and finesse, he always added energy and joy to any gathering he attended. Perchance appearing foolish, he was never the fool and his charm and warmth made him friends with even the most hard-hearted of souls. His presence could fill a space of any size and his humor could bring a smile to the most melancholy of spirits. Nat leaves a worldwide network of family and friends who will sorely miss his charm, grace and social engagement as well as his facetious grin. No words can truly capture all of his life experience or his humanity and compassion. He only sought to leave this place better off than how he found it. In that he has succeeded magnificently. He is preceded in death by his parents, wife and son Robert. He is survived by his brother Lauris M. Eek Jr. and wife Dorothy, of Vienna, VA, brother-in-law James Rothermel of Naperville, IL, son Konrad and his wife Darra of Norman, OK, son Erik of Leipzig, Germany, daughter-in-law Elisabeth of Herndon, VA, Grandchildren Guillaume, Katy, TX, Eleonore, Herndon, VA, Justin Lund and wife Marianna, Tulsa, OK and Courtney Lund, Oklahoma City, OK A mass of the resurrection in celebration of Nathaniel will be held at the Church of the Holy Faith, at 311 E. Palace, Santa Fe, NM, at 2 p.m. on June 5th, 2015. In lieu of flowers, the family gratefully requests donations for the ASSITEJ Award for Artistic Excellence, care of nateekmemorial.com
Published by Santa Fe New Mexican from May 7 to May 8, 2015.
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13 Entries
Nat was a special person, friend and neighbor. He was always so kind and gracious and yet so thought provoking. The world shall miss this gentle spirit. I was blessed to have known him. Now cracks a noble heart. Goodnight, sweet prince;
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.
April 14, 2016
I knew Nat in the mid 50's when we were both at Northwestern. He was so smart and so kind and while I did not see him after that we kept with each other about our Northwestern oolleagues. I did not know of his death until my Christmas card was returned. Please know I am so sorry to have lost such a friend . Iam so proud of his contributions to the arts all of his life. Carolyn Hopkins Walton, Dallas,Tx
January 5, 2016
As an ICFAD colleague for many years, I extend condolences to Nat's family and wish him an eternity of peace.
Bennett Lentczner
September 11, 2015
To Dearest Nat, Norwegians would say, "Takk for Alt," thanks for everything. To family and friends, sincere condolences. May he live on in the hearts and memories of all who knew him, and in the words he left behind.
Steve Blake
July 14, 2015
Nat remains an inspiration to all of us who had the honor of studying theatre with him at OU. His encouragement was constant, and his sense of fun was infectious. Wow, could he entertain! I will always be grateful that Nat remained a part of my life.
Janey Richaards
June 26, 2015
Nay was a rebel and a chance-taker. He always encouraged me to go the direction I felt I should go in theatre...take the chance and learn from it. I will always remember OU and Marst/Sade...what a noise he made with that ! Thank you, Nat Eek...
Chuck Lytle
June 22, 2015
I knew him as teacher and friend. And I will miss him.
Dorothy Klippell
May 15, 2015
It was my honor to serve as Associate Dean when Nat was Dean of Fine Arts at OU. He was a special person, a mentor, and a friend. We kept in touch through the years and will always remember our last visit with him in Santa Fe a few years ago.
E. L. Lancaster
May 15, 2015
I spent two wonderful summers in Santa Fe with Dr. Eek and Dr. Mathis. I also did a show at Rupel Jones directed by Dr. Eek. It was Lend Me A Tenor. I will always remember Dr. Eek with great respect and fondness. Actually Dr. Eek was at OU the first time I attended in the 60s and then again when I returned in the early 90s.
carl Siberts
May 14, 2015
I regret not having made an effort to become acquainted with Mr. Eek, who left me a very complimentary phone message when my guidebook on literary Santa Fe was published in 2007. I always hoped our paths would cross, and, as his name was unusual, I knew I would not forget it. Now reading about him, it seems he was an unforgettable person. May he rest in peace and in the hearts of all who loved him.
Barbara Harrelson
May 13, 2015
My boss for 15 years, he was patient, kind, generous, and an excellent teacher. Most of all, he was my friend. I am glad the last words I spoke to him in January were, I love you.
Gretta Saunders
May 12, 2015
He was a very nice friend, excellent cook and host and a wonderful traveling companion, he will be missed.
jon gurrola
May 10, 2015
Nat was an original. He was my teacher, my director, my dean and my friend. What a special and honest person. He blessed my life
rich taylor
May 8, 2015
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