Yesterday, Don’s family and friends were to have held a planned memorial service for Don. I assume, and hope, that everything went off as expected, and that it was a memorable event. If any of this site’s readers were able to attend and would like to share their impressions here, we would welcome news of that event, and any other information about upcoming events that celebrate Don’s life and work.
I want to add as a personal note that, yesterday, one of my current students, who was also one of Don’s former students, came by my office hours. We were chatting about other things when the conversation turned to Don. This particular student is having a difficult go of things this semester, in large part because she deeply misses Don, who was (no surprise) an important mentor for her, who encouraged her work and, as she put it, changed her life forever by being one of her favorite instructors.
At one point, this student wondered aloud whether or not Don considered her “just another student.” This immediately struck me as impossible. Did Don consider any of us “just another” anything? I have to say that I really don’t think so, and I don’t think I am idealizing Don’s memory by saying so. I don’t know that I would say it about many people, but it does seem to me that Don probably did celebrate his students, each and every one, a little more than most. His absence on this campus continues to be felt.