Art Pardee, who was known for his words of wisdom and widely-read articles that appeared in this space each month for the last three years, passed away swiftly on Saturday, November 10. It was a very peaceful passing and so deserved by someone so loved. His cheery holiday smile always reminded me of Santa. And, of course, that makes sense, as Art would have celebrated his birthday on December 27. Happy 95th, Art!
Here’s to Art, and his Corner, and his love of the English language. Art shared with me that he was once reprimanded in English class for his poor writing skills. While hard to believe, he said the criticism is what motivated him to work harder and prove that teacher wrong. And I think all of Art’s devoted readers would agree he did just that!
Noted by many for his powers of expression, he was often called upon over the years to write and deliver eulogies for others. Once, in a moment of entrepreneurial zeal, and only half-seriously, he imagined going into business to provide such services. And, with his characteristic wit, the right name came to him immediately. He suggested he call his business, “Depart With Art.”
From “Art’s Corner” to all of you, a good remembrance of an honorable man as he continues to comfort us with these words spoken at his funeral.
Death is nothing at all.
It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Everything remains as it was.
The old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no sorrow in your tone.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was.
There is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.
All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting, when we meet again.
In Memory of Arthur E Pardee Jr
Art was born in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1923. During World War II he served with the U.S. Air Force in Europe. He graduated from Georgetown University and enrolled in a graduate program at George Washington University. Art began his government career with the U.S. Department of State. Art was later appointed Executive Director of the Bureau of International Scientific, Technological and Environmental Affairs. He continued his government career at the National Science Foundation. Following his retirement Art worked for International Science and Technology Policy. Art was a devoted family man and his family always came first. He met his wife Mary while at Georgetown and together they raised, 4 wonderful children who he loved dearly. Art was a true American patriot and loved this country. May God bless Art. Kensington Park will miss the gentle man that Art was and of course Art’s Corner.