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Funeral for a Friend

In the 2022 Festschrift presented to Larry Pettegrew I wrote the following dedication:

 

have had the pleasure of knowing Larry Pettegrew first as a student of his and then, after returning from postgraduate work, as a colleague. From both perspectives I have been charmed by Larry’s commonsense rationality, his fairness toward perspectives with which he disagrees, and his frankness and humility in acknowledging the weaknesses of favored theological positions. But more than that, I have enjoyed his friendship and benefited from his wisdom.

 

It is a good thing to stop and verbally summarize our love and respect for others, to encourage them and thank them for their ministry, knowing that it is too easy merely to appreciate them in silence. When we presented the Festschrift to Larry, I commented—playing off of Doug Bookman’s use of obscure vocabulary in his dedication address—that working for Larry never gave me uhtceare (anxiety that seizes you while awake and awaiting the dawn). Playful as that comment was, it was also heartfelt. As someone who has worked for micromanagers, I so appreciated Larry’s trust in the faculty and his desire to resource us and let our strengths shine. He believed in launching the CRBMI when a small seminary historically had no business investing in such a venture. I fondly remember him half-humorously commenting, “I don’t fully understand all the things that you do, but I think it’s important and I support it.” I will be forever grateful for that academic career-changing perspective.

 

Larry, you will be sorely missed. I look forward to the day we can meet again in joy.

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