Ginny Marsh ‘67
Excerpt from the speech Ginny delivered at Richard’s funeral:
It has been over thirty years since my classes at DePauw with Richard Peeler ended. It’s not the lines on my transcript or his name on my resume which make a difference, but the immersion he gave me into the consuming practice of the art of making pottery.
Richard Peeler did not have a formal “professorial” appearance. In class, he did wear the token necktie, which was required in those days, but only barely. The clip-on tie often slipped askew or came loose because he didn’t stay still. It was a clue--this man just couldn’t fit himself completely into any mold but his own, and hold on, because what you would learn from him wasn’t to be predicted.
About the second week into my first ceramics class, I told Mr. Peeler that, “This is it, this is what I want to do with my life.” He just looked at me, and I assumed he was wondering how long he had to put up with this kid. But what happened was that he took me seriously.
For the serious student, he was not an easy teacher. He let me struggle. I often labored to discover small points which he could have pointed out. But if he had, it would have left me vulnerable to buffeting by stylish opinions, less definite about my choices and about how to get there. In short, he did not put the lessons in my hand, but he did put them within my reach. The benefits of these lessons sustain me.