Susan Galloway-Blue ‘73
Nothing I say here is going to be enough. Richard and Marj Peeler changed the course of my life. It wasn't just about teaching those pottery classes, although I relied on what Richard taught at DePauw during the entire course of my own teaching career. During my time at DePauw, the Peelers graciously hosted the undergraduates at their home and studio in rural Reelsville, complete with hot dogs around the raku kiln, or a sit-down meal that included running commentary on the handmade dishes in use, many from famous potters. I was able to see lives devoted to art and craft, education and family. It was wonderful! I ended up spending way more time than was reasonable at the old Art Center, changed my major to art, and went on to an MFA in Ceramics. I married another potter, for as Richard said, "potters marry potters", and taught at a small college, with kids and kilns in rural Woodstock, IL. A much better life for me than my original English major would have been!
Richard Peeler left an enduring impression on my life, and the lives of many others. I remember his amazing work ethic, his competence or outright artistry in a panoramic array of fields, his wicked and dry sense of humor, his commitment to family, his abilities as a teacher and mentor in the arts, and his joy and interest in life. Whenever any of us former students would stop by, we were treated like family, sitting out in the studio and talking while the Peelers worked, sharing a meal or a cup of sassafras tea. I feel privileged to have known Richard, and am grateful for the chance to give inadequate thanks for Richard and Marj's gentle inspiration in so many lives.
1973 BA in Art, DePauw University
1975 MFA in Ceramics, Wichita State University
1997 MFA in Visual Arts, Vermont College
1976-2009 Instructor of Ceramics, McHenry County College