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Correspondence

God and Man at Wabash

On Monday, September 12, my friend and mentor died at the age of 82 from lung cancer after a decade of up-and-down health problems borne without complaint—a man whom I have loved more than any other man but my own father, starting from the time of our first meeting after I matriculated at Wabash College in 1996.

Last April he returned my call from a month or so before, apologizing for not getting back to me sooner: He had been taken to the hospital to undergo chemotherapy, he said, and was sorry for being out of touch.  I saw him shortly thereafter on a visit to Crawfordsville, Indiana, and he was frail—diminished into a Hoosier hobbit—but as sharp as ever for a man who became a lawyer in midlife, taking night classes at his alma mater, Indiana University, while teaching at Wabash during the day.  (After passing the bar he became deputy district prosecutor for the county in which Wabash is located, a job served in addition to his professorial duties.  He once told me it significantly influenced his teaching.  “When one deals with clients who are in trouble, one is compelled to look at all sides of what is involved in that particular case.  The raw power that undergirds the legal justice system requires balanced judgment if it is to serve just ends. That same balanced judgment is equally desirable when teaching a course.”)  Referring to ObamaCare,...

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