Saturday, January 07, 2012

Dr George Ball, Distinguished Whitman Professor Dies

I met Dr. George Ball when he attended High Holiday services at the Shul in Walla Walla, he was not Jewish, but was Professor Of Religious Studies at Whitman College and wanted to get a first hand look at the services. He would attend often in years to come, sitting in the back, barely noticed.   Dr Ball was a familiar sight to townspeople, a balding figure on a bike, not the hippest or coolest of bikes, but something seemingly out of the early 60s, before Sting Rays and 10 speeds would hit the streets.  He was often  seen looking through dumpsters for things to recycle.  According to the Seattle Times, his academic career was rather nomadic, before finding a school that was tolerant of what was seen at the time as radical views.  He landed at Whitman College in 1960 where he established the Religious Studies Department, he would stay for 20 years and after his retirement taught Introductory Religion classes and counseled students.  He can be seen in this video the TLC reality series, A Wedding Story conducting the wedding of Trading Spaces Host Paige Davis and her husband
Dr Ball was featured in this Seattle Times feature 10 years ago.   The Times reported that Dr. Ball passed away last Sunday.

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