Monday, October 19, 2009

We dedicate this issue of the OJDLA to the memory of our dear friend, mentor, and colleague, Dr. Richard "Dwight" Laws, who passed away on March 10, 2008, following a courageous battle with cancer. Dwight served on our OJDLA board for several years, was among our most loved regular attendees of our DLA Conference, and was the first recipient of our Wagner Leadership Award for Distance Learning. Dwight was a most exceptional person whose very presence in a room was calming and awe-inspiring, and made you feel as though you were with a very wise, wonderful, and generous grandpa. In fact, he had nine children, 36 grandchildren, and two great-grand children. In the photo (right), he is at our 2004 DLA Conference holding my own child, Christopher, who was immediately mesmerized by him and did not want him to put him down. Although he leaves a remarkable and inspiring legacy in his work with distance education, it was his humble stewardship and genuine interest in and love for fellow humans that touched the lives of thousands and made him so unforgettable. Dwight was the the Director of Independent Study at Brigham Young University, where he had been employed since 1984. According to his family he showed a "lion's dedication" to teaching children proper principles in living and tried to set an example of how to truly care for others. He is also survived by his wife of 26 years, Linda Heurkens Laws.

We will truly, truly miss our friend.

Peace to all,

Melanie N. Clay, Ph.D.
March 15, 2008

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