Tribute to a True Humanist

August 10, 2010

Picture taken by Reba Boyd Wooden.

CFI Indiana Game Night, July 16, 2010: Fred Mandelkorn, Bob Dayle (yellow shirt), Kate Thomas, Mary Hunt.

On July 26, a fellow Humanist and friend, Bob Dayle, died suddenly and unexpectedly.  About a week before his death, he was enjoying Game Night at CFI Indiana.  He volunteered to staff the center on Wednesday mornings where he helped with anything he could including fixing anything that was broken. Here is his obituary: 

Robert Dayle
(September 16, 1946 - July 26, 2010)

Knightstown- Robert C. “Bob” Dayle, 63, passed away on Monday morning July 26, 2010 at the Henry County Hospital in New Castle, Indiana. Robert was born on September 16, 1946 in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Formerly of Cambridge City, Bob has made his home in Knightstown since 1996. Bob honorably served his country in the United States Navy during the Vietnam war. He worked as an electronics technician in the circuit board industry. He was an avid conchologist and member of CFI in Indianapolis.

Survivors include his wife, Alice Hartman. They were married at the Hopewell Meeting in New Lisbon on May 31, 1992; step son-Samuel J. Hartman of Louisville, Kentucky; 3 sisters. He was preceded in death by his parents, Jerome and Joanna ( Forster) Dreifuerst and 1 brother. Services will be at the convenience of the family. The Marshall & Erlewein Funeral Home, Lewisville has been entrusted with the arrangements.

His wife Alice Hartman says it better than anyone else ever could:


When a bird sings or a hawk flies overhead,
When you glimpse the heron at the stream or note the rush of the quail,
When you spot a lizard or a snake, rescue a bird or a tiny toad,
When you stop on a walk to study an interesting rock,
When you drive across the Spiceland kame,
When you photograph an unusual insect,
When you arise at three in the morning to watch for meteors:

Think of Bob.

If you study the flowers of the woods and fields, drive the country roads just to see the wild morning glories,
If you hear the bullfrog croak at the Knightstown Spring or the rich call of the towhee in the woods,
If you listen to the rustle of the cottonwood, stop to admire the tall sycamore, carry tools to free a young tulip from a wild grape,
If you trace the path of the old railway through the woods of today and stand fearlessly at the edge of the old bridge looking down to the river forty feet below:

You are like Bob.

If you support your loves with your hands and your dollars, 
If you help gladly and cheerfully,
If your step-son loves and admires you,
If you are friendly with others and tolerant of their differences, but sufficient in your own thoughts,
If your dog would rather be in a tiny room with you than roaming the fields alone,
If you understand your computer completely and could rebuild it,
If you can find a defect on a circuit board and fix it,
If you can and do fix nearly everything,
If you can set a ladder to the second story gutter:

You are like Bob.

If you savor the taste of a cold drink of water or look for the whole salmon at the Chinese buffet,
If you watch The Simpsons or Futurama or King of Hearts,
If you read Tolkien, the Tao Te Ching or Robert Heinlein,
If you love fun and puns and sing along with Parsifal,
If you scuba dive at Makua or study Hawaiian cowries,
If you sit outside to see the thunderheads build and the lightning flash:

You are like Bob.

If you ignore the pundits, think critically, question authority and have science and space news delivered to your in-box every day,
If you watch the sun rise understanding that random chance explains our existence, and that you will not know what lies in the new day or in the ocean unless you go see:

You are like Bob.

If you name the stars, watch the planets traverse the sky, and call out the phases of the moon,
If you go to sleep with no worries about the morrow:

You are like Bob.

Stop to better hear the cry of the pileated woodpecker,
Marvel at the song sparrow singing from the mullein stalk,
Stand still to see the blue of the Indigo Bunting in the tree,
Speak words of kindness to your friends and
Let them feel the touch of your warm, strong hand, for:

“The skeptic has no illusions about life, nor a vain belief in the promise of immortality.  Since this life here and now is all we can know, our most reasonable option is to live it fully.” (Paul Kurtz)


Written by Alice Hartman in memory of her beloved husband, Bob Dayle, on 29 July 2010 CE

A true Humanist has left us with many fond memories and insights.  He will be greatly missed.