• Rian McClenney

Gone But Not Forgotten: A Remembrance of John Homer

They say that a man is not dead unless he is forgotten and in the wake of Professor John. S. Homer’s passing, he will never be forgotten. On Wednesday, Feb 23, John S. Homer, Ph.D. professor of economics at Olivet College (OC), remembrance was held, a time for staff and student alike to come together to honor and remember Professor Homer for the man, the friend, and educator he was to many while he was here in the Olivet Community.

John Homer, Ph.D., graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics from Western Michigan University and a master’s degree and a doctorate in economics from the University of Hawaii, before coming to work at Olivet College in 1979. During which time taught economics courses, and his areas of specialization were resource economics, international trade, and economic development. He was rewarded the Drs. Gorton and Peggy Riethmiller Adviser of the Year Award and the Drs. Gorton and Peggy Riethmiller Teacher of the Year Award four times.

Professor Homer passed in December 2021, saddening as his passing was Homer’s family, friends and students come together to honor his memory and keep him alive in their hearts and in their minds as they each shared a moment of time they had with Homer.

“The best professor you could ask for,” said Kyle Robinson a member of the Olivet College football team in remembrance of Professor Homer. “Very kind-hearted, he always knew that his classes were hard, but it’s just a part of the gig,” added Robinson. “I’m a football player, so he would always come down to the field and fill up our water bottles and see how we’re doing. He was a really good guy, and one of my favorite professors I’ve ever had.”

Of course, it’s not just in words that the students were able to express their feelings for this event, but through musical means as Gospel Choir member Elisha McIntosh remembered and honored Professor Homer with a musical performance of the song “Bridge Over Troubled Water’s” written by Paul Simon. This wondrous selection of music set the mood just right for not only this moment of time to reflect upon the means of what it was that Professor Homer meant to others but as well to reflect and remember him for who he was.

“The truth is, when I think of John Homer, I think he lived a life that was an example for many,” said Assistant Director of Capus Security, Brad Baker during his moment to talk about John Homer. “And second, I think of legend Dr. John Homer is a legend, an Olivet College legend, an Olivet Community legend. And his legend, the legend of his life will live on for many years to come, and I pray that we have the best professors today that are like John Homer.”

OC Senior Delaney Peters spoke on the behave of the Bussiness department. “His caring demenor and dedication, to the college and the students, will never be forgotten,” said Peter’s.

Professor Homer will surely be missed, not just by his family, but by the students who’s lives he managed to change and set on the right path and left a mark on them. A mark that neither OC, the community, or the students will ever forget, for he will live on in the hearts and minds of family, friends, and students alike, now and for the many years to come.