I am so very sorry to hear of Phil’s passing, and I did not get any previous email, so this is my initial reaction to news of his death.
Phil Lockhart was the greatest influence in my Dickinson College experience. He was the reason I became a Latin major and went on to teach high school Latin for more than twenty-five years I loved every minute I spent in every class he taught. He was inspiring, and he was challenging. I loved his lectures and his seminars. His assignments opened my mind to new and exciting ideas as I translated the language of authors who had written so many years before me. My love for Vergil’s Aeneid began at his home on Sunday nights as I sipped coffee and listened to Dr. Lockhart connect the epic poem to my life as a college senior. My senior thesis on Ovid made me understand that the words of any language can have many levels of meaning.
His Christian faith was also inspiring. One of my last visits with Dr. Lockhart was more than ten years ago when my husband and I took Betty and Phil out to lunch. Rather than discuss Latin, the focus of our conversation centered on the Apostle Paul and a trip that Phil was taking to revisit some of the churches of Paul’s travels. Again, Phil just made connections to places referred to in Paul’s letters and their significance to the early Christian faith that I, although a veteran Sunday School teacher, had never even thought of. Phil was brilliant.
Last year was my 45th class reunion, and I regret that I did not get back to Carlisle, especially to see Dr. Lockhart. Yet Dr. Lockhart’s classes, his ideas, and even the sound of his voice, remain embedded in my memory, and in my life.