Monday, January 12, 2015

Sad News

This is certainly not the type of post I would have expected to write today, and although I am 35 years old, it still never seems real when you hear of the passing of a mentor and friend.

January 11th 2015, Jeigh Singleton, a legendary professor, mentor and friend died in his hometown of Plaquemine, Louisiana after battling Cancer for several years.  


There are a few people I have met through the years, that instantly after meeting them, I say to myself...I have to be a part of their world. I don't know why at the time; but years later it becomes obvious that my life would be completely different if I had not met them.  Jeigh Singleton was one of the first people I remember saying this about.

I met Jeigh in 1997, when I was a freshman at the School of Art at Washington University in St. Louis. He was the Head of the Fashion Design Department, and while I don't remember a lot specifically about those early days, I do remember his wit, charisma and sense of humor.  

He sincerely cared about his students, or rather "childen" as he called all of us, and that didn't end once you graduated.  In my particular case, after I tried unsuccessfully for months to find employment within the design field, I reached out to him, asking if he knew of anything.  Within a few days, he passed me an opportunity that he heard of at Brown Shoe Company. Fourteen years later, and I am still working there today...different job obviously; but same company, and it all started with him.

We kept in touch in those earlier years as he recruited me on multiple occassions to assist the Fashion Design Dept; and along the way I remember having had several long conversations with him about creativity burn-out, finding one's passion, etc.

Yet, the last few years I lost touch; but was thrilled to bump into him at an Antique Mall, of all places. That is when he told me about the Cancer. We made plans to get together to properly catch up; but sometimes the best laid plans never pan out and soon enough months turned into a year, so on and so forth.

He celebrated his 70th Birthday this past Saturday, January 10th and Cancer took him away the following day.