John D. Tegtmeyer '56

- Tribute by Bill Mason '57

John D. TegtmeyerWhen John David Tegtmeyer entered the Chapter Eternal on October 11, 2004, it left a huge void in the Denison, Granville, and Fraternity communities. John was stricken while playing tennis which, along with platform tennis, he played with great enjoyment and passion his whole life.

Words fail in describing what John meant to Mu Chapter and its Brothers over the years. When others gave up, John remained faithful and continued to serve. During the most difficult of times John’s loyalty and enthusiasm held hope for the future. Through his persistence – his insistence – he led the Chapter through those difficult times, restoring its purpose and resolve. His example and success inspired a renewed commitment in many brothers, helping to lead the rally to restore our old Home to its remodeled majesty and the reincarnation of a vibrant Mu Chapter of equally enthusiastic young men.

With John’s leadership and friendship, young men rekindled a spirit of brotherhood many doubted could be accomplished, especially on a campus where fraternity life was no longer residential. Thanks go to Brother John for enabling the rebirth of Mu Chapter to come full circle.

John Tegtmeyer was a devoted father, grandfather, brother, uncle and much-much more. To we Mu Sigs, he was a Fraternity brother and friend who gave of himself to ensure that our Mu Chapter would survive and provide the opportunity for brotherhood and true friendship among young men of the future.

Four days after John's passing, the community – over 800 members of the many communities in which John had been so influential – assembled in the Granville High School Performing Arts Center to give a heart-warming celebration of John’s life. People from all walks of life came to pay their respects to a man who had touched their lives in a special way. Sandy Thomson ’59 represented Mu Chapter and spoke eloquently to the gathering about John being a man of compassion, a leader, an athlete, a tennis player, a musician, a song leader, an organizer, a contributor, a club member, a church leader, a trusted person, a person with whom people could talk, share, commiserate, laugh, kid and cry. Sandy said that anyone who knew him, knew that he had a true friend in John.

It is easy to reflect back upon our friendship with John because each of us who knew him well can recall a special moment, special event, or other memory – and they are all such good memories! Brother John epitomized everything that is good and right about our Fraternity. He personified our ideals – friendship, justice, and learning. When our spirits were wilted his enthusiasm lifted us. As our song leader, he raised our voices high.

John served more than 30 years as Mu Chapter’s Advisor and was presented "The Order of Constantine" award for his lifetime service to our Fraternity.

It was a humbling experience to hear young Actives at a Chapter Meeting not long after the memorial service, during "Good of the Order," speak about what John had meant to them personally. There were tears along with characterizations that John was a "father image away from home" or "the grandfather I never enjoyed as a youth." It was a heart-wrenching occasion and we all held hands in prayer. John’s wisdom, compassion, leadership and direction returned ritual to Chapter Meetings and he was masterful in the relationships he built with Mu’s Actives.

We are all grateful for his life and the friendship he forged through brotherhood with all of us. We rejoice in his life, obtain strength from his friendship, and we’ll all miss that smile and wink that solely was his trademark and conveyed so succinctly that all was well.

Brother John, thanks for all you did for Mu Chapter over the years and for inspiring all of us. Your work was done well and now its up to us to carry your mission forward.

All honor to his name.

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