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Celery Bog extraordinaire Sam Postlethwait dies at 100

Longtime biology educator and World War II veteran Sam Postlethwait died early Tuesday morning, according to his Soller-Baker Funeral Home obituary.

Posted: Jan 16, 2019 9:20 AM
Updated: Jan 17, 2019 6:09 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Longtime biology educator and World War II veteran Sam Postlethwait died early Tuesday morning, according to his Soller-Baker Funeral Home obituary. He was 100 years old. 

Postlethwait, a retired botany professor at Purdue, is perhaps most known for his love of the Celery Bog in West Lafayette. He would give guided tours every Tuesday morning. 

There were little kids that he could relate to, and the older citizens that he could relate to also," said Dan Dunten, director of the Lilly Nature Center. "He just loved the dynamics of teaching and educating different people."

He also was known for his love of the camera. His obituary notes that he took more than 30,000 pictures of the Celery Bog over his years. 

''He took a gazillion pictures," said Cliff Swensen, Postlethwait's neighbor at University Place. "I'm talking about thousands and thousands and thousands of pictures that he took. And what's going to happen with all those pictures? Some of them have been printed out and framed on the walls around here.''

Postlethwait called Greater Lafayette home for more than 65 years. His obituary says he came to Purdue in 1949 to teach in the College of Agriculture. 

"He rewarded all of his students," said friend Marion Baumgardner. "He made an effort to know in the class of four hudred he made an effort to know them by name''

In April, News 18 was there as he celebrated his 100th birthday with nearly 400 of his closest friends. When asked what the secret to a long life was, he said it was simple:

"Love each other, with pure love," said Postlethwait at his celebration. "What I can look back now on is love, just love."

He is survived by his sons John and Bob, four granddaughters and 11 great grandchildren, according to his obituary.

 

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