John Spencer Pink
My heart goes out to Mr. Pink's family and friends. He was a kind and patient teacher. I was in his photography class at Washington. He had a special way of giving just enough freedom to alow for creativity to happen naturally. Mr. Pink gave me a lovely metal hair clip that belonged to his mother. I have always remembered that act of kindness and support. He could see that I was dealing with a difficult situation. I was being intimidated by two other students but never spoke of it. I always knew that this kind gesture was his way of saying he cared. I told this story to a friend recently. He looked out for us all when he was here and now he is a guardian angel, still looking out for us. God bless you, Mr Pink.
Ingrid Moore Conway
I am very grateful for the impact Mr. Pink had on my life as an art teacher. We do not become without the help of others. Mr. Pink is one that helped inspire me to create. Thank you Mr. Pink for all that you did for all of your students. (Class of 1980)
I was sorry to hear of Spence's passing. We had been friends for many many years going to to our days at ISTC. May he rest in peace.
Michael F. O'Brien
It was with great sadness I read Mr. Pink had passed away. He was my homeroom teacher at Washington as well as my favorite teacher. Mr. Pink was a great inspiration to me then and to this day. Please accept my condolences and know others will be sharing in your grief.
I will always remember Spence as a colleague that truly loved children. An education professional whose caring and work with kids made a real difference. The world needs more Spence Pinks and I know we are all diminished just a little with his death. I also know that he is in a wonderful place that he richly deserves.
To the Pink Family: Please accept our condolences on your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. We hope that comfort and peace cone to you. Jim & Carol Voss
To the Pink family and close friends: You are in my thoughts as you experience this loss. Spence was a dear wise man who shared so much with the rest of us. We will miss his gentle presence.
A truly inspirational and loving human being. Will always be remembered with kind and loving thoughts. Theresa Brandon Cedar Rapids, Iowa
My deepest condolences to Mr. Pink's family, he was an exceptional teacher and the lessons he taught live on in his many students. We are all richer for knowing him.
Mr. Pink awakened my love for photography. He always had an encouraging word for me as I struggled to figure out what I was doing. He was an amazing teacher and a great man. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Robin (Cline) Crow
Dear Peggy, So many times I have thought about calling Spence. Now it's too late. He was a dear friend and through the years, even though we were miles apart, I have thought of him so much. Love to you and all your family. May Spencer rest in the enternal piece which he so richly deserves.
Hello Family and especially Dimitri, We are so sorry to hear of Spencer's death. Even with his challenges, he always seemed to radiate joy. It was especially good to see both of you at the recent Gallery Tour and to see the enthusiasm for art he shared with others. His influence lives on in so many. Janelle and George
Since his stroke, Spence's physical capabilities were significantly diminished - but he still created art. He sometimes used the hands of others to do what he couldn't; many times he adapted something to work for him. He created things in wood, paper, and collage. It was been quite wonderful, inspiring, and tender to see. He remained a teacher and an artist to the end. I will miss him terribly.
I've know Spencer since our college days. Always the teacher, scholar, gentleman, friend. The world was better for him in it.
I have such fond memories of Mr. Pink . . . he was everything a teacher should be. I sent him a note when he retired, telling him then how much he meant to me during high school, because it was important to me that he knew. I graduated nearly 40 years ago from Washington but my memories have not diminished. I send my thoughts to his family and hope that you all know what a lovely man he was. Thank you for sharing him with all of us.
My condolences go to the Pink family. He was a wonderful teacher. He will be missed.
Amy (Lehman) Pechman
It is with great sadness to hear of the loss of Mr. Pink. Amazing teacher and artist that introduced me to see the world differently through a camera lens while at Washington High School.
West Des Moines
It is with great sadness to learn of Mr. Pink's passing. He was an amazing teacher and artist. Through his photography class at Washington High School he opened my eyes to view the world differently through a camera lens. Thank you.
West Des Moines
My husband and I would like to convey our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of your beloved John. We would like to share with you something that has brought us much comfort at a similar time in our lives. John 11:14-44 shares with us the experience of Jesus resurrecting Lazarus here on earth before the very eyes of those he loved. We can only imagine the tears of joy when we too are reunited with our dear loved ones. (John 5:28,29) John will surely be missed by many of those who's lives he shared, remember the experiences you shared together and learn from them, hold them close to your heart and cherish them. May you find comfort from those who surround you at this very difficult time. Our sincere condolences to all of you.
Peggy & Jeff
Mr. Pink was such an extrordinary person in so many ways. It always amazed me on he could take any student that walked into his class and quietly encourage them to go beyond what they thought they could do. If a picture is worth a thousand words, his impact on others is worth a thousand pictures.
Erica (Ellis) Schmidt
My sympathies to Mr. Pink's family. He was the best teacher and friend one could ask for. I wouldn't have received my Art scholarship without him. He taught me many things about life and gave me confidence with my talents. He will live on in the hearts and minds of so many. Rest in Peace, Tina
So sorry to hear of Mr. Pink passing. He taught me, and my two sisters over a 10yr period 1979-1989 at Washington High School. He had an influence on us that has, and will continue to shape who we are, and how we see the world. We will be there in Prayer. We love you Spencer Pink.
Thoughts & prayers go out to the Pink family. Spencer was an amazing inspiration to all of us able to go thru one of his classes. God bless ~
Thoughts & prayers go out to you. Spencer was a great man first. Teacher second. He will be missed!
Those of us who were lucky enough to teach with Spencer will always remember the quiet, common sense approach that Spencer used on so many occasions. We're all proud to have known him, and our thoughts are with his family.
Bill and Pat Lammers
My sympathies to Spencer's family and other friends. I met Spencer in the 60s when we were both on staff at Camp Waubeek Boy Scout Camp. He was a man of great integrity with a boundless capacity for love. Though I haven't seen him often since then, he is one that I always remembered because of the positive impact he had on me. He will be missed.
Bruce T. Lang
Mr. Pink was the kindest, most inspiring teacher I had through all of my school years. He always challenged and encouraged ones creativity in art or just conversation. There were no wallflowers in his class as all were treated equally. I will always remember him fondly and wish peace to his family for their loss.
My condolences to the family. Truely the best teacher And friend
Mr. Pink understood everyone, what people thought was wrong was right in his eyes. Always looking for a diffrent perspective. The best memories of school, were taking his classes. He will be well missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this hard time. With Deepest Sympathy, Catrena Vargason and Family
Catrena (Chan-Vance) Vargason
Mr.Pink, you were alot more then a teacher. You had a heart. You cared about your students. I have thought about you many times in the past years, missing you each time but always with a smile. You will stay alive forever in my heart. Thanks for being my teacher, you opened my eyes to alot in life. Honestly, your class was the only one I regularly attenened. haha. I will miss you Mr. Pink.
I'm so sorry for your loss. Mr. Pink was a wonderful teacher.
Sheila (Stuelke) Stevens
Mr. Pink was a terrific supporter and influence in my life...my condolences to his family.
Spence had a big influence on many in Washington High School, particularly those of us involved in drama in the late 1960's and early 1970's. He was one of our first adult friends, and his high standards helped set our course. My wife and daughter never met him, but know him through some marvelous artwork we still have, and through the stories of Mockingbird, Carousel, Celebration, Man for All Seasons, Merchant, Raisin, Lute Song, and so many more. I feel so privileged to have had him as a friend and teacher.
I am deeply saddened to hear of Mr. Pink's passing. It is hard to put in to words how grateful I am to have been one of Mr. Pinks students. He was without a doubt my favorite teacher. It has been nearly 15 years and I still often think about him, and the positive impact his mentorship provided. Some of my favorite high school memories are of the many times he would invite all of the art students to his home for a day at the end of the semester. It wasnít until I met him that I understood how important a good teacher could be in a personís life. His incredible dedication, patience, and unparalleled compassion were boundless. I cannot count the number of times over the years that I have recalled memories of ďmy wonderful high school art teacherĒ to new friends and my own art students. He will be greatly missed. My thoughts are with you Dimitri.
I'm so sorry to hear of Spencer's passing. He is an incredible man, and deeply touched so many lives. He is an inspiration and created a lot of great memories for a lot of people.
Kris Oliphant Steiner
Mr. Pink was one of a kind. Thoughtful, creative, encouraging, imaginative, caring and a little mischievous. I enjoyed staying in touch at the holidays over the years and will miss hearing about his latest art and his latest kindness. He was a force for good in my life and he will be truly missed. Godspeed, Spink, Godspeed.
Leslie (Wheeler) Anstedt
Spencer Pink, or Mr. Pink as I know you... I've sat down probably a dozen times over the last decade trying to write a letter to you. I never could get past the first line because I would start crying when I think of how much you have done for me. It is sad that it takes your passing for me to finally finish this letter to you. When I first met you, I was in 10th grade. I was lost, my parents were separated, and I saw no future. I actually couldn't imagine ANYTHING beyond high school that seemed remotely interesting or worth living for. Slowly over the next 3 years, you re-introduced me to photography, art, artist, and but most importantly art schools. Your subtle hints and flyers that always seemed to be placed near my photos slowly sunk in. It was at this point, in your classroom, that I finally saw a future, a life, something to focus my energy on. I'm on the path that you paved for me. My adult life is to your credit. Without you, this wonderful life i have, family, kids, career - would not exist. Thank you Mr. Pink for believing in me - I will always love you.
I was saddened to hear of Mr. Pink's passing. He was a great mentor. May he rest in peace.
Steven R Kauten
Mr. Pink, Spencer was not only a great teacher, but a warm and caring person who knew how to relate to his students, i had him in Jr. High and always looked forward to his class..his work in the school was not limited to his class, but help with scenery in plays, and what ever you needed him for. He inspired many and had a helping hand for all. What the caterpillar called the end of the world, the master calls a Butterfly. Dear family and friends, i am indeed sorry for your loss, he was a force of beauty in this world, and i had the priviledge of calling him my teacher! Margo
Spencer was gentle, kind and caring man. He worked quietly, but with great care. Many former students and colleagues benefited from knowing him. I have many fond memories of him when we first arrived in Cedar Rapids in 1968 and was involved at Washington H.S. He has left a lasting legacy in his quiet ways that had an impact on all he met.
Mr. Pink was the kind of teacher who leaves a lasting impression on your life. I was saddened to hear of his passing. He inspired me to create art and live life. He will truly be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
Jen (Guynn) Hem
I am sorry to hear of Mr. Pinks passing. He was by far my favorite teacher. He was both a skilled teacher, and a good person. He will live on in his artwork, his teachings, and the fond memories of those who knew him.
Mr. Pink will always be one of the few persons/teachers that made me as a youth feel; listened to, valued, appreciate and having worth. His kind, gentle, giving, compassionate and generous spirit never seemed to have limits!!! He always made me feel that I could create and accomplish at a time in life when we as youth fell ignored, alone, stuck and sad. He never judged, only encouraged and offered real guidance and encouragement with his words and actions. I was/am no artist in comparison to many of my talented peers, but in Mr. Pink's classroom you would never had known that. His ability to; teach, reach us and motivate us to discover who we were was unforgettable. He opened his heart, soul and home to us with out braking boundaries or limits that were there for teachers and students. I have not nor will not ever forget him as one of the few high school teachers that made a true impact on me and my world. I do know that this spring I will plant my tree to remember and honor him always as he lives on in all of us who were fortunate enough to know and learn from him!!! Peace and prayers to his family and friends!!!!!!
Kate (Hammond) Sagness
I am sorry for your loss. Mr. Pink was of my my favorite teachers. He inspired me to look at things from different perspectives and how to treat others with respect. He will always be in my memories.
Spencer Pink has touched so many lives -- students, parents, colleagues, families, friends, the arts community and beyond. He was wise, creative, intuitive and encouraging. He inspired and touched souls through his art, his quiet words, and sometimes that smile or sideways glance. I hope that his family and friends find peace and comfort in these many memories. His spirit will live on in all of us. Now I must sign off and go make some art. It is what he would want me to do. This one is for you, Spence. Love ya.
Mr. Pink was an incredible teacher and he lived by example, sharing his gentleness, insight, and compassion in everything he did. To echo Kaitlin, I'm sure any number of us have found ourselves sharing an anecdote about our "incredible high school art teacher" in regard to Mr. Pink. He caught us all in his net at our most vulnerable and made sure to move cautiously and with great care to help us in the right direction. He was a wonderful human being and each one of us who was lucky enough to know him carries a little bit of his goodness with us each day. My thoughts are with all of his family.
Those of us who were in the circle of Spencer have been blessed by his friendship, his creativity, and his passion for being a positive life. Our circle has grown smaller, and now we are challenged to remember our friend and to make our own circle grow larger in the spirit of his friendship.
Much love, Mr Pink was the fairest of all teachers, and a great friend. Thank you for enhancing the lives of so many people, you will be sorely missed!
Trevor Lee Hopkins
Mr. Pink has always been my most favorite teacher and I remember him fondly. He was a kind and caring man that was a great inspiration to so many that knew him. He will never be forgotten. Please know that many others will be sharing in your grief.
Robin (Ruchotzke) DeFord
Mr. Pink was someone I remember from Washington High School as being an exceptionally talented artist, great & encouraging teacher, kind and gentle man, and one who seemed to have a twinkle in his eye when he smiled (a sign of deep contentment and joy). Many of us former Washington High School students are commenting on facebook today about how wonderful he was. He will be remembered fondly by so many he touched in his life. God bless his family.
Mr. Pink was one of my all-time favorite teachers. Having taken all of the art classes that were offered at Washington High School 90-94, I spent a good deal of time with him at school and will never forget the portfolio showing trip to Kansas City. Mr. Pink was a fantastic teacher and accepted his students wholly. I will undoubtedly plant a tree in his honor, as he requested. Sarah Melichar
Spencer Pink taught me so much when I was a student of his. It is partly his fault that I majored in Art and Photography. He gave me the best advice anyone ever has, when I was worried about what school to go to "It's not where you are, but what you do with it." I live by that still today. Great words of wisdom from a great man! May your rewards be plenty in heaven!
Kira Little Sky
I am grateful I had the opportunity to know Mr. Pink. He was a great mentor and a wonderful teacher.
Tonia Hopkins Rowe
Mr. Pink was my homeroom teacher. His calm demeanor, was always a good way to begin the day. God's blessings on him and his family.
I am greatly saddened to hear of Mr. Pink's passing and wish to send my condolences to Dimitri and all of Mr. Pink's family and friends. Mr. Pink's ability to subtly inspire young people allowed him to reach through to his students in a way that many had never been reached. Whether you were the artsy type, a cool kid, a bit of a geek, or still trying to figure out who you were in high school, everyone felt at home in his classroom or at one of his "Pinknics." Looking back nearly 20 years now, I still remember my first photography class where Mr. Pink asked each student to take a picture of an arrangement of old cameras against a black draped backdrop. I will always remember him winding rolls of film as quickly as I have ever seen and the silhouette photos of the sun setting behind large rock formations that hung near his classroom entryway. In all the classes I took from Mr. Pink, he was never critical of a student's work and also was careful not to offer an abundance of praise. Mr. Pink's critiques taught me that a person's creativity has no right or wrong answer even in a world where we often seek this distinction. Even today, I look at the world through a bit of a different lens because of Mr. Pink. It has been many years since I left his classroom, but I am continually reminded that Mr. Pink has never really left me.
An artist, a friend, a mentor, a teacher. The first person who helped me focus my energies into a passion for making. Making pictures, drawings, objects. I will never forget the approach of Mr. Pink. His ability to teach the art of photography and of seeing. Seeing the world as an artist. Through his vision so many of us were formed...thanks Spence. I will always be thankful for your friendship and your patience. With love MC5
Mr. Pink was my mentor and role-model for many years. He's the reason I attended St. Ambrose University, graduated with a degree in Graphic Design and the inspiration behind my dedication and passion for the field and art as a whole. Without Mr. Pink, I honestly have no idea where I would be professionally. But as I speak about my career, I have used my talent to help inspire others around me by volunteering my services and talents.
I first knew Spence as an undergraduate through the Lutheran Student Center and our social fraternity. I remember him from those days as confident and competent. He was often the organizer of fun times that we all shared. Spence was friendly to everyone, and I recall his being more devoted to his extended family than most people seemed to be. God's peace to all.
tending the garden a seedling needs fostering colored by pink
Though you will not read this Spencer, I want to write to you.You will live on in the hearts of all those you touched on your journey here. I want to thank you for being a true friend to my sister. You were there for her when she needed it most. You will always have a place in my heart.
Words escape us! So many have already shared so much, and the cascade will, no doubt, continue. Spence meant so much more to so many of us than any will ever know. Mere words can never share the vast memories, joys, and celebrations we hold in our hearts. We neglected him in his times of need and aloneness even when over the years he was so attentive and supportive for our occasions of connection. We can imagine no one who attended more weddings, birthdays, and the joyous occasions for others. Our last visits with him seemed labored and difficult, yet we never left him without the warmth of his friendship, love and the anticipation of return. "Miss him" is such an understatement of our thoughts. "Remembering him" will be the guide for our prayers, our dreams, and our love. "No man is an Island . . ." Spencer was the Mountain of Living. Sharron & Craig Rule
Craig & Sharron Rule
Spence, Those castle ramparts look like postage stamps. By the way, sleeping with the Moon Rock did rub off on me ... Your friend, Dave The Wave and the members of the band; Shakey Willy and His Spears Oliver and the rest of the Orphans Old Gabbo The Brave Little Tailor Sue and Littleman And all the members of the All Time Cool Thanks For Being Spence You Know Who You Are Band P.S. Riding the fly weights up to the bridge was seriously more fun than you could ever have imagined Ö
Spencer Pink was our speech and drama instructor at Wilson Junior High over 45 years ago. He was one of the most influential persons in my life! Fortunately, I was able to tell him that prior to his stroke. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.
Mr Pink was one of the greatest teachers I had in my life. I hope I can provide similar experiences for my students. My most sincere condolences on your family's loss.
Dr Nate Iverson
Mr. Pink taught me photography, a hobby I still enjoy to this day. I often think of him when I am behind the lens. He was a special teacher to me and I am very sorry to hear of his passing. My condolences to his family and friends.
Moving in my senior year of high school to a town where I knew no one was an unbelievable challenge, until the day I met Spencer Pink. He not only became my teacher and mentor that year, but a lifelong friend over these past 40 years. We've shared laughter and tears, births and deaths, but it never seemed possible that I would be sharing this moment, not yet. Thank you Dimitri and Rich and others who kept me informed as I was out of town. This summer I will be moving to Charleston, South Carolina and Spence will be glad to know that a Palm Tree will be planted and swaying in the breeze in his honor. We will miss you dear friend, you will be with us in spirit and in the art you gladly shared with us.
gretchen & jim rockwell
whenever we think of what a great teacher should be, spencer pink comes to mind as the gold standard. we are so proud to call him a friend. he will be missed by us and all the students whose lives he touched. paulette&bill
paulette & bill reed
I was really saddened to hear the news. Spencer, or Mr. Pink as I knew him, was instrumental in cultivating my fledgling love of art and photography at Washington H.S. from 1987-1991. Always quiet and confident in demeanor, I have fond memories of him leading me in the right artistic direction without actually saying anything. He'd show me the hints and clues and wait patiently for me to arrive at the answer to my own question; a true teacher. It was because of Mr. Pink's kind encouragement and guidance that I knew I was an artist at heart and that led me into a career in Graphic Design. I'll never forget Mr. Pink.
Mary Jen Bear
I will be forever grateful to Mr. Pink for believing in my son, Rhet. When the rest of the high school staff had given up on Rhet, Mr. Pink became his advocate and mentor. He encouraged him, lived by example, and gave Rhet hope for the future use of his talents and creativity. Mr. Pink never gave up on Rhet and because of Mr. Pink's unselfish guidance, Rhet has become a model citizen with a great career, wonderful husband and father, and a mentor to others as Mr. Pink was to him. I am forever grateful.
Mary Jen Bear
We were so sad to hear of Mr. Pink's passing. He was an early inspiration for me as a person and an artist. He was a great teacher with exceptional patience and encouragement. I think of him when I think of "teacher." We fondly remember his classes, his warm personality and good humor. He will be missed. Our thoughts are with you. With Love, Peter and Kristi Happel Christian
Peter Happel Christian
I'm so sorry to hear of Spencer's death. The world is a poorer place without him. I knew him as part of the incredible fine arts faculty at Washington in the mid-70's. The world was a crazy place, and he was an island of calm, reason, and sanity. He always had a bit of a twinkle in his eye, as if he knew a wonderful secret the rest of us would one day know, too. His faith in and affection for creative adolescents was a lifeline for so many kids who didn't fit the mold. A great artist and a wonderful man.
Lisa (Johnson) Van Sickle
I've read through the other memorials and not at all suprised at the warmth, love and truth told about Spencer Pink. We, the class of '63 at Wilson were some of the first to be graced with his love of teaching and caring of others. He saved me more than once, he taught me more, about myself mostly, and he loved us as we loved him. He is in my heart forever. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and all of us who will miss having him here.
Itís difficult to express the impact that Spencer had on Heather & I, as a teacher, a mentor and a friend. Itís not surprising that he impacted so many lives. He provided such amazing guidance at a critical time in our own lives and in a unique way brought us together. He will be deeply missed but never forgotten. We will most certainly plant a tree in his memory. In the years to come it will undoubtedly serve as the subject of many a photograph and blind contour drawing as we share with our son all that Spencer so selflessly shared with us.
Chris & Heather Lynxwiler
To a good friend and a great mentor!!I will miss you in this world and look forward to seing you in the next!!! Dave Gordinier
Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour, That's orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it's reckoned, A sun that is the source of all our power. The sun and you and me and all the stars that we can see Are moving at a million miles a day In an outer spiral arm, at forty thousand miles an hour, Of the galaxy we call the 'Milky Way'. Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars. It's a hundred thousand light years side to side. It bulges in the middle, sixteen thousand light years thick, But out by us, it's just three thousand light years wide. We're thirty thousand light years from galactic central point. We go 'round every two hundred million years, And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions In this amazing and expanding universe. The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding In all of the directions it can whizz As fast as it can go, at the speed of light, you know, Twelve million miles a minute, and that's the fastest speed there is. So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure, How amazingly unlikely is your birth, And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space, 'Cause there's limited intelligence here on Earth.
Rich Hopkins Class of '86
Ironic Juxtaposition. My favorite assignment. The work I made in your class hangs in mine as a reminder of what students will do when they are inspired by a great teacher. I love you so much. You were the family that so many of us needed. You modeled that love for us. Not only did I become a high school art teacher, I became a foster parent to my 'little sister'. I am so humbled by your beautiful life. I wish all this love would grow and grow in you and you would be swollen and overflowing with happiness now and forever.
Lauren Marie Taylor
I was a student of Mr. Pink's at Wilson Jr. High when he started teaching there. I had him for speech and also was in a couple of his plays. He always respected his students and was someone you could talk with. I lived on 3rd St. S.W. at the time and he lived on 3rd St. across 8th Ave. He lived with a couple of his friends at that time. I would sometimes stop and talk to them on my way to or from dancing school. He used to laugh at the fact that I could recall dates and what happened on the date. He enjoyed quizzing me on that. He was a great teacher and I considered him a friend. When I would read stories about him in the paper I would think that I should go and visit him. Life has a way of getting in your way though. I regret not making the time to go see him before he died and it has been a good lesson for me. His family should know that many people will miss him and cared for him as a teacher and friend. My sympathy is with all who loved this man.
Jo Lynne Brown Meskimen
I had Mr. Pink as a speech teacher and drama coach at Wilson Jr. High in the late 50's and early 60's. He had great rapport with the students and would listen to us and respect what we had to say. I respected him very much both as a teacher and a person. When I heard he was ill I thought I would go and see him but life seemed to get in my way. I regret not being able to talk with him one last time and let him know what he did for me as a kid. My sincere sympathy to all that loved this man.