John Van Dyke was an influence in the field of architecture. His architectural drawings still done by hand were not only providing the required technical data but visual works of art. I will always remember the success of his professional career, which began in the early ’60s studying under Ralph Rapson and led to more than six decades of designing unique architectural spaces. But even more significant to me were the life lessons I learned from him.

John, or “J” as he was known to many of us, played a critical role in my professional career. He was a mentor to me, and he played an instrumental role in my path as an architect. As the years went by, it was my honor to work side-by-side with him as a partner. He inspired my work, he expanded my creativity, and he was a wise council for business decisions. But of everything I learned from him, the personal lessons stand out the most. He taught me to appreciate nature, family, and a shared love of classical music. He embodied pure kindness.

Whether he was designing a monastery or delivering Meals on Wheels, he lived his life with his whole heart. He was more than the labels “mentor” or “partner” could ever describe. I will be forever grateful for the time I shared with J, and his legacy will always live on.