April 1, 2004



Arthur Lithgow

Arthur Lithgow, the former Antioch College theater professor who founded Shakespeare Under the Stars, died on Tuesday, March 23, at his home in Amherst, Mass. He was 88.

The cause was congestive heart failure, his son, the actor John Lithgow, was quoted as saying in an obituary in The New York Times on March 25.

Arthur Lithgow came to Yellow Springs to study at Antioch College. As a student he founded the Antioch Summer Theater in 1935. He graduated from Antioch with a BA in 1938. While at Antioch he met Sarah Jane Price, an actress, whom he married in 1939. He also received an MA in playwriting at Cornell University in 1948, The Times reported.

Lithgow was an assistant professor of dramatics at Antioch from 1947 to 1956. In ’52 he founded the Antioch Shakespeare Festival, which was later renamed Shakespeare Under the Stars.

“He’s the brains behind the Shakespeare festivals,” Scott Sanders, the Antioch University archivist, said of Lithgow. “He did everything,” Sanders said, including directing, acting, building sets and promoting the plays. Sanders said Lithgow might be best known for his work as Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, which featured Nancy Marchand as Kate.

Set on an elaborate, multilevel stage behind Antioch’s Main Building, the festivals featured all of Shakespeare’s plays. Though the festival got off to a slow start, people eventually started to turn out, and by the end of its five-season run, more than 135,000 people had attended, the Antioch Record reported in 1993.

The festival stopped being produced at Antioch when Lithgow left the college. The festival moved to Lakewood, near Cleveland, and continued as the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival, The Times reported.

While at Antioch, Lithgow also starred as Horace Mann, the college’s first president, in A Testament of Faith, a play about Mann written by Antioch faculty.

In 1981, Lithgow returned to Antioch to complete some unfinished business and direct the full version of Henry IV, which has three parts performed over three nights. Lithgow had produced the abridged version of the play in the ’50s for Antioch’s Shakespeare festival.

Lithgow also served as the artistic director of the McCarter Theater in Princeton and worked at the Brattleboro Center for the Performing Arts in Vermont, at the University of South Florida in Tampa and in Ithaca, N.Y., where he cofounded the Ithaca Theater Guild, The Times reported.

Arthur Washington Lithgow III was born on Sept. 9, 1915, in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, the son of Arthur Washington Lithgow II and Ina Berenice Robinson Lithgow. His family had a sugar business in the Dominican Republic and then ran a electric utility in Puerto Rico.

He is survived by his wife, Sarah; their four children, John and Robin, both of Los Angeles, David of New York and Sarah Jane Bokaer of Ithaca; two sisters, Marion James of Melrose, Mass., and Jeannette Peverly of Milton, Mass.; and 13 grandchildren.

Dorothy Hickman
Dorothy P. Kennedy Hickman died on Tuesday, March 23, at Carriage By The Lake. She was 84.

Born July 6, 1919, in Duquesne, Pa., she was the daughter of Joseph R. and Bessie (Warfield) Kennedy.

Mrs. Hickman retired in 1985 from Wilberforce University, where she worked for several presidents and academic deans. After retiring from Wilberforce, she worked as a receptionist for Kyle Medical Center and retired from there in 1991 after five years.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Everett I. Hickman, in 1969; two sisters, Margaret Jane Alund and Betty Wagner; and one brother, William Kennedy.

She is survived by daughters, Susan H. Brooks of Charlotte, N.C., and Terry R. Bowden of Bellbrook; one son, Eric A. Hickman of Mississippi; grandchildren, Cynthia Perkins of Yellow Springs, Ann Marie Brooks of Atlanta, Amy O’Connell of Cincinnati, Charlotte Wheatcraft of Bowersville, and Shilo Hickman and Eric R. Hickman both of Jamestown; four great-grandchildren; two sisters, Carol Marshall of Anaheim and Lois Haul of Peoria, Ill.

Funeral services were held Friday, March 26, in the Cedarville United Presbyterian Church with burial in North Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Irving Mayer
Irving Mayer died on Thursday evening, March 25, at the Harborside Nursing Home in Troy. He was 90.

Born in Atlanta in 1913, he served in Italy in the Army during World War II. He lived most of his life in Fairborn, working at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base as an electronics engineer. After his retirement he became active in Ohio State Science Days and was an enthusiastic supporter of local conservation organizations. He served on the boards of directors of the Glen Helen Association and Dayton Museum of Natural History.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Jane Basch Mayer.

He is survived by his daughters, Ellen Mayer of Troy and Ann Schunior of Boston; and his partner, Hazel Glick of Atlanta.

A memorial service was held on Sunday, March 28, at Bruckner Nature Center in Troy. Memorial donations may be sent to the Glen Helen Association.

Dexter Gillum
Dexter Gillum of Yellow Springs died on Wednesday, March 24, at the Dayton VA Hospital. He was 72.

He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He worked most of his adult life as a carpenter and retired in 1993. He was an avid hunter and fisherman.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Ora.

He is survived by Barbara, his loving wife of 47 years; son and daughter-in-law, Ronald and Linda Gillum; daughter, Susan Gillum; granddaughter, Myra Malishenko; numerous brothers and sisters; and a host of other relatives.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, April 3, at 4 p.m., at the Assembly of God Church in Yellow Springs. Family will receive friends from 2 p.m. until the time of the service.