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On Saturday, May 28, Blake Axtell '75 spread his father, Silas Axtell '52's ashes at The Lodge, per his father's wishes. 

"This will please my mother as well as she has fond memories of Kenyon," Blake wrote to Jeff Mortiz. "She and my father were married at Christmas of his senior year and they lived in married student housing.  It was post-WWII and the college had some Quonset hut type of housing for the students who were married. They lived in one that was [located] where Lewis Hall is now.  At that time, John Jones '52, Delt and Si's roommate was dating his wife, Joyce.  The friendships lasted a lifetime and John's son, Jay, and I remain friends and were in each other's weddings.  Well, my first one, his only one.  The Delts of '52, Bill Hurd, Jerry Ellsworth, John Jones, Bob Eggert, Bill Ranney [and] Silas Axtell remained brothers in Chi for a lifetime and the classes on either side of them were friends as well, including Ran Bucey. They all played soccer and lacrosse together, except Ranney and Hurd, [who] were football players. Silas was inducted in the Kenyon Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004 and his photo from that era is in the field house.  

Bob Eggert '52 Chi Delt, [along] with others, owned a camp in Ontario that their fathers had built.  When an ownership share came available, he offered it to Si. He bought in and my brother owns that now. Another share came available and Mike Ranney, the son of Bill Ranney '52 Delt, bought in. Mike had gone to work for Bob Eggert and eventually took over his business. So, the Delt Kenyon connection has been a strong link for my father and his fraternity brothers.  

My grandfather, Silas Blake Axtell, 1906 Alpha Delt, was very bothered that Si pledged Delt. When his brother, Halton Axtell '54, wanted to transfer to Kenyon my grandfather allowed only on the condition that he pledge Alpha Delta Phi, which he did.  

These days, much of social clubs and fraternities have been marginalized and attacked on most campuses, including Kenyon. Yet, it is those social communities and affiliations that have made so much of western civilization successful. I refer you to Niall Ferguson's book The Great Degeneration where he writes about the changes in social, civil and legal fabric and how laws and the lessening of community and increased regulation have hurt society. Kenyon has not gone the way of Oberlin.  It needs to retain its unique character and a true liberal arts tradition, not one that is being corrupted on so many campuses. You gentlemen play a role in that and the short conversations I had with some of you give me heart that you understand the very positive role you play in a college community.  

Thank you very much for your interest and your kindness.  It was wonderful to experience such an open reception from you.  

May you leave Kenyon with memories and friendships as significant and lasting as they had. Thank you for acknowledging the continuum that makes us all remember what we were like when we were young when we return to The Hill and that can bond us across generations."  

Yours in Chi,
Silas Blake Axtell II
Delta Tau Delta
Kenyon 1975

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