July 27, 2007
Robert Dana Teague From this valley they say you are leaving.We will miss your brown eyes and sweet smile.For you take with you all of the sunshineThat has lightened our way for a while. Adapted from Red River ValleyIf the definition of a “great man” is one who has made a significantly positive impact upon those around him, then it must be said that Robert Dana Teague was a truly great human being. He died on July 20th, as peacefully and gracefully as he lived his life.A man of few words, “RD” (for Robert Dana), as he was affectionately called by his children, practiced the art of lovingly and quietly caring for those around him. Among those who were treated to his special attention that made things “all better,” were his mother, Pansy Brewster Teague, his mother-in-law, Ruth Reddick, his wife Ruth, his children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, his exchange daughter from South Africa, Marie de Haan, and many, many others who were lucky enough to enter his sphere.For his children, every school day would go like this: he would wake us up, fix breakfast, drive us to and from school, fix dinner, read to us, and tuck us into bed at night, with “Good night. Love you. See you in the morning.” He hiked with us, whupped us in ping pong, badminton, and volley ball, listened to us, played the recorder, trumpet and guitar, and taught us how to develop prints in the darkroom (a very special treat). He always had time for us. And lest he sound too good to be true, he did have a delicious, wicked sense of humor.
We all loved him unconditionally and knew that we could count on him for anything. Yes, he was a great man--a wonderful man--a special man--a sweet man-- a kind man. He was one of a kind.A graduate of Art Center in Los Angeles, Dana followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, John Calvin Brewster, the early photographer for Ventura County. Many, many families from Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, and beyond, have had their lives commemorated throughout the years with the beautiful sepia-toned portraits for which Dana was well known. He was always assisted by his partner in love and life, Ruth Reddick Teague, who died exactly one month ago on June 22nd. Dana’s son, Timothy, is now an established photographer, and that same artistic Brewster/Teague gene has shown up in Anna Teague and Brian Pidduck.Dana was born in 1919 in the Bard Hospital in downtown Ventura. He lived his whole life in Santa Paula, attending Santa Paula High School, before heading to Chapman College and then Art Center. He served in the army during World War II, stationed in the south of Italy. When he returned to Santa Paula, he and his wife settled in the parsonage of the Universalist Church while they built their hilltop home in the middle of the Reddick Ranch. Their colorful and joyful home, filled with art and Dana’s photos, is a tribute to his and Ruth’s artistic expressions and their love of their family, home, and each other.Dana is survived by his three children, Suzanne Teague Pidduck, Dane and Timothy Teague, his grandchildren, Krista Koch, Kevin and Brian Pidduck, Joseph Dana and Grace Teague, Anna and Patrick Teague, his great grandchildren, Dylan and Annika Koch, his niece and “3rd daughter,” Stephanie Reddick Orr, his exchange student “daughter” from South Africa, Marie de Haan, his nephew and “3rd son,” Andrew Reddick, his nieces and nephews on both the Teague and Reddick sides of the family, his much loved caregiver and friend, Glenda Freeman, and many other people whose lives he touched.A private, family memorial service is planned at the family home. Donations may be made in Dana’s name to the Museum of Ventura County (100 East Main Street, Ventura, California 93001 /, where so many of his grandfather’s photographs are displayed and stored.

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