|Fr. Daniel Westberg in front of Nashotah House's |
historic Blue House (1842) with Upper Nashotah Lake
in the background
On Wednesday, Fr. Westberg celebrated and preached at the Eucharist that morning. It was a sunny day, with the trees on the Nashotah campus displaying their fall colors. Nashotah House is beautiful at any time, but the fall colors can be truly spectacular.
Fr. Westberg went for a sail on the lake in his own boat, alone. Apparently he was not wearing a life vest. Neighbors summoned police and rescuers around 1 p.m. when they heard shouts of distress coming from the lake. Fr. Westberg became separated from the boat, perhaps trying to swim to shore. Rescuers searched until dark on Wednesday without locating Fr. Westberg. The search resumed this morning and his body was found.
Fr. Westberg had been a professor at Nashotah House since 2000. Previously, he taught at the University of Virginia (1990-98) and Wycliffe College, Toronto (1998-2000). He earned the DPhil at Oxford, studying under the renowned Anglican ethicist, Oliver O'Donovan, who was Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology, and the Dominican scholar Herbert McCabe, OP. His dissertation was on Thomas Aquinas and the virtue of prudence.
Fr. Westberg's most recent book was Renewing Moral Theology: Christian Ethics as Action, Character and Grace (InterVarsity Press, 2015). He co-authored Preaching the Lectionary (3rd ed.; Liturgical Press, 2006) with the late Professor Reginald Fuller.
It was exceedingly gratifying to have served as Fr. Westberg's dean for ten and colleague at Nashotah House for twelve years. Dan had a brilliant mind and keen sense of humor. He had a quiet demeanor--a gentle man and a gentleman. As a professor, he was a friend and mentor who spent time with his students and truly cared about their spiritual as well as their intellectual formation. But, above all, he was a godly man who truly lived the faith he proclaimed. Dan's tragic death is a great loss for Nashotah House. He will be missed by all who knew him, but especially by his wife Lisa, his father, a brother and three sisters, four adult children, and three grandchildren who survive him.
We commend our brother into the loving arms of God. May he rest in peace and may light perpetual shine upon him. Our prayers go out for Lisa and Dan's family.