The Corner

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Arthur Stetzner, R.I.P.


Behind the scenes at National Review are many people who toil to keep alive the institution, from which our editors can stand athwart history and yell. One of these hearty souls was Arthur Stetzner, who passed away this week in Brooklyn, age 58. Arthur had retired from NR a few years ago, after a long haul in the finance and accounting department. A shy man, he was nevertheless beloved by many: Always a smile, always a sincerely kind word, always there to listen or encourage, and if you were out of smokes, always glad to let you bum one of his. Yet there was a sadness to Arthur—years before, he was working on his doctorate at NYU when his advisor died, and then the replacement advisor died too. The fates seemed to be conspiring, and he threw in the academic towel. Then both of his parents, to whom this only child was very close, died within a few months of each other. His spirits weren’t crushed, but they were damaged, as were his dreams. Like Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront, Arthur Stetzner too could have been a contender. But whether he knew it or not, he served God’s purposes in many other ways—his personal kindnesses here at NR and elsewhere did not go unnoticed, unappreciated, or forgotten. Thankfully, last week I spoke with him for the first time in quite a while. It was wonderful to hear his voice. Maybe, if I am lucky, I will hear it again, in that place where he surely now resides, as promised: Blessed are the humble, for they shall inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. Rest in Peace, Arthur.