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Phyllis (Phil) White Vandervelde (1939-2005)

Phil Vandervelde, with support from her math professor husband, Rick, vetted and processed most of David's published words for twenty books and new editions over the last quarter century.  Over multiple drafts, she produced some 100,000 manuscript pages with more than 2 million words.  Virtually every sentence in every edition of Psychology and Exploring Psychology was filtered first through her brain and formed by her fingers.  The same was true of most editions of Social Psychology and of several other books. 

All this was done with enormous

  • passion for excellence: This sample of the 66 Post-it notes accompanying her final two chapters, delivered just 10 days before her cancer-related death, illustrates her commitment to excellence.

  • self-discipline: With deadlines to meet, she could work (against David's advice) from 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.  She did more than drive herself to meet goals, she kept David and Kathryn on task and meeting deadlines.  There were no sharp lines defining who was working for whom!

  • joy: Working with Phil entailed the pleasure of lives shared, of mutual support, and of gales of shared laughter.  Even through several years of chronic pain, she sustained an irrepressible positive spirit and her deep loyalty to those whom she loved.

She was, for 38 years, David and Carol Myers' close friend.  They met while David and Phil's husband Rick finished graduate school in Iowa City, and then moved together to Hope College, where they had children about the same time and lived a block apart, sharing the joys and sorrows of life's journey.  Not only was she a welcoming co-worker and collaborator when Kathryn Brownson came to the team, but she immediately drew Kathryn into her large circle of friends.  She is dearly missed.

Myers Holland Team

Kathryn                  Dave                         Phil