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Deborah Sage 
Member since Apr 24, 2012


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Re: “What Winthrop Rockefeller left behind

Dear Sir,

I have played "catch up" to things written about my father in law, Governor Winthrop Rockefeller, my former husband, Lt. Gov. Winthrop Paul Rockefeller and our family for quite some time, for many years actually. Much has been written, opinions, incorrectly given and in general, things said by those who had not even known either of these two men at all. This was, quite frankly interesting. As we all were originally from New York, I have tried to step back very often and be objective to what has been said and done. My protective family has also done the same on many occasion.

My father in law accomplished a great deal in his lifetime both inside and outside the political arena and his influence will be felt for generations to come in Arkansas and beyond. He traveled extensively, my former husband and I accompanied him on many trips during the time we were with him. He loved his family very much and when his first grandchild arrived, that was the greatest gift we could have given him. She was the first Rockefeller born in the Great State of Arkansas.

My former husband and I arrived with the Governor from New York, after having been with the rest of the family, in to Little Rock on Christmas 1969 and spent several days prior to that Christmas, at the Governor's Mansion. The Governor was devoted to doing what he had to do during that period and I have never seen a man so dedicated to his position of office. We then went on to Petit Jean to what would become Winthrop Paul's and my home and the home of our children. That first Christmas in Arkansas was one I shall never forget for I saw the love between this father and son "combo" in it's full light and in the privacy of our home. The Governor was happy for us to start to know the many people he treasured in his adopted home state and we, in turn loved to see how much he shared with us and with others.

After our marriage on March 22nd 1970, we chose to come and live with the Governor on Petit Jean and make our home there. Winthrop Rockefeller became the "guiding light" in our lives from then on. While our beloved mothers kept contact from New York and Europe, the Governor was a "hands on" teacher and willing father to all in our lives, whilst giving us the freedom and protection to learn and follow our own path. We saw him every day and he discussed his interests and his opinions on everything with us. We became involved in almost every aspect of his life and he in ours. It was a time of travel, meeting guests from all over the world that came to Petit Jean and to our home and so much else.

Upon the Governor's death, which came way too soon, Winthrop Paul Rockefeller went on to fulfill his own dream, our dream and carried out not only his father's wishes, but his own during the time he lived in Arkansas. He followed his own path, one which he believed in. The loss of his father affected him far more than the outside was allowed to see. For he had to continue on and there were great decisions to be made at that time which together we did make, both for our future, our child and future children and the future of his father's legacy.

Yes, Winthrop Paul Rockefeller may have been an only child, an unnecessary fact that is repeated too often, but in his too short life, he accomplished so much. In his personal life he accomplished and had many diverse interests that he was able to pursue. His public life is on record. He also leaves behind for the future, his father's continuing dream and eight children who will grow to learn and determine their own futures, knowing full well what has come before them. That fact is one in which they all share the pride of their Grandfather and their father. They also share memories from their mothers, both, and the three sets of families that make up the entire family as a whole, that spans not only this country, but Europe and beyond. Memories from their Grandmothers. Memories from friends, business associates, peoples in Africa and Asia, Scandinavia, Europe and Russia and on.

So you see sir, our family is not about what "could have been done" it is about what has been accomplished already and what will be accomplished in the future. The legacy that started with one man who arrived from New York, determined to make a difference, and a young couple, born in New York, growing up in Europe, deciding to make their life with a wonderful and great man on top of a mountain, well, that is the stuff that dreams are made of, at least, that is what I would say.

Respectfully yours,

Deborah Sage Rockefeller
April 23rd 2012


18 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Deborah Sage on 04/24/2012 at 12:11 AM

 

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