EUGENE, Ore. - Rev. Dr. Taitetsu Unno, Feb. 5, 1929 to Dec. 13, 2014. Rev. Dr. Taitetsu Unno, of Eugene, Oregon, passed away peacefully at home with his family.In my life, Tai Unno was a gentle man and a gentleman. At a time when I was a fledgling news reporter, he became my go-to source when it came to backgrounding stories about 'eastern religions.' He answered my questions patiently, no matter how contrarian they might be. But I think he knew -- though he never mentioned it -- that anyone with so many questions was snooping the spiritual terrain on a far more personal quest.
Jill Ker Conway Professor of Religion, Emeritus, at Smith College, and Shin Buddhist minister, he leaves a legacy of scholarship and ministry.
A memorial service will be held Sunday, August 2, 2015, at Helen Hills Chapel, Smith College, at 4 p.m.
I look back on 40-plus years of Zen Buddhism with a thank-you in my heart for Tai Unno. I am hard-pressed to describe how or why he encouraged me: I only know he did and that I am grateful to him. He was a small lotus on my small pond.