I had the privilege of knowing Prof De La Rey van der Waldt for 29 years. It is a lifetime of wonderful memories, ranging from his love for the colour "MTN-yellow" as he would describe it, his admiration for the animated DC superhero Batman, to his heartfelt belief in building relationships as the cornerstone of progress in any organizational setting. Prof DLR was my mentor, my colleague, my examiner, my supervisor, my lecturer and – much more than that – he was my inspiration.
He will be remembered as an expert in marketing communication and strategic reputation management. The world of Communication has lost a vibrant soul and a wonderful academic.
I will miss him dearly, but I will remember him as a gentleman who had the ability to draw people together and to listen to what they were not saying.
Rest in Peace, Prof DLR
Much love to you and your family.
Prof Lida Holtzhausen
(Director School of Communication)
Prof De la Rey van der Waldt was one of the nicest, most kind-hearted people I had ever met.
He was very compassionate, and always made time to listen to every staff member's problems, big or small, whether it was a work or personal problem; he would always try to help.
He had a great sense of humour.
Every day just before lunchtime, he rang a bell and called the staff to come and sit in the tearoom to chat and eat their sandwiches together.
Sonja & Raschna
Wat 'n voorreg om De la Rey met julle te kon deel. 'n Mens-mens, wat altyd 'n tydjie kon afstaan vir luister, raad gee en oplossings probeer vind. Ons gereelde "road trips" Mahikeng toe was so leersaam en interessant... sommer net soms oor die lewe gepraat en ons doel hier op Moeder Aarde. Ek stuur nou my klippies na jou toe Sonja...sterkte vir julle albei. Mag ek Jan F.E. Cilliers aanhaal: "Stil, broers, daar gaan ‘n man verby, hy groet, en dis verlaas. Daar’s nog maar één soos hy, bekyk hom goed". Dankie dat ek so baie by jou kon leer DLR, ek mis jou! Rus in vrede.
Naomi du Plessis
DLR was sommer 'n afkorting vir 'n baie lang man met 'n baie lang naam. En soos dit hoort vir so ’n lang man met so ’n lang naam, het De la Rey en ons as kollegas altyd lang praatjies in die Skool se gange en personeelkamer met mekaar gemaak. Daar was nie ‘n onderwerp waaroor DLR nie lank en innig kon gesels nie. DLR het altyd ‘n lekker – dikwels stout – storie begin met, “Stop my as ek al hierdie ene vir jou vertel het…” Dan laat waai hy in kleur en geur oor watter belewenis hom nou weer “oorgekom” het. En al het jy al die storie gehoor, meer as een keer, bly jy stil, want jy het geweet jy gaan weer lag vir hom, die storie, en hoe hy dit als weer verhaal.
Sy belangstelling in wêreldgebeure, mooi rolprente en musiek, lekker kos en ordentlike wyn, oorsese en plaaslike reise, en mense – veral vir mense – het gemaak dat hy met enige siel kon handel en wandel. Partymaal het dié van ons wat nog sit en gesels het in die teekamer met ‘n skok agtergekom dat etenstyd lankal reeds verby is, en dat ons haastig terug by ons kantore of by die klas moes uitkom. Dan was dit dikwels omdat DRL se stories ons bymekaar gehou het… Ons gaan jou vreeslik verlang DLR. Vir ‘n lang man was die tyd saam net te kort.
Liewe De la Rey, ek wil eers met jou praat. Dankie vir jou krag, deernis, oordeelsvermoë en leierskap. Jy was 'n ware mens in die mooiste sin van die woord. Jy het, soos ons ook op jou diens gesien het, my gereeld daaraan herinner om my liggie te laat skyn, en moed ingepraat wanneer ek dit nodig gehad het. Die leemte wat jy laat vul ek met mooi herinneringe. Jy het so "gebrag" met Sonja wat jou baadjies gemaak het, met jou trots vir jou kind... Dankie vir saamwerk, saamlag en soveel meer.
Vir Sonja en Rachna: ek is dankbaar dat ek kon deel hê aan julle spesiale De la Rey. Sonja, dankie vir jou bederfies aan ons skool as hy verjaar, vir jou deelneem aan pret met maskers en saamkuier. My beste wense vir berusting en seën van God wat altyd saam met julle die pad gestap het. Net julle weet hoe sterk hy gestaan het toe hy gekonfronteer is met 'n baie moeilike tyd in sy lewe. Mag julle ook altyd vreugde put uit saam onthou.
Wat 'n heer, wat 'n galante heer. DLR, jou deernis en menswees, jou konsep van die lewe en wese skyn voort in ons gedagtes. Wat 'n heer, wat 'n galante heer.
Phil C Pretorius
I only knew Prof De la Rey a short while, but I was so happy to have such an amazing director. He was kind, considerate and caring, and made me feel like I had joined a very humane department. He always said that family comes first, and I valued his priorities and outlook. He was generous in spirit, and strategically minded in business, guiding where necessary and supporting decisions with insight and real concern. I had enjoyed his sense of fun, too, bringing us all gerbera daisies on a spring day, dressed colourfully while providing a few light-hearted moments, and we missed him after he left NWU. Throughout his illness, he seemed to remain positive and faithful, graciously keeping us updated with news. His daughter Raschna's eulogy was so eloquent, heartfelt and lovely, reflecting the strong family bonds and values shared with his beautiful and courageous wife Sonja. We will miss the great man who often reminded us to let our lights shine.
My first encounter with De la Rey van der Waldt was in 1989, which was the start of my academic career as his academic assistant. My first conference presentation was a paper in which he had incorporated me as co-author. It was a paper on marketing communication in a post-apartheid society we presented in Bloemfontein in 1992. I cannot remember what we argued in the paper, but I remember his guidance about conference etiquette and managing my nerves before a first presentation. I remember him saying after the presentation that this had now been a Coke opportunity for us.
So, looking back, it feels like I had known him my whole adult life, and he was the kind of person that you didn’t just know, he influenced your life. He was a "people’s person" to say the least; he cared deeply about colleagues and saw them as more than colleagues; for him, they were people with families. For me, he played a significant role in my academic development, and, on a more personal note, he was a dear friend and an important "support structure" to me.
He will be remembered for the role he played in boosting the morale of the office when we worked under difficult circumstances during my early career. He was always prepared to listen and share a joke. And then there were the famous potjiekos gatherings we had, where he spoilt us with his cooking.
In recent times when he assumed the position of School Director, office politics left us in turmoil once again. He made it his mission to work on the morale in the office. De la Rey basically "forced" us to interact and have tea together. My last memory of De la Rey will always be of him walking down the passages and urging everybody to "kom breek ‘n broodjie" (let us share our lunch) in the team room.
De la Rey, your passing leaves a void in the field of marketing communication, but more importantly, you will be missed by your colleagues. Rest in peace
Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you. – Shannon Alder
Prof De La Rey, you are forever etched into our hearts and minds. You will be greatly missed.
Prof. De la Rey was a 'big' man, not only in physique but also in terms of his presence. He always had time to inquire about the family and to make a joke on the side!
I shall never forget how he arrived dressed up in a Batman suit for a year-end function, with Sonja as Catwoman. His presence is sorely missed! Condolences to his family.
May you rest in peace, Prof. De la Rey!
Colette and Henry Lotz
‘n Man na God se hart wat die liefdesgebod na almal om hom uitgeleef het. De La Rey se liefde vir mense was nie net woorde of ‘n gepratery nie maar is in opregtheid deur sy optrede bewys.