Arthur Elliot House


Age: 72

Lives: Gettysburg

From: The Chicago suburbs

Educated at: Niagara University (undergraduate), The University of South Carolina (graduate), The US Army Command and General Staff College.

Family: Wife Barbara, adult children Claire and James, grandkids Kate and John

Job: retired lieutenant colonel (US Army). Currently, volunteer publicist for Prince of Peace Episcopal Church

Job’s reward: Sharing with the Gettysburg community the special events and special experiences available at Prince of Peace.

Job’s frustrations: Not a one.

Very first job was: Apprentice house painter

Favorite food: Medium rare prime rib; linguini with white clam sauce is a close second.

Pets: Cat, Brigid.

Hero: my late father John House. He was the kindest man I’ve ever known.

Hobbies: History of all kinds, focusing on the Civil War, military, naval, and American railroads; model railroading and railroad photography.

Pet peeves: the dumbing down and radicalization of American politics

Collects: Pre-Amtrak railroad passenger timetables, history books of all kinds, scale model railroad equipment.

Best friend: My wife

Would like to have witnessed what event in history: the departure of the Titanic from Southampton, April 10, 1912.

Event that changed your life: A walk in a nature center, during which, suddenly and unexpectedly--and wholly unsought—I found that I believed in God.

Your scariest moment: life-threatening illnesses of my son and wife.

Your first memory: my father setting up a toy train layout under a Christmas tree at my paternal grandmother’s home

Trait inherited from parents: Story-telling, often far too long for other people’s interest levels.

Piece of advice that you live by: As a person ages, the greatest gifts are family and friends, laughter, and serenity.

Who needs a hug? Planet earth

Favorite reading/author: Patrick O’Brian (fiction); James Hessler (non-fiction)

Favorite spot on earth: The valley of Dunlap Creek, Alleghany County, Virginia

Website you visit most: Facebook

Would like concert tickets to see: Diana Krall

One bad habit: impatience

3 items on your bucket list: Visit Santa Fe, take a trans-Atlantic ocean voyage (NOT a cruise), ride several preserved, operating narrow-gauge railroads.

Five minutes with: Albert W. House, my great-great uncle, who fought at the Battle of Antietam.

What skill or lesson would you like to learn? I’ve always wished I had learned to play the piano.

What would people find surprising about you? After a couple of terrifying experiences aloft, I will no longer fly.

What would make this world a better place? A return to dignity, courtesy, and kindness in political activity, here and abroad.

What is the best piece of news you received lately that you would like to share? A surprise family engagement announcement.

How would you like to be remembered? As a person who learned from his mistakes.

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