Bob Landon ’37 passed away on October 26, 2007, at ninety-two years of age, leaving behind his bride for a remarkable sixty-eight years, Eve Landon, his three sons (all married), his eight grandchildren (five married), and his five great-grandchildren (and one more on the way). He was forever fond of saying to Eve, “Look at the trouble that we started.”
Bob was born as the seventh of eight surviving children. He was raised as an only child from an early age, however, after his mother died too soon. He and his next youngest brother were adopted by other families in the same town in upstate New York, Vestal, where he spent all but the last years of his life. His adoptive mother was a teacher and English supervisor in the local Binghamton, NY, high school system and valued education, which is probably more than half the reason that he attended Amherst College and law school at Harvard and Cornell. He then returned to upstate New York to work as an elected judge, a private practice lawyer, and, for most of his career, as corporate counsel to IBM, which started in nearby Endicott, NY. He also served on several nonprofit boards and was the president of the board of trustees of Broome County Community College as well as a trustee for many years.
Bob portrayed his Amherst experience as challenging (academically more than socially) and character-building (washing dishes at his fraternity house, Delta Upsilon, now Porter House). He disagreed with certain Amherst presidential administrations over the years. That said, his abiding affection and esteem for the place were obvious in the letters that he wrote to Amherst when his two eldest sons (Bob Landon ’62 and Greg Landon ’71) applied for admission; the pictures of Amherst buildings and Memorial Hill that adorned his and Eve’s home; the detailed tours he gave family upon any and all returns to the Fairest College; his heartfelt renditions of “Paige’s Horse” and other Amherst songs on his beloved piano; and when he addressed the glee club (of which he had been a member), including his grandson (Robbie Landon ’89), before the Homecoming concert in 1988.
Although he may not have displayed as much while a student at Amherst, Bob was dashing and, in the eyes of his grandchildren, possessed nearly mythic powers. He and Eve danced with style rivaling that of the finalists on “Dancing with the Stars.” He drove big, fast cars and sporty boats, even into his later years. He spent the time to have his grandchildren and great-grandchildren know him well and love him dearly.
It is a compliment to Bob that he lived into his nineties and still his family wishes that he did not have to leave so soon.
—Robert D. W. Landon, II ’62
—Gregory C. Landon ’71
—Dr. Jeffrey C. Landon
—Robert D. W. Landon, III ’89