Amherst Magazine

Richard H. Eisenhart '38

Deceased August 29, 2010
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Richard H. "Dick" Eisenhart

Dick dropped out of Amherst after two years but stayed in touch. A great-grandson of J.J. Bausch, founder of the famed Bausch & Lomb optics firm, he persevered in the industry as a manufacturers' representative. With multiple community activities and honors, he became a civic icon in his native Rochester, N.Y.

Dick had 10 great-grandchildren, a record so far among 1938ers.

In a class note shortly before he died on Aug. 29, 2010, aged 95, he said he had acquired a pacemaker and walked with a cane. His family said he died of a heart attack alone at dinner in his assisted-living apartment. His health had declined with the recent death of Virginia (Mt. Holyoke '39), his wife of 68 years.

Dick prepared for Amherst at Choate. He was "not a student," a son, Douglas, said, but he lettered in golf ... and kept playing. He belonged to the Rochester Country Club 77 years, longer than anybody still around. He also was noted for his greenhouse orchids.

During the war, Dick served in providing optical instruments for the military.

After college, he was a trainee at Pratt & Whitney, went on to Bausch & Lomb, becoming a board member, 1971-77. Later, he was president and chairman of R. H. Eisenhart, Inc. and chair of Eisenhart Industries.

In a memoir, he singled out his service as a trustee of Genesee Hospital and as chairman of the board of Rochester Institute of Technology. He also noted that his wife served on Mt. Holyoke's board for five years, and that he learned to "admire a great all-girl dedication to higher education."

Besides son Douglas, Dick was survived by three other children, Richard H., Jr.; Deborah Maggs; and Susan Alexander; eight grandchildren and the 10 great-grandchildren.

George Bria '38

 

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