Amherst Magazine

Robert O. Diephouse '38

Deceased June 6, 2010
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Robert O. "Bob" Diephouse  

Bob was an explorer of sorts. Few of our generation ventured into computers as an occupation. Bob did so in midlife, becoming a programmer for two national enterprises.

No hint of this in college, of course, when even television was in the future. But as time moved on, it was with a television company, Sylvania, that Bob got his first computer programming job in Syracuse, N.Y. Later, he programmed for Blue Cross/Blue Shield, retiring in 1978 at age 62.

A scientific bent had already showed during WWII, when he served in the U.S. Navy as an x-ray technician in Seattle, Wash.

As a student, the Chicago-born Bob, an English major, had planned a business career. Early on, he worked for his father-in-law, a manufacturer, in Auburn, N.Y., becoming general manager. He and his wife, Phyllis Woodruff, a Mount Holyoke alumna, were married in 1942.

Predeceased by her in 1990, Bob died in New Britain, Conn., on June 6, 2010, at age 93. His son, Roger, said he had moved into an assisted-living home years before and that his death resulted from multiple infections. A navy bugler played taps at his burial with military honors in Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn following a funeral in Westminster Presbyterian Church.

During their retirement, Bob and Phyllis bought a camper and traveled widely. They also visited Hawaii. He enjoyed golf and photography. A Phi Gamma Delta in college, he played intramural sports after freshman soccer and track.

Besides Roger of Plantsville, Conn., a daughter, Roberta Diephouse, of San Jose, Calif., survived him together with four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Another son, John, died in 1999.

George Bria ’38

 

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