Amherst Magazine

Channing Richardson '39

Channing Richardson '39 died March 22, 2009

Channing B. Richardson died on March 22, 2009, at his home at Crosslands, Kennett Square, Pa. He had been in relatively good health before succumbing to heart failure. He died peacefully surrounded by his four children and Comfort, his wife of 60 years, nearby.

Chan followed his brother, Norman ’31, to Amherst where he roomed in 5 North with Bill Putnam and pledged Phi Delt. Enjoying a busy college career he sampled—squash, soccer, fraternity activity and debating. Several professors, especially Loewenstein, steered him to a lasting interest in international politics. He was grateful, too, for the introductory courses in music and art. He used to laugh at the “A” he and George Taylor got on a paper predicting a total failure of the onion crop after the big flood on the Connecticut River. And, of course, that crop was the best in years.

Chan was drafted in 1941 and served 4 1/2 years in the Civilian Public Service program as a conscientious objector, subsequently joining the Quakers. Upon discharge, he joined the United Nations refugee work (UNRRA) running displaced persons camps in Germany. He received his Ph.D. degree from Columbia in 1951 in public law and government and took a teaching position at Hamilton College where he taught courses in American foreign policy, African politics, international law and the African novel. Chan retired in 1983.

He met Comfort Cary (Vassar ’40) while climbing Mt. Katahdin (Maine), and they were married in 1948 in Germantown (Pa.) Friends Meeting. They have four children and three grandchildren.

All his life, Chan enjoyed the out-of-doors, hiking, tennis, sailing and especially gardening.  He read widely and was always giving reading suggestions to anyone who would listen. He believed strongly that it was in America’s national interest to lead the world towards peace through the effective development of international law.

—David Richardson

 

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