Amherst Magazine
dr Robert Henry Guest '39

Bob Guest, affectionately known as “Goon” to his classmates and friends, died at his home in Lebanon, N.H. on Sept. 27, 2005. He is survived by his wife of sixty-two years, Kate (Hay), four sons, David H. of Norwich, Gregory H. St. Johnsbury, VT, John H. of Norwich, Peter S. of Salinas, CA, and eight grandchildren. He was pre-deceased by brother, J. Alfred Guest, a sister, Alice Mary Hansen, and one grandson.

Goon graduated from Amherst in ’39, followed by a MA from Columbia in 1941. After Naval Service in WWII, he became a Field Examiner for the National Labor Relations Board in Atlanta. In 1947, he because Associate Director of the Yale Technology Project. 1960 found him completing a doctorate from Columbia in Industrial psychology, which led to a professorship at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business Management, where he taught until retirement in 1981.
 
Bob’s professional reputation was based on his study of industrial management and his book, Man on the Assembly Line. He wrote numerous studies and articles on all phases of automation and management, a field which came to be known as “quality of work life.” He also wrote a light hearted autobiography he titled As Good Luck Would Have It.

His business life involved teaching, consulting, writing and publishing. These activities took him to many universities and locations here and overseas. In addition, Goon had many other interests: he had a private pilot’s license; he became a respected judge of ski-jumping; and his love of golf took him to St. Andrews in Scotland. A staunch Democrat, he worked tirelessly in politics and served in the New Hampshire Legislature from 1988 to 2000. He received special recognition for a project he introduced for helping first graders to learn to read; in the Legislature, he sponsored a physician-aid-in-dying bill.
 
Goon was part of a loyal Amherst family – seven persons named Guest have trod the halls of the Fairest College. A late note from his wife, Kate, reminds us that he treasured his Amherst friends and happy memories of College days.

—Henry Seeley ’39

 

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