Amherst Magazine

William W. G. Maclachlan ’45

William W. G. Maclachlan ’45 died April 30, 2010
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WILLIAM WATT GRAHAM MACLACHLAN, JR. ’45

 

Our father, Dr. William Maclachlan, died suddenly of a heart attack on April 30, 2010, in his home in Delray Beach, Fla., exactly two weeks after the passing of Marjorie, his beloved wife of 59 years.

Raised in Pittsburgh, Dad entered Amherst in 1941 and joined Kappa Theta. He graduated early, due to the exigencies of war, to pursue his father’s profession. He received his M.D. from the University of Pittsburg in 1948 and served his medical residency at the University of Iowa. He and Marjorie lived in Alaska while Dad served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. Later, they moved to Erie, Pa., where Dad began a long career as an ear, nose and throat specialist. Dad retired in 1988. Dad and Mother became full-time residents of Delray Beach in the 1990s. Dad raised orchids with a surgeon’s care, and Dad and Mother took cruises through the Caribbean and the Panama Canal, spending their final trip together during the Christmas holiday last year.

            A devoted supporter of Amherst, he donated Faculty Study 205 in the Robert Frost Library, “Given to prepare Amherst men for medicine.” He treasured the college as a fundamental influence in his life. Dad never failed to express his Amherst pride, whether for last year’s undefeated football team or Amherst’s eliminating student loans in favor of pure scholarships. 

In Erie, he gave generously to Hamot Medical Center, where he had practiced, and to the Erie Public Library and WQLN, the local public broadcasting affiliate. 

Dad used to say the thing he most liked about retirement was that he no longer needed to be right all the time. He left that to Marjorie, who always fulfilled that role with aplomb. 

We miss them very much. A memorial will be held in Delray Beach in December.

—Christopher Maclachlan ’77

 

—David Maclachlan ’74

 

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