Amherst Magazine

David H. Thrailkill ’46

David H. Thrailkill ’46 died January 6, 2011.
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DAVID THRAILKILL ’46

Dave Thrailkill passed away Jan. 6, 2011, in Chapel Hill, N.C., and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

He came to Amherst from Shaker Heights, Ohio, and was one of my roommates in North College in the fall of 1942 and at the Deke House after the war. His service was as an Air Corps officer and navigator. He flew 35 missions over Germany. Dave was an economics major, fluent in Spanish, and he loved to travel. He felt there was great opportunity for U.S. companies in Spanish-speaking countries. This proved correct during his successful career in international business.

After graduation in 1947, Dave joined the International Division of J.B. Williams (makes better soap) Co. in New York. Dave took one of his friends to visit a girlfriend at Duke University, where he met Jane Wilkins, also an economics major. They were married in North Carolina in October 1950. Soon thereafter, they moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where Dave became the head of J.B. Williams’ Latin American operations. In the early 1970s, he joined Alberto Culver and moved to Barrington, Ill. Carol and I got together with the Thrailkills periodically while they were in the Chicago area.

In 1980, Dave relocated to London and was in charge of consumer products for Royal Dutch/ Shell. The Thrailkills owned homes in Saltaire, Long Island; Antigua; Guatemala; and Chester, Vt. The family enjoyed vacations at the beach and skiing.

After retirement, Dave had a career as a real estate agent and helped Jane with her antique-importing business in Vermont. They spent winters in Wilmington, N.C. A few years ago, they moved to Chapel Hill to be near their daughter, Jane ’85, an English professor at the University of North Carolina. Dave is survived by his widow, three children and six grandchildren. We extend our deepest sympathy to Jane and his children.

—Ed “Josh” Watkins ’46 

 

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