Amherst Magazine

Richard M. Achey ’46

Richard M. Achey ’46 died December 1, 2009.
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            I wish to report the passing of my father, Richard M. Achey, '45 after many years of declining health. My sister, Lisa, near whom he lived, reports "to the end you were upbeat and positive as you were most of your life." To this I would add, "But, like Billy Joel's character 'John at the bar was a friend of mine... He was quick with a joke or to light up your smoke. But there's some place that he'd rather be...' " 

            My father was trained as a lawyer to join his father's law practice but in his heart wished to be a teacher of literature. Though my father and I were not close over the years, we shared a love of Amherst and golf. He spoke little to me over the years about his schooling or early life. I can report very little about "his Amherst" other than that he was a scratch golfer thanks to the golf team. Post Amherst he attended Temple Law School and graduated with the JD degree. He never practiced law as a lawyer. Rather, after a number of years working in various positions he found a nitch that suited his soul. He inaugurated the Pre Trial Intervention program in Mercer County, New Jersey, a program which diverted out of the criminal justice system as rapidly as possible folks who committed minor criminal offenses . This was a wonderful program that only a person with a forgiving heart could run; a program that gave poor desperate shoplifters a job instead of a jail sentence and put drug addicted persons into a rehab bed instead of a jail cell. It was a career that played to his strengths and finally made his heart sing . On retirement he had great success as a breeder of Springer Spaniels, a breed of dog with which he had grown up and which he dearly loved. The pinnacle of his career was breeding a champion Springer, Skywatch's Elias, which ultimately stormed the European dog shows winning championships for several seasons.

            My father leaves three children, my half brother John from his marriage to Gwladys Mander and my sister Lisa and me from his marriage to Mary Jane Dilts. I would appreciate hearing any stories from my dad's college life that anyone cares to report.

Michael Achey, '79 (mdamd@aol.com)

 

 

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