Amherst Magazine
Donald J. McCloskey '49

 

Don McCloskey died peacefully at St. Francis Hospital on December 6, 2006, after a prolonged battle with cancer. He was born in Albany, NY, and received his elementary education at the Albany Academy.  He then attended the New York Military Academy and Peddie School in New Jersey, graduating in 1942 at the onset of WWII.

Don served four years in the US Army Air Corps, and as a flying officer with the 15th Air Force based in Italy, he was decorated with the Purple Heart, two Air Medals, and three Bronze Stars, and cited for a Silver Star. Upon returning from overseas duty, he married Barbara Torrey of Springfield, MA, in June 1945 and was stationed at Langley Field in Virginia until his honorable discharge soon after VJ Day.

Entering Amherst in the spring of 1946, he lived in the GI village college housing with his wife and baby girl.  Unlike many veterans living there, he participated fully in campus life, being an active member of DKE, including house president senior year, and head of the House Management Committee from 1948-49, after working there for three years.  His mature counsel was much appreciated by the college administration.

Following graduation in June 1949, Don joined Cannon Mills Inc., becoming a vice-president heading two divisions.  One of his many creative marketing ideas saw the first placement of nonfood items into supermarkets. He went on to become president of American Textiles and Ehrhardt Manufacturing Company, both involved in various aspects of the textile industry.  At seventy three, finding retirement less than rewarding, he jumped into the new computer age, founding Realty Viewing Network, a computer software company, and designing Listnet Listing Systems for the real estate market.

Don was an avid tennis player, golfer, and skeet shooter. He was a member of the Mashomack Club of Shelter Island, Gardners Bay Country Club, and DKE club of New York.  For the past fifty years, he was a parishioner of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church of Port Washington, NY.

Don was predeceased by his son Mark, who died of cancer in 2002.  He is survived by his beloved wife of sixty one years, Barbara, and their wonderful children, Karen Maiorano (Steve), Heather Beck (Kevin), and Bruce McCloskey (Gina), along with eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild born just before he passed away.  Don will be missed by his family and many friends.

—Sidney B. Barteau ’49

 

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