Amherst Magazine

ROBERT FAULKNER JILLSON ’52

Bob Jillson died on March 3, 2009. Born in Utica, N.Y., on July 20, 1930, Bob had been in failing health with Alzheimer’s for some years. Bob came to Amherst from Rye H.S., where he set the then all-time rushing record in football. After graduating from Amherst, he married Frances “Dukey” Horton. They had three daughters, Wynne Abrams, Deborah Russo and Margaret Bassett, and four grandchildren.

He worked as a sales executive for Alcoa, Olin Mathieson, Columbia Mills and Holliston Mills. After his retirement in 1996, Bob was on the Board of Directors of the Auburn Society at Towson State Univ., a group that allowed him to pursue his avid interest in the American Civil War. He explored many battlefields, including Fredericksburg, Manassas, and Gettysburg.

Bob was a Deke, as his father, Jack ’23, had been.

Bob was a quiet and intense person, but he shared a wonderful sense of humor with close friends in small gatherings. His nickname among the Dekes was “Captain Bobo.” He will be remembered as a hard-running back on the football team. And I am sure that others will agree with me when I say that he was the strongest man I ever knew.

The melancholy task of writing an obituary for an old friend has been lightened considerably by two charming ladies who helped me fill in some of the details: Bob’s sister, Mary Jillson Stout of Dallas, Pa., and Bob’s widow and wife of 40 years, Cynthia Rice Jillson, of Towson, Md.

Bob will be buried in the family plot in Utica, when lilacs next in the dooryard bloom.

—Herb Coursen ’54

 

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