Herbert A. Bartholomew '53
Deceased March 11, 2014
Herb Bartholomew, a kind, caring and humorous member of our class, died at home March 11, 2014, in Colton, N.Y., after a long struggle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. From the first diagnosis, he vowed to fight the cancer with all he had. And so he did. With him when he passed away was Victoria Slon, his second wife, who helped care for him during his illness.
Herb was an accomplished OB/GYN. At Amherst, he majored in biology/chemistry and went on to earn a medical degree at Albany Medical College. Herb served more than two years active duty as a U.S. Air Force doctor in England. He and his first wife, Connie, spent several years in Maine raising their children, with Herb taking on more medical and management challenges.
Flash to the mid-’90s: Herb and Connie moved to Colton and opted for a snowbird schedule—half the year in Colton and half on the west coast of Florida.
And so it was until the wheels fell off in 1997. Connie acquired an incurable disease and died quickly. Herb’s son Herbert IV died suddenly and unexpectedly. Devastated, Herb relied on support groups, which included his incredibly bonded freshman-year roommates on the fourth floor of Morrow Hall: Dr. Kenneth Hall and the late Bill Millard ’53. A good tennis player, Herb introduced his doubles partner, Jacqui, to Seward Smith ’53, who had also lost his wife that year after a tragic equestrian accident. Jacqui and Seward fell in love quickly, married and now celebrate all their love and anniversaries every single month.
Herb’s life was one of triumph and tragedy. What lives on is the power of his lasting friendships and love for his family. Besides his wife, he is survived by two daughters, two grandchildren, a brother-in-law and numerous other relatives across New York State.
Philip W. Ransom Jr. ’53
Fifty years! Though a long time ago, my memories of Amherst remain vivid. I'm grateful for the terrific four years there, the many wonderful people-some of whom are good friends still, and just getting through the place. The College continues to be important to me.
Since leaving my life seems to have been considerably less exciting and exotic than what I read and hear of many classmates. But all in all, it has been happy and a bit productive.
Medical school followed graduation and a few years as an Air Force doc in England followed that. Europe was enjoyable; the military during the Cold War not so much so. Ob-Gyn training in Florida-an incredible learning experience-got the career started. I practiced with my Dad in Upstate New York until his death, then, needing a change relocated to Maine. Down East turned out to be a great place to raise the kids, sail and ski, and contribute something. I was fortunate to be Chief of my service at a good hospital, do some teaching at Dartmouth Medical College, and serve on the Board of Trustees of Kents Hill and as a Commissioner of the Maine State Museum. Hard work, good fun, neat life.
Retirement came early and Connie and I came to this remote area near the Canadian border for half the year and to the West Coast of Florida for the remainder. Many of our '53 guys were also in this area. The "Snowbird'' thing continued until she became suddenly ill with an incurable disease. She died quickly and with a lot of dignity at age 52. Sew Smith and Millard were especially supportive during this tough time; strangely both were widowed the same year.
My three kids are all grown, rather distant and have been a comfort and joy. Each managed college; each is doing well in work and marriage etc. They are solid young adults. My only grandchild was born this year.
Now I share life with Victoria Slon, pictured here, who is Canadian of Polish descent. If her nation-and ours-will give us a break we will marry soon. I took her to Homecoming last fall her first visit to an American campus and first football game. She found Amherst wonderful as everyone was so gracious.
Two quotes to mind that I’d like to share. A few years ago Jack Park came to a party I had at my condo in Florida. Later, he sent me a note saying, “Aren’t we lucky, Herb, to have gone to such a great college-Amherst.” He got that right. And, Connie, when she was dying, one day stated, “We have had a lot of wonderful friends in our life. The Amherst people have the most substance.”
I often think of these words: At our 45th Vic gave a little speech telling us we were all good men and a great Class. He, too, got it right I think. I look forward to reunion in Mat.
The very best to all –