Nelson J. Sarris '53
NELSON J. SARRIS ’53
Our beloved classmate Nelson Sarris died peacefully March 14, 2009, a few weeks into hospice at his daughter Katherine’s home in North Conway, N.H. The cause was recurrence of stomach cancer, which kindly granted him remission long enough for a joyful, 2008 full-family reunion in Mytiline, Greece, his birthplace. Son of the late James and Evantha Sarris, he is survived by Katherine Shaw ’84, his son James of Hadley, a sister Evie Porter of Amherst and two grandsons. He was predeceased by his wife, Antoinette (Leto) Sarris.
To his classmates, Nel was “Mr. Amherst,” a smiling, laughing, positive person who tirelessly handled arrangements for our Reunions and more. He grew up in Amherst, majored in geology (with an M.S. later from the Univ. of Massachusetts)—then worked for Standard Oil in Texas and Oklahoma, served in the U.S. Army and spent many years with New York Telephone, returning to Amherst on retirement in 1987. Active in Grace Episcopal Church, he also enjoyed traveling, golf and the theater.
Some reminiscences: Daughter Kate Shaw ’84: “We all miss him dearly.” Closest classmate Manson Hall: “We did much together, including a hilarious drive across the country after junior year. He was my roommate the one year he lived on campus. A shy person, he was most outgoing in a smaller circle.” Rich Gray: “Nellie was our Amherst rock, a dependable feature in the New England peneplain, always willing to organize and oversee for the Class. I will miss his deft taps and rueful chuckles.”
Readers and friends are invited to add to this on the new Amherst In Memory Web site.
—Philip W. Ransom, Jr. ’53