Roger Creelman died on September 13. He had been hospitalized in a coma for some weeks. Jana and Bob Kiely, with the help of Al Brockman, managed to have his body interred beside the grave of Roger’s mother in Winchester, MA, where his family had lived.
The death of a classmate, fraternity brother, and friend is always an occasion of sadness. In Roger Creelman’s case, his was a particularly sad ending. As an only child, with his parents having predeceased him some years past, and no other family members or close friends available to be at his side as he spent his final months in a New York City hospital bed, it was not what Roger or any of his friends would have predicted or wished for our gregarious and fun-loving classmate. At the same time, we’re sure he would not want to be pitied for leaving us in this manner.
The Roger we knew was a fun-loving, live-life-to-the-fullest kind of guy, ready and eager to face a new challenge and to explore new venues in seeking out works of art. The special gift he had of appraising and selecting works of art from hitherto unknown artists was exceptional. His interest took him to China many times and more recently to Russia. He was quick to grasp the advantages of using technology in advertising his collections by having a Website designed that allowed viewers to scan his collections room by room and picture by picture in his gallery. One of his singular successes in this field was having his China collection sold in an auction by Christie’s.
Roger was generous with the fruits of his labor. In addition to regularly contributing to the Amherst Alumni Fund, he donated one of his collected paintings to his prep school, Phillips Andover, where it hangs in a prominent place in their library. He was no less generous with the use of his personal time and energy, working as an AIDS patient volunteer at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Greenwich Village.
His quick wit and warm loyalty and interest in his friends will be missed.
—Larry DeCarolis ’53