Alexander C. Marrack '55
Deceased December 1, 2013
Sandy died unexpectedly on Dec. 1, 2013, of a heart attack. He spent virtually his whole life in Honolulu. After deciding on Amherst, he traveled almost two weeks to get there, first across the Pacific on the S.S. Lurline, next by train from San Francisco to Boston, and then by bus to Amherst! At Amherst, Sandy became a Psi U and was a stalwart tackle on the football team. He met Pat Peasley, Smith ‘55, in November 1951, and they married on Sept. 4, 1955.
Dan Bixler ’55 remembers Sandy as “a gentle giant, quiet but with a little chuckle, and smart.” Jeff Fillman ’55 found Sandy always “unpretentious, kind-hearted, not a mean or malicious bone in his body.”
After Amherst Sandy graduated from Harvard Law School in 1958, cum laude. He spent three years in the Air Force, the last two of which were at Hickam AFB in Honolulu because the legal office there wanted somebody who understood the local dialect.
After being discharged, Sandy joined one of Hawaii’s top law firms, becoming a partner and staying with that firm for more than 40 years. Both before and after retirement, Sandy worked with various community service organizations, spent many hours on pro bono legal work and represented Amherst at local high schools’ “College Nights.” Pat and Sandy played lots of tennis, and the family enjoyed Hawaii’s beaches and hiking trails.
The Marracks traveled extensively, going to the East Coast annually to visit Pat’s relatives. They timed their trips so they could include Amherst reunions. They also attended the 50th reunion of the undefeated 1953 football team, which Sandy really loved. They traveled to Europe, Asia and all the islands of Hawaii.
Sandy is survived by Pat and children Laura, Alex ’85 and Paul. Son Peter ’86 died in 2012.
Rob Sowersby ’55
The greatest thing that happened to me at Amherst was meeting my future wife, Patricia Peasley, at Smith our freshman year. Pat and I were married in September after graduation. She supported me through Harvard Law School as junior English teacher until the spring of 1957 when our daughter Laura Ellen was born. After law school I spent three years in the Air Force as a JAG officer. We spent the first year at Walker Air Force Base in Roswell, New Mexico, but had no sightings of aliens of UFOS from outer space. Then I was transferred to Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu, presumably because I could understand the local dialect.
After my discharge from the Air Force I went to work for a law firm in Honolulu. It was quite a decision to stay in Hawaii. To induce Pat to marry me, I had told her that I was not planning to return to Hawaii. However, after one summer during law school with a Wall Street law firm, I decided that I should probably not work in New York. So I promised Pat that if we stayed in Hawaii, we would vacation in New Jersey annually so that she could see her large family. Over the years a lot of our vacations have been spent first in New Jersey and now in Michigan, where we travel to see our daughter and her five sons.
We have four fine children. Our daughter wen to Williams the year before Amherst became coed. My two older sons graduated from Amherst. My youngest son was a good kid who had the highest SAT scores of all, but he was not admitted to Amherst College. So he too graduated from Williams. I was not happy with Amherst about this to say the least. Three of my children are lawyers. However, my daughter has put her legal career on hold while she raises our give grandsons.
Life has been very good to us. I presently keep busy with my own small law practice after spending 45 years in a firm. Pat and I play tennis if the infirmities of age don’t interfere. For 35 years we have lived in a home overlooking the Pacific and the rear side of Diamond head – not the usual view from Waikiki. Pat says I spend too much time watching old men talking about the sad state of the world and the economy, and sports events.
Pat and I have enjoyed our class reunions, and I especially enjoyed the reunion of our 1953 undefeated football team in October 2003. We look forward to the 50th.
MY years at Amherst were everything I could have hoped for. I left Hawaii for the first time on the Steamship Lurline and had a great party time with our kids leaving Hawaii to go to college. I then traveled across the country by train from San Francisco, which was a great experience. Once settled at Amherst, I enjoyed my roommates, classmates, and my classes.
I chose Amherst after reading Lovejoy’s book on colleges from cover to cover. I also remember the attractive college brochure, mentioned by Dom Paino at our last reunion. It made Amherst seem idyllic and was more impressive than other college catalogs. I was fortunate to get a scholarship to attend Amherst. I think the college was looking for diversity, and being from the Territory of Hawaii was considered diverse in those days.
Freshman year stands out in my mind. It was the first time I had seen the fall colors and experienced snow and winter weather. I met Pat that winter. Springtime was great. I was having fun dating Pat and pledging Psi Upsilon, but my grades suffered.
I am proud to have been a member of a very successful Amherst football team and enjoyed being with my teammates. However, my football career did not get off to a good start. I was hurt ina scrimmage against the varsity and did not play freshman year. Sophomore year started with a dislocated shoulder so I played defensive tackle with a chain to hold my arm in place. Later in practice I broke my hand on Bon Jedrey’s helmet, and played with my hand in a cast with a rubber pad over it. I did better junior and senior years.
I regret not working harder as a student, but I am glad that I did well enough to get into Harvard Law School. My professors were terrific, and I am grateful for the education I received from them and for the four years spent at Amherst with Pat and my friends at Psi U and on campus.