Amherst Magazine

Michael Edward Parkhurst
Michael Edward Parkhurst

Michael Parkhurst died at his former wife's home in Denver , of complications resulting from AIDS, on March 25,1994 . A service of remembrance was held at the Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church, Denver , on March 29, and another one will be held in Gloversville , NY , Mike's home town where his parents still live, on July 23. His ashes will be strewn at his beloved Canada Lake , NY , where Sue and the writers all maintain summer cottages.

Married in March, 1965, to Susan Smith, Hub's sister, Mike and Sue had two sons and a daughter: Cameron, a graduate of St. Olaf College and now a law student in Minneapolis; Alexander, a graduate of the Univ. of Puget Sound now residing in Denver; and Amanda, currently completing her junior year at Mount Holyoke College, from which her mother and both grandmothers graduated. In 1981, Michael told Sue and a few close friends that he was gay, and he and Sue quietly separated, later becoming divorced. He remained a thoughtful and caring friend, present at holidays and remembering family birthdays and anniversaries.

Mike moved to Atlanta in 1990, and early in 1994 it became apparent that the prescription drugs he had been taking for many years were losing their effect and that the AIDS was going to win. Sue suggested that he could come "home" to Denver , and she made special preparations in the house for him. Cameron and Alexander flew to Atlanta and drove their father, with a fully-packed U-Haul trailer in tow, to Denver , where he died two weeks later. He was comfortable right up to the end, with little pain and surrounded by his family and others who knew and loved him. Bill Vickery, in Denver on business, visited Mike a week before his death and reported that although very weak, Mike retained his sense of humor and inquisitive nature, was aware of what was happening around him and was very grateful to be where he was, receiving the best possible care.

Born in Gloversville , NY , on April 24, 1935 , Mike came to Amherst from Gloversville High School and became a member of Chi Psi. He earned his freshman numerals in track, and he majored in Latin. After Amherst , he joined the family business, E.S. Parkhurst & Company, running the Philadelphia office and attending the Wharton School of the Univ. of Pennsylvania , from which he earned an MBA. In 1962, Mike began a career in investments/financial management, holding positions with Smith Kline, the Univ. of Rochester , Moody's Investor Services, Standard & Poors, Centennial Asset Management Corporation and Alpine Capital Management Corporation, the last two in Denver and where he was vice president/portfolio manger. In 1990, he joined a former colleague from Alpine Capital and became a partner in Southeastern Advisory, Inc. in Atlanta .

In addition to Sue and the children, Mike is survived by his parents, Richard B. ( Amherst '28) and Neale S. Parkhurst of Gloversville, NY, a brother, Peter of Amsterdam, NY, and a sister, Priscilla Ferguson, of New York City. They and we miss him very much and will remember him as a compassionate and thoughtful person, inquisitive about everything around him, who was also a maddening procrastinator, an inveterate packrat and a person blessed with a good sense of humor. We are comforted in knowing that he has found peace at last.

-Hubbard M. Smith '57
-Wllliam McC. Vickery '57

 

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