Hal Richman was a proud member of our class, an active member in the Glee Club and a member of Phi Delta Sigma. Hal and Sylvia met right after Amherst’s graduation. They were married in 1961 following Hal’s graduation from Harvard Law School.
After passing the Florida bar, Hal clerked for a federal judge before spending 20 rewarding years working as a trial attorney with the National Labor Relations Board. He spent one year in Washington, D.C., and the rest in Tampa, Fla.
When their daughter, Elise, was growing up, he often told her that, as soon as Amherst went coed, he might like her to attend it. When she was a high school junior, he took her to visit the campus. She was impressed – but she fell in love with Mt. Holyoke and enrolled there instead.
Sylvia provides the following account of the challenges of Hal’s last 16 years:
“Hal was in remission from a brain tumor that caused him to have his first surgery in 1966. For 15 years he was able to work and be a part of his children’s lives. In 1980 the tumor came back and he fought a tremendous battle for two years. At that time Elise was starting her junior year abroad in Israel, and Hal and I agreed that this was the course to follow. Our son, Jeffrey, was attending our local high school and helping me with Hal’s care.
“In 1982 at the age of 45, Hal died, and our family mourned him. He left us knowing that we would be strong and carry on in the manner he and I planned. Elise was 20 and Jeff 17 when he died. They made wise choices in their schooling. Elise graduated from Mt. Holyoke in 1984 and went on to get her masters in International
Studies at George Washington University. Jeffrey attended Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania as an undergraduate and then received his law degree from the same university.
“My children married and have children of their own. Elise and her husband, David Ezekiel, have three children. Hilana, the eldest, was named for Hal. She and her siblings, Micah and Nili, enjoy the stories that are told about their grandfather. Jeffrey’s daughter, Morgan, also loves to listen to these stories. We try to paint a picture of their grandfather and how he would have loved to know them and participate in their lives.”
Harold Samuel Richman died Nov. 20, 1982.
|Hal with Sylvia, Jeff and Elise, Gainesville, Fla., in 1966, after Hal’s first surgery||Hal and Sylvia’s children, Elise and Jeff, in 1984|