James G. Catron '61
Deceased May 29, 2010
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Jim Catron grew up in Springfield, Mass., attending Classical High School there. At Amherst, he joined Psi U, played football and rugby, began a major in biology and led an exuberant student life. His parents and the college came to agree that Jim would benefit from some time away. Accepting, but not exactly chastened, Jim spent part of his exile in the U.S. Army. He determinedly returned to Amherst, making several close friends in younger classes, then graduating in 1963. Jim later noted with pleasure feeling entirely welcome at reunions three years out of every five.
After one year as a salesman for Southworth Papers and another teaching chemistry and physics at East Longmeadow High School, Jim studied at the University of Pennsylvania, earning a D.M.D. in 1969. He practiced dentistry in Springfield until 2005. Jim and Susan Kanski married in 1982. Their Deerfield home was a convenient base for attending Amherst football games, which Jim did faithfully, often meeting Psi U friends there.
“Jim was a man easy to know,” says Susan. His “comfortable, self-confident attitude” was appreciated in all kinds of situations. In Naples, Fla., where they wintered, he became president of their condo association, and he delighted in volunteering in community activities. He was a Rotarian, a Mason and a Shriner.
After Susan’s retirement in 2007, she and Jim moved from Massachusetts to Nellysford, Va. Jim died at the University of Virginia Medical Center Hospital on May 29, 2010, of a cerebral hemorrhage, apparently related to a fall he had suffered at home the night before. He had been in generally good health, operating at full capacity until that event. Susan summarizes Jim as not having left a lot undone. Last year’s 70th birthday Greek island cruise was the last extraordinary experience he had envisioned.
—Charles Husbands ’61