Remembering Dick Wirtz '61

Submitted by John R. Willis on Wednesday, 2/6/2019, at 8:54 AM

Richard Wirtz 1961 Olio

Jan Beyea suggested posting these remembrances.There is a link at the bottom to an extensive interview with Dick from UT Knoxville Law School.

Richard (Dick) Wirtz died in hospice, Jan. 3, 2019, cared for by his daughters, Margy Wirtz-Henry and Liza Wirtz.   Dick was married to Margaret Ann “Peggy” Hickman Wirtz, whom he met working in the War Against Poverty. Peggy predeceased him, and throughout her long illness, Dick was her devoted caregiver. 

After receiving a Master’s degree from Princeton, Dick worked with the Peace Corps in Washington, D.C., and with HARYOU-ACT, Inc., which operated in Harlem. However, both he and Peggy became discouraged:  "It was rhetoric. There were no resources. There was no war."  Hoping to acquire “clout” and “do some good,” Dick got a J.D. from Stanford.  He then clerked for a federal judge in New Orleans, practiced law, and taught at the University of Tennessee Law School, becoming full professor in 1987 and, five years later, Dean. Named a Distinguished Professor of Law in 2000, Dick became Emeritus Professor in 2004, and continued to teach until 2010. 

In reminiscences, classmates describe Dick as a man of wit and brilliance, unfailingly kind, and always looking out for others.  As the semesters at Amherst passed, he earned one distinction after another.  He was in Scarab and Sphinx, an Editor of Sabrina, Deke President, an excellent trumpet player, and friend to many.  All of his life, Dick remained a funny and stimulating conversationalist, posing unexpected questions and provoking new angles of thought.

To almost the very end, Dick remained active as a reader, a learner, a traveler, a legal scholar, and as a volunteer for an astonishing number of groups and services, ranging from community sports to hospice, visitation, and progressive politics.  Twice a winner of outstanding teaching awards, he exemplified an Amherst ideal, and his friendships with Amherst classmates meant a lot to him in his later years, as his daughters report. 

Jan Beyea, ‘61
John H. Bursk, ‘61
Denis J. Clifford, '61
David B. Hamilton, '61


 

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Class of 1961 - Reunion 2016

Here are links to recorded '61 presentations...

The New Curriculum: Toward an Oral History: 
https://youtu.be/adLewmNH9J0 (video)

What's New in Cancer Research: Precision Medicine, Immunotherapy, "Moon Shots" and More…https://youtu.be/tCW9LVrjvJQ (video)

Affirmative Action and Diversity after Fisher II   https://www.amherst.edu/system/files/Affirmative%2520Action%2520and%2520Diversity%2520after%2520Fisher%2520II-1961_1-MP3.mp3

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Class of 1961 photo from Reunion 2016

DiscoveryRetires- 4_17_12

Submitted by John R. Willis on Wednesday, 4/25/2012, at 8:45 AM
Dick Dimond sent these pictures along thinking that you all might be interested in seeing them. we've come quite a way from those days in 1957 when we looked up to see the sputnik arc over the campus...(click on the little PDF logo above...)
Submitted by John R. Willis on Wednesday, 4/25/2012, at 8:35 AM

 Strangers, once, we came... 

 

Strangers, Once, we came...

Click on the picture to see a larger view
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Here are MP3's of Grose, Keith, Rooney & Friends' Concert... the concert pieces in pieces...


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Grose, Keith, Rooney & Friends1.Nine Pound Hammer
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7. Detour7.Detour
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2. Log Cabin in the Lane2.Log Cabin in the Lane
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8. Cherokee Shuffle8.Cherokee Shuffle
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3. June Apple & Red-haired Boy3.June Apple/Red-haired Boy
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9. Bury me Beneath the Willow9.Bury Me Beneath the Willow
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4. Reuben's train4.Reuben’s Train
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10. Caravan10.Caravan
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5. Last fair deal going down5.Last Fair Deal Going Down
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11. No Expectations11.No Expectations
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6. One Morning in May6.One Morning in May
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12. Auld Lang Syne12. Auld Lang Syne
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link to concert video
link to other reunion video & audio