Deceased January 28, 2013
In his golden years, Jake had a goal: spending it all.
Before that, in his words, “I rebuilt or started five businesses for what turned out to be an enjoyable and successful career.”
And “I spent much time on civic and charitable causes. I built a new temple, served on the boards of a bank, a community college, the United Fund, the YMCA, the school committee, the hospital…”
All that done, his aim as a retiree was to enjoy himself, he told us 25 years ago in our 50th Reunion book. He spoke of multiple trips abroad and winters in the Caribbean and said “I eat and drink the best and, being of sound mind, I am going to spend it all. Of course, I am still giving a little of it away to Amherst, etc.” One of his abiding interests was helping the nonprofit organization SCORE (Counsellors to America’s Small Businesses.)
As he grew old, Jake moved into a condo in retirement community in Braintree, MA, where, one of his last postcards said, he was “still going on in a good place, trying to stay happy.” It ended Jan. 28, 2013, when at age 95 he died at a Weymouth hospital following a broken clavicle in a fall.
Although he also had other infirmities, his mind remained sharp, Lois Ritchie, his companion of 30 years, said. He read the Wall Street Journal daily and “even started a group devoted to current events. His sense of humor hadn’t left him either.”
Coming to Amherst from his native Lynn, Jake’s interests in college were the International Relations Club, flying and the Lord Jeff Club. He went to Harvard afterward for an MBA.
Jake called a divorce “my only large failure.” Two daughters, Elaine and Janice, survive. A son, Marvin, predeceased him.
George Bria ’38