Deceased February 2, 2015

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50th Reunion Book Entry


In Memory

Robert I. Manson died on Feb. 2, 2015. Bob grew up on the Navesink River in Red Bank, N.J., and acquired a love of boating and the water. As a boy, he built several boats of his own design: sailboats and iceboats. He and his brother Frank even made their own water skis.

At Amherst, Bob was an outstanding athlete on the track team. A 440-yard sprinter, he ran in many collegiate races in Madison Square Garden and the old Boston Garden. After Amherst he went into the family monument business in Red Bank. In 1942 he enlisted in the Navy and served as gunnery officer on a destroyer escort in the Pacific theater. 

After the war Bob married Evelyn Tigh, settling in Red Bank. Tragically, Tigh succumbed to breast cancer shortly after the birth of their son, William. Bob, who found himself the single parent of 2-week-old Billy, was assisted by Tigh’s sister, Shirley Minton. In 1960 he married Susan Locklin, and they had a daughter, Dana.

After the war Bob joined Johnson & Johnson, rising to divisional vice president/operations. In 1967 he joined C. R. Bard Inc. As group vice president in charge of their international division, he traveled extensively, retiring in 1983. 

In 1975 he married Dorothy Blair, who became the first female mayor of Shrewsbury, N.J., and after whom Manson Park was named.

He volunteered many hours for the Shrewsbury Historical Society and for Christ Episcopal Church, Shrewsbury.

Georgia Blair (stepdaughter)

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50th Reunion

Robert Manson I guess many of us in the class of 1940, with warnings of an impending war involvement hang­ing over our heads, got off to a slow start I know I did. With an ill-conceived commitment to manage a family business, and four years as a Naval Officer doing convoy duty in both the Atlantic and Pacific, I emerged, almost 30, and vague of plans or intentions.

Post-war was a new start, sort of like graduating again. I married a lovely lady, Evelyn Tigh, who in one of life's cruelest experiences, died four years later in childbirth. Left with our two week old son, I struggled trying to be a single parent, and still go to business every day. However, William Chase Manson survived and now with a PHD from Columbia in Cultural Anthropology is teaching in several NY/NJ colleges. He is married, and has a sophomore son at Trinity College.

Married a second time, to Susan Locklin, in 1960. That union ended in divorce in 1972. But, Dana Aldrich Manson was the daughter born of this marriage. Dana is unmarried, a BS graduate of Lynchburg College, and is head of a Dept. at Sterling Drug, N.Y.C.

Good fortune finally smiled upon me with my marriage in 1975 to Dorothy E. Blair and has been smiling on me ever since. Dorothy, a member of Borocouncil then was selected Mayor of Shrewsbury in 1979 and is finishing her third four year term. She added four stepdaughters to the brood, all of whom are involved in a business or profession.

Robert Manson My Amherst education undoubtedly contributed to whatever career success I have had, but not as much as being in the right place at the right time! Shortly after the war, I joined Johnson & Johnson, a rather small Health-Care company at that time. Opportunities abounded, and I held various positions, finally Divisional Vice-President/ Operations through most of the 60's. Left J & J when they sold my division, and joined C.R. BARD, a very small Patient-Care company, again as Vice-President/ Operations. Held various positions including Domestic Operating Company President, and Group Vice-President. I saw the company grow from obscurity to a middle rank in the Fortune 500.A few years before retirement, took over the company's International Divisions, and began to travel extensively. Dorothy accompanied me on many of these trips, and since retirement we have continued our travels, and have happily racked up some 27 foreign countries. Surely "somebody up there is watching over me."

My years at Amherst were some of the happiest of my life. I salute my longtime friends, ex-roommates Peter Hall and Pres Coan. They contributed immeasurably to the richness of my Amherst experience, and have been a powerful resource and a joy to me during ensuing years. I've truly been a very lucky guy!


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