Louis Hood Jr. ’46

Deceased May 28, 2011

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In Memory

I am sorry to report Lou passed away on May 28, 2011, in Wayne, Pa. He came to Amherst from Washington for the summer term in 1942. Lou was a choir boy at the Washington National Cathedral, and music was always an important part of his life. He joined Phi Gamma Delta, the fraternity Calvin Coolidge and four others started at Amherst in the mid-1890s.

In early 1943, he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps and became a belly gunner on a B-24 in the China/Burma/India theater. He returned to Amherst after the war and sang in the chapel choir, the glee club and the double quartet.

After graduation in 1948, he had a fascinating and rewarding career in public relations for symphonic orchestras. He started with the National Symphony Orchestra and then was at the Philadelphia Orchestra. In 1964, he went to the Cleveland Orchestra and participated in several tours of Japan and Europe. In 1972 he returned to the Philadelphia Orchestra. A major challenge was the ticklish conductor transition from Eugene Ormandy to Ricardo Muti. (Muti later came to be the highly regarded conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.) Again, there were tours to Japan and Europe. Lou retired in the mid-1980s. The Hoods continued traveling virtually all over the world, including to the Galapagos, Australia and New Zealand, up the Orinoco and Amazon rivers and on a cruise to Antarctica.

He married Agnes Birney in 1952, and they had two boys and two girls. Agnes, who passed away in 2009, was a flower show judge and a flower arranger. In retirement, Lou became a serious gardener on their two-and-a-half-acre home in Wayne, Pa. We express our deepest sympathy to the Hood family.