The Class of 1946 has lost one of its most talented entries in the Amherst College “Renaissance Man” derby! Sidney Hall Paige recently closed his battle with primary, progressive aphasia, a terminal illness which tragically robbed him of his ability to speak. Be assured, however, that before aphasia appeared, Sid unleashed his diverse talents into a multi-faceted life which recorded prominence in business, community, and competitive sports.
Sid was born January 28, 1925, in Washington, DC. He graduated from the Lenox
School in 1942 before matriculating at Amherst during the summer semester of that year. When the autumn semester commenced, he pledged Phi Kappa Psi under strong urging from his friends, Bill Huntington and Dick Banfield. In 1943, Sid became a member of the large contingent of Amherst ’46ers who joined the US Navy to see the world but discovered the first station along the way involved the V-12 program at an institution in Williamstown, MA, where he served on the V-12 board. Sid was commissioned an ensign at the Univ. of Notre Dame’s Midshipman School in Indiana.
Interesting anecdote! When the war in the Pacific was being furiously waged in and around the Philippine Islands, classmate Stu Pomeroy relates how he was suddenly awakened at 4 a.m. and told to dress immediately because his ship was ready to sail. Going to the darkened dock he discovered another lieutenant junior grade. The new officer was Sid Paige! It would seem ’46ers have a way of unexpectedly meeting in surprising locations!
When peace arrived, Sid returned to Amherst. A characteristic noticed by friends who knew him well was his preparation of a list of items to be performed each day. This list was often
huge because he did so many diverse and interesting things. He wrote a column on sports for the Amherst Student entitled, “Page by Paige.” He was constantly badgering Woods Hole to be assigned to the ship Atlantis. He studied with such passion, he was able to graduate in January 1947.
He then departed Amherst for the Gulf of Mexico where he boarded and fulfilled his ambition to sail aboard the Atlantis. While at sea, Sid decided his prime ambition was to have a legal career. This meant applying to and being accepted by Harvard Law School, from which he graduated in 1950. Thereafter, he held jobs in labor relations and personnel management including an eleven year stint with A.B. Dick in Chicago.
Throughout his entire life, Sid was a dedicated volunteer and contributor of time and resources to his community. He was an avid United Way and YMCA volunteer and leader. He served on the board of the Lake Forest (IL) Hospital, the Lake Forest Police and Fire Commission, the Lake Forest Open Lands Commission and was a senior warden of his church. Sid was elected three times to the Lake Forest board of aldermen. He part-timed on the business school faculty at Lake Forest College.
Sid and wife Mary, who preceded him in death by exactly one month, had five children: Tim ’80, Sally (Williams College), Molly (Mount Holyoke), Susan (Colgate) and
Douglas (Univ. of Denver). Sid’s Amherst family dates back to grandfather Henry
Clay Hall ’81, brother Henry ’50, son Tim ’80, and grandson Timothy Brooks Paige ’06.
Sid Paige was an avid sportsman! He played hockey at both Amherst and Williams, and squash, tennis and golf well past his seventieth year. Although his final illness slowed him down,
it never impacted negatively his superb golf game. He will be remembered for the drive, dedication and energy he gave to his every endeavor but ESPECIALLY for those famous “to do” lists!
By his own statement: “It has been a fun life! Amherst College was and is the foundation!”
He was a super extraordinary fellow, and you can make book that Sid is still composing those lists where he now resides.
—William P. Huntington ’46
—Richard S. Banfield, Jr. ’46
—J. Wells Steinwart ’46