Deceased May 8, 2016
John died May 8 at age 91 after a long and distinguished career as a lawyer in Connecticut. During World War II John served on a U.S. Navy tanker in the Pacific. This service qualified him for the GI Bill, which enabled him to attend Amherst and later Harvard Law—of course, being highly intelligent and working his tail off played a role as well. But he often wondered how different his life would have been without this assistance.
John was preceded in death by his devoted wife of 53 years. He met Henrietta at a Smith/Amherst mixer, and they wed in 1952, eventually having three children, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. At Amherst John was in the Glee Club all four years, joined Phi Psi and remembers sleeping in the attic above the study rooms where an open window often brought snow inside. This never seemed to bother him as he was so happy to be at Amherst. I learned from his daughter Heidi that he proudly wore a reunion cap long after it should have been retired.
John enjoyed being a lawyer and practiced into his 80s. He was ever grateful for the assistance he received from his staff and took great pride in helping others. He served as a state representative, probate judge, county public defender and town counsel. Additionally, he was president of Deep River Rotary Club and chair and board member of various charities and of the Deep River Congregational Church. He co-founded the Essex Winter Series, was active in the Old Saybrook Racquet Club and did work for the Valley Shore YMCA. Reviewing the foregoing, one becomes aware of his sense of duty to his community, more than compensation for the good fortune he had. Makes the class proud.
Gerry Reilly ’49