Deceased July 11, 2008

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In Memory

My neighbor in Towson, MD, Donald F. Nesbitt Jr., died on July 11 from complications of an infection connected to his many knee surgeries.  He was eighty.

Born in Springfield, he went to Mount Hermon, where he was a soccer star—recently a scoreboard was dedicated at the school in honor of him and his father.  At Amherst he was a member of Theta Delta Chi, the Mardi Gras Committee, and Sphinx, and above all a superb athlete.  He was “outstanding on the backboards” in varsity basketball.  A soccer letterman for four years, he captained the undefeated varsity our senior year, a goalie who allowed only eight goals all season while his team scored twenty-seven!

Paul Coon ’51 remembers, “As a goalie, he was very nimble and alert as well as having excellent hands.”  He fondly recalls their coach, Eli Marsh, whose “gentlemanly leadership was an inspiration to us all, as was Don Nesbitt’s.”  Another teammate, Wally Anderson ’51, recalls how he was a super goalie and, above all, “a nice guy”—a combination not always found in power jocks.  I also recall the assistant coach, Steve Rostas, wryly calling him “Mr. Nosebite.”

Fraternity brother, Dutch Vaughan, recalls that Don was for several years a mainstay of the Theta Delt house, consistently studious during the week, gregarious on weekends, always a cheerful presence. Although soccer and basketball were, in season, his prime commitments, Don was modest about his accomplishments. He was universally liked and respected.

After Amherst, he was a lieutenant in the US Army Signal Corps for two years.  After working for Crown Cork & Seal and for Gamse Lithographic, he began a career with Alex Brown & Sons, opening their Towson office in 1961.  It became one of the largest branches of Baltimore’s most venerable investment firm.  He retired as manager in 1996.

Don was much involved in community life, including service as a deacon at the Towson Presbyterian Church, whose retired pastor, George Toole, conducted his funeral on July 19.

His first marriage, to Dayle Joan Fort (a Mount Holyoke graduate), ended in divorce.  Their children are Martha Nesbitt and William F. Nesbitt, both of Towson, and H. Scott Nesbitt of Cincinnati.  Also surviving are his wife of twenty years, the former Sally Skeen, three stepchildren, and seven grandchildren.  I reminded them that we still “sing of many a victory, on diamond, field and track, midst the golden haze of college days.”

P. Kingsley Smith ’50

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