Deceased March 21, 2014
Our lifetime friend and roommate TP died in March at the age of 86.
A quiet man with a steadfast sense of purpose, TP's lasting contribution to the college was to found the Amherst College rowing program in 1948. He had learned to row at Exeter and brought his dedication to the sport with him. He started with one hand-me-down Pocock shell from Yale which Bob Buchanan '50 from the first crew remembers helping TP transport it from New Haven on top of the Plimpton family's 1930s four-door Pontiac convertible. The rickety first boathouse on the Amherst side of the river washed away, but by the second season, TP had us all building the second boathouse on the higher ground of the west side. The program has flourished ever since.
After Amherst TP served as an officer on a mine sweeper in the Korean War, and while still in the navy, he was married to his wife of 63 years, Susan Wadsworth (Smith '53). Released from the navy, they settled in North Kingstown, R.I.
TP worked first at Brown University as its liaison during the design and construction of the medical school, but soon thereafter, he turned to landscape architecture, forming Plimpton Associates with his wife, also a landscape architect. He became professionally licensed in the New England states and in Florida. Together they developed a highly regarded practice. TP served two terms as a trustee of the American Society of Landscape Architects. In 1987 they sold his grandfather's family home in Ormond Beach and moved themselves and their business to Florida.
Throughout his life TP was an avid oarsman. He was a steward for the crew at Brown, and he served as president of the Narragansett Boat Club in Providence where he started its continuing sponsorship of annual regattas. In Florida he cofounded the Halifax Rowing Association in Daytona Beach. Once again he was instrumental in the construction of a substantial boathouse which is today the home of a full-blown community rowing program. And all the while he rowed and competed in his single scull, finally retiring when he became ill at the age of 82.
Sailing his beloved ketch, Maltesa, beekeeping and music were other passions. TP played his flute daily and in church, played piano duets with friends and developed a treasured collection of woodwind instruments.
He is survived by Susie, their children Peter and Jane, and three grandchildren. TP was a committed individual who touched many lives by his leadership and dedication.
John Stookey '52