Deceased November 28, 2015
Bill was born in 1929. His father worked for Smith College, and he lived his early life in and near Amherst. After Amherst High School, he joined our class, majored in science and history and was a member of Kappa Theta. In the fall of 1949, he fell ill and was in the hospital for many months, but he finished his studies the next year and always identified with the class of 1950.
Bill made his way uptown and earned a master’s degree in 1953 at what was then Massachusetts State College, where he met and, in 1954, married Joan Kettell. He received a Ph.D. in biochemistry at Purdue and began a stellar career in biochemistry at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Earlier this year, the biochemistry department at the University of Michigan created an honorary seminar program to be conducted each year in March. The George W. Jourdian Honorary Lecture Series sponsors distinguished scientists in the field of biochemistry.
Bill was also honored for his work on arthritis and other diseases and served on the Physiological Sciences Study Section for the NIH.
From his early years tramping about with his father in the Pelham hills, Bill was keen on hunting, fishing and, his specialty, trap shooting. He and Joan joined us for our 50th reunion “up in the hills where there is always a wind in the morning blowing.”
Bill loved Yellowstone and with his family traveled there many times, for the fly fishing and hiking. Last year (2017), Joan, along with their daughter and son, took a portion of his ashes out there and flung them into the river. He would have thought it very appropriate.
He leaves Joan, daughter Susan, son Robert and six grandchildren, one of whom made it back to the Pioneer Valley, graduating from Mount Holyoke.
Kingsley Smith ’50