Deceased March 31, 2008
View alumni profile (log in required)
The College was informed of Bob Freeman’s death on March 31, 2008. Bob had lived in Germany since 1972 where he had a distinguished career as an experimental psychologist teaching at the Univ. of Konstanz.
Many of us have fond memories of Bob, his trombone, and the Delta Five Dixieland jazz band which enlivened many on-campus parties during our Amherst years as well as Wednesday nights at the roadhouse on the banks of the Connecticut River in Northampton. Bob was the inspiration and guiding light of the Delta Five. Music was a big part of Bob’s life. Not just jazz, but the Amherst marching and symphony bands, Henry Mishkin’s music courses, and later the opera houses and concert halls of Europe, and playing the recorder. And as Bob related in our 50th Reunion book, a Tanglewood concert on the 200th anniversary of Bach’s death was the occasion when Bob first became acquainted with his future wife Gundel.
Bob went to Andover, was a member of Phi Psi, a political science major, and manager of the cross-country team at Amherst. His family ties to Amherst were several. His father, Bob Sr. ’23, was a strong supporter of the fraternity in its fight with the national over its rushing policy. And Bob’s mother, Winifred, for some years after our graduation sponsored and coordinated a lively interchange of correspondence (in pre-e-mail days) among our Phi Psi classmates which kept us in touch with one another while we were starting careers and families.
After Amherst, Bob proceeded to the Univ. of California at Berkeley for graduate work, making the switch from political science to psychology. There was a tour as a sergeant in the finance corps with the US Army Reserve in Germany, which included an assignment for Bob and his trombone with a US Army band. Then after acquiring his PhD, Bob taught at Penn State for ten years before accepting a professorship at the new Univ. of Konstanz where he taught, conducted research, and perfected his German for more than thirty years.
Regrettably, we had missed Bob’s presence—a guy who was always good-humored and great company—at our Reunions. Edge Quaintance and his wife, Barbara, had the good fortune to meet up with Bob and Gundel for lunch in Heidelberg in 2003, and Ward and Cynthia Burns had visited with Bob when he returned at the time of Bob Sr.’s death several years earlier.
Bob and Gundel had three children: Stefan, Christopher (who died in 1992), and Barbara and (at least) three grandsons.
John Esquirol ’50