Deceased December 19, 2006
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Jerry died suddenly on December 19, 2006, of a massive heart attack as he was leaving his home in Philadelphia to visit family in Colorado for the holidays.
Jerry was born in New York City on October 12, 1928. As a young child, he attended boarding school in Switzerland where he learned to speak French fluently. At the age of six, he was stricken with polio while visiting Cape Cod, with the result that he was unable to attend regular schools and had a French tutor in place of a traditional grammar school experience. In an effort to expedite recovery, he spent some time in Warm Springs, GA, where he met, and was part of a group picture taken with, FDR.
Jerry came to Amherst from the Brooks School in North Andover, MA. He was a member of the Amherst squash team. Following college, Jerry settled in Philadelphia and commenced his career in the property and casualty insurance business, working for several companies before creating his own “P and C” agency, which he managed until his retirement.
Jerry married his first wife, Jane Knight, a Wellesley graduate, in October of 1951 with Bob Church serving as best man. He and Jane had five children. They divorced after twenty-three years of marriage. Jerry married again in 1986. His second wife died in 2001.
Jerry always had a keen interest in sports. As he recovered from polio, he became proficient in tennis and squash. Later in life, during his years in Philadelphia, he became an avid fan of all the local professional teams—Flyers, Phillies etc. Ice hockey was a favorite. Jerry was very attached to Philadelphia and delighted in recounting its history and points of interest.
During his years recovering from polio, Jerry developed a lifelong interest in nature and the environment. From his wheelchair, he learned the habits of small animals and birds. Birding became a lifelong avocation. Later in life, Jerry would be happiest observing nature’s treasures in trips to New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
Jerry attended our 55th Reunion—his first since graduation! Those of us in attendance enjoyed catching up with him. His family reports that he came home delighted with his visit with old friends.
He enjoyed every day as it came, is remembered as being competitive but fair, and as one who appreciated the beauty of the world around him.
The Class extends its condolences to his children and grandchildren and to his extended family.
—Everett E. Clark ’51