Hal P. Eastman ’52 died April 16, 2012
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HAL P. EASTMAN ’52

Hal Eastman died in his sleep, April 16, 2012. Glioblastoma. Less than 48 hours earlier, he was in the garden with daughter Carroll, trying to express his wish that she arrange some small flat stones to frame the perimeter of a heart-shaped depression in the ground. “Oh, that’s right—that’s great—oh yes!” Hal struggled for the words to convey this message to us all.

Hal leaves Carolyn (Bell), Mount Holyoke ’52, his wife of 58 years, son Wayne, daughters Carroll and Rebecca, eight grandchildren and two stepgrandchildren.

Hal earned an M.B.A. at the University of Washington and a D.B.A. at Harvard. His academic career was at Rutgers University, where he was professor and chair of the management department and associate dean for academic affairs. He won the Faculty Teaching Award on multiple occasions.

Those are the vital statistics—short form. But statistics, no matter how grand, cannot begin to describe Hal. He was “the Friendly Giant,” uniquely warm, lovable and huggable. He loved folk music, loved singing it and playing it on his guitar. And we all loved those “good times we had”—words from an often sung Peter, Paul and Mary song. 

His inimitable creativity expressed in prose, verse and song was charmingly humorous and always kind. But glioblastoma cruelly stole from Hal his gift of expression. Even so, his joyful optimism prevailed, as revealed by that scene in the garden with Carroll two days before he died.

Of his life, Carolyn has said it best: “Hal was so much fun!”

There is so much more, but remembrances in Amherst are limited to 300 words.  Even 3,000 words would be inadequate here, so I will limit myself to three more words:  Hal—my brother!

—Jeff Hartzell ’51

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