Deceased April 29, 2016

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50th Reunion Book Entry 


In Memory

Bill Peverill left us on April 29 after several weeks of decline and discomfort. We all remember Bill’s unfailing and innovative sense of humor and his popularity with friends and classmates as well as his sense of style.

Bill hailed from Des Moines, Iowa, and also ended his days there. He attended Roosevelt High School and then Shattuck School in Minnesota. He spent two years in the Navy as an electronic technician before coming to Amherst. He was a member of the DKE fraternity and chapter president. Bill’s college experience was disrupted when he was called back into the Navy during the Korean War. After his return, he “became more serious,” as he put it, and graduated cum laude in American studies.

After graduation, he obtained an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and worked in the business forms industry for several years, serving as president of the National Business Forms Association and starting his own company, Computer Papers Inc. Later he became a chartered life underwriter and certified financial planner.

He was active in community pursuits in Des Moines, was president of the Des Moines Child Guidance Center and sponsored the Des Moines Metro Opera and Des Moines Art Center.

Bill chronicled events of his life and times on his Amherst Web page, which makes for interesting reading. We remember Bill’s interests and passions, such as the role of women in Mexican history, and his sense of fairness.

He leaves behind his wife, Kathryn; three children: John, Sara Engelbert and Ellen Burnquist; and four grandchildren: Hannah and Will Peverill and Michael and Christopher Engelbert.

Bill lamented the loss of many of his Amherst classmates. His friend Howie Burnett ’52 said, “He will be sorely missed by his many friends and never forgotten!”

Jack Peverill ’55

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50th Reunion

The Wall Street Journal (3/30/01) outlines a strategy for gaining admission to hard­ to-get-into schools such as Amherst: Move to Iowa and play the oboe. Once I acquire oboe as a second language, it even seems possible Amherst would admit me once again.

When I enrolled at Amherst in the fall of 1948, I was the only student from Iowa. And 1 looked it. I have written the story of my transformation from corn-fed wardrobe to the quintessential model that I became for preppy/ivy attire, but that story is too long for submission here. I am still the only Iowan in our class. This, together with my recall to the Navy in 1951 (resulting in delaying graduation until 1953), has limited my contacts with Amherst friends. Recently, I concluded that only eight of my Amherst friends would begin to justify the term "classmate."
I still work and will continue doing so. For those who inquire, this answer follows: "Mickey Mouse is older than I, and he still works successfully." The following is an excerpt from our newsletter and purposely somewhat boastful, but will serve as a career(s) summary:

William J. Peverill, CFP, a native Iowa, is an honors graduate of Amherst College and is an MBA from Harvard Business School. Mr. Peverill specializes in personal and business life insurance planning, with special emphasis on key executive estate planning and financial and benefit plans, utilizing state-of-the-art insurance products and financial planning concepts. His clients range from one-man corporations to Fortune 500 companies.

Like many, I underwent the surgery that adds years to one's life. Unfortunately, the years are at the end of the age spectrum. Afterward, I began to consider myself at the dawn of an uncertain autumn and have developed nostalgia for those irretrievable years I have already lived. I have always enjoyed reading and, to a certain extent, writing history (I serve on the Board of the Iowa Historical Foundation.) and have embarked on what for me is the enjoyable task of telling stories, ostensibly for my grandchildren who call me "Pipa Bill."