Deceased January 31, 2015

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50th Reunion Book

In Memory

Christopher J. Aeschlimann, who led a richly varied life here and in England, died Jan. 31, 2015.

Chris was born in Basel, Switzerland, where his father, a British national, worked for a pharmaceutical company. With the outbreak of World War II, the family moved to the United States, settling in Montclair, N.J., Chris’ home when he was at Hotchkiss School and Amherst. On campus, Chris was a member of Phi Alpha Psi and vice president of the Outing Club. He majored in chemistry and biology.

After college graduation, Chris joined the U.S. Coast Guard, became an officer, served on patrol ships and spent a year in charge of a LORAN (long-range navigation) station on remote Baffin Island within the Arctic Circle.

Columbia Law School followed. With degree in hand, Chris practiced patent law in New York City until he retired in 1973 to go to England to help take care of his aging parents, who had bought a place in Cheltenham. With the death of his parents, Chris moved into a wing of the home of his sister’s family in Northwick Park, becoming, in his words, the “bachelor uncle.”

He continued to be active, with involvement in an antiquarian book-selling business, charity work, prison-visiting, service in the Coast Guard Reserve as a lecturer and summer tours as a watch officer in a sail training program on the schooner Sir Winston Churchill.

His sister, Anne Adye, reports that, about four years ago, Chris was diagnosed in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. More recently, he became forgetful but continued to enjoy his surroundings nevertheless. Shortly after the new year, he suffered a fall and lost ground quickly after that, his sister said.

She summed up her brother: “We shall miss him, as he was always ready to help anybody with anything they needed.”

George Gates ’53

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50th Reunion 

By now even the youngest of us will have celebrated his 70th birthday. Congratulations and Best Wishes to each of us as we enter a new decade. For me it will also herald a new start because after 27 years living in one large old house with my sister, brother-in-law, and their three children, we are moving to smaller accommodation.

In preparing for the move I had a number of professional papers to dispose of; - things which at the time had seemed important to me, though now I had only the vaguest recollection of some of them. I found it interesting to look through some of the papers and to revisit the questions and problems they had addressed. It was flattering to one's ego to read the occasional brief which had been argued cogently and persuasively, - or even just to find a thought felicitously expressed. By the same token it is sad to have to admit that I could probably no longer marshal my facts and arguments as effectively today.

Preparation for moving house brought much of the past to light again; the unexpected revelation was how little of it I remembered! The number of activities & events, persons & causes in which we have each become involved during our lives is extra­ ordinarily large; - a fact which I appreciated only once I began to sort through the half-forgotten accumulation in my "attic". Spring cleaning at the age of three score & ten is highly commended.

I've had many lucky opportunities, starting with admission to Amherst. Seeing my niece and nephews grow up was a rare and happy experience, especially for a bachelor-uncle. I had a successful though short career at the Bar and concurrently a more than 30 year involvement as a weekend-warrior in the Reserves with interesting postings both in the USA & Europe. I was and am able to indulge my love of old books. There was charity work, prison­ visiting, and even watches on the stunningly graceful schooners of the Sail Training Association. Most of these involvements turned out to be worth-while. I have been fortunate and I am Content. I rest my case.

Sincerely yours,

Christopher John Aeschlimann

P.S. See you at the Reunion.


Christopher Aeschilmann

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