Deceased August 6, 2014

View alumni profile (log in required)
Read obituary


In Memory

Bill Peltz, a man of many causes who stood firm for social justice, equality and peace, died last Aug. 6 at the Barnwell Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center in Valatie, N.Y., not far from his home in Albany. Death resulted from heart disease. He was 82.

Bill was born in Boston and came to Amherst from Stamford, Conn. After two years at the college, he left to attend the University of Utah and Columbia University, where he studied anthropology.

His obituary in Albany area newspapers—written by his wife of 52 years, the former Janet Baxter, and their son James—gave this many-faceted description of Bill: “Devoted husband, father and grandfather, friend, anthropologist, professor, civil rights worker, community organizer, journalist, documentary photographer and filmmaker, printer, sun dancer, stockbroker and general rabble rouser.”

In all that, Bill mainly earned his living as a teacher, Wall Street stockbroker and printing business operator. In Albany, he was a member of the board of directors of the Hunger Action Network, which is devoted to ending hunger and its root causes, and he was prominent in the Labor-Religion Coalition of the Capital District. For politics, Bill was an active member of the Green Party.

He was a parishioner in several Episcopal churches, including St. Paul’s in Albany, where memorial services were held Aug. 12.

Said Janet: “Bill was extremely conscious of things in the world that needed to be dealt with to make things better.

“He was cheerful and jolly. He loved working with people. If they had a problem, he could help them out. He was always ready to hear others’ stories. He liked just about everybody.”

Besides Janet and James, Bill is survived by two sons, Stephen and Jonathan; a daughter, Elizabeth; and six grandchildren.

George Gates ’53

Log in to post comments