Deceased December 2, 2018
Bob came to the College from high school in Gloversville, N.Y. He died on Dec. 2, in Portsmouth, N.H. As an undergraduate, Bob majored in biology, worked on the Student and was a catcher on the freshman baseball team. As one of four honor students of Professor Schotte, he was first introduced to the challenge of micro-surgery.
Upon graduation from Amherst, Bob earned his M.D. from Albany Medical College and spent several years gaining training in his chosen field of vascular surgery. In July 1965 he began a three-year stint with the Army that included nearly two years on Okinawa, where he treated Vietnam War wounded.
His military service completed, Bob “hung out his shingle” and opened his own vascular surgery practice in Schenectady, N.Y. Eventually he added two partners as the practice thrived. The group wrote numerous papers about vascular surgery. Bob held leadership positions in surgical and vascular medical societies. He also served as a professor at Albany Medical College.
Since Schenectady was a fairly short drive to Amherst, Bob became a regular at our reunions and homecomings. Upon retirement, he enjoyed recreational reading, golf, skiing and travel. He bred Golden Retrievers and wrote autobiographical fiction. In the early 2000s, Bob and wife Gayle divided their time between Naples, Fla., and Nantucket, Mass. A few years ago, they moved permanently to Portsmouth.
Bob appreciated the quality of the people he met at Amherst. He felt privileged to know his classmates and count them as friends. Bob was forever grateful for his Amherst experience.
He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Gayle; three children; and a stepson. We are grateful to have had Bob as a classmate. His outgoing, friendly spirit was noted by all.
Rob Sowersby ’55