Deceased November 7, 2018

View alumni profile (log in required)
Read obituary

In Memory

I report with sorrow the death of David McClune on Nov. 7, 2018, and the death of his wife, Barbara Harding McClune (Smith ’57), this past Jan. 31. I never met a pair more intimate than these two, and, as I recently said to their youngest child, Kimberley, they presented that intimacy spectacularly in their ballroom dancing, Dave moving like a tree in the wind and Barbara the wind itself. I was Dave and Barbara’s best man one week after our Amherst graduation, and he was mine and Sheila’s three years later in London.

If you still have your yearbook, you will find Dave’s photos predominant. For our four years, he also produced many of the photos (including sports) in the Amherst Student. Dave (with his “RAF” mustache) committed to the Air Force ROTC in his junior year. Before that, he spent his summers as a seaman on oil tankers (“good pay, nothing to spend it on!”) and thus earned his way through to a professional life as a chemist with Kodak. (I will add that Dave’s cerebrum resonated to the elegance and depth of carbon-chemistry the way mine resonated to the cognate dimensions in Shakespearean verse!) Barbara also earned her way through Smith teaching ballroom dance in Northampton. While Dave was on active duty in England, Barbara taught in English secondary schools. They leave three children.

They were world-class “grinds” in study and work and accordingly generally private on campus. But they were nevertheless the warmest and most forgiving and generous friends.

Bob Twombly ’57