Deceased December 2018
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From his home in Wallingford, Conn., and his good preparation at Choate, Bill brought to the college his height, optimism and broad smile. In his summer after junior year—with aid from a tubby Holland-American ship, a yellow Legnano bicycle and a ready Eurorail pass—he cast his smile upon Milan, Venice, London, Edinburgh and other points in Europe. And in that summer, he met Laura Porter (she of the red-ribbon gondolier’s hat), whom he would marry in 1958.
In senior year, he turned from basketball and crew at the College to take up deadline-driven work for a newspaper publisher in Greenfield, Mass. But he had fulfilled enough requirements to qualify for medical school and could enjoy the pleasures of his major in English. By then he knew that he wanted a career as a pathologist.
He made the most of his medical school years at Penn. And he weathered the chaos of a residency at Bellevue. He flourished as a pathologist in and around Somerville, Mass., and enjoyed teaching medical students at Rutgers-Newark. He served as an expert witness in asbestos-mesothelioma litigation—over and over.
His second marriage, to Elisabeth, a native of Holland, brought with it an opportunity to live in the Caribbean, where, on Saint Maarten, he taught in its medical school. After Elisabeth’s illness and death, he married Nicole, of French-Canadian heritage, and lived in Pennsylvania and in Maryland. Nicole brought him great happiness.
Of all the influences on him, he valued most his medical training at Penn. In his last years, he endured discomfort from a pancreatic disorder—about which he knew all too much. Life experiences and the illness sought to wear away at his smile, but even at the last, he could—and did—still flash it.
Robert Allen ’55