Deceased May 16, 2018

View alumni profile (log in required)

In Memory

Our beloved friend, roommate and fraternity brother John Condit died May 16 after a long struggle with cancer.

John came to Amherst from Montclair (N.J.) High School, majored in English and graduated cum laude—though getting his honors thesis in was definitely a last-minute blitz! Like the three of us (but nicknamed “the Panther”), John was not a “star,” just one of those solid citizens every college needs. He was loyal, a supportive member of Phi Gam and an enthusiastic participant in bull sessions and arguments. Bisch remembers heated discussions over Algeria’s fight for independence from France; Bisch was on the wrong side of that argument, and John never let him forget it.

After graduation, John received a Harvard master’s degree in education. Following a stint in the army, he worked for Chase Manhattan Bank’s marketing department. Teaching was his true calling, though; he taught English at Milburn (N.J.) High School and then achieved a doctorate in education from Columbia University (1983).

He became a professor of English at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania, retiring in 2003. The short story was one of his interests (he even tutored Bisch in same). Mysteries were also a genre of interest; Norcott recalls John giving him tips on authors of note.

Upon retirement, John and his wife moved to Ft. Myers, Fla., where, among other things, he developed skill as a poet. (His work may be accessed at He was an active alumnus of Amherst, Harvard and Columbia and a frequent attendee at telecasts of the Amherst/Williams game.

John is survived by his wife of 41 years, Ruth (née Rudnicki) Condit, and two sons, Bryce of Rochester, N.Y., and Kyle of New York City. We’d all seen each other frequently over time; we will miss him greatly.

John E. G. Bischof ’58, John M. Miller ’58 and Richard B. Norcott ’58