Deceased August 28, 2011

View alumni profile (log in required)


In Memory

Bill Sanders passed away Aug. 28, 2011, in Vermont after an accidental fall, but the College did not become aware of this until recently. He was 74.

A French major at Amherst, he was an attorney, linguist, historian and lover of music, not necessarily in that order.

His daughter Amy Massey recalls that he read history avidly and loved languages. He was fluent in French and German and late in life taught himself Italian. After graduation from Amherst he spent a year studying at the University of Bordeaux in France.

He came to Amherst from Great Neck High School on Long Island, in the footsteps of his brother Tim ’57.

Bill obtained his law degree from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, where he met his future wife, Barbara McMillen, a graduate of Lake Forest College, who was studying for her master’s degree in education at the University of Illinois. They married in 1970.

Throughout his professional life, Bill practiced real estate and mortgage law and had been living near Miami since 1996.

While at Amherst, Bill was an independent and played football during his freshman and sophomore years, as well as rugby.

Although his major was French, he took multiple history courses, a subject that held his interest throughout his post-college life.

Wondering about what Bill might have been like at Amherst, Amy said she pictured him as probably having been “an introverted academic type.” And that’s pretty much how I remember him.

Bill’s wife, Barbara, died of cancer in 1983.

In addition to daughter Amy, Bill’s survivors include his son, Robert; five beloved grandchildren; and his longtime dear friend Pauline Watson.

Claude E. Erbsen ’59