Deceased April 5, 2016

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In Memory

Reaves Strobel died on April 5, 2016, from complications following a stroke. He had lived in Deep River, Conn.

Reaves grew up in Connecticut and graduated from Governor Dummer Academy before enrolling at Amherst. He was twice married, first to the late Martha Narensky and then to Paula Strobel. Both marriages ended in divorce, although Paula and Reaves were living together at the time of his stroke. They had two sons, Alex and Sam.

After Amherst, Reaves worked in New York for Life magazine. In the 1970s he and Jim Long ’61 owned and operated a boatyard in Watch Hill, R.I., where he acquired the nickname “Cap,” which remained with him for the rest of his life. He then returned to publishing, working at Weekly Reader and later as a mail order consultant. He also operated a small charter sport fishing business. In the 1980s and 90s he and Paula owned The Crosswords Club, which published high quality crossword puzzles for its members. He retired in 1995.

Reaves was unique. His particular wit and intelligence were unrivaled. He was a skillful woodworker and a masterful trout fisherman. He often said that the sport of fishing lay only in enticing the fish to strike, rather than fighting or landing it. After his family, he loved the Mets, fishing, reading, beer, boats, his dogs and his friends, in no particular order at any particular moment. At different points in time he explored the Everglades in a canoe with his dog, set out to hitchhike from Utah to Maine with 25 cents in his pocket and rode in an empty boxcar across the Great Salt Lake. There were doubtless many other adventures and exploits of which we are not aware. He rarely turned down an interesting opportunity.

Reaves’ life was by no means a fragrant bed of roses. Yet he always maintained his sense of humor, and you could always count on him for a robust response to a good joke. He was a great talker, but unlike many other great talkers, he was also a great listener. He didn’t make strong friendships easily, but once a relationship was established, it was there for the long term. He remained loyal to all his friends, who came from widely differing walks of life, and all of them will both mourn his passing and celebrate their laughs and adventures with him throughout the years.

Tom Urmy ’60
Dave Pennock ’60
Henry Neale ’60


 Reaves was one of my closest, longest standing, friends having shown up in 5th grade and been in my life ever since.  I have to say he was a genius of sorts with a unique take on most things, large and small.  And a sense of humor that surpassed all the wits I’ve ever known or heard or read.  In his later years he followed the practice of placing a bon mot on his answering machine.  His last one was: "The difference between knowledge and wisdom is the difference between knowing that a tomato is a fruit and knowing not to put a tomato in a fruit salad."