Deceased October 21, 2013

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50th Reunion Book Entry


In Memory

Thomas E. Wood, age 74, devoted husband, father and grandfather; respected attorney; great and generous friend, died peacefully at his home in Devon, Pa., on Oct. 21, 2013, surrounded by his family, after an eight-month battle with pancreatic cancer. It was a graceful departure from a well-lived life.

Tom was a southern California golden boy—handsome, charming and gregarious, with a stunning physique. How did he end up at a place like Amherst? Despite the superficial glitz, he was a man of depth and substance. Tom benefited and grew from the intellectual rigors of Amherst.

Tom met, charmed, courted and married the lovely and beautiful (inside and out) Sally Shultz (Mt. Holyoke ’61) from Philadelphia. They have two daughters, Julie ’88 and Melissa. Beauty begets beauty.

After getting his law degree from Penn in 1966, Tom joined the Philadelphia firm Drinker, Biddle & Reath, where he practiced corporate and securities law for more than 40 years.

Beyond his professional activities, Tom’s service on the boards of the Baldwin School (Bryn Mawr) and the Apprenticeshop, a wooden boat-building school in Rockland, Maine, attested to an abiding interest in opportunities for the next generation. So too did his mentoring of individual young friends, notably the orphaned children of our classmate Boyd Hinds ’61.

It was my great privilege and pleasure to be Tom’s friend. We were Chi Psi fraternity brothers and roommates. We stayed in touch until his death. I was fortunate to visit Sally and Tom often over the years in their charming Revolutionary-era home in Pennsylvania and their summer home in Maine.

Tom’s passing leaves a hole in the lives of all those who knew him well. I think of him often.

Robert S. Barrett ’61

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50th Reunion

ThomasWood61.png When I came to Amherst, one of the few in our class from Southern California, I had no reason to doubt that I'd go back to California and its lifestyle after graduation. In fact, for the first months of freshman year I wasn't at all sure I'd be able to make it in the east through all four years. But then there were the fall colors and the first snowfall, new friends, stunning challenges, and, surprisingly, the winning differences between a small New England college town and Los Angeless. After graduation (English major) I decided to give living in the cast a chance. That may have had something to do with the fact that I was then "pinned" to Sally Shultz, Mt. Holyoke '61 (you remember her of course as our Senior Prom Queen) who was going home to Philadelphia after her graduation. My first job sent me to Philadelphia. Two years later, having barely survived the intellectual rigors of selling residential mortgage loans, I married Sally and entered Penn Law School.

As graduation from Penn neared in 1966 I made what proved to be a final commitment to the east coast, turning down a couple of all-expense-paid offers for interviews in LA and joining the Philadelphia firm Drinker Biddle & Reath. I joined Drinker initially not wanting to practice in a large firm, but during my career the firm grew from 40 lawyers to approximately 700 with offices spread across the country {even in Los Angeles}. After forty-one years as a corporate and securities lawyer I retired from Drinker. I remain Of Counsel to the firm. I continue to lawyer on my own, however, serving essentially as outside general counsel, on a part-time basis, for a software company I've served on the boards of the software company and of an investment advisory firm.

The practice of law didn't always strike me as the happiest way to make a living. 0ver the years I've seen the professionalism and intellectual rewards of the law be unfortunately diluted by its growing commercialism. Too frequently I let what I valued most family, reading, travel and sailing, the arts- be subjected, subordinated, to the stresses of my practice. Nevertheless, thanks primarily to my extraordinary family, I've had a very good life.

Sally and I just celebrated our 47"' anniversary). We have two daughters, Julie DeVuono (Amherst '88) and Melissa
Brewster (Kenyon '93). After Mr. Holyoke Sally' graduated from Temple University's School of Horticulture and became a well-known landscape designer in the Philadelphia area. She and our daughter, Julie, a landscape architect(U. Penn), practiced together for many years as partners. Our second daughter, Melissa, with a Bryn Mawr College graduate degree in social work, has a counseling practice in Seattle where she is also actively involved in social services for the deaf community. Our six grandchildren (each of our daughters has three) range in ages from nine to three.

A few years ago, with at least partial retirement looming, we built a small place on the coast of Maine, in Cushing, where we've spent the past nine or so summers. We've done a lot of sailing since law school (honing the vast expertise garnered on the Amherst Sailing Club) but always on other people's boats. Now with our own dock and a couple of moorings out in the harbor we're sailing more than ever and on our own boat I currently serve on the boards of the Maine Maritime Museum, Bath, Maine, and The Apprenticeshop, a school for traditional boatbuilding and seamanship in Rockland, Maine. I've chaired the Zoning Hearing Board of our Pennsylvania township for about 30 years. I served for ten years as a trustee of The Baldwin School, Bryn Mawr,PA, which both of our daughters attended. What does it all mean? (Time has passed.) Thinking I'd write on that question that has cost me some months. What I wrote would have had to be exceptionally good because you '61 classmates arc, at the very least, well educated. After missing a couple of deadlines I've punted. I don't know what it all means. I'm certain, however, that my Amherst experiences are key elements of both that question and its answer.