Amherst College In Memory Notice

Randy Reis


Amherst, ?Summer, 2012

Randall S. Reis ‘63

Randall S. Reis, a lawyer and business entrepreneur, died on his 70th birthday at his home in Mill Valley, California, on October 29, 2011.

At Amherst Randy was a member of Beta Theta Pi, and played football, rugby, and ice hockey team. He was a history major and won the Harlan Fiske Stone prize. He belonged to the Glee and Philosophy Clubs, and volunteered at the College radio station.

Born in Boston, Randy entered Amherst from St. Mark’s Preparatory School near Boston. He was the son of an Amherst graduate, Henry William Reis (Class of ’38), who died of stomach cancer the day before Randy entered Amherst freshman year.

In spite of his father’s death, Randy excelled academically and athletically, and became the captain and anchor of the hockey team, recalled classmate Rich German, who was his roommate during sophomore year.

After Amherst, he went to Stanford University in California, and earned a law degree in 1966. His career he shifted between law and a variety of business ventures.

He began as a staff attorney at the IBM Corporate Headquarter in Armonk, New York, where his father had been a vice president. After two years, he left to work for a mutual fund group in Greenwich, Connecticut.

In 1970, Randy returned to the West Coast and co-founded a law firm, Burden & Reis, in San Francisco, that specialized in corporate securities and real estate. In 1981 he entered the business of developing luxury home real estate projects in nearby Sausalito.

Later he became involved in developing vitamin-fortified food and beverage products, including a sports drink. Another venture involved a technology that was supposed to remove toxic materials from soils and tailings.

An early marriage ended in divorce. In 1983 in Pebble Beach, California, he married Roberta M. Reis, a physical fitness instructor. “He and Robbie were devoted to each other,” said Rich German. Besides his wife, he leaves two children, Matthew and Kimberly (Revi).

Randy had developed heart problems that required hospitalization about a year ago. The afternoon of his 70th birthday he went to nap on his couch and apparently never woke up, Rich reported.

In 2006, for Randy’s 65th birthday, Rich and his wife Holly arranged a large surprise party for Randy. Among the guests were classmate, and fellow Beta, Dave Garton, Dave’s wife Sandy, and Randy’s wife Bobbie.

“The six of us stayed up much of the night drinking Grey Goose and Newfoundland Screech, solved a bunch of world problems, and inhaled our togetherness.”

“I had a chance to thank Randy for the example of strength he set for me during Amherst and the gift of his friendship lo those many years.”

“I remember how he would ask, ‘How about one more game of Frisbee before exam time?’”

Rich German ‘63
Neale Adams ‘63