Deceased February 24, 2014
Bob Blakey arrived in Amherst from Phoenix in 1963 in the back of a Greyhound bus. He was the only member of our class to decline an offer to play professional sports for the promise of an Amherst education. Bob was a serious student, athlete and musician who entertained and engaged us with his wacky sense of humor, personal magnetism and vitality.
After graduation, Bob returned to Phoenix to tour with area bands, to study law and to marry. His legal career began as an assistant attorney general prosecuting consumer fraud and ended with his retirement from private practice in Prescott in 2012. Bob founded the Phoenix Rugby Club, for which he is known as the father of Arizona rugby, and with his wife, Carol, raised their two accomplished daughters, Ashley and Rhette, who became cherished members of the Amherst family during vacations and reunions.
From the moment he arrived at Amherst until his death last February, Bob engaged the people around him in an envelope of intimacy packed with humor rooted deeply in his Southwestern perspective. We were drawn to him knowing that the importance he attached to us was the reason for the strong attraction we felt. Bob made us laugh at his caricatures and the stories he told. His optimism highlighted the opportunity inherent in the next moment, and, when we took the chance, we found he was right, and had wonderful times with him.
The celebration of his life in Phoenix this March was attended by family, friends, lawyers, judges, bandmates, teammates and Amherst classmates. We laughed again at the stories he told and relived our adventures with him.
Bob was a best friend for all of us. We loved him and will miss him as long as we can remember.
Ed Bradley ’67