Deceased April 25, 2019
Bob Duss and I grew to know each other towards the end of freshmen year when we decided to join Phi Delt. We became good friends while attending Saturday night fraternity get-togethers and spent hours discussing our dating lives. I loved his self-effacing humor; I envied his ability to write; everything seemed to come easily to him. He, Lance Willcox ’68 and I decided to find out what fraternity living was really like, so we tripled up on the second floor of Phi Delt. When we hit the sack at the same time, talk revolved around holding our beer until morning or whether or not our teams would win.
Since his family lived in Florida, Bob did not always go home for a week-long break. Junior year I invited him to stay with my family for Thanksgiving, and I remember what a smoothie he was with my mom—loved her cooking and, by the time he left, had her eating out of his hand. For years thereafter, it was always, “So how’s Bob doing?”
Bob was #2 on the tennis team, and his love for the sport continued through his life. We stayed in touch only infrequently, but Mark Rosenfeld ’68 continued to see Bob after Amherst, visiting him in Jacksonville. “I always marveled how consistent he was,” Mark wrote. “He grew up playing on soft courts and was an incredibly steady player with a vicious flat backhand. Bob also played squash, and our varsity was ranked third in the nation, with Bob as one of our top players. In Jacksonville, he was his club’s champion for years. He endured Parkinson’s stoically.”
When I heard he was suffering, I wrote him and his wife, Winfield, a couple of notes that she said he appreciated. He was a very good friend.
Chris Nielsen ’68, with Mark Rosenfeld ’68